"In the service of the Lord, it is not where you serve but how."
David O. McKay - Teachings of the Presidents of the Church

Monday, April 8, 2013

First letter from France

Hi Family!

 How is everything going?? Thank you for the emails Mom! I loved them. It was great to talk to you last week! I was glad that you were all safe on your trip, I was worried a bit! Did you have tons of fun?? Oh and how about that General Conference?! It was so awesome! It sure is a blessing to be able to watch it right in your home. We got to go to the Versailles(?) ward meeting house to watch it, which is about an hour and a half from our apartment, but it was really great! We watched the Saturday morning session on Saturday night, then Priesthood on Sunday morning, Saturday night at like 2 on Sunday and finished off with the Sunday morning session at like 6:00 pm. We didn't end up getting to watch the last Sunday session, which is a bummer, but it's cool. I really loved Elder Packers talk and the poem he gave. Man, it's such an honor to share the same title as those men. Also I loved President Uchtdorf"s talk about finding the light of Christ. It was so true! Darkness is everywhere, but it's our choice to stand in it or stand in the light of Christ. Conference is so awesome.
The mission is so awesome! I dont even know where to start, I guess just on the first day. The flight was safe and uneventful, and when we got to France we got off the plane and met President and Sister Poznanski! They are really French and really great. They gave us some really good pastries called pan au chocolat(?) that were way good, then we got on the metro and gave out Livre de Mormons! (that's terrible French). I didn't end up being able to give mine to anyone, because they just wouldn't talk to me! It was still a really good experience to try though. Then we went to the church in Paris, which is so awesome and has this little courtyard and the building was built in 1621, and met our trainers and found out where our first area was! My trainer is Elder Miller! He's super cool, from Orem, he's been out for like 13 transfers and goes home in September. I really like him. And my first area is Antony! It's just outside of Paris, the Eiffel Tower is in my area! I thought that was pretty cool. After that we just went to a hotel and got to go to bed at like 8 which was a dream come true because I didn't sleep on the plane. Then the next day we went to Montmartre and had some time to just sit and write in our journals and really consectate ourselves to our missions. It was really cool. Then we got to go pack up our things and to go our areas and get to work! My area is Antony, but we live in a little town called Bourg la Reine and it rocks. It's just outside of Paris, has lots of little really old houses and schools and there is this huge really nice park with a statue of a dragon and a unicorn, way cool. And we also live with the zone leaders, Elder Webber and Elder Thomas who are super cool. But that night we went contacting, which rocks, I love talking to everyone, I dont even care if I cant understand anything they are saying.  And my first contact was right by the Eiffel Tower, nbd. Haha.. just kidding. It was probably one of the coolest things in my life. France is so dang awesome.
With the French, I literally understand nothing. It's so crazy and everyone talks super fast, but on the rare occasions that I do understand something, I am usually able to respond in some way, even if I just totally murder the sentence, they seem to know what im saying. So it's good! And I'm studying hard. But I'm not super worried about it, I know Heavenly Father will help me. Also I had my first lesson a couple days ago! His name is Kris, and he is getting baptised next Saturday which is going to be so sweet! He's 20, Polish, and a literal genius. He works as a hacking preventor for Firefox and is just crazy smart. We taught him the Word of Wisdom, and little did we know that he had already stopped smoking and drinking before we even taught him because he felt like he should. Crazy right? The Lord really does prepare people. I only got to bear my testimony during the lesson, and I thought that I just did a really bad job, but afterwards Elder Miller told me that my French was perfect and that I was using the future tense a lot, which I dont really know. Miracles still happen! It was so awesome, and I'm so stoked for the day that I actually can understand and speak French with everyone and tell them about the Gospel!
Other than that, I'm doing really well! I'm really happy just all the time, I love being missionary, I'm safe, France rocks, etc.  Also! My address is...
Elder Joshua Wood
27 Rue de Fontenay
92340, Bourg la Reine
Letters take about a week, packages take 2 or 3. Just fyi. 
I gotta go so I can write my President, then we're going to go to the Eiffel Tower and get crèpes! I love you all and I miss you so much! Please let me know how everything is going, I'd love to hear from you! I'll talk to you next monday!
Elder Wood

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