Letters from Lou is coming early this week because we got permission to switch our pday to Saturday just for today because Soeur Turney really wanted to go to the street market only open on weekdays and then we are going to the Palace of Versailles after this because it is closed on Mondays. So, this is coming early for the week.
Let's see, this week has been great, fairly intense. I have been in cooking training this transfer under tutelage of Soeur Turney who is an incredible cook. So lately, there have been a few times when Soeur Turney leaves the kitchen and I am on my own. And I'm learning how to cook! You would be so proud. Because I've come to the realization that I really like good food and I don't want to eat frozen food my whole mission. So... that's been quite the fun experience.
Today's my seven month mark! This month has gone really really fast for me.
Monday was so great. After P Day we went and taught a lesson to a less active family. It's three girls one who is 20, 17 and 15. I told them that was almost the same as my sisters! It made me so happy to be with them and it made me miss my sisters! They were so cute and we had a lesson on the Book of Mormon.
Wednesday was a working in the rain day. We contacted for a little while, people kind of think you are crazy when it's raining so we were walking around looking for an apartment building we could get into to porte. There was nothing and there were hardly any people on the street because it was raining. We met one lady and she talked to us for a little while, said she had almost given up on believing in God, biology told her there was no God really. We talked for a while and basically she just said what we were saying wasn't possible but "bon courage."
So after walking around for a while I said, "ah, what should we even do right now?" And Soeur Turney said, "pray." So we did, and then we looked around for someone to talk to. And there was this guy walking up the road. So we stopped him and told him who we were and he said he wished he had more time to talk to us because he had heard a lot about mormons, so we started talking to him for a minute about what he knew. Ultimately, the conversation got fairly intense. He said we didnt know what we were talking about because we had been born into the church and didn't know anything else and Joseph Smith was this guy who had fabricated the Book of Mormon and got a whole group of people to follow after him and that now our religion was just a cultural thing that a lot of people followed because it's soothing. So, ultimately we switched into english because his mom was irish so he spoke well and it was easier as the conversation got more intense. We asked him if he had ever read the Book of Mormon. He said no, he didnt need to he already knew it wasnt true. He said, "Look, I really encourage you if you ever have the desire to come out of your little cave and see the light do so, because this is crazy." We ultimately bore our testimonies and we ended off okay with him but that was that.
That night we went porting and to pass by a headquarter referral. We miraculously were able to get in the building, the girl answered the door and said she was too busy to talk to us and just needed the Book of Mormon because she was doing a research project for school. She we ported her apartment building afterwards. We knocked on this guy's door and when we told him we were missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ he said something like, "Who is Jesus Christ even?" Then went on about how the only thing we can have faith in is ourselves. We bore our testimonies of God and Christ and ultimately he said what we were saying wasn't possible but have a good night.
The next day we had an awesome lesson with a girl we have been teaching who is from Guadelupe. Last week when we met with her she was in Jacob, one week later she was halfway through Mosiah. It was such an example of how when people we teach will read the Book of Mormon and keep commitments, that is when they really progress and when they are prepared for what missionaries teach and that it's really not the missionaries at all who help them become converted. She came to our lesson and had progressed so much over the week. She said she knew the Book of Mormon is true and the Joseph Smith is a prophet and she wants to be baptized when she goes back to Guadelupe so her family can be there. We taught her law of chastity (ha) and she was so prepared and asked such good questions. It was really cool.
Then that night we went porting in an apartment building and it was so amazing because two or three people told us we could come back later to share our message, so we are planning on going back on Monday.
Yesterday we had our lesson with the woman we met on Easter Sunday while contacting. We went over to her house and began the lesson. About halfway through her brother came in the door and so we explained who we were and he said, "oh I know mormons, Ive seen stuff about you on TV polygamy, etc." So we told him we dont practice polygamy and that we are not a sect, we are a church. So he sat down and started listening. So we started teaching again. Then her husband walked through the door and sat down. So we started again. We started talking about the role of the Book of Mormon. That's when the husband started having a fit. He asked for the Bible reference and we told him it was in the BOM not the Bible. He said there's nothing else but the Bible, we cant claim to have another book from God. We asked him if we could just read the reference, (2 Nephi 25 about we testify and we preach of Christ) and he absolutely refused to hear it. He wouldnt even let us say a word. Finally the brother cut in (he now had a Book of Mormon in his hand and had read the reference) and said, "Freddy, I just read teh reference, these sisters are talking about Jesus Christ, just read it, it's about Christ." So Freddy let us read it. After reading it, he went off about how dare we use anything but the Bible. The Bible is the teachings of Jesus Christ. Ultimately, we bore our testimonies of the Book of Mormon and told him our goal wasnt at all to tear down the Bible, it was to invite everyone to see if this book is the word of God or not. We shared Moroni's promise with him and he had a fit and said this was blasphemy and no one is going to believe this message is true that we are sharing, what are we doing sharing this with people. The brother cut in again (this lesson was two hours, with us hardly being able to say one word at all) and for a long time the brother was just over there in the corner reading the Book of Mormon. He cut in again and said, "Freddy, they are talking about Jesus Christ, they love Jesus Christ. This promise says that the Holy Spirit will tell you if it's true or not so you can judge for yourself." Freddy had a fit and said the Holy Spirit had already told him it wasn't a book of God. He said, "John 3:15, you know it?" Well, I'll never forget the reference to the scripture again, but I did at that moment. He said, "If you dont know that, then I dont know who you are following, because that is Jesus Christ." That's when I got emotional when he told us that we didnt know Jesus Christ and we were just following the words of a prophet. The cool part of teh lesson though was the brother because by the end of the lesson, it felt like a member present lesson. He was defending us and he listened to the few things we were able to say. We left a Book of Mormon on the table and are hoping that he reads it, he was really cool.
This morning both Soeur Turney ended up studying things about the Apostasy and the Restoration of the Church, being witnesses of Christ, etc. One really great thing about a mission is that is really forces you to become more and more converted in the doctrines of the gospel, because people will tell you everything you have ever believed is completely wrong. So you really have to know for yourself and have your own testimony of the things you are teaching. I ended up reading some of the parts of Joseph Smith's experience after he had his first vision and the response of people to what he had seen. How he was faced with so much controversy and people who said the experience he had was false. And he was so confused why so many people were so fast to condemn something that he knew was true. It took on a whole new meaning for me this morning because that is exactly how I felt yesterday. Ultimately, experiences like that just make you dig deeper and strengthen my testimony of the gospel.
Well, that's all I've got for now I think!
Last night, more porting and we had a lesson with a woman who is now a new ami! So we will see how that goes! Did a little more porting, met a man who at the end said, "well how old are both of you?" "22 and 21" "Oh you are young. Well im 48. Are you always working?" long story short, creeper alert.
Have a great week, I love you! That you for all of your prayers! You can either send your emails in the mail this week (thats great with me! :) ) or wait until next week.