Monday, January 21, 2013

E-mail 1-21-13

This week was super leggit.  Easily the best week of my mission. The work here in St Brieuc is progressing like crazzzzy!  My new comp is a stud.  Elder Schultz is from Salt Lake.  He played college golf and is really athletic!  This week I got to put those sweet Nike Frees I brought to work!  Maybe they might even get a little dirt on them.  It’s nice to have lots in common.  He knows his stuff for sure. And his French is just like his golf game... way better then mine! haha.  

I have learned so much this past week. Being a leader is so much different then just being a normal missionary haha.  I have a lot of responsibility now.  It’s been a while since I have had any of that so its taking a little time to gets use to but no biggy.  The Lord is helping me.  I’m pretty excited to teach tomorrow for the first time. I’v been practicing so hopefully it goes well haha.  Pray for me! And now I am in charge of the blue card for my district.  So much money!  Pretty sure I have already spent like a thousand dollars. Thank you, all you faithful tithe payers out there!  Without you I would have a whole lot of walking to do. We went to apris twice this past week.  Way to much.  In a total of two days we spent just over 15 hours on a train!  Pas bon pour la santé.  Safe to say I passed out a couple of times.  Trains make me soooo tired.   C'était bien.

St Brieuc is way too leggit. We are super close to the ocean but I have yet to see it. Maybe one of these days if I’m lucky.  Our Branch President lives on the ocean so I’m sure I’ll get to see it soon. He is a super cool dude.  Maybe the funniest guy I have ever met. Yesterday was the best Sunday ever.  Its always fun to meet new people.  I can already tell I am going to have a good time here in St Brieuc.  Les membres ont incroyable.  Oh and more then half the ward speaks English haha.  Lots of people have moved here from England. So that’s been kinda cool. I can communicate pretty fluently with them haha.  But not completely. English people have some crazzy accents!  I have to really use my head to understand what they are saying haha.   So pretty much I’m not fluent in any language now.  Bummer eh. Oh, and yesterday we had 4 amis at church!  It was crazy. We have like 25 members here so to add four more to that made a big difference.  La branch était tres enthousiaste. As was I!   One of the people at church was D. She will be baptized the 10 of February. Way excited for her. She was found the transfer just before I got here. Another ami was F.  It was his first Sunday.  He is a blind man that was found while doing porte à porte!  He’s got so much faith!   The first time we asked him to come to church he said yes without hesitation.  He can’t even see us but he’s got enough faith to get into some random members car and go to some random church.  He is incredible.  We are still trying to figure out how to find him a way to read the Book of Mormon.  I’m sure the Lord will help us figure out something.  But for now we will just have to read to him. (that takes faith as well... Americans reading French isn’t always the easiest thing to understand but we are getting better)   We hope to set a baptismal date with him this week as well.   I could see him being baptized the same day as D!  Such a good week.

I have yet to taste sea food as well.   Hopefully soon.  It’s beeeeen soooooo cooooold here.  It hasn’t snowed here for two years the members said, but the first night I got here it snowed like two inches. People were freaking out haha.  People wouldn’t even go outside of their houses.  All of the buses closed down so we had lots of walking to do.  It was way cold but it was way fun.  I love the snow. It’s snowed twice now since I have been here. The devil is trying to slow down the work but we won’t let him ;)   Some people wouldn’t even come to church on Sunday because it had snowed earlier in the week.  They just figured it would still be cold.   Dommage pour eux.  There are lots of branches in my area. I think there is only one ward and it’s in Rennes. There are four missionaries there... the zone leaders and sisters both of whom are in my district.  The other Elders are in Brest. The farthest west you can go in France I believe.  I will be going there tomorrow for exchanges.  So with me and my comp that makes eight in my district.  Best district everrrrr!   I will try to send pics next week of my new life here in St Brieuc.  Hope I answered your questions and sorry its a short email.  No time.  Have a good week. Thanks for being neat. Stay that way. I’ll pray for the 49’ers and Kap these next two weeks so they can do work in the Superbowl.  Oh and tell Jimmers coach to play him.  Have a good holiday!

Bises Bises Bises

Monday, January 14, 2013

E-mail 1-14-13

Glad you finally got the package. The photo by the Eiffel tower is with Elder Maxwell. I will try to send you the picture through email next week like you asked. I don’t have the stuff to send it this week.
To answer all of your questions about visiting Paris, honestly I have no idea. I have never really heard of any body getting picked up by their family. I don’t see why not though. Give me another year and hopefully I will be able to answer that question haha. Only time will tell.

