Over the last 7 days lots has happened and there's a few things I really want to write about. I mentioned that there are 533 members in our ward but about 333 of those are not attending so we have set goals with re-activation. We met with the Ward Secretary and he gave us about 40 names to start with. We've been calling and going to see a few of them this last week.
One man, Louis-Pierre, hasn't been to church in over 2 years but has been through the temple, was the Ward Secretary for 10 years and is an Elder. As we visited with him we asked how he was converted. He shared his story and we added our personal conversion stories to his. We used a scripture in Romans 8:35-39. I love this scripture because it shows us how the Lord loves us, even in difficult times. No matter how long we turn away from his teachings, no mater what we've done, He is always reaching out to us with his arms wide open. We continued to talk with him and he talked about how he could feel the love of Christ for him in the temple more than anywhere else in the world. He expressed that he'd love to feel that again. We asked him what he thought he needed to do to be ready to go back to the temple. He's going to come to church next week and start back on the road to returning to the temple. It was cool to see his desire and realize that all he needs is a helping hand to reach down and invite him to come back. We (not just missionaries) are the hands of the Lord on the earth and he has asked us to reach out to others. (Mosiah 18:8-9)
I know if we just reach out to one person and give them our hand, as the Lord through others has done for us so many times, we will be able to see many people return and be able to feel the fullness of his love just like Louis-Pierre.
The next experience was with our "amis", Sebastian, who I've written about before. He is married to a member and they have 2 children. The only thing stopping him from being baptized is that he works on Sundays. We asked him to pray and we said we would fast and pray for his boss's heart to be softened. We talked about how fasting, prayer, obedience and doing all that we can will always work because the Lord will prepare a way for his children to fulfill his commandments. He told us he would talk to his boss and mentioned that his boss had just bought a new meat store in Nogent by the church. He also told us that he doesn't have to work or attend school after the first of July so he can start coming in July. Everything is falling into place and our prayers are being answered in God's own timing. I know it'll all work out and his desire to be baptized and come to church will be possible. Yesterday we were able to find transportation for his wife and two kids so that they can start coming to church right away and tonight we are going to have FHE with all of them. So awesome.
Last, but not least, is Joe and the Vasile family who are both doing great. In Priesthood meeting our lesson was on the converting power of the Book of Mormon. At the end of the lesson they left 20 minutes for those who wanted to bear their testimony. Joe raised his hand and testified of how the Book of Mormon was the "thing" that he had searched for but as in D&C 123:12..."They are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it." It was so powerful and we all left priesthood lifted by the spirit and everyone was amazed by the testimony of someone who is preparing for baptism. He will be baptized on May 24th. We also had the opportunity to see the Vasile's and they are coming to church next week. We were able to get them Romanian Book of Mormons and they were excited to start reading it and pray to know if it's true. It's so amazing to see how willing and open they are and how desirous they are to increase their faith in Christ!
Had lunch with a less active member who is working for Yves Saint Laurent, Dior and Chanel as a designer. He was super cool and has a son serving in Singapore!
Last Monday we got to see the Trocadero with an awesome view of the Eiffel Tower, the Opera House and the craziest Galleries Lafayette that I've ever seen.
Had a funny port at an apartment. I spoke into the speaker box at the door and as I started to say who I was and that I was from America the lady said, "Sederik, you are so funny! I know your voice...come in." I tried to explain that I wasn't Sederik, but Elder Player from America. She just laughed and said, "Sederik come on in!" So we did. When we arrived at her door she was surprised to see that is really was Elder Player and not Sederik and she closed the door on us!
Mother's Day...got to skype with my awesome family!
This week we get to hear from Elder Snow of the Seventies on Friday!
It's great to be in Paris. I love all of you and appreciate your love and support. Have a great week. Till next Monday...
PS...Let me explain my title...We have 27 bones and 25 muscles in one hand. It is the most concentrated area of muscles and bones in our bodies. Imagine why the Lord gave us hands and how we can use them to help others. We are the Lord's hands on earth!
|One crazy museum!|
|The Trocadero with an awesome|
view of the Eiffel Tower
|Lots of Rainy Days in Paris!|
|The Opera House|