Bonjour à tous!
This was my first week here in St. Etienne!
This is a very beautiful city. It is very different than Perpignan, that is for sure. The region is very hilly all around the city which makes for some great views!
Now for the important part.
This is also a city of miracles! We have had some very heartfelt contacts and lessons with the Stephenois. There have been a couple people who have not shown up for rdvs and some Amis that don’t seem all that interested, however, that gives us the chance to re-build up the teaching pool!
We have set some pretty big goals concerning Amis and of the missionary work that will be done by the ward here. The people here seem very receptive to the spirit and I think it’s because it isn’t deathly hot here!!
On Tuesday night, we had the opportunity to go to a small party held at the church with some of the members. It was really great because I was able to start friendships with the members. 🙂 This ward has some very great people in it. One of my biggest goals is to get the ward working with the missionaries more effectively. That appears to be the biggest problem here. There is kind of a separation between our job and them. I have faith, that as we work really hard and show a lot of love that we will be able to close that gap and work together with the spirit of unity and love that the Lord wants.
Something that I have realized on my mission is that the job that missionaries charged with are has changed immensely. We are not going into these country’s and building something that doesn’t exist. That was what the work was at the restoration because there was no other way. However, now the work has changed. Now the Lord wants missionaries to work differently. It used to be that there were missionaries and there were a few members. Today there are not 85.000 missionaries only there are almost 16.000.000 member missionaries, too. It is all our jobs to spread the gospel and to bring the Lords children into the flock of the good Shepard. The missionaries are there to teach and to help the members to teach their friends, neighbors, and acquaintances. Although, we also spend time in the streets our more effective work is accomplished by working with the members. Each new convert will come to the ward with a support system and already have friends. 🙂
On Wednesday, we went to a woman’s house to do some service hanging a new curtain rod. The Lord really blessed me with the opportunity to do the robotics in High School because I know how to do things right. Apparently the last time the missionaries tried to do it they had been there for 3 hours and couldn’t do it… Yay for robots! Anyway, we got the project done in short order which gave us time to share a message with her. At first, she was a bit hesitant, saying she was tired and her back hurt but after a few minutes I was able to convince her to let us share a short quick message. 🙂 It was super cool. We started by me sharing my favorite scripture and she was so touched by the explanation of it that she opened right up. She started asking questions that she has had for a very long time. It was really great to see how her heart was touched and she was really getting excited to learn more! Her name is M and she is a new ami!
That day was really guided by the spirit because we were able to complete the service and message and still have time to go home without rushing. Along the way crossed the path of a woman who was walking her beagle, 🙂 I love beagles, so I stopped and asked her a question about her dog. OK, it was a fairly complicated question to ask in French, so she was super impressed. She asked me about how I learned French and I started to explain that I have only been learning for about 10 months and she was super impressed and then the big questions came! About us and what we do. She said she had seen the missionaries plenty of times before on the road but never spoken to them. She admitted that even that night she saw us and hoped that we wouldn’t annoy her. 🙂 She was honest, but she asked why we are different from the Catholics and the JW’s so we taught her about the love of Jesus and the establishment of his church and then of the apostasy. She was completely in agreement with the information we shared. Then we discussed the restoration and the Book Of Mormon. We ended by giving her a Book of Mormon and our number. She explained to us that her plans had changed abruptly which caused her to cross our path at that moment. I know the Lord works and great and mysterious ways!
I am so sorry I do not have any more time! We went to see a castle today so that cut into our writing time.
I love you all so much! Have a great week 🙂