Well I was pretty certain that I would be staying here in Chartres for at least one or maybe even two transfers. WRONG. Just when I get comfortable in a ville it’s time to peace out!   I’m going to St Brieuc!  It is Bretagne... supposedly the best looking part of France. I will be right on the ocean. I’m not the biggest fan of seafood but from what I hear I’d better learn to love it haha. Not a problem. I can eat anything. Oh and I will be a district leader. Pretty excited about that. Teaching a lesson in French for an hour and a half each week sounds like a fun challenge to me. “Whom the Lord calls he qualifies.”  Hopefully that means he will make my French qualifiable. Is that a word?  Probably not. But you get the point haha. I leave on Wednesday for my new ville! And then on Thursday I have a training thing in Paris. It’s gonna be a good week for sure! Oh and my comp is going to be Elder Schultz from Salt Lake City.  I know nothing about him except for that and that he is a very young missionary. He will be in his third transfer I believe. Life is going to be real hard. But I’m pretty pumped for it.

My last full week in Chartres was pretty amazing. The first part of the transfer was easily the hardest time of my life. The work was moving very very slowly. But it has really picked up this last week. We have found some new amis and we have started teaching a good number of lessons. The Lord has surely been blessing us by putting people in our path who are ready for the gospel in their lives. We currently have two people who I believe will be baptized in the near future. I wish they could be baptized within the next two days before I leave but that would be asking just a little too much I think haha. Yesterday our ami B came to Church! We have been trying to get him to church for 8 weeks now!  It was so awesome. And I must add that he was looking quite fresh. He had on a swag suit and some fancy French shoes. I was taking notes for sure. And he picked a dang good week to come to church because Elder Adams was giving a talk in sacrament meeting! haha. I received the assignment to give the talk about 4 weeks ago so I had plenty of time to prepare.  And I did just that. I prepared and I prepared a lot haha. I think this was the first talk I have ever gave in my life when i wasn’t freaking out the minutes leading up to the talk or during the talk. The French was flowwwingggg! Its pretty amazing what practicing, pronunciation, and praying to the Lord that the people would understand can do to a person’s talk! haha.  I think my talk lasted for just under fifteen minutes.  Pretty sure I have never even talked that long in English.  It felt pretty dang good.  Practice really does make perfect haha jk.  In my case.... practice makes things understandable.  It ain’t easy for a poor white worm farmer boy to learn this liberal French but with the Lord its possible haha.  Anything is possible!  And in my talk I even told a little joke.  Pretty sure it was my first French joke ever! No one ever gets my jokes in French but they got it!  #Blessings.

Well that’s about all for the week. I hope y’all have a good week.  Stay awesome.  Dieu soit aven toi jusqu'au revoir!  Peace.

Elder Admaz.
New address:  Elder Miles Adams
1 Allée Marie le Vaillant
22000 St Brieuc

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

E-mail 1-7-13

January  7, 2013
Bonjour. I can’t believe its already 2013 too. Time flies when you’re working hard and you’re having fun doing it!  I’m still in that awkward stage of writing 2012 instead of 13. Hopefully I’ll snap out of it soon. Hate when that happens. Thanks for the birthday reminder. I forgot!  That’s only like three weeks away. Not sure how I feel about it. I don’t want to be 20.  Life in the teens was the best. Mais c'est pas grave. All of the things you mentioned sounded really good. I wouldn’t complain a bit if you sent them all  haha. If you’re going to send the package this week send it to the mission home because transfers are this next week!  (the mission home is really good about getting things to us... if ever in doubt of where I’ll be... send things to the mission home!)  I’m pretty certain I’ll be staying here but last time I said that I was wrong.  Only time will tell.  And yes we have an oven and all of the others do as well. And yes the forty bucks got to me just fine. Don’t worry about exchanging it over there.  I can do it easy here.  Thanks again for the lovely package!  You da best. Sorry you have to go back to school tomorrow Mom! That’s a bummer.  It’s good for you though! 

