In the words of that song on that Christmas CD that mom plays every year, "It's the holiday season, the holiday season, so whoop-dee-doo, a-hippity-hop... blah blah blah blah around the clock!"
I love Christmas in France. It's kind of weird being in Nice for the holidays because it is not that cold and there are no chestnuts to roast on an open fire. Maybe palm tree and oranges will work.
So there is something that Moroni is trying to teach us when he says "dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." So in the spirit of thanksgiving, I will like to say that I am grateful for trials. But especially I am grateful for the witness that comes after the trial of our faith. I think that these have been the most joyful parts of my mission, the times when my companion and I realize just how many things had to happen in the perfect time and place in order for the miracle to take place. Usually it involves a lot joyful yells and hugging.
So get this... We do a lot of exchanges. I let for an exchange in Cannes, but I had to leave my companion at the chapel in Nice to go and catch the train because we were supposed to teach a lesson that evening. Luckily the other companionship of Elders was there and I was able to do a mini-split and get escorted to the gare. This is going to get complicated. God works in mysterious ways. Don't get confused. Ok, so the missionary who my companion was on the mini-split staying at the lesson with is actually in Saint Raphael, and was only there because they also were on an exchange. They taught a good lesson, and our investigator actually invited a friend to come, but they weren't able to get this persons information or number or anything at the end of the lesson. We haven't been able to get ahold of our investigator in a few weeks. But this last week, after interviews with the mission president, I left to go on an exchange with an Elder in Toulon and we were with the Elders of Saint Raphael in the bus to go to the train station. WE BARELY CAUGHT THIS BUS. Literally, I was running in the middle of the street with a suitcase to get the bus drivers attention. We caught it though. We needed to catch that bus. You want to know why? Because the girl that my companion and the Elder from Saint Raphael contacted was ON IT. What are the chances???? I never would have recognized her, because I had never seen her before! But the Elder from Saint Raph was there and together we were able to contact this person and she had TONS of questions. You could tell that she had reflected a ton after the lesson. I got her number and we will be teaching her next weekend because she in England for a while. What are the chances?! When the Elder I was with and I talked about how many tiny little things needed to fall into place for this miracle to happen, we were freaking out. We had such a gospel fire on that exchange that we gave out 8 Book of Mormons.
The church is true. Too many supremely radical things happen in it for it not to be. No coincidences. Only tender mercies. Being is a missionary is the most fun that anyone could ever have. And the cool thing is that as members of the church, it is not only two years that we get to do it, but for the rest of our LIVES! and even after that. Sure it can be scary, but it is the most rewarding thing that heavenly father can offer to us. Just this last week, my companion and I went to eat at an american style burger joint with a Young Adult in our ward, we gave Book of Mormons to the cook and the two servers, whom she is friends with! It was a really cool experience, and not at all weird, because we were sincere. Perfect love casteth out all fear. L'amour parfait bannit toute crainte! I testify that the Lord will give us all missionary experiences if we pray for them and seek after them. The Lord will be your side and his angels will be there to bear you up!
Happy thanksgiving one and all! Have an excellent week,