Monday, November 3, 2014

"Why are you guys freaking out? We planned for this!" - Sœur Gerritsen (Week 42)

This week has been absolutely INSAAAAANE. Instead of doing my usual try-to-talk-about-everyone-and-everything-and-only-get-through-like-one-tenth-of-what-actually-happened I will stick to the huge miracles!!
Halloween selfie.  Very scary

I'll start with Giovanni!!

Remember how last week when I wrote you we hadn't even seen him for like 2 weeks? I was honestly starting to think that an accident had happened or something. But then we passed on Sunday night and the lady answered who had been taking care of him who explained that he had just been so sick that he had to stay in bed for that entire time. :( So we decided we should fast for him. So on Wednesday we fasted that he would be healed and would be receptive to us again (up until then we still hadn't talked to him). We decided to go and pass him that same day while we were fasting. We knocked and HE ANSWERED THE DOOR. (Mind you we had done this about 15 times in the past week with no response.) He let us right in!!!! It was honestly as if nothing had happened for 2 weeks. Same old Giovanni and his health seemed to be a lot better! Apparently he got a new phone as well -- of course. So he gave us his new number. Wow it was so good to see him.
Curtis (Gerard's son). So cute!

That night we did a whole lot of praying - of gratitude and to know where we should go from there! We had set his date for November 8th but that was back when we had a lot of time to prepare him and he still needed to come to Church one more time to qualify. We prayed to be inspired what we should do. The next day we went to zone conference and heard from Elder Kearon of the 70. During a portion of his talk he spoke of inviting people to baptism with urgency! He gave an example: "Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized next Saturday?" BOOM. There was our answer. Giovanni's date was set for next Saturday. I had immediate confirmation. We went back to see him on Friday and he was pretty hesitant about it. But we were bold and had to be really firm, but also reassuring that he was ready and we would help him to feel that he was ready as well!! He accepted to pray about it to know that it was the right date.

Classic selfie from Sœur Gerritsen

The next day the Colignon family invited him and his son Raphael (7) over to their house for a family home evening. It was absolutely perfect... The spirit in their home was incredible and Giovanni felt loved and comfortable. And Raphael and the Colignon boys became friends super quickly.

Sunday they BOTH came to Church!!! (Raphael had never been before.) After Church we had the "do or die" lesson scheduled to ask him if he thought he could be ready. This was the best lesson I have ever had in my entire mission. I don't know if I have ever felt the spirit burn so strongly as I testified (we were on splits my companions were teaching Nathan.) Our member Anna was the PERFECT person to help. She assured Giovanni that his baptism would be one of the best days of his life and that he really was ready. GIOVANNI ACCEPTED. HE IS GOING TO BE BAPTIZED THIS SATURDAY.
Check out the castle in the background

Holy cow. When I told Sœur Jackson she just lost it! Tears and all! This is truly a huge miracle. Just a week ago we had no one that could have been baptized before the end of the transfer. But we have worked so hard this transfer (harder than I've ever worked in my entire life) and we promised Heavenly Father that we would do everything we possibly could to find someone who was ready to make a covenant with Him. And HE BLESSED US.

Soeur Gerritsen's first solo contact!

I want to talk about faith. I've never understood this concept as much as I do now. This morning I found this scripture in Moroni 7: 

33 And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.

There you have it! When we exercise our faith we can literally do exactly as the Savior would do. All day long as I work I try to imagine how Christ would teach his children, how he would be diligent, how he would rely on the Spirit, how he would be patient and rely on Heavenly Father's greater knowledge and timing. Yet, he would expect miracles as he worked. I've found as we expect miracles to happen (refer to my subject line for this week that Sœur Gerritsen said to us), THEY HAPPEN. Pretty cool.

Another enormous miracle!!! This one is short haha.

Elder Pettingill
This week after coming home to Annecy from zone conference we were closing on the end of the day and trying to be inspired where to go. (Yes we had plans, but we had several options.) Someone who we hadn't even planned to see that night came to our minds. The Sonnerat family! The husband is less active and the wife isn't a member. However they have children and grandchildren who are active in the Church. We went and saw them and bore powerful testimony of Church attendance and even invited Frere Sonnerat to repent as we listened to the spirit. (NEVER would have done this of my own accord.)
I looooove Soeur Beeny!

Just before Sacrament Meeting started...not only did Frere Sonnerat walk in but HIS WIFE TOO!! We didn't learn until later, but apparently Sœur Sonnerat hadn't been to Church for 30 years.The members were in complete shock to see her there. One even said to me: "Am I dreaming?????"

Really cool.

Okay, lastly I just want to talk about Gerard. :) He is a huge miracle, but he is a miracle that is taking time to come to fruition. I know without a doubt he will be baptized next transfer. Without a doubt. And I don't know if I could have said that before this week! I doubted at first if he was understanding the important of baptism in OUR Church. I had the impression he thought all churches were good. I've really seen everything click for him this week. He is more engaged, keeps commitments, he came to Church all on his own this week and was there right on time! He is just wonderful. And we love his son Curtis (5). We have a goal to try to get his wife more involved in the lessons! She works a lot and when shes there she is super distant, but I think she'll come around. :)
Jackson, Everett, Gerritsen.  Best comps ever!

Okay, I know I already shared a spiritual thought but I have to share one more!!!

This week during Relief Society we were talking about gratitude. Something I think we could all work on. I had this cool revelation as we read the story of the 10 lepers. (Luke 17)

 11 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.
 12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
View from apartment
 13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
 14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
 15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
 16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
Samedi Foot (Saturday soccer)
 17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
 18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
 19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
Building relationships through soccer
When we read this story don't we all assume that we would be the one leper who returned to thank Christ? I am not so sure that the other 9 lepers who didn't return were ungrateful for what Christ did for them. I think that each of the 10 lepers were grateful that they were healed! I think that the difference is that only one took the time to actually go back and say thank you. How often do we actually kneel down and thank Heavenly Father for specific blessings he has given us? I know that I don't do it enough. Do we thank him for our health? Do we thank him that we were protected that day? Do we thank him that we have the gospel? Do we thank him for our families?

During the lesson Sœur Colignon made a comment that I loved. She said that Heavenly Father does not command us to be grateful for his own happiness, he commands us to be grateful so that WE can be happy. I know when I am conscious of everything I have been blessed with I am much more full of the spirit and I feel joy!
Soeur Gerritsen and Everett

Ponder about this and figure out how you can be more grateful. :)

Okay that's all for this week!!! I'll let you know how things go! Please pray for Giovanni!! He needs as many prayers as possible as we prepare him like CRAZY this week!!!

Sœur Everett

PS We had 20 lessons again. :) I honestly don't ever want to go a week without getting 20 lessons ever again!

No comments:

Post a Comment