Sunday, August 5, 2012

July 23, 2012



Me, Elder Peterson, Elder Routhier, Elder Cushing, on a boat.

me and Louis Wilkey

Cher tout le monde,

We had a pretty crazy week filled with surprises.  We spent monday in Toulouse with the Wilkeys, R, W, and of course Elder Buss and his comp were there as well.  It was blast!  We took a boat ride out on the river and the canal, which was super relaxing.  We also ate at a legit creperie then did some more sight seeing and shopping.  It was so good to see those people!  I love them!  We were also in Toulouse on thursday for district meeting, after which we went and sang at the place capitole again.  People loved us this time!  We had tons of people stopping and the Concorde elders got an awesome new investigator out of it.  My fingers were about bleeding by the end though from playing so long.  We were singing for almost 2 hours I think.  We did a pretty rockin version of if you could hie to Kolob, which a bunch of people liked.  I thought it was funny, considering the subject matter of the song.  I don't think they understood though haha.

Work is going great here with the members.  Elder Cushing and I wrote a song that we sing and perform with the ukulele and the harmonica.  We're giong around to all the members houses and performing it for them and then sharing a message about forgiveness.  We're  really seeing miracles with it!  Music truly softens peoples' hearts.  The spirit of forgiveness is incredible.  I believe it defines the pure love of Christ.  It can be so hard to forgive, but at the same time, it is so easy, because when we do, we are filled with the Holy Ghost and we feel a new found love for all of those around us and for the Savior.  No wonder the Lord commands us to "forgive all men" - it makes us happy!  It heals the offender and the offended.

Well, I guess this is my last email home.  It still feels like any other week to me.  I wonder when my brain will register what is about to happen. I just want to say that I love the Lord.  I love Him because He loves us and is merciful.  To be honest, there were times when I doubted I could serve a mission.  It is incredibly humbling to be here at this point, looking back, and seeing how much the Lord has blessed me and those that I've served.  When I first left, I felt like I didn't even deserve to be here.  But the Lord has done much more than just let me be here, He has blessed me in abundance.  He has allowed me to help others, love them, serve them, pray for them, and teach them.  Most of all, He has allowed me to be a witness of the change of heart He has wrought in them.  And seeing all these things has truly changed my heart.  I know I'm not here for me, but it's impossible to serve these people and see so many miracles in their lives without feeling the infinite love of God in your heart and gaining a burning testimony of the reality of the Savior and the truthfulness of His Gospel.  I know that Christ is my Savior.  I know that this is His church.  He and our Heavenly Father appeared to Joseph Smith almost two hundred years ago and called him to be the great prophet of the restoration.  The Book of Mormon is true, and I love saying it.  We can repent.  We can change.  We can be worthy servants if we turn to the Lord and seek His will and do it.  I testify that we can receive inspiration from the Holy Ghost.  I testify that we can be worthy to receive it, which is something I didn't feel was true for myself for a long time.  Sunday morning we got to church over a half hour early to get some things ready, and as we were waiting in the Sacrament room for members to come, I felt like it would be a good thing to sit in one of the charis by the entrance and read my Book of Mormon while waiting to greet the members.  No longer than 5 seconds after I sat down, a woman I didn't recognize walked in.  She asked me if the book on the table next to me was a Bible.  I said no, it's a Book of Mormon.  She explained that she has Jewish origins, but she is really interested in learning about our beliefs.  I talked to her for a little while about our beliefs, left her with a Book of Mormon, and set up an appointment for tuesday with her.  Maybe it was just a small thing, but it's through small and simple things that the Lord accomplishes His work and His miracles.  It's through the weak and simple things of the world that He conquers the mighty.  I know that we make a difference when we follow the Holy Ghost, even the smallest promptings, even though we often never know why or how we did any good by following it, but we can always feel that quiet loving whisper in our heart that tells us that God is there and that we did the right thing.  Let us always recognize the tender mercies of the Lord in our lives (1 nephi 1:20) and let us remember that we are children of a perfect, loving Heavenly Father and that we can become like Him by following His Son Jesus Christ.  Their whole goal is to help us love as They do, and we can do it, one small act of faith at a time.  I love you all and I'll see you soon!


