Weekly email--sorry it's fast!
Copied off a friend's email, sorry time is short! Thanks for your emails guys!
Two weeks ago, we were able to visit the Duvin family, they are slowly
coming back and we're visiting them as often as we reasonably can. We
talked about good habits, getting their 8-year-old daughter baptized,
and being worthy to go to the temple. Just 1 1/2 years ago, the mom
and oldest daughter were baptized, now there is the 8 year old and her
little brother. The dad was already a member since his birth. So wish
us luck there, we're going to see them again. The dad is from La
Reunion, a couple islands off the coast of Madagascar, and the mom is
French. Their kids are really cute.
We were also able to drive all the way out to the biggest town in our
area and teach a referral there, that was fun! Bernard, he was a cool
guy, agnostic but interested in what we believe and the organization
of the Church. Very fun. Very respectful guy. We also visited ANOTHER
referral (we're catching up and they're just pouring in), Anicet, a 40
year old guy from Congo, and taught him the REstoration, he was very
cool. We then had an exchange and took four hours of trains to Paris,
then to Auxerre, where our district leader is, and we then had a
finding day with the zone leaders. Also had the great news that one of
my old investigators from Troyes, my last area, got baptized that sameday, July 9th. So that was great news, huh? :D Denise took a great
step for the better.
We were able to correspond with our families Monday, and also do some
good finding. We had some great interviews with President Babin on
Wednesday, followed by a cool district meeting about motivation and
how we can keep going strong to the end of our missions. And that was
fun because President was there the whole time. Haha we do a little
practice teaching after district meeting, we break up into little
groups and practice teaching scenarios, so me and my comp were put
with President :D hahaha! He was a GREAT investigator, lemme tell ya.Golden. That was fun, we practiced inviting members to pick our "ami"
or investigator up for church Sunday. And we even ate cheap little
Chinese meat-filled rolls with President. Haha that was fun. #cheap
they're pretty good though. Then we came home and missed a train.
Another cool thing that happened this week--we were able to meet with
Jose Luyeye, a really cool African guy from the Congo, who found the
Church online, and we talked about the Restoration with him. It's
interesting how people of other faiths think man can't see God, or
that God and Jesus are the same person. Really makes a lot more sense
with the Book of Mormon, modern revelation, and modern prophets the
way we see it but like-whatever. :D haha. It ended positively enough,
it stayed on a fairly positive note, we didn't get too far off topic.
Thankfully my companion, Elder Libby stepped in (he's an angel) and
just said, "Look, we're not here to convince you or Bible bash, we're
just here to teach you what we believe to be true." That helped him bea little bit more humble. So that was cool. If you ever serve a
mission, don't Bible bash. Explain to your amis that they need to
build their own faith, they need to search for themselves if it's
true. They shouldn't sit there idle while missionaries try and
convince them it's true, because then it'll never happen. (It's like
when Alma explains to the poor people that it's better when people
humble themselves on their own, without external forced humility.) So
that was good. It went well for the most part, we gave him the Book of
Mormon as he'd requested, and he said he'd read it, and then call us.
So we were happy with that. Hopefully he reads it and well understands
a bit more than he did. :D
Oh boy--member visits this week, Star, they were awesome. We were
again blessed/spoiled (not sure which to say exactly, some of both).
We were able to go to the Gaydu family's house (they are from
Guadalupe, they make super good food--they had to wheel me out ofthere, almost got life-flighted for a stomach explosion), then we were
also able to go to the Joly's house (that was good, less full that
time, lots of cool exotic ice cream flavors--who thought of caramel
salt and pear ice cream?). We were also privileged to pass by the
Pessas' house. They are pretty old and very sweet. Sister Pessa
especially was happy to have us over, because she'd been pretty sick
for the last year and a half or so, and so hadn't been able to have
the missionaries over for a while, so we were lucky enough to restart
that for them, and they just--oh man--they just absolutely stuffed us.
STUFFED. I cried for mom. I felt as though my stomach had exceeded its
given space capacity and that it would very soon start crushing vital
organs nearby. Had a collapsed lung from that, pretty serious.
However, miraculously, I lived. You know, I'm exaggerating, but we
were pretty full. :D and THEN they sent us home with more food. :D
hahaha they just can't stop. They gave us a whole bag of food just
last Sunday. So I mean the last couple days our fridge has been morefull than it has been in a while. :D it's been nice. Really I
appreciated them, I felt so grateful and blessed. If you ever serve a
mission, you'll know what it's like.
The other noteworthy event from this week was the lesson with
Stephane! Stephane is a SUPER cool ami we have (in French we just say
ami for investigator which is cool, huh?) and he is a boss. His family
first came in contact with the Church when he was five or six years
old, and he was an investigator from that time until about 14 years of
age, when he stopped attending church for a while. However, about four
years ago, 2012, he came in contact with his favorite missionary ever,
that he'd known when he was about 11, and they started visiting each
other, one flying to Idaho to visit, the other flying to France
afterwards. Then, several weeks ago, he showed up at stake conference
with this American guy, who turned out to be his old missionary, and a
member walked up to us, telling us there was a guy who was ready to be
taught by us. WOW when does that happen right?!? So we were like, COOL
and we taught him once, a few weeks ago, now he's back from his
vacation to the U.S. And we visited him again and taught him just
about the full Restoration. Really fun. He is super straight-up,
blunt, won't make a promise he can't keep, which I really like about
him. He has some word of wisdom problems, but he wants to be baptized,
and he understands it's for him and God, not just to make us happy. So
we're really happy about that. Anyway, there you go. Just love this
guy. He's 42 or so and coming back to the fold. Gave him the
commitment to read a page from the Book of Mormon a day, and he was
like, "Oh, ha, like that's hard, I already like to read and I
understand that's like spiritual food, so yeah no problem I'll do it."
And we were like, "we love you, Stephane." Haha no one does that. I
can count three other amis I've known in my time who were on the same
level of legitimacy as Stephane, you know, who were as honest and
straight-up and took it as seriously as him. Wish us luck, ok? Any
prayers for him would be super appreciated.