Monday, December 28, 2015

Week 74

What a great week


On Tuesday night we took a train up to Brussels and stayed the night next to Elisabeth Parc with the four Brussel elders. Early the next morning we took the metros to the Norby's, a missionary couple, and Elder Norby drove us down to Waterloo for some legality stuff. All we had to do was talk to a doctor for about two minutes and he signed some papers then we were good. Elder Norby took us all out to McDonald's after ๐Ÿ˜Š  He drove us back up to Brussels and then elder Reiss and I took a train back to Liege. 

Wednesday night: we made candy trains! Thanks grandma! 

Christmas Eve: a member came and picked us up and took us to this member that just barely moved into our ward. They had all of their stuff moved over but it was all just sitting in one room and bunch of stuff needed to be taken up to the attic. We helped him for a good portion of the day. He just moved from the Dutch speaking part of Belgium and he speaks like 5 languages. He had 3 cute little daughters. That night we went with the other elders to a families house from their branch. They were super cool. They have a son that got back from his mission not to long ago. He restored old pedal bikes. They fed us a big meal and we even ate escargot (snails) they weren't too bad. 

Christmas: we got to sleep in! We opened presents and then walked around the ville a little bit. It was raining but not too cold. The other elders left to go eat lunch with a member family and elder Reiss and I went to McDonald's hah. That night we took a train to a little town called trois-pont where a recent convert member family came and picked us up. We got to skype home and then we ate a big dinner with them. They are super cool. 

So when we weren't doing Christmas stuff or legality this week we were out on the streets finding some peeps to share the Christmas spirit with. We found a cool new ami from Congo. He plays gospel on the guitar. We also have been meeting with our ami Franรงois, he has been doing great! He's such an awesome guy

Love you all! 

Elder empey 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Week 73

It's been a good week. The weather has been oddly warm the past couple of days, it's been nice! Nice enough not to need to wear a jacket.

Tuesday- we had district meeting at the church and then we went to a rendez vous with this guy named Abraham. He is a 75 year old Belge man who was baptized about 25 years ago but then started studying the koran and was going to mosque instead. He recently saw the liege 2 equipe (I'm in liege 1) and he decided he wanted to start coming back to church. We have met with him a couple of times and boy have we heard some stories. This guy has done some crazy stuff. He was in a concentration camp for 4 years because his mother was Jewish, he was a

parachutist for the army, he was a press photographer and travelled the world taking photos, he's travelled around the US, and a bunch of other stuff. He's a cool guy.  We also ate at a cool members family house that night

Wednesday - we had a rendez vous with a new ami "Dan the man" we sent out a mass text to all the contacts we didn't know in the phone a while ago asking if they were interested. This guy that was marked Dan Romania replied and said we could come over. We got over there and he opens the door and he's this tall pale Romanian guy that looks like a vampire, pretty sweet. I gave him the nick name "dan the man" and he loved it. He lived in the US for a while and so he was speaking English to us and told us about all his adventures, meeting Michael
Jackson, going to the US, going to prison and escaping from prison then having to go back for a long time, pretty exciting. We fixed another return rendezvous and are going to see him Saturday.

Thursday -I don't know if I have anything to share about Thursdaynothing too exciting, just a couple of rendez vous and contacting

Friday - we met with a new ami in this pub, it was kinda hard to talk and stuff but we met a lot of his friends and one of them is really searching for God right now and we are going to try and meet with him.  The APs came up from Paris to start our exchange that night, we picked them up at the gare and then got dinner together. It was fun hanging out with elder lattin that night, he's a fun dude

Saturday - I was with elder lattin for the exchange and it was super fun. We went out contacting and talked a lot about the mission and what not. He's going home in like a week. We were supposed to see Dan the man but that got cancelled and moved to Monday night. We ate lunch and talked about zone stuff then we took them to the gare. We had a Christmas party at the church that night and our ami Franรงois came. It was quite the event. People had put a lot of work into it. All the missionaries were part of a choir and the nativity was acted out by
members with little pauses where we would sing. We all ate after that.

