Monday, July 23, 2012


Here we are, this is now offically the last week of my mission and last week was my last week in Bayonne. It was a very interesting week and full of different emotions, good as well as sad. I am having an incredibly difficult time wrapping my mind around the idea that this is the end and that my life as a missionary is coming to a close. I wish that I had prepared a nice letter with my emotions and my feelings but there is quite simply not enough time (I still have to pack all of my bags before I leave tomorrow morning to take the train :/...) That shows you how little time we actually have.

This week I was able to spend a lot of time with members and really learn about who they are. Their conversions, their stories, their family lives, their testimonies. That is what all of this is about. Being on a mission is all about people. It isn't numbers, it isn't the best contacter, the best baptizer, it isn't about bringing the love and joy of our Savior to everyone that we can. There are some true pioneers here in France. Some people that are the strongest members I have ever met with some of the strongest testimonies. What these people have endured sometimes as members of the church is incredible. These people have to have super strong testimonies or else they would be washed away with the slightest of things. I truly believe that the Lord really watches over his members and definitely here in France. 

To be rounding the corner of two years in serving the Lord, you feel like you did a lot but that it wasn't near enough. Even to serve a mission for an entire lifetime, you continue to learn, to progress, to become better, to struggle, to fight to keep going, always always. I cannot say that this was easy or even that it was always fun, but it was worth it. Every problem, every deception, every struggle, every mountain climbed, added to my growth and my understanding of myself. 

I have no idea what will come in the coming weeks, months or years but I know that these two years have been the most influential in my life and will continue to have an impact on me forever. I must thank you all for the love and the concern you have all had for me. I love you all and appreciate you all. I cannot wait to see you all and I will officially be home on the 13th of August. So I look forward to seeing you all. Have a great week and know that I know that God lives and that Jesus Christ is our savior and redeemer. If you turn towards Him, you will be guided and strengthened, I promise you. Have a wonderful week and never forget your blessings! ;)

Elder Ethan Kirkpatrick

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Well, this is my second to last email. Can you believe that??? I cannot at all! These two years have flown by. There are moments that it didn't feel like it but it really has. This last week has been a busy one and it will continue until the end of my mission.

Tuesday we passed some people in the morning and got very very lost. In the afternoon we had a lesson fall through so we did some door to door and such before going to see Dominique, who is doing quite well. We then went to our family home evening and had a couple people that were there.

Wednesday we had a lesson with a new guy named Jean-Marc. It was quite a good lesson and he said that he really wanted to come to church on Sunday, so that was great! We then were supposed to have a lesson with Clenilson but it got cancelled but we saw Soeur Guth instead. We then went and visited the Family Koné and had a good lesson with them. We then hurried and caught the train to go to Urt to visit the Nussbaum family out there and we had a nice meal with them and had a nice spiritual thought at the end.

Thursday, we went to do service with brother Miller  for Frère Vierat. We worked in his garden because he has been super busy that he has no time. While we were doing that, we got a text from Jean-Marc saying that he didn't want to come to church and that he didn't want to continue with us. We figure that he talked to a Catholic Priest, it is unfortunate but there isn't much that we can do. We then went home quickly, got ready and headed out for our ward missionary meeting. We then hustled to see Clenilson and had a really good lesson with him and his friend Ricardo, who participated more than any other time. We then headed out to Biarritz to see Soeur Solé and we had a fairly good lesson with her. We then headed out all the way back to the other side of Bayonne to have dinner with the Duriot Family. It was a very busy day. 

Friday we were in Bordeaux the entire day for our interviews with President Roney. So it was the first time that we got to meet him and he is incredible! Truly a great guy. He has such an energy and just a great honesty about it. It is unfortunate that I will only be here for two weeks with him as President but there will definitely be some great things that will happen in the mission.

Saturday we had English class and then headed out to see the Family Ousdale and eat with them and afterwards we had one of the most spiritual lessons I have ever had. We were all in tears at a couple points and that says a lot because I don't ever cry. Soeur Ousdale is so incredible and has such faith but has had so many difficulties in her life. We then had a big fiasco trying to get around because there were no buses since it was the national Holiday here for their independence so there weren't very many buses. We ended up going home for a bit to do weekly planning and then headed out to see Ben.

Sunday was busy because we left early to go meet Soeur Ousdale to make sure that she was coming to church. Church was good and we had some surprise investigators and such, that was good. We were able to teach a little bit afterwards too. We then went home and finished our weekly planning and then passed some people and then headed out to eat with the Seube family to finish off the week. We had a nice meal with them and it was really a great way to finish things off. 

I hope that you are all doing well. Know that I love you and that I miss you. I can say it now since I will be home shortly. :) If you wish to send any letters you need to do it TODAY! Because I am leaving for Lyon next Tuesday and so it is my last week here in Bayonne. Take care and have a great week!