Well with the New Year comes them liberal new year resolution things. I think new years resolutions are pretty dumb but as a missionary I thought it might be a good way to help  me step up my spiritual game. I’ve decided to study like crazy chapter 4 of preach my gospel,  "How Do I Recognize and Understand the Spirit."   It’s been a challenge but I have surely seen some progress.  Following the spirit is no piece of cake.  It takes lots of practice!  I have had a few moments on my mission where the spirit has told me where to go and what to say.  That is still a work in progress.  About 99 percent of the time the Spirit will speak to me (to everyone) with a WHISPER.  That’s what’s so hard about truly understanding the spirit.  Sometimes I wish it would just YELL at me haha.  But that would be too easy.  Elder Ballard says it best,  "God does not send thunder if a still small voice is enough!"  So true.  My comp and I have been working very hard these last few weeks on following the spirit in all we do.  We have seen some small miracles for our worthy desire.  It’s been awesome.  God is putting people in our path who will listen. In the beginning of my mission I tried to follow the spirit the best I could but I was making it way harder then it needed to be.  I was looking for THUNDER ( loud voice) and I was looking for BIG miracles in large abundance.   I have quickly learned that that is not how our father in heaven works.  BIG miracles happen often in this world but that doesn’t mean that they always will.  Only if it’s the will of God!   My favorite promise in Preach my Gospel is... "And if you are doing the right thing and if you are living the right way, you will know in your heart what the spirit is saying to you."   It’s as simple as that! Follow the commandments, pray always, listen and apply the words of living prophets and church leaders, study the scriptures, listen to your parents, don’t go where you shouldn’t be,  keep the mission rules, work hard, play hard (when appropriate), and have faith in Christ!  Those are the most important things I have discovered for successfully following the spirit.  Last time I checked they were not new doctrines!  Pretty sure y’all have heard them a gazillion times before.  But we can all work on them more each and every day!!   Especially me. 

Life is the best. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for all ya do!  C'est gentil.  Bon semaine et que Dieu vous benisse! Toujous suivre l'esprit! C'est important. Bien sur. *

Bises Bises Bises

Elder Adamz.

PS  Oh yeah, I never get to teach the primary!  Speaking to children in French is different.  It’s hard. Not sure I’m quite ready for that. But you are! I swear youve been a primary teacher for all my life.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

E-mail December 17, 2012

Yo! I don’t have much time to write so it will be short. Christmas call = Tuesday around 9 am to 12 pm your time.  Not really sure what time to be exact. Sorry. We will be at two different members houses on Christmas Day so I am not sure which one we will call from. And I’m not sure whether it will be skype or a phone call. I’m pulling for skype but we will see. Make sure you have your phones on early Christmas morning and throughout the afternoon. Look for an email Christmas Eve or on Christmas with the exact time. I will try to send an email in advance so y’all can know. Only time will tell. I only have an hour. No longer! 

All is well over here on the other side of the world. I have learned countless lessons these last few weeks. The main thing I have learned is CONFIDENCE. I must have confidence in the Lord and in the Spirit so I can be an instrument in his hands and be led to his French children who are ready to receive the Gospel! That is no easy task. But it has, can, and will be done. He didn’t send me here to just make seeds. He sent me here to reap them!  Obviously seeds will be made in the process because not everyone will accept the gospel the first time. But you catch my drift. But being honest with myself, not a whole lot of reaping is going to take place until I can learn French and communicate well with the people, master the art of finding people to teach, and fine tune my relationship with the Lord and the Spirit. I am really starting to learn the importance of the phrase, "JUST DO IT."  Nike got it right!  I still struggle with French but I have grown better by leaps and bounds these last few weeks all thanks to JUST DOIN IT. Don’t ask me why but the first three transfers I was scared out of my mind to talk on the phone (I think you know why... I couldn’t understand a word the people were saying hahaha) But these last two weeks I have really become better at talking on the phone, because one day I decided to JUST DO IT. SOOO simple.  I still don’t understand all the things they are saying to me on the phone but I’m getting pretty good at pretending I understand haha but I can always get the main point of what they are saying. The Lord helps me to understand because I’m JUST DOIN IT.  I will never be able to communicate fluently with these French people unless I talk with them, unless I JUST DO IT.  Yesterday I was talking to my district leader on the phone and he asked if I had any questions. I asked him "how can I become better at contacting so my comp and I can find more investigators here in Chartres?"  His answer was simple but full of so much truth.  He said, "JUST DO IT."   Such a good answer!!   Life is so much easier than we make it sometimes.  If life is hard and we want it to become easier, we have to JUST DO IT.  If you want to be happy, JUST DO IT.  If you want to learn French, learn how to swim, or learn how to cook... you gotta JUST DO IT.  I am so grateful for my mother and father who have taught me this important truth throughout my whole life. Sorry it didn’t catch on until just now! Désolé! 

