Thursday, October 28, 2010

How do you like my winter coat from France?

In France, there are tons of Greves=strikes and transportation and trash are hit and miss right now its been like this for about 2 weeks now. No worries though for there are angels on the left and on the right protecting us.

Yesterday, Monday, we had Zone conference AGAIN in Bordeaux! I love that ville because its got some sweet structures! Soeur Carter, the mission president's wife spoke and shared an interesting quote from one of the general authorities that said, "the great harvest has yet to come forth in Europe". She did not use this as a demoralizer but rather she said that we are more like the great old missionaries than anywhere else in the world. We are facing the great opposition before the Lord is finished in Israel. It was inspiring!

This Saturday we have a baptism of Berthe. She is an older lady with a great sense of humor. She chose Elder Graham to do the baptismal ordinance and me to give her the gift of the Holy Ghost in sacrament meeting. The same sacrament meeting that I'm giving a 15 min talk in. ooo boy talk about a blessing!

The game, petonic is huge here in France everyone plays outside of our apt. We look down on a park and there are always petonc players playing. So Elder Graham and I wanted to play and make friends. So he goes down and starts talking to one half of the group that's playing and I go talk to the older spectators --about 5 people and just try and make friends and work on my french and what not. It was an awesome experience because they really started opening up and they offered for me to play! I kindly declined because Elder Graham asked to play right off -without talking to them or being friends and they flat out turned him down! It was hilarious and tons of fun. Elder Graham has a great sense of humor.

Thank you for your letters! I love them!

Pau is the head quarters for Total gas and there is also a university here. Every night on the chateau de pau, a history of the city is projected on the side of the castle. It's an awesome sight.

A member in the ward gave me a sweet leather jacket which I cannot wear but she insisted I kept it till after the mission. I kindly accepted because it is sweet! I also bought a winter coat from H&M which is tight.

I love France and the Beign├ęts here especially the apricot or nutella filled ones. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm soooo good mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmm mmm mmm mmm so good!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ok also tomorrow hopefully we will be able to go to Bayonne and get to go into Basque country. I love it here, until next week.

Christmas: O boy that's a huge question I know exactly what I want: pictures of the family, letters and money!! :) Don't send packages because it seriously costs an arm and a leg!! Don't send it mom, don't do it mom. don't do it ha ha I was told to say that 4 times because Elder Graham said mothers still do it!

France has its Christmas lights up already but not much Halloween. I mean there is a little but not much.

You should definitely check out Pau and the surrounding area on google because it is tight.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ok this week has been very busy and effective!

France is heating up as far as politics go there was a huge strike today. We are leaving to go to Bayonne if the trains and buses are working. On Friday was Zone conference in Bordeaux and we were 3 hours late because the trains were on strike so we took a bus to Dax and got on a train from Dax to Bordeaux.

On Friday, 4 elders were headed to Zone conference and one of them was stabbed in the head! He is fine--he got a few stitches--- 6 to be exact! There really is an opposition in all things.

The language is coming along it takes patience, perseverance and more importantly the Lord's help which I have seen countless times. Yesterday Elder Graham, and I helped in Primary. Those kids are seriously the cutest things ever... like Preston when he was a baby-- but with french accents! They love asking me questions and me not understanding and them just laughing and laughing at me.

There is a famous Rugby Player in the Pau Ward and he offered to give Elder Graham and I VIP tickets!

Also the cat we tried to save last week we found out was shot out of the tree...

Happy Birthday to my Grandpa who is a stud!!! I think back a ton on those precious memories of us fishing and going to the temple together and all those messages!!! Great memories of movie nights, Christmas parties, making candy,root beer floats and the list goes on and on!! I love you grandpa, happy birthday!

Well I'm headed to Bayonne to go touch the ocean! I am super excited.

Pray for my safety and all the missionaries safety.

Love all of you!

Tell Mr D and Mrs. Schroeder hello! Tell them that I sing all those choral songs and musicals down the streets of France!

Elder Garlock

Monday, October 11, 2010

OK week 2 was insane!!

I went on two X-changes. One with Elder Law who is the Zone leader right now and the other was with Elder Barton who was in the MTC with me. He is only a transfer older than me. Elder Law and I went out and contacted people for about 4 hours and got 4 contacts. That doesn't seem like a lot but it was some serious work. I still have a hard time understanding but I'm starting to get more and more daily its amazing.

