Lyndi-lou and Eddie too...

Lyndi-lou and Eddie too...

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Mothers and Fathers

Sunday May 29, 2016

Happy Mother's Day!  In France Mother's day is celebrated on the last Sunday in May which, as you no doubt know, is today.  At church today we handed out roses and chocolates to all of the sisters attending.  They loved it.  We also heard lots of testimonies and stories about mothers as we had our Fast and Testimony meeting today because next Sunday is Stake Conference.  It was a lovely meeting.
So yummy!
 It's hard to resist these beauties when they are right out the front door!
Juxtaposed to that, yesterday we had a Stake High Priest meeting.  The theme of that meeting was the role of fathers in the home.  Ed had the pleasure of driving to Lille (3.5 hours) with Michel.  They got to talk and enjoy each other's company all the way.  He is very pleasant company and is very knowledgeable, especially in things pertaining to the Gospel and things pertaining to France.  His grandparents, who raised him, owned a Fromagerie.  This translates to "Cheeserie" in English.  They specialised in Camembert cheese.  He said there isn't a cheese he doesn't like which is quite a comment for someone who lives in a country where they produce 365 cheeses.  he has probably tried them all.

Anyways, back to our Stake High Priest meeting.  We had a choice to attend 2 out of 4 sessions.  Our choices were:
1. How to create ties thanks to fatherly interviews and Family  
2. How to fulfil your role as father in your home.
3. How to manage crisis situations in your home.
4. What can you do for a child who has strayed from the Gospel.
I attended sessions 2 and 4 and Michel attended sessions 1 and 3 so we covered them all between us.  What great sessions they were.

After our sessions we got fed with baguettes, pickles, sandwiches and drinks.  We also had a second meeting related to helping members of our Branches and wards.  It was an idea sharing session and we thought it was great and helpful.  Ed got home at 11:00 p.m. so it was a long day.

In the meantime while Ed was travelling across northern France Lynn went on a Branch activity where they did a hike, tours de roc, near Monthermé in the Ardennes.  The Ardennes are a beautiful part of France.  They are hilly and forested.  They saw some beautiful country and had some great moments together.  The activity was well attended with about 15 people there which ain't bad (When you're a retired teacher you don't have to worry about grammar anymore.) for a small Branch like ours.  From all reports everyone had a great time.  One of the girls from Africa said it was the only time she had ever been on a hike.

We also did some more service this week.  On Friday we headed back out to the Dampt's where Lynn painted and Ed fixed a tap and moved some things.  He also helped put in a sidewalk so that it was easier for Brother and Sister Dampt to walk to the garage.  The yard was incredibly uneven and posed a risk for both of them.  While we were there Lynn was able to FaceTime their daughter in Utah which was really cool.  They loved being able to see her and the grandchildren.  
Hard at work!
Trying it out with Elder Wilson as a guide.
Solo run with the ambulateur (walker).  Worked great.
This morning we were woken up at 5:00 a.m. by our son, Spencer.  The sewer in our rental house had backed up.  Through the phone and with Spencer's help we were able to determine that it was a city sewer line problem and he was able to resolve the issue with city's help and without it costing us a nickel.  We have to say a nickel in Canada because we no longer have pennies.  Once again we were blessed by being on a mission and by the support of our family, in this case by Spencer.  Thanks so much to him for his time and expertise.

Since we're on the home front with news of our water problems we just want to mention here that Dustin, Lindsey and their family just got home from a family vacation.  They went to California.  They visited Legoland, San Diego, swam on the beach, visited Legoland and had a super good time.  Elle was just overwhelmed that they stayed in 4 different hotels.  Wow! Now that's the definition of a good holiday from the eyes of a 5 year old.
We received notice this week that the mission would like us to look at a new apartment in Strasbourg for the Elders who are there.  The old apartment is getting very run down and needs a lot of attention. We were able to contact the agent and will head there tomorrow to check things out.

Yesterday in the "Place Ducal" there was an interesting activity.  There were tables set up all over the square.  On each table there was a game.  It was the annual "Fête des Jeux" (Festival of Games).  People were just starting to play them.  We thought it was a great idea and a wholesome one, too.  When Lynn went back later walking home from the hike she discovered that they were all home-made games.  The square was very buzzing with excitement.
The rest of our week was filled with meetings, teaching appointments, lessons, interviews, studies and supporting our members.  All in all it was great week but another busy one.  Missionary life is never dull.

