Where do I even start....
This week we decided that meeting the Standards of Excellence was not even going to be an option. We were going to do whatever it took to reach the goals that our mission has set for what is attainable to hasten this work, in the speed and manner that it needs to be hastened here in France. Those are high numbers...not easy at all to reach. But guess what...we did it!!! We reached every single one for weekly key indicators! We actually even exceeded the goal in several of the sections.
Let me tell you a little bit about it. On Tuesday we went to our neighboring ville, and we planned to go visit 3 of our less-active families, and contact people en route. So, we do just that. However, one ended up not being home, one wouldn't let us in, and one happened to just pass by us on the way to his house, got out of his car and chatted with us for a few minutes, but we didn't get to have the nice sit-down lesson we were planning on having. So, we were a bit discouraged. We had a few hours left in the day as well, and now had no one to go see. So, we decided to just contact our hearts out with every person we saw on the street! We had tons and tons of conversations with people. However, after a few hours, still no one fixed a RDV with us, or gave us their number. So, we finally go back to the gare to catch our train back to Chambery, and when we get there, we realize we missed it by 3 mins, and the next one didn't come for an hour. This day just wasn't going so great!
So, we decided to try our inactive again who hadn't been home before. So, we went back, and he was home! And we had a great lesson with him! After that we go back to the gare to catch our train, and as we're sitting waiting for the train to get there, these two guys approach us. They asked us if we were the missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They then told us they went to that church and were taught by missionaries in the Congo, but they just moved here. They asked if we could please teach them and if they could come to our church. Trying not to let our eyes bug out of our head and acting like this was totally the norm, we were like yes of course! We have our first lesson with them tomorrow :) One of them then got onto the same train as us, and met his friend on there, who is from Italy. So then we started talking to the both of them. Turns out the Italien is really interested too! He's coming to our lesson tomorrow too! The one who is from the Congo actually even came to our English class this past Saturday, and even stayed afterwards for our movie night. He LOVED it. It helps that we have some awesome fresh-off- the-mission RM's in our branch now, who are extremely good at helping the work move forward and befriending our amis.
It really just demonstrated the principle that it's going to take a LOT of hard work to see the miracles. God wants to see that we will give Him all we've got all day, and then He'll trust us enough to put those in our path who are ready to hear the gospel.
The week just keeps getting better...We decided to start just going out and street contacting and porting like crazy, because we desperately need new people to teach. So, that's what we spent a lot of our days doing. Talking to people on the street, and knocking on people's doors. We made it fun though. We would make competitions with each other, like who could "sparc" someone in the most creative way. (Basically getting their attention and making them feel like our friend in under a minute) That got really fun. We also would put specifics in mind. Our zone leaders told us to try this. So we would each give a specific description, such as "tall", "girl", "brown hair", etc. Then we would have to find someone who fit that description. So, we made this finding process really fun. Because missionary work is FUN if you let it be!
So, Friday comes around. And we did the coolest. thing. ever. Our mission and the Paris mission combined to do a nation-wide finding day. Every equipe would pray every 30 minutes that all of us missionaries in France could find more people to teach. The goal by the end of the day was to have 1,000 new people to teach in all of France. Let me tell you, there is so much power in uniting faith and uniting prayers. Hearts were so softened that day. Almost every single person we talked to listened to us, almost every person opened their door. One man approached us, asked if we were the missionaries, said he'd known them for 20 years, and that he wanted to know more. He scheduled a RDV with us for just an hour and a half later. It went so great! We are teaching him again on Thursday. We also found another man who listened to us, didn't seem too interested, but agreed to have a RDV with us yesterday. And guess what? He actually showed up! And he actually loved it. And we're actually meeting with him again next Sunday. He couldn't take his eyes off the Book of Mormon. I've never seen someone so eager to read it. Then that night we had just 10 minutes before it was time to be inside. We didn't want to go in early though, because exact obedience is the key! So, we decided to go find just one more person. We start walking down the sidewalk, when I see this girl with really cute shoes. We creepily approach her from behind (missionaries are pro stalkers I've learned) and I was like "hey! I like your shoes! Where di you buy them?" And she started talking to us, and next thing we know, we're having a great conversation, and giving her a Book of Mormon. Her eyes lit up when she got that book, and she said she'll read it. When all was said and done, we ended the week with 5 new people to teach, and 2 of our old amis agreed to let us start teaching them again. Our teaching pool went from 0 to 7 that day.
Prayers bring miracles my friends. God listens. When He recognizes how hard we're willing to work for Him, when He sees that we put ALL of our trust and faith in Him, and when He sees that we're not going to have fear in going about this work, He blesses us. He puts those people in our path who He has prepared for us. It's amazing.
I also had the amazing privilege of hearing from Elder Ballard AGAIN yesterday! Twice on my mission! How cool is that. Since I'm in the Geneva Stake, and he was speaking at the Geneva Stake Conference, I got to go. He is THE missionary apostle. Every talk he gives (I read LOTS of them before this conference) he references missionary work in some way. This isn't just because he likes this theme people. It's because it is THE most important thing we could be doing right now. Missionaries and members together. This isn't just our work because we have the badge on. In the words of Elder Ballard: "If you were baptized into this church, you should have a burning desire to share this gospel with everyone who hasn't been baptized into this church." He speaks the truth my dear friends and family. I know that the knowledge I have from the gospel is too precious and too important not to allow others to have it too.
Well, that's all for this week! I love working with all my heart. This is the greatest thing I've ever done, and every day just keeps getting better and better. I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week!
I literally am in the most beautiful mission EVER!
So many wine vineyards everywhere..