When I went on a split with Elder Barton expectations were low because we are really young out here. We went contacting in a beautiful suburb to Bordeaux named Lormont. It was amazing. An Xchange lasts for 24 hours so we had a long day together we didn't have any rendezvous or anything. All we did was contact and we talked to everybody seriously everybody. I was running he was running we were running down these beautiful streets talking to anyone that would listen. By the end of the day we had 9 contacts and we taught a lecon even and placed countless Copies of the Book of Mormon it was a miracle. When our senior companions returned from Toulouse (they were there for leadership training) they were shocked.

Also this week we had a crazy experience trying to save a cat in a tree is was hilarious! I felt like I was in a movie. It's been raining heavy and we've had beautiful lighting storms also. I also went to McDonalds and everything was crazy expensive its a hopping place!! Tons and tons and tons of people constantly there.

Tonight I'm eating with a Canadian family for Canadian thanksgiving!! Finally some English ha ha!

I love it here and miss all of you!

Elder Garlock

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bon Jour! First Letter from France

ooooo boy France! France! France! The land of Material and judgments! Perhaps I fit right in because the first couple days here have been nothing short of a brand new experience and quick judgments.

My companions name is Elder Graham from Spanish Fork, UTAH.

O well, the first thing I noticed in France was how small every single car was its ridiculous they sound like little itty bitty lawn mowers I would be embarrassed to drive one-- ha ha they are so cute. Every single bathroom in France separates the toilet from the shower and sink! It is beautiful here in France.

The first full day I was in Pau, Elder Graham and I went to 3 less active members houses. The first maison we went to this old old old old old lady had over 30 dogs running around and over 70 birds in cages it was insane and super loud. We went with Frere Lyon who is Chinese that was originally Buddhist. He is the ward mission leader. He gave the lesson on the Liahona and they had me bear my testimony on prophets. So far every french maison I have been in has offered me tarts, cookies or some swweeeeeeet fruity drank its super delish!

Its sort a weird because the french members whom I met yesterday and Saturday at conference all look at me with this look of oooo you don't speak very good french. They are super nice about it and everything but its like that look of oooo I feel bad for you and I don't understand you... sort a awkward but funny. The youth in Pau is tight there are about 100 members and the youth love talking to the American Missionary and laughing and laughing about my poor french and accent its tons of fun. I got to play piano with one of them for a few minutes and he was nicer to me.

We are on the 13th floor of a huge apt building in downtown Pau. Its got a great view of the catholic cathedral off in the distance and the city. I love our little deck. Elder Graham and I sing, plan and have tons of fun in the fresh air of the french sky. We are in the heart of the ville and hear the bells ring every morning It's sooo french esssk! Seriously bells in the morning, all i need now is a baguette as well as a barie.

We have had dinner at a few members houses. French People take forever to eat. It's way more social and takes forever. We have had a few dinner appointments and our fastest one has been 2 hours. Also, whenever I tell people I'm from Washington they all think its WA DC and so I try and explain "pas DC, pas DC" they just don't get it it's funny. A few nights ago we ate at Frere Lyons and he fed Elder Graham and I tonnnnnss of egg rolls that he hand made. He gave us a ridiculous amount of food just to see if we would be polite and eat it all! I'm not going to lie, one of the more challenging things thus far on the mission!! It was delicious!

I have only seen one fast food McDonalds here and it is ALWAYS packed the have huge lines and no exaggeration probably about 50 kids constantly at Micky Ds, I miss ice and drinking fountains. Everything is from tap and the milk here just isn't the same... scratch that tons of things here just isn't the same... namely the language haha!!

Elder Graham only has 6 months in the mission left and his faith and french is awesome. He is a great example and we relate on many levels. I'm so happy that
Everyone hears beeezoooos by the way as in kiss cheek to cheek. When I told one of the kids in the ward, in America we only shake hands, he was super surprised and asked Elder Graham if I was lying.

There are geckos running around or a some kind of lizard looking thing also running around its interesting I think I might try and catch one. Tons of them don't have a tail parc que people love tearing them off so there are tons of tailless geckos running around in France.

Elder Graham and I use the bus system for everything. Well I love you all and miss the great Northwest a ton, France is good too though :) The baguettes and things here are Amazing! Thanks you for all of your letters and support The Gospel of Jesus Christ is so real and so true and I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have had and that we indeed have a prophet on the earth to lead us.
Elder Garlock

P.S. Here are some cheeses that I have tried and enjoy. You should try them, if you can find them in the United States:
Soignon Frommage De Chevre
Casino Carre Frommage A Pate molle
Coulommiers Carrefour Doux and Moelleux
President Rondele au Bleu
and we ate this really amazing ice cream bar called Magnum Ecuador Dark no joke its named Magnum Ecuador Dark I was super surprised