Dearest Mother, I am being transferred this Wednesday to Arras! It's south of Lille... Close to Valenciennes, where I started my mission. I will be finishing the training of a new missionary. His name is Elder Tibbits and he has already been trained for 1 transfer, actually by Elder Meng, my old comp. Elder Meng is finishing his mission, so I'm replacing him. I will also be the district Leader for about 8 missionaries or so. I'm super excited to do it! It'll be a nice change :) I did receive my package!! :) thank you so much!! I have been sharing the candy with the frenchies and they love it. So, here is the address to my new apartment! 10 Rue Saint Maurice.
We all need to fortify our testimonies every day. Not just the weak need to be stronger, but we ALL do. Here in France, people's hearts have been cold at times, but Heavenly Father has been preparing the elect to receive the Word. This last transfer has been difficult and we haven't been able to find hardly anyone- as far as investigators go- who will listen, but we have had great success in helping those who have fallen away (less actives). Doubts will be present- we all have the attack of the adversary at times- and in those moments, we can either stay true and stand with what we know, or allow what we don't know to scare us. It ultimately comes down to faith, and remembering the experiences that we have had that have built our testimony. We must hold onto that!! If we do, God will always come through for us! That I know with all my heart :) The people here are okay. A lot are really startled and afraid. We have shared a couple of spiritual thoughts with members about hope and how to overcome the fears that plague them as result of the attacks. It has been really neat to see the spirit work through us for their specific needs. With one less active family that we visited last night, the mom was very startled by the whole scenario and was really worried about what to do. The spirit directed us to talk about how Moroni must have felt at the end of the Book of Mormon. His family was all killed. Friends all dead, and now he was being hunted by a raging nation, all while he is trying to preserve a record that he knows will bring the means of helping many. And how does he express himself in Moroni 1:1? He says that he is writing this record FOR his BRETHEREN, the Lamanites. He was filled with LOVE. We know that perfect love casteth out all fear. And through the atonement of Christ, he was able to let go of the anger, fear, and despair that I'm sure surrounded him. This specific mother was scared for the future of her children, and we showed her how the stripping Warriors were all protected because of what their mothers taught them. We helped her to see that she can reinforce her children in strength and hope by studying the scriptures with them. What better way to confront the challenges that await us? Now, remember that up to this point, she had been struggling to come to church or even to study her scriptures with her kids. But at that moment she boldly stated that she would read every day with her children. She then had them commit to the invitation as well. What a miracle! This huge trial truly became one of the greatest growing moments for this family :) As far as the rest of the people.. Many are afraid, some are angry. I'm sure that you can imagine. The reactions vary. The People of the church have had a very different reaction I must say. They are hopeful and reside in the confidence of God, because of these disasters were prophesied hundreds of years ago. If we follow the counsel of the apostles and prophets, we will be protected. I know that to be true.
One family that I will keep contact with is Luis Escalante's family. Etienne,the oldest boy cried when I said goodbye to him yesterday. It was super sad...They are a great family, and may be going through the temple in a year :) This is the fourth quarter- it is the time of the great harvest before the Lord says it is finished- and I will work in whatever capacity He asks of me. There is no greater joy that can be found other than sharing the gospel and living it within families. I know that this is the Lord's work and that He supports me and lifts me.This one is a bit shorter, but I wrote a lot to the family, which will explain more of my week :) I love being a missionary :)!! It is the greatest work! Sharing the gospel brings us so much joy. I love you!! Jacob
|Elders with Luis and Family|
|Jacob and Guillam|