Okay so I arrived in Lyon on Tuesday and France is amazing! I love France. We arrived at Lyon and my luggage wasn't there. My luggage was somewhere in Paris waiting for the next flight. I would have to wait
for a few hours until it actually arrived.
All of the "bleu"s (what they call green missionaries) left the Lyon aeroport on we got on a train that took us inside the city. We partook in eating some lunch meat baguette sandwich and it was amazing. The food is amazing here. I wish I could send food emails but it kind of doesn't work that way. I met the mission president, President Brown and his wife, Sister or Momma Brown. Sister Brown is like the nicest mother besides my own. I am truly blessed.
Our first night we ate at the Browns house and we had the most French dish you could think of... Tacos that tasted like they were from Café Rio. And boy, they were Bien. We then played bocci ball and some small party games till it was like super late. We went back to the residence of the office elders and we crashed there.
The next morning we traveled to the Mission Zone church to chill and eat breakfast. After that we had a devotional with our mission president and that was pretty legit. We then found out that where we were going for our first transfer. I was one of the last ones and I opened mine and I found out I was going to serve in the city of Gex in the Geneva zone... Like I can legit spit out my window and it would land in Swiss territory. Well if it would take a 15 minute bus ride first but yea I can see Swiss mountains from my apartment window. It's pretty chouette. I also found out my mission trainer or "dad" is Elder Walters from Chicago. He's pretty cool.
We ate some Dominos pizza with the rest of the bleus and their trainers and then we went to see this crazy Cathedral on top of a hill over looking Lyon and the craftsman work in that building must of taken years for all of the marble statues and mosaic art work. We stepped outside and we took a picture of the Lyon skyline and the mist that surrounded it. It was kind of chilly but nonetheless chill.
We then had a contacting experience where we had to go talk to people in this large square and just to start up conversations. We got declined almost every time when people saw that we had religious tags on and would be uninterested or think that we may be some people that have already talked to them. I can't count how many people who have thought that we were Jehovah witnesses or TJ's in French who are very prevalent in Europe. We had some small talk with some people and we gave our two pass along cards to some young adults who seemed very interested. We then went to this restaurant called Master Taco... It's like a super modern chipotle kind of of restaurant and their burritos are huge. I was about half way done with mine and I would find like frites in it and that threw me through a loop and I realized that they always put fries in master taco burritos. It was strange but good.
We got to Gex and Gex is amazing. I love Gex (pronounced Jex). We (Elder Walters and I ) had a meal rendezvous or a "mangezvous" with the Tagg family. Morgan Tagg, who is the counselor at the Gex ward, his wife Linda, and their three young kids. It was kind of nice that they also spoke English so if I wanted to say something that I didn't know in French, I could ask what it was in French then I built off it. For dinner with the Taggs, we had quiche and it was pretty bomb dignity. It was just cheesy and had lardons which is like bacon bits. It was super amazing.
This Sunday I had to bare my testimony in front of the whole ward and it was kind of weird but it was completely fine after I was done. I also contributed to a lesson during Sunday school about enduring to the end and "finishing the course " as the Apostle Paul put it.
We then had another mangezvous with a ward family, their less active sister and brother and law and non member sister and her family. We ate kind of like cheesy potatoes with salami, bacon, chicken, and other variety meats but we would melt the cheese in this mini one person skillet kind of thing and pour it over some potatoes... It was amazing
We then gave a blessing to one of the sister for healing and it was really cool participating in that kind of blessing also while it was in French.
Most of our contacting that is accomplished in Gex is port a port or bus contacting so it really exercised my mental toughness and my faith that we will find someone who wants to hear the news of the restored gospel. It is pretty nice here and all I can really complain about would be the COLD and that my feet hurt from walking all day but those aren't even things to complain about.
My jet lag is now none existent and I love Gex France and Geneva and I'm so excited for the rest of the time I'm here (either 5 weeks to 11 to 17 to 23 weeks maybe). My address, if you guys want to send me letters (three U.S. Stamps to get here I believe)
Elder D. Dakota Stephens
France Lyon Mission
Sept 2015 - Sept 2017