Sunday - church was good. We had to give a last minute lesson in our gospel principles class because there was no teacher but it went really well cuz Abraham was there and made lots of comments hah. We got to go eat at Franรงois house after and have a little lesson. He is such an awesome dude! Love that guy!

I hope you all have a very merry Christmas! Can't wait to skype! Love you

Elder empey

Monday, December 14, 2015

Week 72

This is our ami Francois, he is golden

This is Elder Orton.  He said that his grandpa and Grandpa Ray are cousins.

This ones gunna be a shorty ๐Ÿ˜

We had a great week! We have been getting busier and busier but that's a good thing.

This week we went down to Paris for a Christmas conference with our zone and two others. We had to wake up at like four in the morning to get down there in time and then we missed our train afterwards so we had to exchange our tickets, all the trains were filled until 8:25 so we had to take that one and didn't get home until like 11.

We've been getting in contact with a lot of old Amis to see if they have any potential or desire to progress and been doing lots of contacting and whatnot to find some new Amis. We have one super solid guy right now that has a baptismal date and is progressing super well!  I don't think I have ever had an ami as solid as he is. I love meeting with him and seeing him progress.

Hope you all have a fantastic week! Love ya!

Elder empey

Monday, December 7, 2015

Week 71 - Familiar Face

Elder Empey go to see Wade Bringhurst!  He is a friend from high school that was in the band 5ive Seasons with Dres!  Elder Bringhurst is in the Holland mission which covers the Dutch speaking portions of Belgium.

Elder Empey and Elder Bringhurst in Belgium together!!!


comp Elder Riess

This was our week of exchanges. Just like last transfer how elder durant and I had to go to like 4 district meetings and do a bunch of exchanges we did that here as well. This week was a lot easier though cuz we only have 3 districts in our zone and they are a lot closer.

Monday night we went down to nivelle and stayed the night down there. We went to Charleroi the next morning for their district meeting. I got to see elder quist, an elder who I lived with in Metz.  We went back up to nivelle and did an exchange with the elders there.  We spent another night there and then went up to Brussels the next

We went to the district meeting in Brussels and then started another exchange just after. We worked all day and then the other elders wanted to meet us at a resturant for some dinner and guess who was there! Wade Bringhurst! They surprised me! It was super fun seeing him! He recently got to Brussels and I'm going to be here in liege for a good while so I'm pretty sure we could see each other again, we go up to Brussels pretty often.

We came back to liege the next morning, now we're on Thursday. We went to our district meeting and then started an exchange here in Liege with the elders we share an apartment with. I was with elder motiuk, we had a good time. Did a good bit of contacting and porting. 

On Friday I was back with elder Reiss and it was a normal day for us. Finally. We had a rendez vous with one of our Amis that we gave a Book of Mormon last week. We showed up and asked if he had read any and he told us that he has read half of it! That is the first time that has ever happened to me! We fixed a baptismal date for him. I'm pretty stoked! 

We had a few rendez vous on Saturday and did a good amount of contacting but I can't remember anything interesting that happened ๐Ÿ˜

Church was good on Sunday. Then kinda the same dealio as Saturday after that. 

So yeah ๐Ÿ˜Š that was my week 

Love you all! 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 70 Liege, Belgium

Monday:once p day was over we got to go have dinner with a super cool family from New Caledonia, the Marguerites, they have been super nice to me while I've been in Rennes, they're awesome. It was sad to say bye to them

Tuesday: we were pretty booked with rendez vous. We went and got Chinese buffet with our Congolese member friend, frere longuala, good times good times. He's a homie. We visited another member, jenti Paul.  he gave us a bunch of random trinkets, a USB key, key chains, ties, cups haha. He's a really nice guy. Our 19 year old Romanian ami wanted to do a little video interview with a member from New Caledonia, bob Thierry, and so we did that with him and had a little lesson. We ran over to an Amis house, Patience, and had dinner with him. I did a
whole lot of packing that night.

