Time flies

It has been a really crazy transfer here in Paris.  The last 4 weeks in Paris have honestly zoomed past so quickly, and I now know what it means when return missionaries say that the best 2 years just go by so fast and that one needs to savour the special moments and the daily miracles. 

This letter comes a little late this week, on a day other than our Preparation Day because of one of the coolest experiences on my mission.  On Monday, we were sitting in the Cyber Cafe getting ready to write our emails to our families like we do every week.  To set the stage, the Cyber Cafe that we go to happens to be where many missionaries in the surrounding areas around Paris come to write their emails every week, simply because it is in the heart of Paris and also happens to be very near to the Church Building here in St. Merri.  After only a short moment of writing, one of the gamers who frequents the cyber cafe often sat down beside me and asked, “Do you speak French?” I said yes, and he continued, “Are you a student in Paris, because I see many young people like you every Monday sending emails.” I introduced myself as a missionary and before I knew it, we were talking about his beliefs and about his life.  He said that he was very disappointed with himself because he was 27, still lived with his parents, addicted to smoking and without a clear focus in this life.  My companion and I began teaching him a little about how we had found our lives become richer and more meaningful just by having the simple knowledge that our Heavenly Father loved us, that He had given us a divine potential in this life and that He will guide us if we ask for his help.  We ended up praying with him at the end of our conversation and we fixed another time to meet with him another day.  After he left, I sat in my chair, just “mindblown” (for lack of a better word) at the fact that someone just came up to us in the middle of a cyber café and that we had just taught him a little spiritual lesson. 

But that was not all, another 21 year old from the Czech Republic, just minutes later came up to us and started talking to us.  He told us about how he wanted to study in the US and do marketing, and after a while of chatting, he told us that he was a Christian and that he would love to meet with us again another time.  We have a rendez-vous fixed with him today to meet with him.  Can you imagine all that happened while we were in a cyber café? 

In our district a few weeks ago, we were really seeking ways that we might be able to help build up the ward here in Paris.  The ward here in Paris is big, but many of the people in this ward happen to be students and many foreigners who are living here a short term contract.  We felt that we really needed to start finding people who would help build up the ward here in Paris and help the strengthen the ward like the pillars in a building.  So we fasted and we decided that to do that we needed to be more receptive to the promptings that Heavenly Father would sent to us through His Spirit.  Personally, we each came up with a list of certain things that we would do that would help us improve our ability to feel the Spirit such as singing Pop music during free time, or having doubts about our abilities.  And since we have begun doing that, I have seen the miracles pour in, not in the way that I expect, but definitely in ways more incredible than what I would have thought.  I am so grateful to be here in Paris and to be able to be an instrument.

Over the last 2 weeks, there have been 2 baptisms too!  2 Sundays ago, Elder Kwang and I had our first Chinese baptism this transfer.  Lili, our ami, had been attending church for a year, but never quite felt that she had a testimony of the gospel and the Book of Mormon until 3 weeks ago.  She said that she really felt a new light come into her life and felt that Heavenly Father was really answering her prayers.  I had the privilege to baptise her, in Chinese, which was a really great experience and I am filled with gratitude for being able to see the last moments of her conversion.  I truly salute all the missionaries who never gave up on her in the past, and this is a huge testimony to me that there is never effort that goes wasted in missionary work.  It was Elder Kwang’s and my first baptism together, and was also the first baptism from our district this transfer. 
 
Last week, I had the occasion to attend the baptism of an ami, Nikolas Mir, who I had taught for the 3 transfers before I came here to Paris.  The first time we taught him, he thought that the Book of Mormon was merely a Bible for Americans.  And when he bore his testimony after his baptism, with tears in his eyes, saying, I know the Heavenly Father lives, I know that Jesus Christ lives, and I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, my heart burned and I knew that he had gained a spiritual witness of the things that he said.   He thanked me for really helping him to answer all the questions in just the right ways and I was just grateful to have been an instrument in the Lord’s hands to help someone draw closer to Christ.  Missionary work is such a privilege.  I am incredibly grateful that I came on a mission.
 
Everyday is a Miracle.
 
The Bible and the Book of Mormon are the word of God, and with all the changes it has made in the lives of the people that I have met, I have no doubt that it brings happiness to those who read it, irrespective of their circumstance or background.
 
Till next time,

Elder Lam

20/2/2014

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