Ma famille et mes amies!
First off, thanks again EVERYONE for the letters, packages, emails, and facebook messages! C'etait trop gentil! :)
This week was just marvelous! Every week I am just so blown away at how the miracles are just never-ending here.
Cette semaine we are preparing for a BAPTISM! :) Our lovely ami, Esperence is being baptized next Sunday and we couldn't be more thrilled. She has such great faith and loves church. This week we have just been teaching her every day and trying to get her ready.
Tuesday was our multi-zone conference and interviews with President Poznanksi (best mission president ever.) The Poznanskis are just one of a kind. They are the glue holding France together. I got to see Soeur Huckstep at Zone Conference and it was so fun to catch up with my ol' MTC comp.
Wednesday was one of those days. We passed by numerous people and contacted everyone we could find but didn't have a ton of success. Sometimes as a missionary you just have those days where you give it your all and don't see much success, but you have to remember God always has a plan, therefore we can't give up hope! :)
Thursday we taught Esperence and realized she didn't have much of a knowledge of the Book of Mormon and with her baptism coming up it was a bit of a panic, but with our awesome senior couple here we were able to teach her almost all the lessons all over again :) We also ate dinner and talked with Chloé and her mom. Chloé is preparing for her mission in New Zealand! She is so sweet and has been helping us teach. I first met Chloé in Paris at the big Missionary Prep Super Saturday that Soeur Lefrandt and I helped with. We had a great time with them. Thursday night Soeur Huntsman and I saw such a miracle! It was 8:50 at night and we were by our apartment. We remembered the importance of being obedient (emphasized at zone conference) and Soeur Huntsman looked at me and said, "Soeur Berge, we have 10 minutes..let's find one more person!" And so we did! We walked along 2 roads and didn't feel inspired to knock any doors. THEN we rounded the corner and I spotted an apartment with a light and I said, "let's knock that one!" It just so happened to be a man who said he didn't have a lot of time but wanted us to come back and discuss religion with him and his wife. That night I learned such a powerful lesson about strict obedience and the blessings we see when we are obedient down to the minute. I'm so grateful for my companion and her desire to encourage me to 'find one more.'
Friday we saw Esperence again and also tried to pass by our Turkish family. We were so sad they weren't there. We ordered Turkish brochures and they came in an hour before we left to go visit them. We were so bummed they weren't there, but we are determined to see them this week!!
Saturday was such a great day! My companion is quite amazing ya know. She had banners and balloons and hats and all this fun birthday stuff! We went knocking doors in the morning just along the coast to invite people to our Thanksgiving party in a few weeks. We are inviting everyone we see. After, we took some pictures by the beach and it was such a beautiful day. We taught Esperence, and Therese (new lady we found) who doesn't speak a lot of French, but her native language isn't written..we're not really sure how we can teach her. Lately we have been finding a lot of people who don't speak English or French so that's always fun..Later, I got a surprise knock at the door from our cute missionary senior couple here with birthday wishes. After that we decided to go porting around our neighborhood. The first door we knocked on was this adorable mom with her cute little girl. She said she wasn't believing or interested, but we weren't about to let her go. I asked her if we could just sing for her and her daughter and she let us in. We sang 'Come Unto Jesus' and the Spirit was SO strong and they loved it! We just left after that, but man it was so incredible to leave their house knowing the Spirit was there.
Sunday, we had church (there were literally 10 people at church because of so many other things going on in other wards that some of the members went to.) It was so empty, but church is still church as long as you're going to the right one. ;) Later we went over to the Poisbeau's and they made cake for Soeur Harris's and my birthday. It was a grande party. We finished the evening with another lesson with Esperence.
TODAY! We had an incredible miracle..literally 2 hours ago we were sitting at the bus stop with all of our groceries. We BARELY missed the bus by seconds and we had to wait 20 minutes for the next one. Luckily, missionaries are prepared and we got out our stuff to write some letters. As I was writing a letter, I needed some French help. There was a girl about my age standing nearby waiting for the bus and I asked her for some help. After, Soeur Huntsman struck up a conversation with her. She said she wasn't believing because her mom passed away, and she said there is no way God would let that happen if He really existed. Soeur Huntsman and I shoved our letter writing into our sacs and Soeur Huntsman pulled out this handy Plan of Salvation layout. She asked the girl, Vanessa, if she could show her something. We then sat there and taught her the ENTIRE Plan of Salvation lesson. She began to cry because the Spirit was incredible strong. We asked her if she believed it was true, and she said she didn't know, but she hopes it is. We are going to see her on Wednesday and give her a church tour. Wow! Even on P-day you can teach lessons that are just incredible. I have to admit I was sad when the bus showed up because I just wanted to sit there and teach her more. It was one of the most amazing experiences that I will keep forever dear in my heart. We need prayers for Vanessa! :)
Well, there we have it. Another week down, and many more to go. I am so grateful for this beautiful gospel that gives me the hope and faith to keep going every day. I've learned so many things and witnessed so many miracles here in France. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. Anyone can pray to know and will find that it is the true church of Jesus Christ re-established to this Earth with divine design. I love this gospel. I love this great time to be alive and witness so many miracles in France! Love you all and thank you for your prayers.
Stay righteous, be true, be you!