Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Once Upon a Mission

August 14th, 2017

What a great week.

It all started on Wednesday with a great rendezvous with Thierry. We went over the gospel of Jesus Christ with him in 2 Nephi 31. He loved it and it all made sense to him. It was his birthday the next day, so we went over and gave him a card and a little gift. He recognizes us as servants of the Lord, but also as his friends. It was nice to spend some time with him on his birthday.

Then we found this awesome new ami, Audrey. She's from Gabon and she's a very believing Christian. We had a short first rendezvous but it went great. She met with missionaries a good while ago and was very happy to be able to talk with us again. She seems pretty cool.

We met up with a potential, Mohammed, and we had dinner with him at Flunch. The food was alright, but the discussion was a lot better. He's a young Muslim man, yet he's very open-minded. He very willingly took a BOM and said he'd read it. So, on verra.

Then we had a soirée familiale with a less-active family on Friday with some other members. They hadn't been to church in a while, so we went over to see how they were doing. It went pretty good. We emphasized the importance of the sacrament and taking it regularly. Well, it turns out, they made it to church on Sunday. Go figure.

On Saturday we had a Finding Day in Lorient. Turns out, it was the last one for a while. It went good. The branch had a lot of members come and help us out.

Today is Monday and with the new mission president things have changed and we got the news for next transfer today. Well... I'm leaving Brest to another area.  But the area won't be foreign to me because I've already served there before. In fact it was my "Bleu ville". Yeah. I'm going back to Brussels for my last six weeks as a missionary and I'll go back to the Spanish équipe. My new companion is Elder Dorado, from Canada. We'll be white-washing. It's a dream come true. Christmas came early this year. These next six weeks will literally fly by.

God bless.

Love,

Elder Aburto

Monday, August 7, 2017

Keeping Afloat

August 7th, 2017

Bonjour à tous,

Well, times just gets shorter and shorter and you come to realize that you don't have much time left. I feel like it's just starting to soak in that my mission is ending in less than two months. I don't know what to think. I don't know how to because I've never completed a mission before, but I understand that there is a time for everything and one needs to appreciate life as it happens. Soon enough, I won't be a missionary anymore, and I miss serving in this capacity. So I need to take advantage of the opportunity at hand.

This week was good. Our boy, Thierry is progressing well. We had a family home evening at a member’s home and he came and had a great time. The fellowshipping of the members is making an impact on him, and I'm so grateful for them and their support.

As you may know, the branch here is pretty small, and this last Sunday we had a family move out. So the branch is looking even smaller for now. Our branch president is really pushing to have the members find the less-actives and help them. Yesterday we had two less-active families come to church for the first time in a long time. So there is hope out there.

We found this guy about a week ago who left us his address. He said he lived in a hotel and gave us the room number. We weren't sure if it was just a straight up lie or not, so we went to go check it out. It turns out there's this placed named Hotel de la Rade which is actually a refugee shelter. It looks like a hotel from the outside but everyone there is taken care of by the government. Nice, huh? We haven't found the guy yet though.

Keep having fun.

Love,

Elder Aburto

Monday, July 31, 2017

Pouring Rain

July 31st, 2017

Hello and bonjour,

This week really flew by, since we've been all over the place, so I don't know how long this one will be. Nonetheless, we had a great time once again.

Thierry is going well. We taught him the plan of salvation and he loved it. When we were talking about the afterlife, he asked if animals get resurrected too, because his cat died a while ago and he misses him. It was nice to let him know that he will have the chance to see his cat again through the plan of salvation. It made me remember of my dogs that have passed away in my life. Where it's sad to see our loved ones die, but life doesn't end at death.

He's progressing slowly as well. He's reading the Book of Mormon and loves the passages he reads and we read a chapter weekly with him.

We also went to Paris once again this week for Elder Ho's legality. Boy, did we spend a lot of money on transportation. Paris is a nice place to visit, but it sure is expensive.

We had our finding day on Brest on Saturday and it was raining hard. Nonetheless, we went out and did what was needed. We ended up getting several potentials among both equipes, and hopefully we'll be able to fix rendezvous with those people. We've seen that right now, a lot of people are on vacation, so it's hard to see most people currently.

But, yeah. This week literally just flew by.  Hope this next week will go slower so that we can get more work done here.

See you next time.

Love,

Elder Aburto

Monday, July 24, 2017

Pioneer Day

July 24th, 2017

Hey,

Happy Pioneer’s Day!

It's been a good week with another Zone Conference and a week full of work in Brest, so let's get to it:

We had Zone Conference on Wednesday and it went great. I can tell President Sorensen feels pretty uncertain and inexperienced about himself, but I know he will do a good job. He emphasized finding and miracles a lot, and made an initiative to have 20 solid contacts per day, and 140 per week. We understand that it's not super easy around here to get that accomplished, but it's possible.

Starting our goal to have 20 good contacts a day (consisting of a principle taught and a commitment extended), we've seen some good fruits already. We found this very nice and open older woman, named Valerie, and we had our first sit down rendezvous with her last week at her house. She's an English professor so her English is basically flawless. She's very catholic and practicing, but didn't say no to having a discussion. So we had a discussion and gave her a BOM. She seemed quite engaged. She's going on vacation soon so we'll probably see her again in a couple of weeks.

Another guy we've met is a man named Jean-Marie. We stopped him on the street and he came off very sympathetic and calm. It turns out that he actually has met with us in the past and had a great time learning from the missionaries and going to church. But all of that stopped for some reason. He considers himself Christian and Jewish and embraces all good things. He's just all-around a good, respectable guy. He's going on vacation this week, too, so we'll see him in a couple of weeks, hopefully.

