We bet the title caught your attention. Not that we needed to catch your attention. If you're on our blog we already have your attention. Anyway we wanted to talk about 4 "B" word - birthdays, Baptisms, bags and blessings.
Let's start with bags. Now, we're not talking about a little old French lady walking home with a baguette in one hand and a dog on a leash in the other. No we are actually talking about bags for carrying things. Why would we talk about bags you might ask. French people have a thing for bags. There are bags for everything.
In France when you go to a grocery store they do not, ever, give you a plastic bag. You have to bring your own bags. As a result we often end up at the store without a bag because we are just not used to bringing bags with us. And so we have to buy one. This results in us having an overabundance of bags in our apartment and our car. Yes, Ed keeps a stack of bags in the car for when he takes the Elders shopping and Lynn gives him a shopping list. Each grocery store has it's own bags that they sell. They often have a selection of bags to purchase starting at 5 centimes and going up to 1 Euro. The paper bag is also an option. The quality and size of the bag go up with the price. In the fruit department the bags are much too flimsy. Ed bought some apples last week and yes he probably overfilled it but it split and the apples fell all over the tiled floor outside of our elevator.
Non grocery stores have a more stylish bag. For example a local clothing store named Jeanteur has a picture of the Place Ducale on their bag. It is quite nice. We also have a cool bag of a family on a picnic that shows them with baguettes in a park - very French.
|This one we picked up in London. It reminded us of our grandson Peter and his love for Elephants.|
|We love this baby!|
Regular garbage bags here are different, too. They are sold in a roll and look much like Canadian garbage bags but when you tear off a bag there is a long plastic string that is attached to the bottom of the bag. You pull off the string and these are for tying up the bag when it is full. We haven't seen these in Canada.
Bakeries are everywhere in France. Bakeries have bags for everything. They have long paper bags for baguettes. Smaller bags for pastries, croissants and pain au chocolat. They have larger bags if you are buying lots. Each bakery has their own logo on their bag, too.
The last bag we will talk about will bring us back to missionary work. All of the missionaries carry a shoulder bag. This allows them to hold scriptures, I-pads, pamphlets, teaching aids and writing materials to make teaching easier. Ed has a bigger one which is more like a brief case to haul stuff around. When our new missionary, Elder Asato, arrived he realised he needed such a bag and was lucky enough to find one in the Zone Leaders' apartment where someone had left it behind.
Time to move on to the second "B", birthdays. Today is Ady's birthday and in the last week we also had Sam's birthday. Ady is 3 today and Sam turned 8. We sent both of them a nice birthday card via the computer. Lynn does a great job of making internet cards with pictures of each grandkid and spruced up with designs and colours. We talked to them on FaceTime. They were both very excited about their birthdays and their gifts. We sent shirts and chocolate which every kid likes.
In our Branch we have some birthday traditions, as well. We list the birthdays in our Branch bulletin at the beginning of each month. We also send around a birthday card that everyone signs. Today was the first Sunday of April because last week was General Conference. We had 3 people's birthdays listed for April in the bulletin this morning.
B is also for Baptism and we are so excited about Sam's baptism today in the Sheep River in Okotoks. We'll have to wait for pictures to be sent to us and hope to include them next week. We'll also have to wait and see if there is enough internet service in the area. We hope that we'll be able to be FaceTime'd into the event. It happens at 9:00 p.m. for us. Congratulations Sam.
Our last "B" word is blessings. Laurent and I gave 2 blessings after church today, both for Health reasons. One of them was Lynn. She has been sick all week and was finding it difficult today. It was a pleasure to give her a blessing. I love giving blessings. It is a time when I really feel of the Spirit and when I feel very close to our Heavenly father.
Of course, we receive many blessings in the mission field. We are constantly feeling the presence of our Heavenly Father. Some of the special blessings we received this week were very uplifting. For example, Stephen blessed the sacrament for the first time today in French. Stephen is from Nigeria and does not speak French. He has been working on the Sacrament prayers in French with Ed and the Elders for some time with anticipation of him being ordained a Priest, which happened 2 weeks ago. It was wonderful to hear him this morning. His practise payed off. He didn't make one mistake and his accent was pretty good too. It brought tears to one of the Sister's eyes. Another blessing. Elder Asato has been in France for a total of 12 days. Shortly after his arrival Ed asked him to introduce himself and to bear his testimony in Sacrament Meeting today. He did an amazing job. What a special moment. We are very proud of him. He is saying prayers in French and is sharing scriptures. His French is improving and he will be a great missionary. We are blessed to have him with us here in Charleville.
A third blessing. We had a wonderful Family Home Evening for the Branch this week organised by Florine. We had a great scriptural message from both the Elders. We played a great game where you had to think of words with specific syllables in them before a toy bomb went off. We made the treat. When we say "we" the focus is definitely on Lynn. We bought baked chips. Ed did that and Lynn made a banana-apple cake. Stephen brought some bananas. We also had flans, a french pudding type thing, which the Elders brought.
We had a flee market this weekend here in Charleville. Ed's Dad would have been in 7th heaven. It was really busy in the streets and really fun to be among the crowd. Here are a couple of photos for you to enjoy. The sun made it nice to just sit and enjoy the carousel and flowers in the square as well as the many people enjoying a meal at the sidewalk cafés.
Of course, as we teach and learn our blessings are immeasurable. The more we teach the more we learn. The more we learn, the closer we come to Heavenly Father.
Au revoir de la France,
Lyndi-lou and Eddie, too