Well this week was pretty eventful comme dab.
Last Monday night we had an awesome lesson with Jeanne. We thought we set a date for the 19th of January, but turns out she's just not quite ready. This week we met with her a lot and finished all of her lessons so now we are pushing her to get baptized, because she knows everything is true and she believes our church is true, she is just a little nervous. It'll come with time though. She has made so much progress.
Tuesday we visited Soeur Rousslet. She just lost her husband and they both had gone a little inactive because of his health problems. We had a great idea to print off the talk that President Monson just gave the last General Conference about how our Heavenly Father is aware of us. There was a story in it about the woman who wanted home made bread and so we also brought her a fresh loaf of my favorite, brioche. I had the opportunity to open up to her and talk about losing loved ones and my personal experiences with it and she just broke my heart. I just wanted to give her the biggest hug, but they don't really believe in hugs here. I can't imagine how hard it would be to lose your best friend especially after doing everything for him these past years. We just hope she turns towards our loving Father in heaven for comfort.
Also on Tuesday we contacted pretty much every person we saw. We walked through this wooded area and there was a woman reading a book on a bench. So we walked up to her. She started talking all about how she used to live in New York and loves Americans. She was super sweet and so I asked her if she knew about Palmyra, New York and she said no so then we gave talked to her about the 1st vision and it was so cool to teach it in a forest! So cool. Then just as the Spirit was beginning to really touch and soften her heart, her phone rang. I hate it when that happens. It was an alarm for work and she hopped right up and began to run away saying she needed to go. We asked if we could see her again soon and she said to go back to the bench another time and she'll be there. We don't even have her name..so we call her 'lady on the bench.' One day..one day :)
Later on Tuesday night, my wonderful friends, Soeur Evans and Soeur Hafen came over for the night and the next day we did exchanges. I LOVE these 2 sisters! They're just such a party and crazy hard workers and the best STL's ever.
I was with Soeur Hafen and we went to Nantes for the day. We had THE coolest lesson ever. They met a guy on a metro one night. His name is Michael. He is from South Carolina and heard them speak English and told them how he was searching for a good Christian church. He has friends that are LDS, and we gave him a tour of the church with the elders. It was a 'hand-off' lesson to give him over to the elders. It was one of the most incredible lessons I've ever been in. It was all in English so I felt like I could express myself more and bearing my testimony in English just felt so easy, yet I was using the same basic words I would've used in French. It was just a cool contrast with what I am used to. The Spirit was incredibly strong. Michael prayed at the end and gave an awesome prayer. He even prayed for us 4 American missionaries because 'our English was slippin' haha! so funny
Later we visited the cutest family with 3 boys because the mom wants them to be taught before they get baptized. It was a rough lesson, but it was still good.
We also visited one of their amis who is having trouble quitting smoking so we promised her blessings and she gave a beautiful prayer and expressed her strong desire to quit smoking.
Soeur Hafen and I also contacted later on and we felt really impressed to talk to this one lady and we ended up talking to her for 30 minutes and she apparently lives right next to the elders in Nantes and they sang for her and her family and she also has a Finding Faith in Christ and a brochure. So we introduced the Book of Mormon and she took it and said she would read it! It was a super cool contact/lesson.
Later that night Soeur Sorenson and Soeur Evans came to Nantes just in time to switch off our companions and they went straight to Paris for Soeur Evan's legality the next morning so Soeur Sorenson and I stayed in Nantes for the night. We had a few hours in Nantes so we went contacting and met the coolest lady on the metro. She was a beautiful French woman with the cutest baby boy. We started talking to her and she asked us to sing a lullaby in English for her baby. So cool! We sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and she was so happy. We got her number and address later and gave it to the sisters, but it was so incredible because if we weren't called here to France to preach the gospel, I would have never been on that metro and sung to a random French baby. Just an interesting thought I had.
The next day we had a big Zone Conference in Nantes with our zone. Later, we had the coolest lesson. So last week I wrote about a boy around 8 years old that we met while porting. Well we saw them later on Thursday and guess what? This little kid, Titouan, read 4 chapters in the Book of Mormon! How cool is that! He said some of it was a little hard to understand but he was talking about Laban and Nephi and we were so shocked he had actually read. It was the biggest testimony to me that the rising generation are incredible. They are so amazing and have been preserved for these final days. We showed the coolest Mormon Message called "A Book of Mormon Story." It's a bishop in England who talks about the Book of Mormon and it was so cool because it really helped Titouan and his parents loved it. They were kind of on the side of the lesson, but I think they like us. His mom even offered to give us a ride to our next rdv. I was so pumped because we hadn't had the chance to talk with her and we got to know her religious background and you can just feel she is searching for truth, but doesn't know she is searching. I am so excited to see them again this week.
