My dearest family and friends,
The Church is true! I know it better now than I've ever known it before and I'll know it better tomorrow than I knew it today!
I have some pretty awesome miracles to tell you about, but before I get started, I'd just like to tell you a little bit about what I was able to do this morning. There is a member in another ward in Bordeaux who is a professional opera singer. Every single day during the week, he goes and rehearses at the great and beautiful Bordeaux Opera House. That's what he does for a living. This morning he was so kind and generous to take a few of us missionaries on a backstage guided tour of the opera house. He let us in through the artists entrance and got us badges for free from the security guards and showed us everything there was to see. It was huge and beautiful, very detailed. It reminded me of Phantom of the Opera (except that one is in Paris) except there was no phantom.... or was there??? France is a fun place to serve a mission. You can take your own little guided tour of the Bordeaux Opera House here:http://mormon.org/alexis/
This week we got to learn from another 70 here in Bordeaux. At our Zone Conference, Elder Richards, who spoke about the Atonement a few General Conferences ago came to teach us. He taugh us about teaching clearing, simply, using little words and many questions, so that even a child could understand (like Jesus Christ taught). It was a great learning experience and amazing to be in the presence of a holy man of God. He knew the scriptures like the back of his hand. A missionary would make a comment or ask a question and he would reply, "Paul said that.." or "As Jacob in the Book of Mormon says... " "If we turn to D and C Section..." So epic.
After this conference we had an exchange with the Assistants. Elder Gouttin, a French missionary from Lille, worked in our sector. That day we had planned on visiting the Soulé family, a wonderful family in the ward that I've grown really close to (Frère Soulé's sister lives in Keizer, OR... 15 minutes from our home). At the beginning of the visit, he remarked Elder Gouttin's name and said, "Oh, that's strange, I know some Gouttins in western France." Elder Gouttin responded that he has family in Western France. Frère Soulé refused to belief that he was even French, he said that he had an American accent (he thinks that I have a French accent when I speak English...) Eventually, they figured out that Elder Gouttin's great-uncle was the one who taught Frère Soulé with the missionaries and performed his ordonnance of baptism 44 years ago. It was a miraculous coincidence (not) that brought tears to his eyes that his great-nephew would now be on a mission in Southern France and come across this family which was brought into the church decades ago and is still very active in the gospel! Tender mercies! The work in France is amazing and my oh my is it rolling forth.
On Saturday, Elder Emal and I found 3 new investigators. 2 of which are a young couple that comes from Portugal (I was able to use some of my Portuguese skills in the lesson). They have passed through some difficulties recently, for example, all of their parents have passed away. But they are very faithful people, with a great love for the Savior and they have a lot of hope that they will see their loved ones again. We were able to teach them about the simple principle of prayer, pray with them and share spiritual experiences. That's what I get to do every single day. Teach simple principles that help people to feel more of God's love and be happy. It's wonderful. Their names are Daniel and Rute.
Wonders, well it's the last week of the transfer (already) and we've got some cool things ahead of us. I will going to Tarbes tonight to do an exchange with a missionary there and then I get to go to the beautiful city of Bayonne on Thursday. We will be working with the Lord and his angels to help people come closer to Christ! Yes! I love you so much family and wish you the most wonderful of summer weeks this week!
PS. Happy Father's Day! I love you so much dad!