Events I experienced:
Monday: not much. Let's skip it.
Tuesday: we had a lesson with a new ami, F! He is cool. He plays the drums, mostly for metal music. He's very hippy. He belongs in Eugene. He is cool.
Wednesday was awesome! I got to go on an exchange with Elder Perry, one of my Montpellier zone leaders. Elder Perry is the best. I've only ever had exchanges with him in Montpellier because he's always had some injury that prevents him from walking haha! We saw Ai at his house. I have seen him 3 times, and each time, I have left with a banana. It's awesome haha. After that, we went to the French-American Center in Montpellier. I met someone there named David A. He is from California. He is 42 years old. And he is the real-life Fire Marshall Bill. His personality so strongly resembles the Jim Carrey TV character that I thought for a second he really was Jim Carrey. Haha he is a true character, possibly the weirdest person I have ever met!
After that, we went to "Sport Extrême" at the church. It was like Zumba and P90X all rolled into one. It sufficeth me to say that I am very very sore now.
Thursday was awesome! I got to hang out with the zone as we went to our conference in Aix-en-Provence. I hung out with a bleu, Elder Duffy. He's the man. In the Montpellier gare, this guy who had recently seen "The Book of Mormon," theatrical version, talked with us for a bit. We said "have a good day" as we left, and he said back, "have a Latter-day!" It was hilarious.
Friday! Zone conference, with elder Detlef Adler of the 70. Pretty cool German guy. Hilarious! Such a funny guy. We learned lots and lots of things!
Saturday was good. Maybe someday you'll hear about it. But not now. Not important.
Sunday was crazy!! We had church as usual. Elder Hansen gave a talk in church on the 8th article of faith which was awesome. Then we taught M, a 7-year old with what seems to be severe ADHD, He's almost 8 years old and his parents want help teaching him and preparing him for baptism. He hardly listened to us so it was a little annoying but they fed us afterwards so there's always a silver lining haha! After that, we did our études, and then we went out porting! We had a few people who immediately closed the door at us, but then we found this lady named R. We gave her the family questionnaire, and before we asked the first question, she started crying! We asked, "what member of your family influenced you the most?" Before we finished asking the question, her eyes watered up, tears fell, and she said "ma grandmère!" It was incredible. She is croyante, and she cried as we testified of the plan of salvation and how temples help us live with our family forever! We showed her pictures of the temple and she asked lots of questions. It was awesome. We set up a return rendezvous for next week!
After that, as we walked home, we were accosted by this weird guy. He offered us cigs, we said no, but he kept insisting, and he followed us for about a mile...so we started running, turning corners, and we thought we lost him, but then he showed up again! This time he was angry, he called us "serviteurs du diable" and thougt we were Témoins Jehova. He started taking off his bag and tried to pick a fight. It was pretty scary. He was reaching around in his pocket and we think he might have had a knife. So luckily, we went to the police station (30 seconds away) and he followed us there! So we went in, asked for help, and an officer came and talked to him, and held him there for a while so we could walk home without being followed. All in all it wasn't a huge deal, but it was kinda freaky! I know Heavenly Father was with us the whole time, protecting us. Often, Satan attacks hardest right after our greatest successes; it's no coincidence we met that mec right after the tracting miracle.
Lessons I learned: Hebrews 11:16: "wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God". It is incredible that God is not ashamed to be our God, given all the imperfections we possess. Why then, being wholly imperfect, are we sometimes ashamed that He, being wholly perfect, is our God? It makes little sense. I would hope that we have no reason to be "ashamed of the gospel of Christ," or to be ashamed of Him whose gospel it is!
(free) Advice I have: "According to the Desire of [Our] Hearts" by Neal A. Maxwell. This talk is all about what we seek, our desires and priorities. Elder Maxwell mentions how if we can change our desires to align with God's plan for us, "We set our thermostats as to temptations." I have been thinking about priorities in my life as a missionary and this talk is excellent for anyone who wants help with things of that nature!
I love you all! Thanks for your love!
In preparation for the zone conference with Elder Alder, we were asked to answer the following questions (among others): How did Abinadi touch Alma the Elder's heart? My answer, in brief:
Abinadi touched Alma because the Spirit testified of the truthfulness of Abinadi's words. Abinadi awoke something dormant inside Alma, the Spirit awoke the Light of Christ within Alma. Abinadi didn't preach something new, he merely caused Alma to remember what he had long since forgotten, that's why the Spirit was able to confirm it so strongly to Alma, because it was already in his heart, the Light of Christ was already burning. More than anything, the Lord had a work for Alma to accomplish. He prepared Alma to receive the word, to plant the seed, and experiment upon it. He brought about His purposes for Alma and the Nephite nation through Abinadi.
