Lyndi-lou and Eddie too...

Lyndi-lou and Eddie too...

Sunday, November 29, 2015


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Well here we are at the end of November already.  Christmas is just around the corner.  You can certainly tell that the festive season is here in France.  The Christmas lights are up and there is a huge Christmas tree up in the "Place Ducale", our main square.  The city workers are also putting up a skating rink there and several booths for our upcoming Christmas Market.

Christmas markets are very popular in France.  Some cities like Strasbourg have had them every year for hundreds of years.  Just about every city has a Christmas Market.  There are crafts, food, drinks, activities, rides and games at these festive markets.  Unfortunately we missionaries have been asked to avoid the Christmas markets this year.  We have been asked to do so as a safety precaution after the terrorist attacks.  Actually, we have been asked to avoid any gathering where there are large groups of people congregating.  Our Mission President has a huge responsibility to keep everyone safe.  Many parents have entrusted their children to his care.  He needs to take whatever precautions are necessary to do so.  

We were able to do four apartment inspections this week.  One in Toul, two in Nancy and one in Strasbourg.  We also spend considerable time scrapping and painting the bathroom in the Elders apartment in Strasbourg.  It was quite a mess.  Peeling paint and mold.  It was nice for us that the Elders stayed and helped us with all the scrapping.  
Nancy Soeurs
Nancy Elders 
Strasbourg Elders Perkins and Orton
Big Yukky Mess
Smiling happy Elders Orton, Egbert and Perkins scrapping away!
Elder Dudfield giving us some of his prized Australian chocolate.  It was great.
After scraping it looked like this.  We had to fill it all in.  Wait overnight for it to dry and then painted the next day.
Just with the undercoating on.  Even this looks lots better.  We now hope it actually lasts.  Still needs 2-3 more coats.
Strasbourg has the biggest and oldest Christmas Market in Europe.   The first one was in the 1500's.  It is spread out all throughout the city in 12 different locations.  It receives 2,000,000 visitors a year.  We obediently avoided the Market for the most part but we did see 2 parts of it as we made the 30 minute walk to and from our hotel to the Elders apartment.   The city is very beautiful and enticing.  We saw beautiful storefronts decorated in many creative ways.  It was amazing.  Such a festive spirit.  We really loved our time there.
A few other celebrations happened this week.  Last Sunday was the rededication of the Montreal Temple.  All of the congregations in Canada took part.  We understand that it was a beautiful event.   What a great message to us of the importance of temples on the Earth today.  What a blessing that is for families!

Speaking of temples, on November 25 we also acknowledged the birthday of our son, Adam, who passed away only 12 hours after being born.  We were sealed to him as a family in the Cardston  Alberta temple on December 20, 2008.  Our grandson, Adam Mossey, was named after him.  What is interesting is that we teach a young woman who was born on the exact same day as Adam.  It really allows us to see at what stage of life he would be at had he lived.  It also allows us to think of eternal families and how we will be able to see Adam again some day.

On Tuesday we journeyed to Reims for a District Meeting that was also a celebration of American Thanksgiving (2 days early).  Most missionaries are from the U.S.  In our district there are 5 Americans, us 2 Canadians and a Belgian missionary.  Anyway, as a group we decided to celebrate American Thanksgiving.  We had a lesson on the history and reasons behind Thanksgiving.  Ed was quick to point out that Canada actually celebrated the first Thanksgiving some time before the Americans.  We had a great feast.  We had roasted chicken with cranberries.   It is very hard to find whole turkeys in France.  It is also hard to find cranberries.  We had to make our own cranberry sauce.  Lynn found some dried cranberries and she rehydrated them in cranberry juice and added gelatin to create cranberry jelly.  We also had green bean casserole, jellied salad, mashed turnips with carrots, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and 2 pies, pumpkin and apple.  We had apple champagne as a drink.  Are you getting hungry just reading this.  It truly was a feast fit for a pilgrim or an Acadian depending on what side of the border you are from.  
Our wonderful Reims District
Our lessons went well this week, Institute, French Gospel and missionary lessons.  Ed had a lot of Branch business to do this week, as well.  Some of this came about as a result of his Stake meeting from last week.  Our Branch is also preparing for some Christmas activities - meals, carol sings, presentations, etc. Christmas is certainly in the air.
Our Elders decorations here in Charleville.  They're feeling quite festive!
We know that Christmas will be here in the blink of an eye.  The busier we are the quicker it will come.  We are getting packages ready to send home to our family.  I can't write anymore just thinking about it.  Bye!

