We don't have too much time today, we went on a hike by Italy! It was lots of fun. I'll just give a quick rundown, then a spiritual thought. What went down:
Monday-went to Lyon for MLC, we got MasterTacos with the Bordeaux zone leaders and sisters, the Aix and Montpellier zone leaders, and the Geneva sisters. It was lots of fun!
Tuesday- MLC, it was really fun! We talked about loyalty to the Lord and His Servants. President really cracked down on lots of disobedience and things that keep us back from doing our best. He shared the story of when Captain Moroni rent his coat and wrote the title of Liberty. He encouraged us to have our own "Captain Moroni moment" and bind Satan as if we were in the millennium. To do this, we went up to a mountain outside Lyon, called Mount Thou. We sang "High on the Mountain Top," and we had some alone time to try and receive revelation about how to bind Satan's influence in our zone. We came back, talked about policy, then the meeting ended. The office couldn't get us home on time that night, so we stayed the night in Lyon. We were going to go on an exchange with the Assistants, I was pumped to do some Lyon contacting with Elder Wade, a good friend. But they had something come up, so we went with the Ecully zone leaders and the assistant's driver, Elder Sumter, to see J, a member in Lyon. He was pretty crazy and funny, and he gave us dinner too! It was lots of fun getting to see them and work with them.
Wednesday- we woke up, picked up supplies at the office, got the other pair of Nice keys from the assistants, and got on a train to Nice. We went right to RCM, then ward council, planned for zone training.
Thursday-zone training! We only had 9 people there, due to our trio, the Cannes sisters' absence, and the Corsica district being in Corsica. It went well though, we took the last hour to give everyone blessings, and we all had some personal reflection time as well. I got to give Elder Sweet, a blue, a blessing, it was a great experience. The spirit really put the words in my mouth! The spirit was strong throughout the meeting, we asked everyone to wear a suit in preparation for the meeting even though it's really hot. It really contributed to the focus of the meeting. After zone training, we did a little finding and went to K's. He's been stressing about his PhD final project, and he asked for a blessing. So I have my second blessing of the day, it was equally wonderful. K had tears in his eyes. I love that guy so much! Converts like that make me want to do more missionary work, the church needs more Ks for sure.
Friday- we went to Sr. R's house, a less-active, to do service by helping her and her husband to build a wall! It was good fun. She stuffed us afterwards. I've eaten so many green beans on my mission that I don't hate them anymore! We shared a lesson with her and R, a worker who helps them out. We gave him a Book of Mormon! I'm not sure if he can read, really, but hopefully he can. Then we taught K's aunt at Sr. A's house, it went really well! She's going back to New Caledonia in a few weeks, but she'll get baptized for sure. She stuffed us again after the lesson. Then we visited T's family, and then did home teaching with F and the P family. It was a really good day. I'm getting really fat, seriously.
Members feed us too much, sometimes.
Saturday-we finally saw A, our amie. She's been super busy with work. She still wants to get baptized, though. Hopefully she does not move to Paris. We talked about baptism, and she is still waiting for a call about work in Paris. We hope she stays! She knows she needs to be baptized, and she wants to be. If she stays, we'll baptize her for sure. Then we went out to see E in Villeneuve Loubet, a little town right on the coast. It's super beautiful! We ate food from his restaurant, and talked about his friends. We got a RDV fixed with him and a work friend! We came back and saw L, he's been struggling a little. Please pray for him. He's confused right now, we hope he comes back to church.
Sunday-normal Sunday. Nothing different.
Lessons I learned:
In 1 Nephi 3, Nephi shows us how to be loyal. After his brothers refuse to go back to get the plates after a first failed attempt, Nephi exhorts them: "Wherefore, let us be faithful." He continues in the next chapter, after having been beaten by his brothers: "Let us go up again unto Jerusalem, and let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord." After trying to strengthen their faith, he says "wherefore can ye doubt? Let us go up; the Lord is able to deliver us," showing his perennial faith in Christ. Even as he walks towards Laban's house, he does not really have a plan. He lets himself be guided by the Spirit. When he finds Laban but shrinks from the thought of killing someone, the Spirit reminds him of his duty to be loyal: "...I remembered the words of the Lord which he spake unto me in the wilderness, saying that: Inasmuch as thy seed shall keep my commandments, they shall prosper in the land of promise...therefore I did obey the voice of the Spirit." After meeting Zoram and admonishing him to come with them, Nephi sets the example again: "shall we not be diligent in keeping the commandments of the Lord?"
There were not many servants of the Lord more loyal than Nephi. Often we as missionaries cannot find the least smudge of moral fiber to even follow easy rules, like no beaches, curfew, iPad, etc. Nephi was told to cut off someone's head! When I look at his example of not wavering in his duty of loyalty, it makes me want to be better.
(free) Advice I have:
"These I Will Make My Leaders," by President Faust, October 1980 Gen Conf. A great talk on leadership. A little piece of advice I liked: "The leader himself, when directing, does not have to be bombastic and loud. Those who are called to lead in the ministry of the Master are not called to be chiefs or dictators. They are called to be good shepherds. They are to be constantly training others to take their place and become greater leaders than their teachers. A good leader expects much, inspires greatly, and sets on fire those he is called to lead."
I love you all! Have a great week. Jesus the Christ loves you. His Father does too.
|Coast to the right: France. To the left: Italy.|