Joyeux Noël times a thousand. Things are going very well.
I have good news, I have bad news, and then I have more good news. The first good news is that when Josée in Reims found out that I was coming to her baptism she asked me to baptise her!!! But... the bad news is that in the end her husband kind of intervened a couple days before and said he needs to know more about the church before she can get baptised. Dang it :( That was hard for me. It was going to be the first time on my mission that I got in the water to baptise someone. It took a good day or two of thinking about it, but in the end I'm better because of it. It is just a challenge for me that I'll look back on and smile. She is still 100% getting baptised, it just won't be me that does it. And that's okay :) Our trip to Reims though was awesome. After picking up my new visa, we went out to eat with Pierre (the ward mission leader) and Adam, hung out with Adam some more, showed Elder Godfrey all around Reims, went and visited Guillaume ( a recent convert that Elder Pieper baptised), and then had a rendez-vous with Josée and her kids. We refixed her baptismal date for the end of the month. Also we went to go see the Christmas market at Reims, which apparently is the 3rd biggest one in France. It seriously was like breathtaking. Then we got back to Lille before bedtime. Good day :)
Anyway, the other good news is the Samuel got baptised on Saturday and there were about 20 nonmembers there!! Samuel's extended family from everywhere came, and we had a good number of our own investigators there. The church building felt like little Africa. It was really really legit. We did lots of missionary work and have some referrals to pass to other missionaries. I would be okay with having a baptism everyweek. After the baptism there was a ward open house, so all the non-members got to see these cool panels that the church put up about it's history in France, and then there was a film about it too, and a fireside later that evening. We were at the church this entire weekend. We snagged three free ward meals out of it. THREE WARD MEALS. This ward is the bee's knees.
More really good news is Grâce and Prudence. They are the 10 and 11 year old daughters of our ami Anne-Marie. It is a little family from the Ivory Coast that was referred by a member. They are all three going to get baptised. At the baptism on Saturday Anne-Marie was "ready to throw her daughters in the water to get them baptised then and there." Awesome. So we went over to their house and organized the baptism for the two daughters to be the 31st of Décember. Anne-Marie is hesistating a little bit for her own baptism, but the girls can't wait for theirs and I'm sure that it won't take Anne-Marie very long to follow their example. So we have a couple more baptisms coming up soon :)
Here's a fun topic: my shoes. Holy crap. I think today is the last day that I am going to were them. The soles of both my black pair and my brown pair are completely cracked in two and so my socks just kind of poke through and sponge up the water on the ground. I've been waiting until the after Christmas sales to buy some new ones, but I think today is the day. The ground is always wet here and so even if it's not raining my feet just get wet and stay wet. The big crack is right at the ball of my feet. When we went to Reims I put on socks, then garbage bags, then another pair of socks on the outside, but my feet still were wet all day :) It's gotten so embrassing that I never rest my foot up on my knee anymore because I don't want everyone to see my socks :) So... we'll see what the stores have to offer today.
Hmm, what else. We are being well taken care of for Christmas. We have two places to go on the 24th, and we are going o the bishops house on the 25th. We have both recieved our Christmas packages (THANK YOU!! and no I haven't pilfered through the loot yet), so our presents are snug under the tree that we kidnapped off the side of the road. It is a real tree that is spraypainted white, and losing hundreds of pine needles daily. Stupid tree. But at least I managed to get another tree after leaving our masterpiece tree in Nancy.
Elder Wood is now "dead." He went home on Wednesday. Now it is just Elder Godfrey and I in our apartment staying warm for Christmas. We went to Paris this week for zone leader council (those things seem like they come around every single week instead of once a transfer). We went to Amiens and went to their district meeting. They have one of the biggest cathedrals in France. We also did a lot of kick trash power finding this week and should have a few new people to go teach right before Christmas. As of tomorrow Elder Godfrey and I officialy only have 6 months left. So we're going on the big ferris wheel tonight to celebrate with Elder Johnson (my mtc companion) who serving in the Lille suburbs. Good stuff.
Well, Merry Christmas. Jesus Christ lives. I love him. I thank Him for His sacrifice and love. I thank you for teaching me of Him. I love you