Elder Tudor

P.S. I'm going to miss being surrounded by arabs in a hot cyber cafe for one and a half hours every monday!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

July 17, 2012

My birthday present, a stick of deodorant. Funniest thing ever.

Elder Prows and I

Slovakian cousins

Chinese buffet for my birthday dinner! Mmmm.

 Ni hao,
It was an interesting week, as always!  We had a couple surprises.  Unfortunately Elder Prows is no longer with us.  He left on Friday.  He's a great elder and I hope he is doing well.  He really brought a great spirit to our companionship.  We also got to meet president Roney, his wife, and a few of their sons.  It was fantastic!  I love president Roney.  I was actually the first one to have an interview with him in Toulouse, and it was one of my favorite interviews with president.  He's very very inspired and he just injects faith into you when he speaks.  I'm so excited for his plans for the mission.  We're really going to focus on decreasing the negative and increasing the positive in regards to thechurch in France.  He's already started by decreasing the negative.  In the US, there's a non profit organization that the church funded to make it so when you type in mormons on google, the first several pages of sites that come up are all good and positive sites.  You really have to dig to get anything bad.  Well, President Roney funded the same organization to do the same thing in France and they started a few weeks ago.   And oh yeah, Soeur Roney told me that they know bishop Brown very well.  pretty cool!
Things are going well in Montauban though.  We found some new investigators this week.  A family from sri lanka, a portugeuse man, and a family from Romania (my favorite!).  The Slovakians are doing well.  The B family has a baptismal date.  It's a mom, dad, and a daughter who is 24.  They need a lot of prayers and to stop smoking.  Another part of president Roney's plan is to increase the positive by increasing the spirituality of the wards and branches in France.  There's a long history of contention between families in almost every place you go in France.  So, President has showed us a way to help unify the wards and branches and make the meetings more spiritual and uplifting.  If the meetings aren't that way, how are we supposed to build the church in France?  The new people will just come in and then leave if they don't feel the love and the Spirit that should be there.  It's a cycle that needs to be stopped.  Elder Cushing and I saw some members this week and started working with them and this sunday the meetings were already so much better.  I think a big part of it is just that we're super excited to help the members and we have a new-found love and appreciation for them. 

Right now I'm actually in toulouse for pday.  Sister Wilkey, her son Louis, R, and W are all coming down from Bordeaux to spend the day here with me and Elder Buss (Elder Buss is serving in Toulouse).  I'm pretty stoked!!  Toulouse is beautiful and I'm way excited to see all these people that I love. 

On a spiritual note, I love something that President Roney said this week during his presentation.  He asked, "What is the most important quote in history?"  The answer is, "This is my Beloved Son - hear Him!"  This quote, more or less, is found a few times in the scriptures, and it is God the Father who says it.  It basically sums up the Gospel in one sentence.  The sole purpose of life is to find out what Jesus taught and do it.  He gave us these cool little notebooks and told us to write that quote in there and then to make a list of all the commandments that Jesus gave starting by reading third nephi and then looking to other sources.  It's been a great way to study and it's really simplified the gospel for me.  The gospel is incredible - I think it's the only thing in the world that never gets old.  And at the same time, it's the oldest thing in the world!  I know that the Gospel is eternal.  The truths that we are taught in Christ's church are eternal, and no matter what the world may teach, I know that those things will all pass away, but the word of God will never pass away.  I'm so thankful to have the words of Christ!  I was reading the book of Mormon this morning and I realized that I have been reading the same book over and over for my whole life - I must be crazy haha.  But I know I'm not, because we can learn more valuable things from that book alone over and over than by reading all the books in the world.  Every time I open it up, it gives me direction for my specific situation at that specific time.  I know the Book of Mormon is true; it contains the words of Christ.  I love you all et je vous souhaite une bonne semaine!

