Saturday, August 31, 2013

Catch the Vision

Soeur Lethuaire and Soeur LamYam


I found the "San France" ;)

Cher Everyone,

This week was great! Soeur Wynn and I were so blessed. This week we were able to see Stephanie twice. Man do we love this little girl!! She is just so ready to be baptized! She loves the church and loves the Spirit she feels so much. There is something so special about working with little kids. They can feel the Spirit so clearly and identify it without problem. I love watching that. We got to play some games to teach her some commandments. It's so fun that me and my comp are so in love with kids and so we always do fun things to teach the kids but the best part is, we end up using it with adults as well! Hahaha it's great. I love working with this girl! It's so great to see how fast she progresses though. Her mom is so incredibly proud and feels so happy knowing the decisions her daughter is making. We pray this will bring her mom back into full activity. Stephanie makes her mom read her scriptures with her every day before going to bed and her mom always teases us that we give too much homework! Haha but September 7th can't come soon enough! We shared her progress for our missionary moment of the week in Relief Society and Stephanie's mom was just beaming the whole time. She is so proud. Also Stephanie is dying to meet Kirstie. I told her I have a sister and I told her she would meet her when you come to pick me up. She is SUCH a sweet girl.

We got to have our interviews with President this Thursday. So here is a funny story, we knew about our interviews like a month in advance but the day of, we went up to Chelles, which took us an hour and a half to get up there. We went up there to find a referral we had received, but after we had just about arrived at the address, I looked at the phone and realized our interviews would be starting in 40 minutes and we were on a bus faaaaaarrrrrrr away from the train station and far away from the church where the interviews were. In a moment of terror, we hopped off the bus and started running to the train station. We were a good 4 miles from the station and we just walked/ran for a good 35 mintues back and then luckily got a couple of trains to line up and arrived only 20 minutes late (no worries, we switched our times with our roommate Sisters) but holy cow it was so stressful. We showed up sweating after going nuts for an hour and a half trying to get there. It was funny though. Interviews were life-changing of course.

I just love President Poznanski and Soeur Poznanski! We had our interviews with both of them. I did them both in French..which was scary, but I did it and I'm so glad Heavenly Father helps with language barriers. If I was learning french on my own I would literally know nothing. It's all the Lord. 

That night we had a huge impression to call the family Lethuaire. We had been asked to find a family like them that we could baptize and bring into the church and so we thought, what better place than to ask them straight up? So we gave them a call. They told us they would pray and think about it and by Friday we will go to their house and there will be someone there. So we went out to do our part as well. We ported their neighborhood of course. It was the only logical thing to do. We did find a family and we will see what much excitement in missionary work! It's all a big mystery!

The mission, after the interviews, has not been the same. Every day we wake up with a vision of what we want and we go out and fight for it. We have seen nothing but miracles since then. I know we were good missionaries before but now we have caught the vision again. We are on the search and we will not stop until we find a family!!!

Saturday was a pyscho day. It started off by helping a crazy less-active hoarder clear out some of her apartment, who was strangely obsessed with me and wouldn't stop talking to me. She was weird. Next we were picked up by this 80 something year old woman in need of eye surgery this november who nearly hit 40 cars and walls and scary! I've never prayed during an entire car ride, but hey there's a first for everything. But she took us out for a 200 euro lunch no big deal!!! Haha she is really rich and doesn't get out much so...but it was a good time!  Right after we met up with Claudia. Wow...such an incredible lesson!!!!! The spirit just knows how to teach, it's nuts watching these people change based on the spirit that witnesses to their hearts that these things are true. Claudia is our amie who came for the first time to our church to Maria's baptism and then to church the next day. We've been teaching her ever since! Saturday the Spirit witnessed to her that she needed to be baptized so me and Soeur Wynn gave her everything we had and poured our hearts and souls out to her. We picked a day and then she was going to pray about that and come to church with that on her be continued...
The rest of Saturday was awesome, seeing Godwith who is so ready and also Stephanie, our two little girls. We love them! We hope that Godwith can be baptized the same day since they are friends with such similar situations.
Yesterday we fasted to find this family and to help Claudia know she was ready to be baptized. We are on the search. We know the Lord has prepared a family for us so we just have to do our part and ask for His help and then we will cross paths. It was a day of miracles. We had Stephanie, Susan and Claudia all at church with us and it was super awesome. Claudia was just showing all the signs of being ready. Susan, we are unsure still, but we will find out more this week. But Claudia is just so genuine in her search it's amazing! After church we pulled her in a room really quickly and talked about baptism and how she was feeling. She said she wants to be baptized but not yet. We talked and bore witness to her and finally we fixed a date. October 19th!!! We have faith that it will probably be before that, but this was what she felt comfortable with and we are just so thrilled for her!!! The miracles didn't stop there. We felt inspired to make cookies and use those as an excuse to go pass by a family we met this week on the street.

