Monday, October 29, 2012

Where did that car go?

I will just share a quick, interesting, expensive story.  This past week was the last week that we had the car, we were needing to give the car back to the Elders in Lorient, so we had planned lots of visits to members and. Well on Tuesday after district meeting we went home to do our companion study and then we quickly left the appartment for a lesson we had. We had to use the car so we walked over to the place just behind the train station where we normally park the car. As we were rounding the corner, I said, "This street looks so bare with out any cars parked on the side of the road." The wheels started turing in my head and I thought to myself, 'I really hope that we parked the car farther down the road because if not I dont think our car is here!" We kept walking down the road and my heart started beating faster and faster the farther we walked down the street. We realized that are car was NOT where we had parked it the night before. I quickly looked around and saw a sign that said,"NO PARKING ON TUESDAY-SPORTING EVENT: ALL CARS WILL BE TOWED!" Our car had been towed....we called the only person we could think of and that is Soeur Creager's buddy Elder Quinn in the office. After giving us some great advice, ie "Soeur Creager, calm down and call a member."  So we called Sandrine- our go to girl. She called the police and the police gave her all the information for us so that we could get our car back. The Quimper police had hired a private towing company who now had our car and we needed to get all of the information for the car out of the car and bring it to the police station so they could give us the right to go back and get our car from the company and then we had to pay the towing company... 119€ to get it. What an awful situation. We changed our plans for the night and Sandrine took us to the place that had our car. Of course it was closed and had really scary guard dogs. (thought that needed to be added).We finished our night outside trying to contact and talk to people but my stomach was in knots. The next morning we quickly took the bus up to the towing company to get all of the car information out of the car so we could go to the police station. Luckily, the people at the towing place were really nice and helpful.. and turns out that the dogs are really kind too, just as long as you are not alone with them.. that's another story for another time. Anywho, when we got all of the information out of the car we started to head back to the bus stop to catch another bus, when all of the sudden the tow man says, "Oh! Im going back into town to pick up another car! Ill take you too the police station! Hop in the truck." The first thought that came into my mind was 'this stupid truck towed our car!' And then the next thought that came into my mind was,"We cant do this! It's man! Totally against mission rules." We tried telling him that it was really ok, and that we could just take the bus but he was really insisitent (not in a creepy way, just a really kind and wanting to help way). So we got in... I repented later I promise. Turns out that he, Antoine, was the owner of the towing company. He is married and has a cute little young family. He had lots of questions about why we were in Quimper and once he found out we were 'mormons' he had even more questions. Good questions thought!  It was a fantastic missionary opportunity. By the time we got around to talking about the Book of Mormon we were at the Police Station. So we quickly got out of the tow truck and headed inside to get the papers we needed. Afterwards, we stopped back at the appartment to get a Book of Mormon and a family proclamation for him and his family. We went back to the bus stop to catch the next bus back up, when all of the sudden we see Antoine coming up the road with a huge line of cars behind him. We waved hello and he just stopped in the middle of the road and yelled at us to get back into the truck! haha. We quickly jumped inside and road back up with him to get the car. We had another great gosple converstation on the way back up and he was so interested! We gave him the things we had prepared for him and then told him thank you for all he had done to help us. We went inside the secretary's office to pay the towing charges and then went to get our car. The best part of the story is that when we got home our phone buzzed telling us that we had received a new message. It was from Antoine!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The text said, "merci pour le livre, je le lirai avec la plus grand attention. Antoine le dépanneur" direct translation "thank you for the book. I will read it with great attention. Antoine the tow man". hahaha best story EVER!!
    It was just such an odd turn of events.  Soeur Creager and I decided after that we really had no justification for riding with him, since it's against a rule, so we decided we'd be more careful, but still, a pretty great story, right?   I believe Antoine holds the record as being the most expensive potential investigator I'll probably ever have. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Rennes, Rendez-vous and Rendered Service