Elder Tudor

Monday, July 16, 2012

July 9, 2012

Burrito night at Simon's house!

Auguste! and his awesome car and hair

My favorite grandma ever - Babo


It was an interesting week!  It wasn't as hot as it has been, which was good.  I also didn't light the apartment on fire this week, which is always a plus :).  Things are going great here and I'm loving serving with Elders Prows and Cushing.  The work is moving forward here.  Unfortunately, Augusto kinda took a wrong turn this week and things aren't looking to good for his baptism in a couple weeks.  Tamara is still doing well.  We're gonna have a big Slovakian movie night this Tuesday!  Except it will be at 230 in the afternoon, but whatever.  We're inviting all of them to come and we're going to watch the Joseph Smith movie at the chapel with them.  It should be fun and hopefully it will help them all understand the restoration better.  Sometimes they have a hard time understanding just because of the language barrier, and they have millions of questions about the restoration, so hopefully that should help. 

I went to Toulouse on thursday with Elders Snickers and Noyce to do a baptismal interview for one of their amis.  Unfortunately, he wasn't baptized this weekend, but we set a new date for him for the 21st and hopefully he'll be ready then.  He's a super sweet guy.  That's the first time I've ever had to turn down a baptismal candidate, but I just felt a little uneasy about it and said it would be better to wait.  The candidate agreed.

Le Festival de Jazz started this week and there are concerts at the bar right outside our apartment every night and it's super loud.  Luckily I have earplugs.  Planning sessions are tough though because we can hardly hear each other...

We have an awesome Chinese less active member named Simon who hasn't been active for almost a couple of years but has come 4 out of the last 6 weeks or so to church.  He's super awesome and I'm so happy for him.  The members all love him!  Tonight for my birthday, we're going to the giant chinese buffet in Montauban with him, Jeanpierre and Auguste (a recent convert from Martinique who is super awesome).  I'm pretty excited!  Other than that, it's just kind of a normal day.  I kinda forgot it was my birthday until I got your card on saturday, Mom. 

I'm trying to read the entire Book of Mormon in french during this month.  The Book of Mormon is incredible.  I just finished Jacob today, which is one of my favorite books, and I just love the  Spirit that the Book of Mormon brings.  There are so many books, philosophies, theories, etc. in this world, and so many people pour over them for years and  years, and often times just end up confused and creating their own philosophies.  Fortunately, God has an easier and much better plan, He gave us the Book of Mormon.  I know that the Book of Mormon really is the most correct of all the books on earth, and that a man will draw closer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book, like Joseph Smith said.  And we have NO excuse not to read it every day!  Anna, one of our slovakian recent converts, is an amazing story.  There's no Book of Mormon in slovakian, so they all have to read it in czech.  For some it's not bad, but for Anna and Frankie it was really difficult and they understood nothign when they read during my first few weeks here.  But now Anna says she can read better in Czech than in Slovakian and she reads in the Book of Mormon every day.  It was such a sweet testimony and example to me of the power of the Book of Mormon and how faith and obedience can really make miracles happen in the life of anyone.  I'm pretty sad I  took the BoM for granted most of my life.  I've made studying it a lifetime pursuit though because I've seen how it changes our lives so quickly and so profoundly when we really get in that book.  The church is true!  Let's learn and live every day the Gospel that it's Head teaches us, I know it is the only way that is worth it in the end.  Bonne semaine!! Love you!


Elder Tudor

Sunday, July 8, 2012

July 2, 2012

Bonjour à tous,

Hey everyone!  Our first week as a trio was an interesting one.  We worked hard and had a lot of fun.  We're doing a lot of finding and we're finding plenty of people, the only problem is that 8 or 9 or them said they would see us and then never s howed up for the appointment.  Oh well, that happens!  We'll keep looking for the elect.  It was blazing hot at the beginning of the week but has cooled off since, which is good. 

