|Coq Girouette - Eglise - Vireux-Molhain, France|
Sometimes we just need the coq - often more than one is needed. They a good reminders for us to be constant, faithful and diligent in all we do. When we think our life becomes a bit of a challenge, the coq can bring us a bit of perspective. These poor guys have no relief! More so than the mailman; they must face the day regardless of sun, rain, snow, hail or great storm. We are trying to learn to do likewise - appreciate each day that comes and make the most of it. The coq never lets things get the best of him and maintains his good attitude come rain or shine.
We are thankful to be disciples of Jesus Christ serving in France as missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We could receive few greater blessings at this point in our lives. We have great opportunities to bless the lives of the Saints in our little corner of France; where health, age, legal status and many other challenges face those who are striving to follow the Savior and qualify for Eternal Life. It is a great blessing to lose ourselves, to some extent, in the service of those we love and appreciate. We will ever be grateful for the faith and love of the French Saints with whom we live. We pray constantly to be up to the challenge and to act as would the Savior.
|Coq Girouette - Collegial Saint Ermel - Vireux-Molhain, France|
Our members, unlike the coq, are not so inclined or able to remain fixed in physical location. We are currently lamenting the loss of a couple of our devoted members. Stephen Lawrence has been rejected yet a third time in his request to obtain asylum here in France and thus finds it necessary to move on. While he is temporarily with the Dampt family, he feels the need to get to Paris where he can find work and live less conspicuously. He hopes to be able to remain in France for five years and thus improve his opportunities to gain legal status here. He has been here for over two years already and we are afraid his real struggles are just beginning.
Sister Kate Schuiling is pursuing a dream to live on the rivers and canals of this part of Europe by making her home on a small boat. She is a very persistent and focused person and has been searching for her opportunity to make dream reality since we arrived almost nine months ago. Fortunately, unfortunately for us, she has seemingly found the opportunity she seeks. She now has a contract to have a small boat custom built; based on an existing hull. She is very excited and the boat actually is quite beautiful (pictures and designs). The boat is being built in the Netherlands and and will be delivered to her in the Namur, Belgium area in about three months. At that time she will leave our Branch and become a member of the Namur Ward. She will be a great loss to us!
|Spring 20187 - Charleville-Mezieres, France|
We are currently enjoying the beauties of nature around us. Spring is such a marvelous time of renewal and re-birth! We very much appreciate the lovely flowers we find around us - some are much like what we find at home in the United States and some seem more unique to this area - they all are inspiring and wonderful reminders of what God has created for the use and joy of His children. If only we could convince Spring to rest with us a little longer.
With the upcoming dedication of the Paris Temple, May 21st, we are also feeling a renewal and re-birth in the spirits of our members. It has been one hundred and sixty years (approximately) since the restored gospel of Jesus Christ was first taught here in France. Our members have waited patiently during many long years and now the moment has arrived. There are now sufficient members with more than adequate faith to support a Temple in France. Now all the saving ordinances can be performed in France and the Lord has a House, here in France, in which He can dwell. It is truly an important and inspiring event in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in France.
This coming Saturday, April 29, our small Branch will take a chartered coach to the Paris Temple in order to participate in the Temple Open House. We will leave Charleville-Mezieres at 7:30 AM to keep our 11:45 AM appointment at the Temple. All our active members; including those in wheel chairs, those who are blind and those who are on crutches, will make the trip. The Dampts have a son, Hubert, who is coming from Arizona to join us on the trip. We also have a couple of investigators who will be with us and we are hoping to add a couple of our less-active members.
The opportunity to visit the Temple in Paris has been long awaited - the members are excited and grateful for this beautiful building - The House of the Lord - in France. We feel very blessed to be here to share such a monumental event with them. The Temple will be a great blessing for the French Saints and will be very significant in advancing the work of Gathering in this country. One more step in the preparation for the Second Coming of our Savior.
|Spring 2017 - Charleville-Mezieres, France|