Wednesday: woke up early to catch a train into Paris. Because of the scary stuff recently ,  missionaries were spread out amongst train stations so there wasn't like 70 missionaries in one spot. I was able to so hi real quick to old comps and roommates. I went up to the Paris north train station and had to wait for my train for a little bit. Three other missionaries and I took a train up to Brussels and we all met our new comps up there. Elder Reiss and I caught another train to Liege soon after and then took my stuff to the apartment, ate, and then were able to go out and do some contacting. I really like elder Reiss, he's a super nice dude. He's from Utah, played football, and is a stud!

Thursday: since Belgium was on high security all the sisters went and stayed in Paris and elders who were in Brussels had to go to other villes. One of the equipes from Brussels was coming to stay in liege so we went and picked them up from the train station this morning. We had lots of planning to do today and so I don't have very many exciting things to share. We did however get to go to the couple missionaries, the Redds, apartment here in Liege for Thanksgiving dinner. Sister redd reminds me a bunch of grandma dot! She is super nice.

Friday: we woke up super early to catch a train to Brussels and then another to Paris to go to mission council. That was fun. We caught another train back here to Brussels and then to Liege. We didn't have a bunch of time left to do stuff after that

Saturday: all the missionaries were able to go back to their own villes today cuz the security level went down. we had a little meeting with all the district leaders. All the DLs in our zone are super cool, I'm excited to spend some time with them. We talked about the transfer, fixed goals, and talked about the mission vision. After that we had a rendez vous with an ami that elder Reiss and his last comp found right before I got here. They had one rendez vous with him before I got here and when we showed up for this rendez vous he was telling us how he is now starting to quit smoking, they didn't even teach the word of wisdom, just mentioned that we don't smoke. He is Belge, about 50 years old, and super golden! I think he could be baptized really soon. We went porting that night and were able to find a new ami

Sunday: so there are 2 branches here in Liege that meet in the same building. I presented myself during sacrament meeting and was able to meet a few members. After church we had a bit more planning to do and then we went out finding. While porting that night a guy got pretty angry with us being in his apartment building and kicked us out. A little bit after that we met a really cool guy from Cameroon that we are going to meet with again today (Monday)

So yup, that was my week. Im liking Liege and loving the guys in my apartment. They are all super nice dudes! 

Have a great week!

Love ya

Monday, November 23, 2015

Week 69 Transferred to Belgium! and Happy Birthday to Mom!

Dres sent this pic of him and his sweet Mom for her birthday, and a video of him and his mission buddies singing for her

Happy birthday Mom! I hope you had an awesome week! You are the best!
I love you bunches!

I'm going to be transferred up to Liege Belgium! I'm pretty stoked! Ive been in the center of our mission, east, west and now heading up to the north so that's pretty fun.

Oh and Belgium is being kinda tight with the border and whatnot so I could possibly be serving in Paris for like a week before going up there. 

In case you want to look up my comp his name is elder Zachary Reiss, I'll still be a ZL 

I'm going to be in a 4 man appt ๐Ÿ˜† I'm excited, I've missed being in a four man. One of the guys in the other equipes is a big Hawaiian guy that we call big K, he is awesome, I knew him when I was in Metz and he was in Nancy. His comp is a new missionary that's from the Middle East, I've never met him but I'm excited to 

We had a great week! Last Saturday we started a "40 day fast" where for these next 40 days we will be leaving our apartments an hour earlier than usual and praying every hour so that we can find at least one new ami every day, 7 new Amis a week, and 40 before Christmas comes. It's been going awesome! What qualifies as a new ami is when we teach someone a lesson, give them an invitation, pray with them, and fix another rendez vous. We usually find about 2 new Amis a week and this past week we've found 8! We're pretty stoked. Some of them have come through contacting in the road, in busses, and some have come from referrals that we've received from members. 

