Joy amidst Fatigue

Preparation day today was spent in our apartment.  We made home-made pizzas courtesy of Elder Coulombe, the master chef from Quebec, and bought a litre of ice-cream to give ourselves a little treat from a good past week of missionary work.  Although we could have headed to the Louvre that is just 8 stops away from our home, we decided to stay in today and just have a good preparation of relaxing.  Elder Kwang and I headed out for our usual run this morning, and our legs were definitely feeling the fatigue of another busy week here in Paris.  Missionaries like to joke about the constant fatigue that just never seems to go away, and now I think I have come to understand what that really means.  Elder Coffee, one of the missionaries who just left the mission once said to me, “The Greatest Work requires the greatest amount of energy.” Thankfully, having had the chance to swim and train 20 hours a week for the last 12 years of my life had prepared me well for missionary work.  I am thankful each day that I can head out to find and teach, and then come back home knowing that I have done all I could possibly do that day to help others come unto Christ.  Like a rechargeable battery, I have come to learn that the 8 hours of sleep each night is just enough for you to do all you need for the day.  But above all, the joy that comes from this work surmounts all. 

This past week was wonderful.  First of all, Spring is just around the corner!  The days are getting longer, the cold is melting away, and weather just seems to lighten the mood here in Paris.  It is funny how strongly weather influences people. 

I had the chance to be on an exchange with Elder Walton this week, my Zone Leader.  Elder Walton is in his 14th transfer and will be going home in 3 months.  We had the chance to teach one of our members who has been having a rough time, about the idea of conversion.  Probably one of the greatest quotes I have heard about conversion comes from Elder David A. Bednar of the Twelve Apostles – “A testimony is spiritual knowledge of truth obtained by the power of the Holy Ghost. Continuing conversion is constant devotion to the revealed truth we have received—with a heart that is willing and for righteous reasons.”  Frère Mora definitely embodied the essence of conversion, although he was unable to come to church for a while, he remained true to the faith he had and continued to head strong into difficulty despite the overwhelming temptation to give in.  People like him strengthen my faith each day, and are such respectable examples for me.

We also had the chance to stop by the Covert family that evening. This was probably the most interesting dinner I had had on my mission.  Brother Covert, who is currently with the Stanford students on an exchange program, was trying to get a reverse spherification experiment done right.  He was trying to coat balls of food with edible gels to create food that resembled other food but tasted like something completely different.  Well, it was difficult for about an hour, and eventually, he made balls of melon puree that resembled caviar.  It was definitely a treat, but to see the amount of work that went into that definitely makes the dessert experience that much more meaningful. 

 

To end on a spiritual note, I thought that I should share a great quote that has resonated in my mind for a while: 
“Compared to God, Man is nothing; Yet We are Everything to God” – President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
I am absolutely sure that God loves every one of us.  If there is ever a time that you feel lonely or helpless, or even alone, don’t forget that our Father in Heaven will always be there for you.

The Mission changes lives.  I know that God lives and that through Jesus Christ, all is made possible.

A bientôt!
Elder Lam

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