September 8, 2015


Provo, UT, USA


Elder Gabriel Battazato

Happy P-day or Tuesday for anyone who isn't a missionary.

So I arrived at the MTC in Provo, Utah on Wednesday morning safely and without any incident and got settled in my residence hall. Before my mission, I contacted a missionary from Italy that was going to be in the MTC at the same time as I was and was going to be going to Lyon France. His name was Gabe Battezzato and as it turned out, he became my MTC Companion and will be it for the next 5 weeks I'm here. Very crazy how technology really makes the world a smaller place.

So I got to my first class with Elder Battezzato and once we sat down, our teacher, Frere Adams, came into the room and decided only to speak French. Only French!!! No English at all!!! The elders in my branch were very confused and taken back by it. we would ask him questions and only get French responses back so we had to rack our minds to try and understand him and to answer whatever question he was asking. I really wish now, I had stuck with French in high school instead of stopping after my first two years.

The food here is great. I think I've only had one or two meals I didn't care for but overall its pretty good. the chocolate MILK IS TO DIE FOR and the soups are AMAZING. So Mom, you don't have to worry about me.

On Thursday, we were informed that we had to teach a investigator named Marie Luce and the lesson is completely in French. So I panicked to try and understand gospel points in French. We found out Marie Luce is a French student who is visiting America on vacation and trying to bike from Denver to Las Vegas, which I don't know why any sane person would do that with this kind of heat, and is staying with some BYU students for a while. We also learned that she doesn't believe in God (Dieu or Norte Pere Celeste) and doesn't know how to pray (priere). So our first lesson with her we decided to teach her who God, our Heavenly Father is and how to pray. Elder Battezzato and I went into the lesson a little headstrong and full of pride and we left with our heads low and our figurative tails between our legs. We did awful. We finely realized how hard it is to teach someone and how crappy our French was.

Sunday was the hardest day this week in my opinion. Since it was the first Sunday of the month, it was fast Sunday. Fasting means that you don't eat for 24 hours to humble oneself and to grow closer to the holy ghost and maintain or gain mastery of ones body. And the cafeteria was closed from 6pm Saturday until 6 pm Sunday so we all were starving. But that day I felt the spirit of God the most then I've ever felt it before. During our branch fast and testimony meeting, our branch is all the French/ Haitian Creole(?) speakers at the MTC, I felt that everyone really truly loved each other and have felt Gods love for each and everyone of us. I bore my testimony in front of everyone (in English because my French is absolutely rubbish) and started crying like in the very beginning of it. But everyone could feel the spirit and Elder Bentley (from Great Britain), who is also going to Lyon France, said he knew exactly how I felt and encouraged us to stay strong together. I never felt more joy then at that moment in the MTC.

I've prayed more then ever and I've studied harder then I've ever did in high school and I finally know how it feels to be on a school campus and live in a dorm because that's pretty much what the MTC feels like but instead of sciences and math, we learn how to invite others to come unto Christ and how to make their lives more happier.

"I will go and do..."
1Nephi 3:7

​Au Revior

Elder David Stephens
France Lyon Mission


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