elder egbert versus the border patrol

i guess the week truly started when we accidentally went to germany.
i mean, we definitely didn’t mean to.
viviane wanted to take us to see the border, but from our understanding, we were going to see the border from the FRANCE side.  she had another idea in mind. lawlz
we were riding the bus, just chit chatting away, when we all of the sudden crossed this reeeeealy big river.
“wow, i’ve never seen that river before…” I said to myself. well, it’s because, halfway across the river, we wouldn’t be in france anymore. but, as unfortunate as it was, our little mishap led to some fun pictures. and a good story. we got to cross the bridge that goes over the rhin, and we got to see a cute little cathedral.
it wasn’t until on the way back when we got caught…
lol jk nothing happened. but that would have been really funny.
but what a way to start the week, eh? after that, lots of lessons cancelled and lots of frustrating bus rides back from wayyyy outside of the city. the public transit system in france is super efficient, but as efficient as it may be, there are still more stops than i can count. (that’s not saying much though…). and it takes about 30 minutes to go 10 km. long time.
i think the highlight of the week, or at least one of them;), was viviane’s baptism. yes, she did end up getting baptized this week. man, her faith blows me away, i’ve never seen anyone have such a desire to follow god. she’s so awesome.
the baptism went really, really smooth. which really surprised me. I expected things to dive bomb, hardcore. but everything went according to plan. except for the fact that i had to give a talk about the holy ghost, but that was just a little speed bump:).
another super awesome time this week was contacting people on he street. we were kind of over by the train station, and just talking to as many people as we could. we walked, and walked, and walked, and talked, and talked, and talked. haha it was awesome, i love talking to people even though i’m not any good at it:).
so, we were just walking down this sidewalk, when i saw an older man. he was little and  looked like everyone else around. like he had somewhere to go. but deep down inside, i had a super distinct prompting to talk to him, something that i had yet to experience up until that point. i was scared, but i walked up, and i had no clue what i was gonna say.
“hello!” i said in the friendliest way possible (in French of course though…). i told him that my name was elder egbert and that i was from the united states. I told him that i was in france because…
i had no idea what to say next, but the thought came to my head
“because i know that jesus christ is our savior”. simple, powerful statement. just like we learned in the mtc.
we talked to him for a second, found out that he was muslim, but not very practicing. we found out that he has a daughter in england, studying for some job or school or something, and other stuff about that.
eventually, we set up a time to meet with him the following week. at the end, just like with any contact, we asked him if we could pray for him.
“well of course!” he replied happily.
so then i prayed. i prayed for him and for everything that he said that he needed help with. it was very short, and very simple. there was nothing really special about the prayer that i offered. but when all of us said “amen”, I looked up to a little old Muslim man with tears in his eyes. he grabbed my hand and bowed his head toward me.
“thank you. thank you.” he said clasping both of our hands. i don’t think elder hurd thought it was as cool as i did, but it was quite the experience. i’m excited to see him again.
the most frustrating day for me was probably wednesday. in the morning, we were at the church for a long while, just finishing up stuff for viviane’s baptism, but after that we had six lessons planned for the day. yes, six. but unfortunately, four of them fell through. i had a headache, my glasses wouldn’t get clean no matter how hard i tried, i was sore from running 4 miles with elder hurd two days before (yeah i know… i’m a wimp;)) and, believe it or not, i still didn’t speak french. lol tough luck my friend.
but idk. i guess that’s just how life is sometimes. often, we DONT get what we want and things DONT necessarily go our way. but what can we do?
well, i’m glad you asked…
we can pull up our britches, slide into our boots and get to work.
it’s the answer to almost every problem here in the mission. are you tired? get to work, you’ll feel better. are you hungry? get to work, you’ll feel better. are you sad?  get to work, you’ll feel better. bored, frustrated, impatient? get to work.
i promise, it will only help.
if we are constantly thinking about ourselves and how crappy our lives are, nothing good will come from it. how can we imagine that constantly mulling our crappy feelings over in our head will help? if you are always thinking negatively, there is little doubt that it will reflect on the way you are feeling. so, as i said before, the best cure for a negative attitude is service.
i guess what i’m trying to say, is that no matter who, no matter when, no matter what, help everyone. everyone needs something. everyone needs someone.
everyone is on their own little adventure. and this adventure we can’t do alone. so help as much as you can.
and christ will fill in the holes.
-elder egbert
viviane got baptized
selfie with france
elder egbert and le rhin
a french cornfield
a cute little cathedral in germany

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