We met an new ami this week his name is Leonardo! He is a complicated man i mean that in a nice way. He is very intelligent and he uses words that frankly i just dont understand. My comp don't either. We have seen him a couple of times and each time he just talks a lot. he listens too. Then last night we went to see him and as we were talking he kept asking these really complicatec questions that I finally told him that he needed to be more simple because they didnt make any sense; As we kept talking and teaching he explained something that helped me understand him. He explained that a few years ago he got divorced and shortly after that his daughter died but he doestn know how. I realized that he hides behind his intelligence. It is still really hard for him to think about his daughter so if he drowns himself in work and in his knowledge it will all go away. We are goingn to see him and teach the plan of Salvation next time. He doesnt understand or believe that throught christ those burdens can be lifted and the peace can come in. i pray for him to be open to the spirit. i really think that his daughter is on the other side pushing him to listen.
So first thing is first the Baptism was great! I can honestly say That Jeremy is someone that has been being prepared for a really long time to accept adn follow our Savior. He is someone very humble. It is reallyfunny because he is pretty quiet too. but he has such a strong testimony. One Wednesday we had the opportunity to watch the restoration movie with him. At the end the Spirit was so strong he then testified to us that he knew that it is true and that he knew that if he could have the faith like Joseph smith Heavenly Father would answer his prayers too! He said too that he was very excited and waiting impatiently for his baptism! He passed the interview Friday. Saturday mornings we all paly sports together as we got there we saw him sitting on a bench just reading the Book of Mormon.Everytime we looked at him he would just smile. Saturday afternoon the Baptims was perfect. There were a lot of the young single adults that came which was really cool! The talks and the music were just perfect. The spirit was really strong as well. I felt so happy and just so excited for him. There is such a peace that comes in thinking about the covenants that he made and also thinking about my own as well. Heavenly Father really doest promises so much when we take upon us his name and promise to follow him. Even yesterday Jeremy couldnt quit smiling again. He stayed and at with us and we had a good time talking. He is so happy to be baptized! We had many great things happen this week. We had received a referal from the church last week and finally contacted her this week. Her name is Suzanna she is from Brazil. When we finally got to see her she welcomed us in and was very happy to listen to us. she has been here as a students but will be returning home to brazil in less than 2 weeks. When we foundt hat out we were really sad but said we will do all that we can so that when she goes home she will want to find the missionaries. We invited her to come to institute with us and she gladly accepted. The couple that is over institute is amazing SR. Blonchon took her right under her wing and it hink hse taught her more than we did that night. After institute she told us "everyone is so nice and so holy. I really liked it." We set up a time to see here hte next day where we actually taught her about the restoration and invited her to come to the baptism with us. She agreed and came and loved it. That night we invited her to come with us to church the next day and she said well ok. She loved it again. We were talking about it earlier and between Sr. Blanchon; us and church yesterday she has had the basics of all of the lessson. She gave us her address so that wecan find the chruch for her when she gets home. I am just really sad that hse is leaving so soon. but that is not going to stop us from teaching her and helping her have a good base for when she goes home.
We have a friend that has a pizza restaurant just around the corner from our appartment: Stephan. As we pass at lunch and as we are on the way home for the night we stop and talk to him; He really is great. This last week we had stopped and my comps were both anxioius to get home but I could see that there was really something bothering Stephan. So I kind of ignored that they were antsy and kept talking with him. Come to fin out he had a cousin that had passed away. It had realy hit him hard; It is interesting because he is someone that believes but that is as far as it goes. It is realy interesting to be able to talk to him and to share our testimonies with him, little by little he is opening up to the gospel. We are so stinking EXCITED this coming Saturday is Jeremy's Baptism!!! It is fun because we see him almost everyday. THis las week we hadnt palnned to see him on Tuesday and as we were walking through town he passed us in his car and stopped. We ended up talking to him for a little while. He asked us some questions of things he had seen at church liek why the boys all where white shirts and ties and not just regular dress shirts, if he had to buy the white clothes for the baptism. And each tiem that we see him you can see how much he really has put into pratice the gospel. He really isnt scared to change.He has a grand faith that if he changes and starts to keep the commandements as we teach them he is blessed or will be. The other night we were walking to the institute building for the YSA FHE and we got talkinga obut the lesson the night before where we had talked about the 10 comm. and the law of chastity. And he said one of the things that had touched him the most was the commmandment to honor your father and your mother. He explained to me that he never has lived with his dad. he has met him a few times but that is all. BUt he grew up with his mom and one of his aunts. And as he got older he had a hard time making his own decisions because it wasnt exactly what his mom watned him to do but at the same time it wasnt what he wanted to do either. But when he finally decided to leave the Martinique and come to France was when he really started to start his own life. And at first he felt guilty but then as we talked he said,"i dont need to feel guilty. I respect my mom but also I am making the best out of my life. and now I have a the gospel." It really touched me. He is really very sincere and just amazing! Saturday he even reminded us that it was fast Sunday. I had completely forgot and he asks well this weekend isnt it the mothly fast? We were all like well ya. thanks for the reminder.
THis week was great! can i tell you how cool Jeremy is?! I am not even kidding! Each time we see him we ask him if he has any questions or whatnot. and mostly he replies with no but... and then shares something that he has learned or something that he really appreciated about the member and things like that. I think one of the coolest things with him this week was when he was praying at the end of the lesson. He testified that he know that the scripture are true. Each time that we ask him to keep a commitment he looks at us like "of course." I dont think that I have had an other amis like him through out all of my mission. It really is interesting as we plan our lessons we keep thinking that we are going to find an obsticale with him but he really is ready for the gospel. For example the other night we taught the Word of Wisdom. He told us that the only thing that he does right now is he drinks a cup of coffee when he is at work but other than that he is ok with all the rest. and he will stop drinking the coffee at work. We were also able to fast with him this last week. it was a really spiritual experience for him and for us. Just to see his faith that he is going to do whatever the Lord asks him to do. It really has made me thinko f my personal obedience. and how well i follow th commandments and how willing I am to follow the directions taht I get from my leaders. He really makes me want to do better to be a better missionary be a better person.
Heavenly FAhter has really blessed us with our ami Jeremy!He is amazing! It is like there isa little fire in his eye and with each lesson and each time that we see him that fire gets brighter. We had some really neat experiences with him this week. I think the coolest thing was on SAturday he come to the baptism of the amis of the elders. At the end I was talking with him and asked him what he thought about it. He said,"honestly it was kind of wierd to see how that happens because I was just a baby when my parents baptized me and I donthave any memories of how it happened or anything." We talked for a good 10 minutes of the importace of baptisim and what it means to be baptized. THe coolest part was talking aobut the holy Ghost. How the holy Ghost becomes your constant guide. How right now he has felt the Holy GHost. I asked him what he feel when he come to church and whenwe have lessons an so on? thoughta bout it for a minute and then replied, "I feel good. I feel happy. sometimes I thinkthat it is weird tofee like this but it is a good thing and Ilike it." To be honest it is moments like that when an ami is really seeing difference and isnt scared to take that leap of faith. I amexcited we aregoing to have FHE with him at TheDefranchi's tonight so that will be fun. WE seem to have a lot of other amis right now that we see once or twice and then they disappear. then they reappear. Wehad another cool experience this week. On Friday we were at the chruch and this guy called us. He told me his name and said taht we had met a couple of weeks ago and that he would like to meet withus again. The only problem none of us could remember who he was. But we set up and appointment with him and went to see who this mysterioius ami was. When he opened the door I about fell over. His name is Soleman. We had met him and taught him once the beginning of last transfer but he was not at all interested. but yesterday as we talked with him he said he had ben thinking about it and wanted to know more. I was so excited and so weirded out you could say. We are going to see him more this week and hopefully allwillgo well.
