Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Week 19 - Quick update

Sorry my emails the last couple of weeks have been short.  Things have been very busy and it's been difficult to get the time to write and send much.

It has actually been quite sunny recently, with hardly any rain. Which makes missionary work much much easier. People actually show up when it doesn't rain and they will occasionally stop and listen/talk. In the rain and wind it is nigh impossible to get people to stop to listen.

We have had some special days focused heavily on finding new amis, along with the rest of the mission doing the same thing.  At one point we had two days where we did nothing but contact people. That is exhausting. It's lots of physical exertion. It is lots of emotional stress: really loving these people and baring your soul through testimony met often my disinterest or rejection.

Since I last wrote I gave my first talk in church in French and we also taught gospel principles class. I attempted to speak about trials during sacrament meeting, and it went pretty well I guess.  You know you might be in trouble with giving a talk in a foreign language when you have to ask the Bishop to repeat what he said when he asks you to speak (because you didn't understand it all the first time).

I feel in many ways that at times I have made it through only by the grace of The Lord. Physically,
mentally, and spiritually, he has done all the heavy lifting.

I don't want to make it sound like it has all been super difficult these past two weeks--there were many cool experiences and many fun moments as well.  I went and saw the big WWII memorial here in Caen today. This one covered the whole war and not just the invasion of Normandy. Man was
that cool. Horrifying and sad at parts too. It really makes me realize just how important that event was in history. How it has defined generations since. Super super cool. There was a nice park adjacent to the memorial that we went and explored as well. Complete with small hedge maze and mini golf.

As I am sure you know, we were completely safe here in France during the bombings in Brussels.  In terms of mission policies, there haven't been any changes for missionaries in France because of the Brussels attacks, but I'm not sure about Belgium.  The mission has closed the work in Brussels for the time being.  The attacks were obviously very big news here in France, and the wards/branches have asked everybody to pray. I saw Elder Norby, who is now in an artificial coma, just two weeks ago. It is different when terrorism hurts someone you count as a friend. Maybe it shouldn't feel different but it does.  The whole mission is praying for the quick recovery of the injured missionaries.

Thank you all for your support, prayers, and love.

Elder Hacker

My district at the church--the numbers we are holding up show the number of change periods we have completed in France

My district out to eat together

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