Elder Kirkpatrick

Monday, July 9, 2012

Why hello,

Wow, the clock is ticking. Not much time left and it continues to fly by like crazy. We had a fairly busy week but because of our baptisms, we don't really have a ton of investigators at the moment and we are really trying to go and look for new ones. So we did a lot of finding and worked hard but probably not as much success as we wanted. 

We have been making some good progress with our investigator Patrice who came to the baptism but at the end of the week he completely flaked out. He is someone that seems so promising at times and that could turn his life around with the gospel if he would allow the gospel to do that in his life. He just doesn't allow it as he should.

We have made some progress with Clenilson, the Brazilian but we have kind of hit a wall because of the language barrier. We are praying for a way to figure it out or involve his friend who speaks french well more into the lessons to help translate.

Dominique continues to do well and explained to us how great she felt after she received the Holy Ghost on Sunday. She was very happy!

There really isn't too much more to say as far as the week went. We did some service for a less active member with other members of the ward and it was just an all around good week.

This next week will also be a busy one and we will have lots to do, especially seeing as I don't have much time left.  I love you all, I know I say that often and it is because it is completely true! Have a great week and I will have two more emails left before.... the end. Of my mission of course. :) Ciao!

Elder Kirkpatrick

Monday, July 2, 2012


Well, this has been quite a week. Very busy and very good. We had our two baptisms of Caroline and Dominique (see the attached photos)! What a great thing to have during the last transfer of a mission. Now we just need to find the next one(s)!! I hope that all of you are doing well and have had a great week!

Tuesday we did some contacting in the morning and then in the afternoon we tried to see Clenilson but wasn't there so we stopped by and visited a member. We then hurried to see the Family Ousdale and had a good lesson with them. We then saw Caroline to continue to prepare her for her baptism. She is just so ready that she understands and agrees with absolutely every principle. She already knows it is true! We then had Family Home Evening at the church and we had a little group of about 6 or 7 who came and we watched The Other Side of Heaven and it was really good, everyone loved it. It is better in English but it was good to see it in French too.

Wednesday we saw Soeur Koné and Alban in the morning and then in the afternoon saw Caroline again for the last lesson and had to finish off a whole bunch of things but it went so smoothly and so perfectly. I had no doubt in my mind that she was completely ready! We then had a couple lessons not work out but then went and saw Maria and Ramond and had a lesson with them and then we went and saw Dominique. We had a nice lesson with her and she has just made so much progress since the end of March when I first got here, it is incredible. In leaving Dominique's we felt inspired to head up to a certain way in town and while walking up we ran into Ingrid, who we contacted weeks again but kept having a hard time seeing her because she works like crazy. She invited us up to her apartment and then invited her neighbor to come in too. At first the neighbor was apprehensive, thinking that we were the Jehovah's Witnesses but then she opened up and we had a great lesson with them. It was so incredible! They have so much potential and they really want to come to church. I hope that even with their busy schedules we will be able to see them soon.

Thursday we had District Meeting in the morning, which was awesome, we have two brand new missionaries in the District. Then Caroline came for the baptismal interview with Elder Johnston and he told us afterwards that she was someone so completely prepared for the gospel. She was totally converted through the Book of Mormon and the Spirit that she felt, it definitely was not us. We then headed back into Bayonne and saw Clenilson and his friend and we had a great lesson with them. We then hurried quickly to the church for the baptismal interview for Dominique also with the Elder Johnston, they are so good to us! The interview went well and we went through some logistics of the baptism.

Friday we had weekly planning and then we had our missionary meeting. After that we stayed around a cleaned a bit to get ready for the baptism the next day. Especially cleaning out the baptismal font, so it wasn't all dirty. We then went and saw Dominique and then did a little porting in the evening.

Saturday was the big day!! We had some errands to run in the morning and then Frère Seube picked us up to take us to Pau for the baptism of Caroline. It was a bit disorganized for various reasons but it worked out ok and the spirit was there. We then hurried back to Bayonne to start filling the font for Dominiqe and getting ready. Everyone starting showing up about 15 minutes before but Dominiqe still wasn't there. We were starting to get worried and then at the time of her baptism her and the Millers, who picked her up, showed up.... They thought it started half an hour later.... Oh la!! Ha So she hurried and changed, as did I (she had asked me to baptize her) and then we got some pictures and got started. It was really a great baptismal service and the spirit was very strong. We even had our investigator Patrice there. We were a bit drained after all of that but it was a great day!!

Sunday was a great day at church and we had three investigators there. The confirmation went well and then we headed home and since during lunch we were fasting, we took a nap instead. Ha! It felt so good. We then headed out and did some contacting, passing until we headed out to see Frère Vierat. We had a good lesson with him and ate some very good crepes and then headed in.

