elder egbert versus the short term memory loss

i think that's the sickest i've been in a while. haha

i woke up in the middle of the night and felt like i was gonna die...
but i just fell back to sleep anyway. the next morning, it was so bad
that as soon as the alarm went off, i said to myself,

"oh, there's no way i'm waking up right now."

so i slept in for a couple more hours... hahaha it was worth it. i was
so crappy. i don't even know where that bug came from! it was so
random and nobody else was sick so... yeah, it's weird.

anyway, i'm pretty sure that my sickness drove me insane this past week...

thursday, we went to paris (you know, so i can be legal and stuff.)
elder hurd got an email explaining everything that i needed to bring
and everything that we were going to do over there.  sadly, he forgot
to share that information with me.  but never fear, i am always on top
of things!

lol everyone and their dog knows that that's not true.

but i did have the thought cross my mind wednesday night,

"okay, i'm going to be legalized tomorrow, so i probably shouldn't
forget my passport."

you'll never guess what i forgot...

it wasn't until we were coming to a stop in gare de l'est (appx. 2.5
hours away from strasbourg) that i realized how much of an idiot i
was.  but that didn't stop us from trying haha.  we journeyed to the
ofii headquarters, where the rest of my mtc peeps would become REAL
frenchies, and asked if we could still do the tests, fill out all the
papers and just another time actually get the stamp of approval. that
request was answered with an

"absolutely not."

so, i got to chill in paris for the day.  and when i say, "chill in
paris", i really mean i just got to hang out in the waiting room with
two of the versailles elders for a couple of hours until the rest of
my pals were done. even after that, when we had about 4 hours until
our train left, we just stayed at the church, biding our time until we
had to take the super, jam-packed metro back to the train station.
ask me if i was happy...

no.  i wasn't.

although the trip to paris was a complete bust, it was fun to see my
friends from the mtc.  while we waited in the morning, we all
exchanged stories and experiences.  man, i loved it.  getting back to
familiar people was incredible haha.

we also had an exchange with the zone leaders this week.  lol me and
elder divis just partied the whole time.  after we waited for one of
their investigators for 30 minutes, we just bailed and got lunch at
this super sketchy muslim fried chicken place.  it was delicious.  he
pretty much told me his whole story with this girl that is at byu rn.
it was very dramatic and hilarious.  he's such an awkward goose, but
so flippin rad.  he's probably the coolest missionary i've met so far.

we finished this week off by eating dinner with a crazy italian member
and his muslim wife.  haha he had some pretty good stuff to say. after
a while, he just was jabbering in italian and i was laughing so hard.
wow, that was super funny.

after elder pumford told him that his grandpa was italian, frere
poyrot (the member) looked up the number to some italian bishop and
asked him if he knew elder pumford's grandpa... just stuff like that,
he's so weird.

during testimony meeting on sunday, we had the chance to hear from one
of the less active members, patrick.

here's a little background about patrick:

my first sunday in strasbourg, i was standing in the chapel when this
man walked in.  oh wow, was he beat up.  he was wearing a biker's
jacket with about 7 rings on each of his hands.  he had a crutch for
his right leg and his left eye was a little crazy.  like i said, it
was my first week, so i didn't know if he was a member or anything.
but little did i know that none of the other missionaries or members
knew who he was either.

during that testimony meeting, he stood up and pretty much told
everyone that he wanted to change his life.

the other companionship took over teaching and helping him out.  they
meet with him a couple times a week and just listen to him talk about
everything.  he comes to church every week, he comes to all the
activities, he reads the book of mormon all the time, i guess you
could say that he is progressing.

well if you were in the sacrament meeting today, you would know.  here
we are, only 5 weeks later.  patrick has completely, totally quit
smoking and drinking, something that he has struggled with since he
was 14 years old.  in his shirt and tie, he smiled brightly at the
podium as he testified of the power of the book of mormon.  it was the
most powerful testimony that i have ever heard.

it reminds me of the quote:

"it is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of
Christ’s Atonement shines"

patrick is one of those people.  if there is someone who has descended
pretty low, it was him.  for 35ish years, he has been been moving
further and further from the straight and narrow, but his experience
goes to show that ANYTHING is possible through jesus christ.  i am
absolutely sure of it.

paul teaches us to "come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may
obtain mercy".

no matter what has happened, no matter what we have done, christ still
stands beckoning, pleading with us to follow him.  his grace is
sufficient.  christ descended below all so one day we could stand on
his shoulders.

may we recognize and be ever so grateful for the redeeming power of that mercy.

we cannot finish this adventure alone.  let him help you.

-elder egbert

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