Well this week was incredible! We saw an outpouring of blessings and tender mercies from the Lord this week in Nancy.
Last Monday we visited Nune and sang for her and the other people living in her foyer room. She has the brightest smile and the sweetest heart. Even though it's hard to communicate with her, the Spirit always allows us to communicate heart to heart.
Tuesday was such a hectic day. We went to our district meeting, then took a train to Paris to take another train to Evry to do exchanges with the Evry sisters. As we were in Chatelet, we were waiting to hear from the sisters to figure out where to go. Soeur Lefrandt was on the phone and I walked into a store a few feet away to look around. The lady working there said hi to me and I smiled at her and kept on my way. Then she looked at me funny and said, "Hi, can I ask what your badge is for? I have seen hundreds of you people coming through this gare, usually with big suitcases (this is the gare we meet up on transfer day to switch companions) and I want to know, who are you??" haha She was so curious! I explained that we are missionaries for the church and we are here to talk to people about Jesus Christ. She thought it was so cool and she wanted our number. We swapped numbers and passed her on the missionaries there in Paris, but I just love it when people ask who we are. Later that night we got to watch a special broadcast for all the women in the Europe region. It was incredible!! Elder Bednar, Ballard, Teixeira Hallstrom, Sister Hallstrom, and Sister Kearon all spoke and it was soo powerful! I'm so sad that it wasn't for the whole world because it was so incredible. It was addressed to women both young and old all around Europe.
Wednesday we had our exchanges still and I was with the sweet Soeur Tippett from Georgia. She is such a good missionary and we had a lot of fun contacting all morning. No too many people were interested except a nice post office lady that was distributing the mail and a nice Haitian family that just moved in not too far away. We got to pray with them on a pretty bridge.
Thursday was another super hectic, but fun day. Soeur Lefrandt and I visited our darling member, Maite with another member, Juna. Later we picked up the sisters from Torcy at the gare for our exchange. I went with Soeur Waite from Idaho Falls to see our dear less active member, Soeur D. She is so crazy and hilarious. We talked to her about faith. We decided to be really bold with her and ask her to make the changes necessary to bring her life in accordance with the principles of the gospel of Christ. She opened up and said she knows she needs to be better and she needs to go to the temple, partake of sacrament, and participate in church. She continued to list off all the things she wanted to do but wasn't sure how to do them. She told us how hard it is to go to church in this ward because going to the chapel brings back bad memories from her first marriage. We really felt we needed to be bold with her and we told her that people in that building need her testimony (because she has a very strong testimony) and that she needs not to look at going to church as a painful thing, but an opportunity to uplift and serve others in Nancy who need to hear her testimony. Her whole countenance changed and she said, "sisters, you are right. I'll try to think about it like that." We read some scriptures and just encouraged her to pick on thing to work on and she said going to church regularly. I admire this courage she has to change even though going to church might make her feel uneasy at first, the blessings will soon replace all the pain of going in the first place. I love seeing people come closer to Christ and watching them learn from the Spirit and the scriptures and decide to make changes themselves. It's so uplifting to be able to watch people stretch themselves. Later that night Soeur Waite and I were walking home and we saw two moms walking with about 4 little kids. One of the moms was pushing a stroller and the other was sruggling to carry a bag of groceries. We contacted them and they told us they were Muslim and weren't interested in talking about religion. We offered to help carry their bags and walk them home. At first they said they could manage but we insisted and she gave us her heavy load. We talked to them for the brief 5 minutes we helped and they were so nice. Apparently they were neighbors in a foyer they were living in. The mother carrying the heavy bag had just moved to Nancy the day before and when we arrived to their destination, tears filled her eyes and she thanked us for helping her and her family. We gave her our card and told her she could always call us. She was so cute and sweet and it was such a fun experience for Soeur Waite and I.
Friday, Soeur Waite and I went to a lesson with our ami, Stephanie. We hadn't seen Stephanie in a while and I was a little nervous about seeing her without Soeur Lefrandt since we only taught her once. We planned on teaching her the rest of the Plan of Salvation, but when we got there she had read the brochure and had so many questions on everything about the church that we felt it was important to take time to answer her questions and bring it back to the Plan of Salvation. We explained briefly every lesson we had to offer because she had questions about everything. The only concept she struggled with was resurrection because she believes strongly in reincarnation. We testified and invited her to pray, read a chapter in the Book of Mormon and to come to church. She accepted all three engagements. Wow! I think my favorite part of the lesson was when she said, "Well, I don't believe that Christ would only have visited and taught the people in Israel. I think if He really was the Savior of the world, then there must be writings of other peoples in other lands. There must be more scripture than just the Bible." WOW! We had never introduced the Book of Mormon to her before. I think my jaw dropped on the table at that moment and we whipped out the Book of Mormon, explained it to her, and invited her to read it. It was a very cool discussion for sure!
