Sunday, November 3, 2013

The End of My Journey in Nogent :(

Famille et Friends!
Well this week was a bit better! The members in Nogent are really coming through. Last week was rough because it felt like we were doing a lot of groud work with trying to get all the members involved in missionary work, but this week we are JUST beginning to see the fruits of our labors!
Nogent got a new DMP (ward mission leader) (michell kusseling! hes gonna rock it!) Soeur Lefrandt and I met with our new ami, Benedict. We met her the 3rd day of this transfer and we had to wait a month to see her because she was really busy. But it went GREAT! She's 100% French and has a family! We are so excited! She made us a super yummy French meal. We taught her all about the Book of Mormon and testified that it was the true word of God and just poured our hearts about how great and amazing the church and the gospel are. We also met with Josephine (ami of a member in our ward) and she wants to get baptized! She's so sincere and she's just searching and hungering for peace in her life. As I looked into her face during our lesson I could see all the pain and hurt caused by so many difficult moments in her life. She was so sweet and she is sooo ready for the gospel! It is so much easier for people to embrace the gospel with open arms when they see the powerful effects in their friend's life! That is why it is so important that the members of The Church of Jesus Christ take a stand, find the courage to open their mouths, and share the beautiful gospel with a friend.
We also saw Claudia this week. We taught her the Law of Chastity. She expressed her concerns with her boyfriend and we simply asked her what she wants in a worthy partner. She told us she just wanted someone to respect her and love her and she wants to be married! We promised her it was possible with prayer and with faith. Something I've noticed that is a hard concept to accept is acting on faith. Claudia wants these things so badly, but it's hard for her to see the importance of our doing our part. We must pray, repent, edify ourselves, study, ponder, use our trials to stengthen us, and ask in faith for the aid of our Heavenly Father. It's the only way we can receive answers. It made me think in my life where it was necessary to act and even when sometimes I didn't act on faith when I should have. I think it's something we all struggle with, to replace fear with faith and act on a small particle of faith.
Thursday we had a lesson with Beatrice and her friend, Christine. They were quite a trip! Africans crack me up. I love them. I feel like everyone secretly wishes they were African..I know I do. We had lunch together and just talked about why we chose to be missionaries and why we decided to give up so much to talk to people about Jesus Christ. She ended up coming to church on Sunday and she asked me all these questions during sacrament meeting and she told me "This is so much better than the experiences at other churches! Everyone can go and speak. It doesn't have to be the pastor. It really is like a family here." Wow! That was pretty cool.
We also saw our lovely grandmas: Christiane and Jackie Palmer. They both are so lonely and are getting at that age where all the little things in life are challenging. They aren't really progressing or interested in joining the church, but I just feel like we have to go see them. We're their only friends that check up on them and express love for them. Christ would want us to lift their Spirits and bring hope into their homes. The Spirit is always strong when we go to either of their houses. We just sing to them and without fail there is always a simple tear that streams down their face as they feel the power and beauty of hymns. It has just given me a real testimony of hymns and their imporance.
Friday we visited Maria. I haven't seen her in so long! She's been going to her friends' baptisms and she hasn't been in our ward for a few weeks, but she brought a friend, Celine (mother of her friend Alexi) and it was so incredible to watch Maria (member of 2 1/2 months) testify to her friend about the truth of the Book of Mormon. She has an unshakable testimony! As I listened and watched Maria tell Celine how blessed she was to be a member of the church and feel the personal love of her Heavenly Father and Savior I replayed in my mind kinda like a movie of Maria's progress. From the first day I met her she hungered for the gospel but was unsure of how her life would be, and now I see that she knows who she is and where she wants to go. She is confident with her testimony of Jesus Christ. She recognizes the difference without and with the gospel and she finds great joy in sharing it with the people in her life.
We also visited Marianne and her son and mom. I love these three! They are best friends, yet at such different stages in their lives. I'm going to really miss them. Within the first 2 minutes of being in their apartment, without fail they offer us 'Juliens brew' (sprite with oasis juice) it's so cute.
Yesterday we went to the Allanics so I could say goodbye. Soeur Allanic is so great. She is such a great mom! She told us all about how hard it is to protect her kids from the evil in the world when it's all around their school. She said her 5 year old daughter already asked about a boyfriend because everyone else has one. AT 5 YEARS OLD? What is the world coming to! It makes me a little worried for my own journey in motherhood. They're such a great family though. Soeur Allanic has all these incredible ideas for cute church crafty things that she uses for primary songs, lessons, and activities. She is great. Nogent is really lucky to have her. Frere Allanic always tells us weird stories from his mission and it's always a good time with them. When Soeur Wynn and I first went over to their house, they told us they pray that their two daughters will grow up and be like us one day! Yesterday Soeur Allanic told me of a dream that Frere Allanic had had. He saw his oldest daughter walking down the stairs with long hair and she was really tall and he later told Soeur Allanic that it looked a lot like me! That was pretty cool. So sweet of them to share that experience with me.
After we visited the Lethuaires because I had to see them one more time before I go. When Soeur Lefrandt and I got there we were waiting for Frere Lethuaire to get home from his stake presidency meeting and he was running a little late (rung a bell for me ;) so we played this really fun game called Jungle Speed and we were all in stitches we were laughing so hard. Then we ate some yummy dinner and they shared some really cool missionary experiences they had had that week. I dream of being like this family one day. They're so solid! We then discussed the story of Enos, the son of Jacob and how "his soul hungered" to understand why his father had such a strong faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. And little did we know that this story was very relatable for each of the kids and they all explained an experience that was just like Enos. So amazing.
I'm so grateful for my time I've had in Nogent. I just found out that I will be white-washing with Soeur Huntsman in St. Nazaire.
I've lived with Soeur Huntsman for the past 2 transfers so I know her really well. We're going to the west of France. I'm super bummed to leave my precious people in Nogent that I've come to love so much, but I'm excited to start a new journey with Soeur Huntsman in the west of France.
Well I love you all!
Stay righteous, be true, be you!
Avec amour,
Soeur Berge

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