Monday, March 14, 2011

a bright & sunny future.

Bonjour, famille!

This week was great.... It started with Brussels on Tuesday for Zone Conference. I love that we get to meet together each month, not only to see other missionaries, but to see and learn from the Stahelis. They are just amazing and we LOVE them.

Soeur Staheli spoke to us first. She talked about a study done at BYU with five year-olds. They were put in a room full of toys, one by one. They were given a cup with five m&ms in it and were told they could eat the five m&ms now, or they could wait just a few minutes and they would get an entire bag. They didn't do very well :) Almost all of them could not wait for the whole bag and ended up eating the five. Soeur Staheli said, "we are promised all that the Father hath... Truckloads and truckloads of m&ms. Hold out for the truckloads of m&ms." I really liked this quote by President Packer:

we're not obedient because we're blind.
we're obedient because we can see.

President Staheli then addressed us about the Doctrine of Christ and our Missionary Purpose. Do you know what the missionary purpose is? We recite it every morning during companionship study:

 Invite others to come unto Christ
by helping them receive the restored gospel
through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement,
Repentance, Baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost,
and enduring to the end.
Inviter les gens à aller au Christ
 en les aidant à recevoir l'évangile rétabli
par la foi en Jésus-Christ et en son Expiation,
par le repentir, par le baptême, par la réception du don du Saint-Esprit
et par la persévérance jusqu'à la fin.

He talked about the difference in translation. In English, it says "invite others to come unto Christ". The French translates to "invite others to go to Christ". He said that little change used to bother him a little bit, until he read a talk by Ann Pingree. In it, she said, "The way to come unto Christ is to go to other people."
I loved that. Isn't it so true? We need to "go about doing good", just like He did. That is how we come unto Him and invite others to do the same.

On Wednesday, we had lunch with Christiane and her children, Ismael (11 yrs) and Sabrina (9 yrs). Christiane's ex-husband is Muslim and tries to persuade the kids to follow his religion. Ismael is already baptized a member of the church and he refuses his dad's attempts. He is so sweet and has such a sensitive spirit. We love him :) Sabrina, however, is leaning more towards being Muslim because her dad bribes her with presents. Seriously. Anyway, the kids had their vacation from school this week, so they've been there for our nightly scripture study with Christiane over the phone. The first night was just Ismael and Christiane on the phone. The second night, Sabrina joined in and wanted to say the prayer, which was a HUGE surprise! We were thrilled. We're hoping we can start teaching her the lessons.
After we ate lunch, we taught a little lesson on the Gospel. Ismael talked about his baptism, which was so neat. He said when he came up out of the water, he felt like a new person. He is the sweetest little boy. Sabrina was very involved in the lesson, asking questions and listening really well.
I really hope we can help Christiane. I don't think she realizes who she really is... A daughter of a loving Heavenly Father. What an amazing identity to have. I pray every day that we can take her by the hand and help her to leave the cigarettes behind and look forward to a bright, sunny future.

Soeur England is leaving us this week... back to the States she goes! It's bittersweet for all of us. I'm grateful for the time I've had to serve with and learn from her. She has been a wonderful trainer. Now it's onward, ever onward!

I sure do love you, family and friends. Thank you for your support, love, prayers, and encouragement.


soeur williams

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