Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 62


Birthday lunch in St Malo

Birthday in St Malo

We had zone conference this week which always makes things busy. Monday night the elders from saint brieuc came and slept over at our appt. the next morning they helped us go grad some food for the conference and helped a bunch with setting up chairs. The conference went really well. The APs gave a super good training about learning through faith and so did president. His was on repentance, every time president gives a training my respect and love for him goes up so much! He really is an inspired dude! The training elder durant and I gave was decent. We talked about our calling as missionaries was to share the gospel with everyone and how we need to take every opportunity to do it. We talked a little bit about trajet contacting (talking with people in buses, trains, metros) and engaged them to talk to somebody every bus ride. 

We started an exchange with the elders from vannes right after the conference, I stayed here in Rennes and elder durant went to vannes. Elder Stephenson is a stud, we got to teach one of our Amis and a cool recent convert guy. 

The next day elder durant and gagnon came to Rennes and we started a second exchange I stayed in Rennes with elder gagnon, he's from Quebec 😊 Quebec is a French speaking city in Canada and Quebec accents are pretty sweet but kinda hard to understand sometimes. We had a good time together. We were able to help this family move that elder durant and I met the other day. I think they will start progressing in the gospel so that will be cool. 

On Friday elder gagnon and I went to vannes to exchange back, elder durant and I were supposed to do some legality stuff while we're were there but turns out it was closed so we just grabbed a kebab and went back to Rennes. We had a couple rendez vous and then did some planning. 

Saturday was a super busy day, we had fixed five rendez vous and all of them went through! Usually if we fix that many rendez vous a day at least two of them don't show up but all of em did. The first one was with this cool young dude I met in a bus, second was with a cool Muslim guy at the church, third with this super old French guy, fourth with this guy who the Anger elders referred us to, and then the fifth with this guy that's a referral. 

Sunday was good, we helped that family move a couple more things and then had a couple other lessons, I was super tired for some reason. I had a super cool study sesh in alma 43 this morning. It talks about justice and mercy and it's really cool. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Week 62

Dres turned 20 on September 20th.  When we went to visit him about a month ago, we left some presents to open.  He's been eyeing them patiently waiting to open them and told us it's been tough to wait.  haha.
Elder Durrante has taught Elder Empey to enjoy whittling in their spare time!
Oh man it's been a really busy week. On Tuesday we had our district meeting, elder Stephenson gave a solid formation. We were able to meet with a couple of our Amis and then a cool recent convert guy too.
On Wednesday we woke up super early to take a train into Brest for their district meeting elder Taylor gave a sweet formation as well. We started an exchange with the Brest equipe right after district meeting, I was with elder taylor, we had a couple recent converts to go visit that night but nothing for the afternoon so we hopped on the tram to try and find some people. I talked to quite a few cool people, a guitarist that just got back from a concert in Haiti, a guy that lived in Canada and knew the Mormons, and a Muslim lady. Brest has a car and we had to drive out for about 30 min to get to this town where a recent convert lived. It took us a while to find his address but we finally got there, got to know him, shared a nice little spiritual though and then headed out to find some other less active members in the area. We had a couple addresses to find and we put them in the gps but they didn't end up working and we ended up not being able to find them.
On Thursday morning we went to the train station to catch a train to quimper, there was a problem with the train so the asked where all the passengers were going and they got us taxis instead. We rode in a taxi with this train worker and a wheelchair basket ball player who lived in la for a while. We started our exchange with the elders in quimper. We had the whole day free with no rendez vous so we were going to be out finding all day long. We mapped out a couple old Amis' addresses and decided to go stop by and talk to everyone on the way. I met a super cool 19 year old dude from Martinique on the bus. He was holding a football (don't see that everyday here) so I talked with him about that for a while. He says Michael Orr is his hero and he actually looked just like him too. I was able to talk about the restoration with him and left him with a prayer. I really hope the quimper elders will be able to stat teaching him! He was super cool! After dinner we went out portingin Concarneau we knocked on this one door and the guy was like "Mormons!" "Come on in!" Turns out they had been talking about religion all day so they wanted to hear what we had to say. We talked with the them for a good while and the quimper elders will be going back.
On Friday we took an early train back into Rennes. We had quite a few rendez vous one being with some Chinese girls that elder durant met on the bus. The girl ended up bringing like 5 friends so we taught them all and one of them ended up coming to church!
On Saturday we had a few rendez vous and then there was this stake priesthood thing that elder durant was excited to go to cuz his first ville, cholet, is in the ward and he could see a bunch of people from there. We went and translated for some English members and then we got to go to a super cool members house for dinner. They're from Tahiti. We played guitar with them too which was super fun.
On Sunday one of the Chinese girls came to church with us and we translated for her cuz she doesn't speak French. On Sunday night we went over to another recent convert friends appt and made/ate dinner with him.
Right now we're up in st malo for our p day. We went and checked out the beach and ate in a cool restaurant. St malo is a pretty sweet ville! 


Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 61

Elder Empey's new comp Elder Durrante from Minnesota 

I (Dres' Dad) sent him some pics form my mission and he has set this pic as his backdrop for his iPad.  So rad.

Dres has certainly got more Euro in his style and looking more and more French everyday

Here is a day in the life of Elder Empey.  He sends us daily journal entries like this.

Wednesday September 9th: 

so I'm in a train right now from Versailles to Rennes. We did an exchange with the APs, elder Latin and elder admaya. Man I love elder Latin. Yesterday morning we went running, and then got ready for district meeting. We went to district meeting and I gave soeur Walton a blessing because she got some bad news from home. Her mom has MS.

Elder Stephenson gave a decent formation. He gave it on obedience. I realized how much stuff gets diluted as it goes down the line in the mission. We went to a super awesome mission council where we got a great training on how we're going to focus on Christ and we're going to do it by only studying the bom, nt, and pmg. We gave this formation to the district leaders.
We went and caught our TGV to Versailles. I caught some shut eye while elder durant wrote poems in his book. Elder durant was contacting in the RERs like crazy between Paris and Versailles. What a stud. We got there and the APs were at the gare. Went back to their appt, dropped off some stuff, and planned for our exchange. I was with Latin. By this time it was already 6 so we didn't have much to plan for, all we had was dmp meeting and dinner. We went with the Versailles elders to the church and had the dmp meeting then drove back to the appt and planned for the next day. Elder Latin and I talked a bunch about the mission and stuff we could improve. I brought up the whole dilution thing and we talked about that for a long while. We're going to do another district leader training meeting this Saturday  to better give the mission vision to the DLs and make sure they know that their role is to transport this message to their districts. We ate some dinner with the others and then went to bed. Elder durant was cracking us up during dinner, what a funny dude.

The next morning we were able to talk about specific needs of our zone. Elder durant and I headed out after to catch an RER, I talked to this nice agnostic French lady. She was like "are you going to try and convert this dude?" Pointing to the guy next to her, and I said "after you leave, yeah" she thought that was pretty funny. Right as she stood up I started to talk to the dude, I hope she saw haha. I only was able to talk to him for a sec though before I had to get off. We were able to catch our TGV without sprinting for the first time in a while. So now we're chillin on the TGV, there's a young dude that was reading an English grammar book and now he's talking to us in English to practice. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Week 60

Sup. it's been another great week 😊 

Elder Baldwin and I got to visit a couple member families cuz Elder Baldwin was leaving on Wednesday.  We had dinner with this one family from New Caledonia, they're super cool! 

On Wednesday we headed into Paris for transfers, I took Elder Baldwin to saint merri and then went and found my new comp elder durant. Elder Durante is a cool dude, he's from Minnesota, been out for about a year, and is into a lot of the same things I am. He is a solid missionary and knows what he's doing. 

We had to go into Paris for mission council on Friday and haven't been able to see a bunch of our Amis yet but we did see one. It's this family that we've been teaching for about a month, we fixed a baptismal date with the dad and they came to church on Sunday. We're pretty stoked.

During mission council we talked about how we are going to focus this whole transfer on Jesus Christ and I'm pretty stoked for that too. It made me think of how dad focused a day in the Mtc only on Jesus Christ and how awesome that was. I feel like I've come a lot closer to him since I've left on my mission but I still have a long ways to go and I'm excited to focus all my studies on him.