|Sacrament Meeting - 8 January, 2017 - Charleville-Mezieres Branche|
On Saturday, 7 December, 2017 we experienced an ice storm during the night and early morning of the following Sunday. As a result, our small branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints became even smaller for a day. We had just our young Elders - Currie and Burgonye and Sister Claire Bourt at Sunday meeting with us. It reminded Elder Clark of his experience as a young missionary in Arras, France in 1969. At that time we had one or no members attending Sunday meetings in the Arras Branch. That little branch grew to be the largest local unit in the Lille Stake. We have similar hope for the Charleville-Mezieres Branche.
Saturday evening and Sunday morning we began receiving calls and texts from various members saying the roads were too dangerous to attempt to come to church. Even Soeur Bourt called Sunday morning to learn whether meetings would be held. We told her that we would hold meetings even though it would be just missionaries in attendance. We did not encourage her to come but suggested that it was a time to be very careful. She said she would see how it was when it became time to leave for meetings but indicated she would likely not be there. We were surprised to find her at the building soon after we arrived at 9AM. She taught the Priesthood/Relief Society lesson and bore her testimony. We were touched by her faithfulness in observing the Sabbath Day.
Soeur Bourt is the member who lives closest to our Meeting Hall, but still. Most of our other active members live a half hour our more away in small villages and would have very narrow unserviced rural roads to travel. Such roads are not adequately maintained in times like this to ensure safety. One has to support the decisions they made - it was certainly a question of safety that kept them away.
|Sister Clark, Sister Bourt, Elder Currie & Elder Burgoyne|
Elders Go French
Our young Elders have been a bit miserable with the cold the last couple of weeks. Elder Burgoyne comes from California and is certainly not used to cold weather. One has to have a little pity for them! Anyway, after DMB (Ward Missionary Council) at our apartment, we had a little discussion about the cold and how to stay warm. Elder Clark explained that he liked the French beret for keeping his head warm. The Elders were interested in that and asked to see Elder Clark's. They thought the barets were great but Elder Clark was unwilling to give up his. Now we have to see if there is somewhere in town where they can be purchased. The Elders are pictured below wearing Elder Clark's berets.
|Elder Currie & Elder Burgoyne go French!|
Coq of the Week
This week's coq was found atop the church in the small village of Montcornet, France here near Charleville-Mezieres. One of his unique features is his feet. Not often do we find the coq with feet emphasized and toes included. He may be on the younger side of the coqs we have seen as he does not appear too tarnished nor does he appear to have bullet holes as do many. It also does not appear that the birds like him as well as they do many of the other coqs. Perhaps it is the threat of the feet that keep the birds at bay!? Anyway, we like coqs and find them interesting.
|Coq Girouette - Eglise - Montcornet, France|
Just before Christmas this year, Brother Michel and Sister Paulette Dampt were blessed to have three of their children visit. We have met four of their six children, of which three live here in France. Three of their children are currently living in the United States. One is the father of Elder Samuel Dampt who served with us in the Lyon France Mission. Another is Myriam Carmen who currently lives in Oregon City, Oregon.
Myriam had not been able to visit her parents for nearly six years before coming just before Christmas this year. It was a wonderful blessing for the Dampts to have three children with them, especially Myriam whom they had not seen for a long time.
Myriam is nearly as kind as her parents. She agreed to speak in a Sacrament Meeting while she was here and we enjoyed her talk on how the Savior taught. It was obvious to us that Sister Carmen has a strong testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that she very much appreciates her parents for raising her by Gospel standards.
It was disappointing that Myriam could stay with her parents for only ten days and Brother Dampt continues to say that it just was not long enough. It is a blessing to our Branch when faithful members of the Church come to strengthen us with their testimonies. We will find a way to accommodate any of you that might have the idea of doing the same.
|Myriam Carmen - Dampt's Daughter - Oregon City, Oregon|