Wednesday, July 8, 2015

IPAD!

July 6, 2015

Bonjour!

This week we went to a conference in Rennes and I got an IPAD!  It's really cool.  I can show people videos and my family tree and stuff.  What I really like are the new bible videos because they are short and could get people thinking.  And they are in french.

We went to Lamballe with a member and he took us to this reallllyyy cool horse place.  Makes me seriously want a horse.  They can really be beautiful.  And Lamballe is the definition of a french ville.  So nice.

We then went to Lannion to meet a dude that I met on an exchange with a member.  Except he didn't show up...and then he didn't answer the phone.  He had tatoos and piercings.  He didn't say much during the rendezvous but then I called him and he was really excited to see us.  It's sad that he didn't show up.  I'll call him tomorrow though.

Something really funny happened though.  My colleague actually sent a text to the district leader saying "hey we are going to a rendezvous and I'm a little sketched out.  I think he might kidnap us.  If I don't call before 4 then get worried.  PS don't tell Vance.  He is really excited for it."  And then he erased it hahaha.  I found that really funny because the thought actually crossed my mind too.  It was just too weird how he didn't say anything and then he wanted to pick us up from the gare.  But whatever we'll see.

We also moved out of our old apartment completely and we are not officially moved in.  I love this apartment.  Nicest one I've had yet.

We had a lesson with Marie Anna.  She is coming to church next week and is very sweet.  She even listened much better this week.

Also I had some members from Namur visit me which really made my week.  Asians are so awesome!  Bonne semaine!  Elder Vance

at the beach
The Chungs came to visit from Namur:)  They were here for the wedding of Mei's son
Lannion with Elder Sanchez
Lannion

Lamballe

Lamballe
my apartment

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

La semaine de miracles!

June 29, 2015

So this week was what I would call a week of miracles!  We found 11 new amis de l'eglise.  That I think is a record for the mission but I'm not sure.  Anyways, on Saturday we had a rendezvous with Marie Anne.  She has the cutest baby.  We talked about the Plan of Salvation.

We also had a rendezvous with Edgar, the one that I didn't show up to the rendezvous...but this time I did.  And it was awesome!  He listens very well and really tries to understand.  After our amazing lesson about Joseph Smith, his mother came storming in with laundry.  I introduced myself and she was nice.  But then as I kept talking to Edgar she interrupted and said that she doesn't want us to come back because she doesn't want us to manipulate him.  He is seeing a counselor for something and she thinks we are like the jehovas witnesses (ugh not again).  So we're trying to work that one out and have a rendezvous with the mother to discuss our message with her.  But we'll see I guess.

We met a woman during porting that was widowed (I think) and she was very sweet.  Her name is Caroline and she has two adorable little girls that were smiling the whole time.  She told me that she has some serious worries in her life right now.  I wanted to start talking about the Book of Mormon with her but I felt very strongly to talk about the life after this life.  When I asked her her thoughts on it she said, "ya know, that's exactly my worry.  I just have such difficulty in keeping my faith that I'll see them again."  It was a really good moment and we talked for a bit.  Left them with a prayer and will pass by them in a few days.

We also met with a 19 year old couple who are not married.  They know nothing about religion and didn't even know what catholic was...so I tried my hardest to help them.  They listened well and seemed to have a desire to know if God was there.  Sadly at the end of the rendezvous I forgot to give them an engagement!  Ughh.  I can't stand it when I forget things.  So they didn't have any homework this time but next time I won't forget.

We then found Jeanne and Francois.  They are the only africans we are teaching right now and when we gave them the Book of Mormon they were very grateful.  I called them yesterday though and they said they didn't read it.  Hopefully they will read some before our next lesson.

Also while my colleague was on the phone, I decided to contact a man walking by me.  At first he seemed a bit angry but after talking he decided that we could pass by his house and talk to him a bit.  We passed by yesterday and he explained that after death of his wife his life started to fall apart.  He doesn't believe in God anymore.  I told him that I just wanted him to try.  Just to try and pray but he is too stubborn to even do that.  My first actual lesson with a complete atheist in my mission haha.  At the end I decided that the Book of Mormon was a good idea for him because he likes to read and has no electricity.  So when we explained it he listened intently and said he would read it.  Maybe in reading the Book of Mormon he will want to believe again.  We left him with Alma 32 so that should be a good start for him.

And finally we did some contacting in a little ville about an hour from ST. Brieuc with the english members in our ward.  I was with one and while we were walking, he asked me if we could contact a man with tatoos sitting down on the wall.  He looked extremely depressed after I started talking to him. But he listened to everything I said.  He didn't say much.  He thanked me for the Book of Mormon and gave me his address.  But here's what's cool:  He couldn't remember his phone number so I told him to call me when he gets home so we can plan a lesson.  While leaving I thought it would be the last time I saw him but two days later he called us!  That NEVER happens.  He wants us to come back and have a drink with him.  It was extremely cool.  Just goes to show that people can really surprise you haha.

So now that we have all the amis, I'm starting to get a bit tense because I don't want to mess up.  It's hard to try and discern these people's needs but I can see just how possible it is with the Spirit guiding us.  God has given us a big responsibility at St. Brieuc and it's because we wanted it.  When we endure trials and succeed, God blesses us.  And that's about it.  Sorry it's so long.  Oh and we also went to the coast with some members and took some cool pics.  Have a good week!  Au revoir!




