This week has been really interesting :) I have really been thinking a lot about what it means to be a missionary and how to act. I was thinking back to when I was home and what I wanted from the missionaries. I definitely wanted them to be much more confident and bold with the spirit when teaching. What's interesting is that I thought that also a lot of the missionaries were really not very good at relating to us at dinner. Like they didn't always seem comfortable. And they were talking in English haha!! But I have been trying to figure out to better connect with the members and serve them to their needs and become like their family. It's a hard balance because they may feel your spirit, but here in France the culture is different and they typically want to know who you are more than that, meaning it's not just the message but really who you are. So they like talking about real life.. If that makes any sense haha. I was just wondering if you had any thoughts... I want to be the most spiritually powerful missionary possible, but also make them feel like my family which is super hard in just like an hour. For some reason there is a culture here in the mission that we have to be super serious to be a missionary and I really feel like I have a personality for a reason and I am going to try to use it more. So how do I show my spiritually strong side and also get on a fun and family level. Ugh, it's an interesting balance.. Any thoughts?
This week I had an amazing experience. My companion and I are the leaders of a zone, meaning we help different missionaries who are in the cities around Nancy. We had a special zone activity on Thursday. We brought in all the missionaries from the neighboring cities who are in our zone.
In France, everyone uses the trains, and so a couple of missionaries had gotten in, and they were waiting at the train station for the others and my comp and I to get there. When we arrived we saw that we had some extra time, so I grabbed one of the other missionaries and asked him to come with me so we could use our time to teach someone. We talked to a lady who was sitting outside of the train station. She was really kind and really impressed that we had given up two years to come to France and talk to people about God. She then asked how we knew that God was there. I told her my experience of the first time that I felt the spirit when I was younger and how from that moment on, I knew with all my heart that God existed. My experience was actually when I was young, and mom was teaching me about Nephi and she shared how she knew that God was there and that we needed to do what we could here to be obedient, and I truly felt the spirit tell me that it was true. And this feeling only grew as I prayed and read the Book of Mormon. I was able to use that experience and testify to this lady how I knew, and she was ready because she wanted to to know as well. She needed to hear that message.
When all the missionaries arrived we went to the church and had the zone activity. We just told one another miracles that we had seen during our missions. Elder Edmunds and I had felt like many of the missionaries had lost perspective that it's possible to see miracles. And we wanted them to have a renewal of faith. And it went super well!! It might even impress you to know that we planned it all out- the lesson, the meal, the contacting activity after-the whole shibang! 😏 it was cool, and made me miss having a smart phone because we had to walk everywhere, like walk to Pizza Hut to preorder everything instead of just calling.. Haha! But it was great to see all the miracles! And it seemed to boost every one's faith! It was sweet!
On the funny side, in preparation for another meeting, we both know that I sweat A LOT....well...it is SUPER hot here and there are no AC's anywhere! And...barely any wind and no cold water! I get out of the shower in the morning and I'm already sweaty! hahah And so my comp and I are walking to the bus stop to catch a bus for district meeting and we see that it is about to leave. But we are on the other side of the street! And there's a ton of traffic in between us and the evil bus! Noooo! So right as soon as we get a chance, we bolt across the street (I'm wearing a backpack and carrying a bag of food for district meeting...and I'm already a walking shower of sweat, haha, and right as we get to the bus, it leaves! I'm pretty sure the driver saw us and was busting a gut with laughter....so what do we do? WE sprint to the next stop to try to make it there on time, And THE SAME THING HAPPENS! Right when we get there, the bus guy leaves! I mean come on!! And I'm drenched!! Swampy gross!! But, in our determination, we decided that we would not loose...and sprinted a third time!! Let me just say that the third time is not the charm! He pulled away as soon as we got there! So ...it was already hotter than that fourth kingdom that we don't like to reference at the end of the plan of salvation, and we had a long walk of straight incline to the church! hahaha We were late and I was a sweaty monster! I don't know why no one wanted to sit by me during the meeting...weird.....hahah!