We just finished a very busy and productive four days. Elder and Sister Rueckert from the area office in Frankfurt came and spent the four days travelling with us to a two-day young adult activity in Nice and then to a self-reliance fireside in Valence. It was kind of funny seeing four adults with luggage on a 6 hour (each way) drive in our little Yaris. We were like sardines! But we really got to know each other pretty well. And by the time we dropped them off at the airport we felt like we were saying "goodbye" to our good friends.
It is nice that we can find little times to see a few things along the way in this beautiful country. On our way to Nice we stopped in Avignon to see the Palais des Papes (the palace where several of the Catholic Popes were headquartered) and the bridge made famous in the song "Sur le Pont d'Avignon". We also stopped for a delicious lunch in Les Baux de Province and visited the nearby "Carrières de Lumières" sound and light presentation based on the artwork of Marc Chagall.
Our two days with the young adults in Nice was really amazing. The youth here are so powerful. They have to be. We had workshops, a self-reliance fireside, a dance, meals, a testimony meeting and at the end a face-to-face teleconference with the presiding bishop and his wife, bishop and sister Caussé. Being native French, he is really loved here. One of the highlights for us was to join with the young adult choir and sing to the Caussés a beautiful hymn "Un Par Un" (One by One) with lyrics by Elder Bednar.
Very early Sunday morning the four of us left for Valence. Along the way, we stopped for sacrament meeting in the Vitrolles Ward. Our self-reliance manager has a daughter and two cute little grandchildren in that ward. Agnes, his daughter, was so kind to have provided a lunch for us so we could just stop for a little picnic along our way to Valence. The people here really love and take care of the missionaries.
Finally back in Valence, we had a quick bishop's council meeting to make last minute assignments for our fireside. Then Sœur Geddes and I made our first solo attempt at conducting a "Mon Parcours" fireside. There were definately some rough edges but we learned a great deal. I think we will be much better at this the next time. It's a little intimidating to stand in front of a group of people you don't know at all and try to speak in a language that you don't know that much better. But you just have a little faith and jump in. I think that's probably the secret to lots of things!
Elder and Sister Rueckert enjoying crepes with us in old Lyon.
The Palais des Papes in Avignon
"Sur le Pont d'Avignon"
Les Baux de Provence
Les Carrières de Lumières.
The city of Nice on the Côte d'Azur