Monaco With Elder Menzel
Haha wow....where do I even begin? The last 2 weeks have been so crazy as we have had the tour of the mission with President and Sister Brown! Elder Menzel and I have been super busy! (That is why I'm emailing on a Tuesday night) Over the last week we have been to Geneva, Lausanne, Nice, Montpellier And Lyon! Tomorrow we leave to the western side and will be in Bordeaux and Toulouse! It is very busy but very fun! My thoughts are very mixed and melonged so I will just write down what I remember!
Last Sunday was incredible! So we drove back to Geneva!!! I love it there soooo much. We went and ate with Brother and Sister Fidalgo and cute little Rose!! I love them so much and it was so good to see them again. It's funny how every time I see them it's like we never were apart. They have such an amazing influence on me and I love them!!
On Monday I had an amazing experience. Back when I was Geneva there was a man in the ward who kept coming to church with his wife and 2 kids but wasn't a member! Elder Barnes, Elder Battezzato and I worked so hard on him but he just wasn't ready. We really became so close over the 6 months I spent there and I was so sad to leave him when I left and the day that I left he thanked me for everything and then told me that when he was ready, he would contact the missionaries. Well, on Monday morning during lunch the Zone Leaders in Geneva surprised me with someone....Frere Clement!! We have each other the biggest hug on this planet and I was so excited to see him. We talked to about so many things. He said that he wanted to thank me for a few things that he never got the opportunity to thank me for right before I left and he talked about how him and I had a very special connexion, which is true. After everything, he said "And I want to tell you something. After 30 years of coming to church with my family, I am going to get baptized on December 31. Thank you for everything." And then we gave each other the biggest hug!! It was so great and I am so grateful to have been able to play a little part in his conversion. Seriously it was amazing. He said a lot of other things, and i will be eternally grateful for the opportunity to have seen him and talked to him again! I was also able to see President Coppel again who is the Stake President in Geneva! He is a huge example for me.
On Wednesday we welcomed a new missionary Elder Laurens into the mission! We picked him up from the airport and had a good time with him and went out to eat with the Browns and him at a restaurant!
Thursday night was so amazing!! We drove into Nice and went to the chapel and it felt so good to be back!! It has almost been a year since I was in Nice last! As we showed up to the chapel there were a few members there and I was so excited to see them! But by far the most amazing thing was when the Cresto family showed up at the church!!!!! The Sisters in Nice had talked to them before and they planned to surprise me while we were there!! It had been a full year since I've seen them and it was one of the happiest moments of my life!!! Brother Cresto came running into the hallway and I almost died when I saw him with Sister Cresto and their kids Adam and Thomas!! Brother Cresto and I hugged for like 5 minutes!! I honestly couldn't even speak I was so excited. I will be eternally grateful for the Cresto family. I was so grateful and happy for the opportunity to see them again. I'm not even lying....words cannot express the feeling that I felt when I saw them. Being in Nice was so amazing and it made me reflect on everything that I have experienced since I stepped off the train in Nice on my first day until now. Saying goodbye to them again was hard. Afterwards, we went and ate at a restaurant in Nice with President and Sister Brown and it was so good. And then Elder Menzel and I went back and slept in the Nice elders apartment and it was so good to be back. Nice will always have a very special place in my heart.
Right after the Nice Conference President said, "Brethren, it's been a very busy last couple of weeks. And we are right by Monaco...I think it's calling our name." Haha! So we went and visited for about an hour and took some great photos! I'll try and send some.
On Sunday I had another really cool experience! So we were in Toulon and attended the Toulon church and there is a rugby player by the name of Ma'a Nonu. He played for the New Zealand all blacks and apparently is one of the top 10 rugby players in the world. And he showed up to Toulon for church because he is a member! So, he doesn't speak French and so he needed somebody to translate for him and his wife!! I gladly offered to do it ;) it was really cool and he is honestly the coolest guy on the planet!! He was so humble and meek and it was so cool to be around him!
Haha honestly I could go on and on and on but I don't have enough time! It's been so great. We have spent a lot of time in the car with the Browns and Sister Brown and I laugh alllll the time haha I love her so so so much!!
Anyways, I didn't have time to send off a weekly email last week and I missed so many details but it's okay!! Everything is going so well here!
It was really cool to go back to Nice and that I stayed awake and just thought about how much had changed since I served there at the beginning of my mission. After laying awake for a few hours just thinking about everything, I was brought to my knees out of gratitude and love for my Savior and everything that I have been able to do over the past year or so. I am so grateful for my mission and the people I have met and the people that have changed my life forever!
Monaco with Elder Menzel