Serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in northern France, southern Belgium and Luxembourg.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Heart of Paris

Hey hey!

Right then. My new area is great. My comp (ex-MTC comp Elder Rivas) is pretty much the same as he was when I first met him, except a lot more experienced and knowledgeable of the scriptures. Still hilarious and a little crazy and full of faith. And I still don't know what language to speak with him. The apartment is actually really good! Most Paris apartments aren't, so I was surprised. We live in the 13th Arrondissement, if that means anything to you folks. We live with the Mandarin elders. They are hilarious and unique, though not straight outta China. I'll tell you more about them next time.

New address:

Elder Jordan Stanford
Les missionnaires
17 Passage Foubert
75013 Paris

The ward is good...I think. This being the centre of Paris, about a million tourists come through each week.

...I'm writing this on my iPad while sitting on a metro and this guy just sat down beside me who is not at all small. And I'm squished and he's invading my personal bubble and he sat on the side of my jacket and that's literally dragging me down. Anyway...

Yeah a million tourists pass through each week, and many more members are American, including the bishop. The missionaries here honestly don't know that many members because we're so busy running around with amis and directing the tourists to other Americans they could talk to.
But it seems like a good ward. Just crazy. Everything is translated from French to English or vice versa.

I got to that ward and who did I see? Four girls I know from BYU, doing an exchange program thing in Paris. So weird. They'll be here for the next two weeks. Maybe I'll have pictures next time.

My week was super super busy. Being the équipe in the heart of Paris, and given that the office elders are all the way in Versailles, we have to do a bunch of organizing, especially on transfer week. Setting up for meetings, buying food for the blues coming in, getting metro tickets for them, herding everyone and their luggage around the different train stations of Paris so they can be shipped all over France while never ever being alone...pretty hectic. All that after getting about 3 hours of sleep the night before transfer day due to packing and early trains.

We taught a few cool people, but the most touching spiritual moment was when a Chinese university student was asked to give the prayer at the end of amis class in my new ward. It was the most honest and sincere prayer I've ever heard, because she had never heard anyone pray when she was growing up. She said things like "Thank you for bringing Chinese people into this church. I hope I can understand more and then that I can help the other Chinese people understand more about you as well. Thank you for the missionaries that talked to me. I hope you can help them to find many more people to teach." I LOVE Chinese people now because every one of them at church was so polite, actually followed the lessons in Chinese on their phones, and genuinely wanted to study to know more.

Last but not least, on Thursday we got to visit the temple site and then go to a conference right beside the Chateau de Versailles where Prsident Uchtdorf came and spoke! It was awesome. He talked about helping the refugees, and always being worthy of a temple recommend.
We had a self-referred investigator show up!

That's all I've got! Love you guys! Be good!

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