Lyon, France

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Sautez dans La Vapeur

Dear Family and Friends,

This is truly the work of the Lord!  Every single day Elder Palmer and I are eye-witnesses.  I hope that in this e-mail I am able to portray how some of the amazing experiences that we are having are showing this to us.

I don't know where to start!  Maybe I'll start with Boyang, one of our progressing investigators.  Boyang is Chinese and does not have a Christian background, so teaching him about the restored gospel has been on a little bit slower pace.  Just this last week, we finished teaching him all of the principles from the First Lesson, the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It was fun teaching this to a Chinese man who will be receiving his Doctorate in Computer Science at the end of this year.  He tried to tie all of the principles into some kind of formula or algorithm, we had to explain to him that there were certain things that you could mathematically explain, but in the end that "God's thoughts are higher than our thoughts"  no matter how high or great our thoughts might be.  He accepted.  His prayers are very sincere and heartfelt.  He is progressing in his faith in God.

In France, Labor Day, which is at the end of summer in the states, falls on May 1st.  As a result, of no one working, the entire public transportation system and all of civilization as one might know it came to a stop.  It was like in that Zombie movie with Will Smith, except there were no Zombies, only mormon missionaries.  We decided to spend a good majority of the day doing some long put-off Area Book work.  We called some old potential investigator sheets and made some great contacts!  One of the people who I called is named Hermeline.  She is from the Congo and came here to study to be a laboratory scientist (not evil).  She is really sharp and spiritual.  We met with her on Sunday and taught her about the Restoration.  She had such great questions!  She committed herself to reading the Book of Mormon and praying to know if it is true.  She had the biggest smile on her face after she said the closing prayer.  I think that is the best part of any lesson.  Yesterday afternoon she gave me a call.  She had remembered that we had told her about Family Home Evenings at the institute center on mondays and she wanted to know more.  It is funny because Family Home Evening in French is translated to Soirée Familiale, which is ironic because Soirée is more like a formal evening with a dance, etc. while Familiale, is like familial or casual.  So when she showed up last night, she came in a beautiful gown that might be worn to a Prom dance.  All the guys at the activity were jaw-dropped because she is really pretty!  HAHA.  There was this one really solid Young Adult recent convert from the Congo who we had called beforehand to ask him if he would welcome her and integrate her at the activity.  He sounded really confident and assuring on the phone but then when he saw her, he was really nervous to talk to her!  Haha, we thought it was funny.

Another cool thing that happened on Labor (Zombie) Day was that we were able to call, or rather attempt to call, every less-active member in the area.  Since we are both relatively new here, we both had an excuse.  We had some cool results!  One of the people that we called came to church on sunday!  Three of them fixed appointments with us for this week!  My companion called someone from Nigeria named Bright Prince Kennedy.  YES.  He came to find out that he had moved into the boundaries to another ward in Lyon, so we passed his coordonnées to some other missionaries in the city.  These missionaries later told us that they had been able to see him and had also began teaching his wife!  They told us that Bright Prince, on the last day of April, had begun a 24hr fast and prayer session to have guidance from God in his life.  At the end of the fast and prayer session on Labor Day is when Elder Palmer called him.  Miracle? Methinks YES.

Another miracle.  Someone to whom I gave a Book of Mormon about 2 months ago when I first arrived in Lyon was finally taught!  Her and I had stayed in contact and she had been pretty busy, so we hadn't been able to see her till now.  But she had been researching on the church's website and been reading in the Book of Mormon.  I was surprised at how much she knew about the church without ever having been taught!  We taught her with the sisters in a different ward in Lyon, because she lives in the boundaries of a different ward.  It was a smooth transition.  She accepted to be baptized once she receives an answer of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.  Miracle!  Another one happened as we were leaving this lesson.  We were closing and locking the institute center where we had taught.  As we were locking, a girl came up and said that she was there to meet with some missionaries.  She couldn't remember the names of the missionaries who were supposed to come to meet her, so we opened the institute center back up, let her in, and began phoning all the missionaries in Lyon to try to find out who it was.  We explained to her that we would have to wait outside because we couldn't be in there alone with her.  None of the missionaries were answering their phones and we started getting desperate.  Then my companion had the idea to just contact people on the street who were walking by and try to drag another man into the institute center so that we could enter and teach her and him together.  So as I continued calling missionaries, he contacted and NO JOKE, one of the first people that he contacted accepted to come for 30 minutes to learn more about Jesus Christ!  Two new investigators were made and both accepted to come to church!  We got super blessed for being obedient!

Well, those are all the miracles that I will have time for today.  I love you so much family!  I look forward to seeing you on Mother's Day!  Elder Palmer and I arranged with an American couple living here to skype at 5:00 PM.  I'm not sure if that comes out to 8:00 or 9:00 AM in Oregon.  I trust that you will find out and be ready at whatever time it is on sunday morning!  Have an excellent week and we'll see you then!

Avec amour,


PS  I just found out that I was awarded full-tuition scholarships for both Fall and Winter semesters at BYU! :)

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