About 7 months ago an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ came to Bordeaux, France. He said in his French (with a really thick American accent), "que tous ceux qui aiment Dieu et veulent faire alliance avec lui viennent et nous trouvent" or "that all those who love God and want to make covenants with Him come and find us". And how this apostalic calling is being realized.
There is a woman who loves God very much. Her name is Marie-Sophie. She has a lot of difficulties in her life. Her children are rebellous. Her husband passed away. She just lost a grandson of 3 years old this last week. But she might be one of the happiest women on the planet. She is full of faith and hope. Real hope. She comes home every evening and prays to God, thanking him for all of her blessings and asking for forgiveness for all the small mistakes that she made throughout the day. Elder Emal and I met her a few weeks ago on a tram. This last week we taught her about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. One of the most amazing things to me about missionary work is how the Spirit is always the same when we recount the First Vision as it was recounted by Joseph Smith himself. That day I was on an exchange with a younger missionary, who is still struggling a little bit on his French, but when he recounted the First Vision in French as he learned it in the MTC, the Spirit moved tears the eyes of the member who was there to teach with us. With much faith, Marie-Sophie told us that she would be reading the Book of Mormon and praying to God to know if it's true. Those who love God are coming and finding us.
Hanane grew up in the Islam country of Morocco. Religion has always been a very important aspect of her life. She, also, prays often and sees her Heavenly Father as her best friend, her support, her father. When we sat down with her in the chapel here in Bordeaux, we asked her the question "What role has religion played in your life?" As she shared her honest testimony and her sincere witness of the things that are the most dear to her, the Spirit brought tears to her eyes. God is bringing the children who truly love him in. To listen and to learn. It is truly building my testimony. To have the chance to teach these quality of people, not only builds my confidence in the divine calling of his chosen servants here on the earth, but the fact that we live in a world with so much goodness. Although there will always be evil, poverty, wickedness, selfishness, war and sadness, there will always be light and those who follow it and help others to follow it.
Sarah is doing very well. Although she is still kept from being baptized because of her mother, she is reading and staying close to the Spirit. She reads from the Book of Mormon on her phone and she told us that she has finished Alma. Endurance. The entire ward gathered together in fast and prayer yesterday that the heart of her mother would be softened.
Marie-Louise and Laurentine are also progressing well. We haven't been able to see them too often, seeing that is spring break and they are very busy (yes, I know how illogical that sounds). We have a very good week set for us! We get to teach the family of a member family! Whoa! That's the way missionary work should be. We literally went and tracted into this member's friend and set up a lesson together right there and then! I'll let you know how it goes on Sunday, when I see you all on Mother's Day! It is truly a pleasure to work in a ward in which the members are so dedicated to sharing the gospel. It really helps the Lord to hasten his work.
I love you family and wish you a wonderful week! You're in my prayers, and if I could please ask you to keep Sarah and Marie-Sophie in yours. Thank you and God bless.