Monday, February 28, 2011

Transportation: Taxis, Trains, and Automobiles!


Saturday and yesterday I was in Marseilles and Nice for stake conference. It was the last stake conference for Président and Soeur Carter here in France! They gave a wonderful goodbye. They are released June 30, 2011.

Good news! I found out that Vitrolles may be receiving a car which is a must because my head is constantly spinning. For example, Saturday We missed our bus which arrives outside our apartment. We RAN to the bus depot to catch our bus. When we arrived, we realized that Elder Bowen looked at the bus times for the week and not for a Saturday. So we missed it big time. We had to be at the Train Gare in 10 minutes and from where we were it was easily a 20 min run. So we started calling ALL of the members trying to figure out how to get there in time. No one could give us a ride.

To top it off, we were broke because it is the end of the month and the transportation each month in Vitrolles costs about 90 euros. We had not been reimbursed yet so I literally only had the 15 euros on me that Grandma gave me. So I saw a taxi and waved him down. I asked, "how fast can you get us to the Gare?" he said, "5 minutes!" We had exactly 6 till our train left. I said, "let's do it."

We hop in the car, he is driving like a mad man this few minute ride costs me 10 euros! As we drive into the parking lot, the train gets there, we hop out start running for it throw the 10 euros at the man in anger and frustration now knowing I have 5 euros for 2 more meals. As we arrive at the top of the train Gare, we realize the train is on the other side and it is illegal to hop over, as we realize this the train strolls away.

We then get a phone call back from our Mission leader saying, "I'll give you a ride to Marseilles". This is where we were going to switch trains to head to NICE. He said the only way he could do it though was if we could be at the church in 15 minutes. We just look at each other! Elder Bowen and I and laugh because we know the only way to get to the church in that time is to hop over the backyard fence of the Gare and run through tons of Romanian camps and cross over 6 lanes of freeway traffic and than take a dead out sprint to the church and even then it would probably take 20 minutes, but we go for it.

As we do, I recognize a man that I contacted in my first transfer stop and gave him a brochure in Spanish that I randomly had on me and continued to sprint on. Made it to the church arrived in Marseilles at the Gare. Our train had already left but we could just transfer our tickets so we wait in line and realize that a train to NICE is leaving in 11 minutes!! We get to the front of the line and the lady says its impossible because it's a reserved train and we only had general seating. We convinced her to give us the tickets and we booked it to the other side of one of the largest Gare's in France! We hopped on our train as it started inching forward to move. We land on the train and sit down in between bars because it was packed and headed finally to Nice.

We arrived in Nice and met up with the other Elders. Elder Graham, my trainer was there which was awesome to catch up because he leaves next transfer. In the morning, we went to the conference and our ward mission leader offered to give us a ride home which was super nice of him because we didn't know how we were going to get back to Vitrolles. So after the conference, we go back to the Nice apartment just Elder Bowen and I. We think we have the right key to get in, but it doesn't work. We than sooner (Ding Dong) all the apartments to get in get in, run to the top of the building 5th story and start to try and pick the lock to the Nice apartment. Pick the lock-- with my Boy scouts of America Eagle Scout card and amazingly get in grab our stuff-- run out. We finally made it home last night at about 8pm it was insane.

Mom you and Dad need to visit France that will bring a tear to your eye seriously beautiful.
Grandma, I made no bake cookies with your recipe yesterday and we ate that this morning for breakfast because we still have no money. Thank you for the breakfast and also the dinner the other night with the bear creak soup that was very good. I have never seen someone eat as much as Elder Bowen! I think he can eat a whale in one sitting no problem.

It was good to see Elder Graham and notice how much I have grown as a missionary and how far my language has come along.

Thank you for sending me the letters of the other missionaries. I love to receive them. They give me good ideas and I can relate so well. In English class we now have 7 people coming.

Love you all and thank you for your prayers, continue to do so.
Elder Garlock

Saturday, February 26, 2011



Well this week many, many, many things occurred. Where to begin!?! Lets start with Valentines Day.

Last week Elder Bowen and I were feeling a bit down but we played a little Tennis and Basketball. Then we took some pictures. Then we took a little nap and rest with our broken hearts haha just kidding but anyway while he was taking a nap, I snuck out of my bed and made him a huge chocolate cookie HEART and a bread nuttela covered heart as well and then I carved a heart out of another biscuit cookie type thing. I think he appreciated it.

The next day We had a couple rdvs with a man named Robert and then as usual a couple raté vous but it was fine because we needed to plan and get things figured out for the English Class we are starting up. We had Robert, our investigator Mme Lavie, another investigator and Soeur Chervallier, from Ecuador. It was tons of fun and it actually helped my french! Robert would get a little better and would than start correcting my french anytime I would say something. It was defiantly a new experience.

I had a chance to hang out with Lee Cummard, an old basketball player from BYU. He lives in our area and is playing basketball for a professional team. He remembered Dad and I from Fathers and sons basketball camp. It was fun to meet his wife and two sons. His mother in law was also there and we found out that Uncle Mike and Aunt Debbie bought their old house. Small world!

How is Marcel King Jr doing? Random, but he better be staying in line and reading the word of God daily. Also I have arrived in the Bible at the book of Titus. I was wondering if Titus my friend from high school and Marcel's friends has ever read it? Also Scott Vanthedomino man? They have Dominos over here and it is very successful! How is Gracy doing?

