Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Baptisms, Birthdays, and Babies!

DEAREST Family and Friends

BONJOUR! What an incredible week of MIRACLES! Well, for starters, yesterday we had our first BAPTISM in Saint-Nazaire. It went incredible! Words can't even describe how amazing it was.

Well, we started the week with a great FHE at the senior couple's home. We celebrated Soeur Harris's birthday and we made her a cake. Tuesday was quite an adventure. After district meeting in Nantes, we rushed back to Saint-Nazaire so Esperence could have her baptismal interview. She was a few hours late, but after much opposition, she was interviewed and everything was fine. Soeur Huntsman and I then visited with a less active couple that lives far away and they have lots of health problems and are a little older, but the Spirit was really strong. We challenged them to read the Book of Mormon every day as a couple and they were a little hesitant. Later this week Soeur Huntsman called them to share a scripture with them over the phone. She asked if they had read every day and they said they had. Wow! 

Wednesday we met with our miracle amie-Vanessa. We showed her around the church and sang some hymns and just taught her about Jesus Christ. The Spirit was incredibly strong. Vanessa's story just breaks my heart. Her father completely disowned her and said she wasn't his child. We think she lives with her boyfriend and has no family support.  She is looking for a job and is just hanging by a thread. She really didn't know who Jesus Christ was or what He did for her so we just testified of His love for her and it was incredible. At the end of the lesson we invited her to come to church, but she is a little worried because the last time she went to church was for her mom's funeral. At the end we felt prompted to tell her we'd fast for her to find a job soon and she was so touched that we would do that for her. As we were finishing the lesson, we noticed she felt a little uneasy about something and we asked her if she had any more questions. She then asked us what the church's stand on smoking is. Wow, I just told her that we've received the counsel that smoking is against our standard. After she said, "Good, can you help me quit smoking? I want to stop." WHAT! It was so crazy. I just about fell off my chair. She is just so humble and willing to listen and take everything in. As Soeur Huntsman says, "she drinks up every word we say." It is incredible. I just love Vanessa as if she were my real sister. Every time we see her I call her my sister, Vanessa, and her face lights up. 

Later that day we helped Dod (member of a year and in the Branch Presidency) move. We then met with Mme Juget. She lives just around the corner from us and she just lost her husband. He had eczema, asthma, was on a feeding tube, and lots of other health problems. I just totally clicked with her and we just got talking and I just love her. She was really sad about her husband, so we switched our lesson plans to Plan of Salvation and talked to her all about how we lived with our Heavenly Father before this life and right now is the time to prepare to meet God for after this life. She wasn't totally sure about everything we were saying because it's very new for her, but the Spirit was strong and she could feel our love and the Savior's love for her as we talked. She then told us the next day was her birthday. We told her we were going to stop by and see her. 

Thursday we started the day with a little birthday surprise for Mme Juget. We went over with our birthday hats and birthday cazoos and sang JOYEUX ANNIVERSAIRE and she was so happy. She was glowing! It was so fun and she was so appreciative. After, we went to Esperence's with the Harris couple to help prepare her for her baptism. Everything was going great til Satan rang the doorbell. The opposition!!! She had an RDV with one of the ladies who is over the building she lives in and later Esperence told us that the lady told her that she shouldn't join our church..BUT Esperence told her she knows what she wants in life and she was going to get baptized anyways. HECK YEAH! You go Esperence! 

Friday was quite the day. We started off by teaching this lady who ONLY speaks Portuguese. I contacted her one day and she told us to follow her and she showed us where she lived and she said to come back. So we went over there and taught her a little lesson. Luckily, Soeur Huntsman understands her because she speaks Spanish so Soeur Huntsman spoke Spanish with her and I had a few memorized lines in Portuguese and the lesson went pretty well. We just had her read the pamphlets and she just said, "Si!" to everything so that was great! Later that night, we went to Mata's (Tongan member). We walked in the door and BAM! Birthday surprise! She made like 5 meals with 6 different desserts (we didn't even touch one of the cakes!) and they did a big birthday surprise for me. Ha! It was so fun. We taught William (boy about to turn 8) a lesson and talked a little about baptism. It was such a fun night with GREAT FOOD!!

