Alright, who's been prayin' for me?!
This week was absolutely every adjective synonymous with INCREDIBLE you can think of.
NOT ONLY did Jimmy Trésor get baptized and confirmed as the newest member of the church, but we also found 6 new people to teach, set 2 more baptismal dates for very soon, picked up the new missionaries from the airport, gave a Book of Mormon to a gypsy camp, was deathly ill and literally healed by a priesthood blessing, and Rose started really reading the Book of Mormon and has been loving it!!
Here's the play by play
Monday. After P-day festivities we went and had an FHE with our amie Rose at the Seymour's house because they speak English (Frere Seymour is actually from Arlington, TX. Small world.) It was kind of a disaster at first. We met Rose at her house in Corbevoie, and walked a solid hour in the rain over to their house in Asniéres. Basically walked our poor amie from Mckinney to Allen, or Provo to Orem. We are just so used to walking as missionaries, but poor Rose was going crazy. When we finally arrived everything went okay. We had a lesson specifically on the Book of Mormon and everyone bore very powerful testimonies. The Spirit was really there. That night we got a text from Rose, "I am very interested to Read 1 Nephi..." We texted her the next morning and asked if she had been reading. She said "Yes of course I'm at the part where they are crossing the sea"! We asked her how she felt when she read it and she said "I'm too excited to know about it!" Ah, amazing!
Tuesday. During our studies we got a surprise call from President asking if we could hurry over to the airport and pick up the new missionaries because the tire on the mission van had blown out. We made it to the airport in pretty good time, but still 20 minutes after the missionaries were supposed to get off the plane. We were so worried about all of these missionaries who were going to be so lost and freaking out that no one was there to pick them up, so we sprinted through the airport like crazy people. My shoes are super slippery too, and I totally biffed it running around one of the corners. I accidentally screamed when I started falling so a bunch of people turned around and got to watch. Lovely. No biggie though, I got right up and just kept on running. My entire leg has a fat bruise on it, but it hasn't caused any problems. Turns out that it took the missionaries a long time to get through customs, so we made it to the arrivals before they even came out. It ended up being a new couple who was coming in and a Soeur visa waiter. It was really fun to chat with them about the MTC, and SUPER weird to be back at the airport. After that we went and met Denise our cute Mexican friend. We taught her the entire first lesson in a park by her house and I think it went pretty well. We couldn't really tell if she was loving it, or thinking that we are crazy people for believing that Joseph Smith saw God, but only time will tell. That night we passed back by the cute Portuguese family we found through Christmas caroling and gave them a Book of Mormon in Portuguese. They are the nicest people I've ever met in my life. I am so excited to teach them about the Restoration of the Gospel this week! I know it's my job to say this, but I think it is just what they are missing in their lives.
Wednesday. At the beginning of the transfer we received a cordonné from Church Headquarters for a girl named Audrey who had been taking the lessons in the United States and wanted to continue. We finally got in contact with her this week and started teaching her!! She is THE cutest thing, and LOVES America right now because of her trip. We're talking American flag pants, American flag tablecloth, American flags in every house plant, it was cute. Turns out, her Mom had joined the church after she moved to the States (Springfield, IL), and her brother just got baptized on January 1st. She knows a lot about the church because of them and knows that she needs to pray and read the Book of Mormon to gain her own testimony. Golden. She practically teaches us the missionary lessons even though she learned them in English. Way to go Elder Jones and Fulston! After Audrey we went and had a lesson with Jimmy on Tithing, and he had his baptismal interview. As always he was more than eager to keep this new commandment and was asking very practical questions about how to fill out the form, when he needs to pay it every month, etc. His interview went super well, and it was so cool to be out in the hallway with Sarah, and see her freaking out about how she never thought she was going to be able to get married in the temple, but now...it was HAPPENING. The best. After Jimmy we headed over to visit a less-active named Marie. She had come back to church for the first time in years the week before, and had told us that she wanted to return to full activity and go to the temple. We can work with that. I really loved how she said it, "I spent my time in the belly of the whale, but now I'm out and I'm ready to get serious about following the will of God for my life". I feel like that is such a common thing for members of the church, we all have our moments where we stray a little bit away from the Gospel/commandments and spend some time in limbo land, but if we really have a testimony we always come back. At least I know that that has happened to me. Anyways, sorry tangent, MARIE is back. And she has 3 beautiful unbaptized children who she wants to bring with her...we will get to them in a moment.
Thursday. I woke up Thursday morning as sick as a dog. But we had a zone conference and exchanges, and so I knew I wasn't really going to get any rest all day/night. I felt really bad because the Zone Conference was all about persevering with a positive attitude, but I pretty much just wanted to curl up in a ball and die. At the end I asked for a blessing, and in it I was promised that this sickness would not hold us back from doing any missionary work. As usual, God held up His end, and while I didn't feel better immediately, we were still able to teach the two lessons we had that night and they went so well!! Also we canceled exchanges, so I got to sleep in my own bed. That night we taught a lady named Therize for the first time. She was contacted on the street by the Elders, and is super legit. Because I was sick, we taught her a really simple and short lesson about the Book of Mormon, but it was so powerful, and made me wish I was sick all of the time so I could teach like that. It's amazing what happens when you really rely on the Lord.
Friday. I woke up Friday morning feeling like a million bucks and my testimony of the Priesthood really grew a ton. That morning we had a great lesson with Catherine Michelle!! She is so cool. Then we had a final lesson with Jimmy before his baptism and it went great. My favorite question was this: "Jimmy, you're about to get baptized, do you have ANY last questions?" "Yeah, actually I do. But like it's not about the Gospel, I really am ready. I was just watching TV yesterday and I saw that American eggs are white! Why are American eggs white and French eggs are yellow?" Seriously, n'importe quoi. He is so ridiculous. The best part of the lesson was the closing prayer. Jimmy said it and when he said the worlds "tomorrow is the big day where I get baptized in the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints," the Spirit really entered the room and I got mad goosebumps.
Saturday. The Big Day!!! We started out however by seeing Audrey again. We taught her the Plan of Salvation and she really ate it up. She was going to a funeral later that day, and so it really applied. I am so excited to see her get baptized. She is one of the most prepared people I've ever met. Then we headed up to the church to fill up the font and get everything ready for the baptism. Naomie and Eloise who the Elders were teaching were getting baptized the same day, so everyone started showing up (including Catherine Michelle and Anne!!). Except that at 4:30 Jimmy and Sarah were still not there!! Satan had to have one final go at them and trapped them in the Metro. Luckily they got out and made it about 15 minutes later. Satan 0, Jimmy and Sarah 1. The baptism was AMAZING. Such an amazing moment! And so many members were there!!!! It was cool too because Elder Toledo from my MTC district was one of the Elders who was teaching Eloise and Naomie. We had a moment where we were just like: we would have NEVER imagined this sitting in the MTC a year ago! It was the bestttttt.
Sunday. Jimmy. Confirmed. Marie walks up to us right after and sets a baptismal date for her son Noah for the 26 of January, and tells us that we need to come teach him all of the lessons. And that we also need to teach her two twins. What. The. Mess. So down. Then we went and ate lunch with a member and accompanied her to a gypsy camp to give them food and a Book of Mormon she had ordered for them in Romanian. She is THE cutest thing. We had a lesson with Anne, our Catholic lady that night where she informed us that she believed that the Catholic church was not true and that she wanted to be a Mormon. Well, she said it, not me. But we can work with that.I just really feel so blessed right now, and so undeserving of all of these miracles. This work is real and I know that it is the Lords.
I love y'all too much.
Love, Soeur Johns