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

Monday, November 9, 2015

A New Hope

Disclaimer: Any references to Star Wars, despite the upcoming Episode 7, are unintentional and spring only from the subconscious of a missionary surrounded by the ads thereof.

So this week was actually really good. Here's some of what happened:
- We met people on the street who were actually down to talk to us. 
- We got fed twice in one day. 
- We finally managed to visit some members. (Who didn't feed us but ça va.)
- Our amie found herself in Germany while trying to get to church. 
- We definitely found out where not to go in our area after dark. 
- We broke Elder Dudfield's record of most lessons taught in a week, despite being out of our sector for a day to work in Colmar. 
- We taught an awesome new person who is our New Hope. 

But more on Daniela in a sec. I told you last week I'd talk about Patrick, one of my Strasbourg heroes. This is him:

Patrick was contacted one day in the street by missionaries, before I was born. He accepted to hear the gospel and was baptized. Soon after, he fell into inactivity. But just recently, he started coming back to church for the first time in 20 years. He stopped drinking and smoking out of sheer willpower and divine assistance. We visit with him every week, mostly just to support him as he makes his own changes in his life. And he's noticed those changes that the gospel brings and he testifies of them. That's the first thing I admire about Patrick - he's using the gospel to change his life around. 

The second thing is his perseverance through trials. This dude's had a hard life. Health problems, the death of his father, rejection from both his mother and daughter, plus the mistakes that he made when he wasn't active that still have consequences now. Yet he keeps on keepin' on. 

The third thing I admire about Patrick is that he is not ashamed of his beliefs. In France there is a sickness where talking about what you believe is highly discouraged by society. People here pretend to always be happy with their personal lives, and no one wants personal stuff to be brought into the public sphere. Patrick is one of the only French members I know who will actually post something about his beliefs on social media, for example. I love it. Sooner or later he will help someone come to the knowledge of the truthfulness of the gospel, while the others won't. 

Anyway. We taught a girl named Daniela who's got a friend in the ward. And having him in our lesson made a big difference. But mostly it was just her awesomeness. She is one of the most sincere people I've ever met and she's totally ready to change when she receives her answer to her prayers. The lesson went perfectly. We're seeing her again this week, by then she will have read 3 Nephi 11 and she'll be ready to hear more. We have more hope for her than any investigator we've taught together so far. More news next week!

The Hannecart family, Grandpa and Grandma's friends

Be good! Show the example of a real Christian, and don't forget Peter's counsel to "be  ready always to give an answer" to anyone who asks you what you believe and why. Love you all!

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