We had a miracle this week named T.  She's slovakian and we've been teaching her for awhile now, but she's kinda been between us and the TJ's (Jehovah's Witnesses).  But she came to church last week and prayed to know the truth.  She then had multiple answers to her prayers and said she wants to be baptized.  She came to church again this week and loves church.  She has a baptismal date in August because she has to have surgery soon and won't be able to get in a baptismal font.  So awesome though.  We've been working with her for awhile, then once she finally came to church she really started progressing.  We're stoked to keep working with her.  A is still preparing for the 21st and he's progressing well, he just needs to stop smoking.  We're finding lots of other awesome people that we hope will have baptismal dates soon. 

We had an interesting day yesteday.  We found this magic bag in the apartment that is made for baking potatoes in the microwave.  So, for dinner, we made some potatoes.  We had made a couple and I put another one in.  A few minutes later I went in the kitchen and there was smoking pouring out of the microwave.  I opened it and the bag had caught on fire so we grabbed the fire extinguisher and dowsed it.  It was pretty crazy and now the apartment smells terrible.  We'll have a lot of cleaning to do this week.

We also had district meeting this week and got to do an exchange.  Elder Noyce came to Montauban with me and Elder Prows for the exchange.  It was awesome!  Elder Noyce was my MTC comp if you remember, and now he's in Toulouse in our district.  It was great workign with him, he's a great missionary! 

I learned some great things while studying this week for district meeting.  Our meeting was about creating new ideas and methods for finding new investigators.  Sometimes we can fall into the trap of doing the same thigns over and over, but as I was studying the scriptures, I realized that that isn't showing much faith.  I love the example of Nephi whan he and his bros are given the commandment to get the plates.  They go, and the first time they fail.  Laman and Lemuel think they've done all they could adn want to turn back.  But Nephi says, nope!  Let's try something else!  And finally, the third time, they succeed in getting the plates.  I think it's an example for all of us in our lives.  We all have tasks in life, the biggest of all is to keep the commandments.  Sometimes we find it hard to overcome opposition and just feel like things are going nowhere.  One of my favorite quotes from president Carter is, "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."  We know that if we are given a commandment, there is a way to accomplish it, and we know that we can do all things that are expedient in Jesus Christ.  But it doesn't always work at first.  God let's us grow and struggle.  He wants us to find new ways that we wouldn't if we didn't struggle and take a little step of faith.  I know that whatever our problems may be, the Lord will help us, but He wants us to take the initiative.  Like the Brother of Jared, we must look for ways to overcome our problems, not just expect the Lrod to do everything if we ask, and once we think we have found the solution, just like he did, we can present it before the Lord and say, "therefore, touch these stones, O Lord," and He will provide the rest of the way.  I know that Heavenly Father is with us the whole way and He guides us as we seek to overcome our problems in life.  He doesn't do it all for us because He loves us.  And when we do our best, He will consecrate our efforts for our benefit and the benefit of those we serve.  I love you all and bonne semaine!


Elder Tudor

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

June 25, 2012


So... Wednesday night we were entering our apartment just before 930 when we got a call from president.  I answered, and he told me that we would be getting a third companion named Elder Prows on saturday!!  So since saturday afternoon, there have been three of us here in Montauban.  It's a pretty awesome trio.  We're already having a blast together!  Elder Prows is a great missionary.   He was in the mission for a couple transfers last fall but then had to go home for a little while,  but on Wednesday president called him as well and told him he would be coming back out this weekend.  The poor guy, I think he only had a day and a half between when president called and his flight.  But he's here and he's awesome.  He hasn't spoken french for over 6 months but he already is speaking like a pro!  He's from San Diego.  So we're all americans, but all from different states, which is cool.  I've never trained and I always wanted to... and even though Elder Prows has already been trained, Elder Cushing and I  decided we are his trainers haha.  I've always wanted to be in a trio to have the experience.  I'm super stoked!