This week was really a week of miracles. for the first time all transfer we had amis at church: three to be exact!!! It was so crazy because there is one guy whose name is Eric. Soeur Madsen and I started teaching him but then he kind of disappeared. Two weeks ago he got on the bus with us and started talking a bout how he still wants to be baptized and wanted to know what he needed to do. So I explained that we needed to see him and he needed to come to church. Well after that he disappeared again for a few days. one day this week we got on the bus together again. As we got talking he siad he wanted to meet us at the church and wanted to come and see what it was like. When he came it was such a great experience. The only thing is he might be moving in like a week. but we will see. The second of our amis his name is Pedro he has been really flaky too. but this week we were able to see him 2 times one at his house and one at the church. He came and really like church! The Third was a new ami Jeremy! WE had a great appointment with him on Saturday. he was contacted one of the elders but lives in our area so we got to teach hhim. He came and met us to go to the Church. He is from Martinique. He said that he really has been thinking about his faith and how he wants to hae more faith in God and know that he is there. WE gave him a tour of the church then started teaching the restoration. As we were teaching we asked if he had an questions. With all seriousness he says, "is someone like me wants to be rebaptized what do they need to do? do they have to have permission from their parents or how does that work?" Seriously that is like music to missionaries ears. WE then told him what he had to do and asked if we could set a date for his baptism. He then replies that he is ready to do all that he needs to to be baptized and find his faith. It truely was a greatexperience. As we were leaving the church I really was just in awe of what had just happened. He is ready! that is just a couple of the miracles that have happened! I was thinking about the week during sacrement meeting yesterday and how We had been working all transfer and had been teaching and trying or best but were just not seeing the results that we wanted then yesterday all at once i saw that the blessing and the results come not always with the same people that we would have thought but with the our brothers and sisters that Heavenly Father has prepared.
Heavenly Father is blessingus with all kind of miracles and many new amis. This week we had sucha good experience this weekwith one of our new converts, Belal. He has been asking us for a hwile now if he could come and work wih us for a day. and we didn have a lot of consistent things planned so we had been pushing it off a little bit. until Friday we realized that we had 3 appointments all with new amis back to back so we asked him if he wanted to come and teach with us. Lets just say it was a great experience. With each lesson us as a companionship became more and more united and we werereally able to teach together at the same time we were abme to use Belal; who has a very strong testimony. Lordis helping us. I sincerly pray taht He wil let us stay together for the next transfer. We really are just getting things figured out. We are teaching together so much better now. we stil have a things to learn but it is more balanced. So I think that I told you about our friend Laurent, he is one that was our waiter when dwe went fo ricecreamwith belal. well now we are getting to teach him. He is really interesting.He really doesnt have a religious back ground. more or lesshe belives in all sorts of thing and everything that he see on TV. It is interesting to teach him.I dont thinkHave ever taught someone that has not had a belief inGod before. It is really making me turn and try to mut myself in his shoes to understand where he is coming from. It is amazing to see how Heavenly Fahter doesnt let too comfortable inthe way we teach or the kind of peole that we teach. Everyone ins different.I see more and more why we use Preach my gospel. WE have to go to the people. EVeryone is differntand everyone has a different story different background but the Gospel isfor everyone. I amso grateful to be a missionary and to be able to serve and help bring the light of the gospel to those who do not have it.
I love church yesterday! especially sacrement meeting! The youth of most of France we able to participate in EFY this year. It is the first time that they have done an EFY in France and since the beginning of the year the youth along with their parents have been preparing for this week. Well yesterday it we evident in their faces and in their testimonies of how powerful and stong the youth are. EAch one that bore their testimony said how much they really enjoyed it and how their testimonies had grown. Our leaders are really trying to give the youth all that they need to stay stong in the chruch and have a solid testimony while they are young. The world is going father an farther from the things of God and we all need to be stronger and more sure in Christ. THe spirit really was just so strong among the youth and it made me thing of Jackson and him being able to go to the MTM! So we have some new amis. ONe his name is Laurent. We met him one night when Belal took us to get icecream. And Laurnet was our waiter. We talked a little with him while we were eating then as we were leaving he asked us for our card. SInce then we have seen him a few times but not really to teach him. WE tried but when he was at work he and his boss love to talk to us but Laurent would just joke around. THen he invited us to go to his house. We went one time and his neighbor ws their and talked a lot the second time we went to his house he was actually serious. We had a really good discussion about the Book Of Mormon. IT was interesting because he said that he thinks he will become "brother laurent" soon. even when we went to the restaurant the other day he said it again. We pray and continue to teach. As for Salim we are going to see him tomorrow. He really is ready for the gospel. Just pray for him. We also have another mr. His name is Guy, He is really cool. He is a practicing Baptist and very believing already. HE accepted the BOM and said he is going to read it from start to finish;
Yesterday we had one of the most spiritual and most incredible experiences I think I have had since I have been on my mission. After church we ahd an appointment with our ami Amed. He had told us when we got the the tram stop to call us and he would come and meet us. Well we get there and call but he didnt answer. WE stood there for a minute and thought well what can we do? We knew which apartment building he lived in but not which aprtment number(plus it was a 17 story building) But we felt like we should go and look at the mailboxes for that building and see if we could find his name. Well we found 2 boxes with the name Amed and siad we will try them and see what happens maybe we will find him. So off we go to the 7th story. We ring the doorbell and a young man comes to the door. I recognized this young man. We told him that we thought we were looking for our friend and we must have guessed the wrong apartment. He looked at us really confused and was like no but how did you find this apartment. we were like just randomly.
To give a little bit of backfround I had contacted him back the first week I had been in Bordeaux and it was a very humbling and a great teaching experience for me to say the least. AT that point he didn give me his number or anything. I had prayed that maybe I would see him again. But had kind of forgotten about him. Until the other day I had the thought just wondering how he was and if he had prayed.
SO to continue with the story. His name is Salim. He started to tell us that he had been praying out on his balcony and asking GOd for help with some problems he is having. SO that is why he was so confused that we had showed up at his house. He came out in the hall and talked with us for a few minutes. I cant give you all the details but I can say the spirit was very strong. We talked about why we are here in this life and how God answers our prayers. We gave him the Plan of Salvation Brochure. he trembling hands he read the first page.
THe spirit was strong and was there. I know that it was not just randomlly that we knocked on his door last night. Heavenly Father has been preparing him. and needed us to see him last night. I have no doubts that this is the work of the Lord. He leads and guides us his hands to be where he needs us to be. He really know each of his children and what they need and when they need it.
We had two amis that were supposed to come to church Jahwajah and Hademou, but for one reason or another they didn't come. Bus while we were in Relief Society Sister Lazof came in. We are working with her and her husband and son to come to church. We had been there Saturday and had a great lesson with them . we had invited them to church again and they said they were going to come. WE prayed really hard that they would come because last week they had said the same thing and didnt come. When I saw them there I was jsut extactic! Even Brother Lazof had come! They stayed until right after sacrement meeting. THere is still a lot to work on with them but they CAME to church! I love the Lord and am so grateful for all of the blessing that he gives me. Right before coming to write we were at Belal's! I love to go and visit him. Everytime he teaches us and it seems to be exactly what I need for that day or that moment. He just got back from a trip to JOrdan. He showed us all of his photos and discribed some of the things that he saw. THen he shared with us a couple thoughts about serving those around us. It was interesting I needed wht he said and he gave me someideas especailly for serving my companions and other. Even if it is just a simple sincere complement taht come from the heart that can do great things. He really helped me remember the importance of not judgine others. I find myself especially when we are contactin or in the tram and bus that I judges people by their appearance of whether or not they will be interested; But it doestn work like that. I just remembered somthing really cool from this last week! The 14 of JUly is kind of like our 4 of July. And we were out in the streets talking to peopel and we stopped a man his name come to find out is Theirry. He was having a rough day. He said that maybe he would be interested talking to us another time. He gave us his address but that was it. Said pass and if I'm there we can talk if not viola. Well we were excited anyway and thoght you never know. Well the next day We had just got back to appartment and were fixing lunch when the phone rang. I didnt recognize the number or the voice. Come to find out it was Theirry calling to tell us that he had told us the wrong house number, he ended up setting an appointment with us for Saturday. He is amazing. He is seperated from the mother of his 2 daughters. and only sees his daughters everyother weekend. It is really hard for him. Just in talking to him he is very sincere. He is searching for the peace that only the gospel can bring. We are excited to see him again this week.
