Monday, February 24, 2014

Walking in the Same Direction

Haha, So my companions face is the size of a basketball right now. He's not liking it so much, but there's not much we can do right now other than get him better. This week was really awesome in terms of having things to do, but not so awesome in terms of actually teaching people lessons. This week we went on exchanges. I went with Elder Johnson (who's only in his first transfer) and it was pretty fun. Elder Johnson didn't speak any French, but we actually did pretty well. I gave him lots of advice and told him that I understood a lot (which I do since I'm still pretty new here). Whilst on exchanges I got my Christmas package. I didn't think I was going to get it at all, but everyone laughed since it WAS 2 months late. I was super grateful for it though. Shout out to GIGI and Eric Harris et la petite bébé. After that we had a day where we got lost on the way to a service project, and when we finally got there we didn't have anything time to do anything else the rest of the day and so we just ate there and helped them paint their apparment for a couple hours. It was super awesome because we got two referrals out of it. Je suis tres reconnaissant pour ça aussi. Then Saturday nightElder Stoker felt like he was okay enough to work (he wasn't, but we still did) and so we went out for a couple hours and just talked to people. The first couple people we talked to weren't super interested, and after that nobody passed us but a lady on a cell phone. We didn't want to interrupt her so we just kept walking. After her I finally saw someone in the distance and I told Elder Stoker, I WANT TO TALK TO THAT PERSON WE NEED TO CONTACT AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE! Elder Stoker said no and turned around. He said we weren't contacting for the right reasons. He said we needed to look for someone who was ready. I didn't see anyone in front of us except the lady who was on her phone so I felt a little annoyed, but then The Lord decided to humble me. Elder Stoker talked to the lady walking the same direction as us. I know that doesn't seem like a huge deal, but if you're a missionary, it can be incredibly awkward to talk to someone going the same way as you. At first I was kind of freaked out, the lady had just gotten off the phone and we were walking the same direction as her and it was WEIRD, but as we talked to her we found out that her mom and sister had died a couple months ago and that she had felt really sad walking home. She said she thought that God had put her there for her, I told her about what had happened with Elder Stoker forcing me to turn around and I told her that God loved her. She started bawling. She made us come home with her, and say a prayer with her family. It was amazing. It also brings me to my spiritual thought, DON'T BE SCARED TO TALK TO SOMEONE ABOUT THE GOSPEL! Everyone is walking the same direction in life and it's awkward and uncomfortable to approach them with different things. I can promise you that if you do though, they'll feel happier than they ever had before in their life. I never knew how important members were in missionary work until I became a missionary. members are key, if you're back home and you know non-members, invite them to meet the missionaries. Do it, even if it's uncomfortable because you're both headed the same direction in life and you know you're going to be seeing each other after you've talked to them. Invite, Everyone wins when you do. Have an awesome week. Love, Elder Bruno

Monday, February 17, 2014

Week of the 14 Year Old

Hey my peoples! This week was pretty good, I bought a really awesome oufit that I will definitely send pictures of next week! The highlights of the week were that our really awesome ami that we met on the metro (whose name is Emmanuel) has already been baptized by immersion and really does not see any reason why he needs to be baptized again and our indian ami (whose name is Soham and is really actually indian) now has a class at 11:30 on sunday. So, pretty much we're back to square one, but it's alright. Me and my companion have been working really hard and I know that we're going to see some really amawing things happen this week. Two really awesome miracles that did happen though are that the family that I left back in Le Havre just got baptized!! and the other miracle is that while making phone calls to invite people to a baptism that the sisters were having, me and Elder Stoker got a phone call from a random number. It turns out someone ACTUALLY called us from a card we handed out. We met  them on our way to the baptism and they were there to see it. They don't believe in God, but they loved the baptism and are really excited to learn more. The only problem is that this person is a 15 year old girl named Animatn. We had to pass her over to the sister missionaries to teach. She's super awesome, but unfortunately when dealing with single women, we have to pass them over to the sisters. The saddest part of the week though: Not a single Valentines on Valentines day :(

Anyways, I don't have a ton of time, but in regards of spiritual stuff and all that good stuff, surround yourself with the spirit! This week I learned that going to church and church related activities and all that stuff takes a ton of time, and people get annoyed by it! I feel sad for these people because there is no better place to be, especially with your family. Every second spent on the spirit is 1000 times better than anything else in this world. Always place the church and your family above everything else in this world, I don't think I've met anyone happier on my mission than people who do exactly that!