This week was great.  We're trying a lot of new things as far as finding goes.  We had a family at church this week that we've been trying to get to come for a whole transfer.  We've also been finding some great new amis.  Tuesday night, we decided to knock on doors in a neighborhood that I had seen before and had always wanted to knock, but it's pretty far away.  But we decided to go out there and on the way a big old van passed us and someone yelled "elder!" out the window, and I didn't recognize the person nor the car.  Eventually we got to the place where we were gonig to knock on doors and we saw that van parked in front of a house, so we started with that house.  A man opened the door and yelled elder again adn invited us in haha.  It ended up being two brothers from Chili that live together that had met a bunch of elders in Chili and they said that their brother was baptized and he went on a mission.  It was a miracle!  We sat down and discussed for awhile and they were super nice.  They kind of got distracted and started talking about some guy in Miami that ate a guy's face.  That was kind of weird, but other than that it was awesome and we're going to go back this week.  So, we kept knocking on all the doors on that street, and it was the weirdest thing.  I think only two people just said no and slammed the door.  We were able to have some great conversations and preach the Gospel.  One door we knocked on was opened by an African lady who was on the phone, and I thought she was just going to say she was busy, but she said "are you here to talk about Jesus Christ?" ..."yes!" ... then she said to the person on the phone, "I've gotta go, I'll call you back later."  Then she invited us in and we went out in her yard to teach her since we didn't have a member with us.  We taught her the message of the restoration and the Spirit was really strong.  She really wants to read the Book of Mormon and know that there is a living prophet on the earth.  When Elder Cushing and I left we were just blown away.  I think I can count on two hands how many times people have let us in to teach a lesson while knocking on doors during my mission, and we had two in the same night and a bunch of other awesome people that we met.  We're going back tonight to teach the lady we found (E) and we're going to keep knocking on doors over there on what we call "miracle street" this week. 

It's pretty funny working in a trio.  We've already started creating and naming different formations and stuff for contacting because it's a little too much with three people going at you.  It'll take some getting used to, but we're already loving it.  Right now we're working with two people with baptismal dates, A and J.  We're finding lots of great people though and we should be adding more to that list soon!

President and Sister Murdock are leaving this week and and President and Sister Roney are coming!  They'll be coming to Toulouse in two weeks for interviews, so we won't get to meet them til then.  They have three kids in the mission field though which is pretty crazy.  A daughter in Paris, a son in Barcelona, and another son somewhere else.  Pretty crazy.  They'll be living here with two of their younger sons.

I'm loving it here in Montauban and I love the Lord and am so thankful to participate in His great work and glory.  I love you all!  Bonne semaine!


Elder Tudor

June 19, 2012

Dear everyone,

It was an interesting last week of the transfer with lots of stuff going on.  We had district meeting on Thursday which went super well and then afterwards, both districts went to Place Capitole and we set up our street meeting kit and sang hymns.  I played guitar for all the hymns and it was super fun.  We're going to start doing it after every district meeting!  If you wanna see me, there's a webcam on Place Capitole on the internet I think and you'll see a big white blob somewhere and that's us singing haha.  I'll let you know when the next time we do it is.

A was baptized this week and it was fantastic.  She and F are a great couple and I'm excited for them to keep progressing. 

Oh yeah, we had transfers, and I'm staying in Montauban of course, but I have a new comp named Elder Cushing.  He's super awesome and he's from Independance, Kansas (yes, Kansas, not Missouri).  He was in Perigeux during my last transfer in Bergerac and he was still there during my first three transfers in Bordeaux so we know eachother pretty well already and I've done exchanges with him.  We look alike so everyone is going to think we're brothers.  Everyone already thinks we're brothers anyways because we're all named Elder.  I'm super excited for this transfer.  I'm going to miss Elder Tromeur.  He went to Nimes to be district leader.  He was a great comp!

