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

Monday, February 1, 2016

Of dope amis and the Spirit

Bon. This week.

So we went to Versailles for exchanges on Thursday-Friday. I got to see my son, Elder Harris, there because he's in the Versailles ward as well. I also got to see the Paris temple under construction! The outer walls are up. It's beautiful. Here's what it will look like:

One of the missionaries in Versailles, Elder Martin, was in the US Navy before coming out on a mission, and he's going back when he's done. Needless to say, he is an advocate for working out hard in the mornings. He and his companion kept telling us about their ami, Phil, who meets them in the park to exercise in the mornings. So in the morning, we all got up at 6AM (all other missionaries get up at 6:30, but remember, US Navy) and ran to the park to go meet Phil. Turns out...Phil is just a gigantic log they had found prior. Like over 10ft tall, thicker than me, and wet. And we just worked out with his huge tree trunk in about a hundred different ways that I didn't even know were possible. Elder Martin was the only one able to pick the thing up with sheer man-strength and run around with it. So we returned home to Amiens with aching muscles and bruised shoulders to go with our slightly-wounded pride.

Have I told you guys about Howard? I don't think so. Howard is dope. He's from England. He's got a Ph.D. in philosophy, converted himself from agnosticism to Christianity by reading the Bible, and learned Greek and Hebrew in order to read it in the original languages in which it was written. And yet he still listens to us. How incredible is that??

Last week, we were set to teach him part three of the Plan of Salvation: what happens after death. But Elder Pumford felt really strongly that we needed to skip that and teach him the beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (faith and repentance). I agreed with him because he's better at promptings than me. With Howard, we went through the etymology of the word "repentance," because he's into that, then talked about how repentance isn't what most people seem to think, but it's basically trying to align our will with Heavenly Father's by making any changes necessary to orient ourselves closer to the path that He's traced out for us. Seeking that change of heart. When we came back later in the week, he told us about the incredible experiences he'd had in prayer due to that discussion. He felt feelings that were almost difficult for him to describe. He said concerning them, "One drop of that is worth the whole world."

Our recent convert, Larry, brought a friend to church! Her name is Jetu and she's come three weeks in a row. She said she's sticking around because of what she felt during an amis' class: feelings that matched the description in Galatians 5:22. She met with her and Larry this week and it went well! Larry testified super hard. We're seeing them again this weekend.

That's all for this week! Things are looking up here in Amiens. People around us are doing good work too and just inspiring us to be better. So that's what we'll do.

Love you all! Be good! Latah now.

Elder Stanford

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