We originally met the mom and her 3 daughters on the way to an appointment. It was interesting because we got on the bus and the doors were broken so everyone in the bus had to switch to a different one (that took like 10 minutes) then when we got off the bus and  a mom got off as well with her 3 beautiful little girls all dressed in cute dresses and carrying groceries, helping their mom (so cute). I just started talking to the little girls a little because Soeur Wynn was on the phone. After Soeur Wynn got off the phone the lady called back out to us and asked us why we were in France (our accents are very american). While we helped her take her groceries to her house we had a great conversation. After a few minutes of walking with them I felt a tiny hand slip into mine and I look down at one of the girls with THE biggest smiles I've ever seen. She was absolutely darling and I absoluetly love this family.

She showed us where she lived but she wasn't answering our calls. We felt good about it anyways and so we went. When we arrived, she let us in and we ended up having an INCREDIBLE lesson with them on the spot! We bore solemn witness of the Book of Mormon and the Dad (who used to be catholic and then was jehovah's witness and now is lost) was so happy to hear about this book. He said it made so much sense that the Lord would help us to better interpret the Bible by having another witness of the same gospel. He absolutely was amazed by this and was so excited to read it. The mom (who is catholic) also seemed very intrigued. The kids just adored us to pieces it was hilarious. We fell in love with this little family and will see them again on Tuesday morning- tomorrow! Soeur Wynn said the closing prayer, just very simply blessed this family and the home and thanked the Lord for bringing us together and ended in the name of Jesus Christ. As i said amen the dad looked up at me and said he hadn't heard a prayer like that in 20 years (since the last time he met with mormon missionaries). He was so touched and they are so excited for us to come back tomorrow! It was an incredible day filled with the Spirit and with miracles. There's just something about that family that just feels familiar to me. I didn't want to leave their apartment. Those kids are my new best friends!

Once again Satan tried to stop us last night on our way home. It's so interesting that on our way back from bringing this family the gospel he tried to stop us and scare us. Satan comes in many forms but right now for us, he's just trying to scare us. But we are representatives of Jesus Christ and satan has no power over us. We will never give in and never stop bringing people this pure joy.

This gospel is just so incredible and I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to learn more and more each day about our Maker.. As we recognize the touch of the Master's hand in our lives more and more each day, He will bless us more and more. Gratitude is the way we return love to our Heavenly Father. He gives us so many blessings and it can get really hard to recognize them sometimes because He is the ultimate anonymous giver of gifts.

Oh how grateful I am for the Plan of Salvation. What a blessing it is to know our eternal potential and divine design. I just love this gospel so much and I'm so lucky I get to simply offer the gift of peace, joy, and healing powers of the atonement to all the beautiful people here in France.

God doesn't really need missionaries to spread His gospel. He could essentially do it without us, but it is my priviledge to wear the name of His church over my heart and I am filled with joy with the opportunity to love and serve my brothers and sisters as Christ Himself was.
The church is true!