It's been getting quite cold the past couple of days

This was my last Sunday in Rennes. It was sad to say goodbye to all of the members. Rennes is an awesome ward with a bunch of awesome people!

Love you guys! 

Elder Empey

From Elder Empey's mission President.  Updates can be seen on the France Paris Babin Facebook

Dear All, 

the Belgian government recently raised the security level in Brussels to the highest level. Although the action relates to Brussels and surroundings areas, we are asking all missionaries in Belgium to curtail normal proselyting activities and to stay in their apartments until further developments. Thank you for your attention, support and prayers.

Dear all,

Sister Babin and I and all the missionaries of the France Paris Mission would like to thank you for your prayers. All the missionaries are doing great and are happy to share the Word of God with the French people. We know as Ezra Taft Benson said that : "Only the gospel will save the world from the calamity of its own self-destruction. Only the gospel will unite men of all races and nationalities in peace. Only the gospel will bring joy, happiness, and salvation to the human family. It is our responsibility to bring to those who need it the Gospel and our blessing to share our testimony of the truth.
We wish you all a great Thanksgiving
Pt Babin

Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 68

It's been a pretty crazy week as you can imagine. Well I guess it hasn't been crazy at all here in Rennes, we just hear about all the crazy stuff going on in Paris. Thanks for your concern and prayers,
you guys are the best ☺️

Tuesday: we went down to Angers district meeting and then got to go on an exchange with the Angers elders. I was with elder congerton which was pretty cool cuz he came into the mission with me and was in my first district. We had a rendez vous with an ami of theirs that's super cool. He's from Africa and has only been in France for a couple of months. He is super solid and loves the church but is living with his step dad who doesn't like the Mormon church, so that's been causing some problems. It was fun hanging out with both of those elders that night, kind of like being in a four man appt again.

Wednesday: we came back to Rennes and had our district meeting. After, we had a couple of rendezvous but nothing went through so we contacted some people. We found a new ami ๐Ÿ˜€ we also got to eat at a cool member families house, we had raclette ๐Ÿ˜ƒ it was also elder Durants one year
mark since he's been in France.

Thursday: we had some solid rendez vous. One of them wasn't so solid, it was an African guy that was kinda just trying to bible bash us about the godhead/trinity. Elder durant didn't really try to bash him
so it wasn't too bad, he did say he would come to church next Sunday so I guess we'll see.

Friday: we had some end of the transfer reports that we had to do that ended up taking quite a bit of our day. After that we had weekly planning and then a meeting with our ward mission leader followed by a ward council meeting. So most of our day was filled up with those meetings and book work which isn't very fun and doesn't feel like real missionary work but at the same time it's necessary. The attacks
happened that night but we had no idea. We got a text from president at around midnight telling us we would have a conference call the next morning

Saturday: we called a member and found out what had happened the night before, super sad. Kinda felt the same as last winter when the charly hebdo thing happened, except this one is even more tragic. Our district from Saint brieuc arrived this morning to do an exchange. We all listened to what president had to say about the situation on the conference call. Presidents a stud, he was super calm and professional about the whole thing. We got some information to pass to our zone. We were supposed to stay inside all day except for rendez vous that we had scheduled. Elder pieksma, our district leader, and I had a few rendez vous scheduled for that day. One of the guys didn't show up but
the other was with this cool, jacked, young guy from Congo. We had a good lesson with him. After that we were just hanging out in the appt for a while. We went and picked up one of our Amis and went to the Saturday broadcast of stake conference at the church. The elders from Cherbourg stayed at our appt that night and so did the Saint brieuc elders so we could go to stake conference the next day

Sunday: we had to walk an hour to the train station to catch our train at 7am that morning, that was kinda fun hah. We rode down to Nantes and strolled on over to this big congress building for stake
conference. We had one ami that was supposed to come but he ended up not being able to make it ๐Ÿ˜” the conference was good though. I saw a member that used to live in ร‰vry and now lives in Nantes so that was cool. Once we got home we were told to stay in unless we had rendez vous. So we called a bunch of members and potentials we could visit during the week.

