elder egbert versus the real world

so you thought leaving for the mtc was hard… wowzers.
we knew it was gonna be a good trip when we got yelled at at the trax stop.
“you’re preaching false doctrine!” we were just a bunch of new missionaries at the train station. what did you expect us to do?
“ok have a nice day!”
elder walton is a champ.
but other than that, the actual trip to Paris was a little uneventful. i was the only missionary that sat by a random stranger (thank you very much) and got to talk to her a little bit. buuuuuut she was pretty anti religion soooo…. lol awkward.
so yeah, france. i mean, it’s pretty alright. wow but the first thing I noticed as we dipped below the clouds was
“huh… there are no mountains in this place.” that’s going to take some getting used to.
the president and his wife are soooo nice. i’m so pumped to get to know them better. we got to stay at the mission home on tuesday night. that was prolly the best sleep i’ve had in a long time… let’s just say that I woke up at 1:30 am. and still had 5 hours to sleep. what an awesome,e surprise lol.
when we woke up in the morning and ate breakfast and all that fun stuff, the ap’s took us to a place called consecration hill, which overlooked paris from a distance. it was gorgeous. at the hill, we were asked to write goals and wishes for our mission. it was a cool time to reflect and look on ourselves and our desires and what we want to get done out here. i was glad for that personal time.
afterwards, we went over to notre dame and got to walk around there for a second. wow. that was incredible. it was so pretty and such a powerful place, just because it was built around the belief of Jesus Christ as our savior. it was such an awesome experience.
but then… it was the moment of truth.
where are we gonna go?
I was so excited:).
anyways, after the announcement of 4 father/son announcements, elder hurd stood up. and what do you know, he’s my new comp. I’ll attach photos. he seems super cool! i’m pumped to serve with him. i’ve already learned so much from him and i’m sure there’s only more to come.
we arrived in our area, strasbourg, at around 19h30, had just enough time to put my stuff in the apartment and then ran off to our rendez-vous with the one investigator with a baptismal date, viviane. lisa, a 22ish year old member who has her mission call to germany, helped us teach the first part of the gospel. it was an incredible lesson with so many spiritual aspects, but one thing I learned for sure…
i still suck at french.
lol but hey, you can’t get everything, right? at least, not all at once.
man, viviane is the most golden investigator there is. she has no problems with the law of chastity or the word of wisdom, she wants to pay tithing, but she feels so bad because she doesn’t have a job, so she can’t. she told us on wednesday that she repents every single day for the things she did wrong and for the things she did that she didn’t know were wrong. so awesome.
anyway, thursday was kind of a stressful day. 1st of all, i lost my tram ticket that was supposed to last me all day so we were practically running out the door to get to our rendez-vous with lumbo, a little african man who is so cool lol. anyway, we were sprinting around trying to catch the metro or a bus in time. the whole way I was just praying for a miracle. sadly enough, we didn’t have a miracle and we were 15 minutes late to his house. poor lumbo, stupid missionaries.
our first lesson with him was mainly just to get to know him and his expectations for our visits, and he was so good to us. we got that part of the lesson done in about 15 minutes, so we started on the restoration. elder hurd took over, because you know, i still don’t know french, and it was awesome. it was going really well. then elder hurd looked at me and whispered
“invite him to be baptized”     ……..
well, okay elder hurd.  so there i was, some poor 18 year old american boy, and i sputtered out something remotely close a baptismal invitation. tension was building, i know i didn’t say it all the way right, but still…. and finally he responded with a warm
whoa. miracles do happen. especially when you pray for them.
we also got to teach a few english lessons this week. wowww… I’m so grateful that some people actually speak a real language here. (lol I’m definitely just kidding). but it was fun. one of our english ami’s is named kundai. he is from zimbabwe. his faith is so strong and he agreed to be baptized on the 26th. so yeah, that’s two investigators with a baptismal date, thank you very much. lol except i’m just super blessed because I came into such an awesome area.
strasbourg. let me tell you a little about strasbourg. first of all, it is soooo beautiful. it’s called the little Venice of france, if that tells you anything. there’s lots of canals and rivers. lots of really colorful buildings. there’s a huuuge cathedral, i’m not exactly sure what that one is called… it’s super rad though. and we are like 10 minutes from the german border. it’s sunny most of the time here, which rules. and it hasn’t been super hot or super cold yet.
my companion, elder hurd, is super nice. he is a year deep but already speaks pretty fluently. man I feel so inadequate with him. but he’s such an incredible missionary.
i’m sorry if this email sounded like I just word vomited onto the iPad. but i have one more thing.
i got an email this week from a friend and wow, did it help me out. i was probably at the lowest part of the week. I couldn’t get the language, I didn’t know most of our amis, i didn’t know how to do anything really, just because i’m so new still. it was hard for me. but he said “There might even be times when you look back and see only one set of footprints in the sand.  It’s ok, let HIM carry you from time to time.” that hit me so hard. it was then when i realized that there had only been one set of footprints in the sand. there had only been one set until it got hard. and when it got hard, that’s when there was two. the thing is, Christ isn’t going to carry us the whole time, all the way. we have to walk for ourselves sometimes. that can be really hard, but it’s for our benefit and it helps us learn. but even when he does let us walk for ourselves, he is always at our side, ready to pick us back up when we are just about to fall. “Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you.” D&C 68:6. he is always with us. even when we can’t feel him carrying us. he is there.
but if he doesn’t let us walk, how else will we learn? after all, it is just part of the adventure.
-elder egbert
elder egbert with president and sister babin

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