We had 2 really neat experiences this week with a less active family. the Family Lazof. I had only ever met soeur Lazof, whenever Sr. Madsen et moi had stopped by she was there alone. But this time they were both there. WE asked themif we could sing and pray with them. they agreed. After we had sang We asked them about their conversion. They both went on to share the things that had touched them about the church. The spirit was really strong as the two of them bore testimony. That night I can truly sayt that the spirit led us to know what to say. We testified that the spirit was there right then and we asked them what we could do to help them to have the spirit in their home and te help them prepare to come back to church. Sr.: Lazof lit right up and said "you come here every Saturday night and you spend time with us." she then turned to her husband and said "we will have a good time without smoking or drinking." He agreed! SO Saturday we went and they had fixed us dinner. We ate then were sharing our little lesson with them. Brother Lazof was kind of anxious I still dont know why. As we finished we asked if we could just leave them witha prayer. He agreed and said he would even give it! As he prayed the spirit was really strong. He prayed with all his heart. He finished and said that he felt a heat come over him. It was a very neat experience. THey are sucha neat couple. We are going to continue to work with them. It was really fun this week we ran into our amis and serge all over. Especially Serge- that was handy because a couple of times he was actually able to teach with us. I have to laugh because m companion think I am crazy but we really are learing to work together. THis morning we were street contacting. Sr. Walton said to us we should try and just smile wear a really big smile as we walk. so we did. We were laughing and having a good time. THere was a man that was walking towards us we said bonjour, he had a really confused look on his face and replied "how are you? " and just like that we got taking; we ended up talking of over 20 minutes. It was really a good conversation and we are actuallyu going to see him tomorrow too! Honestly things are going well! I love being a missionary. Time is going by so fast. I cant even stand it.
This last week was really a good week. We are finding lot of new people to teach. Even this afternoon shortly after we had arrived in Bordeaux we had a Rendezvous with Serge. When we got off the bus we were walking across this open place and this lady came up behind us and was saying, "wait wait." We turned around stopped. She stopped next to us and said "I want to know more about the mormons, that interests me. can I get one of your Books?" I think that my mouth was on the ground. After I got it to close and actually work she gave us her information and said we could come by during the week. The on ly thing is she lives in the Elders area. In all of my mission I have never had anyone stop us like that before. You never know when the Lord is going to place someone on your path. We had another cool experience this week. We received a text from someone saying that he had been admitted to the hospital but he wanted to let us know that he was doing ok. WE had no idea who he was. So we called him because we thought that maybe it was an ami or member that had just used a different number. Come to find out he was taught by the sisters a couple of months ago but some how they had lost contact or something with him. It was so cool. WE were able to meet him his name is Pedro he is really cool we will see what happens with him. So yesterday we had the opportunity to celebrate the 4th of July. I had made brownies and we went with the elders to Gus' house. He is originally from Florida but came to FRance after the 2nd world War in 43. Heis now 87 and is really losing his memory he has a hard time speaking French and English and his hearing is going too. But I can say that is was such a fun night. we sang all of the patriotic songs in the English Hymn book. He was so happy to have us there. I realized how proud I am to be an American! I love France and the people here but I can ruely say that my heart is american!
One thing that I reallylearned was that Stress is a lack of faith. For most amis they really have oposition right before their baptism we were really suprised when The week before Serge's baptism it was calm everything worked out just fine. But this wee we really understand why. I can't give you all of the details but lets just say that it was rough. His situation is not easy. And many times during the week we had appointments with him just to make sure that he was ok. I can honestly say that he has so much faith. He has complete confidence in the Lord. One thing with him he doesnt have a cell phone right now so when we have an appointment with him and he is late we cant call him to see if he is even coming or not. And one night we really needed to see him and we had been waiting at the church for more than half and hour. I was kind of worried and started stressing is he going to come? has something happened? BUt as I sat there I realized that I had been praying and asking the Lord to help him get there safely yet there I was stressing out. I had a thought come to mind that really hit me" do you really have confidence that Heavenly Father is hearing your prayers or not?" As I thought about it I thought well of course I know he answers prayers then another thought came: "why are you stressed then?" It is just that I knew at that moment that Heavenly Father had complete control over everything. There were many moments when that inspiration really helped me this week to realize that Heavenly Father is in control. There is nothing to big, too strong or too powerful that He cannot handle. It is really cool to to watch your new converts and amis progress in the church. Sometimes it is like being a parent. For example Belal another of our recent converts blessed the sacrement and received his first calling yesterday. I was so escited for him. I can see how really his testimony continues to grow and how well he is integated into the Ward. Ihope and pray that it is going to be like that for Serge in not verylong. THey really are such great examples. We have been working with a lot of new people. The cool thing is they are all young single adults! THat makes it even more fun because they are at our level. We are facing the same kinds of things in our lives. It is really cool to share the gosple with them and let it change them like it changes me in my life. the weather has changed to super hot! We went from like 20°C to 30°C over night. It really does tricks to you when it changes like that.
This wekk was incredible! SErge was Baptized! We were able to see him a couple of times during the week. One of the times we had Belal another recent convert teaching with us. SErge and Belal once again taught me so much more than I could have taught them. THey had the analogy that for the last 31years for Belal and 40 years for SErge they have been prisioners. THey didnt know they were prisioners. But as they have found the gospel and put into practice the teaching of CHrist and now been baptized they have been made free. How cool is that! Through and only through the gospel of Jesus Christ are we made free. EAch time that we saw Serge he was more and more excited for his baptism. He shared his testimony many times too about how the scriptures help him and how he really feel the Holy Ghost teach him and help him. Saturday finally came. Not going to lie I was a little stressed I don't know why but I was. Everything worked out. THe Program was really good. Serge had asked Belal to give the talk about he Baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. ANd he aske Bouba to baptize him. BOth of these brothers are new converts themselves. It really was something special. As we went in to the room for the baptism the spirit was so strong. I cant explain how the spirit really is special at a baptism. You could see the pure joy when Serge came out of the water. He even Bore his testimony. He told us that when he first met the missionaries he doubted what we were teaching him. "I didnt want to believe. But as I read the Book of Mormon and continued to pray it was like somthing was telling me it was true, but I still didnt want to listen to it. Little by little i came to know that it was true." As we have talked with him since hte baptism and receiving The Holy Ghost he there is something different about him. He said to us that it is like his heart is at rest. He feel light there was something lifted from his shoulders. It is so true! There is a difference in his countenance it isnt something you could capture with a camera. Almost like someone has turned a light on in his face. He glows.
i have to tell you that I am so excited! SErge is going to be baptized this Saturday! He is so ready! We have had some really cool rendezvous with him this last week. He loves to study the scriptures and it is so cool to start teaching a principle and have him end up teaching us. He understands the importance of staying clean and worthy to always have the holy ghost with him. WE had been at Brother Defrranchi's house the other night for a FHE. Belal and Serge were there. I think that Belal (our recent convert) and Serge did most of the teaching. I know that I walked away having learned a lot. One thing that I really like that Belal actually was telling us is how we need to remember to pray in all things. He Said that he had started to do that. BEfore he leaves for school, before a test before eating everything that he does he prays. It realy taught me how important it is so include GOd in the little things in our life even if it is just a little prayer as we are driving or walking somewhere. He knows best in all things and can help us. Random side note for you. If you paint the front door and then you dont want it to fade do you know what you do? You do like the French here in Bordeaux you put up a curtain on the outside to cover and protect the door. It is something that I still dont understand mais voila!
