Serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in northern France, southern Belgium and Luxembourg.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Coincidences? I think not!

Hey guys. Thanks for all your emails! And for sending me stuff! I got one of those slips saying I have a package, so I'm excited to get that and find out what's inside! Also, I wrote a couple of letters on the plane--the plane to Madrid, about a month ago--that I was never able to send but hopefully today!

What is this I hear about my singing being on Facebook?? I never agreed to this! Haha. Pretty sure we screwed up a couple of times.
Last week I promised to tell you all about a weird experience that happened. So. Every week we write all of our emails in this internet cafe. This sketchy-looking dude wearing sunglasses indoors and this trench-coat-looking thing is sitting across from me. He sees my name tag and says like "Hey, Stanford." So I go straight into missionary mode because obviously this guy wants to hear about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, right? We talk for a bit but I'm having trouble understanding him because he's speaking really quietly and kinda mumbling. So he asks for a pen and something to write on. I give him my pen and my planner and he starts to write... and I see that he's writing a phone number and I get just super excited because we're totally gonna teach this guy! I get my planner back and this is what it says: "(Just read don't talk) I want see you later. Please juste you. You're a human bomb." With his phone number. What the heck! So we kinda just...get out of there. We go to the Eiffel Tower a few minutes earlier than planned and go back to finish our emails after the dude's gone. Don't worry, I don't have any explosives on me, and nothing else sketchy happened haha. We didn't call the number. I don't think we had the BoM he was looking for.
This week felt super short because it was super busy! Let me tell you about some highlights. First of all, the father of the Senyigan family, Jean, came to church yesterday! So happy. After only one lesson. That's a huge step. He just needs to bring his whole family next time! But seriously you guys, member referrals are absolutely the way to go. Give names to the missionaries in your area! Helps so much. And then be there where they teach the lessons. Do it for me. Cool, thanks. Side note, the awesome guy that gave us the referral, Pierre, is getting the Priesthood soon! We're almost as excited as he is. Our goal is for him to be able to bring his whole family (who are seeing the missionaries in Togo) to the temple to be sealed together.
Now to explain the title. Three really cool things happened that, just based on probability, should not have happened. Let's hope I have time to explain all of them.
So. Last week, Elder Wheatley and I went to a little ville in our area named Chilly, because neither of us had ever been there before. We did a bit of contacting but no one wanted any of it. Then we decided to just go do some door-to-door work (or, as my president calls it, heart-to-heart) the middle of the day on a weekday when probably nobody would be home. We went to an apartment building and rang every name. but sure enough, nobody answered. So we decided to say a prayer because everything was feeling pretty dead. As we were praying, a few full minutes after we rang, some guy answered! So we did the whole "Amen!" scene from The Best Two Years and talked to this guy through his intercom, like "Hey we're Elder Wheatley and Elder Stanford and we're missionaries blah blah wanna hear our message?" He told us we had woken him up from a nap, he was tired, but to come back later. We asked when, and he week. A week! Man, if you don't want to let us in, just tell us. But we promised to come back in exactly one week. We asked him his name and he said "Elder." At that point we were sure this guy was just being a punk. But we left, and one week later we came back because we promised we would. On the way, we missed one of the trains and had to wait half an hour for the next one, so we decided to go contacting. And we found an ami! Taught him a lesson right there in the park. He's in the other Elders' area but they're meeting him this week! Really exciting. We tried to see "Elder" but, sure enough, he wasn't home. But we were okay with it because we found this other guy. THEN the sister missionaries in our ward called us with a referral from one of their amis. And who is it? A man named Helder, living in a ville named Chilly. Turns out it's the same guy! What are the odds?? So you better believe we are going back again and bringing about a miracle with this guy.
Second thing. A week ago I lost my Navigo, which is my pass for all public transport. Giant pain. But it set into motion a bunch of events that eventually led to us bumping into Sylvette on a bus! I talked about her two weeks ago. She hasn't been able to see us since that first contact but we found her again! We just need to help her see how much the gospel would benefit her life.
Third and coolest story: we were on a bus. (Notice how all of my stories involve public transport? That's because so much of my life is spent on public transport. But hey, I can't complain when it brings miracles like the one I'm about to share!) This guy named Louny starts talking to us on the bus and asks if we're Mormons. When we say yeah, he explains how his cousin met the missionaries and they changed his life. The missionaries and the gospel helped him overcome his alcohol and smoking addictions and he was baptized into the church, and apparently he's just way way happier now. So the cousin told Louny about how the gospel blessed his life and he needed to meet with the missionaries, but he never acted on it until he saw us on the bus! He wants what his cousin has. He was super excited to see us and even called his cousin while we were still with him to tell him the good news. We're meeting him for the first time in his home on Wednesday.

You guys are great! Love you all!

Elder Stanford

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