The pals (Elders Petersen and Smith, whom I lived with d'autrefois)
Dearest family and friends,
L'hiver vous acceuille.
I live as a missionary for baptism services. They are the times on my mission when I have felt the Spirit the strongest and been able to truly rejoice in the fruit of my labors. I have no doubts that Bruno's service this saturday will be no exception. He is so ready. Yesterday at church, he came up to me after the meetings and asked if everyone who was supposed to be on the program was already informed, etc. Then he said that he had already told everyone. I think that he asked just so that he could tell me that. It made me really happy, because he is so enthousiastic about what he is going to do this weekend to change his life forever. He is going to come unto Christ. Jesus Christ invites all to come unto. He said multiple times during his earthly ministry... come, follow me... come unto me all ye that are heavy laden... follow thou me... come and see. He says it again today.
The Swiss village of Orbe is preached to
I'm sorry that my letter will be short today.
Elder Powell and I had an excellent week that involved:
1 Eating double decker cheeseburgers in Geneva, Switzerland.
2 Mission our train back to France... In order to be able to preach the gospel to a few Lamanites in Switzerland!
3 Teaching a man that said that he wanted to fight me (even brought his brother along) but was then softened by the Spirit and agreed to be baptized next month.
4 Preaching the Gospel in a small Swiss village where everyone knew everyone and they were probably the nicest people on the planet, next to Texans.
Other good things happened as well. Trust me.
I love you much family and I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve in the Lord's vineyard. The time is short, but it is being enjoyed and used to it's fullest. I love you much and thank you for your love and your support. Stay dry and warm et que les éléments ne vous blessent pas :)
I would like to share with you a few miracles that have taken place in this sector this last week.
1. I told you about Madame Rose and her daughters last week. Her teenage daughter said a very inspiring closing prayer. The husband didn't show up to the lesson, because he was held back with some previous engagements. WELL, at the end of this last week, the sisters here in Dijon were with a member of the ward here, on the way to a lesson or something when a man cried at them and said that he wanted to hear more about Jesus Christ. The sisters thought that he was mocking them, so they simply tried to ignore him, but the member boldly approached him. The member walked back to the sisters with a phone number, an address and a rendezvous arranged. So the sisters showed up to this RDV with the same member. They were surprised, when they walked in to see that the man was holding an open copy of the Book of Mormon. They asked how he got it and the man explained that the weekend before two boys in suits had come and taught his wife and daughters! It was Madame Rose's husband! When the sisters told me about this, I was flabbergasted! Hehe. So we passed this family to the sisters and they will be teaching them from now on! Cool little miracle.
2. About a week and a half ago we contacted a man who was walking his cute little daughter home from school. We told him about a book that we wanted to give him that would change his life and bring him much more peace and happiness in the family. When we went to this man's home we were received with such a warm welcome. He had a wife and three beautiful daughters, and they were all immigrants from Kosovo in Eastern Europe. They are Muslim of origin, but not very practicing. The middle daughter, who is 14 has a cancer and is currently going through chemotherapy, but is just a smiley and happy little girl, even though she is going through this tough trial. We taught a bit of our message and left them with the Book of Mormon in Albanian, their native language. The next time we came and taught them, we found out that it was mostly the 14 year old who had sparked the curiosity and read into the Book of Mormon. She loved what she read, and it is amazing to me the way that God reaches out to his children. It is amazing to be a missionary. There is nothing quite like it.
3. Bruno is a non-smoker. He has not touched cigarettes in 10 days today! We know that it is because of his faith, courage and will that he was able to do it. He is truly a changed man. I remember the day that we met him, a little over 2 months ago, Elder Powell and I's first morning in Dijon. He seemed a little hopeless, unhappy, like he'd been through a lot of difficulties in his life, and he has. But now he is smiley, funny, spiritual and faith-filled. He is also one of the most prayerful investigators I've ever taught. He will be baptized next weekend and he are so proud of him and excited for his future!
4. A new investigator came to a session of general conference with her son. She is someone who comes to english class every week and my companion and I have played soccer with her son in the past. She received a Book of Mormon already from a family that she knows in the ward. We were so happy to see her show! She came to the session in which Elder D. Todd Christofferson talked about women and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland talked about depression. She has recently separated from the boy's fathers, so I think that she was able to really receive some great council. The Lord works in mysterious ways.
Those are just a few of the many miracles and blessings that Elder Powell and I saw this last week.
I love you much my family and I love this work! Let's do our best to be doers and not only hearers of the word! Go out and apply the things you heard and felt in general conference. Pray for missionary opportunities and then act! I know that this gospel truly is "the penetrating light that pierces through the obscurity of darkness"!
Une oeuvre merveilleuse est sur le point de se produire parmi les enfants des hommes.
There are good things happening in Dijon, the forelorn village of the east.
Bruno will be baptized on the 19, two weeks after general conference this saturday. This last week we went over to his apartment with an empty garbage sack and we left his apartment with a garbage sack full of coffee, cigarettes, tobacco cans, lighters, ashtrays, lighter fluid, etc. Everything. I have a pretty cool picture of me grinning in the midst of all these poisons. Bruno is a non-smoker! We are so proud of him, he has so much courage. He will be on a special program to turn of the bells that trigger his desire to smoke all this week (a program that includes the use of grapefruit juice and cinnamon mouth wash and prayer). Friday we will going over to his apartment to celebrate with him his grand feat! It is not at all easy, but avec Dieu tout est possible!
E.P. and I had a really good week in which REGIS (who we thought we were going to have to drop) CAME TO CHURCH FOR THE FIRST TIME! We were so happy to see him in his Sunday best with his Bible and Book of Mormon in had walking into the chapel right on time! We had seen him once during the week and he said a beautiful prayer, expressed his sincere desire to have a testimony and then promised that he would come to church! He shined through this week. He really is started to show forth fruits meet for repentance, which is epic.
We also have 5 new investigators, who are all really solid.
First there is Natalia. Natalia saw us contacting one evening, and she came and contacted us. She explained that she had met and been taught by the missionaries in the past when she was studying in Frankfurt, Germany about a year and a half ago. She is Russian. She didn't have a number or a way to get ahold of her, so we could only give her a card and she said she would call us back. Sure enough she called a few days later and we fixed a RDV. To her RDV she brought her Russian Book of Mormon, which was pretty well marked up. She also had some old brochures that the missionaries had given to her in the past. She told us that she had already read the entire Book of Mormon in 5 days... and that she knew it was true! The only thing keeping her from getting baptized is the fact that her parents are traditional Russian Orthodox and her husband, an American, isn't too into the chruch. She will be going back to Germany in a couple of weeks to start a new semester, but she will be watching General Conference with us, a pretty cool miracle!
We are also now teaching a wonderful family from the Congo. They are very strong Christians and such excellent people. It is a husband, wife and two teenage daughters. Unfortunately, the husband was not there for the first lesson, but it went really well. They are very sincere, and we will be meeting with them regularly. The older teenage daughter said the prayer at the end of our message about the restoration and it was one of the most heartfelt I've ever heard. Good things.
Blessed, another investigator, came with his entire family to church! His wife is a less-active member, so it was so good to see the whole family there! He is planning on getting baptized at the end of next month as well!
So many great things are happening in this sector, sorry I don't have the time to tell you about all of them. The Lord is really blessing our efforts as we do our best to stay close to him through prayer, follow the Spirit and be obedient and diligent and effective with all the time that he has given to us to serve him with all our energy. I love this work so much! I love you family and wish you an excellent week! Que Dieu vous bénisse :)