This week was wonderful, probably the hardest one in my mission that I can think of at the moment. There were lots of things going on with amis and our sisters that were difficult, but I'm so grateful for the experiences. I learned so much. And, Heavenly Father is really great, he threw in a few miracles at the end...
After church on Sunday, the relief society president came up to us and said that her non-member husband was ready to start receiving the missionary lessons. We start teaching him soon.
Dominique is fantastic and actively working towards her baptism. She is accepting everything really well and is so honest in her intent. We learned more of her backstory this week that made her even more of a miracle. Normally, Dominique lives in Paris with her husband and the rest of her family. But, as of the end of January, she spends the majority of the time here in Bordeaux helping take care of her daughter and young granddaughters because the father is in the military. About once a month, she spends a week in Paris--which is great, but was a little stressful for us trying to get her prepared for the baptism. We called the Paris sisters this week and found out that Dominique had first met the missionaries in 2010. After quickly losing contact, she was "refound" this last October. The missionaries had been seeing her off and on since then, but she wasn't really progressing. The last entry about her was at the end of January, explaining that she would be coming to Bordeaux. This is where we come in-- we ported into her on Fevrier 1st-- two days later! (I literally debated whether it was "February" or "Febuary" for several minutes before going with the French word). Anyways, such a miracle. The missionaries in Paris are currently teaching her granddaughter, who is to be baptized the day after her, and have agreed to visit Dominique during her vacation in Paris this week. God's hand is really in this work and He has an active plan to get each of His children back to Him.
Like I said earlier, this week was a little rough. Just as an update-- we were working with Joseph and a lot of things came up that made it impossible for him to be baptized or for us to continue teaching him. Everything is fine now, we know that it all turned out the way it was supposed to and we feel peace moving forward.
I really felt the atonement working in my life this week as we found our way through all of the struggles, stress, and tears. I'm not sure that I have ever felt so small and incapable of the things that I was put up against. But, I know that the Lord is mindful of us and gives us the strength that we need to overcome the trials of our faith. Missions are faith builders. There is a reason that it is the first principle of the gospel, it's the initiatory precursor to the other crucial steps. I'm really happy to have had a week that built my faith and made me more easily see the atonement's power. I have been praying to strengthen this testimony so that I can more powerfully share it with others. I'm excited to see the miracles that will follow this coming week after the boost in faith that I just received. I love the scripture in Alma 29, "Now, seeing that I know these things, why should I desire more than to perform the work to which I have been called?" I love being a missionary.
Have a wonderful week!
Je vous aime,
Soeur Alisa Hulme