Monday, November 17, 2014

Legality and Freezing Cold Water

I don't have a ton to write about this week but it was a good week that is for sure!

Well, since I have been in France for close to a year now, my visa had to be renewed. So this week I had to go to the Prefecture to go apply for a "carte de sejour". The mission tries to send missionaries to really small cities to do the legality of missionaries because prefectures are just giant messes in big cities (because there is only a certain amount of time that it is open and only a certain amount of people are helped each day)... so, I went to Aix en Provence to do mine, instead of Marseille. It was an interesting experience because Elder LaPointe and I were literally the only white people in the whole building. It was kind of funny. 

While we were waiting there was this man with a REALLY inappropriate ring tone... luckily he turned it off pretty quickly and left the building out of what I hope was pure shame... but anyway, I just thought I would share this because literally not one person, regardless of nationality, color, or age in that building, didn't look around awkwardly with an uncomfortable smile on their face. I just got kind of tickled because regardless of all the differences we have, we all cringe in awkward situations. lol.. So, hopefully I receive my carte de sejour soon so I can be legal in France :) 

Well! This week we had a baptism! Hinaiti is officially a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Every time that something as sacred as this happens, I just treasure it so much. The entire day of the baptism I was just super happy because I knew that Hinaiti had made a good decision. I can't even imagine how happy our Heavenly Father feels when we make good choices. He loves us so, so much.

Well, for the baptism, the font took about three hours to fill up... And I wasn't about to leave that thing after what happened the last time I filled up a baptismal font... lol. Because it filled up so slow, the water got really, really cold. Like frigid. Apparently there was a problem with the heater because it normally isn't like that.  

So, about thirty minutes until the baptism a member comes up to me and asks me if I have felt the water and I say yes, and that it is cold and she is like "Well, what did you do wrong? She is going to get super cold!" So, this member starts mobilizing everyone she can recruit to start boiling water in the kitchen and microwaves to dump into the font... lol.  It was quite a sight. It didn’t make a difference but at least they tried. 

Elder LaPointe performed the ordinance. It was great. It was his first baptism during his mission. He said it was pretty cold. After the baptism, Hinaiti had a towel wrapped around her head as she walked into the chapel along with three blankets wrapped around her body... hahaha. I wanted a picture so bad but she took them off too fast. We gave her some apple cider to drink during the rest of the service. lol

It was so fulfilling to finally see her get baptized. I am really happy for her. We actually found out yesterday that they are going to go back to Tahiti this January :( . It makes me really sad to think that they are going to leave. There are so many people that I have met during my mission who will always be my friends.

Family Home Evening with the Ratsitohaina Family (They are from Madagascar)

As each day passes, I grow to love the gospel more and more. It just makes sense that there is a plan for us in this life. I have seen the gospel change lives. I have seen it change Hinaiti and it is one of the biggest miracles of this life we can experience: to change ourselves through the atonement of Jesus Christ. 

I read this in a talk the other day and it really struck home for me: "A mission is not a sacrifice, but a privilege." It couldn’t have been any closer to the truth. Yes, I have sacrificed a few things to come on a mission but these are minuscule things in comparison to the things that I have learned and experienced. I will never regret my decision to serve a mission.

I love you!

Elder Johnson

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