Sunday, August 17, 2014

Anotha Weekly Email


I don't have a ton of time, but here are some highlights of the week:

Monday night we said goodbye to Mariette and Irenes (recent converts) before they headed off to Paris for a 3 week vacation. We're sure going to miss them.

Tuesday we had exchanges with Soeur Castillo (my old compie) and Soeur Wade. I was with Soeur Wade and boy did we see a million miracles. We taught this young girl our age named Song. It was the first lesson with her and she had so many incredible questions. She just wanted to know every single lesson. It was really touching to watch a young girl want to come unto Christ and find His true church..a church that applies what they preach. After the lesson, Soeur Wade and I were just on cloud 9 from how it just seemed to click in her head. She will get baptized soon. No doubt. Later we contacted a lot and tried to find some new amis. We had some really cool contacts. There was a family from Washington that stopped us and said, "Missionaries?" we're were so stunned. Anyways it was a man, his wife, and 2 kids. Apparently they had a lot of member friends in Washington and they knew a lot about the church. He said everywhere they go (whether it be moving or on vacation) they ALWAYS run into missionaries..then he listed off where they've run into missionaries: Samoa, New Zealand, Washington, now France and a few other places I can't remember. We exchanged numbers with them and hopefully they will be taught soon. How cool?

Wednesday we didn't have a ton of time so Soeur Wade and I contacted for a little bit in the pouring rain and we found a sweet lady who prayed with us and she even shared her umbrella. Then she invited us over for dinner sometime! Soeur Lefrandt and I took a train back to Nancy and had interviews with our new President and his wife, Soeur Babin. They are awesome, and I just love them! Then the next day we had our big zone conference. The Babins are so inspired and knew just what to say to get us pumped up about missionary work and how to improve. Later Soeur Lefrandt and I went to see Jeanne (our ami from Cameroon) We were unsure how the lesson would go since we thought they lost interest. Turns out she had been reading the Book of Mormon and was a little confused since we didn't have enough time to explain very well it in the last lesson. So we explained as much as we could and she turned to us and said, "Thank you! Now I really really want to read this book. You have opened my eyes!" Warms my soul. There's no greater comfort than reading the word of God through His inspired prophets.

Later we saw our family we found last week. The family Pierre! They have a beautiful home and prepared a gorgeous fancy dinner. I love Catherine (the mom) She worked so hard that everything would be perfect. We got to meet her daughter, Lucille who is 7 who we just ADORE! By the end of th night we told her we were her sisters and she just put her arms around us and braided our hair the whole drive home. They are musicians so they performed some pieces and it was so darling. They had a lot of questions about baptism in our church and who we were as missionaries and what makes our church different than others.

Friday we saw the Ngoyandji's and talked about our baptismal covenants since they seem to be missing church sometimes. They are the funniest people. I love the African people.

Saturday we did service with the elders (taking off a ton of wallpaper) and then went to the baptism (or should I say wedding reception) for the bishop's son. They had it so decked out and fancy. It was really cute to see his 2 classmates come and support him with their families. It was an awesome sight to see.

Sunday was church and a big ward meal after because one of the member's son came home from his mission and it was a little get-together. 

Today Soeur Lefrandt and I went to the local aquarium and it was fun. Hopefully I can send some pictures of everything..I'm not sure why the photos haven't been working lately..but another great week!

Sœur Berge

Great Comfort from God's Plan

Hey hey!

Another crazy week! I don't have a ton of time so here are some of the events of the week:

Last Monday we saw our darling Christine. We didn't get to share a big lesson, but we helped her move around her stuff in her new apartment. She was really stressed because the people that moved her in just put her stuff all over the place. She has a handicapped son, so that was going to be really difficult for her. As we began moving furniture around we decided it was a task much bigger than the three of us. Unfortunately, we were leaving for quite a chunk of the week so we called the Elders and the missionary couple here to help her the next day. She was really grateful. So sweet.

Tuesday we made a trip to Rouen to finally finish my papers. While we were there we surprised some members and saw some lovely faces of the past.