Later Soeur Lefrandt and I went to see Catherine, our incredible Christian ami. We had so many encounters with her where she would be so nice to us and would want to talk to us, that we wouldn't really be able to teach her a full lesson so we made the goal that no matter what we would watch the Restoration film and be really bold with our message. We got to her house and she wasn't quite home from work yet. We ran into her daughter, Lucille and crazy Slavica (her neighbor who always hangs out with them) Catherine got home and she began giving us treats and stuff and we were getting a little worried, but then we were able to share the film and our message with her. We were able to testify to her and pour out our hearts of how this church and the fulness of the gospel of Christ will help her family be stronger. She said she would take it to heart and really read and pray. We asked her if she was really interested in meeting with us and hearing our lessons and she said yes. It was great and the Spirit was really strong. She is such an amazing woman who works so hard for her family and everyone. She is really a good definition of a true disciple of Christ who loves everyone unconditionally. She invited us to come the next day to her concert at Place Stanislas in the Opera House. We weren't sure if we could make it because Stake Conference was an our after so we said we would try.
Then we visited the elder's recent convert's daughter Manon. She is 15 and so funny. She is believing, but wasn't really feelin it with the elders, so we offered to meet with her and she loves talkin to us. We talked to her about prayer and how powerful it is. Later her mom came home from work and her dad as well and they offered to make us a huge meal and drive us home. They are so sweet and the mom Mary-Lynn loves the elders and the church so much. She is such a miracle and has such strong desires to study the scriptures every day. They are so awesome. The dad is completely athiest and is super respectful, but doesn't want to take the discussions. Although he is so loud and proud that his wife is a Mormon. It's the cutest thing. He is really into fixing things and building random things. Once I saw the millions of tools and the home made garage door opener I felt like I was with Uncle Cliff haha. They are a fun family.
Saturday was always a very very busy day. The elders found a girl from Mozambique, Africa who just moved here. She saw the elders at McDonalds (figures) and told them she met with the elders in Mozambique and had even gone to church. They got her number and told us to meet her Saturday morning. She was really nice and we taught her in the park. Her name is Quercia and she is 23. Later, we met up with the sisters in Mulhouse to show them how to get to the church for stake conference. Earlier that morning our Relief Society President called to ask for help with delivering food to an Albanian family in the ward that speaks just a little English and no French. So we figured it out and met up with them after we got the sisters on the right bus to the church. We then helped them take food up to their hotel room with Soeur Civet. They were so so thankful and happy that the church could help them in a difficult time. The daughter who speaks little English had to go to the dentist and left us with her cute mom who speaks no English and no French. We all sat on their little bed in the small room they live in and sang church hymns in French. Soeur Civet turned to us and said, "the tower of babel!!" haha even though we couldn't understand each other, the Spirit was strong as we sang church hymns and just gave her a hug. Then we had to run to see Catherine's performance. As we walked away we turned around to see the two sisters, arm in arm smiling at each other..communicating with hand motions as the Albanian member accompanied Soeur Civet back to her car. It was a cute sight to see! Then Soeur Lefrandt and I rushed to the concert. We were even considering skipping it since we had to get to the church in an hour, but we felt like we needed to go. We found the opera house and walk inside and oh. my. goodness.. It was breathtaking! We had no idea but the concert was a big deal and it was about 10 incredible violinists playing different pieces in a beautiful old opera house. Ooh la la. We were so glad we went and we got to support Catherine. Just before it ended we had to slip out and catch the bus to the church. We were a little late, but made it in time to hear the speakers. After we had to wait for our ami Colombe so we could have a lesson with her, but she never came so we went back home to finally eat something. The Mulhouse sisters spent the night and we showed them Place Stanislas and contacted around. It was a crazy, but super fun day.
Sunday we had stake conference and we welcome about 500 members to Nancy for the Stake Conference. It turned out really great and we had 4 amis come to church! Wow! The Spirit was strong and some great talks were given. Later that day we visited a less active member that the elders had ported or knocked into. She was really nice. We also made some cookies and took them to Nune. She was really not feeling well at all and we sang and had such a fun night with them. She speaks very little English so we shared some hymns with her and the mom and little girl that live in the same room as them. They look like they are all best friends and family since she takes care of Nune. We decided to put on a little show and make them smile and we sang songs and danced and we were all in laughs by the end of the night even though we couldn't speak to each other.
I've really learned this week that it doesn't matter what language we speak or where we are from. It does not matter if we can't understand each other at all, because this gospel is for everyone and the Spirit speaks clearer than any language. I love this work and this gospel!
Have a great week!
Soeur Tippett and me in Evry on a beautiful sunny day
Maite our dear member waving goodbye to us with her dog in arms..one of my fav sights
Soeur Waite and me with Soeur Dautreville
Soeur Waite and me with our ice cream in the park
Soeur Civet and the Albanian member arm in arm..so cute!
the opera house and our violinists, Catherine
this just doesn't do it justice
Mulhouse sister fun!