Before I start, I just have to say CONGRATULATIONS to all my friends who are suddenly married.... What the heck!! Seeing the names of some of my closest friends I met when we were 14 or 15, and seeing them changed to different last names now.... That is bizarre. Suffice it to say to all of you who DIDN'T EVEN TELL ME YOU WERE GETTING MARRIED, congratulations several months (or days) late! I'm dying that I couldn't be there for it!!!
Even though I'd much rather be here in Canada right now. Even though you're having fun and being married, I get to work all day and walk everywhere and get called a nun haha! C'est la vie.
This week was great. We really just focused on working hard. It required lots of sacrifice, knocking, stress, knocking, meetings, tracting... The works:)
We were able to have exchanges with the Bathurst sisters this week, which meant that Sister Vera got to come up to Dieppe and work with me for a day! It was really fun and I got to ask her all my French questions and we went knocking for hours in the SUNSHINE!!! It's starting to warm up here finally, I think there were only 2 days last week that were below 15.
Sunday we had stake conference in Fredericton! I loved seeing my Fredericton family again. I thought I was going to explode I was so happy. Not to mention, 2 of the recent converts in Fredericton I knew got sustained to be elders!! It was so exciting. We had a Canada-wide broadcast for most of the meeting and got to hear from President Eyring, Elder Holland, Sister Burton, and Elder Perkins. It was a great meeting and made me proud to be Canadian! ....scratch that, it made me proud to.... have... a Canadian visa... for less than 2 years....... But I still felt good alright.
We had a really cool experience this week. Sister Olson and I have been focusing a lot on building up our teaching pool. One night, we were planning for the day. We began with a prayer, and something clicked as I was saying it, and I realized I really wanted to be guided by the Lord to know where it was we were supposed to be the next day. So I prayed with real intent to have the Spirit with us.
It was my day to lead planning, so I really tried to focus and know what we were supposed to plan for. There was an empty hour in the day that we normally would've just filled with "Riverfront Contacting". But I was focusing extra hard on what I felt we should do, so I concentrated and sought for revelation. And I felt strongly that we should go riverfront contacting anyway. It was an undeniable impression.
So the next day, during the designated hour, we got in the car to drive to the riverfront. As we were driving, we were consistently hitting every red light and it occurred to me that maybe the Lord had a plan for our timing... that maybe there was someone we were supposed to talk to who would only be there for a small window of time. We kept going, and then no one would let me switch lanes when our turn was coming up, so we missed the turn. And then I got the distinct impression that we weren't supposed to go to the riverfront after all.
So I suggested to Sister Olson that we go street contacting on Rue Paul, a nearby street. Which we had decided weeks before was completely ineffective. Very few people were ever out, and it wasn't a great area anyway, and there were so many other places to talk to more people who had their lives in a little more order. And so I knew it sounded stupid. And she did too. But we went street contacting on Rue Paul anyway.
Just like usual, Rue Paul was basically empty. No one was out. But I tried really hard to be sensitive to the Spirit. I said a prayer in my heart while I was looking at the ground, and when I looked up, I saw the bus stop and in passing, thought about maybe going over there.
So I suggested to Sister Olson that we go contacting at the bus stop. Which we had decided weeks before was completely ineffective. Hardly anyone was there, and the people who were there didn't have their lives in order or often weren't accountable. And so I knew it sounded stupid. And she did too. But we went to the bus stop anyway.
We sat down next to one girl who was sitting alone. At this point, it was obvious Sister Olson recognized that my ideas were really bad haha. I did too. I'd thought I was somehow following the Spirit mysteriously, but my idea to come to the bus stop made me wonder if I was just making it up in my head, and I felt pretty embarrassed. And now we were doing really ineffective things and it was kind of ruining our plans. And so I was feeling pretty uncomfortable there, as was Sister Olson, when Sister Olson took a leap of faith and started talking to Sam, which is short for Samantha*.
As it turns out, Sam is 16 and has been looking for a church for a long time. But the only one she had ever looked into was ours. And she's been wanting to go forever, but was too scared to go by herself. So when we explained to her what we do as missionaries, she immediately gave us her address and phone number. Her bus pulled up in the middle of giving us her contact information. The timing was perfect. As she got on, she asked us if she should call us first, or if we'd call her. She had us promise to call her.
She never answered her phone, so two days later we stopped by her house. We taught her. She'd already read all of mormon.org and said Jesus told her it was all true. Every word we said she ate up and believed and kept saying, "Every time you say something, I just know it's true." She learned on the website that she's a daughter of God and has divine potential. She didn't know that before, but she felt she just knew it was true as soon as she read it. She's determined to get baptized and is just asking for her father's permission. There was a moment where she was suddenly unsure he would give her permission. So she asked, "Even if he doesn't, am I still allowed to go to your church?" It's touching to see someone who wants the truth more than the excitement of baptism. It's exciting to see she's willing to put that much faith into it because Christ gave her the feelings that it was true. It was simple to her. The Lord told her it was true, so she was going to do it, despite the hard things that would come from it.
And so this morning, we were singing the hymn "Viens vers moi" at the beginning of companionship study. The lyrics stood out to me:
Viens vers moi, bien humblement,
Que ton coeur soit maintenant
Plonge dans le souvenir;
Sache que j'ai du souffrir.
C'est pour toi qu'il a coule,
Mon sang qui t'a rachete,
Quand mon corps etait en croix,
Portant du peche le poids.
Dans ce pain beni des lors,
Vois l'embleme de mon corps;
Dans cette eau pure ou ce vin,
Celui de mon sang divin.
Souviens-toi de ma douleur
Pour racheter le pecheur.
Sur la croix, Jesus, ton Roi,
A souffert la mort pour toi.
And the lyrics are so much prettier than they are in English! Haha. But they really just struck me. I thought about Sam and how she has this pure, young desire to just do what CHRIST wants, not what her parents want, or what all her friends want, or what we want as her missionaries. She just wants to do what He wants. And she's so young and desires to change so much that when I sang that song this morning, I couldn't help but think about her. It's a blessing to be able to testify of the Saviour like that. I felt like just telling her those words (and this will be a lose translation, sorry):
Come to me, humbly,
That your heart is now
Immersed in the memory;
Know that I had to suffer.
It is for you that he ran,
My blood has redeemed you,
When my body was on the cross,
Carrying the weight of sin.
In this blessed bread then,
See the emblem of my body;
In this pure water or this wine,
That of my divine blood.
Remember my pain
To redeem the sinner.
On the cross, Jesus, your King,
Suffered death for you.
The lyrics struck me has powerful and beautiful, and then I realized that that's exactly what I get to teach people all the time. I get to ask them to come to Christ. I get to tell them that their Saviour suffered on the cross for them. I'm grateful that even though I thought I was nuts for a while haha, I did follow the really subtle promptings of the Spirit, that we were able to exercise faith to find Sam, and that I get to be a part of teaching her all these things.
Yep, I love it here. This is a privilege I'll never get again. Yeah, I can handle my friends getting married while I get called a nun over here, if I get to know what it feels like to testify to these people of their Saviour:)
|While knocking... The Fortiers must be GOLDEN heh heh heh get it? Man I'm good|
|Saw the Belucci* family at stake conference in Fredericton yesterday!!!|