Wednesday and Thursday we had exchanges in St. Quentin. I was with a sister named, Soeur Hafen. She is really nice and such a great teacher. A funny experience we had as we were coming back for the evening, we rang the wrong doorbell (since the other sisters had the key). Turns out we rung the intercom for their neighbor who lives just above them. She came out and we were all in the hall. She was so cute. We told her we were so sorry and she said it wasn't a big deal. We started chattin with her and she told us she was making crêpes for her kids and she'd bring some down for us when she finished! So sweet! So we offered to sing for her and her kids and she was really excited and told us when two other sisters (Soeur Vance and Soeur Kohlert) served there, they sang every morning and she and her cute 5 year old son would go sit on the steps and listen to them sing hymns because it made them feel at peace. That really made me realize that miracles happen all around us. We share the gospel with a lot more people than we even think.

So on Thursday Soeur Hafen and I went and pulled weeds for a bit at a cute member's house. She had the most beautiful garden. Then she made us a cute little French lunch. Later we went to teach a sweet Congolaise woman. When we arrived she was in tears. A few hours before we arrived for our scheduled rendez-vous, she got a call from her family in Kinshasa saying her sister passed away. I can honestly say I've never been there for a complete stranger as she mourns over the death of her own sister. I felt so bad for her and we did our best to give her our comfort. We sang and asked her to share memories of her sister and called the elders to come give her a blessing. Luckily, we had the bishop's wife there. She is the most loving woman and she knew just what to do. We were so appreciative because I just felt so young and unsure of how to comfort someone in that situation. After she got her blessing she seemed more at peace. We told her to rest and pray. I wish we could have done something more for her. She was so sweet to let us come over even through this hard time. It's moments like this where I am grateful Heavenly Father created His beautiful plan to see all our loved ones again one day. 

Friday we are finally in Nancy and we went over to visit a less active member named Evelyne. She was so sweet and made us a lunch (people have been so nice and feeding us all the time!) She told us her life story and it was nice to get to know her and encourage her to grow her faith in Christ. Later we made some cookies and went over to see our less active, Edith. She made us some crêpes and we had a good time with her and shared a message with her about prayer. We love her.

Saturday was a crazy,long day that ended in a beautiful way. So we had our Samedi Sports again. Irenes (our recent convert) went and really enjoyed it. After, we were free for the entire day and we really need to find some new amis that are ready for this gospel message. Soeur Lefrandt and I decided we were going to change up the way we contact people. We really wanted to testify to everyone about faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the holy ghost, straight off the bat! Then we went out for the rest of the night. For the next five hours we talked to everyone in sight. We passed by ami's houses, contacted everyone, talked to people on the bus, knocked on some doors, but no matter what we did and how many times we prayed, no one would give us more than a minute to talk to them. I'm really grateful for Soeur Lefrandt's attitude. She just didn't want to quit which made me want to go further too. We kept knocking on door. At this point it was around 8 at night and we were about 30 minutes away from our apartment. We knocked on one last door of the biggest house we had seen that night. We weren't really expecting much, but a teenage boy came out and then his mom came out. We introduced who we were then offered to sing and talk about Christ with them. Then..they totally invited us in!!! WHAT! It was so cool. Once we sat down with them, we introduced ourselves and shared why we were here. They thought it was so cool and told us they were so interested in our message. What! So we sang and prayed with them and they totally invited us to come over this week and eat with them! They had a big beautiful house and they were all musicians. They are the coolest people. After, Soeur Lefrandt and I were in awe. We immediately prayed and thanked Heavenly Father for that miracle after all that hard work. As we ended our prayer of gratitude, we opened our eyes to the most intense orange, sunset sky..obviously a kodak included! Love miracles!!!