I love change and coming to Bordeaux was a good change. It is really interesting the Lord give you those kinds of weeks where he really builds your faith you see lots of miracles and everything seems to go as planned then he gives you other weeks where he tries you to see just how faithful you are. The later of the two options is more or less what we saw this week. No the less it was a really good week. We were able to engage our amie Serge for Baptism! So a little about Serge. He is from the Congo(in Africa) He has been in France for 2 or3 years. He got sent here because he had been really badly beaten up and actually lost he leg because of it. He is one of the most humble and believing men I have ever met. He has a great faith. He was met on the train by somemissionaries a little while ago. I am amazed each time that we see him. He doesnt have a job right now and lives in a communal home where he spends a lot of his time reading the scriptures and praying. With each lesson we teach he accepts to keep the principle without hesitation. This last week when we taught about fasting he even bore testimony of how he has fasted before even for a couple of days to find the answers to his questions. At the end of that lesson we engaged him to be baptized and to fast with us for the 19 of June. He said he would be baptized and he didnt even need to fast about it because it is what God wants and if it is his will he will do it. He is so ready! This last week I had a cool experience. I dont think I ever told you what happened with Sebastien after I left Perpignan. so the week before his baptism he went to tell and invite his family for his baptism well they really freaked out. They said basically they would disown him and thought he was jumping into it way too fast. Since then He hasn't really had many teachings with the missionaries but he studies by himself and when he has a question he goes on the church sight and looks up the answer. You could say that he is really just waiting for his family. SO the point of this is I got a letter from him on Monday saying he would be in the BOrdeaux area for the weekend! I was super excited. our Schedules didnt match but I was able tot alk to him on the phone. He really is ready to be baptized he has such a strong testimony. Sometimes the Lord gives us challenges just to prove our faith to see what we are going to do see really how faithful we are. Sebastien is living that trial right now. He doesnt know when but he will be baptized. WE just pray for his family to be a little more opened. I love benig a missionary and inviting our brothers and sisters to comeunto Christ. THis is his work and we are mearly the insturments in his hands.
i have to say that i really love Bordeaux! It is a large city with lots of people from all over. It is a city that moves. I really do like it. The thing is it is a very old city. I will try to send you pictures so that you cna see a little bit. I really like it because even though there are lots of buildings they are not really tall so it makes it seem more open. One big change is it is super flat. I love my companion Sr. Madsen is awesome! She is sucha powerful teacher and a great example for me. We have a lot of fun together! It is funny how the amis change from city to city. In Cannes we were teaching almost all women here in Bordeaux we have all men. They are really good amies that are progressing and we are hoping to engage one of them for baptism this week. Or area is really big the area of the ward is split in two and we ahve half and the elders have half. It is huge. ihave had some cool experiences this week. wE had a lot of time on our hands because of cancelled rendezvous and such so we were contacting and looking for new people. I can't tell you haw many times that we were on the Tram and spirit really prompted me to talk to someone. And even sometimes it would be people that normally I wouldnt have struck up a conversation. There was one night that we were on our way home and the tram was pretty empty when we got on.There was a young man sitting across the isle from me and asked me something we got talking. He is muslim (and for them you cant talk directly to God I dont know who they pray to but you cnat talk directly to him.) and somehow we got to talking about prayer and I said that I know that heavenly Father answers our prayers. He didnt believe me. He asked how it was possible and i jus testified of a couple of different experiences. I dont know what all I said all I do know is that the spirit really led me and helped me say what he needed to hear. At the end I simply invited him to pray and try for himself. that God would answer his prayers. and When he did he could call us and we would love to teach him more. AT that moment I really felt the power that comes from my call as a missionary. WE have a recent convert that is absolutely amazing! He was baptized a little over a month ago and is absolutely incredible. Iwill have to tell you more about him next time but he lets just say we have an appointment with him yesterday and it was him that gave us a lesson. it was so cool! The GOspel is so True! I love this work! I love my Savior and his love that I feel each and everyday!
So for a bigf suprise we had transfers today and you will never guess what happened. Friday we had gone to eat at a members house for lunch and while we were there the elders phone rang it was president they were freaking out. because when it is president ahta calls that means there is going to be a big change. Well when we get doen eating we look at our phone and President had called us too. For the last little while we have just thought that we would stay together and were actually pretty excited but then when it was president i kind of started stressing. It was for a good reason too. When we got ahold of him he tell sus that because there are three sisters going home and only one coming they have to close one of the soeurs cities and it was going to be Cannes. I was super suprised and acutally really sad. So now I am in Bordeaux clear on the other side of the mission and Sr. Andrews is in Montpillier. This weekend was a little rough but it was good at the same time. Transfers are interseting as it is but this time we had to get everything ready for 2 Elders that would be arriving today. Heavenly Father really helped us get everything done and get ready to go. Sometimes i dont understand why Heavenly Father does what he does. And closing the bille was one of those things i dont understand but i pray that our amis will continue to progress. We had the coolest experience this week. story time... About 3 weeks ago we had met this lady, named Ramie, from the phillipines who is very believing and super sweet. WE had tried to have an appointment with her but it didnt work but she was determined to come to church. WE explained to her how to get to the church and she said she would be there. that was 2 weeks ago. well she never came. When we called her she said she didnt find it so she went to another one. So we explained again and asked if she wanted us to come and meet her she said no she thought she could find it. Same thing happened. And during the week she worked a lot with the festival and everything that it was impossible to see her. Monday night we were close to her house and were going to stop by but we didnt know her last name so we couldn't ring the bell. But as we were stainding by her door she came up on her bike. She was so happy to see us. And like before she wanted to come to church. This time we told her that we would find someone to come with us to pick her up. ANd yesterday we had a member that went with us and picked her up. Not only did she come but she had invited a friend. The two of them were very touched. She was even crying at the end of sunday school when we talked about families and how theycan be eternal. It really was a good experince. She was very excited to come back next week and to meet with the elders this week. I think it will be cool to see what happens.
We had a goofy week. We had lots of rain and lots of tourists! It was crazy! The film festival started Thursday. So with the two elements together we have had a little opposition. But the week went really well. More than anything I am learing the importance to really take time to think and search for inspiriation. So often there is so much that is going on that alll i think about is getting to the next Rendez vous or getting to the bus ontime, or finding someone to teach with us tomorrow. TOO many things that I don't hear the whisperings of the spirit. It is interesting when you find what you need to do and you know that you need to change but can't seem to figure out how to change it. Like we were telling Theirry last week we want to change at the snap of our fingers and dont want to wait but really it takes time. Learning really is a growing process. (i dont know if any of that makes sense or not but oh well) As for our amis. Thierry is so cool! He is someone that it takes time for him to put into practice a new idea. A couple of weeks ago we talked about fasting. He said he would tryit but it didn't really say when or act really excited to do it right after the lesson. but yesterday after church we were talking with him and we got to talking about fasting and he said next weekend we can fast all together. We will try and see how it works. He reallyis someone that wants to change and be closer to the Lord but he has to take his own time to think things over before really starting to put them into pratice. Ivania is amazing too! i dont know if I have told you much about her or not. She is the same age as we are. She has been married for almost a year. She has so much faith. Each time we go she teaches me things. she always tells us how happy she is that she ahs found us and that she feel so much happier in her life. She reads the Book of Mormon everyday and has great experiences in doing so. The only problem is that her Husband isnt interested, he doesnt mind that we go and teach her but he doesnt want to let her come to church and things like that. I keep thinking that it has to be hard for her but she tell us that it is ok it will jsut take time. She has somuch patience and love for her husband. I love her! I pray everyday that her husband will open up alittle to atleast let her come to church.
It was so good to talk to you yesterday! As we were talking last night it really is a booster to us as missionaries to be able to talk to our families. I have more desire and more excitement once again to continue this work. The week went really well. We are really excited with the progression of our amis. i see more and more how when we want to change something in our life sometimes it takes time. It really is a process. Thierry wants to keep the word of wisdom but changing his old habbits is hard. But is he doing really well. He sees the differences the gospel is making already and wants to continue. It was a really good week with Mrs. Chapuis and Ivania as well. There situations are so different but yet they both see that they need and want to progress. I found it really cool with Mrs. Chapuis we made a calendar for her baptism she doesnt have a date set but that is our goal and hers too. She deosnt feel ready yet but yesterday she told us that she knows what she needs to change to get there but is just a little scared to make these changes. She is seeing the blessing the gospel brings too. She has had some good moments with the members this last week and sees how happy they are and she really wants that. I think the best thing this week was all of our lessons with Ivania. She told us of a couple of different experiences she has had while reading in the Book of Mormon and how the spirit really touches her. She says to us all the time i am just so happy I just love how I feel since i met you guys. SHe is trying to share with her husband but he really doesnt want to know anything aboutit right now. She is so strong. She said i just have to be patient and progress myself and one day he will see. She is so right, as much as she wants to force him to feel and see what she is feeling and seeing she cant because it pushes him away. We are all praying that he will notice the differences in Ivania. I love the changes that the gospel brings to peopel . I am so happy and feel so grateful to my Heavenly Father that he has given me the opportunity to see these changes in others as well as myself. Each day is a new chance to change and to progress we just have to take that chance.
