I am doing missionary work in paradise. So this week went really well. We are at that time in missionary work where we just have to back to the basics and find people to teach. I'm not sure why, but it feels like every time I arrive in a new sector, I find myself in this situation. I love it. I feel a bit like one of the Elders in the book of Acts, testifying of the Resurrected Savior to every living soul in confused world.
We found a few miracles this week.
There was one evening that my companion and I were discouraged. We had visited a brother in the Elders Quorum who had fallen away from the church. He had been heavily influenced by the Jehovahs Witnesses, deny his testimony of the Book of Mormon and dismissed Joseph Smith a prophet of God. We left with heavy hearts. None of the people that we were contacting wanted a part of the happiness that we offer in inviting them into the fold of God and to have a knowledge of Gods plan of goodness. Nothing. Then, just before retiring to our appartment at the end of the day, we were crossing the street when we saw a woman on the other side who had been following us and who was kind of looking at us interestingly. When we got to the other side, she cried out, "LES ELDERS!" ELDERS! with this huge smile on her face and tons of enthousiasm. She explained to us that her sister was a Sister missionary! She explained to us at a lightning fast speed that she came from Portugal, her sister served in Cape Vert, her mother is also a member, the church has brought so much to her family, she looked for a church in Nice when her sister was here visiting but they couldn't find one, she recently went to Holland to attend the baptism service of her brother in law, she has been living in Nice for 7 years and hasn't crossed the missionaries ONCE!!! She was SO excited. We have no idea why it had to be at that moment in time and in that place, but the Lord was reaching out to her. She is going to be coming to the ward activity this weekend and will be visited by the sister missionaries here this week! SHE WILL BE BAPTIZED! It was a huge testimony to me that the testimony always comes after the trial of our faith. The Lord wants to bless us with miracles, but we have to exercise our faith first. RADICAL!
Another cool experience. My companion and I were walking on a very busy street (Mark 5:24-34) and we heard a small older French woman say, "Ah, the Mormon missionaries, they will help me carry this." I don't know how we heard it, it was a very small busy street. We went over and helped this woman carry her heavy bags to the train station nearby. She explained to us that when she was 20 years old she nearly got baptized into our church. This was over 40 years ago. She had lost contact with the church, been through many trials in her life, including the loss of her son due to a motorcycle accident. We testified and served. We helped this woman to feel the love of our Heavenly Father. We passed the information that she gave us to the sister missionaries in Toulon, where she lives. Excellent! The Spirit guides.
Many other wonderful things happened this week that I will not have the time to tell you about. One of which being teaching a woman who is going to BUILD the kingdom of God on the earth. She just needs to read the Book of Mormon and feel the Spirit. Her name is Pascale.
The church is true. I've never been more convinced. The members of this ward are celestial. Our ward mission leader is an atomic scientist who works for the UN who is determined to save the world both physically and spiritually. Our bishop has missionary work instead of blood that runs through his veins. There are ward missionaries who have read Preach My Gospel more times than I have. The conditions are right; miracles will follow. I love this work and I love you. The Lord loves us really a lot as well. Really a lot.
PS. I get to go to my bleu ville, Aix-en-Provence, for the first time in over a year today. Quelle joie!