I just love it here in North Carolina! I have seen countless tender mercies since being here, and the blessings just keep on coming! I first of all feel so blessed to be here at this time. I know without a doubt that this is where I need to be and that the companions that the Lord has blessed me with have truly help me to see what I can become! I am so grateful for the wonderful investigators that I have as well and for the opportunity to teach them and help them grow in their love for the gospel! I have so much to write about, hopefully I can get out what I want to say in a somewhat organized way...haha.
On Saturday I had MY FIRST BAPTISM!!! His name is Xavier Waldo. I'll tell you a little bit about him and his family. About 3 months ago (I believe) the Waldo family moved from New York to North Carolina pretty much out of nowhere. They had no real idea why they were moving here, they just felt like they needed to. About a week after they got here the sister missionaries first knocked on their door. The wife, Melissa, thinking that her aunt had sent them to talk to her, let them in. Later when she talked to her aunt, her aunt told her that she hadn't sent them. Melissa told us that if she wouldn't have thought that they were sent from her aunt, she wouldn't have let them in! As they progressed in learning about the gospel, Melissa told us that this was exactly what she had always wanted in her life, but didn't know she was missing it! How wonderful to hear! Our whole purpose as missionaries is to find those who are "kept from the truth only because they know not where to find it." Xavier was not always open to the gospel in the beginning, but as soon as he decided that he wanted to pursue this course, nothing was stopping him! When he found out that he couldn't smoke anymore he broke his cigarettes in half right then, when he found out he couldn't watch pornography, he cut up everything he had that was pornographic on the spot. From the moment we teach him anything, he fully and whole-heartedly commits to living the commandments of God perfectly!! They are just so prepared! He was baptized on Saturday and he will be able to have the opportunity to baptize his wife this Saturday because he received the Priesthood on Sunday!! I could not be happier for them and their decision to follow Jesus Christ! The Spirit was so strong at the baptism! During the musical number (a solo by me thanks to Sister Tanner volunteering me the day before), Melissa was in tears. She knew this was the right path for her and her family, and I could not be more blessed to be a part of their journey!
I just want to talk a little bit about Devon! Devon is the GREATEST. He is 17 and he is noticeably different from all of his friends. He truly loves God and wants to keep all of his commandments. Satan is tempting him so much, but he is so strong! His baptismal date is August 3rd and I just keep praying that I will be here to see that through! (But I've learned that Heavenly Father always knows whats best for me, so I just need to trust Him!) Devon has the most sincere prayers. When he prays he really is communicating with his Heavenly Father. He loves this gospel so much, and he always thanks God in his prayers for sending the missionaries into his life because we truly have changed him--isn't he great!? Keep praying for him to stay strong amidst all the temptation! I know Heavenly Father will bless him for his decision and so does he, but prayers never hurt! :)
It's truly incredible how well the Lord knows what I need. Since being here my French has improved SO MUCH. First of all, I have a native French-speaking companion and we have many French-speaking people in our ward! I get to have conversations in French all the time and I even get to teach lessons in French! North Carolina honestly could not be more perfect for me!
One last thing to talk about...MY COMPANIONS. My companions are the biggest blessing in my life! They are truly incredible. I couldn't imagine hand-picking better companions for myself. They are so good at teaching by the spirit and even when we are just talking amongst ourselves I feel the spirit constantly when I am around them. They have already become some of my best friends and we have only known each other for such a short time! I thank Heavenly Father every time I pray for my wonderful companionship. I am just SO BLESSED here in North Carolina! I know when I leave its going to be so hard, but I'll also know that the Lord has amazing things for me to do in France as well!
I love you all so much! Please write me handwritten letters! I hardly have any time to email so I can't really respond to anyones emails (unless its like 2 sentences haha). But if they're handwritten I can read it over carefully!
The Gospel is true! I love it with all my heart, and I encourage all of you to share it with everyone you know! It truly make lives happier and more blessed than you could ever imagine!
Avec beaucoup d'amour,
P.S. Read the Book of Enos! I just love Enos, he's amazing!