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

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Be a Friend To All

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was a crazy one! It was so jam packed. 

Wednedsay was a day of English. We had 2 lessons back to back in English and they both went awesome. I'm so excited about our ami Susan. She is super solid. She really knows the Bible. She is from Cameroon and so smart! She really studies what we teach her and she asks awesome questions that make us think. She's only lived here for 7 months and is trying to learn French too so it's cool. I feel like we're on the same level which is nice. She's awesome though. I absoluetly love Susan. I just want to hang out with her all the time.

The next day we had a really cool RDV with Hortense and her sister and husband. We didn't know they were going to be there, but it turned out really cool because they questioned a lot of things we said and it gave us the opportunity to just testify over and over and over because people can't argue with the Spirit. It was good too, because that means they were engaged in our conversation! Good stuff.

We also had a cool FHE with a super solid family and an ami named Claudia. Claudia is just such a boss. She studies the Book of Mormon and she is just so ready for the gospel. She just thirsts for truths it's amazing to see. She even asked where the promised land was! She definitely did her homework. She's just such a fun lady too. While we were having our FHE lesson with the family, the little girl (about 6) just started playing with my hair and then she got excited and ran off and came back with two hair brushes and just brushed the crud out of my hair. Then she saw Soeur Wynn's hair and got excited and did the same thing. Too funny. Kids play with our hair all the time though. We both have super long hair and the little girls are just so intrigued by it.

We also taught Hermonse (Soeur Bennion talked to her on the train). I'm so stinkin' proud of Soeur Bennion! We taught Hermonse for the first time. I thought she was like our age, however we get to her house and turns out she has two kids and is 35! That's the thing with Africans. You can't ever tell what age they are becuase they all just look so young. A lot of French people are hard to guess ages too. 

Maria went to the temple this week! How incredible! We met with her the day after she got back and asked her all about it. She loved it! It's so amazing to watch her grow so quickly in the church. We made her a cute little book with all her baptism stuff in it and we gave it to her at church yesterday and she just cried and hugged us and was so grateful. She wants to get her patriarchal blessing soon! I'm so proud of her and her efforts in the gospel, and I know Heavenly Father is even more proud of her.

We had a super cool experience with our dear little 9 year old friend, Godwith. Lately she's been saying how she doesn't think she's ready for baptism because she needs to learn more. It's crazy because she reads the Book of Mormon so much and knows so much too! We asked her all the baptismal questions to prepare her and she answered them all fine, so we just decided to all kneel down and have Godwith pray and ask Heavenly Father if she should get baptized soon and she did. It was very spiritual and once the prayer ended Soeur Wynn and I might have needed some tissues. It was such a tender moment. Soeur Wynn then asked her what she thought and she said she was ready. The Spirit was so incredibly strong! Love it!

Yesterday church was incredible! Sarah, our member who just had a big surgery and was trying to quit smoking, came to church. She was in the hospital and had to have another surgery because she got an infection from the previous surgery. She's been in the hospital for about 3 weeks! She could barely speak, but man she had a whole new demeanor about her. Later she got an incredible blessing and told Soeur Wynn some amazing news! She stopped smoking and feels like she is a lot closer to Heavenly Father because of this trial she's had.  How incredible. She has such a wonderful attitude about it. I love Sarah with all my heart!

We also had a picnic at Kashmira's house with Fatumia (my 2nd mother) and their boys. Later Fatumia's other kids and nieces and nephew came over and it was just a big party. All I can say to describe it was just nuts. Haha

We also have another cute ami who is 11 years old named Stephanie. She is DARLING! She's been out of town my entire 1st transfer for vacance and just got back so I finally got to meet her. She's had pretty much all of the lessons. Her mom is a member and she has a baby sister named Chelsie who is THE cutest little girl ever. Oh my goodness! We had such a fun lesson with them last night. Stephanie set a date for September 7th and we are so excited for her baptism! She has such strong desire to do what is right I'm blown away. Her generation is just absolutely incredible! Godwith and Stephanie are going to be a big part of the church here in France as they continue to grow in the gospel. It's amazing to see such young people understand God and Jesus Christ and what they need to do in order to return to them.

