Monday, 13 December 2010

Souer Pobst and McClaine

Yue and Sufang

"I just want to go to the sun place"

"I just want to go to the sun place"
December 6, 2010
Dear Family!
This week was a good one.

Last Monday I met up with Soeur Hulet to practice our special musical number for Christmas zone conference. It sounds so good. We are meeting up again tonight, mission conference is on Wednesday. Everyone is going to be there! I am so excited, there are elders from my mtc group that I have not even seen since we got to France. We are going to film us practicing it and have the senior couple in Paris post it on my blog tonight, so stay tuned!

We have a weekly English class and normally it is a brother and sister from Sri Lanka who have intermediate language skills, it is basically a conversation class. However, last week a family from Pakistan showed up with children, a 13, 10, and 7 year old. The older one can speak English, he is a very shy though and the little ones know a little bit. After resorting to learning random phrases last week and feeling like failures, this week Soeur McClaine and I prepared and bomb-diggity color lesson this week, complete with flash cards. We taught them the colors in English and then played a game where we had objects of each color and they had to identify them by their color. We hid them and they had to find them, then we asked them questions like "what is your hair color" and they had to write it. We finished off the night by playing the pool game "colors" in the gym. the boys LOVED it! The littlest boy is named "Veli" but he had told me his name was Tom and now it is just a joke between us when we call him Tom. They told us that they loved English class, it's their favorite. We gave them the flashcards to practice and this week they want to learn numbers, so we have been brainstorming games with numbers.

We taught Nathaly this week about obedience. There was a television program on last Sunday, a France special on the Mormon church that a lot of people watched, but not Nathaly or the missionaries. She asked us what kinds of t.v. shows we are allowed to watch and so we gave her a for the strength of the youth. She started listening different music artists and asked if she could listen to them specifically and I turned it back on her and said "well, how do you feel when you listen to it? Can you still feel the Spirit?" She kinda thought about it and didn't really say anything, I think she was looking for a yes or no or an approved artist list. We talked about obedience and why we are obedient and we felt that it went well. One of the things she saw when going through the booklet was only one pair of earrings. She has 2 holes, but always only wears one pair. She asked us about it and we said that it was a recommendation from the prophet and that we should only wear one pair. We told her it was always her choice, but that we should try to always do what the prophet asks. Disappointing when she came to church on Sunday wearing 2 pairs of earrings. I looked around their relief society and noticed that there were a couple of women that were wearing 2 pairs of earrings. It is so hard as a missionary when we try and teach out amis something and they come to church and see members doing something against what we teach :/ Just the life I guess, I don't think we ever realize just how much people look towards us.

On Thursday we had our exchanges with the sisters serving in Brussels. both of them came down here to Evry and we had a lovely time...except for when I tripped down stairs and landed on my bad ankle. We got back to evry and I was with Soeur De Santis who is from Italy and speaks a bit of English, but is very shy about what she does speak. We passed by an old ami that we are trying to get to be someone we teach who is from India. She had told us that she couldn't see us this week that she was very busy preparing for her dog's 7th birthday party. We saw this as a wonderful opportunity to pass by with some fresh brownies and a card for Tina on her special day and so we did:) Celestine was very very touched and we taught a lesson about Christ being the reason for Christmas. She made us this delicious rose petal milk.....SOOO good! Soeur DeSantis and I did more pass-bys with no success, most people had moved. My ankle was killing me and so we headed home to ice it. it was a good exchange. I felt a bit weak, but at the same time I have learned my lesson about not resting when hurt.

The other high point of the week was teaching our Chinese amis, Yue and Sufang at their house. They had always thought that they had to come to the church for rendezvous, but we told them we could come to their place and they were SO excited! We taught the plan of salvation and it was so fun having all of the different languages. We taught it in French, but if there was a word they didn't understand, we found it in the Chinese pamphlet. Yue had a lot of good questions and at the end of the lesson said that she loved the plan for our lives. She said the closing prayer, thanked Heavenly Father for us and that we taught her about the plan and told Heavenly Father that she wanted to go to the sun place :) She also decided that she wanted to come to church the next day and we found her a ride! it was so good, she hung out with Nathaly the whole time, loved all the classes and stayed for the ward meal! They even want to go to Versailles with us next week for the Christmas concert and first presidency broadcast! I hope Yue comes because it is a stake thing and all the Chinese members from Paris will be there and it will be SO good!

