Hello my family, dear ones and loved ones!
I love you all and hope your weeks have been happy and bright, or that you've been able to feel a lot of the love of Christ this week. I sure have! :D
I wrote down some things that I wanted to cover today, so I hope it will be more focused and structured than it normally is. :D
Events from this Week
- Testimony boost. I wanted to feel a testimony boost because, well, sometimes in France you feel kind of down and discouraged, there are TONS of false philosophies and points of view that attack what is true here. There are tons. So it's important, as you might imagine, to come back to the Book of Mormon and be rooted to what is the anchor of our faith. So, the past few days, starting with Thursday or Friday maybe, I've been able to feel a great boost from reading the words of Mormon and Moroni in the end of the Book of Mormon, notably chapters 7 through 8 in Mormon and chapter 7 in Moroni. It is amazing how clearly and unmistakably these two prophets explain the truth of the gospel to us, as we read it 1600 years later. Cool, huh? It's amazing because it can be read with so much more simplicity and clearness than the letters of Paul, great and important though they may be. Just made my testimony stronger and reminds us that the Book of Mormon is simple and precious. :D
- Positive Music. Needless to say, this hasn't been a huge, notable event in my week, but actually, this morning, and today for P-Day, I've had the chance to listen to some great music, whether from EFY 2014 or 2015, or also the album "Redeemer" sent to me by Mom and Dad, and it really just has a positive effect on me. Cool stuff. I especially like one song from EFY 2012 that's entitled "Shine Bright," also "Apostles" in the album Redeemer, as well as some other great songs. When the Son of Man Comes Again is a great one in Redeemer, and there's also a great one about being united with Christ, number 3 in the EFY 2015 album. Cool stuff, you just feel uplifted. also had the chance, as you want me to tell you all, to play the piano for district meeting (I usually play for that lately) and our missionary activity (more on that later) for the ward yesterday! Cool stuff. Music has such power, to drive us to good and God or to, well, shameful acts. Watch what you listen to.
- Missionary Experiences -- We had a GREAT ward return missionary activity where five of our return missionaries (all young, too, all these people came back within the last couple years, the last three or four months most of them), and each missionary had a few pictures or a slideshow on their mission and what they learned. I liked seeing all the pictures, just filled me with such joy, seeing all those things and all those moments on their missions. Reminded me just how joyful missions should be. So that's a good reminder not to let rules or perfectionism get in the way of having fun. we can be good, converted, and obedient without being Nazis. :D We can still have fun. Loved that. Also had a couple good experiences this week with a couple JA or young single adults in missionary work. They are such beasts! Grateful to some of the missionaries who preceded me because they really got the YSA people to work, teaching with us and stuff! Amazing too because all the RM brothers we have are so pumped to teach with us. We have a lesson in 15 minutes with a self-referral and one of the RMs, Michaël. We were also able to teach perhaps a new investigator, Stephane, with Michaël on Thursday, that went okay but Stephane talked a ton. But cool story, contacted us right by a big church and talked to us. Knows our story. Lots of people know stuff about us here in France. also, on my birthday, had a chance to do some contacting on the street with a great JA brother, Samuel, and that was good. French people are always good at nicely saying "au revoir" when people don't stop and listen, that's cool. We're working on member work here, so good stuff is happening.
- LOVE of GOD -- CHARITY -- Love of God and family. Man, it is just amazing how much love I've felt this week. I just have so much to be grateful for. I think part of it started, Dad, when you asked me to be mindful of your love and Mom's love so I could wear it like a cloak and where it throughout the rest of my mission. Then I had a couple cool moments, notably one in the tram, when I was just staring off and thinking, and just felt so much love, thinking about how much God loves me. Read Moroni 7 or part of it this week, man just so much good stuff there. Am starting to more fully comprehend what it means to have charity, and why that chapter is important. I always understand it was important, but that love is important! We all have the right to feel that from parents and from Heavenly Parents! So please feel that and help everyone feel that around you this week. God will be with you as you do that. I can promise you it's worth it to work for this charity of Christ. Thank you for your marvelous amount of love, Christ, and also for yours, my dear beloved family!
- Exchanges -- Wednesday and Thursday morning was an exchange with my Zone Leader Elder Congerton, hailing from Auckland, New Zealand! Cool kid, like him, we got along well. He's actuall an old companion of elder Williams, too!! fun stuff, huh? Got some good stuff learned, he talked to me about missionaries really need to present commitments (such as reading the Book of Mormon, coming to church, etc.) with authority and not just letting it go like nothing. Will work on that. Also went through the Area Books-we're working on merging our two area books we had. :D Fun stuff, it's good, so much work to do here.
- Birthday -- THANK YOU SO MUCH MY FAMILY for all the letters, emails, and the wonderful package I received. words cannot describe how grateful I am for you and all this love you've shown me! Feel the Lord's love for you, and mine for you, too. We basically had a normal day, at the beginning. Did studies, had asked not to do an exchange today, so it was kind of nice and normal. We were a bit late getting out the door but that's life. Will work on it. Went to go try and see a couple of old amis, but neither of them were there. Benjamin, Samantha, and Gaël weren't there either. But we got to do some contacting with Samuel, a great YSA brother with us, then we went over to his house for a long time, enjoying a great French salad with AWESOME tomatoes (they are seriously so good here), and also had a great meal with rice and stuff, and finished off with a GREAT crêpe, the first French one I've had, so good.
Focuses for this Next Week
- Love of God
- Area book
- Tram/bus contacting
- Member missionary work
- Amis to Church for sure!!!
- Conversion, personal conversion
Wanted to express also my love for my family. I love you all SOOO MUCH. I'm feeling better with Elder Walton, we both have somewhat independant personalities but if we both kind of do our own thing to an extent, things go well! Great friend, adjusting well, much better than I did. He thanked me for being a good trainer too so that was good. Don't know if I'm that great, but hope I'm not terrible. Could be better at leaving the apartment on time and stuff but we alll got stuff to work on I guess.
Feel full of love and joy on my mission, starting to love and be happy in it. I bear testimony that Christ lives, He is a real person, he is not just a person who lived in history, He lives and loves us and hears us. God lives and is real, his love is maybe the most powerful force on this earth! And we can do great things with Them. We need to be responsible to Jesus Christ for how we live this life. May we all try and become closer to him to be responsible to Him for our actions, so we can be happy and dwell with him again after this life.
May you all feel god's love and pray to have this gift as Moroni exhorted us. Pray and "get your friends to church!" :D
Gld bless everyone.
Sincerely, with lots of love,
Elder Adam Grant Edwards