Happy New Year one and all! May you, this year, realize all of your wildest dreams and desires! Think about it like this: people who are going to living in the year 2113 are going to think that 2013 looks like a long time ago. But you will have lived during those days and you will be able to tell them that YOU ACCOMPLISHED in that year your wildest dreams. (that thought sounded really cool in my head)
Also, I want to shout out to my lil bro, James, who just yesterday turned 18 and just began his journey into ADULTHOOD. This year he will become a missionary, and I will have the sublime priviledge of serving in the Lord's vineyard at the same time as my younger brother, someone who is such an incredible example to me. Also, Happy Birthday to Papa Kunzler! Love you so much.
I'd like to start by telling you about a man named Alexis. Elder Petek and I met Alexis, a 27 year old Frenchman from Paris, who recently moved to Toulouse to audit for a bank here, on New Year's Eve just outside a little Sushi joint. We told him a little about Jesus Christ and invited him to learn more. He said that he would be very interested. Then on New Year's Day 2013, we sat down with him. He told us about how he had recently (as in right before he met us) had a few personal, spiritual experiences in which he came to the realization that there is a God and that Jesus Christ is someone of significance. He told me that when I quoted the scripture, Luke 4:18-19 with him, it really hit home to him and that he really wanted to learn more. He told us that he had been doing a lot of introspection lately, and truly wanted to find the meaning of life and his mission on this earth. He is someone who is humble and was sincerely searching for the truth. There is no accident that we met him on this New Year's Eve. We shared with him the message of Restoration and at the end of the lesson, he prayed for the first time in his life. Then we saw him two days later, this time with a member who converted a few years ago. In this lesson, we taught him about more about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how we can apply it into our life. The member testified of how in prayer, scripture study and in coming to Church, we can come closer to our Heavenly Father and really understand the Atonement of His Son. Then we told him about baptism, another way that he can feel God's love more in his life. He accepted to be baptized on the 9th of February this year. The next day, he came to the baptism of Jhonny (which was incredible, I'll talk about it in a sec) and then church yesterday. At the end of church yesterday, he told me that it was very inspiring and that it all hit home to him. He's already met the stake president, bishopric and many members. It is so incredible to me how the course of one man's life can be completely turned around in just a matter of days, and what's more, right at the beginning of a New Year! What a way to start off 2013.... to come unto Christ... to drink from waters and never be thirsty again.
Jhonny bore his testimony yesterday in fast and testimony meeting and he started to shed tears and he expressed the feelings of his heart. He said that the day before, the day of his baptism, would be a day that would never be forgotten. (BTW, it sounds really cool when you say that in French... because it's said like a day that will never go into OBLIVION...epic) He is a future bishop... that's all I can really say to describe the level of his conversion and his understanding. It was incredible to watch him change in coming unto Christ.
Elsa and David also came to his baptism and it got them STOKED for their own... this weekend! They got to talk a little bit with our bishop (who looks just like Will Ferrell) yesterday and they expressed their excitement and their real intent in following the example of Jesus Christ and promising to follow always. They are so great and so prepared. (David thinks that you're awesome, Manita ;) )
Other miracles are happening in our Zone. This week, we gave them the challenge to talk to EVERYONE all the time, and to keep an eye out for less actives. When you find them, to set a rendez-vous and invite them to come back. Our zone found 3 in a matter of days. Miracles are happening all over this mission! All of our missionaries are on fire, working with members and preparing for new year of change and miracles! Anyone who is coming into this mission this year is the luckiest missionary!
Good week to all you, my loved ones! Good luck to all those who are starting a new semester of studies. Enjoy adulthood, James... it flies. Rofl.