I don't know if you guys had ever looked at it like that...
So time is moving really fast now. My tie racks are looking pretty bare. We had a zone conference in Paris this week and I gave my "dying testimony." I didn't want to make it really long so I talked about Christ has increased my capacity to love and to work. I said that during the first year of my mission is when I learned the most about how to love. It was then that my heart was still hurting from "being plucked out and left in Ohio," but that it was Christ who took that heart and enlarged it to fit so many that were desperately in need of love. The second year of my mission is when I learned the most about work, because that is when it actually became hard to do. For the first year I was so high on mission life that it was easy. I could contact and knock doors all day. But when the working got hard is when I learned the most about the working. And I know that it is because of Jesus Christ. He gave me strength to work until my muscles cried for relief, and then he gave me strength to continue. I also got to bear my testimony right after Elder Decker so I said a little bit about receiving our mission calls together and how good it is now to find each other on the other side. And just like Alma, what adds more to my joy, is that we are still "brethren in the Lord." What a cool experience to do the whole thing right beside a really good friend and see the changes in each other.
The zone conference was really cool because Elder Teixieira of the seventy was there. He is Portugese. We learned a lot about personal change and repentance so that we can get to the "miracle zone." He had it all graphed out, with like the "line of the average missionary" and attitude was one axis, and effort was the other. It was really cool. In large part thanks to this conference, the mission found 115 new amis this week, which as far as I know is the most in one week since I've been here. Pretty cool.
Yesterday was mothers day in France so I'll just go ahead and wish mom a JOYEUSE FETE DES MERES!! Donc, voila quoi. The ward handed out roses for the mothers and then gave us a couple left overs to deliver to our amis. We gave one to Rita and Marvy, and are giving another to Rebecca this afternoon.
A lot of our amis are kind of stagnating. The challenge for me is to put all the work in on them, knowing full well that I'll be gone here in a couple weeks. I am going to miss doing it though. I know I will. I cried a lot during this last zone conference. There were so many of the most important people there- everyone that I love and have relied on for so long. I was conducting the closing hymn and then made eye contact with Elder Bjerga and couldn't sing anymore. I was pretty pathetic really. I just stood there waving my hand and mouthing the words for like 3 whole verses. On the last verse though I sang as strong and as well as I could. Then it finished and I cried some more, then I went around saying goodbye to everyone and cried some more. I kind of like crying though. It lets me know that I'm alive. For the last who knows how long on my mission I've just felt really un-alive and that my life was in a stand still. So it is good when things change. Michael says it best- "I'm gonna make a change, for once in my life, it's gonna feel real good, gonna make a difference, gonna make it right..." Well, I'm not sure if that is exactly what I was going for. Mainly I just meant to say it's good to cry once in a while.
So I love you, I pray for you, I can't wait to see you. I still haven't counted the days though.