It was really funny Saturday it was "Mayday" and it is big holliday here. no one works, there are no buses, very very few store and restaurants opened, the city is dead! It really is a day of no work. Let just say that the day was interesting for us as well. Friday night as we were looking at our agendas and our plans we realized we had no appointments nothing for the entire day. since there wouldnt be any buses eaither we knew we would do a lot of walking. We stratigically planned. And we went from havinga day with nothing planned to being one of the best days of the week. we were able to see some of our amis and also members. the day was literally one of the best days. we did have a weird experience. On our way to see Mrs. Chapuis we contacted a man walking his dog. We talked with him for a few minutes but he really didnt seem interested and he said that he was mad at God so it really didnt matter what we said. We gave him our card and said he could look at the internet site and if one day he wanted to know more he could call us. then we continued on our way. A couple hours later we recieved a phone call from a man that started asking all sorts of questions aobut our church and said he wanted to know more but he would tell us his name. i really didnt feel like he was going to do anything to us so we said we would meet in him the Center of the City at 5. We called Bro. Simon to come with us. As we got there we realized that it was the same man that we had contacted earlier. The lesson went well but we could see that there was something that just didnt click with him and he thanked us and said he wouldnt bother us anymore. Then yesterday mornig he showed up at church. Talk about a miracle. His name is Eric and he is really nice I think that he comes from a hard back ground. And yesterday there were many members that came up to him and said they were happy to see him there. He was really touched. I dont know what will happen next with him or if he will see us again but he knows that he is welcome among the memberes of the church and the missionaries. i am still in awe at how much Heavenly Father continues to bless us. We are finding new people and see progression with some of the amis that we have already. It is interesting to see how each person progresses differently. It goes to show how really we are all unique that some of us move fast than others and the principles that are hard for one person are so easy for another.
This last week have had so many blessing we are finding new amis all the time; Sr. Andrews and i were talking yesterday and we dont know what we did to be so blessed. It was really cool I don't know if i told you about Stephan. Sr. Cordner and i had contacted him about a month ago then this last week we finally had an appointment with him. He is really cool. He has been in many different religions and finally joined the catholic church 3 years ago and says that it is the one that helps him feel the closest to God. Our lesson with him was so good. he had so many questions and really wants to know more. Our other amis are doing well. it has been hard to see them more than once a week for the last couple of weeks but they are still doing well and progressing. Friday night we had such a miracle. We had been in an appointment with Theirry and when we got done we had a missed call. We didnt know the number but the mister had left a message sayinghe wanted to know the address to the church so he could come. We called him back and we set an appointment with him to give him a tour of the church Saturday moring. We thought that it was a man that we had talked to in the road earlier in the week but weren't really sure. So Saturday morning we show up with Sr. Gentil to give him a tour. When he gets there we realized that we had never seen him before. What had happened he had met the sisters a little over a year ago and just decided that he wanted to come see the church was lilke so he called us. We were blown away! He was really cool. the sister with us talked a whole lot and we were worried that it scared him off. He didnt come to church on Sunday but when we called he said he had got called to work but that he would come next week; and just tonight we ran into him on the road and he wants to see us again!
We really had a great week. we found 3 new amis this week. THe first one was really a miracle. We had an evening that we had a lot of time and no appointments and decided that we would knock some doors. I had seen this appartment complex and had wanted to go there for a while but we just never did but since we had the time and it was int he area we decided to go there. As we started there wasnt anyone home on the first couple of doors. Then there was a few people that slammed the doors in our faces. But we werent getting discouraged. We had got to a new floor and the first door the lady wasnt very nice or interested. Then the next the lady opened up and started to talk with us. SHe explained that she was 100% catholic and very believing. we talked with her about 5 minutes then invited us in. We were able to share the Restoration with her. All through the lesson she talked but when we got to the first vision she was quiet and calm. She thought about it and said that she would love to come to our church. We set up another appointment for this week and she is going to come to church with us next Sunday. Her name is Visgna. WE left and were just in awe. We talked to a couple other people in the building none of who were interested. It is crazy how Heavenly Father really puts people on our path and it is up to us to find them. It was like that with Anna that we found this week. We had been contacting and not really having "success" then we found Anna and she agreed to see us again. She wanted to know more. As for our other amis this week was a little difficult again. It has been the vacation for the schools and that throws off all of our amis. But they are doing well. Mrs. Chapuis is doing good again. WE had been to see here on Wednesday and talked about the Liahona and the things that we have in our lives today that are like liahonas. We gave her chapter to read for our next appointment. so When we went back on Saturday she had read and she had a whole list of questions. We spent the whole time answering her questions. She has been struggling to see that Heavenly Father is helping her in her life but this last week she has seen many things that he has done to help her. It was really cool because we had SR. paya with us who is the wife of the bishop. She told Mrs. chapuis that as a couple they have been praying for her specifically. And that it was really a testimony builder for her to see that Hevenly Father is answering our prayers. There ward here does something that I have never seen in a ward before. Every Tuesday night they have like and acting club. They decide on a play or skits or something they want to do and then work on it for the following months and then have a preformance. Well they had their preformance this last weekend and it was amazing. There were only six of them and they did skits to music. The thing is there wasnt any talking at all. It was so cool! We were so sad because it started at 8 so we didnt get to stay to see the end. It really was so cool and something new and different that I have never seen before. They are very talented.
This week was a good week but really weird. We have a schedule down and we see our amis Tuesdays and Thursdays. Well most of them. just because that is when they are free. And this wee we had the Soeurs Conference Thursday so we didnt get to see al of them like we wanted to. THey are doing well. Thierry is continuing to really progess. When we saw him this week he said that he smokes half a pack a cigerettes a day now instead of a whole pack. And he doenst drink coffee anymore! it was interesting because since he has been coming to church every week he has really been keeping his commitments and progressing. I love Cathy! she is so open and is progressing as well. SHe understands and loves the gospel. We need to get her to come to church. I think that is what will make the difference. there was a Baptism of a Sister from the branch of St. RApheal this weekend. They have to come to Cannes because they dont have a font in their building. It was such a neat baptism. Our ami Madame Chapuis came and really liked it.As we were talking after we finally figured out why she isnt progressing . she has stopped praying and reading the scriptures. It is interesting when you think about it. when we stop praying and reading we stop progressing in our lives. I understand more and more why it is important for our amis to keep doing it too. The spirit really is there so much more and helps us in our lives when we are doing these things. It was so good to have a Soeur Conference! It really was a fun day. I was so excited to see all of the Soeurs especailly SR. Brunt. The theme of the conference was becoming our best selfs. Sr. CArter talked to us aobut the 2 extremes that we find in the world. One being the extreme of fiting th mold of the world and having the right size, clothes and personality. Then the other side of the being the perfect mormons. She went on to talk about the two extremes arent good. that Heavenly Father has created us each differently and we need to be happy in our own skin. Then she went onto talk about how we need to set goals to be progressing and doing the best taht we can but not be too hard on ourselves. we have weaknesses and they are to help us to grow. We should set goals and standards for our own progression not according to the progression of others. I just love Sr. CAter. As part of the being our best self, we made all sorts of differnt salads for lunch! She talked about eating right and exercising. to end the afternoon we did some Yoga! The day was so much fun and just relaxing. WE had fun talking and laughing. To be honest it was kind of like we werent missionaries anymore just friends.
We got to go with the Ward last week on a picnic. We went up to this little village in the mountains about an hour from Cannes. It was beautiful!!!! We played games and ate. I think the best part was not doing anything and just being able to visit with the members. Jen in Gourdon where the picnic was held.
Jen in Grasse with the view behind
It is funny for the picnic you have all sorts of things but mostly sandwiches. But they are good sandwiches on baguettes!!! I love them. but then you have a lot of people that bring like salads or cold pizza. they eat a lot of cold pizza here. also they make lots of tarts/keishes. I will have to make one for you when I get home. As for the games they playes soccer, badminton, and this other cherades game.
