Sunday, 28 November 2010

Frozen Great Danes are Really Hard to Carry

November 22,2010
Dear family,

Another week, more greatness. I am FREEZING right now as I write this, the crazy internet shop likes to keep the door open even though it is absolutely POSITIVELY freezing outside. Today we are going into Paris for a p-day of fun with Soeur Curran before she goes home to America:/ Her mom is with her, I am excited to meet her!

We had 2 really good contacts, one was this girl named Christy We talked to her in the park. She was walking and smiling and so I was like "let's talk to her!" She is believing and very active in her church and asked why our church was different from her's. We explained the restoration and got her phone number and will be contacting her tonight for an rdv :)
The next great find, we were in a train station and we saw this guy and I was like "whoa, he looks like Xavier, I should talk to him!" I sat down directly in front of him and we had this conversation:
me: hi. I'm a missionary from this church [pointed at my plaque] and I had a feeling that I needed to talk to you.
him: ok.
me: we have a message about how you can have joy in your life no matter what. are you believing?
him: yes.
me: good. we also like to share with people about how Christ's church was restored on the earth through a modern prophet. can we share this message with you?
him: yes
I proceeded to get his name and number and then we got off the train as it was our stop. I called him later that night and we have an rdv for Saturday:)

We had another good contact with a Muslim man, but after he texted us saying that we have pretty eyes, we passed that to the elders.

We met with Nathaly, the most progressing ami. She has been meeting with the missionaries for about a year and a half now. She had a baptismal date for 6 Novembre, but then she said that she didn't feel ready. We talked to her about baptism and she had a question about how to know if she was feeling the Spirit. We shared with her the scripture in Galatians about the fruits of the Spirit and she was like "whoa, that's how I feel when I pray and read and go to church.". I asked her if that is how she feels when she prays about baptism and she said "yeah.” She wants to better understand the commandments and so I am working on a little commandment study thing for her.

Yesterday in amis class we were talking about gifts of the Spirit and someone was talking about Solomon and his gift of wisdom and Nathaly said "yeah, but he lost it. you can lose the gifts." I said "well, good thing there is always repentance" and the teacher agreed with me. then Nathaly said "yeah, but doesn't that just get repetitive if you are always repenting about the same thing?" I had a feeling when she said that she wanted to better understand the commandments that it was a concern about repentance. The teacher of amis class is teaching a lesson on it next week and we will see.

We were also able to meet with Yué and Sufang, 2 Chinese amis that we are teaching. We weren't able to see them until this week. They wanted help with English, we taught them the plan of salvation before. We would ask questions, but they weren't really responding. I had a thought during the lesson to ask them if they wanted a priesthood blessing, they were really stressed about their exams at school. They said they wanted them and the elders were at the church so they gave then blessings. It was so powerful and they both seemed so much happier and calm after. They said that they would see us sometime this week :)

good week, looking forward to an even better one!

love you all!


p.s. my subject heading is bizarre, but that was a discussion at district meeting.

Paris Day :)

New Companion New City

November 15, 2010
My dear family,

Can we believe it is halfway through November? I can't. it is just crazy.

Leaving Valenciennes was tough. Soeur Kohler and I were walking around and we would just suddenly go "it is so weird that we aren't going to be together in a couple days. It feels like we have been together our whole missions!" However, I know that she is doing great up in Valenciennes with the new sister:)

Saying goodbye to Alexandre and Françoise was a bit rough. I think I was crying the entire rendez-vous, not to mention that I was saying goodbye to Amandine who is our best friend in Valenciennes. It was good though. I got to ride into Paris with Sister Kohler before being picked up by the office elders and dropped off in Evry. My new companion is Soeur McClaine from Redlands,CA and goes to BYU-Idaho as well! I am so excited! My whole mission I have only met 2 sisters that went there and both of them have graduated and it is pretty funny because we know a lot of the same people! We have just had a blast getting to know each other these last couple of days in the FREEZING cold and just kind of getting used to being together. Something so wonderful about transfers is it is like a new fresh start; a time to re-evaluate people that you are working with, how you are doing and what not, so we are currently in the process of doing that. However, a lot of our rendez-vous's have been cancelled....sad. hopefully this week will be better.

