Dear Family,What a great week its been!!
We've had a lot of fun this week and seen some really great miracles, which continue to confirm to us how much the Lord loves us, and how much He is willing and able to bless us when we obey with a willing heart.
Wednesday I spent the day with Elder Spencer, a blue missionary from Oregon. In our short exchange we had a few powerful experiences. Of the 5 people we were able to talk to on the street, one was an interested student from Cameroon, who gave us his number. We then went on to meet a less active member in Pau who is from the Congo, but has lived in France for 10 years. He doesnt come to church anymore because of the divorce he had with his wife. The story was all pretty sad. And he seemed really sad. We shared a powerful scriptural thought with him and by the end he was in tears, telling us how much he knew he needed to come back, he just needed to find the strength. I was grateful for the opportunity to meet him and hear his story and help him with my limited abilities. This is one of the most interesting parts of the mission experience, the fact that everyday we get thrown into the pasts of random people who open up to us their stories. It has certainly humbled me, made me more grateful for my life, and has been a testimony to me of the power of the Gospel to heal and repair.
Another great miracle we had from Wednesday was on our train ride home. Trains are always weird and confusing. When we got to the train station in Pau, we learned that for whatever reason they had moved all the train times up by 30 minutes, so ours had already left, so they gave us tix for the next one. This meant that there were a bunch of random people on this train and not neccessarily enough seats. Elder Castillo and I ended up sitting in the middle corridor in between cars, on jumpseats. About an hour into the ride, a controller came by and normally with a crazy train like this they dont check tix, but this controller decided to check ours, and so we were both thinking he was just going to give us a hard time. He asked about "John Smith" in broken english and then we asked where he learned to speak english, and he confessed he was member of the church in Tarbes! Haha his name was Moses, haha he had just been baptized two years ago or so, and after chatting for a little bit, he told us to go up to First class. It was too great. We sat first class for the last hour and half home.
Friday was crazy. We started the morning at the Schatt's home, teaching Mylorine (12) and Timothe (10) english. We've done this several times now and have really started to develop a great relationship with this family. We ate lunch and shared a spiritual message. The white handbook tells us that our first responsability with members is to build their faith in Christ. I really want to see these kids go on missions, enjoy the blessings of the Gospel. Thats how it is with everyone we meet, but especially with the youth in the ward and on the streets, I want them to know so badly how to be happy. From there, we went directly to teach Isabelles mom for the first time in a while. We had a good lesson with her, taught her about prophets, but she just isn't quite willing (or able- just hit 93) to act on what we're saying. We'll keep on with it. We left from there and in the evening all 4 us elders ate dinner with the Blanchon's. A funny couple on the verge of being old but are still really cool. We had Fondue Bordelaise which i took pictures of, really good.
Saturday was great. We spent a large part of it with the Moulins. Fr. Moulins non member mom, dad, and aunt were there along with Sr. Moulin's mom and aunts. It was Fr. Moulin's birthday thursday, then they invited us over after they heard it was my birthday saturday. It was a blast. Fr Moulin's parents were just eating us up, they were so intrigued by us being from the US. Fr and Sr Moulin are great. They are a younger couple, no kids, both speak english, really active. Want to do missionary work really badly. They gave me a really nice frying pan for my birthday, and we just had a great time together. :)
Then Saturday evening as we ported to finish out the night we walked for a while out to a neighborhood we didnt really know existed. We had picked out the area but not really the exact neighborhood we wanted to go to. It turned into a "We went forward not knowing before hand what we would do" situation. We knocked about 15 doors before hitting Pierre, a hesitant Catholic who is more than excited to come to church and hear what we have to say, so we'll be going over to see him this week. A really wonderful miracle to end the day on. I felt really loved and really blessed Saturday evening.
Elder Mcbeth and Elder Miner bought me a slice of chocolate cake from the bakery and did candles and everything, it was really good.
And then of course yesterday we finished out the week. There has been a lot of anticipation with transfers being this week. Neither Elder Castillo nor I want to leave this area. Its hard to describe the love that is felt and how much you want the best for these people, especially as you get to know their lives and challenges a little bit. I love these people so much. It'll be tough to leave.
I love you so very much, thank you for all the birthday love!
|Fondue Bordelaise- duck cooked in wine|
|Then you cook again at the table in this little pot and put garlic on it|
|Birthday with Fr. Moulin|
|Birthday with Fr. Moulin|
|The birthday table!|