Bonjour from Provence, one and all!
I want to start out this e-mail by just telling you how inspired of a man our mission president, President Ronney is. I get the opportunity to be in the first group received by him. This means that he is kind of using us as guinea pigs in training us to be the missionaries that he wants to use to change the mission. I also get to see how the changes that this man has made are bringing miracles in the work. He is pushing us to be more amiable, more obedient, more productive, effective and Christlike missionaries than ever. And those who are nearing the ends of their missions are seeing how his inspired direction is changing the mission and moving the work forward, even in new directions. I'm so grateful to be under the head of such an inspired man.
So this week Elder Tulley have been focusing our efforts on finding. When I got to Aix, our pool of investigators was pretty shallow, and there wasn't a whole lot of progression. We've decided to go get the hose and start filling up that pool, while at the same time using that rake, pool-cleaner thing to scrap out any muck and to get our pool looking shiny and gold. We had a successful week in finding. I want to tell you a bit about someone who we're going to start teaching... LAURA! Laura is remarkable. The first time I met her, she was walking with a stroller with her three young children. She just had this glorious smile on her face. We stopped and talked to her a little bit, complimenting her family and getting to know her. So she was a potential investigator of the Zone Leaders here, they had set up Rendez-vous, but she had a hard time following up with them and they never really got anything together. Then we met her. She had had a great experience talking to the other missionaries, but she didn't really know much about what we do. We told her a tad about our church and then the Book of Mormon. Her daughter was actually the one who prompted this discussion. She saw that I had the book in my hands and asked what it was. I told her and then showed her some of the pictures at the front. She asked if Moroni was God. Haha. Laura became really interested after we testified of its promise. She said that she would take it and read it with her daughters and give us a call if she wanted to learn more. Then we didn't hear anything for about a week. We saw her again at almost the EXACT same spot and talked with her again. She had READ! She had lots of questions and sincerely wanted to know (specifically about how it applied to her and her life) we were a little pressed on time, so we set up a Rendez-vous and we'll be teaching her this week! We're really excited to get to know and to help this beautiful family. Her daughter even invited us to her upcoming birthday party... YES!
We've had a few other miracles in our finding efforts. When we walking from an appointment, an injured African man called us over from a nearby bench. Elder Tulley recognized him as someone they had met last transfer. He yelled us over and looked at me and asked, "What's the news from the Bible?" He may or may not have been joking, but I think I said something like "the good news, the gospel of Jesus Christ!" He was a potential ami with the last companionship, but he got injured in his job working for bank security and they lost contact with the missionaries. But now he's prepared for the gospel and we'll be teaching him this week.
We'll also be trying to meet with some sincere truth-seekers who we have come into contact with just on the street! That is my FAVORITE thing about being a missionary in Aix. Standing in the center of this beautiful city with 3 other excellent missionaries and talking to people about how the gospel of Jesus Christ can improve the quality of their lives, how the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and how we have marvelous truths that have been brought to the earth through a prophet of God! Speaking of which, I want to leave a quick shout-out to Chen... I hope that your lavender journeyings have brought you peace.... continue onward!
We didn't get to see a whole lot of Nicolas this last week, becuase he was out of town (he's been having some difficulties with the family... keep him in your prayers). But we will be holding a fellowshipping FHE with him at a wonderful family here in the ward. Have I already told you all how glorious the ward here is... a big extended family who edify each other and show their love (not just by kissing each other on both cheeks). I love being in their presence. They're such a great help to us missionaries here. They give us great support. It's just a little tough because less than half of the ward actually lives here in Aix... but they do all they can for us! And they give us glorious sweets. I don't think I've ever eaten more chocolate, grapes, breads and cheeses than I have consumed in the last 3 weeks. I also don't think I've ever had better chocolate, grapes, breads and cheeses than I've had in the last three weeks. Viva la France!
I love you, all! Have a wonderfully summery week... you've only got a couple more! Thank you for all of support and for all your love. It makes the days that much more wonderful. I know that this work is the work of the Savior, because if it wasn't, I wouldn't be so happy all the time! Keep your smiles (3 Nephi 19:25) and stay close to the Lord.
P.S. I guess no pictures this week... The attach file thingy isn't wanting to work on this comp... Desole
P.S.S. James, what's yer e-mail? I have things to tell you...