Mon, Sep 17, 2012 at 5:53 AM
|Un petit livre du poetry. This is at the ward activity in the family history room. We had some glorious artifacts.|
This week was a week of weeks. We had an extraordinary experience working with the ward here. So we had been planning an activity here in Aix for quite some time. It was spawned as project: "Porte Ouverte et Kermesse" and what it really evolved into was miracle day. It was really just an open house that we had been advertising for a couple of weeks. We went out on the street, sang with members of the ward, handed out pamphlets and spread information. We handed out about 800 pamphlets. We told all of our amis to come (both companionships). The ward did an excellent job organizing it. We had banners inside the church that had church history/doctrine/information. Each classroom was like a little booth. There was a family history/priesthood/relief society/restoration station. There were cakes and a Karmesse, or carnival, for the kids. It was really a lot of fun. And we some miracles with it. I have time to tell you three quickies.
So, first. We were singing in centre ville on Saturday morning, with a big banner and big smiles and handing out cool little pamphlets to anyone who cared to take one. At one point a mother and her daughter (about 15) walked up and just started OBSERVING us singing. One of the other missionaries went up and started talking to her. He had a great conversation and found that: she was from Portugal, had been taught by the missionaries there, had been preparing to be baptized, moved to France, lost contact with the church, had been living in Aix for some years. Her daughter, the night before, was supposed to return to Portugal to commence her studies there. That night, she decided she was going to stay in Aix with her mother, didn't know why, but just felt like it was the right thing to do. Next day she sees us singing. She comes to the open house. Afterwards, she expresses to us how THIS WAS IT. The reason why the daughter had decided to stay. She said she felt like she was ready to start her new life NOW. She came to church yesterday, felt and recognized the Spirit and is now preparing for baptism.
|Haha they should put this on the cover of the Liahona or something.|
Next one's a quicky, then for the grand finale. So once upon a time, there was a man who found a Book of Mormon in a train station and began to read it. Then he lost it. Then he met the missionaries on the street and came to an open house activity that the ward in Aix-en-Provence was holding. Felt the warmth and kinship of the ward and put a face to a feeling. He will also now be taught by the missionaries. (This was the Zone Leaders.)
But the most miraculous of all happened with Elder Tulley and I! So, last week we started teaching a woman from Shanghai, China who had been taking the lessons from missionaries a few years before, but was dropped because she was too busy. She is incredible, this woman. Her name Len Liu and she lives with her parents (who only speak Mandarin) and daughter (about 4/5 years old). She had great desires to learn our religion and to change, but many questions and many doubts. She is very smart and has many incredibly deeply thought questions: mostly about justice and mercy, repentance and forgivenness. She wanted to bit of more than she could chew! It was really good teaching her and answering her questions, but every time we answered one concern, it would just come to another and it felt like we weren't making ANY progress with her. So we decided that the we were going to do EVERYTHING to get her to the activity with her daughter and to feel the love of the members. SHE CAME. She brought her daughter AND her parents. In our follow-up Rendez-vous with her yesterday, it was completely different. She had realized that her doubts had been causing her to keep on hitting a brick wall, but when she felt the warmth and love of the ward; saw their discipleship and their Christianity, it all started to make sense to her. As we taught her and helped her to make connections, it was incredible to see the Spirit working through us and changing her thoughts and desires. She now wants to be baptized and we are working for October the 6th, general conference weekend! She is an incredible woman who has already changed my mission and continues to help me to try be more Christlike. She has already been living the way that God has asked us to, just without the knowledge. She's inspiring.
|A cool lookin' French cathedral (where they don't have the fullness)|
So all else is good on the Southern France front! Pilar will be baptized this Saturday and I'll try to send you pictures and such next week.
I love you and pray for your safety and well-being. Keep doing what is right, just, good, benevolent, thrifty, clean and reverent!
Enormous amounts of l'amour,