March 14, 2016
We went to visit the Piquet family, a couple who lives an adventurous life hiking the alps, vacationing to the Far East, and taking care of their Grandchildren. They reminded me of many of my young men's leaders: John, Ken, Kent, Craig, Ron, Alan, Mike..... all great examples of hard work and having fun at the same time. We ate goulash with potatoes and cream, definitely good.
A Rendezvous with the doctor meant that Elder Trotter had to go to Chelles, so I came with (naturally). While walking to the appointment, we saw a beautiful chocolate store and had to walk in, and I bought some real fancy ones, about a euro a piece. Even though Chelles lies outside our area, we decided to make use of our time and talk to a couple people, which was literally a couple people (two people) but we just decided to be extra direct with them, and though the contacts were very short, we told them about the restoration, and they gave us their phone numbers, which we then gave to the Nogent missionaries.
That night we saw K. our Ami. He wants to be baptized! So we taught him about following the prophet and obedience, and he asked for me to draw on the chalkboard the organization of the church. So twenty minutes later I drew up a whole chart with all the prophets, apostles, presidencies, and other quorums. I enjoyed that.
J. another Ami of ours also wants to get baptized, but the process goes much much slower with him because of him Muslim background. He is one of the most courteous Amis I have ever taught, usually coming to the lessons we set, and previewing us if not. He recently gained the beginnings of a testimony of prayer! J. Speaks English as a second language. Picture our conversation: "But, Jones," He says at the end of our lesson "I have an experience, I pray and I got an answer. "What was that?" I said. "Right now, waiting for my interview (his interview to get legal)...no sleeping. I pray, 'God help me, give me more time please'. And last week, lawyer he calls and say, interview move back a couple months. God answered my prayer."
Wow, simple and powerful! God answers our prayers!
On another note, we had zone conference and learned a lot about contacting. The assistants said our street contacting should consist of five things: confidence, customization, conciseness, commitment, and a cadeau (aka present). I also attended a post-zone conference for returning missionaries! Ah! I got to think a little about what God has taught me in these short years, that aren't over, and one thing I thought; 'Life is full of hard things, and we shouldn't just assume that life is going to be easy and stress free, nor should we constantly work for the end goal of having no work left because if we think like that we're going to be disappointed. Instead, we should go forward with the mindset that: OK, life is going to be hard, bring it on! Just accept that you're going to have challenges at every turn, but enjoy during the challenges!' Out of all people, I may be one who struggles most to enjoy during trials and see challenges as normal, but at least I recognize that! There's so much good in the world despite so much bad! I started listing my blessings this week, and I only had to write down a handful to realize how many more blessings I have than I could ever possibly write down. Our investigators receive answers to their prayers. We find new people to teach when we put forth effort (not always immediately but always on God's time). Our Heavenly father will always help us!!!! Always!
I had a wonderful exchange this week with Elder Tibbetts, we decided to be bold and just go for it, and we taught quite a few lessons even though the rejection was equally intense as the good things that happened to us. One guy, with his dogs jumping up on us, yelled at us, 'SORT!' (= get the heck off my property) Because we forgot to ring his doorbell. Oops. On the contrary two lovely older French Women let us in 1- because we were American, and 2- because they really wanted us to pray for them haha! Wow I just love how intense it is serving a mission. Either you can sit inside all the time, and have an alright mission, thinking 'French people are probably mean, that's what I've been told' Or you can go find out for yourself. So go out and have an adventure!
And to top it all off this week, Everyone in our apartment got up to work out today, Yeah!
I love the mission it's hard but so good for you!
Love you all,