We had a conference call this morning and we are going to be doing normal missionary work this week with some extra precautions.

Love you guys! Have a great week!

Love elder empey

I don't have any pics this week ๐Ÿ˜

This is the letter that we recieved from Dres on Saturday moring after the attacks on Paris

Hey, prez babin said we could send our families a quick email. I just heard about the attacks this morning. Pretty sad. We had a conference call this morning and all the missionaries are okay. I'm not to worried about Rennes, I'll be safe. All missionaries are going to be staying in their appts today unless we have rendez vous or meetings.

Love you all!

Love elder empey

Ps we won't know where we are getting transferred until Saturday

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 67

That is Dres on the far left with his handsome new blue suit

Dres is fifth from the left.  His mission President, President Babin is far left.

It was zone conference week so we were kinda busy.  

Tuesday, two of the districts came in and we had to get everything organized for interviews with prez and soeur babin. After all the interviews were done I got to go on an exchange with elder Amaya which was fun cuz he used to be my DL back in ร‰vry. We got to see one of the families that were teaching and that went well but it was a pretty short exchange overall. 10 elders slept at our appt that night which was pretty crazy but pretty fun too. Elder Lattin, my comp from Metz, was here so I got to talk with him and that was nice to catch up with him and all, he's such a rad dude! 

The next day was zone conference and that's always a little bit stressful. The morning was super busy with all 10 elders trying to get ready at once. Elder durant and I went on a quick split to grab some last minute stuff for the conference. Everything went smooth and our formation turned out pretty decent. We talked about the importance of working with the ward council and members to get less actives back to church. We order kebabs for all the missionaries for lunch and then after everything was done there were two more districts to get interviews done. I love our mission president, we had our interviews last and he's just an awesome dude. One of the equipes ended up having to stay at our appt again cuz they missed their train back to their ville.  

On Thursday, we had a rendez vous with this recent convert less active guy that we had never met before. We met him at a metro stop and he took us to his friends appt to talk. He's a 35 year old African dude that looks like he's like 22 and he's a barber, super cool guy. The friend he introduced us too told us how he's been looking for a church and we were like "that's why we're here" it was a solid discussion. Latter that day my comp had to go to the doctors to get his back checked out but the doctor didn't really help to much, if only you were here dad.

Friday, we met with this dude that randomly came into the church the other day wanting to do some genealogy, we tried to help him find his ancestors on familysearch but it turns out it's kinda hard to do genealogy with the area his family is from.

Saturday, we had a bunch of rendez vous but almost everything fell through :\ 

church was good Sunday. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Monday, November 2, 2015

week 66

It's been a good one.. We got this referral from the elders in Nantes of an ami of theirs that just moved to Laval (a city on the edge of our sector.) we fixed a rendez vous with him for Saturday ordered some train tickets, and then went out there. It's a pretty cool little town. We noted down a bunch of addresses of less actives and ancient Amis to visit while we were out there as well. We got out there and started to head to his house but we got a text right then saying that he was in Nantes and he had just missed his ride back to Laval and wasn't going to be able to meet, classic. 

We spent the rest of our time there looking for these addresses we had noted down, turns out half of them didn't even exist and the ones we were able to find didn't live there anymore. Kinda a bummer but it was a pretty ville and we met this cool family that was coming out of this antique store that they owned. We talked to them for a while and they thought we were pretty cool cuz we're American. The dad gave us some cool old little Catholic trinkets. We also met a bus driver that had read the whole Book of Mormon and had watched a bunch of conference, that doesn't happen too often, but he wasn't interested to meet again. I think he might of been a less active that just didn't want us to know he was a member so we wouldn't come visit him hah.