Our boy Thierry is doing well. He read Alma 22 on his own and marveled at the teachings found therein. He's embracing everything we give him so well, and it's making a difference in himself. He's truly finding the peace and comfort found in the gospel. He has some word of wisdom issues, but we're confident he can fix those.

And voila, there it is. What a better way to celebrate the day when the saints arrived in the Salt Lake Valley to establishe the church, than as a missionary.

I hope you stay safe and have a fantastic week,

Love,

Elder Aburto

La Fête Nationale

July 17th, 2017

Bonjour, tout le monde,

It's been another good week in the life of missionary work. I'm now getting to the stage when the end is approaching quite soon, so many emotions go on simultaneously. Regardless, the work must go on.

We saw Thierry again this week and he's doing well. We followed up on the Retab and it went great. We committed him to start reading the Book of Mormon and he gladly accepted. He's going well.

We saw Jeremie again, after a little of not seeing him, and he's doing alright. We had a nice talk about his progression, and what's keeping him from being baptized. He's come to grow a testimony of the things we've taught him, he's just a little worried about the commitment to be baptized. We helped him understand that it's just a step along our eternal progression and we're not going to be perfect. The thing is as well that his sleep schedule is terrible which doesn't let him come to church in the mornings either. We have hope that he'll be able to
change, little by little.

Our ami, Anina, came to church and expressed that she wanted to continue meeting with us, but her husband doesn't like us and doesn't want us to come to their house. It made us sad to hear that, but she said she'll keep talking to him to try to convince him that what we're doing really is good. We hope it goes well.

Well, this upcoming week we'll have yet another Zone Conference with the Sorensens. 7-week transfers, new president, new vision, etc. They're saying there'll be lots of important information in this one.

We just celebrated Bastille Day here. July 14th was like the Independence Day of France. Every company in the nation was closed for the day and there was a big celebration at night with fireworks. Too bad we couldn't go.

All in all, it was a nice week. As always, this next week has lots to look forward to. What an exciting life it is, being a missionary.

À la prochaine,

Love,

Elder Aburto

Monday, July 10, 2017

Une Rencontre Avec Les Sorensen

July 10th, 2017

Hello everyone,

What a nice week we had. It was special because I finally got the opportunity to meet my new mission president, President Sorensen and his family. Boy, do they look young. I swear Pres. Sorensen could be like my older brother because that guy looks like he's in his thirties. My heart goes out to this family because they're so young and all the kids are young. The kids seem to be in really good spirits despite being in a different place with a big language barrier. But anyways, we had our Sorensen Conference in Rennes on Thursday, with the Sorensens. And the parents introduced themselves to us. I noticed a huge focus was PMG. I think their focus will be to apply PMG as much as possible or in other words, to become a PMG mission. I thought it was a good message. I've noticed that 99% of my questions about anything mission-related have been answered through PMG. I also feel like reading the manual really helps us do what we're supposed to the right way. One can notice those people who don't read the manual from the ones who do.

But it is definitely a transition. I can tell right off the bat that they'll be doing things differently from the Babins. But everyone here will have to accept and support what the Sorensens do because at the end of the day, the church is still the same church and Christ is at the driver's seat.

We had our first rendezvous with Thierry, and it went quite well. He's a very open and respectable guy. He is definitely a truth-seeker and will benefit from receiving the restored gospel. We're very excited to continue teaching him.

We, or better said Elder Ho taught this guy that the Sœurs passed to us who is native of China like him, so they talked for a long time in their native language of Mandarin. The guy seemed super nice and interested from watching them discuss. But after discussing with Elder Ho afterwards he said he's way to philosophical and asks lots of hard questions. It apparently didn't get anywhere we would've liked to. Freak, it's like I'm a bleu all over again.

Hopefully this upcoming week we'll be able to find more consistent amis. This upcoming weekend is La Fête Nationale, so lots of action.

I wish you all a successful week,

Love,

Elder Aburto

Monday, July 3, 2017

Su Majestad Llegó

July 3rd, 2017

Bonjour,

Another week, another adventure. Another transfer gone, a new one comes. New companion, new vision, new life.

This past week was nice. Wednesday we got our new comps. I'm with Elder Ho now, a man straight outta Hong Kong. He speaks Mandarin, Cantonese & English fluently. He's such a sincere guy. He's 24 years old and a really good guy. I can tell already that we're going to have lots of fun together.

We were able to meet with Paulina & Louis again this week. Paulina is so open and cool. We gave her a BOM in her native tongue of Polish and she was so excited to start reading it. Louis is willing to talk and read, but less open to change. We hope all will go well with them.

We found a new ami named Thierry, like the soccer player. He's an older guy who met with us years ago. We knocked on his door and we had a little talk. He's a very believing Christian Frenchman.  He seems very humble and open. We're excited to go back to see him this week.

We found this other lady named Isabelle. She's a middle aged woman from the Island of La Réunion by Madagascar. She's very funny and talks a lot. She's met with us a long time ago and felt great about seeing us again after a really long time.  She's really sweet. We're probably going o to pass her to the sœurs, but we know she's got lots of potential.

Su majestad llego. The Sorensen are here. I will have the chance to meet them this Thursday in Rennes. I'm looking forward to meeting them and spending these last few months with the new couple. It'll be interesting to see if he makes any changes.

Well, that's all I got to say about the week. I hope y'all are well and prospering.

Soyez prudent.

Fraternellement,

Elder Aburto