HEYYY BROTHERRR! (ref really cool country song I keep hearing on the buses)
Well, first of all..I'm being transferred to the one and only ROUEN! I'm super stoked because that is where Soeur Lefrandt was born (first area on her mission) and I've heard all about it. My new companion will be Soeur Castillo who came in with Souer Sorenson so I've already met her a few times. She seems super nice and has lots of enthusiasm for the work so I'm excited!
I am also heartbroken to leave the people in Saint-Nazaire and my incredible companion, Soeur Sorenson. I honestly feel like we were best friends in the pre-mortal life. I could not be happier to have served here with her.
Well this week has been INCREDIBLE!! We have finally seen the fruits of our labors and I'm so happy to say that I will leave Saint-Nazaire sooo much better than how Soeur Huntsman and I found it. When we first came, there hadn't been a baptism in months and all the recent converts had gone less active. So far since I've been here, we have been able to help 2 incredible ladies be baptized who attend ALL the extra activities on top of church, reactivate 2 people (one of which bore her testimony yesterday for the first time!), and I'm leaving knowing this month there will be one more awesome baptism that I had a part in!
After these past few weeks, Soeur Sorenson and I have just been pushing through the rough patches. We have been let down, ami after ami. The weather has been terrible, people have dropped us, amis don't answer their phones, and we keep getting sick..BUUUTT we worked through it and the miracles have begun!
First of all we had an awesome FHE at the Harris's. It was so fun and those are always my favorite nights with the best mix of people :) We have this awesome member here..her name is Gabrielle..she is 84 years old and in wonderful condition. She runs 5 miles a day! Everything is great, except she is very senile. She really doesn't have a clue of what's going on sometimes, but she is so sweet and so cute. Well she came and I saw her looking really confused and went and sat next to her. We were playing this game that was a little confusing so I pulled out some Liahonas and started flipping through the pages..she would point at certain phrases like "Heavenly Father loves you" and smile and nod and look at me and get so happy. Oh it was precious. I love her. By the end of the night, her and Anthony, Esperence's son just became the best of friends. He said he always wanted a grandma and they were the cutest thing..melted everyone's heart...pictures are included.
Tuesday we had a very last district meeting together. We also had our very first lesson with Allan. Allan is a friend of someone in the branch. He came to church and we quickly set up a RDV with him. Tuesday night we met him at the church with the Harris's. As we begin talking to him I quickly realize he knows a LOT about the church..and he likes it. The Spirit was so strong and it just kept tappin at me to invite him to baptism! It's so obvious he is sooo ready! I've never seen anyone so prepared for the gospel before! So we quickly set up a baptismal date for the 22 of March! He is so excited and already knows pretty much all the lessons! He told us how he read on the church website how we don't drink tea and immediately stopped drinking tea! WHAT! He has given himself all the commitments! So cool!!! He also told us he has never been baptised and he doesn't do anything half way so if he commits to the church, he is going to commit for the rest of his life! WOW! This is EXACTLY what we've been fasting, praying, and searching for! MEMBER MISSIONARY WORK WORKS!! WHAT A MIRACLE!!
Wednesday we saw Beauty and she had read in the Book of Mormon! YES! And she said she liked how it was similar to the Bible and doctrines were the same. She is still unsure about church because she likes what she has been reading so far..
Later we met with Allan and he is so cool! He asked us what he needs to do to prepare for his talk...his talk? He told us that he thought everyone had to speak before they got baptized! Wow..I have never had an ami who on their 2nd lesson is already preparing their first talk! SERIOUSLY WHAT A MIRACLE!
Thursday I got to say goodbye to Mme Juguet. We went over to see her and her sick sister was there. We were going to show her the Mormon Message with Elder Holland's boss testimony of the Book of Mormon, but she had been so stressed and overwhelmed we decided to switch gears and shared some beautiful mormon messages about how Heavenly Father loves us and how life is full of challenges, but we must remember our foundation is what keeps us strong and we must have a strong foundation of Jesus Christ. They were both so touched and the Spirit just filled the apt. She was so sad I was leaving and I am so sad I will be leaving this ville. One day she will realize the truthfulness of the church! :)
Friday we went and saw Soeur Rousslet, a less active member who recently lost her husband to cancer. She was actually smiling! She looked so happy! Turns out she doesn't really like talking to members or having them come over, but she told our Relief Society President that she really likes it when we come over. Wow..so cool..so we go visit her. We made her some cookies and read scriptures about prayer and we asked her to really try to read and pray every day and she said she'd try! She also said how her visiting teacher, Soeur Poisbeau (most amazing lady ever!) sends her scriptures to read and a little message every month (since her health doesn't allow her to leave her apt) how incredible! Souer Rousslet told us how she has gotten a message from Soeur Poisbeau every month for so long and how she needs to go visit Soeur Poisbeau. WOW! Visiting Teaching changes lives! I was so happy to see her finally look like herself again before I left.
Later we saw Jeanne at the church and helped show her a little about the LDS.org website and create her account and get her family history going. FAMILY SEARCH IS SO COOL! Wow..I'm addicted..I just want to spend hours on it, but then I realize I can't because I need to be talking to people and bringing people to the knowledge of the gospel. I can't wait to get into that stuff when I come home (one day long from now :)
Later that night we had a SOIREE MISSIONNAIRE! It was so fun. Soeur Sorenson and I tought the members how to use the Hastening the Work of Salvation website and gave them a little formation about how to talk to their friends. I really think it's helping because more members are trying to share the gospel and the fruits of their labors are really starting to show. It's awesome! I'm so proud of the branch members!
Saturday we took Allan to the coolest baptism in Nantes. There were SOOOO many non members at this baptism! It was awesome! There are 2 sets of elders and 1 set of sisters in Nantes, so some of the elders totally took Allan under his wing and sat next to him at the baptism and talked to him while I sat next to a cute family that had never been to the church before or had a lesson with the Soeurs yet. It was awesome because the mom that I sat next to had so many questions at the end and I was so glad to be there to answer them and after this wonderful recent convert bore her testimony about how she was against being baptized because she had already been baptised into another church and how after her husband kept inviting her to come she finally realized that she hadn't been baptized with the right authority. Powerful baptism! At the end, the mom turned to me and said, "Well, I was baptized in another church, but after hearing that..I need to pray to God..what if MY baptism isn't right?" WOW!!!! So cool..It's incredible to watch how powerful one testimony can be and how the Spirit can touch hearts! Also at the baptism it was really cool because I ran into one of the young adults that was at that big Super Saturday Missionary Prep that Soeur Lefrandt and I were a part of and she ran up to me and we were freakin out! She is so cool. She said she got her mission call to Suisse leaving in a month! Wow so cool to see how things work out for everyone we meet :)
Sunday was another great day. Edwidge came to church! It was also testimony meeting and there were some powerful testimonies! I said some goodbyes to some members and oh that was hard.
I absolutely love Saint-Nazaire and the people here. It is gong to be really hard to leave, but I know it's time to move on to Rouen and there are more people who are waiting to be touched by the Spirit. I couldn't be happier knowing I can leave these people in the hands of Soeur Sorenson.
This gospel is amazing and ANYTHING is possible! Truly, there is a need for opposition to be able to recognize the miracles when they come..never give up! Invite your friends to church! No efforts are wasted! The church is true!
Love you all!