This last week has been a busy one. We helped teach a French class in our Ecuilly ward for the English speakers. The class was based on the “My Foundation” Self-Reliance course lesson 7 on being united and using our strengths to help others. It was a fun class. One of the sisters in the group shared a dream she had the night before after praying about how to help her niece who is struggling with her faith and the concept of the church. The sister in the class, Rachel, dreamed about a statue here in Lyon; “La Fontaine Bartholdi” near L’Hôtel de Ville (the town hall). Bartholdi is the same sculptor who created the Statue of Liberty given to the United States as a gift from France. Right now the fountain is under repair and surrounded with scaffolding. Rachel woke up knowing that the way she could explain the church was that the scaffolding is the church, and the masterpiece is the family. The family is the most important unit in time and eternity, and the church exists to safeguard and bless the family. We loved the imagery and couldn’t help but see the connection with the Statue of Liberty; the gospel gives us the freedom to become our very best selves by living the way God would have us live and love and care for each other to become more like Him.
We drove to Bern, Switzerland Friday which is where Sister Geddes’ mother’s family is from. The name of the town means “bear” and they have a famous bear pit for the bears. We attended the Bern temple that evening, and were happily surprised to see several of our ward members attending the same session, including Hélène Georges (our darling Sarah’s mom) and our bishop, Frère Pommier. The temple provides lodging for members to come and do a whole weekend of temple work. These beautiful saints are so diligent and devoted! We were able to do the whole session in French which we loved! The Saints bring their families and their food for the weekend and take turns babysitting the children. It was also fun to meet Elder and Sister Fox who are serving their fourth mission in Switzerland. Strangely enough, they are from Brentwood, California, Elder Geddes’ home town, and they know his whole family including his parents. It’s a small world in the Church! We also quickly saw the beautiful little towns of Morat and Thun.
The next day we had an all-day Welfare workshops for the Lausanne stake, including the Self-Reliance workshops that we helped with. Lausanne is a beautiful city and we enjoyed walking around Lake Geneva for a little while. We are hoping that the next time we go in that direction, we will have time to visit our friend, Fabienne in Annency.
Sunday evening we had a “Rentrée or Back to School night for the Institute. Oh the singing of those institute kids! We were amazed by the power of their voices and spirit. Afterwards we had one of our sweetest experiences yet, sharing our testimony of families and the temple with a lovely investigator. She really warmed up when we began talking about our grandkids and families.
Monday night was a meeting with our manager who continues to be so kind and helpful to us and a family home evening with the Institute students.
Tonight we have a zoom conference with the Lyon Stake Self-Reliance committee and a planning meeting with the stake Young Single Adults council.
La vie de missionaire est belle! Life is good, and we miss you all. Please keep those e-mails and comments on our blog coming! We really understand now why the young missionaries crave news from home.
Elder et Sœur GEDDES - Missionaires
France • Belgique • Luxembourg • Suisse
Bartholdi Fountain, Lyon