|Elder Jones and Elder Harris on the High Speed Train back from Paris|
Hello, I'm doing SO GOOD!
So you know how when things are going good, you think to yourself, now things can't really go this good for that long, can they? I'm feeling that way right now, with Sent from my iPad I'll start off with the news about elder Harris. I am so grateful the Lord has put him here to serve with me. I have a companion who really understands me. We talked for a bit about some of our individual struggles in following the spirit, and we realized we've gone through much the same struggle, and that comforted me. Elder Harris was so happy to come to Cergy. He was just 'WOW'-ing at every aspect of the work I showed him; our investigators, the chapel, the apartment, the ward members, etc. His attitude reminded me of how grateful, and how hard-working we should be here. Elder Harris is about 5'8", he wants to follow his father into a sportscasting career, he speaks French well, and he (already) takes responsibility to call our investigators and get things done. Could I ask for more?
We had the privilege to go to ward council this Thursday and present the progress of the work to our ward leaders. Once again I felt amazed to see that quite a few of our investigators were progressing, and that made me happy. What made me even more happy, I recognized my progress since my arrival in Cergy. During the first ward council meeting here I struggled to note everything that the bishop wanted us to do, and I felt stressed and scattered with all the new-ness. However, this meeting elder harris and I had prepared our papers that report our amis' progress on the iPad, and we were able update the ward about all that was going on promptly and with confidence. I felt that I have grown my capacity to cope with stress here, and I felt very happy to see a progression toward better self-stress management. Woohoo! God helps us!
So now for an update on the investigators. R our Muslim investigator gave us an interesting ultimatum. Well not an ultimatum, but a statement that really got me thinking. She said, "I'm not investigating your church at all for sake the purpose of joining it, I just love learning about your way of living and I find so many assimilations to my own beliefs. The thing that bothers me is the belief that Jesus is the Son of God; but hey, convince me of that and I'd be baptized tonight." since then I've been studying up on the divinity of Christ, and I hope to be able to explain that clearer to her next lesson. She is very interested in our belief, but we're stuck until we help her see the true role of Jesus Christ, which is very possible.
|Homemade Mexican Cuisine|
I'd also like to talk about a couple miracles this week, miracles to rival that Hail Mary 50 yarder touchdown that BYU made against Nebraska. T is a teenager who texted us last week wondering when we could meet with him; when asked what he would like to discuss, he said "I'd like to know how it works becoming a new convert and all, I'd also like to know what the process is to going on a mission, since I'm 17. I'm in a pretty intensive study program but I want to finish my study program before I go...but yeah, we'll talk about it in the lesson." We met him on Wednesday and we confirmed he was a real person, who really wanted to get baptized! We could scarcely believe our eyeballs or ears. He is just a normal French kid, studying law. That is so So SO COOL! And all you listen up, the best part is he was a member referral. Stay tuned for info on T. Things should get good!
Ready for round two of miracles? This time it's Brother Z. He's an investigator who has been away for a while. We called him up and he invited us over, I knew he wanted to get baptized a while back and Elder Harris and I headed over to verify that Sunday afternoon. Yes, he is also real. And his wife and kids! The husband and wife accepted the invitation to baptism and we're signed up to teach them next week too. What on earth? How is all this crazy amazing stuff happening here. Though I don't know why God decided to pour down the blessings now all I can do is hang in there and try to help these people get baptized.
Another fun part of the week. Elder Harris and I went contacting in the park in the rain, and just my sister Abby would like to know that. I am so.......perplexed, but happy, very happy here, and yes, following promptings from the spirit brings us that happiness. I feel like I could say what Alma said in the Book of Mormon:
1 And now, these are the words of Ammon to his brethren, which say thus: My brothers and my brethren, behold I say unto you, how great reason have we to rejoice; for could we have supposed when we started from the land of Zarahemla that God would have granted unto us such great blessings?
2 And now, I ask, what great blessings has he bestowed upon us? Can ye tell?
3...[they] were in darkness, yea, even in the darkest abyss, but
behold, how many of them are brought to behold the marvelous light of
I think I should also talk about the end of the time I spent with elder Gunn. Even though we had our differences, and we still didn't agree on certain rules till the end, I am grateful for the time I spent with him. I learned so much about carrying myself confidently, and just believing you can achieve whatever you put effort toward, because that was the example he showed me. I have a lot of respect for him, and I love him a lot. He'll see some really cool things the rest of his mission. Honestly I have never been so talked to while knocking on doors as with him.
God brings to pass the work of salvation, even in France everyone. I had the opportunity to run into a couple Americans on the train, and they asked, "has anyone joined your church since you've got here?" OH YES. Thank you for your prayers, you are helping to bring salvation to these people. Thanks so much. Thank you Elder Hirst and Hogan for your sacrifices and yeah, you guys are great. I love you all, Elder Jones