Dear family and friends,
I havent watched any soccer this week...but I sure have HEARD a lot of soccer!!! haha. I love being in Europe during the World Cup! Everyone who is anyone is talking about the games and making guesses about who will win the next match. During the day things are pretty calm, but we can hear the cheers ALL NIGHT! haha. France and Switzerland played the other day...and I knew that France had to have had at least four goals because we could hear a giant chorus every time they scored.:) haha. I LOVE the World Cup!
On top of that party, there was also a Music Festival with bands playing all around the city. We didn't hear much (except the Gospel music provided by the Evangelicals outside our apartement haha), but we did go into the center of town for a minute to hear Demila's daughter, Sadiqua, perform few songs. By the time we got there, though, it was already 8h45, so we quickly informed Demila that we only had a few minutes to visit before we had to be back to our apartment. Without a minute to spare, Demila said, "Alright! Let me get you a little sandwich and you'll be off! You must be obedient like Nephi was and get back to your apartment on time! You know how Nephi blessed his entire nation for being obedient and going back to get the plates? You must be the same way! So get going!" haha. Can you believe that??? I love Demila so much! haha. Please keep her and her daughters (Sadiqua and Zarah) in your prayers. They NEED to come to church!
This week we spent a LOT of time helping Marthe Mbala move to a new apartment. HOLY COW it wore me out! haha. On the first day, Soeur Trautman and I showed up and all we ended up having were grocery sacks and a bus pass. For several hours, we took sacks down three flights of stairs, walked them to the bus, took a ride twenty minutes across Mulhouse, walked to her new aprartment, dropped everything out at the new place, and went back to do it again. During that entire afternoon, I kept thinking to myself that there was NO WAY we could do this alone...and I prayed and prayed that the Lord would provide a truck and more people to help us. After a few days, we organized our efforts wiith the ward, and we were blessed to be able to finish everything up this morning! What a blessing a miracle it was! We are sure that Marthe, especially after having met so many members, is in such a good place to finally accept the Gospel. We will be working A LOT with her from here on out. Please keep her in your prayers!
MARIE MONNIN RECIEVED KNOWS THE BOOK OF MORMON IS TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!! After many many prayers and a fast together, Marie recieved an answer that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. What stands in her way now is a testimony of Joseph Smith. As members of the church, it makes perfect sense for us that if the Book of Mormon is true, Joseph Smith must have been a prophet of God, but Marie is still piecing it together and praying for a firm witness. This week we will be reviewing a lot about the Restoration. Please keep her in your prayers that she may recieve a witness and accept a date to be baptized.
This past week, Soeur Trautman and I went to Paris for Président and Soeur Poznanski's last Zone Conference, and it was incredible. As they spoke, the Spirit was so strong and testified to me that this is the Lord's work and we are his errand. To thank Président and Soeur Poznanski, the APs put together a chain of musical numbers, and I was so blessed to be able to perform "I Know that My Redeemer Lives" with two of my greatest missionary friends. For the last verse we asked all of the missionaries present to stand and join in singing; the Spirit was so strong I could barely sing a note. What an incredible opportunity it was to put my testimony to a melody. Truly, I know that my Redeemer lives!
There is so much I wish I could share from the conference, but what I wish to share most is a story about the temple being built in France. Président heard this story from Bishop Causée and shared it with us. It touched me so much and strengthened my testimony of the temple and the blessings we recieve as we make and keep sacred covenants:
During a short business trip, a British member of the church recieved a phone call from his company's CEO inviting him to join him and some associates for dinner at a restaurant in Paris. Having accepted the invitation and arrived at the gathering, this Brisish member felt a little overwhelmed and intimidated. As he looked around the table, he saw numerous French politicians and the CEOs of France's most prestigious companies such as SNCF (the international train company) and AirFrance and asked himself, "Why am I here?"
As the night went on, conversations turned about the table. Considering the political influence and interest of the group, it wasn't truly a surprise when they all began talking about Mitt Romney and his race for President. Very quickly the comment came up that Romney is a Mormon, and the whole party, as though they were a chorus, said, "What is a Mormon?" It was then that this "seemingly insignificant" British member realized why he was there that night. He took his chance, raised his voice, and explained nearly everything therer is to know about Mormons and what they believe. Every member of the dinner party became so intrigued to know that they asked all sorts of questions and made comments, and, for several hours, he answered. What an incredible missionary experience it was!!!
Later, the conversations split off into smaller groups. Not being able to understand to French, the British man turned to his employer and asked what everyone was discussing. To his pleasant surprise, the employer smiled and said something like this: "Each of us have another associate who is not here tonight that is the Mayor of Yvlinnes (the district of Versailles). He is very against the construction of the Mormon temple and had asked each of us to support his cause of ending its construction once and for all. Many of us here were ready to support his disapprovals, but after what you just shared with us about Mormons tonight, NONE of us believe the construction should be terminated. We all support the building of a Mormon temple."
To everyone's surprise, several days after this dinner, as the apostle Neil L. Anderson stepped onto the temple site, ALL complaints and complications of the temple's contruction in Versailles were dropped. Not a single thing is stopping it now! The temple is now OFFICIALLY being built.
How wonderful and beautiful it is that the prayers of thousands were answered through this British member. Because of his position and his worthiness, he was put in a place to accomplish the will of the Lord. Very often the Lord, through small and simple things, accomplishes that which is GREAT in His sight. Just think of all those who will be blessed-both here on earth and those who have passed on-because of this temple being built! And now it is FINALLY underway.
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