The ward here in Valenciennes is filled with many great members. The more and more I’m here, the more and more I grow to love them. There are two in particular that I want to talk about.
The first is a family that entered the church last April. It started with their daughter. Some years ago, she met the missionaries and took the lessons. She was baptized and for a few years attended church alone. Her family looked at the church the same way the rest of the French do: a cult where all the men have twenty wives. A year ago she decided to serve a mission. She was assigned to Canada. She left and her family wasn’t incredibly enthusiastic. After a while she had the impression to have the missionaries here in Valenciennes contact her family. So she sent in the referral. The missionaries went to visit them and the family began taking the lessons. The father was baptized first, then one of the sons. The mother started going to church and receiving the lessons as well. This family is, today, one of the strongest families in the ward. We work with the father all the time. His testimony is strong and firm. When I first got here, I was totally blown away at the fact that the family was only baptized last April. They are seriously awesome. The entire family isn’t yet baptized, but most of them attend church every week. This last week, talking to them in their home and teaching with the father, we heard a lot about how the Gospel has since touched their lives and changed their home.
The story of the second family starts with the father. Twelve years ago he met the missionaries. It was at a pivotal moment in his life as he was searching for the truth. In studying the gospel he felt that there was some sort of substance to the Church. It wasn’t like the others. But for one reason or another, he let the missionaries go and didn’t continue further. Earlier this year, he decided that he wanted to give it another shot. He went online and ordered a Book of Mormon. Not too long after, the missionaries arrived. He let them in and he and his family began taking the lessons. The weekend before I got here, he and his wife were baptized. They have since had a large impact on this ward. Everyone loves them and their testimonies are strong and firm. Their knowledge of the gospel is incredible. They understand it so well, it’s insane. Like the other family, I’d never guess that they were only just baptized.
Last night we were at the home of the second family. They have two daughters of baptismal age. They didn’t feel ready to be baptized when their parents were. We talked about faith and baptism last night. The daughters feel that they’re ready for baptism! We’ll be fixing a date soon! We’re super excited for the day it happens. It’s already been determined that the father will baptize them.
I love these two families. They blow me away! We continue to see good things here in Valenciennes–even if last week was spent in bed.
You gotta love it!
Elder Saul Marquez