Sunday, November 20, 2016

Girouette Coq - Villers-Semeuse, France
Coq of the Week

Monday on our way home from grocery shopping, we discovered the coq pictured above looking down upon us.  There are not many places to hide from the ever-vigilante coqs in this neck of the woods.  When I first saw him I thought he was a squirrel because of the fatter shape of the body and tail.  Again, it seems that no two are alike.
Elder Goutin - Lille, France
Small World of the Church

Yesterday (Saturday) Brother Biver and Elder Clark made a trip (7hours round trip) to the Stake Center in Lille, France to be instructed in our responsibilities as ambassadors for the Paris Temple.  Yes, we are very excited to soon have a Temple of our very own here in France.  The public open house is scheduled to begin April 22nd and run through May 13th, 2017.  We hope some of you might be able to attend this historic event.

The trip to Lille was not unique as all our Stake meetings are held there.  Almost every trip we make to Lille rewards us with the opportunity to encounter old friends and fellow missionaries from the France-Lyon Mission.  We have had the opportunity to spend a few minutes with Elders Goutin and Neville (pictured) as well as others including; Elder Gann and Elder Leterme (both of Arras, France).

Perhaps the most surprising encounter we have had thus far took place in Paris a couple of months ago - we feel badly that we forgot to share this earlier.  We were in the Paris subway at an extremely busy stop trying to find our way, when up walked Sister Obel.  We were so taken by surprise and being rather anxious to find our desired train that we did not think to get the camera out and get a picture.  We would not have recognized her had she not approached us.  She looked wonderful and was as full of energy and excitement as ever!  She happened to be in the subway on her way to a job interview.  Somehow that encounter made our day - we are so glad she remembered us and that she would make the effort to catch us.  It was a wonderful experience but just one of the many we have had with former Lyon missionaries.  We are very grateful for all the friends made while serving in Lyon, France.
Elder Neville - Arras, France
Sister Florine Biver - Charleville-Mezieres Branche
Faithful Members of the Church

Sister Florine is the second of three children and the oldest daughter of Brother and Sister Biver.  She is always happy and very enthusiastic, but the most noticeable thing about Florine is her near perfect English.  Important to Sister Clark and I who are still working on our not so perfect French.  Florine served a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Louisiana, USA.

Florine is 27 years old (birthday last week) and serves as the Music Coordinator and Activities Chairperson in our small Branche.  She is one of two young adults in our French speaking Institute Class - her younger sister is the other.  We also have two Nigerian members who attend English speaking Institute Class.  Florine is engaged to a member of the Church who lives in Louisiana and she is hopeful of receiving her US Visa before long as she is anxious to be married in the Temple.

Sister Florine has a wonderful testimony of the Gospel and is more than willing to teach friends of the Church with the missionaries in our Branche.  She is grateful for opportunities to spend a day in Charleville-Meziers shopping and visiting friends - - - she lives in a very small village, with her family, just over a half hour drive from Charleville, thus not too many young people her age there to associate with.  We don't know how we will replace Florine when she leaves for the US.  We are very grateful for her!

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