Monday, November 11, 2013
Dearest family and friends,
You know the hymn "Did you think to pray?" Hymn number 140 in English. Well, the translation in French is Prayer is like a lighthouse.
On the waterfront, there is a lighthouse at the end of the city, past downtown Nice and before Monaco and Italy. In the dark mornings when we run along the Promenade, we run towards the lighted lighthouse. I like to let this hymn run through my mind in French, "Dès le matin dans ta chambre, frère as-tu prié?"
There is a quote from Gordon B. Hinckley that says, "Do your best. Your very, very best. Say your prayers and work hard and leave the harvest to the Lord."
This last week Elder Smith and I did not teach a single investigator. We did not talk to very many people who were interested in hearing the name of Jesus Christ. But I think that I learned more this week than any other week of my mission.
This is the Lord's work! I am a missionary for the Lord's true church! What an amazing calling I have.
There is a woman who lives in the apartment building just in front of ours. She met the missionaries (the other companionship of Elders here in Nice) about 3 weeks ago. I had the opportunity to teach her (Sariah) with her two young children, both under 8. She comes from Portugal and is divorced to the father of the children, who is actually a returned missionary who is still in Portugal. She is very believing and comes from a Catholic background. She is not in agreement with many of the Catholic teaches. When we told her that Joseph Smith went around looking for the true church, she laughed and said that it would have been useless. Then we shared the First Vision. She prayed at the end of the lesson to know if it is true. Her prayer was in Portuguese, but all of us understood the meaning and the magnitude of her prayer. She prayed sincerely and powerfully to know if the Book of Mormon is true. No one appeared. No angel came down to tell her that these things are true, but there didn't need to be one. There were tears in her eyes when she closed the prayer. She came to church and met all the Brazilians in our ward (yes, there are a few families from Recife). She accepted to be baptized at the beginning of December.
God is willing to speak to our hearts and to our minds, but he requires humility. That is what I have learned. Humility comes before Faith, Repentance, Baptism, etc. Humility is the key ingredient. Finding humble people is tough, though. So as missionaries it requires humble prayer, humble searching, humble diligence, humble obedience.
I hope that in your efforts to hasten the work of salvation this week, you remember what the Lord said in DandC 12 that no one can assist in this work except he shall be humble and full of love, having faith, hope and charity, being temperate in all things, whatsoever shall be entrusted to his care. I love the word whatsoever. Its like nevertheless. Three words packed into one.
PS. Jonah might be interested in knowing that there was a convertible Lamborghini Gallardo, orange and black, new and nice, roaming the streets of nice the other night. But I wasnt able to take a pic, because my camera is broken!