12 transfers district picture!
FHE at the Langouet's
McDo's with Mamie
So happy for this little family!
Wow, I can't believe this will be my final email. It's hard to believe it's been 18 months, but alas all good things come to a close. I feel so blessed. This week will always be a week to remember.
To start off, last Monday we had a little lesson with Katerina and Shkelqim to prepare them for their baptism. We talked about the 10 commandments and they understood it so well that we ended up having an hour left of the night so Soeur Hosking and I decided to contact around. We met a lady named Corinne who invited us right into her apartment. Miracle! She is in her 60's and a sweet French woman. We learned that her son and her husband had both committed suicide so it has been a hard time for her to believe in God. We testified and sang a hymn for her and she said she was touched. She has so much potential and she needs this gospel.
Tuesday we returned to see Corinne and share the plan of salvation with her. As we read the brochure, the spirit filled the room. She said she feels good when we talk with her and she wants to stop smoking..It's a testimony to me that the word of wisdom is a true standard of God because as the spirit touched her heart she opened up to us about wanting to stop this habit. So cool. Later, the Toul sisters came to spend the night. One of them was sick so I went out contacting with Soeur Nielson and Soeur Hosking and Soeur Dionne stayed in our apartment for the evening. Soeur Nielson and I contacted in the cold, windy, rainy weather and finally met a girl named Stephanie who was interested in a tour of the church. We prayed with her and that was such a miracle for us and a testimony that when we are obedient, even when the conditions are less pleasant, the Lord pours out His blessings.
Wednesday! We had an AWESOME day planned. We saw Soeur Ngoyandji, whose mom passed away 2 weeks ago. We visited and prayed with her. She's very sweet and her grandkids are the cutest! At one point we had 6 lessons scheduled for the day, but things don't always go quite as planned... We had an awesome lesson scheduled and we were so PUMPED. So naturally the buses were stuck for an hour due to a ton of tractors..In the city..tractors. Thank you manifestations. So with the day not going quite as we planned we headed over to meet Jeanne. She is an older French woman that Soeur Francis and I met on exchanges. She invited us to come and speak at her 'American culture' class (about 7 woman who disucss American culture). We agreed and we were really excited. Everything was going great. We were presenting ourselves and what we do as missionaries and we asked them for questions and then Jeanne just hammered us with questions that basically mocked us and our religion. We kept our cool and handled it as best we could, but we continued to testify our hearts out. We left and were so frustrated..mind you this is all in english so it was not taken well. It was a good reminder for me to really check on my personal testimony and reflect on the feelings I cannot deny. I will never deny that this gospel contains the truth.
Thursday morning we went to see Catherine. She invited us to her symphony orchestra rehearsal and we did not say no to that opportunity! It was absolutely incredible inside a beautiful theater just down the street from our apartment. They played Beethoven and Soeur Hosking and I just drooled in our seats. Later we had a super fun FHE with Ronan, Juna, and the Albanians. We ate a super yummy meal and Ronan helped Katerina and Shkelqim get ready for their baptism. They were so excited. Katerina was a little nervous because she is 7 months pregnant, but it went great.
Friday was quite a day! We had a ton of rdv's planned, but just like wednesday everything switched and got moved around. We went to open the church for Maite and we helped her clean the baptismal clothing closet and get things situated for the baptism. After, she offered to take us to McDo's and we don't say no to Mamie, so off we went. I just love her to death. Later we went to Soeur Mangeat's to bring her her glasses that she had left at the church. She gave us hot chocolate and we had a nice spiritual moment together. I just adore her. We ended the evening going back to the church for the baptismal interview for Katerina and Shkelqim. They passed! wahoo!
Saturday we had Samedi sports and then Soeur Hosking and I prepared everything for the baptism. Another ward was having a baptism in our building 2 hours before their baptism, so Katerina, Shkelqim, Soeur Hosking and I attended. Watching a baptism right before theirs really helped them understand how everything would work. Then later, they made that same covenant and entered the waters of baptism and became the newest members of the true church of Jesus Christ. What joy filled my heart that day as I watched my brother and sister promise God to always follow the Savior's example. Katerina (afterwards) told me she can't wait for Alex to be 8 so he can be baptized. Words can't describe how much I love this little family. It was such a miracle for me to watch them grasp the gospel and join in the covenant. I have been praying these past 18 months that I would be able to see a family join the church and voila. Heavenly Father blessed me with the chance to meet this cute family come into the fold and I couldn't be happier.
Sunday was great. Shkelqim and Katerina both received the gift of the Holy Ghost and were sustained as members of the church. They were so excited! They even had Shkelqim's family send over his suit so he could wear it. Later, we saw Catherine and Lucille to say goodbye and also Zoe and her host parents. There are so many wonderful people and I feel so blessed to have met them here.
What a journey this has been! I'm so grateful for all that I have learned, for the people I have met, for the food I have tried, and for the memories I will never forget. I am especially grateful for my companions that have been on this journey with me. I've learned so much from each one and each has helped me grow and become who I am today.
I've learned from Soeur Bradley how to find passion and excitement in the details of our lives, Soeur Huckstep taught me the key to true happiness is to laugh every day, Soeur Wynn taught me diligence and how to teach others simply so they might understand this gospel, Soeur Lefrandt taught me by having patience and fearless faith, God will make everything work out, Soeur Huntsman taught me unconditional love and strict obedience helps us see miracles, Soeur Sorenson taught me about having love for everyone and by being our true selves, we can be instruments in the hands of the Lord, Soeur Castillo taught me about individual strength and confidence in the Lord can take us anywhere, Soeur Johns taught me about the importance of documenting our lives and seizing every opportunity life offers, Soeur Lefrandt taught me again about placing all fears in the hands of the Lord and having complete trust in his plan, and finally Soeur Hosking taught me about having hope in people and faith in the Lord, that miracles HAPPEN. And they do!
My plaque may be coming off, my schedule might be changing, but my mission to invite others to come unto Christ will NEVER end. To quote the great Martin Luther King Jr. (changing a word)
Our missions begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
I love you all. Thanks for all the support these past 18 months. See you all very soon ;)