This past week was a miracle week!! It was very difficult, but so worth everything.
The tone was first set last monday en faisant du Coeur-à-coeur (President Babin said that calling it Port-à-port is pessimistic, we should call it coeur-à-coeur which means heart to heart.) le soir. We "coeur'd" our way around this small town JUST outside of La Rochelle called Périgny. We ended up "coeur-ing" into this guy named José. He is from the Martinique and he is NORMAL!!! (inside joke with the Elders from Nantes. To explain, they have an ami named José...who has quite some problems/addictions that the Elders are helping with...and he kind of calls them 4+ times a day and asks rather bizarre questions. He's an interesting fellow.) So anyways, our José from the Martinique was rather skeptical of us and what we were doing, but agreed to pray with us. After the prayer, we asked him if we could share with him our message unique about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, so he agreed and allowed us to come back the next afternoon. We passed by and he opened right up and let us in. We shared with him the Rétablissement until after the First Vision and invited him to pray about the First Vision. We also invited him to baptism. He told us that he isn't ready to be baptized and he assured him that we will help him prepare to be ready, we also assured him that he won't be baptized this week or next, but that over time, as he comes to know this is true, he'll be prepared to be baptized. He accepted the "soft invite." We are definitely blessed to have been led to José.
Tuesday, before we went to José's we passed by Waka (remember her?) because we hadn't seen her for quite some time. Well, I'll just say that Waka is so open that she's closed...the lesson didn't go super well. She asked us first if there is a modernized version of the Book of Mormon, and we just kind of gave her a blank stare, not really understanding what she was asking. Then she brought out her bible, which happens to be a modernized version of the bible. She said it's easier for her to read. Cool thing, Waka believes that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, but then she also stated that she wants to know if there are more books like that from other people and then she started talking about how every religion is good and is of God...we shared with her Ephesians 4:5 (in her modernized Bible) and asked her what her thoughts were. She answered that she didn't know. She then said that maybe it means that we need to become as one through our faith with God, then she added that it can mean anything though and we can't know what it really means because we are not the writer. That's the first time either of us have recieved an answer like that to such a franche scripture...we both just felt like the best thing to do would be to close the lesson with a prayer and leave in hopes that maybe someday, another set of missionaries will be able to help her.
Wednesday we had district meeting. It went kind of short. It was great!! That reminds me of a quote Elder Fitt shared with us a while ago, that is "Brevity is charm. That which is good, if short, is doubly good. That which is bad, if short, is not so bad." Think of that in the sense of duration of talks/meetings/etc. Although, despite the meeting itself being short, the meal was rather strange. An équipe brought cereal, another brought beef stroganouf, we brought kool-aid (something that one cannot find in Europe), another brought a green salad, and there was dessert as well. Cereal and noodles are definitely a weird combo together.
Friday a miracle happened as we were walking to go to a less active members house to pass by. As we were walking, a potential ami that had contacted us on a bus (haha, that rhymes!) named Mehdi crossed paths with us. He asked us if we had time to talk right now, so we found a bench and started to talk. We found out about his beliefs and did some How To Begin Teaching (see chapter 10 of Preach My Gospel. Kaysen, get familiar with that, you'll use it with everyone you meet!!) Mehdi is one of our younger amis, he's 27. He is also in a Country/Folk band. After we got to know him a little bit better, he asked us some questions about us and what we'll do after our missions. I told him I'm going to study music and that I have a voice scholarship. He asked if I could play him something the next time we meet and I told him if he brings his guitar, I'll show him a couple of songs. I feel super blessed to be able to have this occasion to do that. It's not very often that I get to play music. It's my dream, you know, to help someone get interested in the Gospel through music. We set up a follow up rdv with him for this week.
Saturday in doing some more Coeur-à-coeur we found a guy named Thierry who is from Calais, which is up north, even further north than Cherbourg. He let us in to pray with him and agreed to let us come back to share our unique message about Christ and the family unit. He'll be leaving back to Calais this Thursday, so maybe while he's there, he could possibly meet with the Elders up there. That would definitely be a tender mercy for them.
Sunday, after church, we felt like we needed to pass by a non active member named Mehdi. We've had no luck getting in contact with him for about the past six weeks, but we felt like we needed to pass by him again. So we did. And he was there!! Mehdi has some changes to make in his life, we shared with him Alma 7:11-13 and that really set the tone. The spirit was so strong and all that could be felt was His love. We let Mehdi know that we love him and that we're all waiting for him to come to church. And that the bishop can help him through the repentance process, and above all, that Christ and Heavenly Father are there for him. We set up another rdv with him for this Friday, we'll come by with the Ward Mission Leader so that Mehdi has a friend at church this sunday.
This week, we were truly blessed by the Lord. You know, Elder Smith said something the other night that really hit me hard. It was saturday night and he talked about how amazing the feeling was when we prayed with Thierry, I stated that I didn't really feel that same way. And he described why he felt that way. He said, "It feels good to play in a basketball game for me, and I'd love to play basketball, or even watch an NBA game. For you, you'd love to play music or soccer. These things all end though. But what we are doing now is eternal." That is so true. A song ends, a concert ends, a game ends, a sport season ends, school ends, and even a mission ends. But this work is Eternal. What we do here will have an Eternal effect.
So you may be wondering about the toilet thing for this week. Well, one night this week, after I was done pee-ing, I went to open up the bathroom door, as I moved my leg, it hit the toilet seat...and broke the hinge...so there is another one of Elder Wilson's Toilette Adventures. We have a new toilette seat now, just FYI. :) I may send you pictures next week, don't worry, the toilette is very clean. I am a professional toilette cleaner. :D
Well, I hope this next week goes well. This is our last week of the Transfer. We'll find out the deets this Saturday.
I love you all!!
-Elder B. Stanton Wilson