There have been tons of baptisms here in Montauban recently, actually 13 over the last 12 months to be exact, and I think 12 of them have been since January.  Pretty insane.  That's what happens when you strive to find and baptize families!  I'm super thankful for the work of the missionaries who were here before me.  Now we're on the hunt for some new investigators.  We've got a few families we're working though and things are doing great.  We've got the son of a member who is 27 that has a baptismal date for the 21 of July and we hope to help him progress towards that. 

I can't believe this is the start of my last transfer.  It doesn't feel like it at all.  I don't want to feel like it is, but I want to work like it is, because it is!  I know the Lord expects many things from me this last transfer.  I hope I will accomplish his will in all I do.  I love what president Murdock says, "How long does it take for the Lord to perform a miracle?"  I love to have that constantly on my mind.  I know that our God is a God of miracles and that He changes people's lives.  A change of heart and a new start is among the greatest of all the miracles the Lord performs in this world.  I'm so blessed to be a part of it and I pray that I may be an instrument in His hands.  Miracles happen every day of our lives.  If we put our trust in God and open our eyes, I know we will see them as we seek and follow His will.  Have a great week everyone!  Love you!


Elder Tudor

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

June 11, 2012 + Pictures

C's baptism and our baptismal font

Friday we locked ourselves out of our apartment on accident and had to stay with the Van Tonder family. They provided us with these rockin PJ's and a pancake breakfast.

 Hedgehog that I almost stepped on on the way to district meeting. He's so cute.


This wednesday we were in Toulouse for zone conference.  It was a great meeting, as are all zone conferences, but it was different as well because it was president and soeur Murdock's last one, and therefore the last time we'll see them during our missions.  I've really grown to love them and I'm so grateful for their love and their example.  I'll never forget the amazing zone leader councils we had with president Murdock.  He's such an inspired person and he has helped me personally so much during my mission.  It was weird saying goodbye to a mission president AGAIN.  It's amazing to see the influence one person can have on so many.

The week went well.  We're helping A, F's wife, prepare for her baptism this Saturday.  She has quit smoking which is awesome.  F is the man.  He's trying to get the whole Slovakian community baptized haha.  He took a family to stake conference this weekend as well.

We also working with R, an amazing man from Quebec.  He's the one that bore testimony last week during sacrament meeting.  He came to stake conference, and when I asked what he thought, he said, "it was too short!"  He loved it, and he's just thirsting after the word.  We hope to set a baptismal date with him this week for early July.  He's so sensitive to the Spirit!

In general, things are going great, but there is a lot of opposition lately with recent converts, whether that be ones that were baptized before I got here, or the two that we've had since I've gotten here.  It is evident to me that the most opposition comes when we are doing the most good.  Satan never leaves us alone.  We can't take a break, because he doesn't.  If we do, we give him power over us.  I testify that he can have no power over us if we keep the commandments and our covenants, and I also testify that we can keep the commandments and our covenants always, DESPITE our circumstances, no matter how hard they are.  The Gospel was made to be applied in any circumstance and I know it answers all of our questions and needs.  Of course, the Gospel isn't a big fix-it-all manual, but it is a guide and an outline.  The solutions to our problems will come from our diligence in prayer, study, obedience, fasting, receiving inspiration from the Holy Ghost, and putting it into practice.  That is why we were given the Holy Ghost.  There is one gospel, and it applies to everyone in every circumstance, but exactly how the gospel applies to us and our situation is given to us through our own personal revelation.  My mission has made me realize how important it is to be spiritually independent and how important it us to qualify ourselves to receive the inspirations of the Holy Ghost and learn how to recognize them and act on them.

I can't believe it's almost mid-june.  Luckily, it wasn't super hot this week!  I'm getting more used to the humidity.  Transfer calls are this friday, and Elder Tromeur and I think he will be leaving because it's his 4th transfer here.  It will be sad to say goodbye to him if he does.  He's an amazing missionary.  W X is coming to Montauban today and we're going to eat lunch and tour Montauban a bit for pday.  Should be fun!  I love you and pray for you.  Thanks for everything, and have a good week!


Elder Tudor