Tuesday, April 26, 2016

8 months

Hi family,

So it turns out I was actually pretty sick this week. On Tuesday we had our interviews with President Bize. That was really good. I can understand and reply now, so that is cool, in  French. I asked what do the best missionaries do differently than others? He said it's a combination of two things: obedience and innovation. I'm obedient, so I spent a lot of time this week just trying to think of ways to be innovative as a missionary. Any ideas? Creativity... those two things probably apply in the business world too. Cool, huh?

Tuesday afternoon I did a split with our zone leaders. I went with Elder Millerberg in their zone so that I could stay with the car (they have a car) because I was sick. When I was still sick Wednesday they just extended the split another day! Haha. Wednesday we went to the doctor. Weird to do that in French. It's scary enough in English, right? The doctor said I have either Bronchitis or the dengue, lovely tropical malady. Regardless, I had a 39.5 C fever, which is actually 103 F! Hot! No wonder I was so wiped out. Thursday I got some antibiotics and a bunch of other pills and stuff I had to take. I'll be on those until Wednesday this week. Also I got my blood drawn. Remember how scared I am of needles? Yikes! But it was a different funny French guy who started speaking broken English to me. And he was really really good at it, I didn't feel a thing. The medicine seems to be working, I was able to go work hard Friday Saturday and Sunday. Today I am a little wiped out, I didn't sleep too good last night because I am still coughing. They should have the blood test results by now, but I haven't heard the results. It's probably important to know what I have... hmmm. I'll follow up on that because I know Mom is probably worried. Thanks for the prayers.

Our sector is doing good. We had a lot of lessons this week, we had the "standards of excellence" for the mission. I have mixed feelings about the numbers. I know they are there to motivate missionaries to work hard, but I don't like thinking of lessons as just filling up a quota. Each person has a very individual path that can lead to Christ and their redemption.

So Sundays on missions are actually a day of "unrest" in my opinion... haha. Yesterday we were waiting for our amis to come to the chapel. They told us Saturday they would come on their bikes. When they didn't show up we called them and they said "change of plans there are now 4 of us so we need a car to pick us up." I was stressing a little because it's not that easy to just find someone who has a big car here to go pick people up. Even more, we were already like 20 minutes into the sacrament meeting. But regardless, we found a car and they came to church and that was a miracle. It's a family we are working with who wants to be baptized the 7th of May. We do lessons with them almost every day. Right now we are working on the word of wisdom. Yesterday we confiscated a bottle of alcohol. Haha imagine us walking down the street with that! We threw it in a dumpster the next neighborhood over. The adventures of missionaries.

This morning for P Day our zone and 1 or 2 other zones were invited to eat crepes for breakfast at the mission home. We had succeeded a zone challenge the past several week to get lots of references from members. So that was fun to see everyone. After the crepes with everyone, we walked down to the chapel right here next to the temple and had a missionary practice for our missionary concerts, coming up in May. Then we did our shopping, cleaned the house, and now our mail! And already P Day is basically over and the week starts again. I am always a little sad for P Day to end. I think I need two days a week of a break. Haha.

Oh yeah, and by they way, it has been 8 months on my mission! I am 1/3 of the way done. I don't know how I feel about it. It has been fast, but at the same time extremely slow. Everyone here says from 6-12 months is the long part of your mission, and after the year mark it speeds up really fast. We'll see; if that's the case then I have 4 long months ahead of me. But it will be good. Right now I am doing really well, I like my sector and my companion. What more can you really ask for on a mission?  thanks to Elder Langomazino I am starting to learn some Tahitian. I can now teach a little in Tahitian. It's crazy. The gift of tongues is real.

I caught a lizard this week and put it on my nametag for a photo shoot, that was fun. Then I kept the lizard with me and used it to scare a sister missionary ;) I am evil hahahaha. Okay love you and miss you tons, have a good week!

Bisous (kisses),

Elder Barlow

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