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

Monday, October 17, 2016

When the night is darkest

Hello everyone,

Well, this week everything fell apart. Hahaha. Okay, not everything, but it was kind of a rough week as far as appointments go. Here is a screenshot of my calendar:

Green = member appointment, usually with a meal involved. :D
Purple = teaching appointments that happened with a member present. 
Blue = teaching appointments that happened without a member present. 
Yellow = teaching appointment that we set, with a specific address and time, that didn't happen—or, in France Paris Mission lingo, the times we got frouged. 

And that pretty much sums up our week. Our progress was further impeded by our absence from Namur all of Wednesday and Thursday—on Wednesday when we did exchanges in Charleroi, on Thursday when we went to Paris to pick up Elder Schow's legality (he had to do it to be allowed to stay in France, and he had to do it in person). That day was kind of awful haha. We woke up at 4:30AM in the Charleroi apartment in order to catch the tram to the train station, so we could catch the train to Brussels, so we could catch the train to Paris, so we could take the metro on time, so we could switch to the RER train on time, so we could meet other missionaries at 10:30AM and take the bus together to get to the government building in St Germain. Exhausting. Then we picked up the legality thing—about the size of a vintage Zapdos Pokémon card, and probably worth about as much as well—at which point we ate lunch and then did the reverse voyage, except we ended up home in Namur by the end. And the whole ordeal cost the mission over 400€. 

On a brighter note, Rana and Merry are progressing really well! They read everything we suggest in the Book of Mormon, even when a migraine sets in. They are still going through some rough times, what with the war in Syria and all—their mother still lives in Aleppe—and so the big question that keeps getting asked is "Why does God allow suffering." It's a hard one to answer (especially for me, since I've had about 0,002% suffering in my life), but I think they're becoming more and more okay with it as they continue to draw closer to their Saviour. Merry is also learning French really well from Rana (though she still reads the Book of Mormon in Arabic), and they're making friends with people at church. (: They are awesome! We're all hoping they'll be able to see their mom by Christmas, and get Merry's husband and children into Belgium shortly after that. 

And the best news of the week is: Aurélien's baptism! :D The guy is a stud! Such a sincere disciple of Christ. The Beatitudes describe his personality. 

The Paris missionaries with Aurélien and Brother Stonehocker,
who helped integrate him into the ward.

Now that I finally helped a French person to baptism, I can be happy with my mission. Haha. 

Well, that's about it. We've got the feeling that a good week's comin' on. The night is darkest just before the dawn. 
And thus the rescue mission continues.

This is what we see from our apartment window. The thing on the Citadelle is a giant bronze turtle ^_^  Also, our apartment is amazing. I'll show you all once we clean it up.

Thanks for your support, your love and your prayers. Keep it up—we need everything we can get. 


Elder Jordan Stanford
Mission française de Paris

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