This past week started off with an awesome FHE with all the single adults at the church and some of our amis. The elders even had an ami come! We had a really good turn out. Soeur Johns and I taught the Plan of Salvation and we had a big meal together. Eric and Veronique came and they get along with the members so well and they loved learning about the plan of salvation! After, Eric had so many questions and had so much faith already that this plan is truly God's plan for us. SO COOL!
Tuesday we had district meeting and saw Nina and talked about knowledge. She said she has been reading the Book of Mormon! What progress! She says she really tries to make time for it and she's progressing little by little. We also saw Leila Kalobe...we're not sure she's super interested anymore. sad! Also saw Ludivine and that was an interesting lesson. She was really emotional and something was off. We read the Joseph Smith History with her so she could understand his complete story in more detail so she could sincerely pray on the subject, but she really didn't want to open up. Towards the end she told us she was pregnant and she had been nervous to tell us. We told her we were so happy for her and that nothing could stop her from progressing and committing to living the commandments and progress towards baptism. She was pretty relieved and we told her she really needs to pray concerning Joseph Smith because the truthfulness of this church weighs on whether he was a prophet and called of God. Because it really does.
Wednesday we helped Soeur Bachelet with her garden and it was SO FUN! I love service projects. The elders also came and it was so much fun. Soeur Johns and I watered and picked rasberries. We were supposed to pick them and put them in the bucket, but I think most of them fell out...into our mouths..they were SO YUM!
Later we did some finding and knocked some doors. We only had time to knock two doors. WOW! The first guy didn't speak much French so we said we'd stop by the next day to give him a Book of Mormon in Portuguese. The second doorbell was a reply from a young guy leaning out his window to find me and Soeur Johns offering to pray with their family. He came out with his sister and they let us come in. Her name is Christelle and she is 23 years old and has one of the strongest testimonies of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. She told us her mom was away in Africa for a bit and they were watching the house. She said her mom had consecrated their house to prayer so if anyone came by offering to pray, they have to accept! So cool! We prayed and explained the organization of the church. It was so cool to see how this girl, our age, had such great faith that you don't see everyday. They are really firm in their church, but we hope to see them soon anyways.
Thursday we met with Ludivine and read the 8th chapter of 1 Nephi about the vision of the tree of life. We discussed all the symbolism and the importance of holding to the rod even when everyone around us is mocking us or refusing to partake of the goodness of the gospel. Powerful message for us all!
Later we had a lesson planned with Eric and the Bitanga's at the church. We showed up a tad late because of transport to find the Elders at the church and they said the Eric had just left because we weren't there. Then I looked around to see if he was in sight. I looked left and felt nothing and then looked to the right and felt a powerful instinct/voice just say, "RUN!" So, I just took of running in the pouring rain on wobbly cobblestone..After a few minutes I saw a man ahead that looked like it could be Eric so I called out to him and sure enough..it was Eric. I am so grateful for the Spirit that guides us and for listening because then we had an awesome lesson with Eric with the Bitangas. We discussed the gospel of Jesus Christ and invited him to be baptized. He said he was baptized in the Catholic church, but feels like this might be the new path for him! Unfortunately he is moving to Rennes for 2 months so he is going to continue reading, going to church, and meeting with the missionaries there and the plan is he will come back in 2 months and be baptized here in his ward. YAY! Still such great news! Soeur Johns and I will both be gone when he comes back, but we know he will join and the members will help him get ready for the biggest change/blessing of his life.
Friday we went to Dieppe and saw Elodie. She is awesome! We rode the train with her over there and introduced the Book of Mormon to her. We gave her a copy in French and in English for when she leaves for London soon. She was super excited. We got to know her more and she showed us around Dieppe and we got to meet her little sister and her dad. They were so nice and wanted us to stay the night at their house in Dieppe and hang out with us all weekend...so funny..but we had a yummy patisserie with them and headed back to Rouen.
Saturday we went over and helped Milady clean some more of her apartment. We scrubbed and bleached her bathroom and her floor. It was so fun..but really..cleaning is so fun, especially when you know it is lifting the burden of a dear friend. She was so appreciative and we set up an FHE for this upcoming week with them. We are really excited!
Later we went to Elbeuf and saw Teclaire. She is just darling. We read the entire brochure about the restoration so everything would be clear for her. She has so much faith and kept asking us why she needed to be baptized. She really wants to be a member of this church, so we are going to keep teaching her all the lessons and get her ready for baptism. She really loves church and the members and is so childlike everytime we are there she just sincerely asks for guidance on how to follow Christ. So sweet.
Sunday Teclaire came to church! She road an hour long bus to come to sacrament meeting and then road an hour long bus to go home. That is what I call commitment! She loves being at church and seeing the members. She feels so much love and I love watching her be fellowshipped. It's the cutest thing!
Later we saw the Barnjaks like every Sunday and they prayed for us to find someone who wants this message. We felt like we needed to stop by Rachel even though she lives super far from where we were. Rachel is our Congo ami who wants to be baptized. She was supposed to come to church, but she never came. We stopped by to find her daughter, Patricia and her husband (whom we've never met). Turned out Rachel had to work again. This lady just works so hard! But her husband was there and his mom was there so we talked with them...WOW..we literally felt like we had just met the next stake president for Kinshasa. He was so prepared! We sat down and got to know him. He has such a strong testimony of God and Jesus Christ and his faith was incredible! The Spirit was so strong as he bore witness to us for their divine reality. Then he asked us so many questions about the church because Rachel told him ALL about church. WOW! He also said he has seen The Restoration film sitting next to their TV for weeks and wants to watch it in French. We told him it was in French and he was really happy. He said he wants to learn more about the Mormons and he kept telling us thank you for what we do as missionaries! WOW! So nice of him. He is this big Congolais man who has the biggest heart and so nice. We love him! He said he would watch the film and read the Book of Mormon and we can come back on tuesday to discuss with him. SO COOL! We are so excited. He said he wants to come to church here and he wants to go in Kinshasa! I'm so excited, because I have just heard from Soeur Poisbeau in Saint-Nazaire how incredible the church is in Kinshasa. We are so excited to see this family progress in the church. We just found the most incredible family. Pray for Daniel.
So that was the week. Lots of fun memories, service, and miracles! This is the Lord's work and I feel so blessed to be a part of it! Thanks for the love, support, and prayers. Have a great week!