Well, it's been another week. Still not sick of this whole missionary thing, I'm pretty sure that I could do it forever! It has been a great week here in Besancon and I'm constantly baffled by how blessed I am.
Oh, can I start with a cool fact I just discovered that totally made my day? Victor Hugo (author of Les Miserables...hopefully you knew that) was born in Besancon! I knew I liked this place. Now it'll be even more cool later today when I'm walking the paved streets in the rain. Viola, most amazing mission in the world (you know you've been in France too long when "voila" comes out in normal English sentences). Just another example of how I'm so blessed!
Anyways, now on to the other (more important) reasons that I am so blessed...
The work here is exploding. Who would have thought that being sent to a tiny ville with a tiny branch, we would be having success so quickly? Not me...probably should have had a little more faith. Our days are packed, just like I like it. Here are a couple of the amis that we are working with...
Sandrine is fantastic. She lives here with her husband and four little kids. Being found by the elders several months ago, she has already been taught all of the lessons. She has a really solid testimony, feels very welcome in the branch, and has a good understanding of the gospel. Quite frankly, she would be baptized already if it weren't for her husband. He is a member of another church and is definitely not a fan of his wife joining her own religion. It got to the point where he wouldn't really let the elders over anymore. But...they took the elders out of Besancon. He has been much more receptive to having sisters come and meet with his wife. Little by little we're getting there. We keep having these little miracles with them. Sandrine has become really good friends with one of the sisters in our branch and her husband was recently sparked by a brother who talked to him about the bible. Just little things, but Sandrine never neglects to tell us that she's grateful that God sent her the sisters.
Two of our other amis are Miko and Rae. They are from Taiwan and came here to study at the university. Such a cool example of member missionary work! Their friend that came with them from Taiwan is a member of the church. She simply asked them if they wanted to start coming to church with her when they got to France. They accepted to give it a try. They've been to church the last couple weeks and we've been able to teach them. Both of them, but expecially Miko, are progressing well. It is definitely another situation of starting from the ground up because they have no religious background. It's also sometimes difficult because they don't speak great French, but we're getting there. They're both really cool and very sincere in their desires to understand.
We have several other amis and are working with tons of less-active members. We've committed a couple of the less-actives to retake all of the missionary lessons. There is definitely a power that comes from learning the basics of the gospel. We're hoping that reviewing these lessons will remind them of the testimonies they have and rekindle their desires to come unto Christ.
I guess I can end with something cool from a zone training that we had this week. So, being near Switzerland, our zone has many of the international missionaries. It's so neat (Tahiti, Spain, Scottland, France, Belgium, etc). At the end of the conference, our zone leader (who's from France), personally thanked us for being missionaries. He thanked us for our efforts to bring the gospel to his people and expressed how much these people desperately need and deserve to know God better. It was really powerful. I love being a missionary and bringing others the joy that I have because of the Savior. I'm so blessed!
I hope you have a wonderful week! Enjoy General Conference, I know I will...partly because I'll be able to understand a lot more of it this time around. Thanks for the love and support. Remember how blessed you are!
Je vous aime,
Soeur Alisa Hulme