Monday, December 9, 2013

I'll be in Rouen for Christmas & the miracle of Ezecias

Another transfer has come and gone and I'll be staying here in Rouen with Elder Cramer!  I'm so glad I'll be spending Christmas here...It will be great!  This last week in Rouen has been awesome and we have seen some amazing miracles with some amazing people.

It's Tuesday morning and we've changed our district meeting in Mantes from 11 to 1 so we can teach a lesson to our two amis, Richmond and Harietta, at the church.  On Monday night we called a member to be there to help give a tour of the church and teach with us.  Everything was perfect.  While on the metro to the church we realized that the Soeurs had the key to the church so we called them and asked if they could meet us there but, sadly, they were already in Le Havre.  Next we called the member who was coming to bring his key.  As he answered we were disconnected before we could ask him to bring his key.  We got to the church about 10 minutes early and waited while watching our breath in the cold.  A man walked by and kinda stopped, then continued but then stopped again and looked at the church.  We went up and asked if he needed help finding anything.  He said no.  We went on to explain that we were the missionaries for the church here and would he like to come in for a tour, even though we had no keys.  He quickly replied yes! We started to walk to the door with him in tow and right behind him walked up our member, Tarolin, who was early and had a key.  We gave him the tour and during it received a call from Harietta saying they would have to change the rendezvous for another day.  That meant we had time to teach him.  As we talked to Ezechias we learned that somebody from America had told him about the church and he was wanting to check it out and we were there!  He had already read all of Moses and Abraham online and loved it.  He had notes about our church and we gave him a Book of Mormon in French and English because he's from Sweden and speaks English.  We set up a rendez vous for Thursday.  Tarolin told us after he got the call from us he felt he needed to hurry to the church and bring his key.  This was a miracle...two missionaries were standing outside the chapel when Ezechias walked by, a key came at the exact moment we invited him to have a tour, his friend had told him about the church the day before and our other rendez vous fell through. It was the strongest example I've seen of how the Lord is always involved in the work and he places people in our path at times when they are ready.

As Thursday arrived we planned to teach the Plan of Salvation helping him with the three questions of Where did I come from, Why am I here and Where am I going after this life?  As we started the lesson we asked if he had read any of the Book of Mormon since Tuesday.  He had read quite a bit in fact.  As we continued he explained he was trying to find the origin of where our church was from and he started showing us the index in the Book of Mormon that shows lineage, etc.  We decided to switch to the Restoration and we are sure glad we did.  The lesson went great and as we described Joseph Smith and his questions of what church he should join he said he had that same question and had tried different churches but none were right for him. We continued to explain what happened with the first vision and then Tarolin started bearing his testimony and told his conversion story.  It was so powerful.  At the end the spirit was super strong and we asked if he found out that these things were true would he be baptized.  He responded with a yes!  We talked about the family and how they can be together forever.  He was so happy to hear that and said it offered him so much peace.  We invited him to church on Sunday and fixed a rendez vous for tomorrow and this Thursday too!

On Sunday, December 8th, we had an event that we've been planning for a long time.  The members were to invite a friend to come learn more about our church.  All the lessons and talks were especially prepared about the Living Christ, the Family Proclamation and conversion stories.  It was amazing!  Promptly at 9:30 Ezechias showed up in a suit and tie and boy was he ready.  During the lessons he took notes, participated and when they used a Book of Mormon scripture he'd pull out his and look it up.  After the meetings We asked how it was and what he felt.  He said that it was glorious and loved it.  He then asked if he could come back next week...Sweet!  He continued to talk to members for the next hour and when we checked on him he was talking to a member about the construction of the church.  It used to be part of the cathedral but was renovated and the font was put up by the pulpit under the floor.  (You have to pull up the floor in a few spots and then it's in the ground.  Ezechias said, "So that's where I'll be baptized!"  Music to our ears!  I can't wait to teach him again tomorrow!

This for me has been one of the biggest miracles I've seen on my mission.  He's so prepared and it's obvious to me the Lord is helping to make this all possible.  I know the Lord prepares people to receive his gospel at certain times and I'm so thankful that I get to be a missionary and see how the Lord does it and how much he loves us all!  This was just one of the many experiences this week but I wanted to share this one!

That's about a wrap here!  I hope you all have a great week and enjoy the winter weather wherever you may be!  Thanks for all your prayers and support!  They are felt!
Love you all
Elder Player

Other things that happened during the week:
-We sang outside the church with the Soeurs and members, -a man was listening and we asked if he needed anything.  He responded, "No, I just want to listen to the music cause there's not much left in the world that's spiritual but I can feel the spirit from the music"  Music can touch the hearts of people and bring the spirit always!
-Had an amis bring a friend to a lesson who told us her brother in law is a mormon and she was interested to learn more!
-Did service for a lady named Thereza by cleaning her balcony.  She showed us pictures from the bombing here in 1944 when she was 20 in which her parents died.  Crazy to see the devastation!
-Had an American couple from Tremonton, Utah attend church yesterday!
-Taught Beatrice, an 85 year old widow and sang Silent night with her.  Made our night!
-Last Monday for P-Day we saw the huge cathedral here and toured the place where Joan of Arc was held captive during her trial!
District Meeting with number of transfers

The huge cathedral here in Rouen.  Monet did some
of the art work!
The Christmas Market

Another view of the Cathedral

Beatrice who is 85!

Thereza who we did service for!

The room where Joan of Arc was
held captive during her trial

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