Bonjour tout le monde!
We had a super cold, super busy, super crazy week.
Last Monday night we had FHE with a few of the members of the branch at Annie Leblond's house. Annie's husband, Eric, hasn't come to church in a few months which is so weird because Annie is basically the glue of the branch! We shared a spiritual thought with him but nothing seemed to be getting to him. I'm not exactly sure what to do for him to help him come back. But after the lesson we played a fun word game called "Le Cercle". It was super hard but I actually ended up winning!
On Tuesday we went over to Vicky and Mathieu's house to follow up on one of our previous lessons and to help him pack and get ready to move. This time he just had us do dishes for just about entire hour... It was pretty nasty. I wish I would've taken a before and after picture but that would be weird. It was still nice to be able to help him with that and to be able to talk about the Church. Mathieu will be getting the Aaronic Priesthood in a few weeks so we decided that it would be a good idea to go through the Duty to God book with him. I remember those activities helped me so much as I grew up in the Priesthood. I'm really impressed with the new book that they have instead of the huge posters Austin and I would hang on the inside of our closet doors! It was a super tough lesson, though, because his two kids were running around and screaming through the house making it impossible to focus for him. They are pretty wild kids so we have decided to start coming at night after they are in bed. That night we had our first dinner appointment with the Lévesque family. They are super nice! The dinner was "fish and chips." Québecois are funny. They love using English wherever they can. Also they are 100% convinced that they invented fish and chips and that the only place in the world where you can find a cheeseburger is in Québec... Anways! After dinner we shared a video with them and they ended up asking me tons of computer questions. We spent a little bit of time going over how to print, skype, send emails... It was fun! And my vocabulary of computer terms has grown!
Wednesday we knocked. All. Day. It was a really cold day and no one gave us more than 15 seconds at the door. It was tough but that night we found a scripture that we now call "The Rimouski Scripture"
"And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God." — Moroni 9: 6
We have been living by that. Every time I want to give up I think of that scripture. We had dinner with Chantale, Yvan, and Alisson that night! Pepper soup, salmon pie, and a quiche! It was interesting! They are such a nice little family. Chantale is our go-to for any questions about Rimouski or members or anything! They live in such a tough situation and everything is falling apart around them but they're holding each other together. Frère Hébert came with us to that dinner and he and Yvan talked all night! It was great to see them getting along. Afterwards we went to the lesson we had planned with Diana. We knocked on the door and her mom answered. She said some pretty harsh stuff and then sent us away. That was tough because in the past three weeks, she is the only person we've found who was really interested. Sometimes I just want all of the parents in the world to disappear so that we could get some teaching done! And then I remember how awesome my parents are and that thought goes away :)
Thursday morning we got a call from the mission office and they gave us two referrals that they had received through mormon.org. We contacted both of them. One ended up being someone just checking to see if we actually call (ha!) and another guy that wanted a King James Bible. He lives in our area... but he's almost a 5 hour drive away from us in New Carlisle. We told him if he's ever coming through the area to give us a call and we'd meet him. He was a pretty funny guy and the first time I've been able to use English in a while! We knocked the rest of the day and... Moroni 9: 6 :)
Friday was pretty much exactly the same! We knocked all day but one person actually let us in. His name is Joël and he looks exactly like Jonny Ive. He wanted to practice English with us so we talked to him for a while. I told him that I had lived in Texas for a while (which by the way is the biggest blessing because Québec sees the United States as three states. There's New York, California, and then Texas. And they love Texas. I've actually just started telling people that I'm from Texas and it buys us an extra 30 seconds at the door. It's kinda funny, actually.) He went off on some cool stories about Corpus Christi and the Alamo Walk. He sells yachts and trains people on submarines. Cool, huh? He gave us his card and said, "If you're ever thinking about buying a yacht!" and then smiled and laughed. We gave him a mormon.org card. We did our weekly planning and that was just about it for vendredi.