This week I've really studied sacrifice. Thank you, Sister Mann, for one of the coolest letters ever! C.S. Lewis rocks. As I reflect about everything that goes on in life and as I've studied the words of the prophets both old and new, I've realized that almost everything relies on our efforts and our willingness to ask Heavenly Father for help. 

Just think of when Jesus called out to His disciples to drop their nets and 'come follow me'.  "We often cling to our sins, our pleasuers, and sometimes even our perceived obligations (our nets)..we then stand at the shore of our own Galilee, nets tighly entangling us. We find oursleves unable to leave them behind and follow the living Christ." Are we going to hold on to our nets or are we willing to let go and allow the Savior into our lives and change every day to be more like Him?

When we sincerely ask Heavenly Father for help and when we tell Him we would do anything He asks of us, we can't hold anything back. We must be willing to sacrifice and really intend on acting on His guidance. It's one thing to receive an answer from Heavenly's another to act upon it.

Something I learned this week that was a bit of a casser (burn) for me was to realize that when we get baptized and covenant to take upon us Christ's name, we promise to bear one another's burdens. We promise to be a friend to all. I never really realized it til now, but we made a promise to help each other and help our siblings return back to our Father. Sometimes it's hard because we make excuses for ourselves or tell ourselves they don't want our help...that is Satan! We must look for ways to serve each other more. "If we don't try, then we don't do, and if we don't do, then why are we here?"

Forgiving and changing should be an active part of our days. Although we must strive to recognize our shortcomings and realize when we fall short, we should always remember to love ourselves. "However many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don't have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infite light of Christ's Atonement shines." -Uchtdorf.

I know Heavenly Father's arms are always stretched towards us. I know with His help we can be whole and abandon the pain and guilt of being human. We each have a purpose. We each have a devine destiny to reach. If we strive or choose to make our goal the Celestial Kingdom each day, we WILL make it. We will all make it home, safe and sound, if we but strive a little more each day to be like our Savior, Jesus Christ.

I'm so grateful to be where I am today. I'm grateful for everyone around me who knows I'm not perfect and accepts me anyways. I love being a missionary each day. I'm honored to wear His name over my heart. I promise you all the Savior is near! 
Peace and blessings!

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

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Angels Around Us to Bear Us Up

                                               Us with Isabelle and her member friend Audrey
                                                                         Crazy faces!
Grandma Christiane lunch date
Soeur Lam Yam making chocolate gravy

