I am now in the last few days of my mission, and as I reflect on the multitude of experiences, both the difficult and the glorious, I am filled with immense gratitude for my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ. It has been such an incredible honor having the mantle of a missionary, being called by my Father in Heaven to preach this message of eternal happiness and peace to His children in France. I have been able to feel my Heavenly Father’s love for each person I have come into contact with and have come to a greater knowledge of the love that He has for me. As I have struggled and strived to be the best instrument I could be, my Savior carried me through the ups and the downs. I know, through the personal experiences I have had, and through the people that I have been able to teach and baptize, that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real. It truly is. I still ask myself often how it is that still so many people would not come to take some time to learn and to accept this restored gospel when it can change their lives for the better. And for that, the mission will not stop here. I will still strive to be the best example that I can be and share the gospel for the rest of my life.
Heavenly Father really did accord me some of the greatest experiences this final week. On Wednesday, we met a 22 year old Venezuelan man named Jesus-Alejandro, who was really searching for the gospel. He had already met the missionaries in Paris the week before, and had attended the young adult family home evenings (FHE) held in Paris. He had so many questions, and he had a sincere desire to simply know what God wanted him to do in his life. We set a baptismal date with him for August 23. There was a baptismal service in our ward for a mom and her daughter yesterday, and Jesus came to church and stayed till the very end. He could only tell us how happy he felt and how great he felt in church. He is so prepared. Not only did he come, but Guillaume and Alain, our other amis, came! We had a row full of our amis this week at church, and it was such a great end to my last french church meeting – to be just as the Savior was – bringing his sheep back to the fold.
I was also fortunate to be able to visit Prisen this week, one of my recent converts from a year ago, and to see how strong he remained in the gospel. He is still as joyful and happy as ever, and he has grown so close to our Heavenly Father. As a last spiritual thought, I was able to share my experiences on my mission and give him some counsel as he now prepares for his mission next year. Prisen is one of my greatest joys on the mission. He is the reason why missionary work is important and worth it, even if it takes lots of walking, lots of talking to people, lots of rejection and lots of fatigue. The worth of one soul is truly great in the eyes of God.
Once again, I am so grateful for these sacred 2 years, what a blessing they have been. I am grateful for my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ – for their trust in me, and for the miracles that they let me be a part of. I am also thankful for my incredible family, who has supported me throughout my mission. There was never one week where I did not receive a letter from home. I know I have been blessed by the diligence and the faithfulness of my dearest mom and dad, who have tirelessly raised me in the best environment possible.
“In His plan, there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf
I know that God lives, I know that Jesus is the Christ, I know that the Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the gospel and was translated through the power of God by a true prophet, Joseph Smith. I know that the power of God is restored on the earth again, and that through it, our families can be together forever.
I love you all. Thank you all for all that you have done for me. Your prayers and thoughts have strengthened me greatly.
A tres bientot mes amis! Je vous aime beaucoup.
– Elder Parker Lam
and proud to be a missionary.