What an adventure this week! Brief outline: We had an exchange Tuesday with the Castres Elders then went to Bordeaux on Wedensday for our big zone conference with 5 zones where Elder and Sister Kearon spoke it was so cool, we then drove to Lyon Wednesday night with the office elders and some other zone leaders, and then Thursday went to Geneva and Friday had our leadership conference withe Elder Kearon, and returned all the way to Toulouse Friday night on train. Lots of travel and we returned home exhausted.
So first and foremost, our star player of the week is Margot, our wonderful ami who is progressing very nicely and stilll has a wonderful desire to be baptized. She is struggling to overcome coffee and to drop some more catholic habits. (she told us that she was praying to Joseph Smith and we had to clarify who prophets are and that we only pray to God) We saw Tuesday and Sunday, and both times she showed signs of spiritual progression. She even thanked Heavenly Father in her closing prayer for the two boys that He had sent to help her with things that are eternal when they could be doing so many other things. That really touched me.
We had another moment as we were teaching about Thomas S Monson being a modern day Prophet that was special. I testified that he was a prophet and one proof of that was my call to serve in France and to be teaching her the Gospel and how it was meant to be me. And she agreed saying that we would say things that she was already thinking and she had no idea how we knew them. It was special.
The conference in Bordeaux was excellent. The Kearons are just awesome. (the zone leaders and sister training leaders got to meet with them privately before hand...) I was equally impressed by both of them and would've liked to hear them speak all day. The talked about our diligence and how we must attack our mornings. They quoted Elder Holland who said, Your mission will be determined by every morning of your life. and went on to discuss the importance of focus and true conversion for now and into the future. President and Sr. Roney taught equally powerfully. President talked about how we can change our future families for the better by changing now. He discussed our actions and integrity and diligence will directly affect our current families and bless our future families. It was really awesome.
Then on Friday in Geneva we had a much smaller meeting with the Zone leaders and sister training leaders and Elder Kearon and the Roneys. It was much more intimate setting where Elder Kearon was a bit more casual but just as powerful and it was really a big discussion of things we had learned and how we could teach them to others in our circles of influence. He is a convert from England. He was baptized when he was 26 and his wife is from CA. Just an incredible couple.
Saturday and Sunday were booked as well. Saturday we got to spend lunchtime with the family Serrano-Milone. They are among my favorite families in the world. I love teaching in their home. Fr. SM is a hero of mine. He is the stake high councilman over missionary work and is so motivated. We work with him often. He is the man.
Sunday we got a surprise invite to eat lunch with the family Frau after church and then went from rdv to rdv and didnt come home until 930 Sunday night. Our week was very full. Physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally. We were moving and learning and teaching at every moment. Fun and exhausting. I've never had such a fast 6 weeks in my life.
As I reviewed my conference notes I was really hit by the importance of conversion. They didn't really use that word exactly but that was the message that I took from it. And Elder Bollard and I have had good open conversations about our strengths and weaknesses since in order to really improve and change. I'm excited and looking forward with faith. How much we need the Gospel in our lives. How much we need our Savior in our lives. How much the world needs the Savior.
I love you so much!
|Elder Bollard and I at the chapel in Geneva|
|Overlooking Geneva Lake...it was really sunny!|