Monday, July 22, 2013

A Day of Miracles-there's a first for everything

Famille et amis,

This week was unlike any other!!
I realized I was actually called to Africa on my mission. All of our amis are seriously from Africa. We eat so much African food and Haitian food. It's awesome. These people are absolutely amazing and the love I have for them already is unreal.

Time is going by way too fast. We are already on week 5 of the transfer. So nuts! But everyday I am just so filled with gratitude. Soeur Wynn and I laugh our heads off every day and have so many great experiences both with missionary work and other stuff. It's super awesome though.
I cannot express how grateful I am for all the miracles that we have been able to see this week. And with each day, they only got greater.

Last week, right after p-day was over we went to visit Sarah for another intervention. She is in surgery today to get her stomach tied and she is really grateful and will be done smoking for good...we hope.

We went and had a great lesson with her and afterwards we felt that we should stay in this area (despite it being quite sketchy...=/ ). We sat on a bench and began making some calls when we looked up and saw some houses across the street that we had never ported. So we headed over and prayed right outside the first house. There was a dad and some kids outside hosing off their feet as we prayed but off we went! We began talking to this dad and he at first was not interested at all. That didn't stop us. We just decided to be ourselves and ended up talking with this Muslim family for about 20 minutes outside their house. They said we could come back so we fixed a rdv with them. It was so neat because we have been praying to find a family, and especially find a father first so that there is less resistance within the family. That seems to always be the case for us...Prayers are answered!

We've really come to love talking with Athiests! No one is truly athiest. There is no way that people don't believe in some form of higher existence. All we have to do is ask the right questions to get them thinking and then as we bear solemn witness.  The spirit testifies to their hearts that there truly is something more for them in this life. We had a 45 minute contact with a woman this week and by the end of it, the spirit was super strong and she agreed to pray and begin being taught by us. We were so excited as we watched her heart soften and open up. We were in the process of exchanging our info when she suddenly looked up at us. Her countenance changed completely. It was as if we were looking at a new person...she suddenly took back the paper, said there was something stopping her from giving us her info and as we looked into her eyes a darkness filled our hearts. That night we saw the power that Satan can truly have. We were broken hearted as we walked away from this woman who, for maybe the first time ever, truly wanted to believe in God. It was one of the most disturbing and saddening experiences for us. But we have hope that the Lord will place someone in her path again someday.

The next morning we discovered the Spirit of Elijah- the love for family history work. As we are both very new missionaries going through the training program outlined by the church, we were encouraged to check out As we got on and looked at the work that has already been done, we were amazed and marveled and hungered for more. We felt the power that can come through searching out our family. I encourage each of you to spend some time this week doing family history work. We read a talk this week that explained that the Lord sends us angels to bear us up and those angels are our ancestors. They are our flesh and blood sent to us to guide us and lead through life's difficulties. They stand next to us through all of our trials. They are with us, and as we seek them out, we learn to recognize better their presence. It is truly amazing and I always thought that geneology work was a little boring and something I would do later in life when I had more time to spare, but now I cannot wait to do it. It's like missionary work for those who have passed on before us  so they can have the same opportunities that we have as members of the Lord's kingdom. There is a special and really neat spirit that comes and even us young kids can find it super fun! We wanted to stay on for hours!!! We can't put it off til later. The Lord didn't put off the Atonement until later, til he had more time to spare. Our work of saving souls is similar (on a smaller degree) to his. We can perform things that people cannot do for themselves. We can truly be our ancestors saviors as we do their work for them. Seek them out and learn to recognize the angels that surround you every day.

We were able to teach a young 15 year old girl this week, Enricka, who truly has been prepared for our message. It is amazing to see that everyone we meet is either prepared already or not. It becomes obvious quickly and the Spirit helps us to know who the Lord has prepared for us to help bring to the Kingdom of God.

One such experience happened yesterday. This is a day I will never forget. A day of unending miracles.

