Although he was raised in a religious home, Michel Gracieuse, who lived in the Flacq region of Mauritius, had been searching for spiritual truth for much of his life. His search led him to ask many questions, but he found few answers. In the early 2000s, Thomas and Françoise Bosquet, Michel’s relatives, invited his family to attend Latter-day Saint services with them in Rose Hill. After several months of declining their invitations, Michel’s wife, Marie-Anne, and daughter, Anniella, agreed to attend, hoping that would appease the Bosquets. The evening after they first attended, two sister missionaries visited the Gracieuse family in the village of Trou d’Eau Douce.
“I felt confused and didn’t agree with what they were teaching,” Michel recalled. “But out of politeness, I stayed quiet.” During their visit, the missionaries invited Michel to also attend church. Despite his reservations—and the prospect of a two-hour bus ride to the church building—Michel accepted their invitation. During that first meeting, Michel felt he had found the answers to some of his questions. “Since that day, I continued to go to church every Sunday,” Michel said, “because I wanted to know the answers to the many questions I had.” Michel began reading the Book of Mormon and praying to know God’s will. As Michel, Marie-Anne, and Anniella continued to meet with the missionaries and attend weekly meetings, Michel’s son, Logan, did not participate.
In October 2003 Michel, Marie-Anne, and Anniella chose to be baptized and invited Logan to attend. To please his parents, Logan came to the baptismal service and began attending weekly meetings with the family. Soon he too began meeting with the missionaries. In 2004 Logan was baptized, and in 2006 he served a mission in South Africa.
After eight years of Michel and his family traveling two hours to church each week, a group was organized in Flacq, with Michel as group leader. Since then, the membership of the Flacq group has continued to increase, culminating in the creation of the Flacq Branch in February 2017, with Logan Gracieuse as the first branch president and Michel as his second counselor. “I continue to serve faithfully in the Church,” Michel reflected. “I learned a lot about the Church and especially about myself, the way I want to live my life, how I behave towards my family and others.”