(Haha, do you like how uniform the subject, the intro, and the closing off all my emails have been? I'm only trying to make sure that you don't forget me and the sometimes crazy lengths that I go to to make things perfectly organized...)
What a wonderful week. It all started with an exchange in Montauban, a cute French ville next to Toulouse. Loved it! When we came back Wednesday, the week was lined up with tons of teaching and miracles...
A couple weeks ago, I was porting with a sister on exchange (this seems to be the start of many of my stories). We found this lady who told us to come back later to teach her. And, despite the fact that she didn't confirm the rendez-vous, we decided to give it a try anyway and pray for a miracle. Flash foreward to an exchange this week with a different sister, we go to her house and she was there with her three beautiful children (ages 13, 8, and 6). Miracle. Sandrine (appreciate the irony) is a non-practicing Christian and really wants her children to learn about God. So, we taught a simple lesson about Jesus and talked about the Book of Mormon. It was golden. Picture three little kids, sitting on short chairs in a line, attentively listening to our lesson (I've never seen primary go so well). They all loved it and Sandrine was really excited about the Book of Mormon and living prophets. The lesson ended with the littlest daughter saying the prayer and thanking God for "the pretty ladies who came to talk about You," and her and her sister putting on a mini performance for us by singing American songs. Oh my gosh, so cool. We're finding families!
Let me tell you more about one of my favorite amis, remember Alain (scroll back three weeks if not...)? He is progressing so well. He went from not wanting to meet with us only weeks ago to excitingly coming to lessons to share with us how the gospel is changing his life. He is so dedicated to learning and is sincerely studying between rendez-vous. There is such a light about him, a literal physical difference. Good and bad news this week, we found out what is holding him back from becoming a member-- he has a beautiful family, a wife and two teenage children. Problem-- His wife is completely athiest and wants nothing to do with the church. Why is this always the catch? Obviously families are essential to the gospel, the major unit--I think this makes them the biggest blessing but also an extremely difficult obstacle for some. Luckily, we are sure that Alain's wife's heart will be softened and that this perfect family of four will soon be assembled on the benches of our chapel (random fact--our chapel was the second one ever built in France and the only one I've ever seen with benches...benches are better for families, you can always squeeze to find more room.) Anyways, he is fantastic and, in his own words, is ready to "daily live the gospel".
One of the greatest parts of this week was an awesome activity we organized with the young men and young women (okay, the young mens president did most of it...but we helped)! It was a whole missionary day. The youth came to the church Friday night and slept at the member's homes. They woke up at 6:30 the next day, worked-out, etc. That's when we came into the picture. We did studies with them, had a few presentations, and took them out contacting! Soeur Stevens and I took 4 young women with us. We went to a big, open part in the heart of Bordeaux and they were terrified (as they rightfully should have been). But, once they started doing it, they loved it! We gave out 3 Book of Mormons and got 3 numbers in 30 minutes! They were really pumped, it was so cute. The rest of the day we took them to a lesson and then to our DMP's house. They loved the whole day. When we were walking to our DMP's house it started pouring rain and we all got soaked-- it was a real mission experience. The testimony meeting at the end was fantastic, as all of the youth involved expressed their desires to serve missions. Success.
I love hearing from you all and am so proud of your many successes. I have the best family in the world! Thank you for all of your love and support. I love you and I love being a missionary!
Je vous aime,
Soeur Alisa Hulme