Monday, November 17, 2014

Count Your Many Blessings

Streets of Nancy

Bonjour tout le monde!  I can see from the email and pictures you have sent this week that many of you have got snow!  I'm so jealous since I haven't seen snow since the winter before I left and I love the snow! I have my fingers crossed that we will see some this year since I'm in the East of France!  This week has been great and very busy.  We have had some spiritual moments and some interesting ones too!

We got to go and teach Rene, a recent convert, who attended the temple in Switzerland with the YSA to do baptisms.  Man, was he excited!  He kept telling us how amazing it was and that the Spirit of The Lord was there and it was for sure the House of the Lord!  He went and taught with us that night and kept telling our ami that there was nothing else like it and no other church could bring them to feel that Spirit which he had felt in the temple...Only the true church of God could!  He can't wait to go next summer and receive his  own endowments!

We taught a new family this week that we were able to find a few weeks ago on exchanges.  We called and asked for directions and the directions we received were to go behind the prison and then we would see a camp with trailers.  A little hesitant we took the bus to the prison (which was very nice, I must say) and then went behind the prison.  We walked to what we thought was a camp of trailers and were surprised to see that it was very nice, organized with gates and a fence.  We found out we weren't in the right camp and so we continued to search.  We eventually got there and it was like watching a movie with shelters after a hurricane.  Tarps were on the trailers and mud was everywhere.  Everyone came out of their trailers and looked at us like, "What are they doing here?"  Then we saw Christian and his family.  He invited us into his trailer and we met his wife, 3 children and a friend.  We sat on two beds around a little heater in the the dark.  They explained that they turned on the lights for three hours a night because that was all the gas they could afford to fill the generator.  This family had almost nothing but as we talked to them they offered us a drink.  We kept saying "no" but they insisted and pulled out a half liter of coke and poured us two cups worth.  We were able to teach and pray with them and they are the nicest people, who believe in Christ and have a firm belief in his teachings.  Even though they don't have much, in the sense of worldly things, they are rich in spirit and happy.  They are thankful for three hours of light each day, the little heater, and more than anything else, each other.  When we told them we could come back and bring books for them they were so excited.  We can't wait to go back and see them on Tuesday. They walked us back out of the camp and gave us directions to get back to the bus.  We were kind of in shock. This was, for both of us, the poorest conditions we had ever been in.  We have taught in the streets, sat in an apartment sitting on newspapers but this was something else.  These people were happier than even the richest people we've taught and grateful for even the smallest blessings, which many of us take for granted, like lights, heat and water.  It was a moment for us to "count our many blessings" and be so thankful for all that the Lord has given to us.

With Thanksgiving almost here, I invite each of us to take a moment and look at all of our blessings, even during the hard times.  President Uctdorf said, "How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain?"  

I want each of you to know that when I count my blessings I count all of you twice.  Thanks you for all you do for me.  I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!

Elder Player

*Went to Paris on Friday for mission council
*Mission Conference with Elder Cook this will be the first time the mission has all been together in over 3 years.  The mission, with couples, is over 280 people.  It is going to be so awesome and everyone is so excited.  It took some major planning to make it happen!
*FHE tonight with a member
*Some great exchanges planned for this week

Elder Gram and I start our third transfer together!

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