We start at the end of Abinadi's discourse. Pay attention to the words we read: Mosiah 17:2 -----> he "believed...for he knew"
-he was taught good and evil, he knew the difference between right and wrong
-all it took to start the ball rolling was someone standing up for truth regardless the circumstance.*
Take footnote b to... Mosiah 26:15 -----> faith of Alma to believe in Abinadi
-he had been righteous previously, he just needed to have the pot stirred a little
-he did "plead with the king" to let Abinadi leave in peace
-suggests a stronger conviction than a "maybe" or "I'm not sure."
Take footnote b to... D&C 46:14 -----> spiritual gift of Alma to believe
-"to others it is given to believe on their words, that they might also have eternal life if they continue faithful."
-he might have been searching for truth, seeking an answer, he knew that the traditions of Noah and his priests were wicked
-Alma was prepared to receive this awakening, to repent of his sins and remember the ways of the Lord that he used to follow *in Mosiah 13:1-9 What do we learn from these 9 verses?
Alma takes note of Abinadi. He notes that "his face shone with an exceeding luster," he spake with "power and authority of God," he guessed Alma's heart when he said "I perceive that it cuts you to your hearts because I tell you the truth concerning your iniquities." He ends this passage by saying "But I finish my message; and then it matters not whither I go, if it so be that I am saved." The incredible faith shown by Abinadi surely touched Alma and allowed the Holy Ghost to testify to him that Abinadi was a prophet, sent from God, holding His authority.
NOTES FROM CONFERENCE
-we need to be team players, follow the rules, because people are always watching -our playbook is the scriptures, PMG -we can score using the playbook -our coach is President Brown, he gives us encouragement and assignments to help us score -in our team, we play to win!
-our head coach is Jesus Christ, He helps us play our best no matter what, 24/7 -comfort we receive can come from prayers from hundreds, thousands, MILLIONS of people around the world and outside of it -heaven sent help can come at any moment, comfort and heavenly help can come from anyone, anywhere
-United effort in a spirit of teamwork produces a higher yield -absence of conflict is a cheap substitute for a spiritual relationship -be fast to forgive, be fast to repent, be slow to be prideful -serve your companions and be your best self for them -evaluate your companionship, follow the golden rule -"because I want you to have an awesome wife, work on..."
-pray always, pray too much, pray until you have the desire to pray, pray in all things -pray to express gratitude, pray for blessings, pray for others, pray for yourself, pray for everything
-challenges help us become more like our Heavenly Father, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ makes it possible to endure those challenges -watch out for wolves in sheep's clothing, "Beware of the evil behind the smiling eyes"
-the spirit of the Lord is always edifying, never confuse false promptings with the Spirit -the Spirit communicates though prayer, scriptures, mission leaders, etc.
-Satan tries to counterfeit the feelings of the Spirit -we must learn to recognize the difference between the real deal and Satan's counterfeit -find out why we were put in our sector with our companion, find out our purpose -Satan is our common enemy, he seeks to destroy all of us -we will always prevail when we follow the example of our Master, Jesus Christ -if we follow Him, it will never be a close contest
-sometimes we blame others, turning outward rather than turning inward -we need to work with our companions if we are to do His work His way -transitory residents of the earth never find joy, they find fun
-disobedience will cause our world to "blow up" -it will derail the work in our sector, our zone, our mission, it will hurt His work -rules and guidelines are inspired, heaven-sent help to keep us on safe ground -forgiveness is another way we can keep ourselves spiritually safe -if the Lord can forgive all, we can forgive too -we don't always know why Heavenly Father calls us how He does, but if we trust His judgment, then He will prepare the way for us to magnify our calling -He has not brought us here to fail, He has brought us here to succeed Success comes two ways:
1. Your personal spiritual development -our conversion is deepened through our faith in Jesus Christ
2. Seeing the spiritual development of our amis -feeling the Lord's love for our amis -we have to carry our own burdens, we can receive strength from others, but we must bear our own burdens, but He will help us "bear up our burdens with ease"
"Action is one of the chief foundations of personal testimony" -President Hunter -"not doing" will become "not growing," and necessarily, "not going," not going anywhere -review my attitude towards the mission I am serving -I am serving it, it is not mine, it is His; I am only here to serve the Lord -this mission is only a moment, we can endure it, we can endure it WELL!
Trying to remember our blessings, the blessings of this mission will help us see His hand in our lives. As we learn the pre-mortal existence, we learn that we knew each other, we have been sent here to people we already know, these people told us to find them and to teach them
|Pretty view of Carcassonne|
|Mini transfer 109 reunion with Elders Connell, Wade & Ben|