This week I was able to live a wonderful experience, the experience of searching hard for an answer from God and seeing it come little by little.
After I finished my emails last week, and we finished our evening, I went home that night and prayerfully made a list of the positives and negatives of extending my mission, of staying and of going, whether it was four weeks or six weeks, even to the point of how it would probably be just me, taking a plane by myself. How if I extended I wouldn't get to spend my last day in Paris during soldes for some good shopping. I covered everything spiritual, physical, and emotional. I thought pretty long and hard about it all (while making cookies for Elder Sumsion's send-off; that's a good time to think), and didn't really come to any conclusion. That night, as I prayed for an answer, prayed to know what to do, I felt like I should read my Patriarchal Blessing and do the same sort of thing.
The next morning during part of my personal study time, I really dug into it. I honestly had never before really read my Patriarchal Blessing searching for a specific answer like that. It was really a sweet experience as I realized how much guidance is really given to me in there. But still, through all of that, I hadn't really come to any solid conclusion. To me, it just seemed like either option made sense. So I decided to take Dad's advice and talk to my mission president about it.
I gave Président Babin a call, but, it was Wednesday, which meant transfer day, so, between seeing off the old missionaries, and welcoming in the new ones, he was pretty busy and didn't have really any time to talk.
But, the next morning he gave me a call back and we got to talk about it. The call with him was really the turning point for me. He explained to me that what the church requires for someone to extend their mission is a "particular reason" (translated from French, I don't know if that has the same connotation) and so he asked me about mine. I told him about how much I've loved my mission and the growth that I've been able to see in myself and others and how I really would like to accomplish more before I go home. He really let me take time to explain myself and said in response that "today is the first day of the rest of your mission". He promised me that if I do my best, right up until the very end, that I will be able to be perfectly satisfied with my mission at the end of the two transfers that I have left. At the end of our phone call, I felt quite a mixture of emotions. Why didn't he jump on the idea of having me extend? Had my extra service just been rejected? Could I really accomplish all that the Lord wants me to accomplish in just two more transfers? It really took me a few minutes to gather myself back together and put my head back into the task at hand. But I thought about what he said all throughout the day and into the evening as I said my evening prayer. I wanted a confirmation of his words, that it was really possible to do what the Lord still wants me to do in just a few short weeks. It didn't come that evening, or the next day.
This last Sunday (so yesterday) I fasted for that confirmation that I had been looking for throughout the week. It was a pretty long fast, due to our Sunday schedule, with dinner at 8:00 that night instead of 5 where we wanted it. But at the end of it all, as we prayed with one of our amis, Blaise, that we would all be able to receive the answers to our prayers, I received mine. I'll be following the council of my mission president, and really, the council that we teach to people every day, and that is, enduring to the end. Working my hardest, every day, until the very end, and that "end" is the day that the Lord assigned me when I was assigned to report to the MTC on August 7th. So, long story short, I'm coming home the day I'm supposed to be coming home, which is July 23rd.
I'm really looking forward to the few months I have left, and all the miracles that the Lord has in store for the people of Rennes. I have an awesome companion who loves the work and is willing to put in the effort necessary, and I have wonderful, inspired leaders around me who help me catch the vision that the Lord has for his people in the North of France. I love being a missionary, especially here in Rennes. I love wearing a white shirt and tie so people can see who I am from far away, and I love even more wearing a plaque so that people can see who I am representing when I'm talking with them. But more important than those outward physical things are what's in our heart. And I pray that, even when I won't have those outward, physical signs of my calling, that people will still see something different in me, as a servant of Jesus Christ.
I'm so thankful for His mission, and the time that He's given me to serve Him.
|Not Coming Home Yet But Planning Ahead|
|BBQ Pineapple Burgers|
That's How You End Your Fasting
|Typical Building Where Adam Spends a Lot of Time|
10 Buildings Each with 15 Floors
|Inside an Abandoned Building on the College Campus|
Nice Bulbasaur Pokemon on the Wall
|Apparently the Building is No Longer Needed|
Not Sure Who the Missionaries Were Looking for Inside
|Fin De Chantier|
(End of Construction)
Are You Sure?