The down point, Regis sent a text to the member we taught with and told her he doesn't want to see us :/ someday Regis.

I love you all! have a good week and don't pass up a missionary opportunity!


Thanksgiving Dinner

Turkey Bowl Football Team

Boubou's and Pizza

a very boubou thanksgiving

November 29, 2010

Dear family,
First off, it snowed last night. just insane, just insane.
Ok so I have tons of things to tell you!

Thanksgiving... last week on p-day I FINALLY bought a boubou, an African outfit. They are very popular among missionaries. Best 10 euros I've spent. Soeur McClaine and I decided that we would get some domino's pizza and eat in our boubous. We found a Dominos and bought some pizzas and it was amazing. Earlier in the day we got a call from a member of the ward saying that she had prepared a treat for us, a plate with the cookies on it. It was so nice of her to think of these poor little Americans away from their country on Thanksgiving :)

The next day, Friday, we had turkey bowl with our zone in Torcy. We got together for training and finding activity and then we ate. I once again attempted a chocolate pie and once again, I failed :( I think it is a sign that some Thanksgiving traditions are meant to stay in America). Before we ate, we had a football game, I was one the winning team. I even caught the ball the one time they threw it to me, only to turn around and run into an elder. Embarrassing. The meal was very good, a big shout out to the Davis couple who prepared most of the stuff knowing that most of us missionaries have never had much responsibility when it comes to preparing a Thanksgiving meal.

This week we had our miracle rendezvous with Regis, the guy from the train. We taught him at the church with a sister who has been home from her mission for three years. We were waiting for him at the gare and it became 1:00 and he was no where to be seen, but we got a text from him saying he would be late! That like never happens unless it is someone who is going to get baptized! We made our way to church and had an AMAZING rendezvous! A while ago we had this training on the "ideal first" and this rendezvous could have been filmed and used as a model for other missionaries. We all frequently bore testimony, gave him an overview, got to know him and what he expects/ The member was super involved in the perfect way, he noticed that he was feeling the Spirit with the "small heat in his heart" and committed to read the Book of Mormon and pray. Cecile said she would pick him up for church and they exchanged numbers and we all went our ways.

What I am about to tell you, might sound like a terrible thing. if one has misplaced their faith, they might view it as a catastrophe. It is Sunday morning and we are waiting for everyone to get to church and Cecile comes in and says "I have some terrible news." after the rendezvous, Regis went home and called his mom in Guadeloupe [an island in the west Indies] to tell her about his experience that day with missionaries. She told him that we were lying and that we weren't the true church and that he shouldn't see us. He called Cecile and told her this and she told him that he should still come to church to see for himself and he said he would. Later that night he texted her saying that he didn't know if he was ready to change his life and that he needed time to think, even though he could see that the gospel brought so much joy and happiness into our lives. He said that he would still pray everyday and read the Book of Mormon and if he had questions he would text her. I sat in church and was sad, it is a sad thing when someone makes a decision like this one, but I still knew that I was an effective missionary. I followed the Spirit in contacting him and we had an amazing rendezvous. The Spirit was there in such a force and I could tell it made sense to him and that he was one of those prepared for the gospel. I called him last night to invite him to a j.a. activity in Paris tonight, but he has school. I invited him to the ward meal next week and he said that he would come. He told me that he just needed time to reflect and that when he goes home for Christmas he was going to talk to his mom about the church and show her the Book of Mormon. Pray for Regis this week and that he will come to the ward meal and that as he reads the scriptures this week and prays that he will feel the Spirit and remember all the good feelings he had in the rendezvous.

I talked to President Staheli about faith in our last interview because we always hear, "your faith will bring miracles" and I told him I wanted to know where my faith meets someone's agency. I told him that as I thought back on my mission I felt like the time that I had the most faith was my time in Versailles. He explained to me that we need to always make sure that our faith is firmly planted in Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father, and that they together will lead me to prepared people. My faith isn't in people, but it is in those Two who know everything and can help soften the hearts of others. I have been thinking about that since and thought of it a lot yesterday. I am not discouraged because I know I did everything I could and I know that Heavenly Father did everything promised, now it is time for Regis to do his part and I know that he will :)

I am headed into Paris today for p-day. I have a musical number practice tonight with another sister. She was asked to play the violin at Christmas zone conference and I am accompanying her. wonderful day in Paris :)

I love you all, I love my life :)