Monday, June 26, 2017


This was a great week!

The greatest thing that happened was that we saw Amandine on Tuesday and set up her baptism for this Saturday. So, stay tuned until next week!

We had to travel a lot this week. First of all to Toulouse for a conference and then to Gap for an exchange. Ever since I got into the mission, it has been my dream to go to Gap. It's a little city nestled in the French alpes. Imagine park city but without strip malls and a lot smaller. It was amazing! The whole place smelled like pine trees! Elder Kahn and I worked really well together and found a lot of people that wanted to know what we were talking about. It really helped me realize that we are here to announce the restoration of Gods church. What great news!

Church was incredible this week. For a while in Ecully, the bishop has been doing special sacrament meetings called 'the Shepherd's sacrament.' It sounds a lot better in French. But we do one every two months and we take every member an invitation to the meeting. At the meeting, there were 18 non members and probably about 12 less-actives. It was beautiful to see.

That's all for this week. Next week I will have two knew companions. You'll probably recognize one of them. I'll be sad to let Elder Menzel and Elder Bouaka leave but it will be ok.

Elder Marshall Underwood

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Pure Joy

This is a message I got from Sister Rachel Zinn:

This picture is so amazing. I can't do it justice. 
The background is this sweet lady was tricked into coming to France and when she got here she was forced into sexual slavery.  She started coming to church (missionaries found her) and she's been coming for months. She wants to get baptized and in the process, she opened up to the sister missionaries about what was happening. 
Long, long story short, she can't be baptized while in the country illegally (she came in on false papers). To make everything right, she had to go to the police and file a report ( brave! Can you imagine going knowing they could arrest you? Deport you?) 
She has an appt this week with the Nigerian embassy to get a passport in her real name, and today she got a blessing for her baby. 

And your baby has been a part of this whole process! He is doing real things, powerful things, that are changing the course of families and their lives. I can't get over this picture. She was on cloud 9!

Monday, June 19, 2017

How Great Thou Art

What a great week! To start it off, I got to go back to Geneva (often called the promised land) for a conference. When we got in on Monday night, elder Menzel and I went to eat with the Muller family. They said that I could sleep there when we come back. It's also kind of funny because you can find their 'I'm a Mormon' message. Before my mission, you told me, mom, "maybe you'll meet them!" I didn't believe you. But now you'll probably meet them too.

Muller's "I am Mormon" video I am Mormon, French-Swiss, & Blind Chocolate Hunter

We got to go on three exchanges this week. Nice- Elder Williams who will be returning home soon. Geneva - elder Hoffman who taught me a lot about talking to people. And Elder Wilkey - you know him. We had about 40 minutes to contact with Elder Hoffman. We talked to 4 people, got three of their numbers and gave two Book of Mormons. It was really great. I was so happy to meet those people.

Other than that, I would love to share one great experience. I don't know if you remember Amandine, but we stopped teaching her about 3 weeks ago because her husband didn't want to her to be baptized. She has read the entire Book of Mormon and she knows that it is true. It was really hard to make that decision because she is so ready. However, we couldn't hurt her family. We kept in contact and fasted and prayed with her. This Sunday, she showed up to church. That was a miracle because usually she works all Sunday. We were so happy to see her and she said, "before we go in, I need to give you something. Don't lose it." She took a folded paper out of her bag and handed it to us. "Je, sousigné, Mathias Badino, autorise ma femme, Amandine Badino, à effectuer son baptême au sein de votre église. Cordialement, (signed)" I can't remember any time when I have literally been speechless before this day. God is good. God is great, and He loves his children. I know that He knows her situation and that this was possible through Him.

Translation: "I, undersigned Mathias Badino, authorizes my wife, Amandine Badino, to carry out her baptism in your church. Cordially, (signed)"

Elder Marshall Underwood

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Way, The Truth, and The Life

I would like to share one experience for which I will always be grateful.

On Thursday, we left the apartment at 10am to start work. We sat down at the bus stop and said hi to a woman. We were just asking her a couple questions and after a minute she said, "What are all these questions for? I know you, you're the Mormons." We then asked, naturally, how she knew the Mormons. She said, "I just know about you. And I can tell you that you are wrong."  I've become pretty bold with this message by now, but the spirit led us to respond very softly. She shared a couple more choice words with us and then she got in a car and left. I thought, "Well, that was an interesting start to the day."

Within the next couple hours, two other people with whom we spoke told us things such as, "it's really too bad, what you're doing" and, "I feel so sorry for you. How did you allow yourself to get sucked up into this church?" Now, those remarks weren't anything out of the ordinary, but to have three people like that before dinner wasn't normal.

Just as I was trying to understand where this opposition was leading us, we talked to a woman. She started out with, "nope, I don't want to hear it. God doesn't exist." We asked how she knew and she shared a story in which she asked a priest if God exists and he was not able to answer her. We taught her many things, and I was so proud to stand with my companion and testify to her of the existence of God and of the divinity of Jesus Christ. When our testimonies ended, I saw her start to say something. Obviously, she wanted to refute our words, but we watched as she tried to speak and was literally unable. We stayed there for probably 10 seconds. After the silence, we invited her to kneel down and ask God if He is there. She said, "No. First of all, I will never kneel down. And second, I will never ask that question." That moment was really sad for me personally. I saw that we had been given the power that Néphi had in the Book of Mormon (for she was not able to deny the truthfulness of our words) but she chose to reject the invitation to come unto Christ.

To end the conversation, she stated, "I'm going to say one more thing and then this conversation is over. If God really does exist, why is there so much suffering in the world?" We explained, "We understand that that was your conclusion, and we respect that. We would like to tell you, simply, that we have the answer to that question. It is not unanswerable. So, if you are sincerely asking us for an answer, we will be overjoyed to help you find it. Would you like to see us again?" Sadly, she said no. She didn't want the answer. And she left.

I know that God lives and that he knows his children. I know that in 1830, the kingdom of God was restored upon the earth by the prophet Joseph Smith. I also look forward to the day when the kingdom of Heaven will be fully established among us and our Lord, Jesus the Christ, will reign.

Elder Marshall Underwood