Monday, January 5, 2015

2015 Here We Go!

Friday in Paris!

Bonjour tout le monde and Happy New Year!  I hope you all have had a great week of celebrating and bringing in the New Year.  It's been a great week here in France and we still are in shock that it is 2015 already!  I can say that 2014 was an awesome year and I've learned so much here in France and can't wait to see what 2015 brings to the picture!

Last week has been very busy with a Ward New Year's Eve party, District meeting, saying goodbye to the Gionet couple and to Paris on Friday for mission council.  We have had some great experiences that I will try to quickly share with you.

Tuesday after district meeting and our meal we took off for our first rendez-vous with Ismael.  We were able to finish re-teaching all the lessons in the week and a half that he has been here.  We watched the Restoration film, which he loved.  He spoiled us with a macaroon cake and quiche lorraine which later we were extremely thankful for.  We took off from his house and headed back up to the the church to teach Srjdan. (The church is on the opposite side of the city but we made it!)  We had a great rendez-vous with him and were able to talk more about baptism and give him a baptismal calendar.  Next we rushed half way down the hill to teach another amis, Francois.  We had a great lesson with him that was guided by the spirit.  It wasn't exactly what we had planned but we couldn't have taught more simply and testified more clearly and the spirit was so strong.  We are hoping he will take the commitment to pray and ask if the Book of Mormon is true and that God has only one true church.  We'll see this week.  After that we rushed to Rene's to teach him and watch a conference on the Sacrament that was awesome.  As we left we had 20 minutes left.  We hadn't been home since district meeting, we were carrying our bags with our French and English stuff that were heavy and we hadn't eaten any dinner.  We felt prompted to talk to someone on the way home.  As we walked to the bus stop there was a lady walking towards us and it was the first person we had seen so I bore a very sincere testimony saying, "Bonjour, I'm Elder Player from the U.S.  I am here for 2 years.  I know that when you are tired and don't have more to give, God gives you strength to continue."  (I'm sure that we both looked a little weary ourselves)  She responded and opened up to us about her life and how she wanted to try other religions because what she was searching for wasn't what she had found.  She started to talk about a book that she had once read that talked about two civilizations that had been taught by Christ and that it had really interested her.  Elder Velazquez and I looked at each other and said, "The Book of Mormon talks about that!"  It was so cool and she took the book.  We were able to say a prayer with her and she said when she came back from Portugal she would come to church. We could have easily taken the last twenty minutes and just gone home but a loving Heavenly Father gave us the ability to keep going even when we were tired and hungry to meet this woman and tell her about the Book of Mormon. (We were so happy when we got home to enjoy Ismael's quiche lorraine)

Wednesday was my birthday and I was spoiled and had a great day.  (I'll let the pictures do most of the talking)  To start the day two of the Elders went to a boulangerie and got me a warm croissant for breakfast, Marie-line made me a cake, Ismael had a gouter for us and then that night we had a great New Year's Eve party!  We had dinner at a restaurant on New Year's Day (a rare treat) and than on Friday we went to Paris for mission council.  We were able to hear President Babin's vision for the mission in 2015.  Sister Babin and President spend so much time helping us succeed and I can't wait to work and see this plan come to pass!

Thanks for all the birthday wishes.  Have a great week as you get back to "real" life!  Haha  Love you all and will write next week!

Love, Elder Player

The New Year's Eve Party

Ismael on our last lesson with him

Marie-Line and the Birthday Cake she made for me!

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