Maria, who is a young 18 year old girl who went to church in Spain for 6 years and has come to our ward a few times came yesterday. We have taught her the lessons and invited her to be baptized but never heard anything from her...yesterday she faced many obstacles as she tried everything she could to get to church. Satan did not want her here! After the meetings, she expressed that she had decided to go to Spain for a few weeks and be baptized there. We were thrilled for her so we began trying to make arrangements for that. After several conversations with the bishopric, she pulled me outside and said she was having a change of heart. She had dreamed her whole life of being baptized in Spain but now in this moment, she felt compelled to just do it here!!! She said it was between her and the Lord and she really just wanted us to be there since we had been teaching her and preparing her all this time. Soeur Wynn grabbed her agenda and said, let's look at dates. 2 weeks ago in our lesson with her, we had prayed to know if the 28th of July was the right day for her. It was confirmed to us but we never gave her the date. She said she would pray to pick a day. Yesterday as I looked her in the eyes, Soeur Wynn asked her if she would be baptized the 28th of July, 1 week from yesterday. She looked back at us and said that every day this week the number 28 had been stuck in her head and she didn't know why?! It was incredible!!! So WE WILL BE HAVING OUR FIRST BAPTISM DIMANCHE LE 28 JUILLET!!! We immediately began making all the necessary preparations. I have never seen anyone so prepared for baptism in my life. It was incredible. She ended up spending the rest of the day with us, helping us do missionary work. It's really cool that we got to be part of her first missionary experience and she wants so badly to serve a mission. We saw the joy that it brought her as she contacted people and bore powerful testimony of the truth of this Gospel. She even contacted an entire family in Spanish for us on the bus!!! She turned to me halfway through and asked if we had a BOM in Spanish...luckily we had a few brochures so she invited them to church! It was so incredible. We are so thrilled for her and can't wait until next week!

It's truly been an amazing week and we feel so blessed everyday. I get along with my companion so well and seriously we never stop laughing and having a great time. I learn so much from her as well. We are so unified it's awesome.

Oh one cool thing this week we visited a member's house out way far away. She had an aquarium floor!!  And her bathroom was made for Greek goddesses...I wanted to find a reason to use it! Coolest house I've seen yet!
Two quotes of the week:
"For missionaries you have two options: Go big or go home...but sometimes you just go home bigger" -Souer Pulupuna
"Friends are like the family members that you choose"...hahaha our athiest woman told us that.
I truly am so touched by my experiences here. Time is flying by way too fast and I wish I could slow it down. I love you all so much and I am so grateful to have such a great support system back home.
Cool things about France..
-Everyone comments on my name. In French, 'berge' actually means 'river banks'
-2 things the French do better than anyone else: BREAD and flowers..the flowers here are beautiful and really well-kept.
-the toilets here are awful

I know the Lord is on my side and that the angels are getting easier to recognize. That's one of the miracles of missionary work, the Lord is never very far away!
Keep us in your prayers! We will send baptism photos next week! Love you all! FIRST FOR EVERYTHING!

Stay righteous, be true, be you!
Avec amour,
Soeur Berge

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Pamplemousse and Baptisms!

 My trainer companion, Soeur Wynn
 The 4 soeurs in our apartment

 Celebrating about Hortense
 Vincennes, on the east side of Paris, one of my favorites

We really do love each other! :)
The desserts are beautiful.

 The birthday cake we made for Leilah's birthday.

 So happy for Hortense!

