December 8, 2014
Wow!! My heart is just so full of gratitude for everything that I have in life. I love you, my family and friends. It looks like Thanksgiving came a little bit late to Elder Dayton this year.
This last week was awesome! Elder Belnap and I worked like a couple of horses in our area and set records in our weekly numbers. We were able to work double-time, doing some splits with members, talking to everyone, to get twice as much done. We had a total of 13 new investigators and gave out a total of 16 Book of Mormons! We had many miracles.
CRAZY METROPOLITAN FRENCH WOMAN
We went to see an investigator on Saturday, but sadly we couldn't see her. So we went to leave, and as I was backing up Elder Belnap, he said "Wait. There's a woman coming. Talk to her." So I looked down the street and saw the woman coming toward us. Before I could even open up my mouth she put her pointer finger up in the air and yelled, "Non! Vous dégagez! Sortez de là, vous dérangez ces gens! C'est interdit, c'est une rue privée!" She was fiery. Elder Belnap responded, "Mais nous avons le droit." And she just said "Non!" and kept walking briskly right on past us and shut her electronic gate. Then she watched us back all the way out of her street until we were gone.
I don't know what had gotten into her. She was very insistent that we leave. It was as if we were going to bring a plague upon her home. She must have seen some of those stupid French TV reports about "Mormons". It made me pretty mad, but the way she acted was just so hysterical that Elder Belnap and I were able to just laugh it off. It was really funny. It was the most angry, white French lady we have ever met on our missions.
This last weekend we fasted for the missionary work in our area, and for baptisms in the month of December. During the 24-hour period in which we were fasting, we experienced miracles with finding new investigators. One of them is named Frederic. He is a man that, 3 days prior to meeting us, he was doing hard drugs, smoking, and drinking. It had come to control his life so extremely that he was trying everything he could to kill himself and get out of this world, but God just wouldn't let him die. He said that he finally just sat down, looked at his wife in the eyes, gathered his three children around, threw all the drugs he had down on the table, and decided that from that point on he would never smoke, drink, or do drugs again in his life. He was going to give himself up to God. So he left his home, his cars, and all of his belongings, and went 3 hours north to Cayenne, French Guiana to stay with his sister-in-law, stopping at every church he saw on the way, trying to find God.
On Saturday night we decided to go over and teach a recent convert, Jenny, at her home. That's when we met Frederic, Jenny's uncle. We listened to his story. Testified to him the difference that the Book of Mormon can offer in his life. We taught him, gave him a Book of Mormon, and invited him to church the next day. The next morning he came to church with two of his children, holding onto the Book of Mormon and said to us, "I read what you told me to read. I know that this book is the truth." He wants to change his life around and enter into this church through baptism. I know that fasting brings us miracles. When we give up our physical appetites and turn to the Lord in prayer, he pours out blessings in abundance.
WHAT HOPE REALLY IS
I had an awesome personal study on Sunday and discovered a little bit more about hope, and why it's important to have. In Alma 32, we read that by faith we plant the word of God in our hearts, and through our patience and diligence we nourish that plant until it springs forth bearing the most delicious fruit of all. In verse 37, we see that before the seed even takes root, we are already calling it a "tree." How do we know that it's going to be a tree? We don't. But we plant the seed in our heart and HOPE that it will become a tree. If we don't have faith and the hope that the seed will become a tree, bringing forth fruit, it will be scorched and shrivel away (38-39). Looking at the seed "with an eye of faith" (v. 40) makes all the difference.
I love you all!
P.S. We played soccer this morning at our turf field that we always go to. It was sweet!