Yummm!

Clear water and white sand.  Kind of cold though. 
Exchange with District Leader

Whitewash no more

June 22, 2015

Bonjourrrr!

Seriously what an amazing week this week has been.  When I first got here to St. Brieuc, we literally had no ami de l'eglise.  So it was literally like I was the first missionary coming into the ville.  We call this a whitewash.  So because I like having amis, we decided that we would work as hard as we could to find some people this week.  We had a few cool and funny experiences so I will share them now:

During a porting session, I knocked on a door in a building.  A woman answered the door who looked exhausted as could be.  She had very dark circles under her eyes and could barely keep her eyes open.  I heard a baby screaming.  She told me that it's hard being a single mom (I could see that) and that she believes in God.  We will be going back with a member on Wednesday to teach her.

We were knocking on doors and I walked ahead of my colleague to ring the doorbell.  My colleague was still coming when I turned around and saw this little westie literally staring right at me and not even moving on a ledge.  I had a spaz attack which caused my colleague to run away a bit.  After the scene was over, the dog started to bark.  It was very funny and the lady was a spanish lady who told us we could come back.  My colleague speaks spanish so that's pretty cool.

We knocked on this one door during another porting session and the mother whisked us away saying that in her house there is no God.  Out of nowhere, this little boy shoved his way past his mother and said, "on the other hand, I believe in God" and crossed his arms looking confident as could be.  It was adorable.  The mom responded by saying to him "no no you're too young."  He was a cute little boy and I hope he keeps his faith.

Last night after porting for three hours with not too much success (but a little), I decided to talk to a woman while my colleague was wondering away.  I told her that I am from America and then she grabbed me on the arm and said "yes and I know you're a jehovas witness as well."  I told her that I am not and said that I am mormon.  She responded "well that's even worse."  She told me that she would never be mormon and then we discussed some of her issues.  I told her that we came here by choice and not be force and she seemed touched.  We then said a prayer and I prayed that her husband in the hospital would get better and afterwards she seemed really touched again.  If anything we showed her that we are nice and respectful people (there are always exceptions but for the most part I hope).  Before we left she told us that she lives on the ocean and that we should come over and drink some orange juice.  I thought it was a joke at first so I was hesitant to answer but then I said yes and she gave us her info.  Chouette!

We also made a rendezvous with a guy that said we could come back and talk to him another day.  Well the day came and a woman called us to go help her with her garden.  Since I was so used to just contacting every day it didn't even cross my mind that we actually had a lesson.  So we went and then I realized we forgot.  We ran over there and I apologized a lot.  He seemed hurt and was really expecting us to come over.  Thankfully we set another rendezvous with him for Tuesday.  Ughhh.  I was so mad at myself.  I did the one thing that I just can't stand.  I missed the rendezvous.  I won't be making that mistake again.

God blesses us when we do what He asks with a sincere heart.  Bonne Semaine, Elder Devin Vance


Goodbye Namur!

June 15, 2015

Namur
By St. Brieuc



Since we were both leaving our ville, we decided to have some fun with the new incoming Elders haha
Elder Smith and I being weird at the gare
I'll miss you Namur!  Definitely my favorite ville:)
La petite ville de Durby en Belgique
It's been a long time sushi


Transfer to St. Brieuc

June 15, 2015

Bonjour tout le monde!

It's been a very long time since I've sent out an email to everyone but I really felt like I should send a letter this week.  I just got transferred to the nether reaches of the mission (in a nice way) to an area of France called La Bretagne.  It's the arm coming off of France.  I am in a ville called St. Brieuc (don't pronounce the c).  It is beautiful and the people are much nicer than I thought they would be.  I'm excited to really work hard here and find people that are interested in our message of the church.  Coming here, the missionaries before me had no amis so it's like starting from a fresh plate.  We have gone porting by the ocean and porting in the center of town.  Sadly no one was interested.  We are finishing moving into our new apartment because the missionaries before just changed apartments.  The new one is greaaatt and bigggg!  Enfin!

I'd like to say how thankful I am to be a missionary for my church and how much it has helped me find the right path in my life.  If I could do anything right now I would choose to be here sharing what I know to be true with random people I don't even know and be rejected all day long.  It's not easy by any means but it is rewarding.  France is beautiful and I miss Belgium like crazyyyy.  Hopefully we will be finding some new people this upcoming week.  Hope to hear from you!  Au revoirr!  Elder Vance

Contacting cards we only gave to women because they thought they were cute...)


Tournai

June 3, 2015


Cool parliament building


Tournai

Cathedrale of Tournai

I'm going to miss them:(  Je ne sais pas si je vais retourner a Tournai

Floreffe Abbey

I made bread!

Vegan fruit salad and my new friend

May 25, 2015



Vegan fruit salad with soy cream

Chatelet and Tamines

May 25, 2015

Cute statue in Namur

Cathedral in Chatelet

Elder Smith and I exploring Tamines

Elder Harris

Vandermausten kids


Little caneton:)


Mother's Day skype and Dinant the pretty

May 9, 2015

Skyping home!

Dinant's special bread that is hard but you suck on it and it is delicious:) Dinant is so pretty.

Luxembourg continued

April 20, 2015

Luxembourg continues...