Sunday was great. Unfortunately, none of our amis came to church since most of them dropped us the day before. For example, Christine texted us telling us she would call us when she was ready to see us. We were crushed because normally they never call us back. However during Relief Society, she texted us asking when we could see her again. Miracle! So we told her we'd come that day. We went with the Gionet's (the missionary couple here). We got to teach her and meet her husband. We taught her more of the Plan of Salvation and she loved it. We just feel like she really wants this message. She even told us that the timing we met her on the tram was really not by coincidence because she had just been thinking about her mom who passed away and she is so glad she met us. That was such a miracle. Later we stopped by Remi, our ami, to say goodbye to him. He is moving to Paris. He had a friend there so we taught him and his friend. 

I love this work. Families are forever. Jesus Christ is our Savior and that's the best news there is!

Much love to you all! Have a great week!

Sunflowers and the Spirit

Howdy all!

Last Monday was awesome after P-day we went to a RDV with a lady named Jeanne. She was a referral from the elders here. We went over and she has this awesome daughter named Dianna. They are from Cameroon and are so believing. We sang and prayed with them and introduced who we were. There really is no greater joy than singing about Jesus with African friends. 

Tuesday we had exchanges and I went to Toul. My companion was Soeur Nielson from Utah. She is so sweet and so fun. We went porting for hours and it was a lot of fun other than the fact we didn't find anyone...sometimes that happens so we took a deep breath and snapped a photo in a sunflower field..all is well :) Then we had quite an adventure. We were trying to find an address for an old ami that used to be taught. This was my first experience ever in a car in France with a companion driving..that was really strange. I'm not used to being in a car. The GPS took us to some random road next to a train track...that was really scary, but we made it out alive..once again..all is well :)

Wednesday morning we had about 2 hours and Soeur Nielson and I really wanted to find a new investigator so we went out and contacted all morning and found 3 new amis and found a less active. It was awesome. Soeur Nielson is such an awesome missionary.

Then we met up and switched back and Soeur Lefrandt and I visited our crazy member Maite. She is soo funny. She bought Soeur Lefrandt a cake for her birthday so we went over to say thanks. She is such a hoot! She reminds me of a Nana only French.

Later we went to the Mankeriuss family and watched the Finding Faith in Christ video with them and the Spirit was really strong. Their two sons aren't members and they had so many questions after that. They aren't sure if they believe in God and Jesus Christ so we testified all we could. 

The more I hear people tell me they can't believe God exists, the more I believe because it's impossible to deny that feeling of being embraced by our loving Heavenly Father confirming "I am here. You are my child." I wish everyone could open their hearts and allow themselves to see the hand of God in their lives. 

Thursday we helped our dear friend, Christine pack up her house a bit and put some boxes together. She is so sweet. We sang for her son and her. They've been really busy with the move, but hopefully we will see them tonight! :) Later that day we went to Jeanne and Dianna's to show them the Restoration film. The lesson went really well. They are so sweet. Their friend, Bruno was there and you could tell he was really taking it all in. Hopefully they prayed to know it's true..because it is! :)

After that we met up with Colombe. When we first saw her she was a little down and said she just lost her internship so she was kinda bummed, so we went and got some ice-cream to cheer her up and share some scriptures with her. She is so awesome and I believe she wants this. She told us she is searching to know her own personal value in life which is awesome! Unfortunately, she just moved to another ward area so we had to pass her off to the elders there, but she said she would continue. She comes back in September, so we will see her when she comes back..fingers crossed because she is so cool. Next to the ice-cream parlor in the park there was a ton of older folk dancing and so we had to sieze THAT opportunity ;)

Friday we met with someone Soeur Lefrandt found on exchanges. Her name is Louisette. She is from Madagascar and has such a similar story to Jeanne in Saint-Nazaire. Her husband left her and it's been really hard. She doesn't have a family and much friends here in Nancy. We gave her a church tour and Soeur Lefrandt played a beautiful piano piece for her and the Spirit was really really strong. 

Saturday we had a sport day at the church and we invited everyone and their dog to come. We had quite a few people show up. Soeur Lefrandt and I invited gangsta friends last minute and they came.  The elders faces were priceless..gotta love it when you have gangsta's the church. The elders even gave them a tour after. They even rapped a song for us...not every day that happens..

Later we stopped by a less active member and they were home! We taught her daughter who is actually not a member..not sure how interested she is either, but the less-active is crazy. ;) We're going back next Friday and making cookies and crepes..oh boy.

