Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Any publicity is good publicity.
Dearest family and friends,
Happy Day! I hope that all is well on the Western Front. I have some good news and I have some bad news. The good news is that the missionary work is going incredibly well in Bordeaux, France. I will tell you how in more detail momentarily. The bad news is that I have not been able to record any of photographically and will not be able record any of it for a while. I broke my camera. Unfortunately, as I was handing my camera to my companion to have him take a picture of me standing next to a statue of a kneeling down to get liked in the face by a dog (who would have ever missed this opportunity) I let go of the camera too soon and it shattered on the ground. I shall never forget Dax, France, the location where this took place. Luckily I got the warranty and sent it home. But unfortunately, no more pics of France for a while, sorry.
But as I said earlier, the work here in our area is progression incredibly fast, mostly thanks to the members. On Saturday, we had a talent show activity (which was a huge succes, probably the best one I've ever been too... unfortunately I took NO pictures) and a wonderful family invited a friend. It was this friend's first time at the chapel and she had lots of questions. After the activity, she threw question after question at us... "Where do you come from?" "How long will you be here?" "What are you doing exactly?" "Why do you do it?" We did not have sufficient time to respond to all of her questions, so we told her that we'd try to set up a dinner with the family so that she could ask her questions and we could teach her more about what we believe.
Then the following day, at church, the bishop's wife came up to us and told us to expect her friend at church. Her friend was Brazilian and had already, apparently, been in contact with the church. Unfortunately, she never came, but we'll be coordonnating with this family to fix something up later. Then, after church, another family came up to us and told us about the missionary efforts of their daughter. They said that she had given a Book of Mormon to one of her friends and then they showed us a text from her saying that ever since he gave it to him he hasn't put it down. The members are litterally on fire. And we all know that the best way to do missionary work is with the members. :)
Another really cool miracle happened this week. At the beginning of a week, a really cool recent convert, Julie, texted us and asked if we could fix a RDV to teach her friend Sarah on Wednesday. We gladly accepted. Sarah is special. I will tell you about her. So Sarah is 17 years old and she comes from a family that immegrated from Algeria and is traditionally in the Islam religion. About a year ago, Sarah, however, decided that her religion wasn't enough for her. She began to search around into other religions. She had a Catholic friend, and she went to a few masses, but had a difficult time understanding the doctrine of the trinity, so she gave up. She had another Evangelical friend, and she enjoyed the ambiance at her church. But she kept searching. Then she saw a program on the television about the Mormons. You must know that the TV programs in France about the Mormons are ridiculous. It shows Amish looking people in traditional clothes walking around with their 40 wives. People here are very misinformed. But she was touched by our doctrine, that we do not drink alcohol or smoke and we obey the law of chastity. She holds similar values. She decided to research a little more into it. She looked on the internet and found that their was the LDS church and then the fundamentalist Mormons, who practice polygamy, and she read about how they are often confused. She then got on the churches website and began chatting with missionaries on the internet. She began reading the Book of Mormon just from the computer. Eventually, she found that there was a chapel not to far from where she lives and she came to church on her own. Apparently this has been going on for a while now. She goes to activities and has lots of friends in the church. Eventually, after reading much the Book of Mormon, she gained a spiritual witness of its veracity. As she was explaining all of this to us, she told us that she wants to be baptized. The only problem is that she is still a minor and seeing that her mother is a Muslim, she does not at all want her to change religions. My companion and I have been praying and fasting that the heart of her mother will be softened. We'll be seeing Sarah again this week, and we'll see. She is a very smart and mature girl, who is going to make an awesome missionary, just because of the strength of her testimony!
Miracles are taking place, the Lord is gathering his elect in all corners of the world. It is very exciting to be a part of it. Thank you so much for your prayers on my behalf. I love you all very much and wish you all an extraordinary week!
Elder Kunzler (celui qui sert en France)