Dear family and friends,
I have to start by apologising for not getting a word off last week! After I finished writing President Poznanski, the stake presidency here has a conference skype with Salt Lake City, and I had to let them use the computer. So sorry about that. You'll get to hear about lots of good things this week, though!
Since their baptisms, Amandine and Jennyfer have been progressing well. Amandine lives in the countryside where no busses go, so it is tough to ever see her during the week unless they come into town, but we have seen her on Sundays, and she is just a little ball of sunshine.:) Jennyfer just recently started going to seminary and loves is already. Reading the scriptures daily has been something kind of hard for her, but the seminary challenges of reading and memorizing scriptures is really pushing her well to do that. The other day Soeur Mangum and I went to Mirian and Jennyfer's house and made African pastries (sorry i can only say it not spell it haha) and a fish dish. It was sooooooooo good!!! there. Jennyfer also read all the way though the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet, started applying the counsel inside, and shared it with a friend!:) She teaches with us regularly, and her prayers are more sweet and tender every time. It is truly such a blessing to know her.
We are meeting with a few other investigators quite regularly. I may have mentioned some of them before...so I'll do a little update on a few.
Selvete and Suada Velija and their family are progressing well right now. They are a young family who moved to France from Kosovo in February, not knowing any French at all! Since then, though, they have progressed a lot, and, after meeting the missionaries, starting coming to church in about April. Although they are not practicing, their Muslim background has been making it fairly hard for them to be taught, but they are so humble and have a desire to know that what we have to share is true. Each time we are there we read 10 verses out of the Book of Mormon in French, and after each verse, Selvete or Suada reads it outloud again in Albanian. It is slow, but it is incredible how much they are able to understand. Although it is tough to read themselves, each of them prays to know of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and whatever subject we discuss in the name of Jesus Christ. Although their belief in Christ is not that strong, they are the best example of faith and expressing a desire to know the truthfulness of these things. They have accepted the invitation to be baptised when they do know that the Book of Mormon is true, so PLEASE keep them in your prayers so that they will set a date with us and progress towards that covenant of baptism.
Horchidet is a referral we recieved from a recently activated member, and although we are having to teach a little bit slower than normal, she is progressing along just great. She LOVES church and sings all the hymns (even though she is pretty off key haha). Mirian is reaching out to her really well too.
Maggy is an older French woman we have been teaching for about 12 weeks. We met her though an inactive member. She has never accepted the invitation to come to church, but she understands baptism and has accepted the invitation, but not yet a date. She is reading the Book of Mormon and likes the stories inside, but she is nervous to because she isnt very confident in her reading skills. She prays in the manner that we do when we are not there, but has never prayed since when we have been with her. She keeps her word, though, and I am confident that she will accept a date soon, but the big thing really is getting her to church. She really struggles with her health...she is in and out of the hospital A LOT! So I think that that holds her back from leaving her house, but I know that that will be the deciding factor. Please keep her in your prayers so that she will come to church!!!!!!
This past week I got the opportunity to go to Paris for an exchange with Soeur Roney, and it was so incredible! Soeur Roney is finishing her mission soon, so I was so lucky to be able to do one of her last exchanges with her. She is such an incredible missionary, and I am so grateful to have learned so much from her. The biggest lesson I learned while I was with her is following the Spirit. Contacting in Paris, as I am sure you can imagine, can be kind of overwhelming.:) haha. There are millions of people to choose from! So truly, like in all missionary work, following the Spirit is key in choosing who to talk to and what to say.
Sorry I just ran out of time! But I love you so much!
Remember that you can make a difference, wherever you are. Find someone to help, and always, always remember to smile.:)
I love you with all of my heart.:)
Soeur Laura Lee Judd