Bonjour ma famille et mes amis! Comment ça va? J’espère vous étés bien!
Okay, I'm done with French! I'm not too fantastic at it yet and you don't understand French so! Voila.
This week has been one giant trial. However, with that said, I have learned SO much this week. I'll start with the bad and end with the good.
Alright, so! The second to last Sunday we had FIVE amis at church which was truly a miracle. This Sunday, we had zero amis at church, two stopped responding to our phone calls, one that told us she will "call us back" and one who went to Paris for a month for work (Solangie). This all happened on last Monday. It was kind of a slap in the face because we felt like we were doing so well.
We struggled to set appointments all week and when we did set appointments, they usually fell through. On top of that it pretty much rained all week and my companion felt sick. Honestly, it felt like I was reaching for something that I just barely couldn't grab.
I was super discouraged.
BUT! There is a lot of good that came from this!
LES BIEN CHOSES
Alright! So I don't want you to think that I am absolutely miserable over here in the Land of Pastries and Cheese because I am super happy! There are just short moments of discouragement and trial. Anyway, like I said before, I have learned so much this week. It's funny because we had zone training this week and just happened to be talking about developing undying faith.
This week I learned every.single.day. we are given numerous opportunities to develop our faith in Jesus Christ. These opportunities are when the logical thing to do doesn't match what we should actually do. I'll explain:
In Luke 5, Jesus approaches the fisherman who would eventually become his Apostles. The chapter starts off with the fisherman cleaning their nets after an entire night of fishing and catching no fish. Jesus tells them to cast off and throw their nets off the right side of the boat. And then this happens:
“6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.
7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.
9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken”
If I had been Peter, I might have said "Look, we have been fishing ALL night and we have thrown our nets off the right side many times... thanks for the suggestion but no thanks". It didn't logically make sense to cast off one more time and throw the nets off the right side but because they had the undying faith in the Savior--it didn't matter if they understood why they should do the things that the Jesus suggested, they did it and "their net brake" with a multitude of blessings.
Logically speaking, I am too tired to contact this woman. Logically, she has headphones in. Logically speaking, it is too crowded on this metro to contact because EVERYONE is going to look at me. Logically speaking, she is probably going to reject what I have to say. There are thousands of logical and natural reasons to not have the faith to do things. But the natural man is an enemy to God. Each time we push past all of our "logical" reasons, we gradually build an undying faith in the Savior.
I promise that as we conquer the natural man and trust in the Lord with all of our heart we will develop a faith in the Lord that cannot be quenched.
At the beginning of the week, I began to think - Am I even making a dent in the task that is at hand? Is there even a reason for me to be here or am I just wasting my time? I mean, I know that my mission is a great thing but if I'm not helping anyone… What is the point? But then in my personal study I came across this scripture in DC 64:33:
“33 Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.”
Immediately as I read the scripture I knew I was just being stupid! I was too prideful to realize that although I personally can't see the difference I am making, a difference is being made. No matter how small they may be.
Although this week has been hard for me, I am thankful the Lord has let me experience it. It is hard to see why we experience the trials we do, until afterwards. It is almost like an out of body experience. You get to see how much you have grown and learned.
LES AUTRE CHOSES
I have a funny story! I think I need to end this email lightly! :) Anyway! On Monday we were invited by members to go play soccer with them. It was super fun until the little 11 year old Frenchies showed up and absolutely destroyed us. Honestly, I have never felt so American. Hahaha. They are like doing all of these super awesome moves and combos and I'm just running around crazy trying to stop them. I was sore for pretty much the whole week! My abs, my butt, my back! Every part of my body ached because of some stupid little French kids that made me look bad. bahah.
That is it for this week I do believe.
OH! So, we do have one ami that is doing super well. He believes the church is true and everything. He is so ready to be baptized, it is just that he works during church and can’t attend so he can't be baptized yet. We are really praying for him to find a job where he can come on Sunday.
I love you all so much! Thank you for your letters and emails. I hope you are doing well. I pray for you all! Continue to be awesome! Develop an undying faith in the Lord! He gives us a chance everyday to do so! I can promise if you look for those opportunities, you will find them!
Trust in the Lord!