Monday, April 28, 2014

Zero to Greatness

Send me to Nigeria. Holy cow, every person we meet from Nigeria is a walking lightball. A couple of weeks ago we met a Nigerian man, in his late 20s, early 30s. He said, "I've been praying to find people who speak English who can teach me about Jesus." We had our first RDV with him this week in a park. He was there early, with his New Testament. We sat down, did the whole prayer thing, and started in on trying to figure out who he is and what his understanding of God is. He cuts off and says, "Yeah, I have a question for you. What do you believe about praising God? In Nigeria, we pray and we sing and we praise God? Do you believe that is good?" With big smiles we said YES! That's exactly what we do every Sunday! And he said, "When we learn about him, we love him and we want to praise his name and show how much we love him. So I am very glad to hear that you praise God too." Then: "And what about fasting? Do you believe in fasting?" So rather than do the whole, "This is the Book of Mormon and it came from Joseph Smith and gold plates and there's a bunch of prophets and Jerusalem Liahona Moroni Mormon Nephi Savior in Americas bumble jumble, we just cracked that beautiful book open to Alma 17 where the sons of Mosiah waxed strong in their understanding and love BECAUSE of much fasting and prayer. He loved it. He said, "Good, because Jesus said there are some things that go not out except by fasting and prayer. I am very glad to hear that."

We are astounded by his simple and profound profound love for Jesus Christ. We briefly explained the Book of Mormon and read Moroni 10: 3-5 together and he said, "I believe this book is true. I will read it, and God will open my eyes so I can understand."

We went to see him yesterday. We asked what he thought of the introduction to the Book of Mormon (his reading homework). He said, "It is perfect. It gave me insight to what I will learn inside. It is perfect."

Other things he said:

"I am so so happy to know you sisters. Because you preach about Jesus, and I love him. I am so grateful to have found you, and so grateful that you shared the Book of Mormon with me. This book can change lives, from zero to greatness. I believe it is true."

"There is nobody who comes to me that doesn't hear about Jesus. I talk to every person I meet about Jesus."

"With God we can withstand the storms of life."

"I want to build Jesus' kingdom and help people come to him. That is why I want to make a lot of money, so I can preach Jesus, and build churches and support missionaries and talk about him on the radio."

"The word of God, it is like the rain from the sky. That is what he says in the Bible, that he will send his word out like the rain and it won't come back empty. God has sent his word out, and I know it will make me flourish. That's why I need faith-- I read everything that talks about Jesus because I want to learn more about him because when we learn about him, it changes who we are all the other things in our lives are taken care of. Thank you for sharing the word of God with me."

This is what it means to be pure in heart. We love him a lot. We feel like we've been with the Savior after being with him.

Sunday, April 27, 2014


All French people have slippers. They wear them on the second they come home. Also, they make their own salad dressing here. It's usually the same dressing: dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, oil. And most salads consist of iceberg lettuce and chopped hard-boiled eggs.

For Easter we went to a member's house and had a fun meal--potatoes and chicken and zuccini and baguettes and salad (with hard-boiled eggs) and lots of drinks, and then for dessert we had a nest cake! Apparently it's what they do for Easter: a round cake with chocolate eggs in the inside like a bird's nest!

We also got to garden this week, with one of our friends. I couldn't have been happier, sitting there next to her shock of violet gladiolas, weeding weeding weeding. And all the while our friend's bouncing from person to person making delightful comments, like "Oh, you have done such a magnificent job! Come look at this work she's doing!" "Look at these marvelous flowers! They're much bigger than they were last year!" She has this way of being astounded at every moment. Like a little child. This is something I'd like to practice.

Here's a video I really like: Because of Him