Bonjour Ma Famille,
Preface for this letter, it is going to be shorter. This week the place where we are doing emails won't let us switch the languages on the keyboards. So basically it's extremely hard to type because tons of the letters and symbols are in the wrong spots. For example, "A" is "Q", what's up with that? I guess it's just another culture thing to get used to here. Speaking of culture... random stereotype confirmed, everyone really does walk around France with bagettes. When I realized that wasn't just in movies I definitely had a good laugh.
This week has been great, tons of work. We taught a really cool lesson this week to a guy named Guislain. He overheard one of the lessons that my companions gave several months ago when they were teaching his friend. He left them with his contact information, but they hadn't been able to get a hold of him since. Finally this Sunday, after having him cancel on us twice during the week, we were able to have a rendez-vous (a "rendez-vous" is a lesson/appointment, I figured I would explain that before it slips into other emails) with him. We went over and had a great first lesson with him. He was very interested and had a lot of questions about the church. He has studied a lot of different religions and was very receptive to what we had to teach him. At the end of the lesson, he started talking about how he just felt like he should be baptized...that was even before we had mentioned baptism. So, we set a date for next month. Unfortunately, he doesn't live within our sector so we have to pass him on to a set of elders to finish the lessons. But, we are very excited for him. He has a cute young family that would be blessed so much by the Gospel and would be such a strength to the wards here. He has a lot to learn and a ways to progress before the actual date, but he is definitely a chosen one who God has prepared to receive the Gospel at this time. I feel so blessed to have gotten to be a part of that lesson.
One thing that I have really been working on this week is my ability to feel, recognize, and act on the promptings of the Spirit. I feel like this is something that can constantly be improved on and is definitely one of the most important things that you can learn in life. The Spirit is how God communicates with us, so it's pivotal for us to be receptive to it, especially as missionaries. I have been trying to act on all of the promptings that I have gotten this week and it has been amazing to see how God has been able to work through me. One example of this was during a lesson that we had with one of our amis (investigators), Ibrahima. He is 19 years old and is from Senegal. I have been a part of maybe 6 to 7 lessons with him, but he has been taught for about two months now. He has been taught all of the lessons and has a very strong testimony. He is so ready to be baptized and really has a desire to be. But, his only holdback is that his parents don't approve. I was able to tell him about Grandma Chandler's conversion and the things that she went through. I also was able to explain all of the blessings that she and the next generations of her family have been received because of her faith. Even though it was difficult for her family at the time, she did what she knew was right and joined the church. The Spirit came into the room so strongly when I was sharing that story and it definitely touched him. I was slightly hesitant to share the story because I wasn't positive about all of the vocab, but God helped me get through it and it all worked out. I'm grateful that I acted on that prompting. We are still working with Ibrahima and have a tentative baptisimal date for later this month, but we're not sure. We're praying that it all works out. I want to strive my hardest to act on what the Spirit is telling me so that I can continue to receive such inspiration. I want to be someone who God can trust. When He needs something done, I want to be a person that He can rely on.
I love you all and feel so blessed to be serving a mission. Thank you for your love and support. If it would be easier, feel free to email me rather than sending letters. I probably won't have time to read them and reply each week, but I can print them and write back when I find the time. I hope that you all have a great week!
Soeur Alisa Hulme