oh my goodness, this week was amazing. we definitely had a plethora of miracles and tender mercies!
Philomene arrived serendipitously early for our rendez-vous that was scheduled way too close to english class on wednesday evening (tender mercy!). She was so excited to tell us her son had found the church in Congo and is now taking the missionary lessons. So exciting! Philomene is getting baptized on May 29th. We can't wait! It will be the first baptism for both of us. Philomene is SO ready. They announced her baptism on sunday in sacrament meeting and the bishop had her stand up- she was absolutely glowing. She's wonderful! As we were walking out of our lesson that night, she turned to me and said, "J'ai trouvé mon église et je ne sortirai pas. C'est finit!" ("I have found my church and I am not going to leave. It's finished!") That's one of the happiest things for a missionary to hear.
On Friday, Soeur Woodruff came and worked with me in Paris while our companions went to Brussels to do their Belge legality. We had so much fun! I love her. We had a first rendez-vous with éliane, a referral from the elders. She's in her mid-20's, African, pregnant, and alone. She is so sweet and really interested in our message. She was given a Book of Mormon before, so we asked her if she had started reading. she replied, "yeah, a teeny bit." My heart sank when she said that, because usually that's code for "nope." But then she pulled her book out and her bookmark was on 1 Nephi 5! She said she had been reading about Nephi and his wife Sariah :) It was cute. We explained to her the background of the book, then read Moroni's promise with her. It was really neat! We ended up teaching her the third lesson (the gospel), which she accepted really well. We have high hopes for her!
we saw Mona saturday morning. We all sat on pillows and drank herbal tea- it was really fun :) We taught her the third lesson too. It went so well- she asked lots of great questions. At the end of the lesson she started crying and bore her testimony to us. She said she knows in her heart the church is true. She wants to be baptized, but she's afraid she's not prepared enough. We're going to keep working on that one. :) We just love her so much. She has such a desire to learn- it's inspiring. She left on a business trip to Switzerland for two weeks, so we made her a "study calendar" for her Book of Mormon reading during her trip. She loved it and she's going to go to church in Switzerland too! Oddly enough, she'll be staying in a town called Sion (Zion) :)
Sunday was the cherry on top of our cupcake of a week. After church, we had a lesson with Edinton and Anbu. We gave them a first lesson- talked about the apostasy & restoration and the coming about of the Book of Mormon. they loved the story. we had Edinton read Moroni 10:3-5 aloud in Tamil- it was so cool. The two of them were absolutely giddy as they read it. He immediately asked me for a pen when he finished reading so he could underline the verses. Then they asked us to assign them more reading for the week. They told me they feel so good when they read from The Book of Mormon. It was wonderful! After the lesson, they came up to us and said, "We want to be with Jesus. Can we be baptized?" Of course we enthousiastically answered, "YES!" They want to be baptized in mid-June, after he has his court trial to become legal. They were so happy and excited. I almost cried watching their faces as they told me about how they had talked all about baptism together the night before. I just can't believe how amazingly prepared the two of them are.
we had a baptism for the other Paris ward after church (they don't have a baptismal font at their chapel, so all the baptisms are done at ours) There were FOUR people baptized! It was amazing, and so cool to watch. Three of them were in Chinese! Edinton, Anbu, and Philomene were there to see what a baptism looks like. They are so excited for their own baptisms! I can hardly wait.
The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I can not desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell shall endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, I'll never, no never,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake!
-"How Firm a Foundation".
I love you, dearest family and friends. thank you for your support & encouragement & love.
life is lovely, isn't it?
avec tout mon amour,