Monday, June 26, 2017

Going Chinese

June 26th, 2017


A new transfer begins. Changes happen. It's always for good. We have transfer day coming up this Wednesday and Elder Marion will leave Brest to the land of promise, Brussels. I will be getting Elder Ho for my penultimate transfer, possibly my last companion. As far as I know, Elder Ho is from Hong Kong and is a convert. I don't know what President was thinking in putting a Hispanic and an Asian together here in Brest, but we're all optimistic about the future.

This past week, we met up with this dude we found on our Finding Day a week ago. His name is Bastien, he's French, young, and actually really open and believing. He accepted the Livre de Mormon happily and committed to start reading it. He really seems like a sincere guy who wants to do what's right.

We finally met with Anina again. She's a very sweet lady. We taught her with our Angolan Frère, Tino. It worked out well. We gave her the whole rétablissement lesson and gave her a BOM reading commitment, which she accepted.

I guess the theme of the week was the Book of Mormon. We had a family home evening, a few rendezvous, and sacrament meeting where a lot of the talks and thoughts were on the power of the Book of Mormon. It's easy to take it for granted, but if we take time to think about it, it's really cool. Everyone can gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon; we just have to do our part in reading it.

It's nice to hear the MTC has those new buildings. It should make all the difference for the learning environment for all of the missionaries.

Also, I did the Brest Special on Friday. The Brest Special is a mission famous truc which is a special crepe made by the Aasbo's in the branch.

For my birthday, we went to  a pasta restaurant for lunch. And the sœurs made a birthday cake. Outside of that, it was a normal day.

Well, I hope all is well, and I wish everyone a wonderful week.


Elder Aburto

Monday, June 19, 2017

1997-2017: 20 Years in the Making

June 19th, 2017

Bonjour à tous,

Wow, what a great week that just passed. It seems like once we make it around to June that life just really helps us out and it's all ok.

This year was no exception with LeBron James losing in the Finals... again. Yet maybe almost as good is that Kevin Durant won his first NBA title. What a great story.

This week went awesome, let me show you some highlights:

We had exchanges in Quimper. The elders down there have a car, so it  was real nice. The ville itself is also a decently nice-looking one.  The thing with Brest is maybe I've mentioned before, is that in both  World Wars it got decimated, so it got rebuilt and has more of a  modern-feel to it. Quimper still has the old-fashioned, classic French  feel to it. Nice ville.

A few days ago, we contacted this young Polish chick who was really  nice and willing to meet another time. So we had our first rendezvous  with her and her boyfriend on Saturday. It went so well! Man, we just  had the best feeling walking out of that one. So she, Paulina, is a  practicing Catholic and he, Louis, is a non-practicing French guy and  after meeting us a couple days before, she had looked us up on the  internet and watched a couple of reports that BBC made about LDS  missionaries. They both asked lots of great questions and are very  open. When we explained a little of who we are and the Book of Mormon  and gave them a copy, they gladly accepted. Louis said, "Is that  really all I have to do, just read the book sincerely?" They viewed it  as something very simple. What a tender-mercy. That's the way to  celebrate a birthday, right there.

We went back to the Dominican lady's apartment to give her a Book of  Mormon in Spanish, she took the book but made it clear she was never  going to change from Catholicism. Hopefully she'll come around.

We also got a new branch president here. The senior missionary couple,  the Griffins, are leaving in a week, so they called a member in the branch, Frère Fournis to take charge. We'll be seeing lots of change in the near future with a new mission President, transfers, and the  branch. Hopefully we'll make Brest great again.   

And that's a wrap. Thank you so much for all the support and love. Life  would not be the same without you. I hope you have a good one.


Elder Aburto

Monday, June 12, 2017

Cómo no te voy a querer

June 12th, 2017

Hello everyone.

This week was very special. I had my last zone Conference and interviews with the Babins. It was very sad. To me, it'll feel like a completely different mission when we get the American guy in a couple weeks. The Babins reassured us that things will be alright and he work will move on. I gotta say, I love the way President Babin treated us. He treated us like we were all his children and he loved us all so much. He put his whole heart into his calling the past 3 years and has influenced many lives, including mine. I asked him in my interview with him how hard it was for him and he said despite all of the challenges, he didn't view it as a sacrifice on his part, but blessings from the Lord. Pretty cool.