I think that all week that is what we talked about with our amis and with people that we met on the street. I loved being able to talk about Jesus Christ. To think about his life and all that he did for us. The spirit was so strong as we had the opportunity to testify to our amis that he lives. I think one of the coolest things was Sunday. Our Amis Thierry came right as the first session ended. We had the 2 hours in between to talk. I undestand a lot more about him and what he thinks about the church. He was talking with Brother Simon and told him all the things that had really suprised him as he has been being taught. He was raised Catholic so he knows the basics about CHrist but when he learned that Christ is still living he said that he was shocked. Then for him to know that we have a prophet on the earth he was suprised as well. We really did have an intersting discussion. He loved conference too! Earlier in the week we seen him and he has started to keep the Word of Wisdom. He has stopped drinking coffee and says he is almost ready to stop smoking. He really suprises us each time we see him. I have to laugh sometimes at what people ask us and also what they think we do at our church. For instance we had invited someone to come to conference and he's like "will there be somthing that i have to do in order to enter, dont they rub wine on your head?" I honestly started laughing. He looked at us like what. We told him that we dont do things weird that everyone is welcome and can come in as they would like. Anther interesting thing is when we tell people that God has called a prophet for us today. A lot of people think that it is the pope. Anyway random run ins for the week. I was so excited Cathy came to Conference Saturday night. It was the first Saturday session that we got to watch. Some of it really was just for her. She is a single mother. Her daughter is 12 or 13. so just starting to be a teenager. and that session really had a lot of talk about mothers and their daughters. She said today that she was expecting that they would read from the bible and the Book of Mormon and talk about the verses but was pleasently suprised when they really did talk about things that concern us today in our everyday lives.
This week was good. we Are keeping busy and trying to prepare our amis to come to General Conference. We realized that it is going to be alittle hard with it Easter weekend. But we are going to do our Best. Our one ami Ivinia is so excited she really wants to come. We are praying that her husband will let her come for at least one of the sessions. We saw her this afternoon and as we were talking about it she kept getting more and more excited she is going to try and invite all of her family to come and see it as well. We are praying that they will be opened to atleast come and see what it is. I just love her. She said today that she feels like thanking Heavenly Father isnt enough for all of the blessings she is receiving! I have been thinking about this week and the experiences we have had realized that we had many. I didnt think at first that i had a lot to share but really there is a lot. One of our other amis Celine fasted with us last week. We had taught about fasting and praying and engaged her to set a goal or find something that she needed help with then we would all fast together. She decided that she couldnt fast for herself that her daughter needed it more than she did; Her daught is 7 and is struggling in school. So we fasted for her. A lot of times the first time to fast is hard but she did it. We went to see her today and as we were talking she said i have to tell you about the fast it we really hard but you know it is really powerful! She continued to tell us that as she prayed and fasted for her daughter the spirit helped her see what was wrong with her daughter and how she could help her. It was a great experience for me. I know that the fast relly is something that is powerful and can and will help us in all situations. There was another night this week that we went to teach Mrs. Chapuis. We taught about tithing. the bishop was with us and really helped. As we were talking about how the Lord asks for 10% she said that is alot. She said that what do you do when you cant make it everymonth anyway how do you pay tithing? we each shared a personal experience and how tithing is really like taking a leap of faith. Bishop Paya shared with us that it is like when he is playing with his nephews and they are on the table and he tells them to jump to him. They have so much faith and know that their uncle will catch them. It is like that with us and Heavenly Father other than sometimes we are scared that he wont catch us. I never realized truly we need to walk by faith and have more confidence in our heavenly Father. Each time he asks us to jump he is going to catch us. he wont let us fall. He knows our limits and sometimes he will puch us to where we think we cant go any farther but then just when we think we are going to fall he catches us. He is there to help us. Because he loves us unconditionally. I just love that it is spring time. EVerything is in full bloom here. There are flowers everywhere and of all size shape and colors. Then we have the beach. Sunday night we walked down by the beach for a few minutes. I could have stayed there for hours just watching the waves roll in. There are so many beautiful creations around us that testify that there is a creator.
First I have a funny story for you. So the door to our apartment there isnt handle on the outside so you have to have the key to unlock it to go in. so yesterday we were getting ready to leave for church we were a little behind and thought we would be late for the bus. We prayed then opened the door to leave I stepped out to turn on the light in the hall but i didnt grab the keys out of the door. Well Sr. cordner thinking that I had the keys stepped out and closed the door. No sooner had the door closed then we looked at each other and were like oh crap. the keys are in the inside. There is no way to open the door. We stresssed for a second then said the balcony door is unlocked so we can climb up and getin that way but if we do that now we will be late for church so we will do it after church. So long story short we went to church then asked the elders to come and climb up to the balcony for us. Well they said they could. lets just say it was quite amusing. I was so glad that we have the elders close by if not it would have been and interesting experience climbing up the first story balcony in a dress. On to another things... We have had some really good experiences with our amis this week. I think I told you a little bit aobut our amis Mr. Ananna. We got to see him on Saturday. We have been teaching him at his work because his wife doesnt like the idea that he is Christian now. When we got there Saturday We were asking him if he had had a chance to read in the BOM He's like ya i read a little bit i dont know what page hold on let me look. Come to find out he read over 60 pages. Even asking him about it he was understanding what he is reading and he loves it. He really is someone that has been prepared to come to know christ. It is amazing too to see the change that he has made from being a muslim to Christian. One of our other amis. Thierry is som funny. He always has such random questions and we were really wondering if he understands anything that we teach. Well We taught him Tuesday and he gave him a chapter to read in the BOM When he came Friday he said that he had read and he had actually got curious and started from the beginning to read the BOM. I was suprised! My testimony is confirmed more and more of the power of the Book of Mormon. The Spirit really does testify of the truthfulness of the Plan of Salvation and also that Jesus is the Christ; i love the book of Mormon more and more each day. i love how the spirit can teach us new things from the same passage that we have read hundreds of times. There is no way someone could convince me that it is just a story that Joseph SMith made up. It is a true Stroy it is aobut real people real prophets that lived and saw and talked with our Savior.
I really am excited to be in Cannes. The change has been different but it is going well. We have some amesome amis and all but of them are girls! ALl of them are progressing too! here is a little about them. Ivania she is 21 and newly married. And she already love the gospel. Each time that we go she is so exicted and she says I feel such a difference in my life I am doing things that I have never done but that are for the best. We are praying that here husband will see the differences in her and want to listen a little more. Cathy is a reference of a member. Last week whe had asked us a question about how she could know what God expects of her and in repose we gave her 2 Nephi 31 to read and we talke about it yesterday with her. Before we started the lesson she said to us "so i read the chapter and I know that in order to live with God again I need to be baptized." we were a little dumbfounded and simply said well ya. But it was such a testimony builder the spirit helps prepare our amis for the lessons. She has been a little bit closed with us. She talks but not a whole lot. yesterday was so cool she opened right up and explained that she likes what she is feeling thinks this is what she wants but she wants to be sure and is going to take her time. It was the best lesson we have had with her. We actually found a new ami this last week his name is Mr. Ananna. (sidenote ananna in french means pineapple) He is really cool! He was muslim until last year and he converted to christianism. He realized that Jesus really is the Christ and that means that Mohamed isnt a prophet and that the Koran isnt true. The thing is we think that he is kind of under cover about it because all of his family and everything are practicing muslims. But he is really cool and has a lot of potential. The Ville is very active. There are people everywhere and all the time. We are right next to the sea with the mountains just behind. It is starting to get warmer! EVerything is blooming and just beautiful. I will have to take picture and send to you! The ward is a the biggerst ward that I have been in. There area lot of families and young kids in the ward so it is really different. There are only a few members that I know right now but little by little we are trying to go visit them and get to know them. Sr. Cordner doesnt know them very well either so that is our goal to to go and visit and get to know them. Know the members makes all the difference in the work. They really help out and make the transition for our amis a lote easier.
