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

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