my cheeks are sore from smiling.
with each passing week, i get more and more tired. i also fall more and more in love with my mission. funny how that works! this week was so great, and lightning-fast.
yesterday, we had a surprise: Carlos came to church! we were overjoyed. he got a haircut, shaved, and wore a white shirt and tie. it has been so amazing to watch him evolve. he was absolutely glowing... he cried when we sang "there is sunshine in my soul today". we are just in awe of him. such a beautiful redemption story. we talked about the Atonement with him this week and shared "The Atonement covers all Pain" by Elder Richards. I especially love this quote:
"Our great personal challenge in mortality is to become “a saint through the atonement of Christ." The pain you and I experience may be where this process is most measured. In extremity, we can become as children in our hearts, humble ourselves, and “pray and work and wait" patiently for the healing of our bodies and our souls. As Job, after being refined through our trials, we “shall come forth as gold."
that perfectly describes what is happening to Carlos. he has had a mighty change of heart. he went through a lot of painful things, but he is emerging "as gold".
we had kind of a funny experience this week: we found an old investigator, Fumi, in the area book. She's from Nigeria, which means she's an english speaker. we called her up and she was happy to hear from us, so we went over for a lesson. we were so nervous to teach in english! it was really funny. we even practiced teaching and praying in english before we went. :) it was a funny realization for me... a lot of times you hear foreign language-speaking missionaries get frustrated about not feeling like they can express themselves in their mission language, and then they say something like, "this would be SO much easier if i could just teach in english." well... it's not! it felt super weird. all of my thoughts kept coming in french, but i had to speak in english.... and i just felt awkward. i guess that's a good sign though, right?
the lesson with Fumi went well, despite the language awkwardness. she has a really cool accent... in Nigeria they speak pidgeon english. her prayer at the end was so cool!
we had another lesson with an old investigator on saturday. her name is Arlette. she and her husband, Max, were investigating the church last year and really liked it. they wanted to get baptized, but the missionaries told them they couldn't because they had a tribal marriage (they're both from Cameroon). we went to see Arlette with a member this week and it went really good. she pulled out her Book of Mormon and the Bible and she said she and Max read them every night before bed. so cool! she talked about how she felt so warm and peaceful when she went to church, and that she was sad they weren't allowed to be baptized. Afterwards, we were talking with the member and she asked if we were sure about the whole tribal marriage thing. we weren't, so we called the assistants, and they said YES! we were so excited. we're going to go break the news to them this week.
life is lovely and busy and wonderful.
love from the loire.