|Angel Girouette - Eglise Saint Maurille - Vouziers, France|
Unfortunately, we do not have any new photographs of great interest to share this week - no new investigators, no additional members and no new visits to LDS Church sites or buildings. Thus we share photos we would normally not - rare angel weathervane atop the Church Saint Maurille in Vouziers, France and the little royal man below. However, that does not mean that nothing of interest took place in our lives.
We continue to spend considerable time searching for lost members - those that no one in the Branch remembers ever having met or having seen at a Church activity. At times such work is found to be a bit discouraging as it becomes clear that some of our lost sheep really do not like being found. This week's non-highlight was having a brother shut the door in our face while murmuring that he wanted nothing more to do with a capitalist American Church. Such words serve as a strong reminder that we must remain true and faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, if we expect that it continue to shine brightly within us. As we loose light, darkness will absorb us and gradually we will become unable to find any light at all. We pray that each of our family and friends have the wisdom to recognize and welcome the Light of Christ.
We also had two very rewarding firsts occur at our Sacrament Meeting this morning. First, we had two investigators, Madame Quinet and Peter, attend the same Sacrament meeting. We have introduced both of them in earlier blogs. We have been teaching Madame Quinet for over two months now - she is the young Elders' amie but we have been able to teach with them on a very regular basis. Madame Quinet struggles with many aspects of the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ and is not really making great progress. She has accepted the invitation to read the Book of Mormon but does so with a very critical eye. We are likely more direct and aggressive with her than the Elders like but they continue to invite us to teach with them, so we continue to be direct and aggressive with Madame Quinet. In getting in the elevator last night, after having a very difficult teaching experience, we simply said "we will see you tomorrow - at church". She was taken by surprise and had little to say as the elevator doors closed. The young Elders indicated that they did not think she would ever attend a Sacrament Meeting. She was there this morning, but we sense that she came simply to fulfill a long overdue engagement she had made to attend a meeting. No, her attendance does not really raise our expectations that she will progress miraculously - rather it might just be her keeping a promise before it all ends. Such a kind women but such a closed mind! Peter gives us hope and has become regular at attending our weekly and Sunday activities and meetings. We hope he will come unto the Savior and be baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Second, we had a young Aaronic Priesthood holder assist in the administration of the Sacrament for the first time since we have been here. Brother and Sister Dampt have three of their grandchildren (children of their son Yanick) from Bordeaux, France with them for a week while the children have a school vacation. The older grandson is a Deacon and he passed the Sacrament. We really could use a couple of Aaronic Priesthood aged young people in our Branch. It was a refreshing experience!
In addition, we said goodbye to one of our active members today. That was a sad and difficult experience. Florine Biver (introduced in an earlier post) will leave Wednesday for the United States where she will be married in May and then live. She has been a great help with our Sacrament Meeting music - selecting and leading the hymns. She has also been responsible for our weekly Family Home Evenings and Fellowshipping activities. As a returned missionary, she was a wonderful Sacrament speaker. How will we ever be able to replace her? Ce n'est pas evident! (It is not that easy!) Interesting how gaining one new member seems to add a lot to our Branch but loosing one strong active member seems to take so much more away. Florine will eventually live in Louisiana. We will greatly miss her here in Charleville-Mezieres.
|Exterior Wall - Eglise Saint Come et Saint Damien - Noirval, France|
We have no idea as to the significance of the little royal person we found built into the exterior wall of the church Saint Come et Saint Damien in the very small village of Noirval, France. Perhaps sharing him with you will motivate us to discover his meaning or perhaps you might help us with that discovery. We have generally found that there is some real significance to church items like this. We found him both different and interesting - thus, we share him with you.
|Coq Girouette - Eglise de la Decollation de Saint Jean Baptiste - Belleville et Chatillon sur Bar, France|
Don't you agree that this one is grand? Shape, comb, tail, body - we appreciate it all! The patina is nice too and not too much evidence that the birds visit often. He is a proud one in stature but still humbly patient, constant and faithful. We should each receive the bounties of life with such humility.