Au revoir de la France,
Lyndi-Lou and Eddie too.  

Sunday, November 22, 2015

On the Road Again

Sunday, November 22, 2015

We are feeling a little like Willie Nielson this week because we were "On the Road Again".  Early Friday morning we left Charleville to do a 5 city, 6 apartment road trip.  The closest city was 4 hours from us.  After that circuit we headed to Lille for a Stake Bishops' meeting.   We virtually went from the east side of France to the west side of France.  

It was a wild and wooly trip altogether.  By that we are referring to the weather.  When we left Charleville it was 6 degrees.  It got up to 14 by the time we got to Épinal, our first stop.  It pretty much rained for the rest of the day, with a huge downpour when we were driving into Colmar, our final destination for Friday.  Colmar is right on the German border.   The rain continued on Saturday and turned to snow through Belgium.  It was snowy or rainy all the way to Lille where we spent the second night.  All the way home today it rained.
Christmas lights in Colmar.
Snow through Belgium and Luxembourg.  Brrrr......
Enough about the weather.  Our apartment checks went great.  The young missionaries are really taking Lynn's suggestions about cleaning to heart.  They were all doing a wonderful job at trying to maintain clean apartments.  We noticed some great improvement. This is truly one of the blessings of our mission.  We get to spend time with these young missionaries.  They continue to be great examples to us as they fulfil their callings as missionaries.  They are always happy and always working extremely hard.  It is sometimes hard to nail them down to get an appointment to come and see them.  When we do, though, we are always lifted up by their gentle spirits and commitment to the missionary effort.

As a Mission we are undertaking 2 initiatives that are aimed at finding more Friends of the Church.  We are undertaking a 5 step program where everyone in the Branch will invite a Friend to church, church activities, Family Home Evening and dinner.  We also are doing a 40 day fast leading up to Christmas where every missionary is giving up something for 40 days.  Ed is giving up pop and Lynn is giving more time to the Saviour.  The hope is that by doing this and through prayer we will be able to find more people interested in the Church and invite them to our meetings.

Today Ed had a meeting in Villeneuve d'Ascq where our Stake is located.  This is a meeting with the Stake Presidency and all of the Bishops or Branch Presidents in the Stake.  It was a great meeting.  We covered a lot of topics that were important for our wards and branches.  It was interesting to see that our average attendance in Charleville went up from 6 to 22 compared to the figures given at the same meeting last year .  The Stake President even made a comment about this.  This is a result of some great team work in Charleville between the missionaries, the members and the Friends of the Church.

After the horrible events in Paris that we saw just over a week ago, we have settled in closer to normal.  However, when we went over the border into Belgium or back into France we saw for the first time since coming to France a police presence.  We did have our District Meeting again and Lynn actually did the training session for it.  She talked about how to be better teachers by teaching lessons that are more open to involvement and that are less of a lecture given by a talking head.  She did a wonderful job and everyone loved it.  She even practiced what she taught because everyone joined in a great discussion.
Our District. We have finished our ninth transfer.
The rest of our week in France was pretty normal.  We taught our French Gospel class which went very well.  We also taught our 2 Institute classes.  We love doing this.  We learn so much and enjoy working with the Young Single adults in our branch.  We also had a great Wednesday night activity that was a Family Home Evening.

