Bonjour Ma Famille,
Oh my gosh, what an incredible week! I really don't know what to do with myself. Yes mom, I'm pretty sure I'm the most happy sister missionary in the world.
A fantastic week with zone conference, exchanges, lessons, and service projects ended perfectly in the baptisms of two of the other Aix sisters' amis. It was so incredible to be there, they were actually the first baptisms that I've seen on my mission. I feel so blessed to have gotten to be there because I've worked quite a bit with one of the amis, Suzanne. I've been able to teach her several of the lessons because of exchanges and have really become close with her. We're definitely friends. It has been amazing to watch her change her life. There is a light there that wasn't there before. I loved getting to watch her (as I sat on the piano bench in the front of the chapel) and see her eyes get watery during the talks. Haha, she's your typical relief society sister. And, if you wouldn't have known better, you would have thought her a member weeks ago. She has a strong love for Christ and will be solid for life.
I thought I'd give an update on a few of ours amis...becuase apparently I tend to mention finding them and then don't keep you posted...
Frederic is doing well. He has been taught all of the lessons and has a very strong desire to follow Christ. He knows that he has found the truth. It has been a little unreal teaching him, almost too easy. He's always available to see us, accepts everything we teach him, keeps engagements (commitments), etc. He's more than halfway done with the Book of Mormon, prays every day, comes to church. However, we hit a slight bump in the road this week. His baptism was actually scheduled for this last Saturday--he had asked someone to baptism, picked out things for the program, etc. Obviously it didn't happen. At the moment, he is scared to make the change--he's not sure what his family and friends will think. He just doesn't feel ready. But, everything is still going well. We've been able to have lots of good conversations with him and should be fixing a new date to work towards this week. It's not about us as missionaries getting a baptism, it's about him. There is no way that he'll be baptized if he doesn't feel ready-- he needs to be "clapping his hands for joy" (Mosiah 18:11). He will get there.
Matthieu--awesome miracle this week. So he is very eager to understand but we're trying to work with him on learning with the Spirit and not just with logic. He really just wants to understand everything, takes thorough notes in all of our lessons, comes with lots of questions, etc. He's truly the epitome of an honest seeker of truth. Slowly, he has been getting there and is becoming more and more open to the feeling the Spirit. It has been so cool to watch. This last week we were able to teach him about baptism, he accepted to start working towards a date, and he even came to the baptism on Saturday. He felt it. He had the biggest smile on his face and there was this light in him that hadn't been there before. So cool, we were able to have a lesson afterwards where we emphasized God being our father and the importance of prayer, I guess that's one of the things that he has a harder time grasping. The Spirit was so strong.
New ami as of this morning... So this guy, Arnaud, was a referral from Temple Square. He, his wife, and his two kids (ages 9 and 11) were in Utah last month. They were using all of the church's family history databases to do research on his huge aristocratic French family (haha, I only mention that his family is aristocratic because it makes me laugh that his full name takes up literally an entire line). Anyway, they ended up having a tour of temple square while there, which apparently finishes in the tabernacle. He described that he really felt a peace, loved that our church is centered on the family, and noted that the members of truly live their religion. So legit! Sorry, I'm still a little bit freaking out. We taught him this morning, gave him a tour of the church, etc. He's already been reading the Book of Mormon that he was given by the missionaries in Utah and is anxious to work with us more. Ahh, miracle. No joke, this guy looks like a future bishop... if I'm allowed to say that. We are very excited to be teaching him...and, hopefully soon, his whole family. Haha, I'm pretty sure even the member that we were teaching with was a little bit shocked at how incredible he was after the lesson. Loved it!
So, there's a little overview of the work that's going on here. We're also working with several non-pratiquants, ward members, and have a couple really cool potentials that we should start teaching when they get back from vacances. It's crazy to think that just nine weeks ago we were sitting here with a completely empty area book, no ward list, and no idea how to find the church. Haha, God has definitely blessed us. Thank you for your prayers!
Hey, it's Liv's birthday this week! Haha, oh what to say about Liv... Liv and I are buds, it has always been that way. We do everything together. I loved that she would always help me pick out my outfits and get ready in the morning, I loved reading "Junie B. Jones" every night with her before she went to bed. I loved all of our cute chats and secrets. Haha, Liv sends the best letters and always makes sure that she includes a picture of herself with them...so I don't forget her, of course. Have a great day, I love you, and have fun getting prepped for your baptism!
Well, I think that's about it. Oh, I did learn something this week... Sometimes it's difficult to run downhill on cobblestone. Haha, it's a good thing missionary skirts have to cover our knees.
I love you all, have a wonderful week-- I know I will!
Je vous aime,
Soeur Alisa Hulme