I would like to start this little e-mail by expressing my gratitude to my dear family, whom I love with every fiber of my soul and being, and also to all my dear friends who might be out there at this moment in time. I thank you for your love and for your prayers.
So I don't know if I've stressed this enough in my last few e-mails, but the last few weeks have been FULL of miracles, EVERY single day. Elder Petek and I don't really know what happened. The first few weeks of our white-wash were tough, we weren't teaching many lessons, we didn't have amis who were super engaged and we had a hard time finding. We just kept on going. We had our vision of the kind of people who we wanted to find and teach, those who were really ready to recieve the message of the restored gospel and to come unto Christ. We wanted to find the Lord's elect, those who were going to basically come to us. And we found them. This last week was incredible. First I'll give you a little update on our progressing amis and then I'll tell you a miracle or two.
So remember Jhonny from last week? Well he's getting baptized next month. We engaged him on Saturday and he accepted the 22nd of December. Unfortunately he lives in the boundaries of the other ward in Toulouse, so we won't be able to teach him anymore because we had to pass him to another companionship, but he is so GOLDEN. He was very ready to hear the truth
Utile is progressing really well toward's her baptism, NEXT SATURDAY! Wow, it's so soon. But she is so ready. We ate dinner at a wonderful member's house with her and the member told her that she was baptized in three weeks after meeting the missionaries. After this, Utile told me afterwards that she feels like she is ready to be baptized now, but the 1st will work. She was already living the gospel, she just needed to hear about it. And know she knows it and my is she happy.
Elsa and David are AMAZING. Absolutely incredible. Their faith astounds me. The faith of these Chinese who learn of the message of the restoration is astounding. It just makes me incredibly excited and anxious for the opening of the field in China. They are doing so well. Elsa came across some things on the internet about Mormons (there is plenty of that in France) but her faith was not shaken one bit. She came straight to us and asked some questions about the early church, etc., we explained and her testimony grows even stronger.
Elza (the French Catholic Convert) has a date now! She is progressing well, reading and praying! She really wants to know if it's true.
Jacques is struggling. He didn't come to church yesterday and he forgets everything that we teach him right after we leave (because of his memory problem). We're trying some cool little tricks with him to try to help him progress and increase his knowledge and testimony. He has such great desire!
The truth will always prevail. I want to tell you about Iris. Iris is very special. She comes from China, where she was converted to Christianity. A few Americans started a protestant church there a few years ago and her family were some of the first converts. Then she moved to Toulouse to study law. And then God put her in our path. And Satan did EVERYTHING he could to stop her from receiving the truth. So we met Iris just outside of a metro stop on Thursday, she said that when she first met us, she was afraid because of all of the misconceptions which were running through her head (polygamy and 14-year-old boy in dark woods). But she stopped and talked to us because of our "Christian smiles". We talked to her for a minute or two, sharing just a bit of what we were all about. Then out of NOWHERE came a drunk man who started screaming blasphemies and lies, scaring the poor girl away. But we refused to let it end there. We ran after her and finished our conversation, planning on meeting each other again the next day. The next day we got a text from her saying that she could not meet with us today because she talked to her pastor, who told her not to. We called her immediately and reasoned with her a little. She said that she PROMISED that she wouldn't meet with us that day, but she didn't say anything about any other day, so we set up a RDZ with her for Sunday. She came! And she had read a bunch of stuff about us on the internet (some of it not so great). But she was ready to listen to what we had to say and to hear our side of the story. She felt kind of rebellious and kept asking questions about our "2nd Bible". So we sat there, and for about an hour we related to her the truth and it answered all of her questions. She said that she was looking for the truth and that sometimes she felt like Joseph Smith. She bore her testimony of how she already knows that God will answer all questions and lead a sincere-seeker to the truth. She was very pleased to meet us. And she'll be seeing us again. IT WAS A MIRACLE! Miracle. God always wins. We were bold and not give up the fight on her and we refuse to in the future.
Also, that same night we met a Christian student from Africa who told us in our first RDZ that it was true, that it is only logical that God would give us more of his word and that she would accept baptism. God is putting them in our hands!
I love this work. I love you all as well! Have an excellent week and an excellent thanksgiving. They don't have pumpkin pie and marshmallow candied yams here, so eat some extra for me!