Elder Brown in Montauban

Elder Brown in Montauban

Monday, January 9, 2012

5 days in Agen - January 9 2012

Bonjour à tous!

Hey everyone, I'm glad to hear that life is good on the american continent! I've got a lot to tell you and a lot of questions and comments to which I need to respond as well!
On wednesday, I drove myself and three other missionnaries (Elder Barton, Elder Hemsley, and Soeur Siwachok) from Toulouse all the way to Geneva. It was pretty fun! All twelve of the trainers went out to McDonald's (we actually didn't have the choice--the office Elders had been asked to take us all out to eat). We spent the night at a hotel, and were picked up to meet our bleus (trainees) at the mission home on Thursday morning. My bleu is named Elder Tulley--he's a Lamanite! For those of you who are reading this email and do not know what a Lamanite is, ask a mormon or, better yet, read the Book of Mormon yourself! Elder Tulley's family actually lives on a Navajo reservation in Arizona. He's been pretty tired this week (partly because of jet lag, partly because we've been WORKING like crazy!), but I'll think he'll snap out of it soon.
Quick side story--I met a certain Soeur Lala (that's not her whole last name but I can't spell the rest) in Geneva. She's training this transfer as well. I've met her once before, nearly a year and a half ago, when she entered the mission at the same time as Elder Park, who was my first bleu. This time, I learned that Soeur Lala is from Grenoble. When she heard that I'm from Spokane, she said, "have you heard of Liberty Lake?" Apparently, Soeur Lala's older sister spent several months with the Craig family in our ward a few years ago! She said that Kristen Craig actually spent some time chez la famille Baret (Elder Baret is serving in Aix en Provence right now) Say hello to the Craigs from Soeur Lala!
So, back to Agen. Our apartment is the most beautiful missionary apartment I've ever seen. We went to meet with the Branch President, frère Landry Zambo, on friday. He explained to us that there are normally around 8 to 10 members. He also had a dream that the branch was about to grow explosively! We had a few cool experiences these last few days. On our way from the train station to the apartment for the first time, we contacted a couple, and apparently the husband is the gardener at the church here in Agen. We're hopefully going to teach them this saturday. We also found a less active member (Armand) who was baptized 30 years ago in Congo. He was forced to flee the country in 2001 because of the civil war, and when he arrived in France he couldn't find a Latter-day Saint church, so he started going to the Catholic church. He was excited to come to church, and actually drove us there sunday morning, but he realized at the last minute that he couldn't come because he had obligations at the catholic church. Saturday night, we had 5 minutes left before 9:00 when we had to be at the apartment, and I said, "Elder Tulley, we need to find somebody!" We walked down a road and contacted a young woman who said "I'm a member!" Her name is Adriana, she's from Portugal, and she's been here in Agen for nearly eight months without knowing that there's a chapel here! We called soeur Zambo, who brought Adriana to church the next day!
We have four investigators now, about whom I'll tell you more next week. We were contacting someone in the street when Nolwenne called out to us from her window and asked if we woud come up to explain more about the Mormons--so we taught her and her boyfriend, Morgane, last night! Samir and Assya are muslim, but very curious!
Dad, is there a Gabriel Fletcher in Spokane? Apparently he served a mission in London with frère Lhospital, a member of the Stake Presidency who came to church for branch conference, which was yesterday (so for my first sunday we had almost 20 people instead of 10!).
Mom, the adresse of our apartment is:

les missionnaires
35 rue Montesqieu, apt 31B la résidence Montesquieu
47000 Agen

Drew, as for your pole vault friend and her questions about ordinances...try Preach My Gospel. As for the halftime dance, I'll be praying that you manage to turn it into something legit. Here's an inspirational quote that you can use to help motivate the other guys to keep it clean: "Crude humor is uncreative" I'll pray for you to be efficient too.
Kendra, I got your Christmas letter, thanks a ton, ma soeur!
Trev and Steph, I'm glad you like pole vault class so much (and that you like the teacher Steph. Is it Lex?). Keep up the good work.

I had other stuff to say but am unfortunately out of time...

I love you all! Serving as a missionnary is the best thing I've ever done, and I wish I could do more. The church is true, and the Book of Mormon is blue. It is also true, and my favorite book in the world.
Have a nice week!
-Elder Brown

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