I have so much to tell you and so little time. Just kidding, they actually just changed the weekly e-mail time from 60 minutes to 90 minutes, so I have all the time in the world!
First I have a bit of sad news... So this week Alexis moved back up to Paris. He finished his last week of work last week and moved back up with his parents. He will be working with his father until he finds a good job in Paris. I got to meet his parents on Wednesday evening when we helped him to move. They are wonderful, kind people, and Alexis said that he was going to do all in his power to bring them to come to church with him up in Paris! His mom called me "Joshua" when I first met her, which really scared me. Haha, apparently she read Elder Petek's blog.
Another bit of sad news... Tracey's mother passed away this week. She took it so well. When we taught her on Thursday, she told us that her mom had fallen into a coma and was probably going to pass away. She seemed like she was taking it well, but was nonetheless very sad. We gave her a blessing of comfort, watched a really good Neil L. Anderson talk and talked about the Plan of Salvation with her. The following day, she took a plane to Martinique to be with her family during this difficult time. While she was on the plane, her mother passed away. Something that she said really, really touched me. She told me that she knew that the Lord had brought the Gospel light into her life before she had this trial, to easen the pain and to bring her great hope. She said that she will be speaking at her mother's funeral, and she actually asked us for scriptures from the Book of Mormon that reveal the Plan of Salvation, that she could share in her talk. She is a light and is going to be so for her family. I am so thankful for all that the Savior has done to make it possible for us to be able to be with our loved ones again, even after death. I know that the relationships that we tie with people in this life last even into the eternities.
So, I tried to make the sad news as light as possible. But hey, THERE IS SO MUCH GOOD NEWS TO SHARE! Ok, so I cannot WAIT to get this out... JHONNY'S FAMILY IS GETTING BAPTIZED! Remember Jhonny, the one who Elder Petek and I found, taught once, passed, got baptized and is going to be the next bishop of Toulouse? Well, he is divorced and his ex-wife came down to Toulouse from Lille (tippity top of France) to visit with two of his older children (15 and 14). While here, he brought them to church, and invited the missionaries to come and visit, and teach them. I was on an exchange when the other companionship went to teach, so I got to teach his wife, and my, oh, my was she ready for the message. She is someone very faithful and believing already, but she was humbly look for the truth. When we taught her, she even testified with us to her children. We gave them all copies of the Book of Mormon and made SURE that they had the address to the church in Lille, and the coordonees of the missionaries. Just yesterday Jhonny told me that they had been to church every week since they've been back, her and the kids had been diligently reading and praying about the Book of Mormon, knew that the message was true, and would be asking the missionaries if they could be baptized! Miracles! The Lord works in mysterious ways.
This week I did a little exchange in a little village called Cahors. It looks like a village straight from Legend of Zelda. We saw lots of success that day and found 8 people who wanted to learn more of Christ later!
Another cool miracle is that we taught a student on friday, who is the female version of Joseph Smith. Her name is Sabrina. I met her on thursday evening in the university area. I was contacting on one side of the street, and my companion on the other. When I saw her walking towards me, the Spirit told me... "You are going to teach this person, she has the light." Even, my companion, watching from the other side of the street, said that he saw it and said that if I hadn't contacted her, he would have ran across the street to snag her. Sure enough, we fixed a rendez-vous for the following day. When we taught her, we found out quickly that she is a sincere seeker of truth. She comes from Tunisia and has a background in the Islam religion, but is not at all practicing. She said that since she's been in France, she goes into Catholic churches and prays like how she sees Christians do on the television. She said that when she met missionaries who wanted to freely teach her more about Jesus Christ, she knew that it came straight from the heavens. We taught her about the life of Christ, the restoration of his church, the Book of Mormon, the role of the Holy Spirit and prayer. At the end, she prayed for the first time aloud in the name of Christ. It was beautiful to watch.
I would just like to tell you all that I love you so much. I can feel your prayers and your support. I know that in this life on the earth, we will have tribulations, difficulties, trials, and we will encounter much evil. But I know more than I'm sure about anything, that we don't have to fear or worry for one moment. Because our divine brother has come into the world and he has overcome the world. He has showed us the way and done everything that was necessary to make it possible for us to overcome it as well. I love Him.
Have a good week! Good luck, James! Come to France, there are too many miracles happening here for you not to be a part of them! :)
You guys aren't going to believe this, but I've learned to cook on my mission (thanks Elder Petek) doesn't the food look delicious, and don't I look cool in an apron?