Bonjour all,
      This has been a crazy week, to match nicely with every other week that I've experienced since becoming a resident of France. 
Soeur Creager and I had the opportunity this week to continue to help one of our members (Soeur Fauchi) get her apartment ready for moving.  We'd already helped with packing stuff up and moving stuff out, so this past week we were asked to come and help with the walls.  Now, I don't know if it's because it's in french, or if Seour Creager forgets to tell me details to things, but for some reason, I always feel like I have no idea what's going on.  All I knew was that Soeur Fauchi had asked us to come over, and Frère La Saux said we needed to be there from 2:30 to 4:30.  I thought we might be washing walls or something.  When we got there, though, we helped Soeur Fauchi remove some wall paper for about 20 minutes, and then Frère La Saux (who is a member of the branch who was helping Soeur Fauchi) came from the other room and asked for us to help him and Frère Lucas.  So we then proceeded to learn how to apply wall paper.  We did everything - measure, cut, apply, and do the finishing details.  It was such a odd skill to suddenly acquire.  I quote Soeur Creager, "If I ever decided to put up wall paper, you have permission to come and slap me."  Much fun was had amongst the five of us, although the biggest joke of the night was thinking we might actually leave at 4:30.  Hahaha... no.  They just kept having stuff to do, and when 7:45 finally rolled around, we decided to would probably be best to leave.  It may not have been proselyting like we're supposed to, but it was a wonderful way to help and get to know some of the members better. 
      One of our biggest challenges here in Quimper seems to be that no one is able to make their appointments.  We had 5 Rendez-vous (RDV) set up at the beginning of the week, and all 5 fell through.  If that's not discouraging, I don't know what is.  BUT, we always just make more.  And we have plenty set up for this week, so hopefully we'll be able to get to some of them. :)  We've been able to teach a lot of less active lessons, though, which is wonderful.  And we have some appointments set up this week with our favorite Claudine, as well as some other referrals.    Yesterday was our District Conference, so Saturday night we took a train to Rennes (2 1/2 hours), and stayed the night with a senior couple, The Harrises, who are actually finishing up their mission this week and heading back to Mesa.  We met some wonderful people.  I really like Rennes, they have lots of work going on there, and a strong ward.  We met Pierre, who knows Seour Pace, and some others.  I'm excited, because this transfer there are sisters coming in, so I might be able to serve here someday!  The Conference was splendid.  President Cadin, the 2nd Counselor in the Mission Presidency, brought the friend of his daughter with him, so we got to sit by her and give her a Book of Mormon.  All of our Branch members were so happy to see us, and the entire district was ecstatic to see sister missionaries.  We heard talks from The District Presidency (including Frère Lucas, whom I adore- he's the 2nd Counselor), and the President and Sister Poznanski.  It was wonderful.  We came home with Sandrine, and had lunch and a quick lesson with her aunt and cousin, who are less active.
     This is the first week of my second transfer!  Oh goodness!  That means tomorrow is my last District meeting with my first District.  Six of us are staying (Soeur Creager et moi, Elders Beckstrand, Ensign, Hatch, and Dickson), and Elder Liao, our wonderful District Leader is going back to Paris for his last transfer, and Elder Burgess is going to be a District Leader in Angers.  We will miss them, but we are excited, because our new DL will be none other than Elder Gubbay, who has been an Assistant to the President for the past 6 months, but has come to be our District Leader for his very last transfer. 
    Other crazy news, we are getting a mini missionary in a few weeks!!!  She's from Vannes, and will be on vacation, and will be staying with us and helping us!  I'm so excited for her insight, love, and support, and help with the language!  It will only be for a few weeks, but it will be great. 
                   That's about all for me, but thanks for the love and support!
                           Soeur Bracken
Also, here is a picture of me- the orange thing is a slug.  One day we counted 16.  They're either orange or black.  Happy Halloween?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Happenin' Week

It doesn't take much to make Lexi happy....JUST:
Getting back missing stuff,
Receiving letters,
Having people to teach, and
Getting packages and tapes.
 Where to begin? At a District Meeting this last week the Zone Leaders brought a jacket and necklace that Lexi had left @ the Mission Home. Also 2 letters from friends from the MTC. For those of us who know and love Lexi...are you surprised she left her jacket and necklace? either.
 Soeur Bracken and Creager had a Sister exchange with Sisters McKay and Huntsman in Cholet. Lexi and Sister McKay stayed in Cholet, Sister Huntsman and Creager traveled back to Quimper.
In Lexi's words "It was fantastic!" Soeur McKay and Bracken set their goals and to their amazement the night filled up with contacts and visits. It seemed to Lexi rather miraculous and wonderful.
Back in Quimper they have a new contact...Patricia, a referral from one of the families in the branch.
Sounds like the language is coming along for Lexi...or at least she is getting braver in her teaching.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Florence, Felines and a Feeble French Conference...oh and slugs too.

Lexi was excited for conference this past weekend....however she did not get as much out of it as she might have was in FRENCH.
 From Lexi; " 6 months ago @ April Conference I posted on facebook that this was the last time I would be watching conference in English for a while. Several people replied that I would most assuredly watch it in English, but now we know I spoke the truth!"
They watched Conference at the church with a FEEBLE attendence. Most people can watch it in their homes on the internet. Lexi did however note that she rocked at listening to the songs.
This week Lexi and Sister Creager are on exchanges. Lexi will be a Sister McKay in Cholet, Wednesday and Thursday. ALSO...(drum roll here) they got their car. It is a Chevy Cruze. Lexi will be driving everywhere because foreign drivers license are only valid for a year and Soeur Creager has hit that mark. She is freaked out because the roads are skinny and many are just one you have to make sure no one is coming towards you before you head down the street. The entrance to the parking lot is 6 feet wide. Lexi holds her breath and Sister Creager says "Think skinny".
One night last week after parking the car they met FLORENCE. "She is kind and sweet and says we can come visit her". Yea. Also, they are working with Claudine who has 9 FELINES. That's right 9 cats. Souer Creager is allergic to cats. Hmmmm.
Last but not least.....from Lexi,"The slugs here are crazy! They are like 4 inches long and orange! Seriously, look them up on line!"

Thursday, October 4, 2012


I actually think Lexi HAS been to Moab and Arches. Isn't that where her and friends went last spring?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

"The District"

Our own Sister Bracken had her first District Meeting. There are 8 Elders in the District. Any of these names sound familar?...Elders: Hatch, Liao, Beckstrand, Ensign, Burgess and Dickson. Apparently the other 2 don't count...she didn't mention their names.
Friends, I thought Lexi might be a bit down and frustrated this week...but surprise, surprise...she sounds pretty happy. A bit of stress in teaching a combined Relief Society/Priesthood lesson (and a Sunday School class too), but doing well. Perhaps it was because she visited her first Creperie. She says it was delicious!
And just to prove that it is a small world, the server at the Creperie had been to Utah. (Arches and Moab).
Lexi has not been to Arches and Moab. Also, a missionary who had previously served in the area came back to visit and is friends with a guy from Lexi's ward in Provo. His name is/was Elder Jeter.
I am looking (on behalf of Lexi) for successful ways to introduce yourself, or the Gospel to strangers. I know there are returned missionaries out there reading this blog. Got any great ideas for me to pass along?Of course, I gave her my brilliant plan.......but a general rule she rejects her mother's ideas.
Until next week.