Saturday, April 10, 2010

Transfer news and Paris P-day

GOTCHA.... you thought I had already left.. but not yet.. You are right however, I am going back out to the field. I'm done being AP... AWWWWww which is a big sigh of relief, but it was such a great opportunity. I learned a heck of a lot. I really was called to be Assistant just so I could learn how to be a missionary... Heavenly Father had to force me to study and learn by having me teach 'Preach My Gospel' to other missionaries... But I am sooooooo excited to go back and apply all that I learned and just work my butt off... The reason I didn't email you earlier was because we had a Paris P-day so we have been in Paris all day seeing the sights. It was fun, but really tiring. We saw the Arche de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower and Sacré coeur. It was cool, but SOOOOOOOO many tourists and a ton of people trying to get your money..... It was kinda annoying. It was such a beautiful day though... nice and warm and the sun was shining. It was fun. Oh yes, and Elder Schmutz and Elder Ferguson came down to Versailles to the Mission Home to help get all the office stuff in order before transfers. So they are here for the week until Wednesday and then they are going out to their new areas. Elder Schmutz is going to Orléans as a ZL and Elder Ferguson is staying here in Paris as ZL. They are both pumped. As for me..... well it was pretty intense helping President with transfers and knowing that I was leaving and going to my last city... and not knowing where that would be... President asked for my opinion and I gave the only thought that crossed my head and that was, "Well I could go to Liege with Elder Spicer and then my last transfer I could train..." well that is where I was for a little bit and then I was moved around the board for quite awhile.. moving all over... and then we were working on the Ardennes Zone and working on Charleroi.... and we were looking for a great District Leader and to go to Charleroi 1. Well we sat and were looking and thinking.. Elder McKay and I threw out our ideas... President listened, and then we were talking about it and voicing our concerns and the fact that it is the biggest District in the Mission... bigger than some zones ...that fact came up.. and then President said, "I know who is supposed to go there".... and he turned to me and said, "Elder Simonson!"... he asked me what I thought and I said.. "sounds great, I will go wherever..." Sooooo long story short.. I am going back to Charleroi baby...

I don't think many people could say that on their mission they only served in 3 cities but I can ..... !!!!!! Bruxelles, Charleroi, and Versailles. So I am going to be District Leader with Elder Receveur... he is still pretty new in the mission. I think he has been out for 3 or maybe 4 transfers.. He is just amazing though... I have only heard great things about him and everyone loves him. He is from upstate New York, if I am not that will be cool. I will leave on Wednesday afternoon and then my pday's will change back to MONDAYS... so I expect lots of letters and emails... no more of this "I used to write emails on Sunday and I always forget to write and then Saturday comes along" CRAP!!! haha.
Well some news from this week.. something cool and then not so cool happened. Well, you remember Alain... the guy I wrote about last week.. the guy who was fasting to get a testimony? Well we saw him on Wed. and taught him and asked him what he thought and if he had gotten his answer and he said he didn't really know that Joseph Smith was a Prophet, but he did tell us how he had pretty much received his answer and how a lot of the Gen. Conf. talks touched him. He told us that he loved the church, he thought the members were amazing, and they all live the Gospel and were true Christians... and he told us how he had the desire to be baptized and follow Jesus Christ ... but that it was going to be a big leap of faith because he wasn't sure what would happen after that and that all of his questions weren't answered yet, but he knew enough to be baptized and he would go from there... Soooo we were obviously freaking out.. because this is a stubborn, prideful man that has been investigating the church for over two years and he finally humbled himself and decided to act by faith and receive his answer from God. So I asked him, "Well, do you want to be baptized on the 24 of April?" and he said he would be on Vacation that week .. so we said, "How about the 8th of May?" and he said that that seemed kinda far away...he said, "I have the desire, I want to do it ... why not as soon as possible?" So we said, "Well how about this week end?" and he said, "Yes, let's go for it!" We were sooo excited... then ... dun dun dun... on Thursday we were going to see him and also talk to his daughter Celia and see if she was down for baptizing... and he called about 2 hours before the baptism and said ... "No...the baptism is off. I can't do it. I didn't sleep all night because I was thinking about all this.. and I just don't think I can." He wouldn't see us on Thursday and so we saw him last night. It was a little sad, but he had kinda gone back to the old Alain. He told us all the wrong things with the church and the things he wasn't quite sure of, but then also he told us all of the good things and all the things he knew where from God and said he had to be baptized, and we said, "Well where else are you going to find these things and a church like this? Nowhere.." Anyway, he told us that he felt like the things that were motivating him to be baptized were not the right things.. and he wouldn't tell us what his problem was, but we just came to the same road block... so we said, "Alain, we can't do much else.. you must get your answer from God or you will never know. You see bad and good and it is impossible for you to decide. You need to have that assurance from God that you can trust." He said while he is gone on his trip that he is going to finally decide .. and when he comes back it will be either yes or no.. and he will either stop coming to church and stop meeting with us, or he will be baptized...
The thing is this... that he has already had confirmations and answers from God... but there will always be the Faith aspect.. he may never know with the assurety that he wants.... when it comes down to it.. he is just going to have to act by faith.... there is no other way. He is going to have to choose to go with his heart and join, even though his questions aren't answered.. and step into the darkness and take a chance. I really think Heavenly Father isn't going to give him much more of an answer this time around. I think he already has had his answer.. or enough of his answer to get baptized, and then after that and through faith he will get the rest..
Well, that was about it this week. It was a great week and I loved serving this transfer in Versailles.. hands down the most beautiful city served in... and the most rich... and now for the change back to the Ghetto of Charleroi with the most poor people.... YAHOO... that means more people to teach and nicer people...
PS... thanks Jakis for the letter.. it was good to hear from your bones. I hope you and Tess find a job.. and I hope Trish and Dan get that sweet house so I can live with them again... thanks you are so kind... :)
just kidding.. and thanks for the pictures.. I liked them a lot..
My address will be the same as it was before 97 Rue de Montigny 6000 Charleroi.. so I am going to be in the other Ward and other area in Charleroi.. so not the same as before.. but the same apartment and the same city.
Love Elder Simonson

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