Another great week this week, probably the best first week of the transfer that I have ever had on a mission since being here. Elder Cardon and I got the chance to do many things within the first few days of the transfer – 2 exchanges, a Zone Contacting day, heading to mission council with all the Zone leaders and the Sister Training Leaders. We did a lot, and we were probably the most effective we have ever been since being here together.
But first with some of the interesting events that happened this week. Elder Cardon and I live in Bussy St. George, which is one train stop from the a ville that is owned by Disneyland, Val d’Europe. We had planned to meet one of our amis, who lives in Val d’Europe, on Wednesday evening, and had to confirm the appointment, so we sent him a text. A few minutes later, our ami, Jean-Lionel, replies with an interesting text saying that there are tigers on the loose in Val d’Europe, and that we could choose to cancel the appointment if we felt that it was not safe. We still went to his home that evening and were lucky enough not to meet the 2 tigers that were on the loose. Apparently, 2 tigers had escaped from a circus nearby and there were military helicopters and personnel trying to track down these animals. Imagine running away from a tiger on the streets of Paris. I thought that only happened to missionaries in Africa. Guess not.
On Friday evening, while on the way to a clinic, a chinese lady stopped us and asked us if we spoke English. A little flustered and uneasy, she asked us if we knew where she could find the nearest metro station. Immediately, I recognised a familiar Singaporean accent, and asked her where she was from. Then she stopped, cringed her eyebrows and said, “Are you Parker?” For the first time in 15 months. I was hearing my first name. We led her to the metro station and she bolted off. It was definitely strange having someone recognize who I was all the way here in Paris.
On to more spiritual things, Elder Cardon and I had prayed a lot at the beginning of the week to try to find ways that we would be able to inspire and motivate the zone of missionaries that we had been given responsibility for. With transfer day on Wednesday, we wanted to ensure that each missionary was coming into the zone refreshed and excited for their new transfer, ready to hit the ground running. So we felt inspired to fix a day of contacting for the entire zone, where we would spend the entire day as a zone trying to find new people to teach, while praying for each other in the zone every 30minutes. We had the missionaries send in any miracles that they had seen while contacting, and sure enough, the missionaries in the Zone saw many great miracles and met many prepared people.
One of my favorite experiences from that day was when Elder Cardon were left with 10 minutes before the end of our contacting day. We had just got out of the exit of the train station for where we had planned to have dinner at Subway. Our stomachs were growling because the last time we had eaten was about 5 hours before. It was so tempting to just take a slow walk to Subway and finish our day, but we felt like we needed to pray for one last opportunity to teach someone with the remaining time we had. So we prayed that we might find one last person to teach. At the end of our prayer, a lady walked in front of us and we took that to be the person that Heavenly Father had prepared for us. We began talking to her and true enough, she was prepared to receive the gospel! We spent our last 10 minutes teaching her about the restoration and left her with a prayer. Though she did not live in our area, the Elders in her ville will be meeting with her again soon.
What will we do with the time that is left? There is so much good that we can do with each minute as missionaries. From that experience, Elder Cardon and I recommitted ourselves to remembering the importance of the value of the time that we are given as missionaries on the Lord’s errand. I am grateful for the chance to be here.
I know that the gospel is true and that Jesus Christ truly is our Savior, that He will help us overcome the weaknesses that we cannot get over ourselves. What a blessing it is to live everyday with enriched purpose and meaning.
“Wherefore, as ye are agents, ye are on the Lord’s errand; and whatever ye do according to the will of the Lord is the Lord’s business.”
-Doctrine and Covenants 64:29
Till next week,