You notice that we said the rest of our week was normal in France.  However back home it was not a normal week.  Our grandson, Charlie had his eighth birthday.  For an LDS family this is a big occasion because it usually means a baptism.  Charlie was baptised yesterday in Brooks.  All of Amy's siblings and their family journeyed up there for the occasion and most of Tyler's family as well.  We were able to contact Charlie by phone right after he was baptised.  What a happy kid.  We are proud of him for taking this step in his life.  We were able to buy him a scripture bag thanks to Amy's involvement and phoning.  He followed up the occasion with a birthday party at the pool.
Amy made this cake for Charlie
Charlie with his new tie on that Wilson made for him for his birthday.
Wonderful friends/family are to be treasured.  Thanks to Cheryl and Neil who went to Lise-Anne's rescue this week and helped her switch rooms around in the house and more... It meant a great deal to us as well as her.  It's amazing and inspiring to us to see such kind acts of selfless service.

It is good to get back into a normal routine again this week.  Whatever that means.  We are on the road this coming week a couple of times too with different projects in mind.  We continue to appreciate and love our work, our family and our friends.  We are grateful for your support, prayers and well wishes.  Thank you!

Au revoir de la France,
Lyndi-lou and Eddie, too.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Safe Haven

Sunday, November 15, 2015

This week was a busy week for us again but it ended in tragedy for France.

We both taught our second Institute class this week - Lynn with the anglo-class and me with the francophones.  This week Lynn and I and the Elders decorated a room in our chapel for Institute classes.  We put up English and French posters and put up a sign that said "Charleville-Mézières Institute of Religion".   It looks pretty cool and was very well received.  About three weeks ago we got a phone call from a member of the Stake presidency telling us that we will be able to keep our chapel as is.  We had been told that we would lose 40% of our chapel but because our attendance had improved so much this is no longer the case.  This is an answer to our collective prayers.  Because of that decision we were able to designate a room for our 6 Institute students and any friends that show up. 
Renditions of Elder Adams (left) and Elder Daines (right).  Soeur Wilson drew one.  Clara the other.  Hmmm....... can you guess which one drew which picture?
We both enjoy teaching these classes and our French Gospel class.  Ed, of course, just loves being a teacher again.  The beauty with Institute is that we learn right along with the students.  The topic of the course is "Jesus Christ and the Everlasting Gospel".  Institute is a more in depth study.  It is like a university gospel study course.

Ed got another opportunity to be a teacher again this week when he met with a high school student to help him organise his time and his timetable.  He was also able to help him with his English homework.  Ed's a good teacher.  He's just got no class now that he's retired (Get it?).

Florine's boyfriend, Phillip, went home to Louisiana on Wednesday.  He had been staying at our house.  He had a great stay here in France and enjoyed it very much.  He was able to see a lot and do a lot.  He also got up to Belgium for a day in Liège.  We loved having him here.

It was great to have Emeric Biver here this week from Oxford, England.  He was here to meet Phillip and to spend some time with his family.  He came to church last Sunday and came to Institute this week.  He has a great foundation in the Gospel and is a welcome addition to any discussion or class.

Laurent Biver and Ed met this week.  They are planning a meeting with the mayor of Charleville-Mézières to increase the visibility of the Church and to express a willingness to get involved with service activities with the city.  They are planning what kind of information to share and what to tell him about our Congregation of the Church in Charleville.

Yesterday we started a mission wide initiative as a gift to the Saviour.  Every missionary is taking part in a 40 day fast.  As part of this we have been asked to give sacrifice something on a personal level for the forty days leading up to Christmas as a gift to the Saviour.  We have also been asked to pray hourly to be more in tune with the Spirit and in turn have successful missionary experiences.   We are happy to do this and think it's a great idea.