Dear famille et amis!
Life is just awesome here. Yes I got all the packages and letters. Thanks to everyone! I got letters from Kirstie, Nana and Papa, and Aunt Vicki as well as the letters in the package and some from the SmithsJ I am so loved! Seriously, thank you everyone!
This week was incredible!!
Tuesday went a little better than last week. We met with a lady named Marie-Lou. She was a driver for a big blood donating day. (before I got here) She was driving two sisters from our ward over to the hospital from the church. These two sisters JUST so happened to be RMS (you see where this is going?J) So they pulled up and apparently they were talking to her about church and Soeur Wynn and Soeur Bracken (Soeur Wynn’s old comp) overheard them and were like WHAT? They got her information. We just had our first lesson with her and man, oh man! She’s so ready for the gospel. She was so open to it. We also had this young 22 year old member named Aurelie with us. She’s incredible. She’s GORGEOUS and she just got married to an awesome guy in the ward. She’s from Guadalupe, way cool. So, she was awesome with Marie-Lou and now she has a friend when she comes to church (hopefully she’ll start coming).
Also on Mardi, we met Frederick! She is awesome. We met her on the train to our district meeting. Soeur Pulupuna just started talking to her and was making her crack up.  She made the whole train just die laughing. She was talking about how I’m such a diva and just all these quirky funny things,  about how Tongans are really big and all these funny things. After a while she brought it around to missionary work and bore her testimony and invited her to come to church this Sunday. She said she would love to! Then the next day we went to meet another ami and we’re walking into the gare (station) about to leave after our rendez-vous and Soeur Wynn says to me, “I don’t feel like we’re done here, let’s turn around and go back." After we walked about 100 feet out of the gare, we hear this shout, “SOEUR WYNN!” and we turn around. IT’S FREDERICK! Again! Our area is HUGE! The chances of seeing her again the next day is far from coincidence. And she remembered our names and absolutely loves us! Soeur Wynn asked her if she was coming to church and she said, “Of course! I told you I’m coming!” (unfortunately she never came that Sunday. Maybe she got lost or confused?)
Mercredi (Wednesday)- Probably one of THE most amazing days on my mission ever. So we go over to meet with Hortense (I met her my first day in Nogent and we weren’t sure if she was still interested) but this was our 3rd rendezvous with her. We planned on just being really bold and challenging her to baptism. So in the lesson we read some verses – Alma 7:11-16 (those are boss scriptures) and she was sitting there and I could tell something wasn’t right and that she was thinking about something. So I just said, “Hortense, what are you thinking right now?” And she looks at us and back at the scriptures and after a while she says, “I was thinking about my baptism.” WHAT? So apparently she was baptized in another church a long time ago, but she never thought that was the right church and she was going on about how she wanted to be closer to God and Christ. So finally we asked her if she wanted to be baptized. SHE SAID YES! She said that her son passing away a few weeks ago has really made her reflect on her life. Missionaries have been teaching her for YEARS and she never got baptized. She said that experience has really made her think and she feels like she needs to get baptized. She said she is ready. So we didn’t pressure her too much. Now we need to get her to church. She hasn’t been able to come yet because the church is super far from where she lives and she doesn’t live near the gare so it’s very hard for her to get there. She’s trying to move though, so that’s good. She wanted to say the prayer and afterwards, the spirit was so strong. Hortense has never really prayer like that before. She prayed that Heavenly Father would prepare her for her baptism next month! (we didn’t even suggest a date yet).
After Soeur Wynn and I left her lesson we just started running and jumping up and down and crying and we were so happy. We went straight home and celebrated with an awesome dinner and some funny celebratory pictures. It was the first time we both had seen someone sincerely change and accept baptism! It was incredible.
Friday we had another awesome lesson with Kashmira. She’s been taught for years as well. She made us amazing Hindi food (she’s indian and absolutely a gem to be around). She really opened up to us about what’s going on. Apparently she went to withdraw money from the ATM. She clicked on a large amount of money, but then decided she probably didn’t have that much so she pressed cancel. Then she went to a different one and the money wasn’t there. It still showed that the withdrawal went through, but the atm never spit the money out. So she pretty much just lost 400 euros. Bless her heart. We taught her a message about trials and Christ and we explained the Atonement thoroughly and it was incredible. We pushed her to say closing prayer and it was the most sincere prayer she’s ever given. Soeur Wynn said she has never prayed like that before. She is so nice to missionaries. She made us so much food and she really has nothing. I love her. The other problem is she signed a contract at work and she has to work every Sunday til November, so hopefully in November she can start coming because she loves church.
