Monday, May 19, 2014

"Light Always Overcomes Darkness"

Jean with the Book of Mormon

Crazy how fast the first year went.  I don't
even want to think how fast the 2nd will go!

Talent night in our ward!
Bonjour!  Tout le Monde!  It has been a fantastic week here and feels like summer has arrived.  Today it it suppose to get up to 25 degrees C with 100% humidity.  Everything is so green!  The Lord has blessed us this week and miracles have come our way.  Here are a few moments I want to share...

Last Monday after P-Day we had a rendez-vous with Sebastian and Cedre.  They are a part member family that we started teaching a few weeks ago.  Sebastian has been trying to work out his work situation so that he can come to church and we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.  We talked to him about setting a date for baptism in July, a week after he can start coming to church, and he said YES!.  A few minutes later his wife, who is a member already, came in and he said, "Cedre, I have a surprise!  I am going to be baptized and now it will be possible for our children to grow up in the church!"  She became so excited and started telling us that Lila and Elysee had never been blessed and asked if we could do that on the same day Sebastian is confirmed.  The Spirit filled the room and you could sense Sebastian's desire to become a member.  As the night continued Cedre started to talk about how they had been married civilly but had never had a church ceremony because she always knew the day would come that they would be married in the temple.  Now that day will come true.  It was so amazing and I'm so thankful for this family and how prepared they are and that they soon will be able to go to the temple and become an eternal family!

After the lesson they fed us and then we left for the bus stop.  We were running a little late and saw that the bus would not arrive for 15 more we were definitely going to be late now!  As we waited a bus, that wasn't scheduled for a stop, pulled up and it said it was going to the RER stop.  We got on but as we scanned our passes it said "service closed".  The driver said, "Oh well" and let us on anyway. We made our way to some seats at the back and started to talk about our rendez-vous with Cedre and Sebastian in English.  We were the only people on the bus and the driver yelled back, "You're English?"  we replied that we were Americans.  He continued to talk so we moved up closer and started to talk.  We learned that he had toured all the western US and loved Salt Lake and had met some members there.  (Small chance of that, right!)  We told him why we were here and he told us he was Catholic but not active and was open to hear more about our church.  It was the first time he had heard that the Mormons had churches, even in France, with thousands of members!  We exchanged phone numbers and made it to the RER stop and knew that it wasn't chance that we were running late and that bus just stopped there even though it wasn't a scheduled stop.  God made sure that we met Fred that night!

Saturday we were able to teach Fred and give him a tour of our church in Nogent.  He was so impressed and had so many questions.  We taught him about the Book of Mormon and he said he would read and pray about it.  We are meeting with him again this week to talk more.  As we closed the lesson we had a prayer and he said it was so different than the memorized prayers that he was used to.  We explained that we can have a relationship with a loving Father in Heaven and feel his love by his Spirit.  After the prayer he opened his eyes and was clearly touched by the Spirit.  With tears in his eyes he said, "Wow!  That felt really good!"

The last thing I want to share is about Jean, the man who put the nail in his head.  He called us yesterday during church and asked if we could come see him because he had a little gift for us.  It's been two weeks since we saw him but had some time in the evening to go.  He gave us a book, "The Gospel according to John" with a letter thanking us for our kindness.  We felt prompted to give him a Book of Mormon and explained that we had a gift for him too.  When he saw it he instantly said, "Mormons!  I've heard so much about this book!  Thank you so much.  I want to read it."  He than took our hands and kissed them and it felt as though he'd been waiting to receive this book his whole life and after 88 years it finally had arrived.  It was so cool and we are going to see him this week.  It just goes to show that we should never have biases and always share what we have because even if we think they are not interested it might be just what they have been looking and waiting for!

We got on the RER and a man and woman heard us talking and asked us where our church was.  We asked if she was member and she said "no" but wanted to check it out and if she liked it she wanted to become a member!  The Lord truly does put people in our cool!

The Vasile family was awesome this week and 4 of them came to church for Ward Conference yesterday and it went great.  We are seeing them again tonight!

Joe is awesome and so ready for his baptism on the 24th.  Yesterday he came to church in another classy suit!

Had an awesome Talent Show Saturday night by ward members.  Our ward is filled with so much talent from singing, acting, composing instrumentals - you name it.  Our ward is also full of young families that at times I feel like I'm in Utah until they start speaking French!  HaHa

Had a mission conference with all the Paris missionaries and with Elder Snow, Elder Dyches, their wives and the Director of the Family History Department.

I have officially been out over a year this past week.  I got two awesome packages from mom and dad with many of my favorites, including pancakes and Golden Griddle syrup (my favorite) and so we had a delicious pancake breakfast Saturday.  We watched the Saratov Approach, which our mission had a fireside on a few weeks ago, and my favorite line was "Remember, Light Always Overcomes Darkness!"  I know that this is true and that thanks to the Atonement of Christ all things are possible.

I'm so grateful to be here and I love it every day.  Thank you so much for your support, prayers and for all you do for me.  Have a great week and I'll write next Monday.

Love...Elder Player

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