Transfers have come around again, and now I am in my 8th transfer out here in the field! It is during this transfer that I will be hitting my year mark! It is unbelievable how time has flown and now that I am almost at the middle of the mission, it is incredible to see how much I have grown. The middle of any journey is always an interesting position, because it is a time for great reflection – to recognize how far we have gone, to find inspiration from the experiences we have gained, and re-ignite the motivation to begin with the same energy that we had at the beginning. I have truly learnt a lot and while there are many challenges that have yet to come, I know that the experiences and the testimony that I have gained will boost me through this next year.
Well, I will be moving to a new ville – Torcy (which is 40minutes west on the RER train from the centre of Paris), and have been given a new calling to be a Zone Leader for this area. Being a district leader for the last 4 transfers (almost 6 months) has really stretched me beyond my capacities to not only be a better missionary but also a better leader and a better person. I have truly come to love and care for all the missionaries and the people that I have come into contact with, and for our last district meeting, we talked about the need to recognize our personal worth in the eyes of our Heavenly Father each day, because “A Knowledge of Our Worth Inspires Our Work.” Many tears of gratitude fell that district meeting as we were all enveloped in the Spirit, and though I conducted the meeting, I definitely left that last district meeting feeling more inspired having heard the incredible experiences of everyone else.
Perhaps one of the most important miracles this week was the power of a gentle word and testimony. Often, when we think of missionary work, we think of shoving a Bible and a Book of Mormon into a person’s face, forcing them and trying to get them to agree with the things that we believe in. But truly, the greatest missionary work is done when lives change just through simple and small acts of kindness. Last week, we were able to meet for the second time with a new investigator we found last week. Her name is HaiPing, and because of the love and the concern she felt from the members who taught with us (who actually invited her to their place for a dinner party or Hot Pot on Saturday), she made the resolve to come to church and was truly converted by that experience. I know that we all have a thousand and one problems to deal with each day, but if we make the resolve to smile a little more, to go out of our way and use that ounce of energy that remains to make someone feel appreciated and loved, it is a chain effect of positivity that changes the world. If only we all remembered the power that lies in sincere unconditional, unfailing charity.
So what act of kindness will you offer today?
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church with the authority and power of God, and I know this because I feel this power and the blessings everyday as a missionary.
Till next week!
A view of what Hotel de Ville looked like when France was competing Germany in the World Cup a few days ago! Thousands gathered around a screen in the middle of Paris. C’etait tres formidable quoi!
at Pont des Arts, the bridge with a thousand billion locks