Today we went to Paris, hence the late email. We watched the elders play football, Soeur McClaine had some people that she wanted to see. We ate these great Chinese dumpling balls that fill you UP! We ate them like 6 hours ago and still aren't hungry. Then we went to the Musée de l'Orangerie and saw some Monet stuff. I am so grateful for my French legality and that I can get into things for free! Then we walked around the Tuileries Garden and looked at the Louvre. Very full fun day:)

Something funny; This morning I woke up and my left calf has been SO TIGHT! I said something about it to Soeur McClaine and she was like "well yeah, you got a charlie horse in it last night, you were screaming in pain." I have no recollection of this. She said, "we talked about it, you sounded so awake!" I think it is just funny, but not, my calf still hurts.

love you all! bonne semaine!


Friends in Valenciennes

Soeur Kohler, Pobst with Alexandre

I am moving!

November 8, 2010

dear family,

Friday night we received the phone call telling us our new assignments for transfer day next week. I am going to Evry with Sister McClaine." Sister McClaine is new, I talked with her briefly at sister day. She is going into her 3rd transfer. Sister Kohler is staying here and she will be a trainer. She is pretty excited to train and the ward is REALLY excited for her to train. They are just so excited to get a bleu! [I don't know why, but in France you are bleu, not green].

Francoise is doing well. We saw her three times this week and went over the first part of the plan of salvation and we talked about eternal marriage. I was on an exchange with an AMAZING, GREAT MISSIONARY, Soeur Pearce. She is just so great and her French is AMAZING and she is so happy. She did not mind at all the three straight hours of finding and getting frudged. She is just such a doll and I can see her training soon.

We just need more missionaries like her.

Francoise is doing great, reading her scriptures and trying hard to cut down on smoking. At church on Sunday, we have a couple; they are both doctors and one of them helps people overcome addictions. The wife was talking to Francoise and was like, "you need to quit! There are so many blessings waiting for you! Here is my husbands number, you call us we will help you!" I really love this ward they are all so great and caring about us and our amis. It was hard to say my departing testimony, there were a couple people that I couldn't look at or else I would have started crying and I did not want that.

I have 2 little tender mercies to tell you about. I have been so spacey lately; Doesn't make sense I don't feel like I was a terribly spacey person before my mission. A couple weeks ago my ctr ring went missing and I was like "oh great, that stinks." well I was packing and looking for it and all the sudden I thought "I bet it is on top of the wardrobe." Kind of a crazy thought, we all know I'm not the tallest person in the world, but I looked up there and it was there! so so so excited! Also, a couple weeks ago I bought some new mitten glove things and one went missing...I was like "great, that last thing I want to have to keep buying is gloves!" However, on Sunday I found out that I had left it at a member’s house and that they would bring it to church sometime next week....not super helpful for the moment but in the long run I am glad I do not have to buy new gloves!

I mentioned that on the exchange Soeur Pearce and I got frudged. so, I think on Tuesday night we left Alexandre and Francoise's and decided to do some contacting because it was still a bit early. We stopped this woman named Severine and set an rdv with her for Thursday. On Thursday we went by and she said she couldn't see us at all at that moment and I set another rdv for Saturday. On Saturday we went by and she said we could come in for like 5 minutes and so we took it and went in. We talked with her for a bit and started testifying about our message. She said she was believing before but wasn't really believing anymore. Then all the sudden we started testifying about together forever as a family and she started crying and said that couple years ago she lost a baby and ever since then she has been asking why. We told her why and that this life was only a tiny piece of our eternal destiny. we fixed another rdv with her for next Thursday, after I leave. I am glad to leave this contact for the bleu. I just love it when we find people whose lives will be greatly blessed by this message. it is just so great!

I am sad to be leaving Valenciennes, but I know it is a part of missionary life. It is kind of weird to think that I could finish my mission in I just won't. I am excited for this new chapter and phase!

I hope you all have a great week! I love you all!


Sunday, 21 November 2010

"Is it one of those parties whre you baptize dead people"

November 1, 2010

Dear family,

This week our heat went out. Our neighbor came over to look at it before we called the building manager and we took the opportunity to invite him to the ward FHE tonight. He then asked "is it one of those parties where you baptize dead people?" I kind of chuckled and we told him what it was. People know the weirdest things about us...

This week we were FINALLY able to see Ji, although it was pretty rough, we met in the park with the kids. They kept running up and she was getting frustrated. Soeur Kohler and I took turns trying to distract the kids. We talked about life on earth, why things are hard, why things are good, why Jesus Christ is important. She said that is one thing that she never understood, is why people think you need Jesus to be happy. We told her that it's not like you are sad if Jesus isn't in your life, it is just that He sacrificed so much for us and explained his role in the plan of salvation. She is just awesome, always willing to act.

