Bonjour tout le monde! I hope you have had a great week! It's continued to be another great week here in France and the Lord has continued to bless us! This past week has been pretty busy here and there is a lot to share...I'll try not to go overboard!
Tuesday we had district meeting here in Nancy It was the first normal district meeting we have had this transfer. After, I was able to go on exchange with Elder Sumsion to Epinal! I can't say a whole lot more than the word "awesome"! We had such a good time and Elder Sumsion is an awesome missionary and such a spiritual guy! We started off and ended the exchange doing contacting and man, did the Lord bless us with putting people in our path who were prepared to accept the message. One of my favorite contacts on Tuesday was that night after we had been out with a member teaching a recent convert. We were walking through the park along the river and met a man named Christophe. We did our introduction and started to testify of the Plan of Salvation and it went well but then he said he had to go. But after he started to walk off we wanted to give him a card with the website. He was 15 feet away and so we called for him and went and asked if we could give him a card. The card was a picture of the Book of Mormon and then he said, "You're Mormon?" And that was when it all changed. We then were able to talk to him for 20 mins about the Book of Mormon and explain what it was and it was so much better than a picture of the book. H e accepted a copy of the BOM and said he'd read it! It was so cool to see how the Book of Mormon has the power to change hearts and open people up to listen to the gospel! The next day was no different and we were able to have a nice run in the morning along the river, and we were able to meet more amazing people, including 2 families, who wanted to listen to us again. we were able to set up other times to talk with them! Exchanges really do bring miracles!
Then Saturday and Sunday we were able to do another exchange with the Elders of Mulhouse and we had another great exchange. I was able to go with Elder Anderson who is in his last transfer. Sadly our appointment fell through and so at the end of the night we had an hour left and decided we'd go out and go porting. We arrived at the tram stop, found a street we both felt good about and started porting. Everyone was nice but the first few houses weren't interested. Then we met Marc and Martine. Marc is a retired opticien and they had both just come back from doing a tour in the western United States. Their trip included Zions National Park and most of southern Utah. They were super happy to talk to Americans and tell us about their trip and we were able to teach them about prayer, bless their home and give them a Plan of Salvation brochure. They were really happy to have us and said that they would call again...so keep your fingers crossed and we'll be praying!
On top of the two exchanges, Elder Gram and I had an awesome experience yesterday. One of our appointments fell though but it just goes to show us that when a door closes a window opens. (I guess you could say the rendez vous was our door but our window was even better) We were walking down the road and started talking to this man and he said he knew of our church. We asked him what he knew and he said he was actually baptized about 15 years ago in the church. We asked what happened, and he said after his baptism, some things happened and he just didn't believe he could be forgiven for. So, even with the happiness that the gospel had brought, all the friends he had, he left it behind thinking he was no longer welcome. We testified that wasn't the case and that thanks to Christ there was nothing that you couldn't be forgiven of and that it was no mistake that we had met him in the road right then. Claude continued to explain how he had seen other missionaries in the bus years back and wanted to talk to them but was scared of being judged by others on the bus so he just decided to wait till it happened again and then he could talk. The Lord made sure that it did happen again and he wants to come back! It was a super cool experience and we can't wait to see Claude this week and introduce him to the members and the bishop and help him come back!
At the end of this week we had our stake conference, which was here in Nancy. We had a session Saturday night from 4 to 6 and then on Sunday from 10:30 to 12:30. Our stake includes Luxembourg and all of the north east of France. That meant we had 10 missionaries that needed to stay someplace on Saturday night. (Since the train wouldn't get them back early enough on Sunday morning) So, Saturday night we had 14 elders who slept over in the 4 man apartment. Suprisingly, we could have fit more! (Haha) It was quite the experience! The conference was awesome and even President and Soeur Babin were able to speak and talk about member missionary work and then they had all of us fulltime missionaries stand up. There's about 30 for the stake and he said, "These are your new sons and daughters and we are asking you to help them fulfill their purpose!" Man it was awesome and I'm so grateful for the Babins and all they do for us!
There is a little wrap up of a few of the things that happened this week. To say the least, it was a great week and I'm sure it will continue! I Love what President Babin wrote back to me today in his email, "Merci Elder Player. N'oubliez pas "Aujourd'hui est le 1er jour du reste de votre mission". Je vous encourage à faire du reste de votre mission la plus belle expérience de votre vie. "To reach a goal never before attained one must do things never before done. To never forget that today is the first day of the rest of my mission and to make the rest of my mission the best experience of my life." The quote he shared really impressed me and just shows further that even when we are doing good, there is always something better waiting if we give it our all and leave our comfort zone. I'm so happy to be here and thanks so much for all you do for me. The letters, emails, pics, and packages you send mean alot! You're all the best and I wish you all a great week!