So far so good here. We actually have quite a few amis that we teach often. For the first week it wasnt too bad. It is so different to Perpignan and is interesting to adapt to the change. The city is a rich city you could say with lots of tourist starting to come. It is a lot busier than what i was used to. The ward is lot bigger too and seems to have a some really strong families which is a good thing. THis week we actually taught one of our amis with the bishop which was cool, i have never taught with the bishop my entire mission. His dad is a general authourity and is in this ward too. Elder Paya. As for the ward so far so good. Like I was saying we have some really cool amis. one her name is Ivania. It wasnt that long ago that the soeurs started teaching her. Before we went to see her the first time this week Sr. Cordner said that she is from Portugal and that they thought she had a hard time understanding when she read in French. SO I go in thinking that we will gos low and really teach to help her understand. Well lets just say that I was shocked. She is reading int he BOM and is already to 2 Nephi. She even had a few questions to what she read. She is so cute. she is 21 and newly married. She told us that as she reads and prays she really feel like it is true that the book of Mormon is not just a story but something real. The second time we went she said that she has always prayed in the morning and since we have been teaching her she has started parying at night and she cnat go to sleep now without praying. As we were talking about it after the lesson Sr. Cordner said that they ahvent even taught the lessons "praying and studying the scriptures." It was such a testimony builder of how the holy ghost works on people when they have the desire to know more. I can say that is the greatsest desire of a missionary to see that the amis understand and are ready to try new and really pray to know and find the truth.
I was transferred yesterday. I am now In Cannes with Soeur Cordner. This last week was absolutely amazing! I knew all week that i would be transfered but it wasnt something that I wanted to think about. Instead we just kept working like it was the middle of the transfer. Can I just say that Sebastien is absolutely AMAZING!!! We had a couple of different appointments with him. Acutally Monday night we were supposed to go to a members house for FHe but they cancelled last minute. WE really wanted to still do the FHE with him as we were talking to the Elders They said they would come to the church and we could do it there. We had a simple lesson about Nephi when he built the boat. The next day we had a lesson with him and one of the first things he said to us i was thinking about the lesson from last night and i realized that I too can accomplish things with the help of the Lord. He went on to explain that he has wanted to get his Drivers liscense for a while but has just kept putting it off. But Tuesday morning he got up and went and signed up and payed to do it. He takes the scriptrues and really applies them to himself. He makes me want to be better. The lessons with him are so cool and the spirit is always strong; On Friday we were teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and engaged him to be baptized. He is ready. He was a little confused at first but he then he said that he knew that was the next step that he needed to take. To see Sebastian at church and with the members it is neat to see how well he fits in and just how much the gospel is changing his life. He is going to be baptized on the 12th. It was weird to think that i wont be their for his baptism but he is another Friend for life.
I want to tell you that I know that Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers! We have seen it so many times this week. I know I have talked a little bit about Xavier in the past. We have been kind of sad that we havent had contact with him again for some time but on Thursday we were walking on the road and someone in a car kept whistling normally we dont turn and look but Sr. Brunt turned and look and it was him. Long story short we were able to see him for a few minutes and he came with us to the Boltor's to celebrate Brother Boltors birthday. He has had some set backs and is not doing very well but we wer still praying and trying to teach him. We have not had his address and have tried asking him for it but he hasnt ever given it to us. But the other night we told him we had some pictures we wanted to bring to him and he finally gave us his address. Saturday was probably the best day ever! It was a day that I felt the most joy, a happiness so deep that it is hard to explain. WE had started the day off doing service for sister Garcia. We cleaned and helped her get ready to do some painting. It was the funniest thing we were in our pday clothes and really relaxed. She is so sweet we ended up staying a lot longer than we should have just because she needed someone to talk to. When we finally left it was a beautiful afternoon. As we were walking back to our apartment we were in the area of sebastien house and called him to see howhe was doing because he had been sick. He didnt answer. so we kept walking and ran into Omar. Omar is street ami. We see him from time to time on the road and we talk at least 30 minutes each time. He is muslim and very believing. Each time we ask him if we can set up an appointment with him but he always says that if we cross on the road we can talk. So it has been like that for the last 5 months. So saturday we crossed him and he is really hit rock bottom in his life. It was really interesting to talk with him. In their religion they dont believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior just that he was a prophet. We had the oppoutunity to really testify of the importance of Jesus Christ and his role as Savior. We talked about how it isnt a coincidence that we keep seeing him like we do on the road. He said maybe not but we will see. I felt really strongly that he has been prepared that he is ready to hear more about the gospel. Sad thing was He left like normal that he would talk to us on the street the next time our paths cross. I was hopeful. As we were talking to Omar Sebastien called us back and wanted to know if we were still in the area we told him where we were and he said that he wanted to come talk to us. Long story short he showed up as we were finishing talk to Omar and he had flowers in his hand. As we started talking with Sebastien he told us that he bought the flowers for us because we always tell him how big of a miracles and blessing he is to us but actually we are more of a miracles for him that the gospel is responding to his questions and is filling in the gaps missing in his life. We were speachless. He told us that he talked with his family and that they are ok with his decision in the church. Honestly we walked away and felt like we were on colud 9. Heavenly Father had answered our prayers and the prayers of the members who have been fasting for him. The rest of the afternoon was great as well. We were able to see everyone that we had planned even the Franc the bus driver.
" I Love You" written in the sand by the Sisters Having fun on P-day Soeur Lake and Soeur Brunt at the beach
I think the biggest miracle this week was with Sebastien! We had called him this week just to see how he is and to invite him for the Valentines activity that the ward was doing Saturday night. he was excited and said he would come. It was really funny because he was there early and you know wiht ward activities that no one shows up on time. So we ahd a good chance to talk to him. Brother Boltor came in and was tlkaing with him and invited him to come to church. Sebastien was hesitant and said no. Then later on he comes to us and asks if I want to come to churhc tomorrow can i? We were excited and said of course. And He CAME yesterday and he really liked it. he said that he has lots of questions but he is going to ask us today! I felt bad yesterday because we have only taught him once and didnt even talk about the book of mormon. So yesterday during Sunday school we were using all of the scripture and he was completely lost. At the end we gave him a Book of Mormon. He was so excited and was going to read last night. i can honestly say that he is prepared and ready. He comes from basically no religious background. And one of the best parts for us is he is normal!
As I sit here thinking about this week and what has happened I realize how fast the week went by. The days sometimes are long but the week its self is short. In missionary work you have 3 pools ther teaching pool the finding pool and the baptizing pool. lets just say that we are in the finding pool we dont have many amis but are doing a lot of searching. It is really cool though because we are preparing for a day missionary day with the ward where the members will come and work with us for the day. We will be split off and will go and visit the less actives and our amis. But in preparing for the day we are doing a 40 day fast. Like Christ when he went into the wilderness and fasted for 40 days and 40 nights to prepare for his ministry. We are preparing with the ward in the same sense. It is cool to see the power of fasting. We have a different member who fasts each day. WE call them and remind them and also give them an idea of what we will be doing the day they are fasting so they can keep our amis and member in mind. I guess you could say that gives us an extra boost. We are more accountable too or more aware of the little things that happen through out the day. One thing thing that was really cool was Sebastien (I think I told you about him last week) who had said he wasnt ready right now, well we called him just to see how he was doing and he asked if we could fix another appointment. I know that it is thanks to the fast and the prayers of the members that he is being prepared to hear more about the gospel. Another cool thing was we had contacted this family that is from New Zeland the husband is here playing rugby. He is married with 2 little boys. They were actually taught before they came here and had lots of friends that are members. We have set up another appointment to see them this next week. The reason it is cool is because it is an entire family! We are going to teach them! I am so excited! I almost forgot about the frog legs. We spent the moring with the family Oger taking down the wallpaper Sr. Brunt and I knew what we were going to be eating but the elders didn't. It was the funniest thing. But I was kind of weirded out the more I thought about what we were going to be eating. So when we finally got to lunch I wasn't so excited anymore. Brother Oger showed us how to eat them then let us go at it. THey are actually pretty good. They taste kind of like shrimp but with bones in them. I can officiallly say that I have tried almost everything weird there is to eat here now.
Last week the Sisters did a little touring around northern Perpignan and these are some of the things they saw.