The Race

Whenever I start to hang my head in front of failure’s face,
my downward fall is broken by the memory of a race.
A children’s race, young boys, young men; how I remember well,
excitement sure, but also fear, it wasn’t hard to tell.
They all lined up so full of hope, each thought to win that race
or tie for first, or if not that, at least take second place.
Their parents watched from off the side, each cheering for their son,
and each boy hoped to show his folks that he would be the one.
The whistle blew and off they flew, like chariots of fire,
to win, to be the hero there, was each young boy’s desire.
One boy in particular, whose dad was in the crowd,
was running in the lead and thought “My dad will be so proud.”
But as he speeded down the field and crossed a shallow dip,
the little boy who thought he’d win, lost his step and slipped.
Trying hard to catch himself, his arms flew everyplace,
and midst the laughter of the crowd he fell flat on his face.
As he fell, his hope fell too; he couldn’t win it now.
Humiliated, he just wished to disappear somehow.
But as he fell his dad stood up and showed his anxious face,
which to the boy so clearly said, “Get up and win that race!”
He quickly rose, no damage done, behind a bit that’s all,
and ran with all his mind and might to make up for his fall.
So anxious to restore himself, to catch up and to win,
his mind went faster than his legs. He slipped and fell again.
He wished that he had quit before with only one disgrace.
“I’m hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn’t try to race.”
But through the laughing crowd he searched and found his father’s face
with a steady look that said again, “Get up and win that race!”
So he jumped up to try again, ten yards behind the last.
“If I’m to gain those yards,” he thought, “I’ve got to run real fast!”
Exceeding everything he had, he regained eight, then ten…
but trying hard to catch the lead, he slipped and fell again.
Defeat! He lay there silently. A tear dropped from his eye.
“There’s no sense running anymore! Three strikes I’m out! Why try?
I’ve lost, so what’s the use?” he thought. “I’ll live with my disgrace.”
But then he thought about his dad, who soon he’d have to face.
“Get up,” an echo sounded low, “you haven’t lost at all,
for all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
Get up!” the echo urged him on, “Get up and take your place!
You were not meant for failure here! Get up and win that race!”
So, up he rose to run once more, refusing to forfeit,
and he resolved that win or lose, at least he wouldn’t quit.
So far behind the others now, the most he’d ever been,
still he gave it all he had and ran like he could win.
Three times he’d fallen stumbling, three times he rose again.
Too far behind to hope to win, he still ran to the end.
They cheered another boy who crossed the line and won first place,
head high and proud and happy — no falling, no disgrace.
But, when the fallen youngster crossed the line, in last place,
the crowd gave him a greater cheer for finishing the race.
And even though he came in last with head bowed low, un-proud,
you would have thought he’d won the race, to listen to the crowd.
And to his dad he sadly said, “I didn’t do so well.”
“To me, you won,” his father said. “You rose each time you fell.”
And now when things seem dark and bleak and difficult to face,
the memory of that little boy helps me in my own race.
For all of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all.
And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
And when depression and despair shout loudly in my face,
another voice within me says, “Get up and win that race!”
Life is full of ups and downs!  That’s the way its supposed to be!  Keep on keepin on. That poem is a life changer. Read it. Ponder it. Love it!  I do.  Have a good week and remember don’t forget the WHY of celebrating Christmas.  Opening presents is a part of it but it’s significance is of so little importance! Christmas is all about the Savior. His simple but crucial birth.  His perfect life.  And his infinite and eternal atonement. For me it’s just not about his birth. It’s about all of the things he did for us!  We would be forever lost without our elder brother Jésus-Christ!  N'oubliezzz passs!  Stay awesome!  Et que Dieu vous benisse. Can’t wait to hear your beautiful voices on Tuesday!!!

P.S.  Anne Smiths address? I need to write her.  And Whitney’s address? And yes I got the package! Thanks! You never cease to amaze me. You and dad are the world’s greatest parents. If I had a blue ribbon to give away for first place you’d win. But I have no blue ribbon so you'll just have to take my word for it. Y’all rock. Its doctrine!  Luvz.  I have a package coming your way soon full of lots of goodies. I probably won’t send it till after Christmas.  Sorry!  You will have a late Christmas present!