Sunday was great as well. Last night we saw Merveille and her little brother was there who is a member in the south of France. We had such a fun FHE with them. Merveille's boyfriend made us an awesome meal and we shared a message about Jesus Christ. We're hoping he will really start studying it out for himself to know if what we're teaching is true. He's a cool guy and Soeur Lefrandt and I get along with them so well. We have so much fun everytime we go over there. We're excited to see what the future brings for them. 

This work is awesome. The church is true! Love you all!


Soeur Berge

Trains For Days and Birthday Bashin'

Hey hey hey!

What a week! I don't think I've ever been more exhausted in my life. This week was insane. So Tuesday we had a 4 hour train ride to stuff. Then we rushed to he Prefecture to do my legality. So, get in line and grab a number..Soeur Lefrandt and I waited for 3 hours only to find out my Carte de Sejour was not there..yay! We love waiting in line for no reason! But it's all good. We ended up running into 2 amis, one that I taught while in Rouen and one that Soeur Lefrandt taught when she was there a year ago. There are no coincidences! Then we went to see Bumbo Bitanga, Eva Panou, and the Warengheins! It was so nice to see them all! It was also really fun to see Soeur Johns again :) Love that girl!

Wednesday morning Soeur Lefrandt and I got up at 4 am to take a 5 hour train to Strasbourg for our zone conference. That was quite an adventure. Then after the conference we took a 2 hour train ride back to Nancy. I have never spent so much time on a train! But it was fun. So that night we went on exchanges and I was with an awesome Sister named Soeur Judd. She is a firecracker and so much fun. We saw so many miracles! Wednesday we went and visited Christine, this lady Soeur Lefrandt and I contacted on the tram a few nights before. We talked about the Plan of Salvation and testified of eternal families which struck a spiritual cord in her heart as she had just lost her mom. Soeur Judd and I really noticed a special spirit when we walked into her home and you could feel she has such a good heart.

Thursday we pretty much contacted all day long it was fun. We met some really cool people and got to pray with a lot of cool strangers on the street. There was this one girl we contacted who was with her American guy friend! Right after we prayed with them, he prayed for us! How cool? That was a first for me but really touching that people would pray for us on the street. God exists and it is so cool to hear other's testimonies of seeing His hand in their life. Later that night we saw our lovely Egyptian family. We talked about prayer and the importance of going to church.

Friday we met with a girl we contacted named Colombe. She is from Brazzaville. She was so cool! We took her to the church for a tour and testified of the Book of Mormon. She had so many questions because she has heard a lot about our church. We hope we can see her next week. 

Later we went to a member family's house for an FHE with our ami, Bernadette. She's been going through a lot of trials lately and although Soeur Lefrandt and I prepared a message, the members ended up sharing their personal life experiences and she told us that was exactly what she needed to hear that night. It's awesome to see members feel the Spirit guide THEM what to say in lessons. Members are so important!

Saturday was unique! It was Soeur Lefrandt's birthday!! She got permission from President for her sister and her family to visit her for her birthday because they live in Finland. So we went to eat with them and got an ice-cream in the park. It was really fun for Soeur Lefrandt to see her niece and visit with her sister. Later we had a super interesting FHE, and the member bought Soeur Lefrandt an AWESOME, fancy cake and she blew out the candles and all. Fun day :)

Sunday was awesome! We went to church and all was normal. A teenage girl staying around Nancy came with her French host mom who loved being at church. She wasn't a member and we are hoping to go see them sometime. God bless America! Later that day we had another awesome miracle when we visited our cute less active, Merveille.Her boyfriend was there and he was super cool. She also had her little sister there and we threw ourselves a little FHE party! It was so fun. We shared that awesome Mormon Message called, 'Because of Him' (definitely a must watch for all) We are planning another FHE party with them next week. Get excited! Wahoo! Later yesterday night we went porting for 4 hours. No one was interested for the first 3 hours, but we didn't quit. We finally got let into a building but the lad wasn't interested so we decided to start from the top and work our way down to the bottom. Turns out the first door we knocked on in the building was a cute young couple who weren't super interested at first. They let us in to discuss with them and we ended up singing and praying with them. We had an awesome discussion about why we were here and why we'd give up so much to be in another country.

