Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter!

Greetings.. Happy Easter.!!!
All is going great here in Versailles. Things have been a lot less stressful just because we haven't had to deal with office stuff. It has been great. The last two weeks have been great. We have been out searching for people who are interested. We are doing our best, but still the only people who seem to be promising are the Part member families. Last week we received five inactive families that the Ward wanted us to go and visit. Just so happens that we had felt prompted to begin seeing 3 of them even before they gave us their names. Here in the Europe Area that is one direction that the Europe Area Presidency has given. Every Ward should have a rotating list of five inactive families. It doesn't always get done, but when it does it is really helpful. So we visited them this week and 3 out of the five are part members. One family is a super rich half Phillipino family. I love it. Also the other night we visited a Hatian family, super humble, young family. We started teaching his wife who isn't a member. Her name is Nyasselande. So that is kinda how the work is going. It is definitely different here in the Paris region. People are in such a hurry. I love it though.
I kinda told you about the concert that we had on Sunday. It went really good. The Sisters that put it on were just insane. They are amazing. We had about 250 people there in the Versailles chapel. There were even people that we invited on the street that came. That was a blessing. It was pretty neat. Elder Caussé, the 70, was at church on Sunday and he spoke and then at the concert that night he got up and bore his testimony and it was very powerful. That was good because there were a lot of non members there.. So I think we touched and softened some hearts.
So the week has been great.. not a whole lot of exciting news to tell ya.. One pretty cool thing... I don't know if I have written about Alain and Celia. It is a father/daughter that have been investigating the church for about 2 years. They are French and just the greatest people. Average nice French people. Well, Alain has just had the hardest time.. and he just has soooo many objections yet he comes to church every week, reads the Book of Mormon , Celia is more active than half our young women..; she goes to all the activities; she goes to Seminary, she comes to church... they are just super great, but just need to be baptized... so.. since I have gotten here we have just taught him once a week because he knows everything and what not but he just needs to have a testimony by prayer and needs to just decide... I've taught him a few times and each time he has some question or some scripture that "proves" that he doesn't need to get baptized or that the authority isn't only in the LDS church. He is just super stubborn and prideful... and we have told him over and over... "Alain you need to simply know in your heart that Joseph Smith was a Prophet and when you know that and that answer comes from God, you can know with surety that this is the true church".... so we would invite him to do that and he would say... I am or I don't have to, I already know that the authority was never lost.. It didn't need to be restored etc.. etc... so that has been Alain for the last few weeks and really there was nothing we could do for him...
Well after the concert on Sunday night... a sister missionary that knew him well was talking to him.. I don't know really what they talked about, but she told Alain that he looked like he was weighed down by something and Alain just told here that he was just sick of not knowing and that he just needed to know.. so she told him that she would fast for him on Tuesday so that he might get an answer and that he could get that weight off of his shoulders... He really liked that and he decided to fast as well... so on Sunday night he ate a meal and then began fasting... well we saw him on Wednesday and he was still fasting... he has been drinking but not eating; We taught him on Wed and he was a completely different person... his attitude had changed... He told us that when he would try and prove us wrong and read stuff on the church and just use "facts" to back up that the church wasn't true... that really it didn't bring him any joy and the it really didn't even convince himself... and that he had decided that he just really needs to know.. he said, "I have to know.. I can't go on without knowing..." So we saw him last night and he still hasn't eaten any food; I hope he doesn't die, but I think he is showing his faith.. and I am just hoping with all my heart that he will receive and recognize his answer.. If soo we might have two amazing baptisms coming up soon. So; that was the good news of the week....
So transfers are coming up soon.. which is weird.. that went by fast.. we will be doing transfer decisions this week with President Staheli.. It should go well.. let's just say that I pretty much know what is happening to me :)
As for the travel plans.. that looks great to me.. I hope the hotel is alright; I know the Charleroise Steinweg.. it is a really big long street and there are some nice parts of that street and some super ghetto parts of that street but I think it will be ok... I love that area though and know it well it is right next to the Bruxelles 2 church.. so.. good on ya..
As for the questions you asked me.. the Assistant responsibilities have been fine.. we have really just been working like a normal companionship; sometimes in the mornings we have to do organizational things but .. it is all good. The way things go in this mission is a lot different than the Bxls mission.. and Pres Brubaker and Pres Staheli are different.. a lot.. but I love them both.. and they both get the work done well.. Belgium is a lot more international and a little more poor than France. Things are a lot more expensive here.. or at least I think they are; There is just this different feel to Belgium and France.. the French are a lot more uppity and prideful a little.. The food is about the same; there is more cheese in France.. obviously.. but I like Dutch and Belge cheese better than French cheese... I like the food here but it really isn't much different... you just have a lot less choices here in Europe... but there are some specialties that will be missed. Well, love you lots. Thanks Heather and Jaron for your letter... it was really great to hear from you.. thanks..
Elder Jacob Von Simonson

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