You know how you can pinch the hose and make the water stop, but then when you finally let it go the water sprays so hard. I feel like that happened to us yesterday, but with MIRACLES.
I can't lie, this transfer has been a hard one for me. I have just kind of felt like we were going through the motions of missionary work, but that nothing really spectacular was happening. We were working hard and Valerie and her family were progressing, but other than her we had NO amis and we weren't really seeing success in contacting, (except in finding men for the Elders to teach). On Tuesday night of last week I just sat down with the area book and called probably 200 numbers and found 2 people who were still interested to meet with us. I can't lie I was getting semi-frustrated with myself and with the area.
BUT THEN...YESTERDAY. The single greatest day of my mission thus far.
Y'all ready for this? Water-hosed in the face.
Miracle number 1...About 1/2 way through one of the best fast and testimony meetings I've ever been to a beautiful mom and 2 boys walk in. I look up at President Motulat and he just raised his eyebrows, then back at Elder Allecia, same confused look. After the meeting I went back and talked to Sheri a beautiful mom who had seen the Elders on the bus a couple of times and was astonished that there were actually people in the world who would wear Christ's name so boldly. She has thought to herself "I want to be a part of THAT church". She was just glowing when I was talking to her!! And She LOVED sacrament meeting SO much that she is going to bring the whole family of 20 PEOPLE next week. We exchanged numbers, naturally, and she was so excited to meet with us this week and learn more! My favorite part was when she looked over at her sons and said "You like it here?" and they said yes and she said "Okay, this is our church."
Miracle number 2...While I was in the middle of talking with Sheri a less-active named Katy walked in! She has not been to church in 7 years!!!! We've been visiting her for a while and helped her move a couple of weeks back. Was she alone?...NOPE. She was with her fiancé, Alexandre, who by the way is a FRENCH MOVIE DIRECTOR. They had just gotten back from Cannes. (They are such a hott couple.) Alexandre is really interested in the church and so is her 10 year old son Scilian! She wants to get married in the temple, you know what that means... :) She set up appointments for us to come see her and then to come see Alexandre and start teaching him the lessons!!!!!!!!!!!
Miracle number 3...TAKES THE CAKE. Sunday we got to witness Gilles Beya get baptized. Right after the baptism we walked out to the bus stop and realized that it wasn't coming for 20 more minutes, so we decided to go back into the chapel and wait cause its FREEZING here. As we were walking in I noticed a girl walking into the church. At first I thought she was friends with the Beya family, but then a Plan of Salvation brochure in English fell out of her bag!!!! I just thought seriously, this is TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. I introduced myself and she said that there was supposed to be someone there waiting for her to tell her about the church. "Uh hi yeah I think that someone is ME!!!" We sat down and started talking to her about her beliefs. Oh my goodness, this girl is INCREDIBLE. She is Rwandan and lost both her parents in the Genocide. Her father died with a Bible in his hand and the last think he asked was if he could pray before they killed him. I'm literally crying again writing this. It was the saddest story I have ever heard in my life. She managed to escape with her younger brother and raised him. She said that she had gotten really far away from God, but always knew that he was there and that He was her Father, not just some grand power in the universe. Lately she had been thinking that she needed to get her spiritual life in order, and to learn more about what her parents held so dearly. One day the Elders contacted a man at the Park with the Plan of Salvation brochure. Gigh was watching as the man rejected the message and went up to Him after to ask if she could have the brochure, and VIOLA. She is so amazing! After our lesson she was like "my goodness, I came here to get the time for church next week and ended up pouring my soul out to two strangers. I would have never expected this" (Yeah neither would we :)) It was so amazing! We were instantly friends and she is SO prepared for the gospel. I asked her if she had ever been baptized and she said that she had had a lot of opportunities to be baptized in her life, but it never felt right. But that it was definitely something she would want to do!
Miracle 4...I JUST got a LDS.org referral and I think it is from a lady we met on the train this week!!!!!! And a member just called to give us a reference...seriously WHAT is happening?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Lord is truly gathering His sheep and hastening His work. Our schedule is now so full over here in Liège Belgium we can hardly keep up. This work is miracle work. It is the Lord's, and it happens on HIS timetable and not my own. I have really seen a change in our 2 branches after this conference. They are engaged. I believe that when the ward or branch is spiritually prepared the miracles will FLOW.
Also, sorry to leave y'all in the dark about Valerie and her family!!! Valerie is the daughter of a less-active in the branch. She is really awesome and has SUCH a strong testimony of the Restoration. She is getting baptized this coming Saturday! Please pray for her!!! Her children were supposed to get baptized with her, but they aren't quite ready yet. We went to the Foire (a big fair RIGHT in front of our apartment) with them this Saturday...best member present lesson ever...and it was so fun. I seriously love this family to bits and pieces. It is so beyond surreal that we are preparing for another baptism this weekend. I just feel so blessed to be here, and witness all of these wonderful people choosing the right at the same time.
I love y'all so much. I REALLY felt your prayers this week. I seriously felt angels holding me up, and I know that the Lord is watching over us.
Love, Soeur Johns