The couple Amis that are solid and progressing are doing good but I feel like we need some new people. We've been talking to people like crazy during bus rides and in the metro and I feel like we could find some solid new people soon 

Halloween doesn't really happen in France so there wasn't really anything going on with that. I saw a few people dressed up but that's about it

Love you guys 

Elder empey 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 65

Wow it's been a super long week. We were asked to visit all the districts in the zone and do an exchange with each district leader.

Here's a little map of everywhere we went

Monday, October 19, 2015

Week 65

Dres' mission President's wife posts all these pics of what is going on in the mission on Facebook.  This is Elder Empey at the Mission Council that was in Paris on Friday

This is elder Durant's letter home. I thought you guys might like having a different point of view ๐Ÿ˜Š 

Well, a solid week for Elder Empey and me in Rennes

Tuesday we had no district meeting or anything since it is week one of the transfer and we got to work. It was fun. Winter is setting in. We had a great lesson with our ami Albert and his family. His son wants to get baptized with him now.

Wednesday was good. We woke up a little early and ran to the sister's apartment in the morning to help get her luggage to the train station. It was fun to see the city at that point of view. For no real reason, maybe because it is fall, I have been craving chili. Not good chili, low quality canned chili. It is one of the best foods in the world and takes me back to football in 6th grade and it just so happens that a ward family made us chili. I was too happy. We saw our ami Patience and a few others.  Everyone is doing pretty well it was nice to welcome a new sister missionary to Rennes.

Thursday was a battle. We got stood up 4 times and had a lot of traveling to do. We used our time to the best though and countered our bad luck by swinging by some ami's homes and then doing some of our weekly planning. The night ended with us eating raclette at my favorite family's home.

Friday we were up and at 'em at 3:55 am so we could get pretty and go into Paris for mission council. President Babin is my hero. Love that guy.

Saturday was a real hoot. We went out to a town called Fougeres to help someone move. In that town there is the largest medieval castle in Europe. Maybe I will come back to see it when I can explore.

Sunday was nice.

This week will be crazy. President wants us to do all of our exchanges and go to all district meetings this week. That means tuesday we will be in Brest (the farthest west in the mission) wednesday we will be in Angers and then Cholet, thursday we will be in Nantes and then Saint Nazaire. Friday morning we take the 5:57 train and get home just in time for our district meeting. Should be great. I am excited.

Have a good week, you are the best,

Elder Durant

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week 64

Our week was good. Transfers are Wednesday and elder durant and I will be staying together for another six weeks. We found out that they are combining zones together and now there are 30 missionaries in our zone. So we are going to be a bunch more busy going to visit two more districts and what not. It used to just be the Rennes and Brest districts in our zone but now we have the Nantes and Anger district as well. Geographically speaking our zone now covers from Rennes over to Brest and all the way down to La Rochelle. It's going to be pretty fun going down to that part of the mission but were stressin just a little bit as well hah.

As for this weeks events..... I didn't bring a journal or my planner to the church with me so I'm kinda drawing blanks on stuff that happened this week ๐Ÿ˜ I'll try my best though. We were able to get back in contact with one of our Amis that had a baptismal date at one point. Elder Baldwin and I found him and he was progressing super well
until we totally lost contact, elder durant and I passed by a couple days earlier and fixed a rendez vous. The rdv went super well, the spirt was strong and we talked about the plan of salvation. He has a testimony of the restoration and I think we'll be getting him back on track to be baptized.

The elders from vannes came over Friday to do a baptismal interview for the sisters here in Rennes. The interview was scheduled for the evening so they ended up staying the night with us and that was fun, like being in a 4 man again.

We went to a wedding! One of the Soeurs Amis was getting married and invited us to it. It was at the city hall, which is super pretty, and it was a cool little experience.

We've been knocking doors in this student apartment building just next to our house and it's been sweet! We got let in like 3 times within 30 min which is pretty good. We found that students are really open and this is the age that people really start to ask questions and all so we feel like we could find some solid Amis in there!