|Me, Elder Peterson, Elder Routhier, Elder Cushing, on a boat.|
|me and Louis Wilkey|
Cher tout le monde,
We had a pretty crazy week filled with surprises. We spent monday in Toulouse with the Wilkeys, R, W, and of course Elder Buss and his comp were there as well. It was blast! We took a boat ride out on the river and the canal, which was super relaxing. We also ate at a legit creperie then did some more sight seeing and shopping. It was so good to see those people! I love them! We were also in Toulouse on thursday for district meeting, after which we went and sang at the place capitole again. People loved us this time! We had tons of people stopping and the Concorde elders got an awesome new investigator out of it. My fingers were about bleeding by the end though from playing so long. We were singing for almost 2 hours I think. We did a pretty rockin version of if you could hie to Kolob, which a bunch of people liked. I thought it was funny, considering the subject matter of the song. I don't think they understood though haha.
Work is going great here with the members. Elder Cushing and I wrote a song that we sing and perform with the ukulele and the harmonica. We're giong around to all the members houses and performing it for them and then sharing a message about forgiveness. We're really seeing miracles with it! Music truly softens peoples' hearts. The spirit of forgiveness is incredible. I believe it defines the pure love of Christ. It can be so hard to forgive, but at the same time, it is so easy, because when we do, we are filled with the Holy Ghost and we feel a new found love for all of those around us and for the Savior. No wonder the Lord commands us to "forgive all men" - it makes us happy! It heals the offender and the offended.
Well, I guess this is my last email home. It still feels like any other week to me. I wonder when my brain will register what is about to happen. I just want to say that I love the Lord. I love Him because He loves us and is merciful. To be honest, there were times when I doubted I could serve a mission. It is incredibly humbling to be here at this point, looking back, and seeing how much the Lord has blessed me and those that I've served. When I first left, I felt like I didn't even deserve to be here. But the Lord has done much more than just let me be here, He has blessed me in abundance. He has allowed me to help others, love them, serve them, pray for them, and teach them. Most of all, He has allowed me to be a witness of the change of heart He has wrought in them. And seeing all these things has truly changed my heart. I know I'm not here for me, but it's impossible to serve these people and see so many miracles in their lives without feeling the infinite love of God in your heart and gaining a burning testimony of the reality of the Savior and the truthfulness of His Gospel. I know that Christ is my Savior. I know that this is His church. He and our Heavenly Father appeared to Joseph Smith almost two hundred years ago and called him to be the great prophet of the restoration. The Book of Mormon is true, and I love saying it. We can repent. We can change. We can be worthy servants if we turn to the Lord and seek His will and do it. I testify that we can receive inspiration from the Holy Ghost. I testify that we can be worthy to receive it, which is something I didn't feel was true for myself for a long time. Sunday morning we got to church over a half hour early to get some things ready, and as we were waiting in the Sacrament room for members to come, I felt like it would be a good thing to sit in one of the charis by the entrance and read my Book of Mormon while waiting to greet the members. No longer than 5 seconds after I sat down, a woman I didn't recognize walked in. She asked me if the book on the table next to me was a Bible. I said no, it's a Book of Mormon. She explained that she has Jewish origins, but she is really interested in learning about our beliefs. I talked to her for a little while about our beliefs, left her with a Book of Mormon, and set up an appointment for tuesday with her. Maybe it was just a small thing, but it's through small and simple things that the Lord accomplishes His work and His miracles. It's through the weak and simple things of the world that He conquers the mighty. I know that we make a difference when we follow the Holy Ghost, even the smallest promptings, even though we often never know why or how we did any good by following it, but we can always feel that quiet loving whisper in our heart that tells us that God is there and that we did the right thing. Let us always recognize the tender mercies of the Lord in our lives (1 nephi 1:20) and let us remember that we are children of a perfect, loving Heavenly Father and that we can become like Him by following His Son Jesus Christ. Their whole goal is to help us love as They do, and we can do it, one small act of faith at a time. I love you all and I'll see you soon!
P.S. I'm going to miss being surrounded by arabs in a hot cyber cafe for one and a half hours every monday!