We had two other highlights this week.  The first one was when Lynn made Ed some new sleeping shorts.  Just to put a perspective on this, in 1993 Ed attended an Outdoor Education camp with grade 6 students from Mike Mountain Horse School.  All of the students had made a pair of Bert and Ernie shorts.  As it turned out they also made a pair for Ed which he loved and which he wore to sleep in for years until they wore out.  When they did wear out, Lynn made him a new pair.  Our kids thought these shorts were a legend and so as a family it has become a tradition to present a new bride or bridegroom in our family with a pair of these shorts while everyone models theirs.  As it turned out Ed's second pair of Bert and Ernie shorts wore out this week.  Well, actually, they were past worn out but he still wore them faithfully to bed each night despite the tears, the holes and the stretched waistband.  This week the lesson manual for Institute asked you to share something that someone had done for you with the students.  You guessed it.  Ed brought his old shorts in to share and hung them on the white board.  This was probably the breaking point for Lynn and she broke down  and made a new pair of "Astérix and Obélix" shorts.  They look fabulous.  Of course, it helped to have some free time today because we were asked to stay inside yesterday because of the tragedy that happened in Paris on Friday.  She also did some sewing for herself, made a skirt, fixed three skirts as well as mended a pair of suit pants for Elder Adams who is serving here in Charleville.
Lynn gave the missionaries hair cuts this week as well.
Our second highlight was a baptism.  We had a baptism today.  One of our Nigerian Friends, Beauty, was baptised in the lake.   Yup, you read correctly, in the lake, outside on November 15. What a brave girl.  She insisted on being baptised in the lake even though it is November 15.  Beauty is a lovely woman and has a great testimony.   The baptism was beautiful.  We all loved witnessing it. We then returned to the church and enjoyed a great Branch meal afterward.  Our High Counsellor was there with a friend.  We had a wonderful day. 
Well, I guess if a week has a high point it also must have a low point.  There is no doubt what that was this week.  You have all heard of the terrible attacks in Paris this week.  Such tragedy.  We felt the horror of it and our hearts are mourning with those who have lost their lives and for their families and friends left behind.  We continue to pray for those who are injured and are fighting for their lives.  

Of course, when these attacks happened the number one concern is for everyones safety.  Fortunately there is a system in place to quickly do a check up like this.  All missions are divided into zones.  Each zone is divided into districts.  Zone leaders were contacted and they made a fan out call to the district leaders who called the individual missionaries in their district.  We got a call after 11:00 p.m. on Friday to see if we were safe.  When our district leader was not able to contact our Elders we went over to rouse them out of bed and to see if they were okay, which they were.  In short order all missionaries were accounted for.

Thank heaven for rules and for obedience.  All young missionaries are expected to be in their apartments by 9:00 p.m. and they all were.  By doing so they were safe when the attacks started.  Of course, we recognise the hand of God in keeping us safe and we are so grateful for it.

Because of this unfortunate chain of events we have had all meetings cancelled in Paris for this week.  We had a zone activity that was cancelled and so Ed cancelled our train tickets.  We also received a message that we should stay inside as much as possible except for appointments that have already been made.  As a result, Ed ended up driving our Elders to an appointment.

We are so grateful that all of our missionaries were out of harm's way.  We are about two hours from Paris.  We are far from the big city lights of Paris and the hazards of being in this wonderful city that is a magnet to the world.  Our prayers are with the families of those who have lost loved ones or have been injured.  France is a beautiful country with beautiful people.  They do not deserve to be treated like this by people who are clearly agents of the adversary and who are full of hatred for all who do not adhere to their beliefs.  It was really nice at church today when our dear sister from Belgium brought everyone a long stem flower with a ribbon with the French colours as a sign of support for the French and for the members in our Branch.

In order to wrap up this post we want to reiterate that the work of the Lord is continuing in France and in Charleville.  We feel that our Heavenly Father blesses us and that brings us peace of mind.  Thank you all for your support and love.

Au revoir de la France,
Lyndi-Lou and Eddie, too

Sunday, November 8, 2015

One year older and wiser too!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

This week we have had some great things happen.  

