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|
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.