It really was a great week. Rather tiring but great! I love you all and can't wait to see you soon. Have a great week and know that I love you!

Elder Kirkpatrick

Monday, June 25, 2012

Hey everyone,

Wow, they clock is definitely ticking, my days are numbered.... I have become "Grandpa" as the members in my District call me.... Ha! I definitely have to make the best of the little bit of time left. I hope that you are all doing well and that you have been staying busy this summer, and not melting too much in the heat. We had a rather busy week this week but it was good.

We had a couple lessons on Monday with Christophe, a less active, and Madame Desclos, finally, before going to pick up Elder James who was coming from Switzerland, so he had a long voyage! Poor Guy.

Wednesday was a pretty busy day. We had the Johnstons come in the morning to come and inspect our apartment and then they so graciously took us to KFC afterwards... it was very nice of them. They truly spoil us! We then had a lesson with Caroline about the Law of Chastity. She is seriously one of the easiest people to teach. It took about 15 minutes and she understand and already followed it anyway, just like the Word of Wisdom! We then made some calls and such and then went and saw Clenilson. The Brazilian neighbor of Soeur Guth and had a pretty good lesson with him. Thank goodness for church DVDs in portugese! We then went and visited Soeur Ousdale and her kids and had a wonderful lesson with them! I truly love that family, I hope that they will be able to become active in the church again.... they are just so wonderful. We also got the news that Caroline was moving to Pau earlier than expected and that we weren't going to be able to finish teaching her, which was a bummer but we still planned on going for her baptism.

Thursday was a bit of a long day because almost everything that was planned didn't work out! We did some passing in the morning and in the afternoon we wanted to see Dominiqe but we couldn't get ahold of her, then we went to our lesson with Madame Itois and she wasn't there. So we did contacting and passbacks and etc until seeing Maria and Ramond, who are always there. ha! We then went to try and see Soeur Solé but she wasn't there but two of the kids were so we were able to have a really good discussion with them which was beneficial.

Friday we had a lesson set up that didn't work out, so we did some passbacks and then in the afternoon we had our missionary meeting. We then had Felix, the less active and we finally were able to see him again! We had a great lesson with him, I truly pray that things will start going a bit better for him. We then saw Dominique and had a pretty good lesson with her. She is really doing quite well and preparing well for her baptism. We then went in for the evening to do our weekly planning.

Saturday we had  English class in the morning and then went and saw Clenilson in the afternoon and had a great lesson where his roommate participated for the first time and we found out that he is super believing but has had some struggles lately but we feel like there is so much potential with him!! We then did some contacting and stuff and then did some door to door in the evening and met this great older lady that let us in and was super nice, we had an awesome lesson with her. Who knows what will happen but she was really great.

Sunday was church and Caroline surprised us by being there. Apparently her electricity won't be turned on until Wednesday so she isn't going officially until Thursday so that way we can finish to teach her which we are excited about. And the baptisms for Dominique and Caroline were announced! Exciting!! We then had a big ward meal afterwards and it was great for the investigator to be well integrated with everyone. We then went and saw Frère Vierat and his kids and then in the evening we ate with an American Family that is here for a couple months for work, they are super nice! We even met their neighbors to eat with us! You have to love Americans doing missionary work! Ha! It was a great evening.

It was such a great week and this one promises to be one as well with two baptisms! We are so excited! I love you all and am so grateful for you! I love you and well see you soon! :)

Elder Kirkpatrick

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hello Everyone,

I hope that you are all doing well. I know that this letter is a day late but we had a little change yesterday. I am still in Bayonne and so is my companion, but we actually have a third companion now! Crazy, right? It will be an interesting few weeks but it will be good. We had a very busy week this last week but it was a good one. Unfortunately, I forgot my old planner at the apartment so I don't remember exactly what happened but I will give you a quick run down.

Stephan, who was supposed to get baptised ended up going to the hospital for a bit. It is nothing too serious but he needed to go so it will be good for him and then when he comes back we will see about fixing another date. Dominique changed her baptismal date for the 30th but she is getting rather excited for it and she continues to progress. Caroline is rock solid and incredible! She is getting baptised on the 30th and she is definitely ready! She finished the Book of Mormon and she told us that she knows that it is true!! She mentioned how she was sad to finish it already but how she just wants to keep reading it to continue to learn and progress, she is incredible. She is such an example of feasting on the words of Christ. The bad news is that she is moving to Pau right after her baptism because she found work, which is a good thing, but Bayonne will be losing such a strong and converted member. Wherever she is, she will be a strength for those around her.

We also found a new investigator named Madame Itoiz, who is pretty cool but we will see how ready she really is for the gospel but you never know. So that is kind of a quick run down on the week. Sorry, not too in depth but I hit the major points and the most interesting as well. 

