Monday, September 20, 2010

From France with Love

This week has been really good, just like all they other weeks. We are SUPER SUPER busy. I can't believe that it is already the end of my first Transfer and that I have had my first baptism.

The Baptism. It is soooo good. We invited all of our investigators to come and had 5 there, and Sabrina getting baptised all together 6. It was after church on Sunday because the bishop and his counselors were in Toulouse for a Stake meeting on Saturday. We got started and had 2 talks about Baptism and the Holy Ghost, we were a little bit worried while they were talking because the font wasn't filled up enough. It was time for the baptism, and there wasn't enough water. Me and Elder Magnan went into Hypermode. Everyone stayed in the chapel and listened to music and sang hymns while we tried to fill buckets up with water for the font. There was no water pressure in the church though because the font was already taking all of it. So we ran outside and into the back shed of the church and found a tap, and a hose. We ran the hose across the parking lot and through the window of the bathroom and into the font. Everyone kept singing and listening to 2 sisters play the flute and violin while the font filled up. Luckily Sabrina is quite short and the water didn't have to be really deep. When the font was filled up we had the baptism, The Bishop baptised her and all of amis' loved it. We have 2 that were there, that felt the spirit very strong and they want to get baptised. It was powerful for them to see them dressed in white and to see someone with the authority baptise Sabrina in same manner that Christ himself was baptised. I loved it. I couldn't stop smiling, I felt the same excitement of opening my mission call (ha ha you all remember that, I didn't gasp this time), and the excitement of leaving the MTC. It was really cool to see the fruits of our labors. After she bore her testimony and it was really good, and she thanked me for finding her, I told her that it wasn't me, it was the Holy Ghost. I will be eternally grateful for the trust the lord had in my to be an instrument in his hands. And how great was my joy for just bring one soul unto the gospel!!

We rarely have time to contact people as much as we would like because we are going back and forth from rendez-vous' (Appointments) and teaching so often. We really have been blessed with so much work. We have about 15 Amis' (Investigators) but not all of them are progressing. Some of them have the impression that we come to teach just to discuss religion, but that is not why we are here. We are here to invite others to come unto Christ and be baptised, in order to that they need to follow our commitments (read, pray, church etc etc). I think that we are about to apply Jacob Chapter 5 and start burning parts of the vineyard that are not ready, (Drop investigators because they don't follow our commitments). It is sad because we would like to teach everyone, and everyone is entitled to the gospel and everyone is entitled to eternal life, but at the same time we need to be effective and find the elect that are ready for the gospel.

Our contacts.

How tall are they?
Ha.. about 5'0'' to 5'11'' Sabrina, the one that got baptised is tres petite and David, he is 16 and I play basketball with him is about 5'11''. Everybody else is somewhere in between.

Do they like ice cream?----

Have they read the Book of Mormon and Prayed? ----
Not all of them, but the ones that we can see a change in and are really progressing, yes.

Where do they hail from?
[France; Camaroon; China; Versaille, Spain; Timbuctoo] ----France, Reunion (french island of the coast of madagascar), Portugal, Algeria, Congo

How many in each family? -----
Most of our Amis' are just one person or they are a couple. We have started teaching a less active man with 5 kids and a wife that are not members that are from the Congo. They are awesome and love the gospel. The rest of the family is evangelist and he has a super strong testimony of Joesph Smith, but he wants to be at church with his family and that is why he is less active. It will be really cool, to see the whole family come to the gospel.

How old? ----- David and Leo 16, Ali and Eliane 45ish, Vanessa and Benoit 30ish, Sabrina Tabelion 25, Sabrina Kahmenisse 32, Phillipe 45, Nadia and Phillipe 45, Joelle 40, Jeanne 50, Frere Carlos 55, Christian 55

Do they smile?
Yes :)

Are their questions serious and penetrating? -----
Alot of questions are just about the reason they are on the earth and how they can be saved. There are some that have lived really hard lives, with lots of problems, they ask questions and they bring up things that are really sad. I love when we leave a rendez-vous like that and we have answered a deep question with the scriptures and we know that our investigators have found peace.

Do they stretch your language skills?----
OHHH yeah.

Do you love them? -----
OHHH yeah

Are you still getting along well with your companion? -------
We get along super well. Really though. I feel like I could stay in Carcassonne for 2 years with Elder Magnan. He helps me so much and I love to teach with him.

Is your baptism still on schedule?-------
Yes. She is baptised and She will be confirmed next Sunday.

When you have to cook for yourself what are you eating?------
Elder Magnan cooks, because he is really particular with his french cuisine. I do the dishes. It is a good deal. Usual just some kinda of pasta or dish with some new and fancy sauce. But this week we had 6 mangez-vous' (meal with a member) and it is Fantastic. It is the most Elder Magnan has had in one week on his whole mission....and me too.

I see the Elders around town and wonder if you are walking all of the time or do you ride buses etc.? -----
We walk all the time. sometimes we take a bus if we are going far. or we get a ride from members, but Centre Ville of Carcassonne is probably only the size of BYU's campus and the Chapel is 2 blocks away from that. We walk and walk and walk and walk.

Another Really good week and the work is moving along. I love all of you and I hope that this week goes well. I pray for you all each night and know that the lord has answered your prayers and bless me here because of you.

LOVE Elder/Brother/Uncle/Friend Matt Smith

Picture. Sabrina and Us. Sabrina and Frere Martin - The bishop

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