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

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