Sunday, October 6, 2013

As We Hunger For Happiness

"Oh no. Not you again!" love the doormat
Ran into President and Soeur Poznanski and their daughter on exchanges

Avec Soeur Poznanski

Chère Ma Famille et Mes Amies -

Hey everyone! What a wonderful week Soeur Lefrandt and I have had. It's so funny to think you guys watched that video Soeur Poznanski had us make! It was so difficult to say share our miracle in English! I love Soeur Poznanski so much! She's the coolest.

This week we had the opportunity to do an FHE night with one of my favorite families- The Lethuaires! We brought our ami from Camaroon, Susan, over and we had a great time. The family even shared this hilarious video about how important it is to compliment each other and lift each other up rather than tear each other down. We had a great evening and even ate some hamburgers! I can't even tell you what a blessing it is to be with the Lethuaire family. I honestly feel like they're my family. I love them so much and it makes me so sad to think I'm going to have to leave them possibly when this transfer ends. They've helped me more than anyone will really ever know.

We also had the priviledge to visit the Lam Yam family. Brother Lam Yam has cancer right now and he is going through chemo. This time is so difficult for them and I know that this will be but a small moment in their lives. They're so much fun to talk to and I feel like we all learn so much when we go over there about who we are and the importance of using Christ's Atonement not only to repent, but to be healed.

One amazing experience I had this week was with my dear friend, Sarah. Sarah has been less active for about 14 years (since she got baptized) She recently had a surgery that had some complications causing her to be in the hospital for about 2 months. She had experiences while she was in the hospital that caused her to make a decision, to either have faith and push through or blame everything and everyone around her. At first, she really struggled with her situation and Soeur Wynn and I visited her and we saw the pain and suffering she was in. It was so sad to watch her in so much agony, but I remember sitting at the side of her hospital bed thinking that this was something Heavenly Father knew she needed to go through and we couldn't do anything about it.

I made a point to pray for Sarah in every single one of my prayers. I just prayed she would allow this experience to change her life, not destroy her life.

A few days after we visited her, she showed up at church! After months of not eating or being able to get around, she was there at church last week with a smile on her face. We visited her this week and she had a WHOLE new light in her eyes. She was glowing. Before we could even sit down, she said she had to share some scriptures and a Christian song that really touch her. She shared with us verses in Isaiah and told us how God speaks to us through the scriptures. She said that Heavenly Father allowed her to be healed and how she just wants to share this peace that comes from the gospel with everyone. She says she testifies to everyone she sees (even on facebook) She quit smoking! Finally! She took out all of her piercings. She broke up with her boyfriend she has had for years. She said she wants someone that will take her to the temple. She wants her future husband to hold the priesthood and be able to give priesthood blessings to her and her children. She said she wanted to serve a mission.

It was such an incredible experience for me to have watched her flip a 180 all because of this trial. It seemed to be forever during the time, but now she recognizes it as a small moment in her life. She is so dedicated to the gospel right now I'm speechless. My testimony is strengthened every day by watching Heavenly Father change the hearts of the people I'm serving. In a way, it made me step back and recognize that I should be thankful for the trials I am given that shape me and mold my character. I testiy that we will have so much more peace if we have the courage to allow the challenges in life to shape us into the people Heavenly Father knows we can be. I know true happiness comes from using the Atonement of Jesus Christ to heal our internal wounds and give us daily relief.

Soeur Lefrandt and I had another really interesting experience this week. We waited an hour for one of our potential amis to meet us so we could begin teaching her. She kept calling us telling us she was close, but after an hour we just decided this was wasting our time so we began walking back to the gare. During this time of the day kids were barely getting out of school and there were lots of kids walking around with backpacks trying to get home. We walked by one girl and I smiled and said, "Bonjour" as we normally do to most people. She looked at me really funny (as most people do) and we kept walking. Less than a minute later she was running back after us. Out of breath, she said, "Les Soeurs!!" (this usually doesn't happen) She then began to explain that she thought we were missionaries, but she didn't see our plaques til we walked past her and she really wanted to come back and say hello. (She seemed to be about 11 years old and she was a member from a neighboring ward) I asked her if she was planning on serving a mission and she said, "Oui! Bien sur!" Her desire to serve a mission at 11 years old caught me off guard. The idea struck me (of course it was totally not me, but the Spirit) that we needed to give her something to give to a friend maybe at school. Soeur Lefrandt instantly felt the prompting too as she whipped out a Book of Mormon and we told her to give this to a friend who needed the gospel. She took it with all confidence and said she would. Then she saw someone out of the corner of her eye and with excitment she said, "In fact, there's one of my friends right now! I'll go give it to her!" This desire to share this beautiful, true gospel with her friends touched me so deeply. We told her good luck and off she went. Soeur Lefrandt and I were really curious because this situation was so random that we stayed and watched her. Sure enough, she not only gave the Book of Mormon to her friend, but she opened it up with her! This experience was absolutely incredible. If an 11 year old girl can share the Book of Mormon with her friend from school, ANYONE can share the gospel.

Saturday we had exchanges and I went to the Torcy ward. Soeur Huntsman and I had quite the miracles! As we walked to the church, we contacted this lady and we talked to her for about 10 minutes and she showed genuine interest. Then out of the blue, Salim (member from my ward preparing to put in his papers and just joined the church 3 years ago from being Muslim his whole life) walks up and says hi. So we then asked Salim to share his story with her and he bore solemn witness of the truth of the gospel. What a miracle!

We also found a little Egyptian family that really seemed to be interested! As we finished the contact and walked to the church, President Poznanski, Soeur Poznanski, and their daughter walk out! So fun to see them and chat with them! We've had this goal as a mission to find FAMILIES! It was cool to share with them that we had literally found a family less than 5 minutes before.

Miracles happen every day. Heavenly Father is aware of us. He knows our struggles, our weaknesses, our strengths, our fears, our joys, and he knows what each of us need.

I'm so excited to hear from our living prophet and apostles this upcoming weekend! What a privilege to have a living prophet who leads and guides us specifically for our time. As General Conference is nearing, I encourage each of you to reflect on the challenges in life that have shaped you and where you would be if you didn't have those difficult moments. As you think about all of the trials this life brings, think about how blessed we are for the healing powers of the Atonement. Allow the hunger and spiritual need for our daily bread be a reminder to seek Jesus Christ and seek to do the little things each day. Seek to uplift and serve those around you for everyone is walking on a difficult, personal path to our Father.

Heavenly Father lives! He lives and knows each of us. He sent His Son Jesus Christ to atone for us. Our Savior and Redeemer took upon Him our pains, afflictions, and sorrow so that we might not suffer them in this life. Allow our Savior to influence your life. Allow His welcoming arms to wrap around you in a loving embrace. He wants us to be happy. So choose to be!

I love you all and pray you all feel the love Heavenly Father has for each of you! I know our Savior will come again one day and we must prepare for Him to come, by loving others enough to serve them.

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

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