Events I experienced:
Monday was busy and not much of a repose haha. We'll move on.
Tuesday was great! We saw both Nes and Élo. As we were on the bus, a mid-30s, weird, strange woman kissed Elder Brill. It went something like this:
Lady: "Hey, come here!
E. Brill: "ummmm.....ok...."
Lady (leans in): "closer!"
E. Brill: (leans in, confused)
Lady then springs out and kisses him close to the mouth and says "now you kiss me!"
E. Brill then died. He is dead.
Wednesday was good! At the church, Elo tried on a baptismal gown and it fit well so that simplifies things. We saw Rox with the Fulcrands again, it was a good RDV. We're coming back on Saturday to teach the retab with Frere Allal. He used to be Muslim, so that'll be perfect since she is Muslim!
Thursday was good. We had our first ever Skype lesson with Joe, it worked pretty well! He's the friend of a member, Frère Fulcrand. Guess what? We engaged him to be baptized on April 9th! It's a ways away, but he needs to stop smoking and he preferred the spring. So exciting!
All you members out there! Us with tags NEED YOU. Members always do the best finding. They ensure high retention rates. Missionaries are TERRIBLE at finding people who are ready for the gospel, compared to you members. En plus, on the way back we found a vending machine. But it was not just any vending machine. It was a baguette vending machine! I swiped my card, paid a euro, and out popped a hot baguette. It was delicious and hilarious and ridiculously French all at the same time.
On Friday, we saw both Élo and Nes! It went very well. Élo was a little stressed about the baptism and we had to calm her down a little, but she really wants to be baptized tomorrow and she bore strong testimony of how she knows the church to be true! Nes is doing well, it'll be such a great day tomorrow!
Saturday!! They were both baptized! Incredible day. The service was beautiful, we held the baptism in the city of Limoges. It was awesome!
Frère Villain, who baptized Nes, said the following:
Me: Frère Villain, how many people have you baptized?
Frère Villain: I stopped counting after 100.
Haha he's so cool! I love that man so much. We came back from he baptism and had a lesson with Rox, and that went pretty well. She's incredibly similar to a lady named J that I taught a lot in Carcassonne. So I came to Brive prepared for her haha. We got a little deeper, figuring out why she wants to wait before getting baptized, talking about her problems holding her back, etc. then we had dinner with François Villain and his wife. They're both students and really cool people.
Sunday! Elo and Nes were confirmed by Frère Dremeaux. Church was great! Pretty normal as far as Sundays go, no Ward council though. And we had weekly planning today because we had no time on Friday or Saturday. AN INCREDIBLE WEEK! :)
Lessons I learned:
My ponderize scripture for this week is Acts 5:41,42. It says: "And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ." Are we happy to suffer shame for His name? Do we teach and preach and WORK as missionaries do? For we are all missionaries.
"Every missionary strives to be the missionary his mother thinks he is, the missionary his father hopes he is--even the missionary the Lord knows he can become." -President Monson. Haha so true. My mom thinks I'm a good missionary. HA! I'm nothing of the sort. Do I try? Heck yes. I love that quote. I love President Monson! What a man.
"We shouldn’t wait to be happy until we reach some future point, only to discover that happiness was already available--all the time! Life is not meant to be appreciated only in retrospect.” -President Uchtdorf. This is a wonderful quote from President Uchtdorf. He is easily one of my favorite speakers ever. Him, President Hinckley, Monson, Elder Holland, Elder Legrand Richards. The dream team. Happiness is always available to those who look for it! You just need to look in the right places! It's outside ourselves. Always.
This week, I learned the value of a soul. The value is its potential to become EXACTLY like our Heavenly Father. How valuable is that! As God is, man may become. Nes and Élo became something greater this week. They were already so much, but they became something better- even something infinitely better! I'm so grateful for the blessings that the Lord has poured upon me and Elder Brill in Brive. He has opened the windows of heaven and I feel so blessed. And the wonderful thing is, I know this "was not done in a corner." This was a collective effort of the whole mission! My trainer's trainer, Elder Nye, found Nes. Other elders found Élo. They were all taught by many missionaries. They were prayed for by our entire mission. All the heavenly hosts were rooting for them! The collective greatness of our mission, our obedience, our trust in the Lord brought to pass this wonder of wonder, miracles of miracles. If a spiritual renaissance is not a miracle, I do not know what is. Thanks to all who participated in this miraculous thing!
(free) Advice I have:
"Meeting Life's Challenges" by President Monson, October 1993 Gen Conf. An incredible talk about how we can all press forward "with steadfast faith in Christ," as the hymn says. I love President Monson's stories. If my life was one tenth as eventful as his is, I would explode.
"Of Regrets and Resolutions" by President Uchtdorf, October 2012 Gen Conf. My invitation for you all is to read this talk by President Uchtdorf and then take him up on his three engagements. We can all, as he says, avoid mistakes tomorrow by "following the Savior today."
I love you all!! The Church is true. Keep the faith! Fight the good fight. Jésus, que ferait-il? Que ferai-je? Then do it!! Awesome!
Love, Elder MacArthur
|Elders Quinn & Allen, Elo, Nes, Ben and Elder Brill|
|Frere Villain, Nes, Ben and Elder Brill at Nes' baptism|
|Ben, Elo and Elder Brill at Elo's baptism|
|Frere Villain, Nes, Elo, Ben and Elder Brill|
|Elder Brill at the baguette machine|
|Elders Quin & Allen, Ben, Elder Brill|
|Mmmmm those were good|