Soeur Bennion's first baguette with our lovely grandma wall paper

Dear family and friends,

Soeur Wynn and I ARE STILL TOGETHER! Transfer 2 and we are loving life. It's so fun serving with my best friend.
It was sad last week to say goodbye to some of our favorite missionaries, Soeur Tollefsen, our roommate, and Elder Foley our District leader/elder in our area. We were sad to see them go but happy to be together with Soeur Wynn still!!
This week was awesome though, only 2 of our appointments fell through the entire week. That's a miracle in and of itself! We were so blessed but let's just say Satan tried all he could to stop us this week!
Maria, our friend who was just baptized, is progressing super well in the church. She went to several Young Adult activities and we even had a family home evening with her and a member family this week. She brought her best friend who is now investigating the church as well. She really just loves this gospel. I am so happy to say that as I write this letter now, she is with the family Lethuaire at the temple in Germany for an entire week, helping save lost souls who have waited for a long time for her to come. We are so blessed and grateful. This family is the greatest and there are no words to describe our gratitude for them. They have saved us on many occasions and will always be a family that I respect and adore for the rest of my life.
It is incredible to see how prepared the hearts of some of these people are that we meet. Isabelle, who was our referral from a member in the south of France is progessing so well. Her member friend was there this week so we had a lesson with the two of them. So incredible!!!
Claudia, who had come to Maria's baptism and church, had an amazing lesson with us too this week. She does all her reading and loves learning more about this gospel. She's even started sharing it with all her friends and family!
We had a fun lunch day with Christiane (photo included.) She has almost no living family at all so we have taken on the role of her granddaughters. She's a sweet lady!
A big miracle this week-- We had a random member call us up this week and ask if we could translate for her friends. They are a couple who live in the area and have been searching for a church. They decided to come check out our church. They speak English and are newly married. We adore them already and they absolutely love church!!! We have a rdv with them tomorrow. So fun! We had 5 amis at church!!! We were so blessed!
Yesterday Soeur Wynn had Belgium legality ( I don't even know how to explain it other than we have to do a physical for our residency to stay in France for longer than 6 months) There is a picture of me with Soeur Wynn and her MTC comp, Soeur Linton. Soeur Wynn swears we look alike. (cuz we're the same height) She's cool though.
So yesterday I was training for the day! :O I was with a sister named Soeur Bennion who just arrived 5 days ago. Yeah talk about bleu fire baby! We killed it yesterday. We both speak just minimal French and here we are going to our appointments and just somehow getting by. I can testify that when we rely on the Savior, literally anything is possible. We also made chocolate gravy with Soeur Lam Yam (our American mama away from home) She is truly awesome! We had a blast.

Also yesterday I heard some people speaking English on the way home from our last RDV and I asked them where they were from. MIAMI! Too cool! I was freakin out and was telling them about our church and what we do as missionaries. It was just a cool experience to be able to testify to Floridians as a missionary. They said they had heard about our church before in HAITI! How cool is that? I told them I loved everything about Haitians-the food, the culture, the people, all of it. And at the end one of them said, "Well are you married? Because maybe one day you'll marry a Haitian." It was so funny. We were all crackin up!
I love the mission and I know that there are so many miracles and angels surrounding us each day. We had some interesting experiences this week where we literal saw the power of Satan around us and it was super scary. We both received blessings from Frère Lethuaire that reminded us just how much power we have. President Poznanski warned us that Satan does NOT like the work that we are doing and will do everything he can to stop us. We just have to call upon heaven for protecting angels and we will be safe. It can be hard sometimes being so far away from my "safe places" of home and family, but I know that the Lord is right beside me all the time. The Lethuaire family has created a safe haven here and I admire them so much. I will never forget the way that they have taken me in and helped me. Their grandma pulled us aside and told us, there are so many more people who are for me in the armies of heaven than they are that are against me in the armies of Satan. We will be protected and the Lord will be on our side. I know that angels are there and the Holy Ghost can warn us of danger and protect us from all things.
I read some awesome talks this week and I'm just in awe every time I read the words of the prophets and the Lord's servants. I read one talk that changed my life. This week's theme for me is all about using the Atonement to heal and renew. We are not on the earth earning heaven, rather we are here learning heaven. We are preparing for it and practicing it. Heaven will not be heaven for those who do not choose to be heavenly. Right now we must choose to create our own heaven on earth. It is a commandment from God to build a 'refuge of safety' here on this earth. It's a commandment he gave to Adam and Eve and we must do the same. We must choose to recognize the need for the Atonement in our lives every day. We should be repenting for our mistakes and shortcomings every day. "Please choose to stay. Please choose to use the Atonement - not to be changed so that you WANT to stay. The miracle of the Atonement is not just that we can go home, but that-miraculously-we can FEEL at home there."
I can testify that the only true way we can gain the most happiness in our lives is to recognize God in our lives and to also recognize Jesus Christ and the need for the Atonement in our lives. We must choose to change ourselves. We must choose to recognize our own faults. We aren't perfect and no one can hide from that harsh truth. We all have guilt. We all face that trial of feeling ashamed for something and that is why we have bad habits in our lives. We try to shift our guilt off of our shoulders through bad habits that often have effect on those around us especially the ones we love. However, I promise that the only way we can feel the guilt be taken away and forgotten forever is by repenting each day and calling upon the Lord.