We met this guy Claude on the train one day. SO FUNNY! So he’s speaking English in his African accent to his buddy (we’re not allowed to contact men) but we really wanted to ask him where he was from. We obeyed the rules anyways and was about to get on our train. He was getting on the same train and he says to us, “Soeur Wynn…Soeur Berge.” (people do this a lot because of our plaques) He says, “You are sisters? Come sit next to me on the train. We need to talk.” We’re kinda weirded out, but we decide to talk to him anyways. He asked us where we were from and Soeur Wynn says California and he says, “I hate California..I took a girl there and she broke my heart.” We just burst out laughing. He was so funny!! Then he turns to me and I tell him Florida and he says, “No way! I took that SAME girl to Florida and she broke my heart!” We were laughing so hard. We had to get off at this point because it was our stop so he says, “ok ok before you leave give me the name of your church and I’ll come on Sunday.” (why can’t all contacts be this easy?) haha and so we did..he didn’t show up on Sunday either, but it was still really cool. Wilna is an incredible young mom who has this incredible neighbor named Marie Rose. She is pretty much like a mom to Wilna. Wilna has an adorable daughter named Tanya who is super timid and shy, but darling. Apparently Wilna wanted to get baptized, but couldn’t because of her husband.  Soeur Wynn hasn’t been able to get a hold of her in a month and she hadn’t been coming to church. We finally reached her and she said she’s been super busy. We set up a rendezvous and we asked her to get baptized. She said yes as well! She said it’s her decision if she wants to and she does! Way to go Wilna! She came to church on Sunday and her baptismal date is Sept 1! Whoohoo!
One of our biggest miracles this week was working with a less active, Sarah. She decided to turn her life around and we are able to be a part of that right now. She told us she wanted to stop smoking and kick her boyfriend out. So we have been to her house everyday and texting or calling her often to make sure she’s staying strong. She came to church yesterday and it was super cool to have her there. She was so well received and such. Such a great experience! Last week we were asking her how she was going to stop smoking and she told us if she woke up each morning and ate a grapefruit (pamplemousse-cool word huh?) that she wouldn’t smoke because the acid would make the cigarette burn her throat super bad! Not a bad alternative, n’est pas? So the next day we headed up to her house with 7 huge pamplemousses. We finally arrived at her bus stop and Soeur Wynn pushed her way through the sweaty crowd of stinking non-deodorant wearing people and got off the bus. I didn’t notice she got off and walked towards the front because it was so crowded.  Soeur Wynn started walking and I looked around for her and realized just too late that she got off. The doors closed and I just burst into laughter. So with the huge bag of pamplemousse in my comp, Soeur Wynn’s hands and her big purse, she starts running after the bus in a panic. I just got off at the next stop and started walking towards her. I see this tiny girl running with 2 huge bags, one of which was filled with 7 HUGE pamplemousses! We finally met up and were laughing so hard we were crying. So funny. Anyway, Sarah is really making progress and I’m extremely happy to be a part of it.
..the Monrier famille. We’ve been working hard with the Monriers. The mom is a member and all 4 of her kids aren’t..YET. So we went over and made a cake for Leilah’s birthday which was Sunday and she wanted us to come over! How cool is that? And it turned out perfect. The boys were playing and Soeur Wynn had a chance to talk to Valerie about all the kids individually and all their needs. I got to talk to Leilah and I asked her if she wanted to be baptized and she said she did. Then I asked her if she thought this church was the only true church and she said she wasn’t sure. I told her to ask God and pray tonight to find out if it’s true. I told her to think about her feelings after she prays and try to see if she feels peace and good things in her heart and that will be her answer. She said she would. Anyways, the boys came back and we did this AWESOME object lesson. We did the story about Nephi building the boat. We took a pot full of water to see if they could make the pennies float in water with tin foil. They couldn’t and then realized they had to ask for help and instructions like Nephi so we showed them how and the pennies floated in the little aluminum boats. It was really fun. I love that family. The cake was good too! We made it from the mission recipe book and it’s one of Soeur Wynn’s favorites. Some of the kids didn’t like it though because it was too sweet (Americans put way too much sugar in desserts). They weren’t used to it and didn’t like it. Haha too strange.
Well this week has been truly incredible. We are so blessed. The work is really progressing. So many people are ready for the gospel! I love France. I love being a missionary. I love everything about my life right now. I can’t believe today is my 2 month mark! I only have 16 months left. Not fair. I just love Nogent and everything is going great. Also thanks for the peanut butter and the packages and letters! (although the package that had dad,s stuff in it was ripped completely open and was put in another bag. What was all in that package?)
Read your scriptures every day! They’re the key to life. They hold so many answers. I’ve really been learning more and more each day about the tender mercies of Heavenly Father. Everything in life is for a reason. We just have to have the courage to search for why it is the way it is. Man, the atonement has played such a big role in so many lives here and in my own. It’s amazing to see the lives changing, the people being touched, and the Lord opening so many hearts to receive the gospel more fully. He is preparing people before we ever meet them and my heart is just full of joy, love, and gratitude to have these amazing people in my life. Nothing could be better right now.
Stay righteous, be true, be you!
Avec amour,
Soeur Berge