I gave a picture to Soeur Arezzi of Elder Herring and I. She framed it. It was awesome because 2 Sundays ago she asked me to give her a blessing with a brother in the ward. She has been sick for about 15 years and she has been seeing doctors more and more often so she has been very worried about not being able to go to the temple because of it. So I gave her a blessing and she said this Sunday that it was a miracle and I believe it to be as well. She is in much better health. This lady has changed my perspective and life.The power of God is real and one gift of the spirit the gift of healing by the laying on of hands definitely occurred here in little Vitrolles France.

I think my calling in Vitrolles has been so far to reactivate this ward. So far there has been 2 and 4 more are in the works. This past Saturday at a baptism for a new family in the ward. I gave a talk on the gift of the Holy Ghost It was a great baptismal service and it just motivated me even more to break the drought in Vitrolles.

Transportation is still a nightmare but things are progressing even still. Thank you for all of your prayers and support!

I am amazed at how many cyber cafes are in France. There are hardly any homes with computers in them.

I love you!

read Alma 32
I love that chapter!
Elder Garlock

Monday, February 14, 2011

I think I have a Valentine, Elder!

Bonjour cette semaine j'ai travaillé dur!

This week was NUTS! Lee Cummard who played for BYU lives in our area. He is playing basketball for a professional team in the Marseille area. He still remembers Dad and I from all of those years of Fathers and Sons basketball camp.It was fun to spend some time with him yesterday. He drove us to some of the random outlandish villes to do some passes.

One huge challenge here in Vitrolles is transportation we spend soooooooo much time on the bus. Last week it was something like 10 hours of proseliting time. If I can make it in Vitrolles I can make it anywhere.

I have learned to really organize our time and try and manage us to be effective. Its very difficult because our most promising potential is out in random villes that we can hardly ever go to. Half of the ward drives 30 minutes to church. Its difficult because we have the least amount of the ward population in Vitrolles and where the ward building is.

Elder Bowen and I are trying different things to combat all the time wasted. This week as far as the results of the work was probably the best so far for me here in Vitrolles. I have finally got almost all of the main cities bus routes down, which is not an easy task, believe me.

Its been tough because our planning sessions at night is really not planning for the friends of the church it is time spent trying to figure out bus schedules! We usually don't have time for studies because we are on buses contacting or when we are on the big buses and its illegal to contact. So we try and start a conversation up with the bus driver and get a lesson that way. If not that, then I am calling everyone in the ville we are headed to see if we can fix something because we aren't sure when we can come back.

We are having interviews with the mission president this week so I'm going to ask him to give us a car. Anywho that's what the work is like! I have defiantly learned some very good organizational skills and how to talk to people on the phone.

Things I love... it's valentines day! My companion, Elder Bowen, said I could be his valentine but I passed and said I already got 4 sistars, a mom, and grandma ;) I love each of you

I am grateful for grandma and all of her letters, love. and warmth! I miss going down to the beach!! I love you Grandma!

I am grateful for my mom, who made me food for all of those years and all of those sack lunches, rides and hugs!!! I miss my mom's pot pie!! mmmmmm

I am grateful for my oldest sistar and all of her advice on hair, clothes, shoes, style, etc. I miss her straight talk and all of her little love notes whenever I was mad at her!! I love her great attitude in everything she pursues. Cant wait to speak french with her!!!!!
I am grateful for second sistar and our late night talk! It's great that we are out here serving missions together. I miss all of her oatmeal that she would make or any food for that matter that she would make for me. mmmmm cookies!
I am grateful for third sistar and our common music taste! I miss us sitting in the music room and playing some Colby Collate~ "I see those blue eyes every time I close mine"... mmmm miss singing that song together!
I am grateful for my fourth sistar and how sporty and hilarious she is! Haha I'm glad she is taking care of my rabbit :)
Well I must go and get on a bus I'll probably buy a baguette as well mmmmm and probably a pastry mmmmmm so good!!!

Love you all until the week next ??? until next week??? in french until the week next :à)

Elder Garlock

February 7, 2011

Bon Jour!

This week has been rough---throwing up---- 7 times and just been plain sick. But I still wanted to have a good first week with Elder Bowen so we continued to work just took a few breaks puking in members houses and such.

Vitrolles is definitely changing me! It is a very large test. I now can speak in 3 languages Arab, French and English. Things in Egypt are I think trickling over because this week I had more than just a few rocks and curse words coming my way.

But there is hope!!! A member of our ward brought a friend to church last week and we have high, high hopes that the 2 year drought here could be over. There will be jubilation from EVERYONE if there is a baptism here.

I feel like I'm in a dream...I often stop and think... I am in France... as a missionary!!!

I am stoked for everybody who got their mission calls that is tight!!! Ashley what in the world!!! Wow!!! New Missionaries: read the 2nd chapter of Preach My Gospel really well before going into the MTC it will help you with EVERYTHING!! In the MTC they teach you really well chapter 1 and chapter 3 seriously focus on chapter 2!!!

I am trying to think of little details that you wouldn't normally think about to tell you about all the showers are just like a hose off of the wall.

Some french food facts are paté is huge here. It's like random parts of animals in a jar that you spread on a baguette. The sacrament is always baguette bread. I don't think I have mentioned kebabs but kebabs are a sandwich with meat and freedom fries in it. The meat is sliced off of a huge meat slab that is continually rotating. It's pretty good many elders get super sick from it though because the meat slab is huge and outside continually rotating.

There are thousands of roundabouts, thousands... Trains, we take all the time. Public transportation is massive.

Today we went to Montpellier- for an exchange with Elder Herring and Elder Smedley. It was one of my favorite exchanges with Elder Smedley--- we fed the pigeons that was insane!

I love all of you thank you for your love and also for your letters!! Until next week love you
Elder Garlock