Monday, September 8, 2014

"Lift Up Your Heart and Rejoice, for the Hour of Your Mission is Come!"

Bonjour!  Tout le Monde!  I hope you have had a great week.  This week has been one of the best on my mission.  I've been able to see so many amazing miracles and the Lord's hand in this work!  I'm not sure where to start so, I'm just going to jump right in with our two exchanges, zone conference and our miracle finding day!

Wednesday morning we took off for Versailles to do exchanges with Elder Davis and Elder Johnson.  We got to Paris about 12:00.  We had lunch, set goals and took off.  I was with Elder Davis (My trainer) and man, it was awesome!  He's such a great missionary!  On the first day of our mission we went to Consecration Hill and consecrated ourselves to missionary work for the next two years.  The day before going to Paris I read all of my goals that I had set that first day in Paris. I really wanted to go back but figured that would have to be after my mission but I was wrong.  We started the day by going up to Consecration Hill to do some contacting and met some awesome people.  One was a father and daughter that were super interested and we taught them a lesson on the street and set another appointment.  As we kept walking we met Rasu and started talking.  The spirit was so strong.  Rasu talked about how Christ had helped him so much in his life and a scripture came to mind.  So, we shared Mosiah 18:8-10:
     8)  "And it came to pass that he said unto them:  Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another's burdens, that they may be light:
     9)  Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all place that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life -
    10)  Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?"

And then we asked what he had taken from that scripture, and he then shared that he was really trying to prepare to be baptized 'cause that was the desire of his heart and now the only two things that were stopping him were chewing tobacco and the lotto.  He didn't know if he could stop but he has the desire.  So, we explained that's why we are here and we knew he could stop these things and be baptized.  It was such a great contact and we were able to fix up another time to see him and then learned that he has a wife and a son.  Yay!  A family to teach!  When we arrived at Consecration Hill, which looks over downtown Paris with skyscrapers, the Eiffel Tower and an amazing chateau and cathedral with super cool gardens, we were able to meet 2 more people and teach them a lesson.  All of this in a couple of hours!  After dinner we didn't have any appointments so we set out for an area called Chatou, which is super nice with huge homes and wealthy French people, and started porting.  We received lots of "nos" but we did meet a few families that we were able to set another time to come back.  We got to a crossroads with about an hour left and decided to do a "pocket" prayer  (Prayer in the street) and ask where we should go.  We both felt we should go the same direction and started porting.  We knew it would take about 20 minutes to get home so we knew we could only go to one more home.  Ten homes later we met Mary Madeline, who was interested, and talked to us for about 20 minutes and we even had a prayer with her.  (I know that the Lord will never fail us if we keep going and endure to the end!)

Thursday we got up and headed for the mission home for Zone Conference.  It was great!  We were able to have four training sessions, from Sister Training Leaders, Zone Leaders, Assistants and President and Soeur Babin.  It was all focused on how we could become better teachers.  President and Soeur Babin are such inspired people and help us so much.  After the conference I went on an exchange with Elder Garcia to Epinal.  At 8:30 we hadn't eaten dinner and we're both starving but decided to keep going for 30 more minutes.  We prayed that we would meet someone in the last thirty minutes before going home!  The first person wasn't interested but the second person asked us, "Are you mormons?"  That's how we met Sebastian and Jean.  We were able to explain why we were there and then pray with them and teach them about the Plan of Salvation.  It was awesome and when we finished talking to them it was time to go back to the apartment and get something to eat!

Friday was a special day of "finding" in our mission.  We were able to combine with the Lyon mission and every thirty minutes from 9 to 9 we all stopped and prayed to find new amis!  Boy, did we!  We saw so many miracles and it was one of the funnest days I've had on my mission!  We made sure to do everything we could so we could expect miracles and people to be placed in our path.  From 10 to 6 we talked with every person we could and were able to teach the whole day.  We met so many amazing people and it was so fun.  We were ourselves and tried every way of contacting we could think of and it worked!  We met Phillipe, who is about 50, very French, and posed the 3 big questions of life to us.  He wanted to learn the answers and had been searching for some time.  We talked about the Plan of Salvation and how he could find peace and joy.  The spirit was so strong and at the end we were prompted to ask him if he'd be baptized if he came to know the truth and he said yes!  I know he was put in our path and was prepared to hear our message.  I'm hoping I'll get to teach him again this week when we do another exchange in Epinal. The day of "finding" was successful and fun.  What a great three days!

This morning I was reading my scriptures and read this in D&C 58:16..."Behold his (your) mission is given unto him (you) and it shall not be given again."  I am so grateful to be here and sharing the gospel.  There is nothing else I could do right now that would be better than these experiences I am having.  "Lift up your heart and rejoice, for the hour of your mission is come." (D&C 31:3) says it better than I ever could.
Thanks for all your love, support and emails.  Have a great week and "rejoice" with me for all the blessings that the Lord gives us!

Elder Player

Elder Ursua and Elder Pumford
The other two elders in our apartment

My companion, Elder Gram and me in
Stanislas Place-Lots of Gold!

Elder Davis and me on Consecration Hill

Elder Garcia and me in Epinal


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