It would go against tradition as of late if I didn't start off my email with something to do with that grizzly endeavour we call bench press. Suffice it to say that the bear put up his body weight this week for the first time. One fifty-three baby.
So today marks the beginning of my tie-countdown. Aka, the Tie-nal Countdown. I wasn't going to do any sort of a countdown till the end of my mission until I realized that I wanted to wear every tie I have at least once more. So 53 ties, 53 days starts today. I chose a rather ugly one today so I could get it out of the way. Needless to say, not all of the ties I go through will make it into my suitcases.
One night this week I got dared to eat a raw egg. SICK SICK SICK SICK. It was the worst thing I've ever done. It took me three gulps to get that cold snot ball down my throat. Eww. Every time I gagged and almost threw up. It was so much thicker than I was expecting. Sick sick sick.
Speaking of eggs, Elder Murdock and I got to tour a boulangerie (bakery) last night and there were LOADS of eggs. It was super cool though. There is an inactive member that we just met and started working with that runs a brioche bakery. I don't remember if brioche is eaten in America- it's a delicious fluffy sort of sweet bread. So we met him last week (he hasn't seen missionaries in ages), he invited us over for dinner this week (we ate steaks), and then he took us to go see his boulangerie. He seems pretty successful and sells tons of it. So I guess that was fitting for a beauty and the beast baker to finally step foot inside a french boulangerie :)
This weekend in Nantes there was a big young adult activity and I got to see Michel from Brest!!! I haven't seen him for over a year! What a good feeling to see someone like that and see that they are so strong in the church. He will hit his year-mark as a member here in a few days (remember how he was baptised a few weeks after I left Brest?) So good. We had a good visit over Saturday and Sunday and now he is back in Brest. He is still the same humble happy little Michel. He still remembers the english phrases that Elder Huff and I taught him too :)
Remember a few weeks ago when Elder Murdock and I postponed our lunch for so long and ended up contacting Rebecca? We finally saw her this Saturday. It was a good rendez-vous. She has a 3 month old girl and lives in a single mothers shelter sort of place. A string of recent tragedies has got her really questioning whether of not God is there. She kept asking us how she can find faith again when everything seems so lost. I really struggled answering her question for some reason. It such a real question. We were sitting in a little visiting room with rain pouring outside and I just felt so much compassion for this woman. After reading some scriptures that didn't really satisfy her we ended up just telling her how much we know that God really is there. We will see her again on Saturday and then hopefully she will be able to come to church.
Rhode is still chugging along as Rhode. We see her and teach her, but she is kind of plateau-ing. She said she will be baptised in August when her son can be here for it, but for the moment she doesn't seem to understand why we want her to be re-baptised. She is having a rough time and a lot of challenges lately. Stuff with her husband, legal complexities after coming for Portugal, etc... Another person to pray for :)
Yesterday there was a baptism at our chapel, for the branch of St. Nazaire. It is a small industrial city out on the coast, and apparently the ocean is still a little cold for baptisms :) The missionaries are in our district and are good friends so it was really nice to go to the baptism. It is the first baptism that branch has had since like 1990 something. Fun tidbit: St.Nazaire constructed submarines during WWII, but now constructs cool stuff like cruise ships. There is a baptism in Nantes this Saturday also for the other companionship. It is a really really cool 24 year french girl named Audrey. The ward loves her to death. She like bakes cakes and stuff for everyone all the time. So cool.
Back in Lille, Pascale gave her first talk this past Sunday. It was about the Plan of Salvation. She said that she got roaring reviews by all the ward members. She is planning on going to the temple to do baptisms in about 5 weeks :) She is soooooooooo amazing. Amazzzing.
Okay I have to go.
Dang it, one more thing. We had interviews this week. They were my last interviews before my very final one with President right before we get on the plane. I got my temple recommend renewed since it's been two years. I really like President Poznanski. I get along well with him. I'm glad that half of my mission was with him and half with President Staheli. Two giants of men.
Thank you for everything. I love you.