To start off with we received a surprise package yesterday!  It was letters from our Chinook Ward Primary!  We were over-joyed.  It was such a pleasure to have a little bit of home here with us in France.  We appreciate so much their support.  Each one is a little treasure. Thank so much to wonderful leaders who took the time to spear head this and thanks to each of you who wrote to us.
It was Ed's birthday on Monday.  We had a great day.  He was happy to have been able to speak to all of our children.  He got a coat, a belt, sox and the new Astérix book for his birthday.  The Elders took us out for lunch for a kébab.  Afterward we all went to the Animal Park to see the sangliers.  This is the only way we will be able to see them in France, we think.   
We went out for supper to a Chinese restaurant recommended by one of our members.  We ordered a Chinese fondue for two but it was really big enough for 4.  This was an interesting dish.  It was served in a special dish that sat on a hot plate.  In the middle was a pot of Vietnamese soup.  Around the outside was a ring of vegetables and beef.  You were given a small metal basket that you filled and cooked in the soup.   It was delicious.  There was enough to take home for another meal entirely.  The picture below isn't ours but it gives you the idea.  Ed doesn't want to give you the idea that he's gone to the dark side and is actually eating shrimp!!  Lynn on the other hand would have loved it!
We also celebrated our son's birthday this week.  Spencer turned 29 on Thursday.  We had sent him a French tee shirt and we were able to phone him.  He was in Idaho getting some training for a business venture he is about to undertake.  He was going out to Tucanos Brazilian Grill for a free birthday meal.  He is doing well and had a great birthday, too.
We started our first Institute classes in Charleville this week.  Institute is a Church program to help members understand and rely on the teachings and atonement of Jesus Christ.  We have not had an Institute program here for quite some time.  It is usually made available to Young Single Adults, aged 18-30.  We have, in fact, two classes going.  We have an English class that Lynn is teaching (4 students) and a French class that Ed is teaching for now (2 students).   The plan is that another teacher will teach the French class by Skype and then we will teach the class in English together.  This will allow the two in that class to stay home and not have to drive the distance to the church.

Ed has 2 sisters in the Francophone class.  They have grown up in the Church and are quite knowledgeable about the Gospel.  The course of study this year is "Jesus Christ and the Everlasting Gospel".  This is a great opportunity for Ed.  As a convert to the Church he has never had an opportunity to take an Institute class.
As we seek the Spirit (teachers and students alike) this course is inspiring and uplifting.  We are all so much more receptive to learning when this is the case.

We also continue to teach our French Gospel class.  This, too is going well.  Our new members and Friends of the church are able to access lots of support and encouragement in their gospel journey.  We have Institute and French Gospel class, as well as a Wednesday night activity.  They are loving it and enjoy the interaction with us and other members of the Branch.

We are preparing for a baptism this week.  One of our Friends has chosen to be baptised in the lake next Sunday.  It will be cold water.  She is feeling very good about this decision.  She has had her baptismal interview and everything is moving forward.  We will celebrate with a meal afterward. 

This week we have a guest in our home.  One of our sisters returned from a mission in Louisiana in May.  She had an outstanding mission.  While there she met a friend and since returning home they have become even better friends ;).  She even went back to visit him in August.  This week he made the return trip and is spending 9 days here.  We are fortunate to have him staying with us and have enjoyed his company very much.  He was able to bring us 10 packs of our favorite Louisiana Jambalaya Mix!  We are in heaven.  We have gone on some outings with the two of them, including a visit to the Sedan castle.  Also, yesterday was Florine's birthday.  We helped her celebrate with a birthday breakfast of crêpes with béchamel ham and mushroom sauce. (She made it here at our house). Yummy!
Florine and Philip
We continue to support the missionaries by attending lessons with them and by meeting with them regularly.  They are awesome young men and are an integral part of our work here and of our Branch. 

Yesterday there was a huge market here.  Booths were set up on all the downtown streets.  Merchants were selling new and used items. We visited every booth looking for bargains.  Lynn bought some tights and Ed bought two used books.  We also found a good deal on fresh walnuts which we eat a lot of.  We enjoyed it.

We have members and Friends of the Church who are from Africa. Some of them have received letters from the government about their status.  This is a big worry to them.  None of them wants to be sent back.  These people are only trying to make a better life for themselves and their families.  Our hearts go out to them and we feel their pain and frustration.  We continue to pray for them.

The rest of our week was pretty standard - shopping, studying, dance, lessons, reports, etc...  And that's all we have for this week.

Au revoir de la France,
Lyndi-Lou and Eddie, too.

