Right then. This week was - big surprise - a crazy week here in the middle of Paris. I am still feeling a bit sick, or maybe I'm just developing allergies for the first time in my life, or maybe my body is just rudely telling me to ingest something other than baguettes, cheese and secondhand cigarette smoke.
Again, we had two back-to-back exchanges this week, both right here at home, with the elders of Versailles and St Ouen. (For those of you who are just joining us, a companion exchange is when a companionship comes to our area, or we go to theirs, and we switch companions for a day to learn from each other and the way we do missionary work.) I was able to work with Elder Harris, my son who was born a year ago; Elder Nagloo, from the Reunion Islands (is that how you say it in English?); Elder Mansfield, straight outta Idaho; and Elder Oopa, from Tahiti.
All four of these missionaries were fantastic at working hard, teaching and testifying, but today I'd like to talk specifically about Elder Oopa.
Elder Oopa is a new missionary being trained in St Ouen, in the Paris suburbs. When I entered the mission, he wasn't a member of the church.
He was baptized with his twin brother about a month after I came on the mission. It takes a year to prepare to go to the temple and on a mission, and he left as soon as he could. He and his twin (also named Elder Oopa now, uncoincidentally) lived with their grandparents in Tahiti because their mother passed away and their father left them and went to France. After one year, on the eve of their departure - just before their setting apart as full-time missionaries - they were able to baptize their grandparents. Now, here in France, Elder Oopa showed me a picture of his father and told me that he knew his father was in France, but he didn't know where...but he feels that the Lord sent him here for the specific reason of finding and baptizing him. And he has all the faith in the world that he'll be able to do it. One day I'd love to see a picture of Elder Oopa with his long-lost father, dressed in white in front of the baptismal font. I'll pray for him if you do.
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No more time, but know that I love you all! Until next week!
Elder Jordan Stanford
Mission française de Paris