Sunday, May 4, 2014

Catchya Later Saint-Nazaire, Rouen Here I Come!

Beautiful view from our apartment

A little art on a wall

Bonjour Famille et mes amis!

Goodbyes are never easy or fun so this week started off with lots of sadness as I had to say goodbye to my family in Saint-Nazaire and my wonderful companion/twin, Soeur Sorenson. 

Monday night we had a super fun FHE with Jeanne at Rachel and her family (RS President). We had so much fun and Jeanne really enjoyed it too.

Tuesday was a crazy day! We started off by seeing Edwidge and saying goodbye. We haven't seen her in so long, but she came to church last Sunday and I really wanted to see her before I left. She is the sweetest lady! We had a good time showing her how to find Mormon Messages, which are so powerful! She was so grateful for them as she made us bookmark it so she could find it to and watch later.

Then we had a lesson with Allan who is such a boss. He is progressing so great. We watched the Jospeh Smith Restoration video and he said that it was exactly how he pictured it in his head (except the hole was a lot bigger) haha but how cool is that! He says he knows that he is a prophet and the Book of Mormon is true. He also said the other day he was feeling frustrated and started reading the Book of Mormon because he feels good when he reads it and it works. Wow..his testimony is just exploding and I was super sad to leave, but I know Soeur Sorenson will take care of his lessons and getting him ready for baptism soon.

Afterwards, we saw Esperance and Anthony. We made a cake with them and sang hymns and laughed and it was SOO fun! I love them so much! Then Esperence gave me a gift and it was so sweet because Esperence doesn't even have much and it meant so much to me that she thought to get me something. She is such a special person and I'm so proud of her progress since I first got there.

Then I said goodbye to Jeanne and that was hard too because we have gotten so close to her and seen her grow so much spiritually. She has such a powerful testimony and I'm so proud of her courage and desire to follow Jesus Christ and break out of her shell and blossom into a powerful member of the church. Life is not easy for her either and she is a little frustrated being alone and all, but the aura around her has completely changed since I first met her. She is happy now and she tells everyone she has a family now and it's the members who are her family. I love how she always makes a point to say she knows she is a daughter of God. I think that was the first thing that really allowed the Spirit to touch her heart is when she gained her testimony of her divinity as a child of God! Love her!!

Later we went to the Hemons and said goodbye and they are such a cool family! I'm so grateful for their wonderful example to the branch being the real complete family in the branch. They really are the glue that holds the branch together along with the Poisbeau's and senior missionary couple, the Harrises. 

Wednesday the Harrises drove us to the gare and helped me get on our long train ride to Paris to switch companions so I could make my journey to Rouen. This place is so amazing! I have heard so much about it since 2 of my previous companions served here and showed me pictures. The members here are so awesome and the view from our appartement is incredible! WOW! Such a priviledge to be here and serve these cool people.

Something really cool about Rouen now is there are 6 missionaries here! Very different than being the only missionaries in Saint-Nazaire along with our Senior Couple. There is another team of sisters and a team of elders here. 

Friday was really cool..we had a big meeting with our Branch President and our ward mission leader and they basically laid out this huge plan and objectives for about 3 hours! IT WAS SO COOL! They have SUCH a vision here and we are all so excited to pitch in and get to work and make it happen. It's all about the members and working with them to bring their friends to the waters of baptism. SO COOL! I love it! Later we attended the branch counsel and it was the most amazing counsel meeting I've ever been to! Everyone was efficient and organized and it's all about delegating members to bring their less active families back and to reach out to their friends and how we can help the amis specifically. WOW! It was so unified and the members are so passionate about the gospel and helping each other! Myself and the 2 other new sisters were so impressed and it just got us so pumped to bring their vision into a reality.

Saturday we did some porting and also had dinner with a member and her daughter. Soeur Panou. I swear we were best friends in the life before this one. She is soo funny and so cool! I LOVE HER! She has a daughter named Barbara who I absolutely adore. It was a super fun night and the Spirit was so strong as we sang and shared scriptures.

Sunday was really cool as well. The members are so sweet and we had a good time getting to know them and trying to remember names. We later went to the Barnjaks for an incredible, very French lunch (SOOO GOOD!) and we went porting around their neighborhood. They gave us 2 streets specifically that they prayed about that would be good to find and we had quite a bit of success! We found a man named Gregory that we will pass to the elders. He is really cool. Also, we found this little family and they weren't really interested and they were more into scientifics and stuff, but the more we talked, the more they respected us and eventually they let us in to show them the website and they thought it was so cool! They had the CUTEST little boy who is 2! I died..oh he is so cute! In the end they weren't super interested, but they thought the family site was way cool and they took a Book of Mormon! It made me really grateful for how the church emphasizes the importance of family and searching our ancestors. It also made me super grateful that all my geneology work is pretty much done thanks to Grandpa and Grandma and Nana! They thought it was a nice site and then once I showed them what mine looked like with pictures, stories, and documents they thought it was very cool.

OTHER cool miracles from the week-
- when Soeur Castillo and I were going home around 8:55 after we contacted for a few hours I remembered how one of my favorite STL's told me once about how miracles happen at 8:55 so I made the decision in my mind that I would stop one more and it turned out she was the most open person we had talked to all night! She said she has unanswered questions and she has always wondered about religion and stuff so we prayed with her on the street and got her number
-sang for the cutest little family with two little girls. The mom was athiest and in the end the little girls begged their mom to take them to our church and kept telling them how much they wanted to go (those girls will always remember that experience even if the family isn't ready right now)
-found an Albanian family that almost broke my heart. they speak hardly any French, but the mom gave us her address and we went by and she let us in. we talked with her by drawing pictures and using the Albanian Book of Mormon to communicate with her. At first she was a little unsure because she is Muslim and was unsure about us being Christians but as we communicated with her through verses she was really touched and she liked what the scriptures said. She has the 2 most cutest kids ever. They have hardly anything at all..the mom was explaining how when she was pregnant she lived on the streets and that it was really hard but she could never go back to Albania..she is so incredible. In the end she told us to come back whenever we wanted and that we were her family touching!

Well Rouen is just beautiful! Incredible cathedrals, cobble stone streets, Normanie culture, and so many adventures awaiting. There are souls to save and people to find and I'm super excited and honored to be serving here. The church is true and I'm ready to shout it from the rooftops!!

Rouen, here I come!


Soeur Berge

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