Do it

Love you

Elder Bruno

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Story of the Three Tangerines

This was a gooood week, it's been tough going two weeks in a row without really seeing anything, but things are really starting to pick up.

The first part of the week was pretty tough, mainly since it was exactly like the last two weeks the only exception to that was the story of the three tangerines. With the beginning of the year we've been trying to visit all the members and share the Ward Mission Plan with them. It's been a nice break since all we've done in the last two weeks is try to find people to teach, but the members gave us a bag full of tangerines when we left. It was REALLY nice of them to do, but we were going to be late if we stopped and talked to someone, so we decided to take the metro straight home without getting distracted. While we were taking the Metro, i got bored and I started juggling tangerines. My companion said something to me in English, and the man standing right next to me on the metro asks us where we're from. It's not an everyday occurrence for this to happen since people In France don't like to talk on the tram, but to make a long story short, we exchanged numbers, The rare event of HIM calling US happened the next day and he came to church on Sunday where afterwards we invited him to be baptized. The only problem is that he's already been baptized and he doesn't really know about the whole authority side of things. It's okay though, at least we have somewhere to start.
In reality we didn't really see a ton of success until Friday when I decided just to start calling every number that has ever been written in our area book. There are a lot... Anyways, we taught some more interesting lessons after that and we ended the week with an awesome Sunday in which our Indian Ami, who had dropped off the face of the earth, came to church and the whole tangerine story worked out.

In terms of Spiritual advice and all that good stuff, I guess I would have to recommend learning how to juggle tangerines. Just kidding (a little). UMMMM, I guess just be happy. I think I've already said that before, which means I need to take my own advice sometimes, but sometimes just letting out the kinda crazy awesome person that you have hidden deep inside is really good. It's tough and sometimes embarrassing to do crazy things, but comfort zones are Lame. The only way to grow is to leave your circle.

I hope you guys all juggle tangerines this week.

Love, Elder Bruno

Monday, February 3, 2014

God Is My Witness

This week has been pretty tough. I think every missionary week is tough when you don't see tons of success. We chipped away this week trying to get some new amis, but unfortunately we're not really seeing tons of success. Our week was a little crazy at the beginning and from there it just turned into a lot of finding. Spending every second of every day trying to find people and getting rejected is a hard way to live as a missionary. For those of you who already know, yeah, and for those of you who don't, take my word for it. There was one golden light in my week which came from an amazing Hungarian lady named Grace who talked a lot about the light of Christ, and also was coincidentally the only phone number I think we got this week. People in Paris are very reluctant to give you their phone number, and if you don't get a phone number here, seeing that person again is very unlikely. Other than that, I got sick pretty sick and spent three good hours we could have been knocking on doors in bed (which was pretty tough for me, but I don't think I could have worked if I had tried), and I met our less active recent convert. This guy is awesome, his name is Seuldieuestmontemoigne, which means only God is my witness. We call him Copain and he's got a disease that has messed up his body and makes it hard for him to hear, but he's an amazing guy. We gave him a blessing and we're going by next week to see him again. Not much other than that happened this week.
In terms of spiritual enlightenment, I don't really feel super qualified to give any this week, I think that I can really give is the small piece of advice to chip away at life. I know it doesn't really sound the happiest or the most motivating of things, but honestly, sometimes there's not much more we can do other than chip, chip, chip and hope that the stone wall of life that we're chipping at isn't too thick. We have the option of being sad about being hit against a stone wall a thousand times, or we can be happy that God's using us as his spoon. I think I'll try the second one this week.
I hope everyone else does too.
Have an awesome week mes cher amis,

Love, Elder Michael Bruno