This week has been absolutely incredible. We decided to keep that fire going throughout this week, the fire that we had when we were both super new and just went out to share this gospel message. There was no end to the miracles and we are so blessed to be a part of this great work. My heart is full and I am so glad to be here. Soeur Wynn and I have decided to really go out and give it all we've got and talk to everyone because our time together is getting slim and we're so grateful for our awesome companionship.
We decided to use every extra minute that we had to find new people and share this incredible message of joy with them. One morning after seeing several miracles in the span of one hour, we were heading home for our lunch break when out of the blue Soeur Wynn said, " We are the luckiest people ever. We literally get to spend every single day of 18 months just trying to bring people happiness. That's our entire purpose. And not the kind of happiness that gets drowned out by all the problems of life, but the kind that really lasts. That pushes one through the storms and often hurricanes that life has to offer." She's completely right. There's nothing more I'd want to do with 18 months of my life than to tell people there's more to this life. All we have to do is love everyone we see enough to try to make them happier. We can make people happy by complimenting their shoes or saying their kids are cute or helping them with their stroller on and off the bus. But then there's the real happiness when you look someone in the eyes and say, "You know, you have a Heavenly Father who loves you with all of His heart and He sent His Son here to the earth for you and you can feel the power of the Holy Ghost who will be a source of comfort as you turn to the Lord and lay your burdens at his feet"...that's the kind of happiness that sticks. Or when we have the opportunity to tell a mom that she will see her son again, that she will have the opportunity to raise him in the next life, that this isn't the end. Or when we sit on the side of a river and tell a lonely widow that she can talk to her Heavenly Father and not feel so alone through the power of the Atonement. That's the real kind of happiness. That's the kind I want to share with people. And when I look at people with the eyes of the Lord, He helps me to see what I need to see in order to share a message He is dying to share with them. There is so much power in this work. So many people have been stopping us recently and I know it is a huge blessing for us trying to step out of our shells and trying to share this message with all the world. Here's the thing; it's true! This isn't just a good church, it's THE TRUE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST. This is His church.
One of the highlights of this week though was definitely our family home evening with our favorite family, the Lethuaires and our amie Claudia. One of the best nights of the mission probably haha. We had an INCREDIBLE discussion on the plan of salvation, the plan that God created for all of us to be saved and live with Him again and become like Him. They have 4 kids and all of them were asking super deep questions so we had an incredible discussion and Claudia was just soaking it up. And then each family home evening this family has a talent minute where everyone in the family gets one minute to do whatever they want: tell a story, share something, show a picture they drew, sing or play a song, dance, play a game, silence, whatever! And so everyone gets one minute. Well, they always make us do it too and so they had Claudia participate as well. For her minute she explained how she met the church and then she bore her testimony of how she knew that it was by the Grace of God that she found this great church and that she knows it is true and knows she was led to it by God!!!! It was so amazing! We were all in shock and so grateful for her testimony. She will be baptized next month and we are thrilled for her, she truly loves the Lord and loves the Gospel. She says it's like a big huge family and she has grown to love the ward so much. I'm so grateful for these opportunities to watch people change and find happiness. Like I said, nothing better!
We got to see our family again! The Cazako family. They are super awesome! The dad is very intrigued and the kids love us like crazy and so does the mom. It's been such a great experience and we even ran into them at the bus stop the other day. They love us and it's so adorable. All the kids started screaming and waving at us. Made my day to see their sweet little faces. I know this family will be baptized and will one day be sealed in the temple for time and all eternity. I have no doubt. We get to see the parents alonemorning and we hope to do a family home evening with them as well. We'll see =) But for now, it's just awesome!
STEPHANIE'S BAPTISM IS THIS WEEK!!!! We are having a double and maybe triple baptism this weekend! We are thrilled. The elders found a man who was just literally ready to accept the Gospel so it's awesome and he will be baptized with Stephanie this weekend and we couldn't be happier. Stephanie is so darling, we love her to pieces and we have seen how her decision to be baptized has changed her home. Her mom sent us a text message this week that said: "Stephanie just finished reading her Book of Mormon for the night and her brochure on tithing. She came to me and told me that I needed to pay my tithing and that if I would start paying my tithing that the Lord would bless me and I would get out of debt! Thank you for all that you do for me and my daughter." It was the sweetest text ever, so touching! We sure love them so much and it's amazing the spirit that an 11 year old can have...
Speaking of young spiritual giants, this week we also convinced Godwith's parents to let her be baptized! When Soeur Wynn and her companion before me started teaching her in May, the parents were totally against it, saying she would have to wait until she is 12 (she's 9 right now, almost 10). We were so sad for her, but we just didn't give up and all these months the parents have been in Ghana, and Soeur Wynn and I have continued to teach Godwith and we finally had a lesson with the whole family back together this weekend. With all of our hearts, we bore testimony to the parents of the experiences that we had had with Godwith and the power that she had and how ready she was. So now all we are trying to do is have enough faith that their bosses will let them off work so that we can do the baptism this weekend! We really need prayers. If anyone feels inclined to pray for this little family, we would be so grateful. We know this is right and Godwith is beyond ready and we love her to pieces. I'm so excited for her!
We should be having several more baptisms coming up soon! Hortense will be coming to church finally this week and she is coming to the baptism and says she will pick her date there. We are so excited for her! Also we've made a lot of progress with our little Indian family Kashmira and Dany and Vivec who we've been teaching since I got here. Finally Kashmira opened up to us for the first time and told us she's been seeing missionaries for 3 years and doesn't know why she hasn't gotten her answer. So we explained the Holy Ghost to her and told her she had to do her part and then she would know...it was awesome! She actually read and prayed this week too. Big steps.
One day last week we took our widow friend Christiane out for a walk around the river (pics included). We had a great lesson with her and talked about the purpose of life and then as we were heading back, a woman stopped us on the road. She's about 50's probably and was visiting with her mother who's in a retirement home. She stopped us and wanted to know more and so we chatted with her for quite some time! She invited over and so tonight we are going to have dinner with her and her husband. She wants to know what the difference is between us and the Catholic Church.
I absolutely love being a missionary. I love being a missionary in France. Sometimes the culture makes it difficult to talk to people, but it makes it a LOT easier for us to distinguish the people who are ready for the gospel and those who aren't quite ready. It's so exciting when we meet someone for the first time and they have the chance to feel the Spirit so strong you can see them wondering why they feel different. It's because we have the knowledge that our lives don't end here. It's not just til death do we part. Families are forever and everyone here on earth is essentially my family. In a way, I feel like I'm inviting my own brothers and sisters to recognize that our beloved Father wants us to talk to Him. He wants us to show Him we can make it through this life back to Him. It's a big test and the answers are in the scriptures and listening to our Prophet today. We simply have to choose Jesus Christ and the Celestial Kingdom. Soeur Wynn has been using this theme that every day we wake up, we have to choose that we are going to the Celestial Kingdom. We ultimately choose where we go..through our actions, through our words, through our thoughts, and through the way we live life. Choose to return to our Father in Heaven!
I urge each of you this week to take questions to the Lord. No more empty prayers! Pray with your heart. Talk to your Heavenly Father and you will find comfort and peace more than you can imagine. I know, because I've done it, and I've been watching others do it. It works =)
I love you all so much and wish you all the best week!
Stay righteous, be true, be you!
Avec amour,Soeur Berge