I'm just going to talk about Saturday...the rest of the week pales in comparison.
Saturday April 30
Today was the big day. Brice and Emilie Noël were baptized. Words cannot describe the joy that I feel knowing that this beautiful family has commenced their journey towards exaltation and eternal life in the celestial kingdom of God.
We left for Paris at 7:15 and as we were stepping on the train a black guy asked about our badges. Turns out he's an evangelical pastor. He was going to the same place as us, so for the next 45 minutes we talked about the restoration especially the Book of Mormon. He was a typical evangelical, so it didn't really go anywhere, but it sure helped to pass the the time ;)We got to Le Havre at 11:30 (yes I was incredibly tired) and boy was it weird and exciting to be back. I really do love that place. We went straight to the Noel's for lunch. It was so wonderful to see them again! Elder Rollins was there with his comp Elder Anderson. We ate together and we laughed a TON! Those two are so hilarious. Emilie told me she hates being underwater and that I had better baptize her really fast. ;) Then Brice said that it's a good thing they weren't getting baptized in the Orthodox Church because they have to go down and come up 3 times, and in Siberia they do it in frozen lakes. Like they literally cut holes in the ice and baptize people. I also found out that Brice loves history like me, especially the American Revolution. Then we headed over to the church while the Noel's got ready. When we showed up President Silbermann and Frere Paporé were there. And funny story, the water heater for the font wasn't working...guess who gets to get baptized in super cold water ;) haha
Then everyone started to show up and there were a ton of people! Almost the entire branch was there plus about 20 people the Noel's invited! At lunch Brice and Emilie (but especially Brice) told us how they hate wearing all white. Apparently it's not their color So the time came for all of us to change. Brice walked out all in white looking very uncomfortable and says to me, "I don't like this... But I better get used to it for the temple." We took pictures then headed into the chapel to start the meeting. President Silbermann gave the talk on baptism. Emilie started to cry a bit, and Brice even had some tears in his eyes. Then we went over to the font and while everyone was filing into the room, the three of us were waiting by the bathrooms/font entrance. We were all pretty "nervous" but in a good way. Brice said we should pray together before so he offered us a very beautiful prayer and we went for it. I baptized Brice first. As we stepped into the water we both kind of freaked out because it was so cold. Being in the water with him, hand raised to the square felt so natural and so peaceful. I baptized him (he went down super fast so water splashed over the barrier haha), and then Emilie walked down the stairs (she started freaking out worse than Brice did haha). After I started the prayer a feeling of peace permeated the entire room. After I helped her out of the water all three of us booked it out of there so we could dry off and warm up. As Brice and I were changing he said to me, "I've been waiting 10 years for this day." He was so happy. We then walked into the chapel with Emilie. Soeur Lefebvre gave a talk on the Holy Ghost and Elder Rollins confirmed Emilie and Elder Anderson confirmed Brice (President Silbermann wanted them to profit from my short presence, so they got confirmed the same day). They came and sat down and Brice leans over and says, "It's done. We're members now." A couple members, myself, and one of Emilie's sisters bore testimonies and congratulated Brice and Emy. Brice said to me after I bore my testimony (keep in mind Emy and I were both crying), "Sorry, didn't make me cry." ;) That man is so mean to me! Haha but I love him. Like every other church activity in France there were refreshments afterwards. Right before I had to leave I took a picture with the Noel's. As I was saying goodbye, I looked at Brice and said, "I'm going to do something really American," then I hugged him. Surprisingly he hugged me back. Then Emy gave me a big hug as well. We had to run to catch our train right afterwards. As soon as the train pulled out of the station all of the pent up emotions burst loose. I was crying like a baby for a good portion of the train ride. It was mostly out of joy, but also I was saddened by the fact that I had to say goodbye to my family, for they truly are family. Even as I write this my heart is full of love and my eyes are full of tears. I'm certain that the Noel's and I were very close in our pre-mortal lives.
Today was the most beautiful day of my life.
Today was the most beautiful day of my life.