Dear family and friends,
My heart is so filled with gratitude today to be able to talk to you and tell you about the incredible work that the Lord is letting me be apart of here in Nogent, France. Sometimes I just don't know how to count my blessings because there are just so many. My heart is filled with love for the Lord and these great people and my awesome companion.
This week started off incredibly! We went and had dinner as planned with a French woman we met on the street, Chantal. She is incredible!! I love her to death. We went over to her HUGE French house and as we arrived, we noticed other people in the garden. We were having a little picnic with her and her husband and her best friend. They were some of the nicest people ever and throughout the night we sat and discussed our beliefs with these incredible people. They are in their 60's and are French and have a twin boy and girl that they adopted from Chile who are grown and moved away. We bore testimony from the bottoms of our hearts and we were all so open and loving and had such a nice time. It was a perfect night! Bernard, her husband had such interesting questions, but all of us just felt the power of the Holy Ghost so strongly all thoughout our dinner picnic. We were all best friends by the end of the night and even took some fun pics that I'll include. They are such great people and as Soeur Wynn and I were heading home that night, we both got the distinct feeling that this was not the first time we had met this charming couple. That we had been sent to them because in the life before this life, we knew each other...we anticipate seeing them again soon, I hope!
We had exchanges this week and so I was with Soeur Pulupuna! I LOVE HER! We had 2 incredible lessons with our 2 amis: Claudia (big curly hair) and Isabelle and her son Gael (he also has huge crazy hair). Both of these women are incredible! and BOTH came to the baptism and met and ended up being best of friends. We didn't have a ton of members at the baptism, but the both of them ended up helping us out a ton setting up cakes and refreshments after. They're so incredible! (I'm thinking they'll get baptized on the same day ;) October 19th!) Later that night of the exchange I ended up getting pretty sick..
After 3 days, I was finally feeling better and so we went on fast mode this weekend to make up for it. Even while I was sick, we still got tons of calls in a set up appointments and were able to get good planning in and such so it wasn't a total waste. The Lord blessed us so much for our efforts to go out and Soeur Wynn ended up getting pretty sick too, but after resting really well, the Lord strengthened us and back to work we went!
We had our first ward counsel this weekend!!! It was super awesome to show the ward that we are really trying super hard and that we have so many people who are ready for baptism and who are progressing so well. As we left that night, we felt so proud of the work that we are doing, the people the Lord has blessed us with. It's incredible to see how He has taken this area that was really struggling for a long time and has shaped it into a field ready to be harvested!!! And we are blessed to be the ones to harvest!
Our favorite bit of this weekend was the baptism of our darling Stéphanie =) it was such a great day, even though hardly anyone came! But that's ok because we had 2 of our amies come!!!! Claudia (who is our awesome amie who does all the family nights with us and a who will be baptized next month) is already fellowshipping all of our other amis! She has been coming to the ward for several weeks now so she knows the drill and so she helped us out a ton at the baptism and at church on Sunday when we had people come! It was so great to have her there and we are having a JOINT FAMILY HOME EVENING now with her and another amie at a member's house this week. It will be EPIC! We have set up 4 family home evenings for this week already all with investigators who were invited specifically by members! Can you believe that?! That's what we call a solid week! Through our ward counsel meeting we asked several members to invite our amies who come to church to their house and so they did! Look at that faith! This ward is ready to do some missionary work! I'm so thrilled.
The baptism was incredible though. Stéphanie is such a light and an example of purity. She's so darling! I love her to pieces! Her baptism was a sweet experience and watching her in the waters of baptism and being confirmed I have a joy in my heart that is unlike any other! Like I said last time, it's quite an addicting feeling! I can't imagine the joy I will feel as I watch my own children and family enter the waters of baptism. There really is no greater joy.That is the most joy we can have on this earth I think...closest we get to heaven. But Stéphanie has promised us to one day serve a mission and to be sealed in the temple as well. I look forward to watching her life play out in the next 10-15 years. She loves the feeling of the Holy Ghost and is so overjoyed to have it now. I love her!!!
We were able to visit our family last night. It was the mom's birthday Saturday so we made a card and stopped by. We had an incredible short little lesson and the dad expressed some concerns and right after we just asked if he had prayed to know...he made up a few excuses and then we opened up to 2 Nephi 32:8-9 and had him read it and then I testified with all my heart, with my companion doing the same, that our Heavenly Father loves us with all of His heart, more that we can imagine and He wants to talk with us. After testifying by the power of the Spirit for a few minutes we sat in silence and he looked up at us finally and said, ok, I'll pray. We are having a family home evening with the Lasa's (our African parents) on Sunday. So we look forward to that!
We also had a BBQ yesterday after church. Super interesting. French BBQs are NOTHING like American BBQs..it was fun though.
We have been so blessed this week and I could not be more grateful. I'm really bummed that Soeur Wynn is leaving me the end of this transfer, but Elder Oaks is coming this next Sunday so we will be at the multi-stake assembly for that next week.
This gospel is just so incredible. I'm so very grateful to have the opportunity to spread the good word that the fulness of the gospel is upon the earth! What a great time to be alive and growing closer to our Father in heaven each day. I know this church is true. I know we have a Heavenly Father who knows our weaknesses and our trials. He knows us better than we think and He wants us to talk to Him through prayer. He wants to pour out blessings. We just have to humble ourselves and ask.
Thank you for all the love and support. I pray that all is well and I know that you are in the hands of the Lord, right where I left you! I love you!
Stay righteous, be true, be you!