Modern art statues at one of the beaches
Look close and you can see Soeur Lake and Soeur Brunt hiding
A lighthouse on the coast - they only saw it from a distance Soeur Lake at a castle All the stories of princesses are coming to life for her as she realizes that castles really do exist. We have been told that tourists that go to France go to Nice and the natives go to Perpignan to get away.
This last week we saw that with a couple of our amis. We have been praying to get in contact with them again and as we ahve been more obedient Heavenly Father has helped everything to fall into place. WE finally saw Xavier again. On wednesday we were crossing the street to go to the church and I see a car coming toward us and said to myself that looks like the same kind of car as Xavier. As it got closer there was a man waving to us. It was Xavier. Luckly the light was red so we ran u pnext to his car and he asked us if we were going to the church then said that he would be there in 5 minutes. We were both so excited. We were able to talk to him then and again on Saturday. And saturday he opened right up with us. We were teaching him with Bro. Bolter and xavier looks up to him like his own grandpa; It is going to take some time but slowly but surely. I have complete faith he will be baptized soon. We met this guy las week when we were contacting his name is Sebastien. He was really receptive. We got to teach him this last week he really has been prepared and is still being prepared for the gospel. He has never been religious neither does he know much about religions. So as we explained and testified you could really feel the spirit working on him. As he left the church he told us how he felt good and was excited to see us again. I was kind of sad when I called to confirm our next appointment and he said that he isnt ready yet. He needs more time he isnt ready yet. I got to thinking how important it is for us to continue to pray for him especailly for the spirit to work in his heart.
This week has really been amazing! As we did our planning for mast week we realized that we needed new amis because we had lost contact with almost all of our other amis. We even lost contact with Xavier this last week and didnt know why. We started really praying and asking Heavenly Father to help us to find people that are ready to hear about the gospel and to help us find a way to get in contact with 3 specific amis. As we prayed and work this week I can honestly say that Heavenly Father answered our prayers. First our Ami Gabriel We were able to see 2 times. He had cancelled on us so many times but finally this week he came through. Then Friday we were contacting and found Steve. He has recentely moved here from cameroon. he is very humble and very believing. He had talked with the missionaries a few times before and was really open. As we taught him he said that he feels like he is already a member. That same night we decided to pass by Christophe an ami that just moved back to Perpignan. We didnt know if he would even be there but said why not. Well Heavenly Father heard our prayers and he was there. It was the first time we have seen him since before Christmas. We talked with him for a few minutes and were able to set up an appointment for Saturday. It was so cool to see the hand of the Lord leading us along and helping us to find and recontact our amis. I think one of the coolest experiences we had was yesterday. We were once again contacting. It was raining and I had found that I had a hole in my boot. But we had set the goal to have 13 SNAPs(that means 13 peoples name and phone nmber and/or address) for the day. So the raind and wet feet didnt stop us. It was dark and we were talking to everyone we could. We saw a man coming towards us and we decided to talk to him. Come to find out he is a nurse and was just heading to work. He is just starting his career but eventually wants to work with children. I thought how weird. Then as we kept talking he said that he has passed by our church a couple of time sna siad that one day he would enter and see what it was like. He was pressed for time so we set up an appointment for later in the week. We were excited! THen a little bit later he called us and said that he just looked at his work schedule and needed to change our appointment. We were shocked. He really is interested. It was a testimony builder That there are people out there that are really prepared to hear about the gospel.
This week has really been a good week. I find such a joy in Missionary work. It is easier to work when you like who you are with. We were talking about our week last night and thought that we hadnt had such a productive week but then as we really looked at all we had done and everyone we had been able to teach and see it was actually the best week we have had! Xavier continues to get ready for his baptism but he didnt come to church this week so that was a little disappointing. We had a good laugh with him the other night. I dont remember what we were talking about but we had just finished reading a scripture and she says "I love my dad." we looked at him like what then he said it again this time adding "Ilove our dad, come on dad give me a kiss;" I was laughing so hard. But he was so serious the scripture had touched him. Ya it was funny but thinking about it now how cool it is to see how much love he has for our Heavenly Father. Then yesterday our lesson in Relief Society was the same as yours about our Heavenly Father. It is so cool to think how we grew up spiritually speaking with him. We taught us helped us, and prepared us to come here. One thing that we talked about was we forget those things when we come to earth that is why we need to try new things. Also why we have Patriarchal Blessings; We have so many tools to help us grow and develope in spiritual things and worldly things. I really am loving my mission. I learn so much everyday. There are definitely advantages to staying int he same place for such a long time. I was thinking about it this weekend. I can say that this ward needs the sister missionaries. It is true that we are here to find people to come to christ but also to strengthen the church where we are. And This ward really needs that. There are way to many stories and sad things that have happened in this ward. I cant even begin to tell you. but there is one thing that I know and that I can tell you I love this ward.I love the members here. There is a young women Jeanne that is same age as I am. She is amazing. She has become like a sister to me. She teaches with us a lot and is just so strong in her testimony. I love her.
Xavier is doing well. We fixed a baptism date with him for the 6th of February. He Came to church Yesterday. He fits in really well with the members or the members seem to like him and here that is sometomes a hard thingfor our amis. It was really cool to see how the members his age especially welcomed him and we hardly had the chance to talk to him which is such a good thing. It is so cool to have an ami that is serious and keeping his commitments. Besides Xavier we don't have very many amis that are progressing or that we see often. But this week we have done a lot of contacting and even knockinig doors. We had more success knocking doors this week than we did contacting. We pray that we can really be instruments in the hands of the Lord to touch these peopel when we see them this next week. It is so true that without the Lord we are nothing his work doesnt go anywhere. It has been cool the last few days as well with the members. We are trying to work better with them. This Ward is in real need of strength you could say. It is something that we can see and want to help with. sO we decided to go and to visit some of the members that have been here since the ward was started to get their ideas of what we can do. Can I just tell you that it has been amazing. One of the families was the Trevision's. They were one of the first couple baptized in the 60's. We went with the intention to stay for an hour and ended staying for 2 and a half. THey can see what we see and have somany ideas. Sister Trevision has been fighting cancer for the last 2 years and has really struggled with not coming to church and not being able to help the missionaries. ANd so for us to go and to visit made her week. I cant tell you how cool it was. Even Yesterday Brother Trevision was asking us about how the work is going. There were other members as well that we went and saw and they too were more interested and asking us how the work is going and how thye could help us. I love to see all of the changes in the ward and how I much the members really take care of us.
They have a tradition in France that the first of theyear they have a dessert and they hide a little figurine in it and there is a crown that comes with the dessert when you buy it. The person that finds the figurine as you are eating dessert becomes the queen or king and has to wear the crown. It is a fun tradition. The day Jen and her companion ate dessert with the Trevision's, Jen found the figurine so she became the queen. Soeur Lake and Soeur Brunt striking a pose!
We have an ami, Xavier, that i amazing. The only problem we have had is he disappears then for a few days then reappears. And he had disappeared for a day or two this last week and Thursday we were at the church waiting for an appointment that didnt show when he called and said he was close by and wanted to stop and talk to us. So we waited. We ended up having such a cool lesson with him. We talked about Baptism and confirmation and ended up engaging him to be baptized. He is ready. He has now come to church the last 2 Sundays and for the full 3 hours. We are hoping to fix the date for his baptism this week. We don't have very many progressing amis right now and are really trying to search; Heavenly Father really has helped us this week to see miracles. I know that he guides us in this work. Sometimes we have to find a lot of crazy people before we find the peopel that are ready to listen to the message of the restored gospel. There were a couple days that we werent out much just because Sr. Brunt really was sick but when we were out we had a greater desire to work and talk to people. its like that in life if we are giving all that we can Heavenly Father is going to bless us. Sometimes it does feel like nothing is happening but He knows best. Yesterday was kind of weird I was sitting in Sacrament meeting listening to the testimonies and everyone kept talking about their new years resolutions and being better this year. There were some that talked about their trials of the last year and how much they have grown. It got me to thinking of where I was a year ago. It is hard to believe that a year ago I was still getting ready to come out in the field. My life has completely changed. I had been thinking during the week of how i had changed recentely but couldn't really see any changes. I realized yesterday and even today how much I am growing and changing for the better.