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Miracles Come AFTER the Trial of Your Faith

Bonjour tous le monde!
Well this week was just another week in the mission life. Thank you everyone for all your prayers, love, and support! I can really feel the love :) Today we went to see the Eiffel Tower and hang around Paris a bit. That was fun. We got some amazing food from a vendor right across from the Eiffel Tower. YUM 
This week we had a lot of less active rendez-vous. Although, on Sunday we only had like one ami at church. Bummer, but we're supposed to have more this Sunday coming. Speaking of Sunday, yesterday I got to present myself to the ward and bear my testimony. That was scary, but kinda fun. Our ward is just awesome. We met with a lot of members this week to lay out our 4 week plan (plan for them to find a friend of theirs to invite to the gospel) unfortunately our ward out here missed the broadcast :( Frustrating. We've been fasting and praying so hard for our amis.

Last night was super interesting. Poor Soeur Wynn..I love her. This lady we tried to contact was so rude to her. She said we were a cult and she was very rude. We just tried to defend Jesus Christ as much as we could, but after a while she was just being nasty so I said, "Passez une bonne journee!" And we peaced outta there. She was super rude to Soeur Wynn. Our night last night was rough. Our appointment fell through so we decided to go visit some less actives and contact. None of the less actives were home and everyone we contacted was super rude and just shut us down hard core. It was definitely humbling and a test of our faith. All of our amis are African except for a few. Seriously though the Africans are so

beautiful and so loving. 

We do get some funny contacts though. People think were CIA or secret agents or they think we're just plain evil. It's quite entertaining. We meet some awesome people though. We met this lady named Sabbienne. She was walking home and we just talked to her about faith and how even if you have a little faith like a little seed, it can nourish and grow. She said we we're just awesome and marvelous people. That was sweet.
The missionaries here are such a trip. Our zone is hilarious. We just had zone conference/district meeting on Thursday and we all ate our meal together (Soeur Wynn and I made the meal and it was so good). Soeur Wynn loves to cook and we eat vegetables and fruits with every meal. It's awesome because I'll help her chop stuff up or cook some things while she makes most of the meal and then I usually try to do the dishes and clean up and it's great.
Soeur Wynn is the best companion I could've ever asked for. She is honestly like the older sister I always wanted. She's becoming one of my best friends. Soeur Pulupuna says that the rest of my companions will be terrible because we have such a great companionship now. We just agree on everything and where I have weakness she has strengths and vice versa. She's such a hard worker, yet we have a blast. We are always laughing so hard in our apartment.
We had a good lesson with one of our amis named Hortense. We got there and we talked about the plan of salvation and the atonement more because she just lost her son a couple weeks ago. She started to cry and said it's really hard to lose a child. The lesson was going well and then she said she needed to go pick up her daughter, so we walked with her and it was just ok after that. I think we have another appointment with her this week. She's doing her reading though, so hopefully she continues to progress.
Last night after 3 hours of walking and being shut down by people Soeur Wynn and I just decided to sit on some steps in a little field (It's her favorite spot in France) It was really peaceful and we read some chapters out of the bible and just decided that we had to have faith. We're doing everything we can do to be good missionaries. We're obedient, we're faithful, we're hard working and we just decided that Heavenly Father is bound to help us when we are doing what is right. We  decided to pray to find that special family that we came here to baptize and now we're just really focused on our progressing amis and finding our family.
Your banana muffins are a hit. Except we make it as banana chocolate chip bread instead because we don't have muffin tins. We've made it like 4 times now. We took some over to the Monrier family during our lesson once and the kids devoured it! The oldest (16 year old boy) wanted the recipe! haha. We also took it to our zone conference and some elders just devoured it too. We made it again last night and it's pretty much gone today.
This week I've been studying a lot about the Atonement and recognizing the Spirit. How wonderful is the Spirit? We're so lucky to have that in our lives. And to show our gratitude we have to be worthy at all times to receive that inspiration and comfort.

