Mon, Sep 24, 2012 at 3:51 AM
Bonjour from France, one and all. This week was full of very new and very wonderful experiences and I am anxious to dig into the MEAT!
First, I'd like to start off by telling that the baptism of Pilar did not take place. She had a few doubts (just like we warned her would happen) and she asked if we could change the date until AFTER she has found a new place to live. She is discontented in her current habitat. So we've been working with the members here to see if they could help us to help her find a place to live and they pulled through (just like they always do). She will be going to visit a few places this week and we'll be helping her to come unto Christ in the meanwhile. It's difficult for us missionaries because we saw her so excited and so ready for her baptism... and then just a few days later, the stresses of life and the workings of the devil have caused her to procrastinate the day of her repentance! We have so much hope for her though.
In other news, Ling Liu, the madame from China is progressing INCREDIBLY. Her baptism will be in two weeks (the weekend of General Conference... speaking of which, when we told her that the prophet would be speaking on the day of her baptism she lit up like a dolphin!) She is so attentive and she answers ALL of the questions that she comes up with for herself. She is incredibly faithful. She is very, very well-educated and a very deep thinker, but she does let her intellect interfere with her heart, but she lets them go together. She loves to talk about the Plan of Salvation. It is incredible to see someone who.. before.. had no understanding of Jesus Christ is and what he did, testify to us, humbly of her faith in Christ. What is more, she is an incredible missionary. She has been telling ALL of her friends, Far and Wide about her decision to be baptised, emphasizing the name of the Church. She told us that she was going to send the lds.org in Chinese to her friends back in China. Also, I'd like to relate a little story of something incredible that happened this weekend. We made a secret little plan with her to help her parents (who currently live with her) feel the Spirit. We told her that we wanted to watch our Jesus Christ film in Chinese. So at the end of our rendez-vous she grabbed her parents and we all watched Finding Faith in Christ together. Afterwards, she told them a little more, answered their questions and she said that her step-mom felt the Spirit and her father was very interested! Then they came to church with her yesterday, even though they don't speak French! Luckily we have a few Chinese people in our ward who translated and fellowshipped them. We might be teaching her parents with them, but it probably won't be until after the baptism. I might have to learn a little Mandarin! Radical!
We had some really cool experiences with prayer this week that I'd like to share. We had the opportunity to visit a wealthy, well-educated man out in the beautiful Provence country. This man had ordered a Book of Mormon and a pamphlet, which we delivered to him a few weeks ago. We came back to discuss how it went and try to help him feel the Spirit (he was mostly just doing this because he was academically interested.) This very smart gentleman had read over half of the Book of Mormon and told us that whoever wrote the book must have had a great understanding of the Bible, etc. etc. We testified that it wasn't one man who wrote it, but several prophets who were inspired of God to receive his universal doctrines and laws. He wanted to talk about fasting. He was having a tough time feeling the Spirit. We had an incredible member there who bore a powerful testimony. Then we taught him about prayer. He had told us that he believed "en hasard", or chance, randomness, chaos, etc and that he wasn't really interested in explaining the world any other way. We kept testifying of prayer. At the end, I asked him to say a prayer. No. I invite because I know what's going to happen when you pray. (When you humble yourself before the God who created you.... I didn't say this part, but it would have been epic if I had) He did pray and it was really cool. He felt the Spirit and we hope to see him again soon... It's hard because he lives kinda far. He'll probably have finished the BoM by the revoir, without us even having to exhort him to. Hah.
Leon also had a cool experience with prayer, which I don't have time to tell you about now, but perhaps in two years. Remember Leon? The student from China. He said he came here looking for something, wanting to change his life. He said that he wants to baptized when he knows it's the right time. He's establishing his relationship with his Heavenly Father and augmenting his faith. It's beautiful to see.
I love you family and friends. It's been starting to rain here and it reminds me a bit of the overcastedness and rainedness of Oregon and all of the memories of the that part of the world. They sure are fond! I love you with all my heart.
PS. I forgot my camera today, but there's a picture of me getting bitten on the elbow by a dog while posing in front of tower. I'll send it when the time is right.