We received a letter from Alex on March 3rd telling us about his trip to San Francisco to see the French Consulate. He had his first experience being a missionary out in public & was with a group of Elder and Sister missionaries...those of you who know Alex well will understand this...and was a little uncomfortable with how the others were being too loud & "touristy". He said they had been reminded to be quiet and professional and "normal". :) He said "People already think we're crazy, let's not make it worse!" I think the oldest brother was coming out in him. Anyway, he said that the church arranges for the missionaries to have window seats on the flight, which was nice, and he was on a flight from SLC to LAX and happened to sit next to a lady named Roxy. At first she didn't seem too interested in talking, but once they were airborne he broke the ice with some of the usual questions...She is from Montana and was on her way to San Francisco for a work meeting. She is a Financial Advisor & so he told her that he was interested in that field of work, and they talked about that for awhile. Then the conversation shifted to her family..she's married with 3 kids in college. She then began asking a lot of questions about his mission and temples & things. Like, "Why do all of the Temples have points (spires) on them?" He explained that it was to symbolize getting closer to God. She was amazed that the missionaries serve for 2 years and don't get paid or any school credit for it. Alex said he had several times that she seemed hesitant, like she wanted to ask him something, and he said it was amazing how he could think of ways to bring back up the conversation and help her feel comfortable asking. As the plane was beginning to land he remembered that he had been given a "pass-along card"... just in case, and he shared ..."Sure enough, the one they had given me was the one that says: "Family happiness can last forever." That moment, when I realized that card was the one I had with me, my testimony just about doubled. The Lord put me next to Roxy so I could answer some of her questions and let her know that her awesome family, that she obviously loves, could be together forever. My heart was pounding as we were about to touch down and I gave her the card. I told her that she could either call the number or go to the website on the card if she was curious about anything else. I then just said that even though I'm only a 19 year old kid, I know that the gospel is true and that family is central to our religion. She seemed genuinely interested and I could tell that she felt a part of the spirit within her. She told me that she'd be thinking about me when I'm in France & Switzerland and that she'd tell her family about it and say "hello" from me."
Alex said that the rest of his day in San Francisco wasn't quite as awesome, but they had a good driver that drove them to see some sights when they were done with the Consulate. He said that he would love to go back and visit San Francisco sometime.
We received our first e-mail from him today as well :) He said that he was talking with Elder Nathan Wood, someone that he went to Fox Hills with in 6th grade, and Elder Wood was showing the others a picture of a girl who is writing to him, and it turned out to be a girl that Curtis dated last year...haha anyway , his friend Elder Dick from Oxford, England started the "CHALLENGE!" (he said you have to imagine him saying it in the coolest accent ever.) Now there are about 15 missionaries writing to her at the same time & the winner is the one who receives the first reply! One of the districts in Alex's zone sang "Nearer My God to Thee" (the vocal point arrangement) at the Sunday devotional. Alex said it was really cool. *check out the link below. Alex's French group is part of a new pilot program which is even more intense immersion in French, but he's liking it & thinks it will work well. He saw his friend Zach Black who arrived at the MTC just last Wednesday and he said that he already looks comfortable being there. :)
We are so thrilled to hear about his experiences and feel of the spirit as he testifies of this amazing work. God Bless!