I hope that everyone is doing well. I love you all and am so grateful for you. I am rounding around that last bend and it is so absolutely surreal. Thank you for your support in these last two years and I will be seeing you all shortly. I still have about 5 and a half weeks left so as they say, "I'm not dead yet!" Ha! Have a great week and hope to hear from you soon!!

Elder Kirkpatrick 

Monday, June 11, 2012

This picture was taken at Lourdes a very famous catholic church.  Ethan says he has some Holy water from there but won't drink it as it has caused stomach issues with some people.  Ethan said it was very cool.  They went as a District so these are missionaries in his District.

Hola! Bonjour! Hello! 

Once again, rain seems to just not want to leave for an extended period of time. It has started back up again. I have a feeling that it will be like this until the end. AT least it is better to have that than to be dying of heat like last year in Montauban... We had a crazy busy week and things are definitely progressing with our investigators. And our three people engaged for baptism!!

So last Monday we had an incredible lesson with Caroline, the girl that I said last week has a baptismal date. She is actually the sister of a recent convert from Pau that brought her to church about three weeks ago. We tried to set up a lesson with her then but she didn't want to and preferred to come to church the next week. We weren't sure that she would come but she was there and she loved it. We were able to set something up for the next day and she had already read at least one fourth of the Book of Mormon. She absolutely loves it and she has already had some wonderful spiritual experiences. It is incredible! So naturally she is so ready for the gospel and we fixed a baptismal date with her for the 30th of June.

On Tuesday we headed up to Bordeaux for a Zone Conference and it was so good!! We learned so much but it was also very sad because it was the very last Zone Conference with President and Sister Murdock and probably the last time that we will see them. They will be leaving in a few weeks. We are going to miss them terribly. I really have come to love them so much. That lasted the entire day and then we headed to Bayonne and ran over to the church for the last little bit of the family home evening before heading home.

Wednesday we had quite a day planned out and full of lessons. In the morning we visited the Koné family and then we ate lunch with the Millers, which was very kind of them. In the afternoon we were supposed to have two lessons with less actives but they ended up falling through at the last minute, so we ported and found some people for a few days later. In the evening we had a lesson with Stephan and Soeur Guth and it went pretty well, not exactly as we planned but it was alright. He is still progressing little by little.

Thursday we did some contacting and passing in the morning and then ate and made some calls. We then went and saw Dominique in the afternoon and had a good lesson with her about how important baptismal covenants are to keep and that it is truly only the beginng, she understood well and is making a lot more head way than before. We then headed out to Biarritz to see Maria and Ramond and had a good lesson with them. She wants to be baptized but they aren't married so it makes things difficult. I am not sure if I told you but Ramond is 91 and so it is almost like some people are waiting for him to kick the bucket so that she can be baptized.... it is kind of sad but the truth. We then headed to eat dinner with the Solé family and had a nice evening with them. They aren't active anymore and it is sad to see how that has changed their lives even though they can't fully see it. One day they will, I am sure.

Friday we had a lesson in the morning that didn't work out so we went scoping for some places to do door to door later at a better moment during the day and then we went to eat and then had our missionary meeting. We then had a lesson with a student named Quentin and we had a good lesson but he just was curious but not wanting to really do anything. He isn't believing and happy with that, so there isn't too much more to do there for the moment. We then had a lesson get cancelled and did a little door to door and then decided to go in to do our weekly planning since we wouldn't really have time to do it later, so we finished the evening with that.

Saturday was a busy day but a tiring one. In the morning we went and saw Caroline at the church and had an awesome lesson with her! We then ate and then headed out to a lesson with a new guy that is Brazilian named Clenilson. It was a pretty good lesson and there was definitely a language barrier but we hope that he at least kind of understood. We then did some pass backs and then saw Dominique. At this time, we were getting rather tired but had a decent lesson with her even still. We then headed out to go see the Vierat family and had a lesson with them before heading home for the evening.

Sunday was a special Stake Conference but it was the Broadcast from Salt Lake and it was really good. The talks were awesome. We had three investigators there and they seemed to really enjoy it. We then headed home and ate and then went out and passed some people and then headed to Biarritz to see Maria. We then went to visit the Ousdale family and had a really good lesson with them. Soeur Ousdale gave an incredible testimony that she has about the Book of Momorn. I was really touched by it. We then headed home. 

Voilà, that was our week. It was rather busy and this week seems like it will always be rather busy. I hope that you are all doing well. I love you and wish you all the best. I am so grateful for this opportunity that I have to serve in France and share the gospel. These are experiences that I will never forget. Thank you for all of your love and support and that you have given me but that you will always continue to give me with the short amount of time that I have left. Have a great week and talk to you soon!!

Elder Kirkpatrick