Something I have learned from Soeur Wynn is: We must strive to give our all and at the end of the day when we are exhausted, we must ask the Lord to give us more the next day so that we, in return, may give it back to Him.
Heavenly Father is our literal father. His Son is our Savior and Redeemer. He atoned for our guilt, he atoned for our pains, he atoned for us that we may feel the touch of the Master's Hand in our lives in ways we could never understand without the power of the Atonement. I love this gospel. I love the work of the Lord and I am so grateful and blessed that I am a missionary.
Until next week...
Stay righteous, be true, be you!
Avec amour,
Soeur Berge

Monday, August 5, 2013

Healed Hearts

L'arc de triomphe


 Still companions after transfers

Such a cutie!
Team Nogent
Maria's Baptism (Happy Day)
 Maria's Family
 Elder Foley got to baptize Maria Saturday.  He goes home this week.
(Fun with this little cutie)

It is officially the end of my very first transfer! I can't believe how time has flown by. Every day I just thank Heavenly Father for the opportunity to be serving him and for my awesome trainer, Soeur Wynn. We just found out today that we get to stay together for another awesome transfer in the lovely ville of Nogent. Man I love these people! I never want to leave.
Happy birthday Shay! Dang, I'm so sad I didn't know. I'll write you a letter soon :) Happy birthday to anyone else I've missed! I love you all so much and really feel all the love, support, and prayers!
On to our awesome week...