Friday we got to see Esperence! She has been out of town for a while and we talked to her about the 10 commandments. Soeur Wynn taught me the coolest way to remember the 10 commandments with your hands and we showed her the little game and she loved it and she wants to teach it to Anthony, her son.
Later we had a lesson with Jeanne. We have an awesome member named Hortense who joined us and we talked about baptism. Jeanne is really feeling nervous about it, but the more we work with her, the more she is able to retain everything we have taught and she has progressed so much it is incredible. We are praying really hard that she will be able to see her progress and make the decision to get baptized sooner rather than later. She wants to be baptized, she is just nervous about actually doing it, but she received a blessing from our awesome branch president and she really liked it.
Saturday was interesting..but we had a cool experience that night. Our rdv got canceled so we went to pass by one of the contacts that Soeur Sorenson and Soeur Evans had while on exchanges. As we were walking there we walked by the garage of this house not too far from our apartment. I heard them playing ping pong and flipped around and said, "We are knocking on this door and we are going to challenge them to ping-pong to let us in" :) So the dad opens the door and I started to testify about families and he was really nice. He started to tell us that they weren't interested, but they respected us for what we were doing. I then said "Oh you're playing ping-pong. How about this..let us play one game and if we win, we get to pray with you..if I lose, we will leave." After about 3 times of trying to ask for this to happen I finally said, "What are you scared?" haha that pride gets them everytime...and he said, "OK come on in" YES!!! 2 points for Griffindor! So I started playing the son who was about 15 years old. Here this poor boy is standing in front of 2 American girls from the South and he looked like he was going to pass out. So after it was near the end, it was tied I could see his poor manhood was on the line so I let him win, but we kept the game going just long enough for us to have a great conversation with the dad and in the end they said that we were welcome to come back and see them again! HECK YEAH! It was a cool experience.
Later that night we saw Mata and her family. I just love Mata. We had an awesome meal with them. We are trying to help her oldest son, William prepare for baptism.
Sunday was the coolest. First, we woke up early and went with the Stake President, his wife, Frere Poisbeau, President Phillipe, and the Harris's to rededicate Saint-Nazaire. We went to this park at 8am and President Raveneau offered a prayer to rededicate Saint-Nazaire. We were in this beautiful park next to this lake just as the sun was rising and it was incredible. So spiritual and so sacred and something I will keep in my heart forever. The Spirit was so strong and afterwards, President Raveneau just looked us in the eyes and just testified to us and it was so sacred for me. Such a special experience.
Later we had a great time at church with all the Stake Presidency Auxiliaires and got to know some really cool members from other wards. We had the best meal and there was so much laughter and it was a jolly good time. Then we had a HUGE ward council meeting and it was so cool. I learned so much!
Then we went straight to visit a less active who was baptized earlier this year. Her name is Tieta. (She's the pregnant member at church who was about to throw up and pass out at and she leaned on me as I patted wet washclothes on her forehead for her to cool down.) She had her baby finally so we went and visited her and her new baby boy named Jack. We shared a message about the pre-mortal world since Jack was just there and it was cool to talk about this place that Jack had just come from and I think it was so much more real to her thinking about it like that. Cool lesson. We are going to try and help her get ready to have her baby blessed.
Now we get to the funny stuff. Well you're probably wondering what the heck 'Haglund's' is. Well let me tell you..I have these big bumps on my heel and they have been getting bigger and bigger and get really iritated and hurt. So I talked to the mission nurse and she said that I probably have 'Haglund's Deformity.' I know..what a name..Anyways, because of all the walking I've been doing apparently they've just shown up. haha so I'm not really sure what I need to do so I'm going to go talk to our doctor investigator, Dr. Lesouef and see if I can figure out how to help it. I'm probably going to have to just get it surgically removed after my mission if it doesn't go away, but it's just another wonderful souvenir from the mission :) It's not a big deal, but Soeur Sorenson and I had some good laughs about it and everytime I need something and don't want to move I just tell Soeur Sorenson that my 'haglund's' are acting up and she instantly becomes my servant ;) haha naw, but it's just something funny that happened this week that I thought I'd share with the class.
Well I must say that it has been a wonderful week full of tender spiritual moments and much joy and laughter. I love this gospel and I love this wonderful time to be alive and to share the truth with the world and help prepare them for the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ! I love you all!!