Today I was reading in the 'faith in Jesus Christ' section and it talked about how faith in Jesus Christ is knowing that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you. That made me think that every time we are down on ourselves or beat ourselves up about mistakes or flaws in our nature, that offends Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. They spent time and effort creating us in their own image and likeness. Our faith can grow stronger when we learn to accept our natural tendencies and strive to be more like the Savior and change our bad habits. When we learn to love ourselves, we show Heavenly Father that we love Him and we are grateful for creating us personally.
Soeur Wynn and I have created a Miracle Wall. We write down little miracles at the end of the day and stick em on the wall. It's been really helpful because it's a constant reminder that Heavenly Father helps us in numerous ways, we just have to have diligence to write them down and recognize them.
We've also created a quote wall for our apartment. Because we're missionaries and have that crazy missionary schedule, sometimes we say crazy things haha..we decided we should totally record them so we have a quote wall in our kitchen. I'll take some pictures soon. There is never a dull day with Sister Pulupuna! She's awesome. It's kinda funny, Soeur Wynn and I are both SUPER new to the mission. Soeur Tollefson and Soeur Pulupuna are both almost done so we always learn a lot from them and we're always excited about little things every day and that gets them excited too. It's a nice balance.
Oh my I LOVE SOLDES!!! The massive sale here is just fabulous. We have to come back and visit during soldes! All of the stores just have this huge sale every year and it lasts for like a month! It's awesome.
Ashley! I hope she's doing well. I miss my roomie! Actually, I miss all 4 of my roomies! I miss everyone! People write me some letters! :)
Our schedule is just like everyone else. We wake up get ready, eat, study, leave, meet with people, contact, come back for language study and dinner (we miss that a lot because we have so many lessons) then we go out more and then come back around 9-9:30ish and then clean stuff up and get ready for bed, write in journal, have some snacks, talk to the other sisters, we usually end up doing some crazy wierd stuff like see if we can put Soeur Wynn on Soeur Pulupuna's shoulders or scare each other or just make each other laugh. its a party! GRANDE FETE! :) Well until next week..I love you all..

Stay righteous, be true, be you!
Avec amour,
Soeur Berge

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

In the beautiful ville of Nogent!

 From the MTC Branch Presidency

They don't bury the dead under the ground.
 Soeur Berge (the day after arriving in Paris) and trainer, Soeur Wynn
They park on the sidewalks.