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

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Happy Birthday

Sunday, May 22, 2016

We'd like to start off by saying congratulations to Lindsay and Liam who got married yesterday in Fernie.  We were sad to have missed it but so very happy for them.

Another week has zipped by.  Time goes so fast when you are on a mission.  This is mainly because we are always so busy and that is exactly what happened this week, again.  

Right off the bat we were busy helping out at Dampt's house again with the Elders. Their move is going well but they are still needing some little things done.  Ed helped take down some doors and fix another one.  We moved a washer and dryer in and Ed hooked them up.  He had to do a bit of plumbing for the washer but it worked out.  We also did some painting and unpacking.  Lynn made some soup and brought it with us to share.  We gave them the leftovers much to Paulette's delight.  That was one or two less meals she would have to cook.
This is the backyard where when Paulette was a child they kept chickens, 2 pigs and a hundred rabbits.
Elder Asato trying out the vacuum cleaner for weight lifting.
Wednesday was Lynn's birthday.  Ed started preparing for it on Tuesday.  Lots of for-planning on that one.  He made her a card on the computer with a picture of all of their children, grand children and parents.  He bought her a new fountain pen which she really wanted.  Being the wonderful husband that he is Ed made her breakfast.  Little do you realise that he does this every day but this time he also included a Liège waffle with breakfast, which he doesn't do every day or she would get fat.  Now, that's true love.  Lynn also received a pair of shoes for her birthday which she had bought a while ago but wasn't allowed to wear until her birthday.  Needless to say she wore them all day.

Flowers Amy sent
After our last Institute class of the year some of the Branch members had a little birthday celebration for Lynn.  They bought her a cake, some candles and had other snacks.  They sang Happy Birthday (en français of course) and played a game.  She also got a card and a little gift from the sisters in Relief Society.

Thursday we had our District Meeting in Reims.  We had a good training session on inviting people to baptism.  We did practice teaching on this theme.  The Zone Leaders were there, as well.  Ed gave a blessing to one of the missionaries.  We got back home around 3:00 p.m.  And, of course, we went to folk dancing in the evening where we had a great time and learned a complicated new dance thanks to Laurent.

On Friday and Saturday Ed was sick.  He laid low for 2 days, only going out to buy some apples and bananas and to exchange Lynn's birthday pen because hers was cracked.  He read a lot, ate little, watched some movies and slept a lot.

One of the unfortunate things about being sick was that he missed going to Dunkerque to do service in the refugee camp.  Lynn had to drive.  There were 7 people from our Branch.  They helped fill boxes with supplies and did some manual service on site at the camp.  It was a long day.  

We started off in Dunkerque by taking all the provisions we had collected to the church and they were boxed up to be taken to the camp.  (We had soap, shampoo, combs, brushes, tooth brushes, towels, food, lots more stuff.). 

It was interesting at the camp.  We were briefed at the entrance for about a half hour.  All Women volunteers had to be accompanied by at least two men.  We were all given emergency numbers if there were any problems, which we didn't have any problems.  The group Lynn was with moved a couple of large tents around.  Others checked for things around the different homes (tents and cabin-type spaces), garbage, water etc.  Others gave out supplies at one of the free stores within the camp.  For example, spices and different donated food and other goods.  One of the guys that went up with us was in a group that built square frames and filled them with concrete with spikes in them (they looked like horseshoe pits) for foundations for more home/cabins.  It was quite amazing actually.  It's a city in there.  There were kids riding bikes and there was a bike repair shop set up as well.  All free of course ( It was just set up with very large hand made sign.). Everything was donated.  At the same time some of our group was collecting garbage and they had a couple people throwing away a perfectly good blanket, shoes, socks, a coat.  That was a little strange because it looked pretty wasteful but maybe there was good reason.  After reflection a bit we wondered if it was because of lice.  It was quite a sad situation, and precarious too.  No volunteers are allowed to stay the night.  There are more than 2000 who live in the camp but we mostly saw men and boys.  

We're glad to have had the chance to help out. We didn't get home until nearly midnight.  It was however very rewarding.  They didn't want us to take cameras into the camp so the pictures we have are of getting the supplies ready to take in.

We had a great turnout at church today.  We had 34 people.  There were 8 visitors from the Stake and the rest were all ours.  Because we had Stake visitors we had a Branch meal afterward.  It all went well.  We love it when we have visitors.  We heard some great talks, had some great classes and had a great time eating and yakking.  It doesn't get any better than that.
Well, that's pretty much it for this week.  We were busy.

Au revoir de la France,
Lindi-lou and Eddie, too