Francoise and Alexandre are doing well. We saw Francoise 3 times this week and are a bit puzzled. so the first time we saw her she was really stressed out. Alexandre had lost his firefighter job and doesn't work that much at his other job. She told us that she had one cigarette left and that she wouldn't be able to buy cigarettes anymore with the money becoming tight. We thought "hmmm, blessing in disguise" talked about opposition coming in when you are making right choices. We have seen her twice since then and the house has smelled like fresh cigarettes every rendezvous since then....a bit confused. This week we are going to talk about that and hope to resolve the smoking with the baptism coming up.

We have a new ami, kind of an interesting one. His name is David and he got our number from the bishop in another city because his uncle is a very depressed, very less active member. We cannot as missionaries help with things like depression. We contacted the bishop who immediately went over to help and explained that he was the one that needed to be called for help with the uncle. David is not a member and is interested in being baptized and "becoming a deacon or a priest." We taught him the first lesson and during the lesson it was just a very interesting feeling. Terrible because the uncle is now smoking a ton and is just withering away. It is hard to tell David we can not help him as missionaries. David was really interested and had already started reading the Book of Mormon. Just very odd situation and we hope that we can see David at the church from now on because we do not have the best feelings in the house.

On Saturday we went down to Versailles with the bishop for the baptism that we helped with the music with. We did 5 numbers, I don't think I have played piano that much in a really really really long was good to be back in Versailles. It was cool because there was a baptism of an 8 year old who's mom had gotten baptized a couple weeks before I got to Versailles and so I was able to see some of the members again. I am starting to feel really old in the mission....transfer 10 is right around the corner....yikes....after the baptism there was the BEST after baptism buffet EVER with professional pastries! I didn't even put my no bake cookies out, we gave them to the Versailles elders.

Hope this week finds everyone well! I love you all!


Sunday, 14 November 2010

The French version of......

October 25, 2010


Being in France, I often see the French versions of people I know from home. The other day I saw Adam Helland here in France; however, he was French. I was so tempted to take a picture of him, but I didn't.

I AM SO EXCITED THAT BABY LYLA WAS BORN TODAY!!!!! Well, yesterday. JUST CRAZY! Doesn’t completely seem real, but that's understandable. I think that the movie recorders on iphones do not open on this computer, I wish I could see the videos of Emily singing happy birthday to sweet baby lyla :)

Ah bon, the missionary work stuff....well sadly, Charlotte and Cederic thought about it and realized that they aren't practicing Catholics, why would they want to go to another religion. It was a sad day, but there are other rays of sunshine!

  1. WE FIXED A BAPTISMAL DATE WITH FRANCOISE! She is getting baptized December 11:) The last time we were there with Chernel she said "I've come to realize that you have a lot of teachings the same as the Catholics" and Chernel and Alexandre went off on why it is pointless to believe in saints and what not, which didn't really help on Thursday we taught the apostasy with cups, I'll show you all later, and said "yes, there are a lot of teachings that are the same because they stayed on the earth after the death of Christ and His apostles, however, the priesthood authority is what was missing with the foundation of all the churches." We talked about what the priesthood is, gift of the Holy Ghost and Alexandre's feelings since being baptized.

Then Soeur Kohler was like "you are ready, we are praying right now for a date, and you are saying the prayer." We prayed and we were all quiet waiting for Francoise to talk after and then she said "I'm not ready”. Soeur Kohler was like "that's not true, everyone including yourself knows that is not true." Then she said, “January”. We were glad she set a date but it was so far away. Then she said "actually, December." Soeur Kohler said "December 11 is my last weekend in France, can we do it then?" and Francoise said yes! We are all so excited and we actually hadn't told anyone in the ward yet because we spent most of Saturday in Belgium picking up the car. Sunday it was really funny in amis class when the dmp kept inviting Francoise to be the end of class she told him she was getting baptized and he looked at me and Soeur Kohler like we had dropped the ball. Oh well, she is getting baptized! I'm sad because I probably won't be here but the good news is that she is getting baptized.

2. We have the car for 2 weeks! Then it goes back to Belgium for 3 weeks, and then it comes back, but I will probably be somewhere else so....looking forward to this next 2 weeks with a car and a gas strike!

3. We made an appointment with Ji for a rendezvous’ this Wednesday at a park if the weather is good! Pray for good weather!