Wow. I can't believe I'm here in Nogent! I absolutely love it. The people here are absolutely amazing. I love my trainer! Her name is Soeur Wynn. She's so awesome. I prayed hard that I would get a good trainer and Heavenly Father blessed me beyond belief. She's 21 and from California. She's a hard worker. I love it.
This week we worked incredibly hard. We had so many appointments and even got some new amis! I'm so stoked. Tonight we are teaching a lady named Beatrice and it's our first lesson with her. We met her on the rue the other day while coming home from a member's house. Oh! The Lam-Yams! They're so sweet. Sister Lam-Yam is from Tennesse and only speaks English. I love it :) She's so sweet and so much fun to talk to. They have a little son named Ryan and he is so funny. He rubbed my leg and then rubbed Soeur Wynn's leg and said, "AH! Ca Pike!" Which means "that's poky!" ahaha so funny. The dad just found out he has cancer and we really felt impressed to go over there last night. We just had a big discussion about withstanding trials and staying strong. We're really praying for them this week.
Church was AWESOME! There was a family from England that was visiting to go to Disney. They had 3 kids and 2 of them were kinda scared to go to Primary with French kids, but they were just so sweet, and I was so proud of the little girl. She stuck it out.
Oh my goodness. The kids here are SOOO cute! They speak way better than I do and they laugh at me a lot, which is fun because I'm just this tall American who can't speak French and they just think it's hilarious.
Oh my goodness, we have had miracle after miracle this week! We went to visit an old ami named Hortense. She met with missionaries for years, but over the past few years she lost touch with them, so we decided to go see her. She lived kinda far, but while we we're on the bus we were trying to figure out which stop to get off and this lady called out to us and said we were looking for her because her name was Hortense! Ah! So sweet! It was definitely not coincidence that we were late. We were meant to be late so we could meet Hortense. She was awesome. She said we could follow her back to her house and we taught her the plan of salvation. I think we're going back sometime this week to help her clean her house.
The food is amazing! Oh my! I love the bread! The food is incredible! We also take trains and buses EVERYWHERE. We share our apartment with 2 other Sisters. They're super fun! Sister Pulupuna is my fav. She's HILARIOUS. She calls me 'Bubu' not really sure why, but I guess it's cool. She's from Tonga. Love her.
Saturday we taught the Monrier family. The mom is a member, but the 4 kids aren't. Sister Monrier said they were really busy and couldn't meet with us this week, but then out of no where we got another text from her later telling us that she needed us and they needed blessings. They're just awesome. The youngest son's name is Sophien and he is SWEET! I love Sophien. He has a thirst for knowledge unlike any other! The other day he got scared because they're dad is kind of a scary guy, so he decided to drop to his knees and pray for help. Turns out it was Olivier (his older brother) just playing around, but how cool is that? He's 12 and his heart is in the right place. I hope we can set a baptismal date with him. He knows it's true. You can tell. We also made them banana bread out of the recipe you gave me for the banana chocolate chip muffins (we don't have a muffin tin). They LOVED IT! Saleem (the oldest son) wants the recipe. They're an awesome family. After we taught them, the elders came over and gave them a blessing. (we have elders in our ward as well)
It's super difficult to understand people. I can understand when Soeur Wynn talks, but real French is so fast and so difficult! I need everyone to pray that I'll have the gift of tongues 3x a day. That is supposed to be the magical number that President says will guarantee we will understand French. Hopefully it'll come. Normally I just add a sentence or two during lessons and say prayers or bear my testimony. I'm trying to get more courage though. It's tough!
Probably one of my favorite miracles this week was Louise. We met her when we were knocking doors in an apartment building. We heard her baby crying and we knocked on her door. She let us in and let us teach her a lesson right then! Amazing! She's letting us come back and teach her more. We're going over there tomorrow and I'm SOOO stoked! Her baby girl is the cutest thing! Louise truly understands the importance of family and we're just really focusing on that. She's absolutely amazing. I love her and her daughter so much already.
We also taught a lady named Jasmine. She has a little baby girl named Precious and a boy who's like 10. We took them over to have FHE and a lesson with Clair and Jordache. They're a couple that is about to have a baby in the ward. They're AWESOME! Clair is amazing. She served a mission in SLC so she speaks English. Jasmine is from Nigeria and only speaks Nigerian, English, and a little French so we teach her in English. Jasmine is so close to coming to church! Her husband doesn't like us though and doesn't want her to get baptized. It's frustrating, but we're trying to work with it.
Also there is Jessy. She has 2 boys and they're wild! She is such a solid woman! I love her. She finally opened up last night and told us that she's been talking to her friend, Sophie about the church. Sophie is going to sit in on the next lesson! We're so excited. Jessy almost came to church on Sunday, but she couldn't make it because her son was sick :( bummer
We have had so many little miracles this week! I wish I could talk about them all, but I better run. We get to teach Beatrice tonight and then we're going over to meet the Pichot famille (Bishop's family) and give them the 4 step plan. We have some hand-picked members here and we are asking them to be a part of the 4 step plan that includes them doing the 4 steps to help be a good member missionary.
Honestly, I couldn't be happier with where I'm at with life right now. The work is progessing here in France, and I don't care what people say, these beautiful people are ready for the gospel. They're not stereotypical 'rude French' people. The people in France are kind and have big hearts and have a lot of love in their hearts.
The Lord has a plan for everyone. He loves His children so much! No matter who you are, you can feel God's love for you. It doesn't matter where you come from, what matters is what's in your heart and how badly you want to feel closer to God and to Christ. This gospel is amazing and I'm so grateful to be a member of this church!

Stay righteous, be true, be you!
Avec amour,
Soeur Berge