This week has been crazy. So I'll start with an experience that happened later in the week, I think Thursday.
Elder Walters and I were walking in a little suburb part of Prévessin-Moëns near the Swiss French Border. We meet a lot of young French families who would be great to teach but most of them said they were busy or they were not interested but we turn to this house and we knocked and this young adult lady answered and saw our tags and smiled. Then told us to come inside. My heart jump with great joy, someone finally wanted to hear from us and then my heart immediately fell in a pit of fear, as I recalled the last time someone invited us in and then continued to berate us for our faith and told us that our faith only restricts us from having real knowledge (see week 8)!
My mind started to freak out a little bit but Elder Walters asked if there was anyone else in the house (As missionaries we cannot teach someone of the opposite sex in there house without another male present (female present for sisters missionaries) for our protection and the protection of the residents) As it turns out there wasn't and only this woman and her friend and friends daughter. So we had a short conversation about families and how families are something that is eternal. This young woman really liked our message and her friend asked who we were. This young woman turns around and starts speaking in Portuguese and talked about our church, what we believe happens after we die, about temples, baptisms in proxy of the people who have already passed from this life, and all this stuff and she would just turn to us to make sure if she was getting everything right. We just stood there and said yes and stared in amazement thinking like, "Why isn't she a member?" or "Where has she been all this time?" And Elder Walters was super "SPARCed " because he is half Brazilian and knows a little Portuguese (SPARC is an acronym in our mission but me mostly use it in the way as if something really made our day). She told us that her friend actually gave her a book that talked about our core beliefs. I kinda want to know what book this is because it sounds interesting. We got her number and we plan to see her next week. What a super, beautiful, long in the making miracle
On Friday we had something called Transfer Calls. The day after we enter into the mission, we receive an envelope with a letter with our first mission ville or sector on it but for the other transfers we receive a phone call from President Brown telling us where we will be going for the next 6 weeks. We decided to go to the institute building to be with the majority of our district during this call session but then the unexplainable happened. Our phones decided to go fully stupid and not receive Swiss communication and we didn't have any service even with full bars.
So we were running around and we couldn't get Swiss Com at all. We did receive messages saying that our Mission President, President Brown tried to call three times, Chambéry Elders tried to call twice and someone else another time. We eventually decided to use the Zone Leaders phone to call president and we got ahold of him and we found out Gex sector is staying together #ElderWalterAndStephens #GexForLife #GexReconDistrict #ChristamasInGeneveZone #possiblewhitechristmas #⛄️🏂🎄❄️
Anyway, I got a little carried away with all those hashtags. Anyway Elder Jenkins Is staying and is becoming district leader and is also receiving a Bleu straight out of the MTC. So excited to not be the "youngest" in the mission anymore. Anyway, bitter sweetly, Elder Jensen is leaving to join a Chinese companionship in Lyon, so that is probably pretty good for him to actually go somewhere where he can use his mission language. So it was kinda sad to see him leave.
This Saturday, the English Elders were hosting a Turkey Bowl in a town called Cessy, which is spitting distance from our apartment, and it was super fun to play actual "real" football and not talk about soccer. I made a touchdown actually so that was something that was good. I did a sport! Yea! Sports! I also dropped like every other throw however so yea I'm not the best at any sport that doesn't just consist of running faster than everyone else for a long time. But hey American Football is fun.
Afterwards however, we decided to stop at the apartment to heat up, drink some Swiss miss (from Swiss) and warm up and outside it started snowing. Like snow was everywhere. Like it snowed that night like a few inches.... Sooo cool (literally and figuratively and metaphorically metaphysically) but in Gex it's starting to too cold for my southwestern desert American blood. I hope I will be here for just this transfer and then at the end of this year I will be transferred to somewhere where it is warm and costal... But a missionary can only hope and pray
Love from the South of France!
Elder D. Dakota Stephens
France Lyon Mission
Sept 2015 - Sept 2017