Monday, January 12, 2015

The darkness and the light (Katie-Belgium)

Well here we are: the end of an old week and the beginning of a new one.

Kind of poetic, aren't I? Hah.

Anyway, this week was absolutely incredible. Let's start with one of those good old "opposition in all things" comparison. Remember the tragedy that happened in Paris this week? We all got lots of texts about it and what to do in an emergency and everything and I'm sure LOTS of prayers were said for the victims and their families. That was a very dark, very sad low, and as a result, our dear President Babin was a little freaked out. All of these deaths, all of this terror happened on the 7 of january, 2015. Now let me show you how Heavenly Father opposed this terrible thing:

That very same day we taught 9 lessons, including one of the most miraculous lessons ever to have happened on my mission including a less-active and her boyfriend, who will now be taught by us. 

At conference call (all ZLs, STLs, and Assistants and President/his wife on the phone) today, one of the Assistants was talking about this very principal. Every time something tragic happens, there is something miraculous that mirrors it. Think about any time a temple was built, or the world does something particularly awful. There is always something to match the madness with beauty. And this week, with this awful tragedy that hurt and frightened so many people, our mission broke our record for the amount of lessons taught in a week. More lessons than our mission has ever taught in one week in the entire history of the France Paris Mission. How is that for some light in this darkness? 

I love seeing the Lord's hand in this work. This week we had 3 exchanges, and I was able to see how inspired each exchange was. I was able to watch the Lord support us when it got hard, and rejoice with us as the miracles poured in. What an incredible thing to watch. We reconnected with several less-actives, and even a few members. One member, recent convert of a little over a year, invited us over for dinner with her two brothers (they are all in their mid-twenties) and I saw the faith that she has. She is so strong. She defends the church and the gospel so well and so powerfully, even as every single person at work gets up for a smoking break except her, or as she is questionned over and over again about her decision to drink NO alcohol (non, même pas un tout petit peu). Her testimony strengthened my testimony, as well as my desire to see ALL of the members like her. All of the youth, all of the young adults, all of the families, standing steadfast and strong in the essence of the gospel. KEEP IT UP.

Well, I might as well add one other little experience. Last week, we met this girl named Camille on the street. She lived in California for a year and is actually from the south of France, so she speaks both French and English! Well, we ate lunch with her this week. She isn't actually believing, but she has this very spiritual view on life, all about nature and care-free (she's basically a hippy). Then she mentioned that she loves cooking, so we talked about that for a little bit. Then the conversation continued as follows:
S. Nielson: "What else do you like doing?"
Me: smiles encouragingly
Camille: "Well, I love swimming and...oh just so you know, I smoke weed."
~moment of potentially awkward silence~
S. Nielson and me at the same time: "Wow that's interesting!"
And then she continued on to tell us all of her arguments about why weed is good for you. Whatever, Camille. Honestly, I think this might be the first amie that I've taught who is totally hooked! It made for an interesting lesson, that's for sure. She really likes us, and is going to tell all of her friends about us though, so something good is totally going to come from this! ;)

Have a great week!
Sœur Katie Pettingill

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