Well this week was all over the place, but missionary work is the best work. I've never felt so much stress and so much peace all at once :) I love this gospel. Brings so much joy. I love you all! Thanks for the prayers! Have a good week!


Soeur Berge

So Long Rouen, Lookin' Fancy, Nancy

Hey errbody!

So this week was really fast!

The beginning of the week I made the rounds and had some warm embraces to some of my favorite peeps in Rouen. I love that ville so much. So unique, but so much fun! Those members are so passionate and love church. I'm really going to miss them. So now I'm in the one and only Nancy. What's even wierder is I'm with Soeur Lefrandt. It's just so strange because sometimes I feel like I'm back in Nogent and still really young, and then Soeur Lefrandt blows me away with her French skills and amazing testimony. She has grown so much on her mission. I remember she always had such a strong testimony and great love for the people, but now I just feel like she is moving mountains and it's crazy to see how a year can really shape and mold someone. She's awesome and we are having such a blast! I love everything about life right now. This ward is just adorable and we actually have a building! It's such a difference from how I've served for the past 9 months of my mission. It's been little branches and church in an office with cubicles and an old catholic nunnery, so I'm really excited for a little change. Don't get me wrong, I love Saint-Nazaire and Rouen, but this church building is so big! They've been having a lot of construction though, so its not quite at it's finest, but once their done with all the construction it will be really nice.

So Wednedsay was the big transfer day! I was so sad to leave Rouen and Soeur Johns after spending so much time there and spending the last 3 months of my mission with Soeur Johns. She is such a close friend of mine and I will never forget all our memories and good talks. Love that girl. I'm glad you all had fun meeting each other! The pictures look so awesome  I packed my bags and headed off to Paris to meet my old-new companion, Soeur Lefrandt. It's not very common for old companions to be put back together, so we were both super shocked, but life is just so good right now. We have seen so many miracles this week I don't know where to begin!

So after we came back to Nancy, we visited Judith and her family. It's been a while since she's been at church so we taught her and her cute daughter, Ines. Precious family! We shared the Family Proclamation and the spirit was so strong as we testified of eternal families. What a precious gift families are and the peace we find in knowing we can be together forever. 

Thursday we saw a cute girl named Olivia that came to the baptism that Soeur Lefrandt and her comp had before I got here. We taught her right outside this gorgeous cathedral and shared our testimonies of Joseph Smith and the restored gospel. After the lesson Soeur Lefrandt and I just looked at each other because of how natural our lesson felt. We get tripped out all the time when we realize we are companions again, it's so fun! But Olivia is so sweet and we are hoping to see her this next week.

Later we went contacting on the way to a member's house. Then we had a really nice dinner with them. These members are so nice too. French people are so sweet. I love the family Mangeat! They were so funny. We had such a big miracle on the way there. So we were both a little confused about where we were going because Soeur Lefrandt had never been there. We finally got to this random bus stop we were supposed to be. We had about 15 minutes so we stopped this girl named Fernanda. She is from Equador (where Soeur Lefrandt's twin sister is serving) and she was so sweet! We got her number and then taught her the next day!

So Friday..we were headed home for dinner and on our route we saw a big family..we had to sieze that opportunity and it was this cute African family that were really believing. We prayed with them and the little girls were so excited we got their number. Fingers crossed for them! :) Later we met with Fernanda. What a miracle. Soeur Lefrandt and I were trying to find her, but we couldn't figure out which metro stop she was at..finally we got a text saying she was just gonna head home. She had just come out of a movie and we really wanted to meet up with her after. So we bolted to the next metro stop where we thought she would be. We got there and sure enough she was there..laughing at how ridiculous we looked running around trying to find her in skirts haha..not normal..but we took the metro and taught her about the Book of Mormon..we then realized we were dumb and shoulda brought a Spanish one for her. She told us she was leaving for a small trip for a few days the next morning at 7 so we told her we do exercises in the morning and we could run to the gare before her train and give her the Book of Mormon...which is excatly what we did! MIRACLE! Fernanda is so sweet. She was a nurse in Equador and told us how hard it was to see so many people die because the doctors and medicine isn't the best over there. She told us how dark of a world it is to watch people pass away while their families become so sad. She has such a big heart and loves serving people. She told us we had such light in her eyes and she wants that inner peace we had. We hope she is reading that Book of Mormon on her trip!

