Transfer 9 of 16 officially starts today. I will be staying here in Torcy, zone-leading the Paris East Zone with Elder Coulombe for the second transfer. I have come to learn that the six week period for each transfer is just the right amount of time for a missionary to work. It is just enough time to start of with a goal of finding someone and then get them prepared for baptism by the end. Of course, each person that we find progresses at a different rate, depending on how open their heart is and how sincere they are to find themself a testimony. But on the missionary side of things, 6 weeks is just perfect.
To start of with the most recent event, yesterday, we had a baptism! Soeur Gao, the chinese mum who we ran into outside the Lognes RER train station about a week and a half ago was baptised by our Ward Mission Leader, Frere Defranchi, yesterday (by the way, Frere = brother and Soeur = sister). We taught her everyday for about 2 weeks, going through all the Restoration, the Plan of Salvation, the gospel of Jesus Christ, all the commandments, and even the Laws and Ordinances – which includes temples. It was miraculous to behold how well she understood every principle and how ready she was to accept the gospel in her life. Even Soeur Defranchi, originally from Taiwan and helped us greatly with the lessons that we taught, said that Soeur Gao seemed to have already been prepared for a long time. It was great to see how Gao beamed as she came out of the water. Everytime I see an ami get baptized, it is yet again a testimony to me that the gospel is real. As a missionary, we get to see how much the gospel changes a person’s life. Their countenance changes and they have renewed perspective and a profound sense of peace and happiness. What a blessing it is to be able to bring that to people!
The next most recent thing that happened was a Musical Fireside that the Aulnay branch elders organised. The Elders there invited us to participate, and I was invited to sing a song, “My Kindness Shall Not Depart From Thee,” as a duet with my companion. I never thought of myself as someone who could sing well, but an overwhelming sense of peace came into the room as we sang, I knew that Heavenly Father really did amplify our talents and help people recognize the reality of our Heavenly Father’s undeparting love for all of us. Many songs were played and performed, and we heard several short testimonies from members about how the divine love of our Heavenly Father had helped them in their life. Our Mission President and his wife attended the fireside as well and gave short talks as well. One of the greatest pointers I took out was, “After all that our Father in Heaven has given us, what can we give back to Him?” I know our Heavenly Father really does not expect anything more than for us to love Him, because when we do, everything else that is right follows.
Well, there has been a sick bug floating around. I have not yet been taken victim (knocking on wood), but my companion has been. Yesterday, his temperature was at 103degrees farenheit, or 39degrees in Celcius. We had to keep him at home immediately after we returned from the baptism. I guess even us missionaries have our down days, when we become susceptible and need some time for recovery. Today we head to see a doctor.
I am not exactly sure what miracle I can share with you from this week, but perhaps my favorite scripture will do it:
” For now we see through a glass, darkly;
But then face to face:
Now I know in part;
But then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)
I know that we may not always understand everthing – the why’s the how’s and the what’s. But we can remain confident that as long as we are doing our best, and trying to live our lives in the best way possible, all things will work out towards our good. We just have to remain faithful and endure to the end. I know that God lives and knows and loves each of us greatly. Remember.
Soyez Fort mes Amis! A la prochaine!