|First Zone Conference|
This has definitely been a crazy, great week. It has been a super productive week, which is nice after the slower one that we just had. I've decided that the weather here is bipolar, just like in Utah. We had a hot day where we didn't where jackets, snow, crazy winds storms, and pouring rain. France is great. The only complaint about the food is that the salsa tastes like ketchup and there is no such thing as peanut butter. Oh well, that should have been expected. Other than that, the French is coming. It's fun, we actually get to teach an English class every week. It makes me laugh as I realize how ridiculous I look while learning another language. We had our first Zone Conference this week. It was great to get to know the other missionaries better and to get to be taught by our leaders. They are all so inspirational to me.
First miracle story... So we were street contacting on the way to a rendez-vous and ran into this girl. She seemed really interested and when we asked if there was another time that we could meet with her, she said that she had time right then. That never happens. Ever. We're lucky if two people stop and talk for 5 minutes in an hour of contacting. Even better, we were right across the street from the institute. We went over there, did a companion split, and taught her and our other lesson at the same time. We ended up teaching her a 45 minute lesson on the Restoration. She was awesome, is reading the Book of Mormon, and we are meeting with her again later this week. Cool backstory... So apparently about 30 feet away from where we stopped this girl, there were two companionships of elders. Both of their rendez-vous were canceled and they were both really frustrated. So they stopped and prayed there on the street, only to turn around two seconds later to find us talking to that girl. Haha, I guess you could kind of say that we stole their miracle.
We are continually working with several investigators. Ibrahima worked everything out with his family a little bit ago but still had reservations about baptism. We kind of had to take a step back and figure this whole thing out instead of just trying to convince him to be baptized. We don't want people to join the church because they want to please the missionaries or because the missionaries are good at debating with them and using logic. We need people who are truly converted to Christ and who will remain strong members because of that. That has been our focus with Ibrahima. It has been crazy how just one person can totally consume the thoughts and prayers of our entire companionship. After lots discussion, we felt like the best thing for him would be to be taught more about repentance. He knew all of the stuff, he had been taught all of the lessons, he just lacked the desire. He needed to feel the power of the Atonement in his life to truly appreciate the Savior and want to follow Him through baptism. We taught him a lesson about repentance and told him to make a list of things that he needed to repent for. After giving him a few days, it was amazing the changes that we saw in the next lesson. He just seemed to get it, there was a different spirit about him. He said that he was working on his repentance list and every time he wrote more it made him cry, he's understanding the Atonement because now it applies to him and it's not just some nice concept. It was an incredible lesson. Every question that we asked he gave an amazing answer to and he's getting more and more ready for this next step in his life. It is really cool as a missionary to see the changes that people make in their lives. We get so invested in them and I feel like we get a glimpse of the Savior's love for the people that we work with. Christ truly feels our sorrows, but he also rejoices with us in all of our acheivements. It has been the same with our investigators. I swear that I could not wipe the smile off of my face that entire lesson with Ibrahima this week. A mission is hard, but there really is so much joy also.
I'm also very excited because two of the kids that we have been teaching are going to be baptized on the 30th of this month, the last weekend of the transfer. The Campaner family is a part-member family that we have been working with to get reactivated. Their two oldest kids, Diane (11) and Paul (9), have been taught all of the lessons now and are ready for baptism. It's also very cool because their Dad has become active again and is worthy to perform the baptisms. They are the cutest family and I am so excited for them. I feel blessed to have been able to teach them.
Sometimes I feel like just telling God to stop blessing me so much. I am so blessed to be able to associate with all of these people-- my companions, my mission president, the other missionaries here, the ward members, our amis, and all of the people that I talk to every day. Plus, I have an incredible family and friends supporting me at home. I am so grateful for everything and am trying to work as hard as I can so that I can give a little bit back to Him. I hope that you all have an amazing week and I love you tons!
Soeur Alisa Hulme
|I think they are trying to say that the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion, |
but it wouldn't stay right in the middle.