Saturday we ran over to the Lévesque house because they had a problem with Skype. Their camera was unplugged... I love old people! While we were knocking we had the craziest experience. Alright, get ready. So we knocked on this door. (First of all, it was covered in fuzzy, green carpet that looked like moss.) A guy answered and said "Témoigne Jéhovah." (Jehovah's Witness) and we said "No we're Mormons." (The people here don't really like TJ's and so we almost have to introduce ourselves like this: "Hi! We aren't Témoigne Jéhovah! We're missionaries for..." It's pretty ridiculous. Anyways...) So then the guy said, "No, I'm a Témoigne Jéhovah." So we talked for a bit and he told us he wasn't interested. But then his roommate, Jean-François, walked by and asked if we could come in because he had always been interested in our faith. We sat around his table and for the next 30 minutes taught the most picture-perfect lesson ever. He was asking amazing questions and we could feel the Spirit and... ah! It was awesome. We got right up to the end of the lesson, set up a return appointment, invited him to church (which he said yes to) and then asked if we could end with a prayer. This is where the story gets crazy. He pulled out a big bottle of vodka and lit up a cigarette and then told us some horrible things in French that I won't translate. I was completely shocked and told him that I didn't understand. Then he switched into broken English and said, "I think you understand good enough. Take the book, and get out." I asked him if I had offended him and then he laid out some pretty heavy explitives and started attacking the Book of Mormon. By this point Elder Ruby and I were standing and starting to walk out. I held out my hand to offer a shake and he slapped it and started walking us out. As I was walking out of the door I had the impression to drop the Book of Mormon at the door and leave it in the house. We walked out completely shocked. I still have no idea what happened, if we were played or not, or if it was something psychological. The only thing I know coming out of that situation is that my testimony of the Book of Mormon was strengthened. I know why I'm here and I know the things we try to share are the truth. The truth changes people and it itself cannot be changed. That's the beautiful thing about it. No matter how hard people try, no matter what angle they attack it from, the truth will prevail. Even if no one believed it were true or cared to pass any amount of time acknowledging or criticizing it, the truth would still be true. And the Book of Mormon is true. This Church is true. The Gospel of Jesus Christ truly changes people into who our Heavenly Father knows we can become. If you find yourself having a hard time, try to find the truth in the situation. The truth uplifts. It is a worthy thing to seek for and it will liberate you. Seek truth and you'll find it. Seek the Gospel of Jesus Christ and you'll find all of it.
"So many of us make a great fuss of matters of small consequence. We are so easily
offended. Happy is the man who can brush aside the offending remarks of another
and go on his way." —Gordon B. Hinckley
With that, I'll leave that story behind.
Saturday night we saw Mathieu again and studied the scriptures with him. We really need him to be a strength in his family and an example to his wife and children. He's really cool and loves to teach us Québecois phrases. I wish you could hear this accent! It's pretty awesome. I try my best to avoid picking it up but it's fun to use every once in a while!
Sunday was so, amazingly, incredibly cold. It was -28 with the wind chill and super humid. Church was great! We didn't have to babysit in the nursery which was a huge blessing! The members here are so strong. There might not be a lot, but the ones that come are here for a reason! We knocked quite a bit in the cold and had to warm up in the car every few houses. I have never been so cold in my entire life. I actually put on thermals and used hand warmers for the first time this whole winter. That's saying something! Then that night we went over to Chantale and Yvan's house to read The Family Proclamation with them. If you don't know what that is you should definitely give it a read! (http://www.lds.org/topics/family-proclamation?lang=eng) They loved it. We had a great discussion about society and the importance of the family. I am so grateful for my family and the love and support I have from them! I'll forever (literally) be grateful for each one of them!
|Frère Hébert, Alisson, Yvan, Chantale, Elder Ruby, Me|
|Breakfast in Rimouski|
|Me being a barber|
|The result. (Mom, Elder Ruby is in love with your scarves and won't ever take that one off. WIll you make him one so I can have mine back?)|
|The sunsets here are nuts!|
|In the winter everyone puts up these tent things that we call quoi-shaques (kwah-shacks). I love the pattern the bars make.|
|Some quoi-shaques are fancy|
|Studying hard or hardly studying?|
|I finished the New Testament this morning!|