I can't believe that it's been almost 1 year since Elder Ferguson left on his mission. May 30th to be exact.
I decided that although I have been a slacker blogger.....I'm not gonna mention it. ( oh wait....) Let's just pretend that I have been diligent in my posts and I have keep you all updated on how things are going with him. Instead of trying to catch up, I decided that I would touch on a few highlights. Just know that we have been receiving emails every monday morning and Ryan is doing well.
In January he wrote....
".....at church, out of the blue, a 23 year old kid walks in. No one knew him. His name is Alexandre. He went on an exchange program in high school with a family in Utah and they took him to church with them. He had been looking for 2 years for the church in France and found one 45 minutes away from where he lived.......our ward...and he wants to be baptized. The members were so excited. They just flipped and were talking to him and taking him to classes. It was the most active I have seen the members in a long time. They loved it. The miracles are just starting to fall right in front of us and I am loving it. My collegue (companion) and I had been sad because we had no one to teach at the time. We pleaded with our Heavenly Father to help some one prepared for the gospel find us. The next Sunday was the day Alexandre came into the chapel asking to meet the missionaries."
Alexandre was baptized 4 weeks later. :)
Another time he asked us to have the missionaries in our home to teach new member lessons. He wrote....
"......that would sure bring a strong spirit to the house, and trust me, I know that the missionaries would like it. If only the members here would offer their home for a lesson just once a week. One little hour a week dedicated to the lord doesn't seem like so much when you have 168 hours a week......that's 10,080 minutes. You could give 60, no problem, to the Lord. 604,800 seconds and you're only gonna have to give up 3,600. :) Math is a lot more fun when you use it for the Lord."
After Avignon, Ryan was transferred to Montpellier and then Marseille. When he was in Montpellier he wrote....
"....we've been asked to not talk to or approach the Muslims because of the war in Mali with France. It's kind of on lock down here ya know....since the war is so close to us.....it's just across the Mediterranean sea, so that's always fun."
"....We are also teaching a Russian man named Ivan. He is so cool. He doesn't speak much french or english....so I'm teaching him in russian/english mix....That is the gift of tongues at work. He is almost done reading the Book of Mormon."
In his next letter.....
"....The Russian man we are teaching is really a miracle. This week he went to Ukraine to visit some friends and he is going to Kiev so we told him to pass by the temple and to take a tour. I think he might be getting baptized very soon. Haha...you can always put your money on the temple."
A couple weeks later he writes.....
"....here's a funny story about our Russian investigator. I get a call from an out of country phone number. I answer it and it's our Russian ami.......calling me from a prison in Russia......and this is what he tells me in english. And I quote....(read in a Russian accent)......"Ferguson, I have something to tell you....I don't want to lie to you. My name isn't what I told you it was and I am in the jail...I hope you can forgive me brother." .....and then he hung up. hahaha I think we might have been teaching a mobster. Hahaha Anywho....needless to say , we are not teaching him anymore.
"....We were teaching this Spanish family and the husband and wife weren't really interested. We were doing all we could to have the spirit with us....I just felt like I blew the lesson and talked too much....so at the end i asked if we could set another day to come back and I heard from behind the couch, where the kids were listening, that they wanted us to come back the next day. I hadn't noticed that they were all listening attentively. It just made me realize that no matter where we are or what we do someone is always paying attention and it might not be the best timing for one person but maybe it's perfect for another. It was a real testimony builder of the spirit touching others. ;) Even if I talk too much!!"
Just recently, about 2 weeks ago now, while Ryan was in Marseille, he had an "incident". I get a call from the mission President. I missed the call but President Roney left a message. It's not a great moment when you hear that your son has been kicked in the face by some "Muslim punks". Ryan said he was ok but President Roney said he sent him to the hospital to get checked out anyway. We were able to talk with President Roney later that night and get a few more details. Ryan had a concussion and a slight fracture in his jaw but was ok. (Sigh)
Tim spoke on the phone with the President and in the beginning of the conversation I heard him say, "I told my wife that if he was going to get kicked in the face, at least it was for the Lord." A lot of laughter followed and when I asked Tim what was so funny he said that when President Roney heard that he started laughing and said, "That is so funny. When I spoke to your son after it happened, one of the first things he said was.....well, if it was gonna happen, at least I got kicked in the face for Jesus. :)
Like father, like son. Two peas in a pod I tell ya.
I'm hoping I don't have to get any more calls like that.
He has loved the south of France and the people there. We just found out this last letter that he was transferred a little north to Dijon. Yes. Like the mustard. :)
Here's what he had to say about it.
".......This is the nicest city ever. Shoot....it's so dang clean and the nicest temperature. I love Dijon."
I can't wait to hear about his new experiences in Dijon with his new companion, Elder Williams. He was excited for the change but is always willing to go and serve wherever he is asked to go.