Sunday, November 1, 2015


Sunday, November 1, 2015

This week seemed to accentuate opposites.  

We are all faced with trials.  We have worries about families, about our callings, about money or about health.  We have experienced all of these things this week.  We, of course, turn to the Lord for guidance and we get it and we are strengthened by these challenges.  As we are strengthened we are blessed.  We become closer as a family.  We become better at our callings.  Our health improves.  We do a better job of spending.  Opposites - trials and blessings.

This week we had an opportunity to attend a Family History Conference in Lille.  Members of our Branch were presenting a session and we went with them.  We were able to attend several workshops helping us to connect with our deceased ancestors.  It was an awesome conference.  When we got home, on the same day we talked to our son and his family.  We loved talking to our grandchildren.  They are bright and bubbly and full of love.  They certainly uplift you no matter what you are doing.  Opposites - ancestors and posterity.
Isabel teaching her class on collecting and preserving memories.  Writing our own personal history.
The Ninja Turtle Michel's
A Native Princess and a cereal "killer"/eater.  
On Thursday we had a zone conference in Paris.  We left at 7:20 a.m.  We spent the day in Paris.  We didn't see many sites because we were busy but we did get some business done and we met a new missionary couple, the Monson's.  We showed Elder Monson a nice place to eat.  This week we passed our year mark making us and our dear friends Dave & Patti Redd, the missionary couples with the most experience in the mission.  Opposites - new couple - old farts.  
On our way to get our 2nd year legality.  The buses here are all Mercedes.
We came back to Charleville-Mézières at 8:11 p.m.  Good old Charleville, small, quaint, quiet and very French.   Paris, big, lively noisy and very international.  Opposites.

While we were in Paris we had to go to the prefecture to pick up our Titre de Séjour.  This little document allows us to legally stay in France for another.  In Charleville we have members and Friends of the Church who are fighting to stay in France.   Why can we have permission to stay and they are being asked to leave?  Opposites.

Even our car accentuated opposites this week.  A few weeks ago we drove to the Mission Home and picked up some winter tires.  They were brand new on brand new rims.  On Wednesday Ed put on the new tires and rims.  He took off the old tires, worn smooth well travelled - opposites.

We taught our French Gospel class this week.  It was a great lesson.  We can really see progress in the students.  They are feeling more confident about the Gospel and about speaking French.  All of our students are new to the gospel and the French Gospel class addresses the basics of the gospel.  At the other end of the spectrum we are starting an Institute program with these same students and with some more seasoned members.  Opposites - classes, students.
By now you are asking where we are going with all of this.  It is probably obvious that the message is that there is opposition in all things.  We need to learn from opposition.  What lessons did we learn this week?

1.  We were reinforced about the importance of family, our health and our love for each other and the love of our Heavenly Father.
2.  The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence.  We love Charleville.  We have made great friends here.  We hope we are making a difference.  We are blessed here.  The church is strong here.  Despite the small numbers our members are full of faith and Heavenly Father's spirit is always present in our meetings.
3.   A mission is a great thing.  We are grateful for the opportunity to serve here in France.  We love to pass on our joy and gratitude to those recently arrived missionaries.
4.  Like our old tires we sometimes feel worn out and need a facelift or an uplift.  We need to turn to our Heavenly Father and ask for his guidance.  We need to put on the Armour of God and continue with our progression with a positive outlook and a smile upon our face.
5.  Why are we allowed to stay in France and others are not?  This is a difficult question and one that is heart-wrenching.   We do know however that Heavenly Father loves us all.  He knows us personally and will help us through all of our struggles. And hopefully we will emerge stronger because of adversity.
6.  Now that we have people who have been introduced to the gospel, we need to feed their thirst for knowledge.  Institute class is a great way of doing this.   Blessings will come as a result.

We learn through opposition.  Some opposition is good.  The hand of the Lord is with all of us.

A Branch activity Saturday night.  Everyone had lots of fun.
Ed with Elder Daines and Elder Adams.  Florine peaking through the side. 
Au revoir de la France
Lyndi-Lou and Eddie, too.