Monday, April 24, 2017

I love to see the Temple 💙

Bonjour Family & Friends!

This week we had the amazing opportunity to go through the Paris Temple! We went through it with a couple other groups of missionaries. As soon as we walked on the grounds, the spirit was there. You can literally feel that you were in a special place. The inside is absolutely gorgeous and it has a beautiful stair case. The architect has gone through and put little stickers on all the places that need to be fixed before the dedication. If there is even the slightest chip in the paint, he wants it redone. It is amazing how much they have paid attention to every little detail. It was a good reminder that the temple is really the Lord's house. There has already been hundreds of non-members who have visited the temple open house. I really believe that this temple will make a big difference in the missionary work in France. While looking at the statue of Christ, my testimony was once again confirmed that this is truly His church. I am so grateful to be part of this work, especially at this time! We will be going to visit the temple again with our ward and some of our investigators in the next couple weeks.

There were issues with our train coming back from Paris and so we were 1 hour behind schedule. Then the connecting train to Luxembourg got delayed an additional 40 minutes. Let's just say that at this point we weren't too happy because we really just wanted to get back to Luxembourg! Anyway, we ended up eventually getting on a train but we were 2 hours behind schedule. But what I should have realized, is that Heavenly Father always makes things work out for our good. The train conductor came around and checked our tickets. He then said, "Okay I just need to ask you a question.. I see so many people like you with the little plaque. What is it? Are you here with a school or something?" We then explained that we were missionaries for our church and we told him our purpose here was to invite people to come closer to Christ by learning about the restored gospel. He got really interested and started asking us more questions about our religion. We ended up talking to him for 40 minutes because it was late enough at night that there weren't very many passengers on the train. It gave him the opportunity to ask questions and for us to share our personal testimonies. We ended up getting his number and the missionaries is Metz, France are going to start teaching him. What a total blessing it ended up being that all our trains were late, because it allowed us to be on the train that Heavenly Father needed us to be on to share the restored gospel with someone that was interested!

This was a very humbling experience for me. It reminded me that I need to have more faith that Heavenly Father is truly in the details of our lives and that he can see the bigger vision. When things don't work out in our lives, we need to asks the questions.. Why? What does Heavenly Father want me to learn from this experience? What better thing does he want me to be doing? I love this quote on faith by Elder Uchtdorf.."Faith means that we trust not only in God's wisdom but that we also trust in his love.  It means trusting that God loves us perfectly, that everything He does--every blessing He gives and every blessing He, for a time, withholds--is for our eternal happiness. With this kind of faith, though we might not understand why things happen or why certain prayers go unanswered, we can know that in the end everything will make sense. "All things will work together for good to the, that love God." All will be made right. All will be well."

We also had an amazing lesson with our ami James. I have never met anyone with such a pure desire to follow Christ. He grew up in a family that was Muslim but he has converted to Christianity. He wants to "give his life for Christ" and do everything he can to follow his gospel. He told us, "Sisters, i have been praying for a long time to have God lead me to his true church..And I know God answered my prayers because He sent me you." He is from Ghana and so he has seen lots of different churches and many false prophets. He doesn't know who to trust anymore and so decided to stop going to church altogether because he felt they were all teaching false doctrine. He usually spends his Sunday doing his own church service by reading and studying the Bible at home. We taught him in a cafe and we read 3 Nephi 17 out loud with him. As his was reading about Christ visiting the people in the Americas, the spirit filled the room and the spirit testified to me of the love God has for this young man who is truly searching for the truth.

I am so grateful to be a missionary. The church is true!!

Love, Soeur Johnson

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