Elder Brown in Montauban

Elder Brown in Montauban

Monday, January 23, 2012

Bikes and Miracles - January 23, 2012

Ma chère famille,

Hello again! We've been abundantly blessed this week in Agen! On monday, President Murdock sent me a message giving us the green light to find and purchase some bikes. We found one really expensive bike store, and meanwhile Elder and Sister Larson were out shopping for us in Toulouse! Elder Larson called to tell me that he'd found the perfect bikes for us, and they brought 'em over on wednesday morning!
I love the Larsons!
Having bikes has enabled us to be beaucoup plus efficace in our work, as a lot of what we do during these winter nights involves knocking on doors in residential areas that are a good forty minutes away from our apartment by foot. As I mentioned last week, without bikes we spent a LOT of time just walking!
A few things that happened this week. Unfortunately nobody has come to church--not yet! Opeti and Losi have disappeared. Lydie is in Toulouse for some medical tests. Dwayne was in Bordeaux for the weekend--en plus, il a la langue bien pendue. It's hard to teach him because he talks a lot. I called Armand yesterday and he said he doesn't want to see us anymore. He told me to call back later.
But...We've had MIRACLE after MIRACLE! On tuesday, we were out knocking on doors. At the second door, a woman answered. Elder Tulley barely had the time to say, in halting french, "Bonjour, nous sommes missionnaires de l'église de Jésus-Christ--" and then she said "Ah, Jésus-Christ! Il m'a laissée-tomber, lui!" She went on about how she used to believe in God, but then she had lost her parents, her house had burned down, she had gotten divorced--all in one year. "S'il y avait vraiment un Dieu aux cieux, tou cela ne me serait pas arrivé. Cela ne m'intéresse pas, au revoir!" And then she shut the door. I felt bad for her, but it's also true that people tell us that sort of thing every day. As we walked to the next door, I pulled out my little port-à-porte book to note that we should not knock on that particular door again.
As soon as I had marked a little 'x' next to the number 21, I had the feeling that I should have left it blank. I felt like we should go back. So we turned around and rang the doorbell. This time she opened the kitchen window and didn't say anything. Her expression was softer. I handed her a pass-a-long card through the window and said "this message will bless your life." We talked for a minute or two, and she agreed to let us come back to explain more. We're going to her house tonight, and I've already got a Book of Mormon ready for her with my testimony inside and a few scriptures highlighted! Please pray for Madame Berthon!
I don't have time to tell you all that Iid like to say, but we taught Monsieur Rey, the gardener, on saturday. He's been reading the Book of Mormon. He's catholic but doesn't agree with a lot of what he sees in his church. He said to call him back in a few weeks.
Monsieur Morel, whom we taught for the first time last week, is doing well! We read Alma 32 together, and he said it was adressed right at him! For those of you who have not read Alma 32, it's in the Book of Mormon and I highly recommend it!
We found a couple on saturday night who accepted the invitation to be baptized! Serge and Celine live not far from the church--they're not married yet, so we'll see where that goes.
We knocked on the door of a man who came out and said, "Je trouve ça très honorable, ce que vous faites! Moi, je suis chrétien, mais anti-pape. Je veux donner une éducation chrétienne à mes enfants sans pour autant leur imposer une réligion en particulier." His name is Alain Montoye, and we were supposed to teach him yesterday...but he wasn't there! This was not a total failure, because his wife was there with their six kids and the seventh on the way! Her name is Beatrice, and we talked for a while about the church and her family. She's very open to having us come over and teach them! The family Montoye could singlehandedly (or should I say "fourteen-handedly") double the size of the Agen branch! We're gonna try to stop by this afternoon (P-day will be a bit short). Please pray for them!
We taught Puariki on friday--we arrived at the house just as her husband was getting home, and I asked,"est-ce que vous êtes le mari de Puariki?" He said yes and I said, "parfait! Nous sommes les missionnaires!" He left us on the porch, went in and siad something to his wife, came back out, and said, "C'est la peine. Laissez-tomber" In other words, "forget about it." We kind of stood there deciding what to do, and a few minutes later Puariki (she's tahitian, and Frederic is french) came walking out all in a huff. In the end, she convinced Frederic to let us in, although he didn't listen to the lesson. Puariki used to be very believing, but ever since her marriage to Frederic she's felt far from God because Frederic is pretty anti-religion.
We taught a guy named Drew.
Last night we knocked on the door of Takeem and Sallie, a muslim family. They invited us in and listened intently. They're not very practicing, and were interested to read the Book of Mormon! Takeem gave a very simple prayer at the end--Sallie even helped him!

I feel like blessings are just being poured out on our heads! I feel overwhelmed because I don't think we deserve it. God has prepared many of His children here in Agen to recieve the message of the restored gospel! I hope we'll have the opportunity to baptize them unto repentance!
I'm so glad to hear the news from all of you! I wanted to make some comments (even a few about housing) but I'm out of time! I love this work and I know it's true!
I love you all!
-Elder Brown

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