|Frère Christian Carpentier - Lille Stake High Council - Charleville-Mezieres, France|
The small Branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at Charleville-Mezieres is a good three hours plus from our Stake Center in Lille, France. As a consequence, our Stake visitors are few and far between. However; Brother Christian Carpentier, our Stake High Council representative visits us nearly month.
Brother Carpentier became a member of the Church some nearly fifty years ago in Lyon, France. As a consequence he knows all of the longer-term members that we were blessed to know when we served in Lyon. Always amazing how small the world and Church is. He is a very faithful member of the Church and always has a strong testimony to share with us when he comes. He has had many experiences that reinforce his testimony and commitment to the Gospel. We are ever grateful for his visits.
From a selfish point of view, we appreciate his coming because it helps us with speakers in Sacrament Meeting. It always seems a blessing to have him in the lineup of regular speakers. Plus, he has an energy about him that lifts our members and provides encouragement. Never before have we appreciated a High Councilor as much as we do Brother Carpentier.
|Branch Meal - Tradition with Visitors - Charleville-Mezieres, France|
There are a few traditions that exist in the Charleville-Mezieres Branch. One such is to have a pot luck type meal after our Sacrament Meeting when we have Stake Visitors. Everyone pitches in and brings something very delicious and we always have more than we can ever eat. The young Elders especially appreciate this fact as they are frequently the recipients of many left-overs.
Above is a picture of the Branch meal today in honor of Brother Christian Carpentier's visit. This tradition provides the means of making sure our visitors feel welcomed and appreciated and it also provides the very useful function of fellowshipping. We had two investigators with us today and a Sister visiting from Paris, in addition to Brother Carpentier.
Our members very much enjoy this tradition and never murmur at the need to prepare something to contribute. A very positive event for all! We take our time, a la mode de France, and linger way to long. Yep, we are still the ones (one) most anxious to leave first. It is a pleasure to see the members mingle - they live so far apart that spending leisurely time together is a luxury.
|Soeur Nadia Kemiche - Visitor from Paris Ward - Charleville-Mezieres, France|
It is not often enough that we enjoy the visits of members from other units in France or Belgium. However; on occasion it does occur. If they would give us a little more notice, all of them would have an opportunity to speak in Sacrament Meeting - darn it, most of the time we don't know much in advance.
Today we enjoyed the visit of Sister Nadia Kemiche from the Paris Ward. Sister Kemiche has visited several times in years gone by but has not be in the Charleville-Mezieres Branch for several years now. She has been a member for many years and was born in Charleville-Mezieres. Her visits here are occasioned by visits to her parents who continue to live in our town. Our older members know her well and were very grateful to see her again.
While she did not have the opportunity to speak in Sacrament Meeting, she was a very active participant in our Sunday School lesson and one could feel the strong testimony she has of the Gospel. The simple act of her visit helped strengthen us all. It is a wonderful blessing to have faithful members such as her visit our Branch.
|Coq Girouette - Eglise Saint Martin - Givry-sur-Aisne, France|
Coq of the Week
We are starting to feel like the coq as we prepare our weekly blog - constant and persistent in our sharing the coq with you. At times we feel like not making the effort to find another coq in our photo archives - but no one must persevere. Hopefully the example provided by the coq will rub off in more important aspects of our life. There really is something to say about the coq and our ability to rely on him. The coq never ever gives up! He does what he agreed to do and you can go to the bank on him! We are working to become more like the coq and pray you might be inspired to to likewise.