September 1, 2014
Salut, la famille!!
I'm glad that everyone is doing well. :) It's always great to hear good news from everyone. Bah, quoi de neuf?
This past week passed very well. Tuesday was district meeting. Our new district leader is Elder Nielson, from Tremonton. He came from being in the office for six months. Whew, I'm glad that wasn't me. He gave really great formation. At the beginning he had us teach someone a principle of the gospel, using only clay. It was rather tough. It was really cool though!
We then did exchanges with Elder Nielson and his comp Elder Cutshall in Nantes. I was with Elder Cutshall. We ended up having quite some bad luck haha, but it's all good. We went to someone's appartment for a rendez-vous we were supposed to have, but they weren't there. So we had a ratez-vous. (the verb rater [pronounced like rat-ay] means to miss. Ratez-vous isn't really a French term, it's an old missionary term that Elder Smith and I are trying to get other people to use as well. We heard it from someone who served in the Paris mission about 30 years ago.) Then for our second rendez-vous we were supposed to have, we got on the wrong tram to get there and would have gotten to the guy's house too late, so they rescheduled for the next day.
I was quite thankful that Elder Smith is my companion though. And I was also quite happy to get back to our own secteur to work. :)
Thursday, we went and saw the Swanepoel family. Things are rather difficult with them. Bokke has quite the crazy schedule with rugby and won't be able to come to church for a while, and since they only have one car, Georget isn't able to come with the kids to church. Although they are still progressing! We asked how quitting coffee was going, Georget is having troubles, Bokke said that it's no problem for him and then looked at Georget and said, "it'll be a lot easier for her once all our coffee is gone, because we will not buy anymore." with a super sly grin. When we go to see them this week, the coffee should be all done with, so that's super great!! :) We will be fixing a baptismal date with them this week.
There is this other ami that we were miraculously able to get in contact with a couple weeks ago, her name is Sonia. She is African. She will be moving to Orléans, which is the last area Elder Smith served in. We saw her yesterday and actually fixed a baptismal date with her. She will be getting baptized in Orléans though. It's been super great to have been able to meet with her. She has such great faith, and she doesn't forget about the commitments we give her. :)
We met with Raphael on Friday and talked about the Divinity. He kind of understood...his big problem is he feels like to believe that God, Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three different beings is like being polytheistic. We assured him that we are monotheistic and then we read in the Guide des écritures about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. I think that helped him understand a lot better. We then shared with him Mathew 3:13-19 (I think it's to 19). It's when Christ gets baptized and the Holy Ghost descends in the form of a dove. And God the Father says "this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." His eyes lit up after reading those verses. We then asked him about more concerns he has, and apparently, he has a concern about the law of Chastity. He said that it's against human nature. He also doesn't like that fact that people can get excommunicated, he feels like that's against the love of Christ. He also stated that he didn't agree with excommunication nor the law of chastity in the Catholic church either. But good news is, he is still trying to quit smoking. He still can't seem to give up that last one and a half, but he claims he is making efforts. If only he wasn't so stubborn, and just follow the 7 day program, he'd have quit already.
We went porting last night and we ported into an old couple. At first, the wife talked for a bit but wasn't interested, then she started talking about her family, then she told us again she wasn't really interested to pray with us. Then, Elder Smith asked her, "we were wondering what there is to do around La Rochelle, could you give some ideas of some things we can do tomorrow?" She went into her house, door still opened, to look for something, then let us come in. She offered us each a beer, to which we replied that water would be fine. Her husband then came and started talking to us. We talked with them (or, rather, listened to them) for about an hour. Then before we left we asked if we could leave them with a prayer and they both agreed. It was super cool. I strongly feel like Elder Smith's question, though not really missionary nor gospel related, was inspired.
And that was our week this week. :) I hope you all have a great week!
I love you all!
-Elder B. Stanton Wilson