This week was really great! Also, we had quite the experience.
So, Tuesday night, while porting about, we received a call from a guy named Charles, telling us that he was an old ami of the missionaries and that he found our number "par hazard" (randomly) and was wondering if maybe we'd be able to see him sometime. We didn't immediately fix a rendez-vous with him, but we told him we'd check our planning and see if we could see him this week. We finished the night then made our way home and looked in the Area Book to try and find the teaching record of a Charles, since neither Elder Davis nor I could recall having read a teaching record of a Charles.
Well, we didn't find one. So we thought, ah, we'll call him tomorrow and see if we can see him. So we did. And we talked with him. Charles said that he has met with the missionaries since 95, but hasn't gotten baptised yet. He said it's one of "ses projets de la vie" (one of his life time plans) to be baptised a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. So we let him know that we are here to help him, it'll be hard and it'll take time, but as he keeps the engagements we give him, he will be prepared. We felt inspired to invited him to be baptised the 11th of Avril. He didn't accept the invitation because he said he wasn't sure if he'd be ready, we explained that the date can change, but we promised him that if he keeps these engagements he will be ready for the 11th.
So rendez-vous finished, all was well, we were both feeling pretty skeptical though, and it was just to be so because it's not often that eternal amis come out of the blue as such and then tell you they want to get baptised. As we were leaving we asked Charles what his last name was so we'd be able to sonnor (ring his little ringing thing in his appartement) for the next time. He just replied with a little laugh like "a-ha". Well, we thought that was super weird that he didn't give us his last name. So on the way out, we checked the mail boxes to try and find a "Charles" somewhere. Didn't find one on any of the boxes, although we did make an interesting find. "Raffi". That is the last name of an Eternal Ami we have in the area book who has been noted to waste missionaries time...we immediately realized Charles has lied about his name to us. We deducted it was because he thought if he told the missionaries his real name, it would be a pretty low possibility of them coming over to help him out with "ses projets".
Saturday, we saw him again and told him in a loving manner that we know who he is and asked why he didn't tell us his real name. He answered just how we had expected, so we're giving him a chance because he seems sincere and we believe in repentance. Anyways, we asked him if he had read the Book of Mormon, he said he has not. But he shared with us this book that has been written about the Mormons (it's not anti-mormon, it was written by two french guys that love the US) that helps him understand the doctrine better and understand who mormons are better. We told him, if he truly wants to progress, to give his reading priorities to The Book of Mormon. We engaged him to read the first three chapters in the Book of Mormon and told him we'll call him to set up another RDV. We let him know that if he does not keep his engagements he will not progress and that we won't be able to help him, that this démarche is up to him, we're here to help him with it, but if he doesn't keep his part, there's not much we can do.
This all probably comes off a little harsh, but the spirit was present. It was really cool. The spirit filled us with the words we needed to say to help him understand that he needs to commit himself.
So, obviously that was a big part of the week. ha :)
But other things that happened were Zone Conference on Friday!! Zone Conference was super great! We also had interviews, which was splendid! And then, we had a surprise. We got to watch Meet the Mormons...or atleast, we were going to get to watch it...but the Assistants left it in Angers at their last Zone Conference...so instead we watched Ephraim's Rescue...I've already seen Ephraim's Rescue quite a bit during the mission, it's one of the few approved films we can watch...so all the missionaries that have seen it quoted along with it. It was pretty funny.
Sunday we had Stake Conference in Paris. Guess who else was there? Elder Kearon. This was my third Conference (whether that is a stake or a missionary conference) with him. He gave a super great talk. Something that really touched me was his story about Moles. He talked about how he had a beautiful lawn, then one day, he had a hole from a mole. The next day, he had more holes, so he decided to take care of it. So we went to the store and asked what he can use to get rid of moles. The manager came back with a nice little machine called the "Sonic Mole Remover" which is a little thing you stick in the ground and it sends out sonic waves that repelles moles. So he tried it out. Well, the mole didn't stop digging and didn't go away. So he decided to take a shovel and wait by one of the holes. As he saw the dirt move, he started shoveling super hard and fast and got the mole out of the earth. He then released it on his neighbors lawn (just kidding...that was the joke he said though...ha). He actually released it on the road and it went away and never came back.
He said sometimes, in the Gospel, we have things like the Sonic Mole Remover that seem really cool complicated, but don't necessarily work. Most times, we need to take a shovel and dig. It may sound simple, but that's what will get the job done. But what do the shovel and digging represent? Daily Prayer, Scripture Study, Family Home Evening. He invited us all to listen and do what the Stake President has advised for us. Do these simple things.
It was a great conference and a great way to end the week.
I feel so blessed to be a missionary in the France Paris Mission. I love it here.
And I love you all. :) Have a great week!
-Elder B. Stanton Wilson
Rillettes du Mans. . . It's one of the things Le Mans is known for. Basically what it is is liquified meat. They take Pork, throw it in a blender, then add some goose fat to it and put it in these containers. It sounds super gross, and looks gross, too, but it tastes SUPER great! :)
Elder Davis and I...the day I got Pink Eye. ha :) (don't worry, I'm better now.)