This week was insane. There was so much that happened and it was all amazing.
On Monday night, we took a bus to Bordeaux and stayed in the apartment with 22 missionaries. Everyone was sardines on the ground and some of us ended up not sleeping. However, it was okay because we bounced out of that apartment at about 2:45 am in order to get over to the church. Why go to the church at this hour? Good question. It was because we had to catch a bus that was taking us to Lyon. On this beautiful Tuesday morning, 4 chartered buses took off from the edges of the mission full of missionaries excited to go to a mission-wide conference in Lyon. The buses were very comfortable so we were able to sleep.
We arrived in Lyon just before noon and hung out around the confluence waiting for everyone to get there. The confluence is a museum at the intersection of the Rhône and the Saône rivers. Here I got to see a bunch of people that I knew and talk to them a little. After everyone had showed up, we walked across the river to a park where we played football and soccer and ate pizza. Some of the missionaries also had to go check into their rooms at the hotel. About half of the missionaries stayed in a hotel and the other half stayed in other missionary apartments. After I was done wrecking everyone in soccer, we all went over to the aquarium auditorium for the first part of our conference.
At this time, President Brown told us that to date in December, the missionaries had taught with 1,052 members and that will only get higher as December finishes. He also talked a little bit more about being safe because our curfew is being lifted this Saturday! The mission then had the chance to play some games that Sœur Brown put together. Elder Berry and I had to stack speculoos cookies into the tallest tower. We won because the tower that was the tallest fell down during the judging.
After games, we walked around the aquarium for a little while and then came back to the auditorium. These next events make me feel ashamed, but they were awesome. We sat down in our seats and the lights dimmed. And then, on the projector screen, we saw "The Lion King". Yes, we watched The Lion King as a mission as we snacked on candy and ate burritos. We then walked through Lyon at night with our various Christmas presents, such as CDs and a key chain, in order to get to our hotel.
The next morning, we boarded a bus and went to the ecully chapel. There, my zone and I practiced a song that we were going to sing. Unfortunately, I definitely over practiced and my voice was shot. Oh well, during the musical program, I got up and sang my solo like a 14 year old girl with a cold and one vocal chord. The best part about performing for missionaries is that they will lie straight to your face and tell you it was good. It was not good. Haha. After we had the chance to hear from our mission presidency, we ate food and then they gave us our presents and we boarded our buses to go back home.
On the bus back home, we watched Ratatouille and The Nativity Story. I don't know how we got permission for that, but the mission first counselor was on the bus and he brought the movies. We slept in the Bordeaux apartment.
The next day, we took a train to Périgueux, did some work that didn't amount to much, and then went to our Christmas Eve dinner where we had salmon and roasted lamb. That family with whom we ate is called the Portes family. That night, Elder Berry and I opened each others presents and chose one to give. That was fun.
On Christmas, I ate more food than I have ever eaten in my life. Ever. Our lunch was a seven course dinner and people at the end refused the food because it was just way too much. But, so so good. We ate a pig, foie gras, salad, and cakes. Jut the highlights. I almost exploded.
Afterwards, I had the chance to skype with my fam and that was really fun with Elder Berry. We did that and I was very happy and then we watched How to Train Your Dragon 2 in French and the member at whose house we were gave us homemade hot chocolate and waffles. The Donardier family is the best.
On Saturday, we saw a ton of miracles just because we expected them. To come. We started at a members house and ate lunch. We taught her son who is less active. Afterwards, we called a less active and he told us that we could come over! So, we taught him. Then, we went to meet a media referral who wanted the Bible and Book of Mormon in English. He was so prepared, but he just wants to read the text first. Later, we stopped by a less active that we have been trying to see for a couple months and she was there and we taught her and her mother and boyfriend! MIRACLES!
Sunday, we taught a family who was having a really hard time over Christmas and they are the sweetest. I hope they keep coming to church!
I love Christmas and a special shout out to those that sent me Christmas presents! I love you all.
Lyon France Missionaries
Our game we won!
Just a section of the group picture
Our hotel room
Thank you for the presents!
Making Christmas cookies
Lunch at a members house
Elder Marshall Underwood