I do NOT even know where to begin! Should I start with the BAPTISM we had on Saturday? Or maybe the night we got let in 7 TIMES IN A ROW PORTING, or maybe how one of our Ami's burst in the chapel in his UNDERWEAR screaming at the top of his lungs that he needs to get baptized?
Let's start with Ludo. OK, so this follows a little bit with last week's email.
Here's his story. Frère Gentry is in a band with him and introduced him to the church about 7 months ago. Since he had been investigating he has given up hard drugs, coffee, and was trying and trying to give up cigarettes. He had smoked a pack a day since the age of 14. He had had several baptismal dates, but never felt ready. He finally prayed about a month ago and felt really strongly the July 6th was going to be the day he got baptized. The Elders had been teaching him and we had never seen him (except at church) until last Sunday when he told us that he wanted us to teach his wife and we did. So after we taught her, we still could NOT get him off our minds.
Well the next day the Elders call us and tell us that Ludo had smoked again, so they cancelled his baptism and moved it to next week. We were SO MAD because they just seemed like they didn't care even though Ludo had 100 percent desire to quit smoking and had only smoked 1 SINCE SUNDAY after 30 years of smoking a pack a day and he wanted SOOOO bad to stop. So we decided to go back over to Ludo's house on Tuesday and see how he was doing. He was distraught. All the poor guy wanted to do was get baptized on the day he prayed about and the Elders just told him he couldn't. The Spirit just kept telling to me to reassure him that he still could get baptized and that he could quit smoking with the Lord's help. It was crazy, but as I was saying it I just knew it was right.
To make a VERY long story short. After about a million and a half calls from the Gentry family, another couple of visits to Ludo's house, and a call to President. LUDOVIC GOT BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY AND THE HOLY GHOST ON SUNDAY:) He has not smoked once since then and swears he is done for life. :) PEOPLE CAN CHANGE! THEY JUST NEED SOMEONE TO BELIEVE IN THEM!
Do the miracles end there. NO.
Tuesday night we went porting and we decided that we were GOING to find a family.
And guess what? We found 7 instead.
Not ONE single door closed on us. Not ONE single person rejected us.
I wish I could describe to you how rare this is. It's like actually winning the stuffed animal out of those dumb arcade games in Wal-Mart, and not just once, but 7 TIMES IN A ROW.
That my dear people, just does not happen everyday.
Okay now for the underwear...
So we've got this ami.
His name is Cedric.
He is friends of one of our members, Yvelise, and had been taking the lessons a year ago, but stopped.
Recently he came back to church because he knew it was true.
Last week, Yvelise invited him to come over and have a lesson with us and he did and it went really well and we committed him to be baptized.
Naturally we invite him to come and see Ludo's baptism.
He didn't come, but we got a text from him on Saturday night that said something like, "I am a horrible person. I wish I could just be angels like you. I am not happy. I will not be at church tomorrow because I am not in a state to drive"
Well he didn't show up at church
until the end...
when he burst into the chapel in his Looney Toon boxers screaming at the top of his lungs "I KNOW I NEED TO BE BAPTIZED! I KNOW I NEED TO KEEP THE LAW OF CHASTITY! I KNOW I NEED TO STOP SMOKING!"
All of the members are just standing there in the foyer. Shocked.
Oh, but he continues, "WHO IS LUDOVIC? WHERE IS THE LUDOVIC WHO GOT BAPTIZED YESTERDAY"
Ludo, bless his heart, raises his hand super hesitantly.
Cedric grabs him by the shoulders and starts shaking him and just says, "May God Bless You" and then kisses him and pulls him into an embrace.
Most dramatic thing I have ever seen in my life.
I was so shocked I think I was paralyzed for a second.
Well finally a couple of the men got him out into the parking lot... where he stayed for three hours at one part bawling, at one part skipping around laughing, and at one part blasting a Céline Dion song and saying "Sister Johns translate these lyrics the whole world needs to know what she is talking about", and at one point going around shaking everyone's hands and inviting them to his baptism.
WHAT IN THE WORLD.
Ludo was pretty sure he was on crack.
I have never seen anything like that before in my life.
Yeah, I don't really know what is going to happen with his baptismal date, he probably needs to start obeying the word of wisdom first.
OH and the sister missionaries will NOT be teaching him anymore. Hahahah. My life.
Pretty much the theme of my week:
Hahahaha. Just living the dream in France right?
But really I am because SOLDES are going on right now, AKA everything is on sale and we just went shopping for three hours before this with two of the Gentry girls (who are from England) and I found some GREAT stuff :)
Hey it's still me.
I honestly have never been happier in my life and FOR sure have never been happier as a missionary.
A huge part of that is my companion. OH MY GOODNESS. Best team out there. It's just so nice because she is one of those people who I would have been friends with in real life. We both work so hard and only out of love, and we do not take ourselves too seriously. Last week I'm pretty sure we hit the standard's of excellence for MEXICO, but it didn't even feel like we worked hard. We keep things really FUN here in Vannes and our ami's finally LOVE US. It got to the point this week where we didn't even have to schedule rendez-vous, because all of our ami's are scheduling them with US. The Gentry family practically cried on Sunday because they wanted us to come over to eat at their house, but we don't have a single time free until next week :)
But for realz, I love that we use the word for friend (Ami) instead of investigator in French because that is really what these people are, my FRIENDS. And friends want to see eachother and spend time with eachother and share the gospel with eachother. It just makes sense.
I LOVE THIS. I'M NOT COMING HOME.
(Until next year) :)
P.S. Pictures are coming next week. I accidently left my camera at an ami's house. Dating strategy cause now we gotta go back. :) Hahaha. But seriously it was an accident I would never do that.