4. Contacted this really cool student. When we asked her what she thought the significance for having a prophet on the earth she said, "I think it would be like having a guide or a connection to heaven." It is vacation this week, so we won't see her until the week after!

5. I have a new hat...Sylvain came back from Peru and I asked him to get me a beanie with llamas on it. I know I already have one, but I don't have it in France with me. So he came back from Peru and he pulls out this hat that is kind of like the opposite of what I asked for. It is way cool, it is like a woven Madeleine hat? I'll take a picture this week. Soeur Kohler thought it was hilarious. She got this little sack.

That was pretty much our week...spent 2 days basically traveling and then another day celebrating Soeur Kohler and her life :)

I love you all!


p.s. forgot! so our relief society president's mom is getting baptized down in Versailles and asked if I could help with a special musical number.. Yesterday, she shows up to church with 3 songs for me to learn. 2 of then are easy, one of them will take some practice. I'm kind of worried, it is a piano and violin duet. I'm playing “Jupiter” by Holst and the violin is playing “Come Thou Fount”. The violin will be played by her 10 year old daughter and the last time I did a special musical number with a ten year old it was kind of....terrible. I'm sure this one will be way better since it won't be thrown at me 5 minute before the baptism:) good week full of piano :)

October 18, 2010

Dear family!

Another week in Valenciennes, even colder than last week. My boots have been worn 3 days out of the week. Not quite in my heavy coat yet though, there's an upside :)

We hardly got to see any of our amis this week. everyone is getting "busy." We did some finding and had 2 interesting experiences. we were porting and this kid answered, we were talking about the purpose of life. We told him we had a message and he said that he wasn't interested. everyone says they're not interested, (They don't even know what the message is). I took a few minutes said "the message is this; that God is your Heavenly Father and he wants you to be happy. He created this earth for you to come and learn and come back and live with Him. He has provided a way for you to come back and be even happier than before or than you could ever be here on this earth. are you still not interested?" He said that he wasn't. I could at least walk away knowing that I had done my part, that I had given him a taste, along with our testimonies.

The other experience was later on down the street we saw this kid on a scooter and talked with him about faith and how we get faith and keep it. We fixed a rendezvous’ for Sunday and gave him a book of Mormon. I called him on Saturday night to confirm and he said that he read the book and didn't feel anything. I told him to keep reading and praying and that we would talk next Saturday and he agreed. We had contacted him on Friday and I think he had just read the introduction. I hope he keeps his commitment, if he does he will find what he doesn't know he's looking for.

Saturday was a big big day. It was Alexandre’s baptism. We went to go catch our train to find out that it was cancelled due to a strike that has been going on for the past week and a half because the president wants people to retire at 72 instead of 60. We were freaking out a bit because we have no car and all our members live forever away and we had a special musical number to practice. We did get a train about 40 minutes later putting us behind schedule, we still got there a bit before and practiced. A big thing is singing the hymns: Joseph Smith's First Prayer, Oh My Father, or If You Could Hie to Kolob to the tune of Come Thou Fount. After we practiced it was 2:00 and we hadn't taken the pictures. I went in and grabbed Alexandre and Xavier to take the picture. The bishop came up to me and said "we need to respect the hour." I just kind of wished that he would have more understood how much the baptism pictures mean to me. We took the pictures quick, I didn't even notice that Xavier is a dork with a toothpick in his mouth and not smiling and my hair is curled but you can't really tell :( Either way, the baptism went well. It only took Xavier 2 times to baptize him :) Very heart wrenching :) Alexandre bore his testimony and talked about how he wants to go on a mission! The best. Sunday he was confirmed and received the priesthood :). Hopefully Francoise will follow tout suite.

Saturday was also a big day for Kai, Belinda and Xavier, all three of them received their patriarchal blessings! Xavier said it was really really cool, Kai said it was really powerful with tears in his eyes and Belinda was just oh so excited :) Very good day. My day also got more exciting when I heard Xavier speaking English and was like hey, why are you speaking English? h\He said he was practicing because he wants to go through the temple in America so that Soeur Curran and I can go! He wouldn't tell me if he picked a temple to go to, but he said he had looked at the Mesa and Orlando, where we live.
That would be the coolest ever!

Very good weekend, looking forward to a week of birthday eating...I might have let it slip to a couple people it is Soeur Kohler's birthday on Friday. she is rooting for Lyla to be born then.

Love you family!