Cher Ma Famille et Mes Amies,
Ok, first of all, Merry Christmas! Joyeux Noel! Happy Holidays!
This week was another wonderful week. It was the second full week I have spent with my dear companion, Soeur Sorenson. Oh how I love her! We are best friends. We dress alike, we think alike, we talk alike..everything is pretty much the same. We don't even have to say anything and we know what the other is thinking. It's so weird, but so fun. I just adore her to pieces.
To start off, last monday night we sang Christmas carols to a less active member with some other members and it was so fun. Her face just glowed and she was so happy to have us in her home.
Tuesday we had a giant Zone Conference the entire day. It was such a blast and a wonderful Christmas party, despite the 6 hours on the train to and from Paris. We had some super cool experiences though. While we waited at the gare for our train to take us to another gare, about 20 of us missionaries sang Christmas songs for about 10 minutes. It was so fun even if people thought we were weird. I also got to present my companion in front of everyone and we were so decked out with matching outfits. Everyone kept taking double-takes because they just couldn't believe how much we look alike.
So at the conference we talked a lot about using the birth of Christ and His life as a way to talk to more people and to sing Christmas songs and pray with families that we meet. We have been let into so many homes this week and been able to invite the Christmas spirit into so many. This week we met three ladies on separate days who we all contacted that had just recently lost children or husbands, who all just cried as we were able to share a quick message that we can be with our families forever, they all invited us back after christmas. Miraclessss!!!
Wednesday we had a fabulous lesson with Jeanne, our little ami from Madagascar. As we planned out her lesson, Soeur Sorenson felt prompted to change our lesson to a message about Christ and His Atonement. I'm so glad she listened to the Spirit and as we changed our lesson plan, we really felt it was right to share the Finding Faith in Chrsit film. We went over with the Harris couple and our branch president met us there and we all watched the film with her. She teared up and really appreciated the beautiful film. As we testified of Christ, we had the opportunity to feel a little glimpse of what Heavenly Father feels for Jeanne. She is taking the discussions really slow, but as long as she feels the Spirit and is touched by the Savior's love, I know she will taste the joy of living the gospel.
Thursday was really interesting. I will just insert a part of Soeur Sorenson's email since she tells the story better than I do:
"So my companion and I, being the totals babes I mean missionaries that we are :) had a funny experience. We were knocking doors in a neighborhood and after about 30 rejections we got to our final door. I knocked and we waited patiently, at this point we were almost done but hoping that someone would answer and be excited about our message. Well we decided to name him Jason after the fact haha so Jason, a boy around our age opened the door. And about that time he jumped back and was like "woah"!!! hahaha and in the 45 seconds that Soeur Berge was telling him who we are and bearing a short testimony, the kid could not contain himself he was just like oh! oui oui, and I swear he was about to start a fire as many times as he twisted that poor scarf he was holding. He said he would defnitely come to church! Hahaha needless to say he was interested in our message and I was just trying to make it around the corner so I could let all my laughs out. Oh Jason. Good times. "
Friday we had to help the Harris's with a lot of errands and we had a lot of things we had to get done ourselves. Needless to say it was a busy, busy day. Later that night we had dinner with the Hemons and it was so fun. This family pretty much makes up the entire ward with their 5 kids and I love em to pieces. We had a great meal and laughed so hard. They're such a trip.
Saturday we saw the less active member and sang to her and read scriptures with her. We also had our special Christmas Singing Activity. It wasn't very big (nothing is very big with our tiny branch) but it was a lot of fun and the Hemon's friends even came. Soeur Sorenson and I even sang 2 songs..but I have a strong feeling that while on a mission the angels help us out and change what we really sound like and make us sound better when we sing. As I talked with the 3 friends (grandmother, mother, and daughter) that came I told them it was so good to meet them and they were always welcome "chez-moi" (my home in the states) and they really started to warm up and they were just so cute. In the kitchen, Soeur Hemon told me she had had a feeling all day that whoever Later that night, the girl (about 15 years old) texted Soeur Hemon and said she wants to see us again. Wow! Miracles. This is what happens when the members and the missionaries work together--the power triples and the heavens open and help us out.
Sunday we had a wonderful Sacrament Meeting and our recent convert, Esperence bore her very first testimony and man was the Spirit strong! It was just wonderful and I was so proud of her. Later we had about an hour and we decided to go porting before our appointment with some members. We knocked on lots of doors and 3 different families let us in to sing some Christmas songs for them. It was great! One of them even asked us what made our church different and we gave the whole restoration lesson with him and his son. It was so cool. He said he would read the brochure and maybe come to church. We also got let into this house that we named, "the castle." It's a beautiful home with a view of the beach. There these 2 girls our age that answered and told us to come in and sing so we did. When we first walked in, the mom was kind of annoyed and wanted us to leave because she doesn't like religious stuff, but we said we just wanted to sing for them and afterwards they loved us and gave us incredible home made chocolate truffles (chocolate from Belgium.) They were so good, we died and went to heaven. The mom really liked us and we got to talking about who we were and why were here and she was super nice. It's funny what the Spirit can do to people's hearts. They soften like a potata in boilin' water.
We went to the Poisbeau's for dinner and they prepared a big fancy meal for us for Christmas. (Including liver fat, which we thought was yum til we found out what it was. Then Soeur Sorenson avoided it the rest of the night.) But we ate a great African meal and shared some laughs.
I can't believe how the time is just flying. It's crazy to think just a year ago I was opening my call and now I'm here and it's Christmas again. Where is the time going? I am so excited to skype and see everyone for Christmas! It's been a long 7 months and I can't wait to talk to ya :)
The church is true, Jesus Christ is our Savior. We celebrate this Christmas season not only His birth, but His life, death, and resurrection. He is the reason we have anything to celebrate for we can look at death, not with fear, but with joy knowing He atoned for our sins so we can live in the presence of our Heavenly Father and our dear older Brother one day. Familes are forever. We have much to be grateful for and I ask that each of you look within your own heart this Christmas and find a way to serve someone else. The only way to find utter true joy is by giving, loving, and serving those who need us and more importantly, need Him.
Love you all!
Stay righteous, be true, be you!