Not sure if you heard, but about two weeks ago, our mission had 22 BAPTISMS in a single week. Did I hear someone ask for a miracle? There you go.
As a reward, our dear President Roney gave us all permission to stay out late and see the fireworks on Bastille day, France's national holiday, and then to sleep in late on Tuesday. It was awesome. We scheduled a last minute FHE with the family Rodriguez and they fed us and were wonderful. They are a Portuguese family and they're preparing to go to the temple. They have three crazy girls who are on vacation and one cute little baby boy. Adorable. They would have us over every day if they could.We had a wonderful time talking about Daniel and the lions den since they don't know the Bible very well. Then we walked down to the beach to watch the fireworks. It was a good show. It was also put on by the Italians. #frenchpride With scores like Batman and Pirates of the Caribbean, who can complain? No one, especially when there are loud, shiny explosions right above the beach you're sitting on.
We slept in on Tuesday and then went to a lunch appointment with a part-member family. Only to find out that all four Elders were also invited. We all made a mental note to make sure we clarify that that's contrary to regulations, and then sat down and enjoyed a bounteous feast.
Here in Cannes, we've just kind of hit the ground running. Our stove and hot water finally work. Kind of. We have a member list, which has no addresses on it and half of the phone numbers are wrong. We acquired the member book from the Elders and we're trying to figure out this ville and the bus system. Quel horreur. We had our first lesson with an ami we then dropped because he wasn't actually interested.
And we hiked literally up a mountain to visit a less active family called the Turners. She is 88 and funny and her new husband Brian is an Englishman who has done tons of research on Joseph Smith and the mormons on the intellectual, factual side. He doesn't actually understand too much French, which is weird. They live near her son, Philippe, who has weird facial hair, but is delightful as well. They loved us and they have already started calling me Chef. They came to church on Sunday and Soeur Turner just said to me, Look around. Out of all the people here, you chose us to visit. Why did you choose us? I had no response other than inspiration. The Lord leads and I try to keep up.
Kind of like my comp and I climbing that mountain. It was at least a 90 percent incline. I still feel it in my calves.
We got the chance to go to zone training this week and it was awesome. We had it in Antibes' villa chapel and it was led by Elders Davis and Pettingill, both wonderful. It kind of sparked some interesting studies on the Sacrament and on prayer and we have goals to increase the efficacity of both. It's been good so far.
I thought it was going to be a simple study, but it's turning out to be really just connected to everything. The Atonement especially. I love and have a great appreciation for this selfless and eternal act. I know it happened. I know that's the key to God's plan for us. It's wonderful, isn't it?
Today as I was learning about the Sacrament, I was thinking about how the water we drink represents the blood that was shed for us because Jesus Christ's spiritual agony for our sins and sufferings. It's interesting to note the progression of the gospel in this aspect.
Back in Moses' day, they used to do live sacrifices of animals that represented the sacrifice that Jesus would perform. Moses then sprinkled the animal's blood on the people to represent the covenant. Apostasy happened, human sacrifices and idol worship and other gross things fought for precedence in the hearts of the people.
Years later, when the time was right, Jesus came to earth and fulfilled this law, installing and initiating the higher law. He performed the great and last sacrifice and the blood was changed to wine, which was drunk weekly in rememberance of this sacrifice. Then the apostasy happened, thing were changed and lost and deformed. Even the scripture were altered. So remnants of Jesus' church tried to pull itself back together with the resources that remained. Not an easy task, I assure you. But today, in various Christian congregations, we see evidence that people didn't quite agree on how it should work, etc, and the sacrament or communion is performed differently.
Anyhow, yet again when the time was right, the gospel was restored to the earth and the higher law we were supposed to be living was amped up just a bit more. Now, in place of wine, we use water. Living water is representative of Jesus Christ and should help us to remember him. But the interesting thing is that if you look over the alterations of substances that has occured over time, from blood to wine to water, it's slowly becoming more and more pure. Like we need to do. Interesting.
In other news, at church on Sunday, someone called us the sunshine of the ward and at ward council they talked for about twenty minutes about how anyone we talk to is just lifted and touched by what we say. I don't know how that's been happening because all I say is hi a lot of times, but there you have it. The light of Christ at work. I love you all. Now get out there and get to work yourselves.