Saturday the ward had a BBQ and it was fun to meet all the members. They are so cooky here I love it! It was super fun and also unforgettable...they had these fun games to play afterwords. So they thought it would be really funny to make Soeur Lefrandt and I play this game where you string a potato onto your waist and the potato hangs between your legs. There were little cars on the ground and the goal of the game is to get your potato to hit the car across the finishline. Overall, I was way too tall, I had a skirt on, and I came in dead last 10 minutes after everyone else and the ward was cheering me on for 10 minutes straight so how could I quit right? I guess it was a good laugh, but pictures will NOT be included haha

Later we saw a family in the ward from Egypt. They are so nice. Their son isn't a member so we are teaching him. He is really cool and has such desire to know and learn. He has awesome questions! 

Sunday was so fun! I'm not used to having more than 5 people in Relief Society so being surrounded by 15 took me a second to get used to. These members are so cute. So here's the biggest miracle of the week and my favorite..Soeur Lefrandt and her previous companion were stopped by the gare a week ago by this Armenian lady who is 70 years old and the cutest thing you've ever seen. She told them she was a member in her broken Enlgish so she came to church! I've never seen a bigger smile as she walked around showing everyone her temple recommend because she couldn't communicate with us or them. She is just the funniest woman ever! She was glowing all Sunday. So in our Sunday School class the subject was the Word of Wisdom. We showed her pictures of fruits and veggies and it clicked for her as she loudly proclaims in her broken english, "NO COFFEE, NO ALCOHOL, NO TEA, NO DRUGS, NO TOBACCO!" She was so happy and held my hand all through sacrament even though she couldn't understand anything. She just had the biggest smile. She said her husband left her and so she's been in France for a month but never found the church until she saw the sisters walk by her. She has almost nothing yet is so sweet and giving. She even gave me an orange because she wanted to say thank you. Love her. We are hopefully seeing her this week as well.

Later we saw the newest member of the ward, Irenes. The Sisters here were teaching her a lot and she got baptized last week. She's about 17 years old and was a little sad from some circumstances and we taught her about gratitude. She was a lot happier after we left. She is such a funny girl and has her head on straight. She is from Centre Afrique and showed us all these pictures from when she lived in Africa before she moved to France. She is just beautiful inside out.

Later we went porting..knocking on doors..for the rest of the night and it was so fun. Soeur Lefrandt and I were let into this one lady's house and she was a bit older and smoking a cigarette when we knocked. She just told us to come right in and she took one look at our tag's and saw Jesus Christ...then she looked at the cigarette in her hand and got a sad face and said she would go put out her cigarette! HAHA! We hadn't even said anything to her's cool to see how people just know things are wrong and when they feel the spirit, they know what they need to do. We sang a song and prayed with this adorable lady, Denise as she told us how hard her life has been since she just lost her husband and her aunt. She was so grateful we came in. She had a super nice apartment and is such a classy French lady. We're really pumped to teach her more about the Plan of Salvation in the future. What a miracle!

Well this church is true, Nancy is awesome, and I couldn't be happier doing the Lord's work here in France. These people are incredible. I never cease to be amazed by the faith of the strangers I meet that then become family. We are all God's children and that is the biggest reason for us to hope. Soeur Lefrandt and I have been studying a lot of Christlike Attributes in Preach My Gospel and I encourage you all to study the life of Christ a little more in your lives. Take time to think about who He is and grow your personal relationship with Him. I love you all! Have a WONDERFUL week! 


Soeur Bergère