Monday, February 24, 2014

There's a Change in the Air of Saint-Nazaire!

bOnJoUr tout le monde!

First off, can't believe I hit 8 months this week..the time is flying..

This week was great! Last Monday we started off the week with an awesome FHE with most of the branch members at the Harris's. The Harris couple put on FHE every other week and it is always a blast. Their daughter and her family flew in as well and we got to meet them. The Harrises are awesome! I love them.

Tuesday, we had our district meeting and district picture. Can't believe this transfer is done already. Feels like just yesterday I was going to pick up my bleu and best friend, Soeur Sorenson. I can't even begin to say how much fun it has been to serve with her. We are constantly laughing and having a blast. She reminds me a lot of Soeur Wynn and it always takes me back to my bleu days and all the fun I had with Soeur Wynn. 

Later that day we went to Jeanne's. We talked to her about how our faith doesn't have to be a perfect knowledge and that acting on faith allows us to grow it. After, we gave her a talk in Malagasy and she was sooo happy! She loved it and was so excited to read it! We tried to set a date for baptism with her and she just wouldn't do it. She is just so scared to commit, but she is totally ready.

Wednesday was a crazy day. We had an rdv with Mme Juget. It's been so long since we have seen her because of the holidays and her sister is really sick, but we finally got to see her. We talked about the Book of Mormon and the power it has and shared the Mormon message about the Book of Mormon which she really liked. She said that it didn't inspire her and that it doesn't do anything for her. This is so heartbreaking for me, because I know the Book of Mormon is truly the word of God and brings me so much joy and happiness that it's so sad she isn't allowing her heart to be touched by the word of God. She did say however that maybe her prayers about the Book of Mormon weren't sufficient and she will try again. Lots of prayers for her!

Next we saw Philbert. I struggle to understand anything he says, but he is still awesome. We went with the Karsentys. We showed him and his daughter the restoration film. The Spirit was so strong, but I think he really struggles to open his heart and ears to the truth because of his previous beliefs. He says he will continue reading and maybe trying to pray. We need prayers for him as well that he will open his heart to the message of truth.

Later we saw Tituoan! We watched the Restoration film with him and he loved it. He loves the Book of Mormon and he says he is going to pray to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet. Such a cool kid. His parents kinda participate, but we are going to try and include them more. They fed us an awesome meal and we had a great conversation with them. They are seriously such cool people. 

Thursday was a bit of a struggle. I really didn't feel so great and had a half-sick day. We did get to see Esperence and we made the coolest 10 commandment game for Anthony and we gave it to them and they loved it. She is such a wonderful recent convert. Yesterday, she said the prayer in Relief Society and she just got right up there and did it. So great. So proud.

Friday was super rough. Soeur Sorenson and I went porting for like 3 hours and literally not one person would listen to us. It was rough, but I know it wasn't for nothing. The cookies just weren't done cookin..very gooey people for sure..(ref my amie-cookie analogy) 

Saturday was our miracle day! We stopped by our amie, Marguerida who we haven't seen in so long. She only speaks Portuguese, so it's quite difficult to communicate. But she was finally home this time when we stopped by and she was so excited to see us. We left for her a Portuguese Book of Mormon and told her it was true and to read it and we somehow set up a rdv for Wednesday. The gift of tongues is real. I have no idea how we talked to her, but hey, the Lord ALWAYS provides a way. C'est vrai.

Then we had the coolest experience! We were on our way home when we saw these two ladies trying to get 10 huge bags full of stuff to this apartment. We offered to help and so we helped them take the stuff up there. Then the moving truck showed up..haha So we helped this lady and her family move into their new apartment which is literally a few doors down the street. It was so fun and we got to know them and got their number and told them who we were. They were so appreciative of our help and we are so excited to see them hopefully soon. The wife is from Morocco and is so cool. She explained that she is Muslim and she is just the nicest lady. 

Later, we decided to take a bus out into a different city for a change of scenery. We went out to Pornichet and La Baule. It was GORGEOUS! What a neat place. There a super long beach with tons and tons of surfers! Soeur Sorenson and I just about died. We wanted to throw on a wet suit and join them..but we decided to contact people instead. :) After not much success we saw this adorable little shop with such cool stuff inside. We were freezing and went inside for a minute. We also needed to ask directions to walk back to the bus stop. So I asked this lady that was walking around and she ended walking us all the way back (several several blocks) and she was amazing! She is an acupuncture doctor and she said she was currently struggling with something, but she knows she can be healed soon with faith. We talked to her for so long and she said that her life has been hard with her daughter and she was so sweet. We exchanged numbers and we are going to see her soon. She offered to drive us all the way back to Saint-Nazaire because she just wanted to kill time and distract herself, but we took the bus because we had lots to do. She is just adorable and we can't wait to see her. You can just tell she is suffering emotionally and after we talked to her there was a whole new light in her eyes! 

Later on the bus we tried talking to this really cool girl from London who is here studying. She was with her mom I think and she was so cool. We talked to her about church and God and Jesus Christ and she was so sweet. We tried to exchange numbers and she really wanted to know what we believe, but her mom wouldn't let us even give them a card and she was quite rude. It hurt a LOT more being rejected in English than French. It made me so grateful that I am not in an English mission. It just heart my heart to hear them reject this wonderful message. 

Later we had a lesson with Jeanne. What a lesson. We began by talking about the talk we had left for her and she just LOVED it. Then she began testifying to us about how she knows God is her Father and that this is the true church. We made a huge board of all the lessons because she told us it was hard to remember everything. So we made this huge poster with all the lessons and everything she should know before baptism and boy did that help. She loved it. We went over all the lessons and points and she totally got it. It was incredible! Then she tells us that Heavenly Father answered her prayers and she is ready to be baptized. She finally chose a date. At first we chose the 8th of February and she thought that was a little fast..then our awesome member, Hortense showed up (who is one of Jeanne's best friends now) and we found out that Hortense wouldn't be able to make her baptism because of work. Then Jeanne wanted to push it back a week, but Hortense told her to just push it up for the 1st of February and we encouraged her that it would be a wonderful day and she would be ready..and then..she AGREED! WHAT?! So now Jeanne will be baptized on the 1st of February and confirmed a member on the 2nd. Yesterday, they announced it in church and everyone is so excited for her. She is really part of the branch already. I am so happy for her. It is just incredible to see the change in her. Being there from her first lesson with us and now to watching her enter the waters of baptism and make this wonderful covenant with Heavenly Father will just be incredible. Now we just have to make sure the bishop in Nantes can baptize her because he is from Madagascar and Jeanne wants it to be in Malagasy which will be so cool. We are so excited!

I love Saint-Nazaire and I love serving these incredible people.The area has really progressed a lot and I have seen such a change and new enthusiasm in the members. This is really the time for this branch to blossom and we know it can happen.

I am so grateful for the blessings and comfort of the gospel. What joy it is to be a member of the true church of Jesus Christ. How amazing that our brother gave His life for us, for our struggles, for our sins, for our hardships. Because He loves us. 

I love you all and wish you all a wonderful week!

Sœur Berge

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