First off an apology, this week I found out there were a few people who’ve written to me during the mission and I never replied, really sorry, in my head I was sure I’d replied and I’m super grateful for all the mail/post that I get, it’s a huge support. I’ve overcome many weaknesses during the mission but writing is not one of them. It’s always nice to have room to grow hey?
Second off, sorry for not writing yesterday, we had a tri-zone conference so today becomes p-day.
I don’t think I have anything left to apologise for and sorry there’s no suggestion box attached to this email, I’m a bit scared you’d abuse the privilege.
It’s been a miracle filled week. Yesterday at conference I got to see and talk with Soeur Beeny and she filled me in on everything in Angoulême and the best things are happening. Steve, who we met in my last week and started teaching is getting baptised in a few weeks and things are apparently just going perfectly with him. He said he’s been thinking about real intent and that if he needs to have real intent about baptism then he needs to know everything that would include so they gave him a quick 15 min run down of the word of wisdom, chastity, tithing etc; and at the end he was like, oh ok, I can do all that! Then I find out that Audrey has finally set a date to be married and will be baptised probably the beginning of May!!!!! I wonder how quick I can save up for a flight back for that?
Meanwhile Agen is having it’s own miracles and looks like I’m going to have a baptism just before coming home. Her name is Monique and we taught her for the first time on Monday but she’d already been to church twice thanks to the Murers. She’s our neighbour so we just pop by all the time and she’s fast become our best friend. She is so sincere and full of faith. From the beginning she’s been ready to act and has kept every engagement we’ve given her. She even goes the extra mile, we ask her to read a chapter, she reads 3 and makes notes and personal applications. We set a date the third lesson for the 12th April and then a day later she says she can’t because she’s doing a service project but it would be fine for the 11th. She’s about 60 and looks like she’s been smoking most of her life so we were getting ready to teach the word of wisdom, worrying whether three weeks would be enough for her to stop smoking and then she comes out saying that she heard we don’t smoke so she made a promise with God to stop and since then she hasn’t touched a cigarette. What?! We were ecstatic and when we told her how happy she was she was just like ‘well, yeah, I made a promise with God,I’m gonna keep it, I need to stop’. Then she announces that she has good news for us: her son who hasn’t spoken to her in ages called her up yesterday to invite her to come stay a week with him the beginning of may. We were about ready to explode with joy. It’s simple though, she has faith, she’s acting and she’s getting blessed.
Other miracle, we started working with a less active called Anita, might have mentioned her? Anyway, she says that she’s going to talk with her work so that she can come church on Sundays! She’s a carer for old people and said she thinks she could switch around her days so that she can come at least every other week.
We went out in the boonies to find some inactives with the Murers the other day and we drive up to one and Soeur Nuutinen is like ‘hey, look at all their cars, they’re GB’. Then I saw a national trust sticker one one of them and we decided it would be best if I spoke first to this sister…good call. She opens the door and we have a lovely conversation, she couldn’t have us over then but we’re going back soon. She’s lived here for 12 years but was baptised in Essex, her name’s Gillian Nurding.
Also, we got to teach our landlord and his wife and guess where they used to live? Émey, where they have the evening market! We had a good chat about that, sadly wasn’t too interested in the rest of our mission but it was a good spark.
So conference was fantastic yesterday, maybe the best that I’ve been to. Also, I gave, what they call, my ‘dying testimony’. It was the weirdest thing because for your whole mission you see all these old missionaries getting up, bearing their testimony and then you never see them again and you think it will never happen to you and so thinking that I’m now one of those old missionaries is really weird. It was harder bearing my testimony there than it was when I did it in French for the first time in Annecy. There were a few others there that were dying with me, one of them being Elder Gruber and he was like, hey, you remember in Bergerac? I can’t believe how fast everything goes. Although it’s going to kill me to leave I am very hopeful, there seem to be a lot of missionaries who see this as the end of everything and it’s the worst thing that could ever happen and I just think, you’ve been teaching faith and hope for 18months to 2 years, come on!
So have a wonderful week, I love you all.
Love Soeur Hoar”