In 2 weeks President Sorensen will come with his wife, five kids and his mother-in-law. They're pretty young and not French, so it'll probably be difficult for them to take over for the Babins. President Babin mentioned this and made us promise him that we will make the Sorensens feel welcomed and at home. I hope all will go well.

It was great to get that last interview with Sœur Babin over with. Because mama's not easy.

I got to spend a day in Lorient on an exchange. It's on the south-central part of Bretagne. It's a port and very nice. The elders apartment is right by the stade de fut where FC Lorient play.

Not a whole lot to report in terms of work this week. But this upcoming week we've got several rendezvous planned so it should be a good one.

Have a wonderful semaine, everyone.


Elder Aburto

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Hispanics in Brest

June 5th, 2017


This week was pretty good. Besides the fact that Real Madrid won the champions league, it was a good week overall.

I got to use my Spanish quite a bit, actually. It was cool because we passed by this one family from the Dominican Republic that Marion found with his previous companion, and they don't really speak French, so we tried passing by a couple of days ago and the lady opened the door and we had a really nice chat. She's die-hard catholic, but will accept a Book of Mormon in Spanish, so we're going back this week to get that to her.

And then also, we visited Manuel and his family again and we had a nice meal. He has two kids and a niece who live with him who are still teenagers and not members. We got to talk a little bit with his son, Eduardo, and he's a really good kid. He plays soccer and likes Barcelona, so we're already on good terms.

Manuel also gave us a referral. He gave us this number of another Peruvian family who's also less-active and we gave them a call and they sounded so happy to hear from us. We fixed a rendezvous for this week. The thing with Manuel and the Peruvian family is that they believe in the gospel, it's just hard for them to integrate themselves in the branch when they don't speak the language very well or don't feel like they fit in with the French people. I love being able to work with them myself because I feel more at home in France when I see other Hispanics.

We did some porting a couple days ago, and this middle-aged dude looked happy to see us, he let us in to talk a little bit. He was a little drunk and high, but seemed more-or-less religious. Haha, we'll see where that goes.

I don't think I've mentioned this, but this transfer is only five weeks. It's President Babin's last transfer, and then next transfer with President Sorensen will be seven weeks. So we'll be seeing a lot of change real soon.

Proverbs 23:7 "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he..."

Remember who you are.


Elder Aburto

No More Cloudy Days

May 29th, 2017


Just another email to let you know I'm still alive. Life is still great here in Bretagne. The weather has been very unpredictable lately with each day bringing a blazing hot sun, or a downpour of rain. And when it rains, it pours! Hopefully the sun comes to stay this summer.

This week frankly flew by really fast. I think one big part of it was that we took P-day on Tuesday and we spent most of our day Saturday traveling. Regardless, we had some nice things happen nonetheless, like...

We got to see our new ami, Anina, again and go further into the Livre de Mormon. We invited her to come to church and she came! She was only able to stay for sacrament meeting but she loved it and said she wants to come back next week.

We got back in touch with Jeremie and finally had a rendezvous with him. After a little while of not seeing him, we decided to read a passage in the scriptures with him. It went well. He was able to reflect and look inward and really see what he needs to change to improve his life. He seems more sincere and hope he will make those steps to grow and gain a testimony.

We had a great second lesson with Oriane. We went over part of the Plan of Salvation and she loved it. She asked great questions and wants to keep learning more. We passed her to the Sœurs, so we're not going to be teaching her anymore. She's got some nice potential...

We also finally got in contact with a part-member family from Perú. The dad is a member and less-active and most of his kids aren't members. We got in the door and we were able to get to know him a little bit. His name's Manuel. He seems like a really serious guy, but he has a good sense of humor. He invited us over to go eat Peruvian food this week. It should be a good time.

Well, that's all, folks. Thanks so much for all the love and support and for living good lives. It was Mother's Day in France yesterday, so Happy French Mothers Day!!

Je t'aime,

Elder Aburto