Saturday was a fun day. We saw Mme Juget again and Jeanne (Madagscar lady). Jeanne just totally opened up her whole life story and how hard life had been for her. Elder Harris testified how Heavenly Father loved her and it was a really tender moment. Jeanne is just so humble and full of love. After that we went and saw Therese. She is a new lady we found the other week. We've been trying to teach her or figure out a way we can teach her. She doesn't really speak French, but her language is some African dialect that isn't even written. So...we're not sure how to teach her, but we just sing and teach her really slowly. We invited her teenage daughter and her friends for our big Thanksgiving party this Saturday and they were so excited. They thought we were so cool because we were from America. They were begging me if they could come to Miami. Oh boy. haha

Sunday-MIRACLE DAY! Well for starters, Soeur Huntsman and I were a little worried if Esperence would make it to church because she has a hard time getting her son, Anthony, up for church. She also went to a wedding the day before and we were so nervous if that had made her really tired. Long story short, Sunday morning, we were a bit nervous, BUT it was all for nothing because Esperence showed up and her friend Tieta (less active member) who first introduced the church to her and it was great! Tieta is 8 1/2 months pregnant and the awesome Hemon family brought her to church! So as we began Relief Society, we were singing as normal and then all of the sudden Tieta just gets SUPER hot and felt like she couldn't breath. So we took off her big sweater and the RS President and I got some cold paper towels and we just put them all over her neck and her head. We propped her legs up on another chair and she leaned her head down. We stopped and said a prayer as Relief Society Sisters for Tieta at that moment. Then they rushed to get some Priesthood so she could have a blessing. We moved Relief Society into another room while Tieta was recooperating with some kind members tending to her. After the meeting, we walked in and Tieta was all better! After a piece of candy and a good hour, she was as good as new. So then we moved to our amie class. So we start our meeting and I look over. After 10 minutes, Tieta's eyes started rolling around again. So then I went and got her more towels and we put her by the window with the cold air blowing in on her. I sat next to her and she just leaned her head on my shoulder while I patted the wet cloths on her head so Esperence could listen to the lesson. I didn't really catch a word of the lesson because I was trying to keep Tieta from passing out or throwing up. After she rested on my shoulder for about 40 minutes, she felt better. We prayed so hard for her the whole meeting. Then we had Sacrament Meeting and it was the primary program. There aren't that many kids in our branch so Soeur Harris asked us to help participate and sing. So I ended up sitting on the floor keeping one of the kids in his chair all of Sacrament Meeting and we just sang really loud and it was so fun. Tieta ended up feeling much better and everything went great. 

After church everyone really came together and planned out the rides for Esperence's baptism. 2 hours later in Nantes we had Esperence's baptism. IT WAS SO INCREDIBLE! She told us she woke up at 3am and couldn't go back to sleep because she was so nervous. She then got on her knees in the night and prayed that she would be able to be comforted and go back to sleep. She did and she said she slept great. The baptism was really beautiful and the whole branch came out 40 minutes to her baptism! There were cakes and everyone brought their best smiles and it was so beautiful. After Esperence came out of the font I wrapped her in the towel and she gave me the biggest hug. As we helped her get ready in the bathroom, she told us that she felt like she was empty before and as she came out of the water she felt like she was filled! Oh it was so beauitful! 

I am so proud of Esperence and for my sweet cousin, Kylie for making the big decisions to be baptized this week. I love these 2 newest members of the church and couldn't be more content. The church is true and miracles happen every day!

I am so grateful for another wonderful week and for all your love and support. I feel every prayer and I miss and love you all! Til next week,

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

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