So our all time favorite family that I will one day mimic my family after is the Famille Lethuaire. They are the greatest people ever! This week, they single handedly took the gold in all aspects of missionary/ ward relations. Our ward sometimes struggles to get involved, especially when the ENTIRE bishopric is out of town for 2+ weeks.Monday night we had a family home evening at the Lethuaire's with Maria. It was super fun =) it was good for her to get to know some awesome members! Because of that night, Franck Lethuaire (the dad, 1st counselor in stake pres, most awesome person ever) was there with his whole family at the baptism, presiding, putting out anti-mormon gossip that Maria's bro-in-law was trying to spread and then got to confirm Maria at church yesterday. It was awesome. Soeur Lethuaire was calling us up all week to try to help us get ready for the baptism and taking care of things and helping us with Sarah, our less active who is in the hospital. Couldn't be more appreciative of their kindness. 
Did another family home evening with a part-member family this week. Pics are included. It was fun to get to know Soeur Simba and her 2 daughters and a bunch of the grandkids. WHY AM I NOT AFRICAN? Fun time, lots of love.
There was one night where we were able to really witness a huge miracle. We had no appointments for the night but felt impressed to go see a few less-actives. We stopped by the first one and had a sweet lesson with Mamie, our 85 year old member and then visited an old amie in her building. It was a good little message with Nana and her 2 little girls. We then headed to go see another less-active, but on our way felt prompted to stop and do some finding. We went and prayed that the Lord would guide us and then we took off and looked for families to talk with. We have been praying to find a family for 6 weeks now and so we decided to talk to every family we saw. Finally, we came to a street with some big houses on them. We ported a few and had some good laughs and finally came to #14. With all our faith we rang the doorbell (which are always outside a gate in front of the house). A woman came out and we began talking with her. She told us she had been looking for a Christian church in the area since they had just moved there 2 months ago from La Reunion (by Madagascar) they invited us in to pray with them and gathered up the whole family!!! It was a mom, dad, and 2 sons! The spirit was incredible as we began sharing a message with this family. We read from the BOM together and they completely agreed with all of our beliefs! They even agreed to come to the baptism and church Sunday. We were thrilled and our eyes filled with tears as they told us they had been searching and praying that God would lead them to the right church. We bore solemn witness that we had been searching for them for 6 weeks and that we knew God had sent us. It was incredible! We left them with the BOM with faith that we would see them at church on Sunday. Like all missionary work, even with a perfect-first-lesson, Satan always seems to get in the way. We were devastated when we called them Saturday night to confirm for Sunday and the mom quickly and abruptly informed us they were no longer interested...that is probably the hardest part of being a missionary. Not that they are denying us, but that they are denying themselves was so heartbreaking because we had been filled with love for this family and wanted so badly to help them find the truth. I know that the Lord will give them another opportunity someday, but it was still sad to see.
Now on to the big news!!! Friday morning we had Maria's interview and last lesson. She was just so excited and ready to be baptized and we couldn't have been more thrilled for her. Saturday morning we got up and headed to the church to clean and fill the font. When we got there, we realized the chapel hadn't been cleaned in weeks! Luckily our handy elders helped us out with that. After an incredibly exhausting morning, the time for the baptism finally arrived! We had a great turnout, about as many members as nonmembers and it was wonderful!
cool experience:
Soeur Wynn was conducting music when I got a distinct prompting to get up and walk out in the middle of the song! I thought it was super strange especially since I was in the front row, but I just did and as I walked out I found Claudia, the woman we gave a church tour with and she was completely lost. She came! So incredible. I was so happy to see her. I am so grateful that the Lord guides us in every aspect of the work. There were so many little miracles that day!
The baptism was beautiful. As I was watching Maria partake of the greatest joy in this life, I couldn't help but think, "who else can I help find this much pure joy". So addicting! All the young adults came to support her and even sang a hymn to her. It was so powerful that all these young adults had come to support her and even sang to her! Maria bore her testimony at the end and one thing she said really struck me. She has been searching for the words to describe the Spirit that she feels ever since she decided to be baptized. We kept asking her and she never knew. As she stood at the pulpit she bore witness that she felt "healed". Such a powerful word. The Atonement truly can heal all the broken hearts and sorrow we feel and experience. She then said...I feel healed and I didn't even know I needed to be healed. It was powerful.
After the baptism even more missionary work went on! We had one strong member talking to every single non-member in that building. It was such a great experience. We were so touched by the examples of these powerful members who were truly exemplifying followers of Christ. Claudia was really touched and was the last person to leave our 3 hour baptism. She didn't want to leave! That was awesome!
The confirmation was so great and powerful and we were so proud of Maria's choices to be there and be worthy of this great gift from God. It was truly an incredible experience! I went and sat next to Maria part way through testimony meeting and told her that she should bear her testimony. She's really shy and really didn't want to, but I told her that this would be a good way to show the Lord how grateful she was. I just told her how proud I was and how proud the Savior is. She began to cry and I told her she was now officially part of the family in Nogent ward. She's a special soul and the ward really brought her in. These people are just incredible. They have touched my life in a way I can't even explain.
We also got to teach primary yesterday! Man that is super fun =) we love kids!
Last night we had an incredible experience with the Lasa second family. I love them so much! They are great. Soeur Lasa has only been a member for about 4 months and recently hasn't been coming to church so we stopped by and really just bore testimony and she totally opened up and we just embraced in a hug. Love them. We are going to teach their daughter Chrystelle now, she's so cool. She goes to highschool in England so she speaks English, it's way fun =) love them!
Well, the church is true, the work is progressing. Soeur Wynn and I feel so incredibly blessed for everything. We have just been saying over and over this week how we literally do nothing but look for people and the Lord just hands them right to us. The Spirit truly is the master teacher in all of our lessons and my heart is full this week. Heavenly Father loves us and watches over us.

