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 ðŸ˜† 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 😀 we also got to eat at a cool member families house, we had raclette 😃 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 😔 the conference was good though. I saw a member that used to live in Évry 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 😁

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 Évry. 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. ðŸ˜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