Thursday, July 17, 2014

Hidden Treasures

SOOOO SOOOO much has happened since last week. where to begin? always the question. 

Soeur Mangum is incredible and exactly what I needed for the end of my mission. She is the poster child for quiet diligence, and there is no way I'm getting side tracked with her. She is what we call a preach my gospel missionary and I am so grateful for her example to me already. She never stops talking to people, even though it is hard for her, and we have already seen one thousand miracles because of it. 

Our first day together we were able to go and see Teclaire and share the Plan du Salut. She is so prepared, it's incredible. It was really funny though, we taught the whole plan and then asked her to tell us what she learned from it, and she was like "so adam and eve were at a meeting with jesus and satan and then they were hungry so they ate the apple and fell down on the earth and that is why life is so hard." hahah, yeah we taught it again after that...sometimes I still forget how many times I have heard these things and don't understand how confusing it would be to hear it for the first time. After Teclaire we went over to Milady's to teach her and her children about the Restoration. We told them the story about Jospeh Smith and they all agreed to pray about it. That family needs this more than they want it, but I know that as they do the little things and see the blessings the desires will come. Then we went over to Rachel's house to see her family. Her 12 year old daughter Patricia answered the door and told us that only her and her grandma were home. We were bummed for a half-second, but then she said, "but I read the brochure you gave me last time and I have some questions!" We went in and taught her the restoration and this kid already knew EVERYTHING. She told us that her and her mom watch the Restoration video every Sunday night after she gets home from work and that their family talks about us all the time!!! During our little lesson with her her dad came home and was so happy to see us. He told us and I quote, "I want to go far with you. I want to know this religion like the back of my hand, I will be on vacation at the end of next week and you will come over and teach me then." Yeah, on est d'accord. 

My favorite day of last week however was Saturday. MIRACLES. We taught Grace the Restoration. I assumed that this was going to be a touchy lesson with her because she is very deeply involved in her faith, but I also knew that her heart could be touched. She took everything in with so much faith and it was a huge testimony builder for me that the truth DOES touch open hearts. My favorite thing that she said was, "You know, the first time I walked into this church last week I was shocked because I didn't see icons or ornate decorations, but then I thought to myself, if Jesus Christ was still on the earth today I bet that this is exactly what his church would look like." Speechless. We invited her to church the next day and she said that she would pray about whether or not she should go to our church or the cathedral. Fair enough. That night we went and finally taught Vanessa and Edouard, the Bertrand's friends from the wedding. I know I keep saying this, but it was THE MOST INCREDIBLE RDV EVER. After the first 15 minutes Soeur Mangum turned to me and asked, "wait, is he the branch President?" No no no, they are amis. Its hard to believe because their family is just so perfect. Haha! We taught them the Plan of Salvation and Vanessa was on the edge of her seat. She has so many questions about this because of her disabled son and she was engaged in the lesson and marking her scriptures and asking the best questions. I could have died and gone to the spirit world. TF? After the lesson we went outside and jumped on the trampoline with the kids and then we ate dinner together. It felt like we were already with members and I just couldn't help but envision this family inviting the missionaries over in 20 years and talking about the first time the sisters came to teach them.

Sunday was Charlotte Bertrand's baptism. Vanessa, Edouard, their brother-in-law Antony, and all of the kids came to church and so did GRACE! It was a beautiful baptism and I felt the spirit so strongly. Especially when President Bertrand lifted Charlotte out of the water and kissed her on the forehead. It reminded me when Dad baptized me, and I was filled with gratitude for the Priesthood power that we have on the earth and the knowledge we have that every single dad has the right and the duty to baptize his little girl as long as he lives worthy of it. 

Monday was French Independence Day and everything was closed, so we had to change P-day last minute. Since we didn't have anything planned we decided to go and talk to everyone we saw. We met a cool Portuguese girl named Salami who we are seeing next week. And a cute older lady named Josiane who had met with the missionaries years ago, but was willing to see us again. We also went and taught Teclaire the word of wisdom. As expected, no problems there. 

Yesterday was awesome for many reasons, but mainly because Soeur Berge came back to do her legality and we all got to go to the Wareinghan's together to eat! It was a party. It had only been a week but we already had so much to catch up Aubs and Kristie becoming friends, haha. We also taught Bumbo, Frere Bitanga's mom, because he asked us to go over and see her while they were at the temple. I know I said last week that her traditions of her fathers are too engrained, but after our conversation yesterday, I'm not so sure. I think there is a lot of hope for her to accept the fullness of the gospel on this earth. Only time will tell. :) 

In my last interview with her, Soeur Poznanski told me that I would find hidden treasures at the end of my mission. Either deepened knowledge during studies, spiritual confirmations during lessons, or moments of joy with my companions, and let me tell you, I have been finding them. With the transfer change, now I really don't feel like I'm going home anytime time soon, so it feels funny to be calling this 'the end'. I think it is just going to sneak up on me, but that is not allowed to happen just yet. 

I love y'all so much! à bientôt! 
Soeur Johns 

Us at the Wareighans last night! :) 

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