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

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Rain Drops and Heat Waves

First of all, our baptism with Maria was thankfully changed to this coming Saturday. We were so stressed trying to get everything figured out, especially because NO ONE was going to be there for it, but luckily we were able to change Maria's date to this Saturday and she will be confirmed on Sunday! SOOOOO EXCITING!!! We are thrilled. We basically spent every second of this week with her...a little exhausting and our brains got a little French Fried haha. But we adore her. She was able to come with us to another baptism on Saturday to see how it all works and it was great. She was even more excited after that. She wanted to do missionary work with us all week. That's a truly converted heart right there! Her testimony she bears to others is so incredibly powerful. She will be one great missionary! She is already saving up and getting ready for it.
Last week it was so hot we thought we would die. I literally could think of nothing else but swimming. Air conditioning does not exist in France!!!! Trash bags lack drawstrings, toilets never flush, ice cubes are non-existent, we kiss more people in a day as missionaries in France than we would in a year at home (bisous bisous bisous), dog poop and cigarettes line our every path. It's like a battle field, dodging the pigeon bombs from on high and the dog mines under our feet, the sun literally never sets or's daytime all the time, and air conditioning is now just a good memory from home.
Yesterday was quite the good day though. We had several rdv's (rendezvous or appointments) set up but they all fell through. We decided to go out anyway and just as we finished our prayer before leaving, we received a call from a woman named Claudia who was searching for the church. We decided to meet up with her and give her a tour! It was incredible. She was given a little pass-along card 4 months ago by some elders but never came and so she found the card yesterday and decided to call the number. Turns out you never do know what can happen!!! We gave her a tour and talked about our church and she was in agreement with everything! We invited her to Maria's baptism and to church and she said she will be at both. Miracles happen every day!
I also had an exchange this week with Soeur Tollefson.  After district meeting on Tuesday it was POURING, but we have important things to do, so we just ran through the rain. We were completely soaked when we got to the gare. It was so much fun! We just laughed the entire way. It was crazy. Also exchanges were really scary because I had to get us everywhere and make sure we got on the right buses and trains and lead all of the lessons. Super scary, but I learned a lot and I'm so glad Heavenly Father has our backs. Honestly, we have been so blessed with so much success, but it's weird because I honestly don't feel like I'm doing anything. All I can do is try and Heavenly Father makes up the rest. The best thing we can do is invite the Spirit because that is the best teacher.

I also had legality this week. I got to see Soeur Huckstep! She spent the night at our appt because we have a 4 man appt and it's where everyone comes and stays to be closer to where we meet. It was so cool to see all my friends from the MTC and hear about they're progress. We even contacted some people on the way even though we all can't speak French haha. I love it though. The legality was not as much fun. I'm glad it's over.
It was so cool though because I set a baptismal date with Hortense on exchanges. I finally feel like I'm contributing and helping the work progress. It is truly amazing to see the Lord's hand in preparing people long before we ever talk to them.
We had a really cool contact this week with this girl named Daniele Blessing. She was just singing and writing a song next to me at the gare waiting for our train, and I finally just started talking to her and we gave her a card and she whips out her card and said, "I knew I was going to give you my card, I just didn't know when." SO COOL! We're meeting her at the church this week and singing songs with her for a lesson.
Every day is just so different than the last one. All we can do is give it our all and Heavenly Father makes up for the rest. The scriptures are so essential. They're written specifically for our time because we can relate to so many things. This week I was reading in Alma about Korihor and how in the end he admitted he always believed in a God. It's so amazing to see how nice people are here. Yeah there are some not so friendly people, but everyone has the light of Christ, it's just harder to find it in some people.
This next week we are really focusing on finding a family and getting our amis to church. We tried to go pick Leilah up at her house to walk with her to church, but when we got there, her dad was there and he hates the church. Luckily she answered the door and told us she couldn't come and she told us to leave before he found out we were there. That was a little scary, but it just breaks my heart that some of the dads here are just so awful. There are some awesome families here, but it's just sad how Satan attacks families.
Well, another great week has passed, and I'm sad because that means I'm one week closer to the end, even though I just began this journey. I never want to leave these people. The ward is incredible and the love I have for these people is just unreal. They're truly my friends.
I hope all is well with everyone else!
Well, I love you all!
Stay righteous, be true, be you!
Avec amour,
Soeur Berge