Sunday, 30 January 2011

on ne voit bien qu'avec le coeur. l'esstentiel est invisible pour les yeux

January 24, 2011
Dear family,

This week had some pretty good highlights, so that is what I will partager [share].

Visitor center
This week we were lucky enough to have two times at the visitor center.. So we went on Tuesday night and we were in there when this guy and girl came in, 20's, and the guy said, "Are you the Mormons?" In France, Mormon means that we are polygamist and Amish, so I always say "well what does that word mean to you?" I realized that he was wearing a crew neck shirt under a polo [French people don't do that] and so in English I said "you're a member!" He said yes, that the girl he was with was not and that they were headed to institute. So they went to institute and about 10 minutes later the girl came back down and asked if she could talk to me during institute.
Her name in Marine and she is from Nancy, France. Her brother joined the church about a year ago and she has been thinking about meeting with the missionaries because of the change she has seen in him. I encouraged her to do so and she asked if she was allowed since they were elders. I said of course she was allowed. We keep talking and she told me that she felt this sort of guilt about looking into another religion when her's has done nothing to make her want to look for another religion. I shared some thoughts that I remembered from President Uchtdorf's conference talk "Faith of our Fathers" about how ultimately we are in a faith because it is right and brings us happiness and not because it is a tradition. We talked some more and it was SOOOOOOOOOOOOO awesome. We exchanged addresses and will be keeping in touch. She left the visitor center and told me that she was going to start seeing the elders :)

Wednesday, We were there for four hours, the first two hours we are on the streets contacting. I found some common ground with a visitor about the Twilight books [you would not believe how many people associate Arizona with Twilight]. We went back into the main part and this homeless man looking like Dumbledore walks in, wearing a women’s full length fur coat and one of those Russian hats, and walks up to the Christ statue and starts talking to it. Then he comes to us and says that the voice told him "first right, second left" and that led him to the visitor center. He walked around saying "magnifique" and then he left. Interesting day in the visitor center.

We saw Yue this week. Lately she hasn't been coming to church and so we talked about the importance of praying and reading daily and coming to church every week. It went well and she agreed that she needed to start coming to church again. When talking about reading, I said "even if you read just a column a day that is good." she looked at me like I was ridiculous and said "you really think I could stop after a column? Have you ever stopped after a column?" I just kind of chuckled to myself and thought about how sometimes as missionaries we try to make the important things for people so easy, when really there are so many blessings that wait for them if they do it.

When I was in Paris-Lilas, we taught a woman named Nicole. Anyway, we passed her to the sisters of Evry because technically she lives in here. I thought I would never see her again. When I got to Evry I asked Soeur McClaine if we were teaching her, they had not seen her for a while. About a week ago Nicole called to say hi to Soeur McClaine. I told her that Soeur McClaine had been transferred. I didn't think that she remembered who I was since we met so long ago. However, she very well remembered who I was and said that she wanted to start meeting with the sister missionaries. She was trying to read the Book of Mormon on her own and it wasn't speaking to her. I told her that I would love to meet with her and we fixed a rendezvous’ for Thursday. Everyone, pray for me and pray for this rendezvous’.

The quote in the subject is from "Le Petit Prince." I have been reading that lately [don't worry it is approved] for French study and it is very good.] The quote above says "The essential is invisible to the eyes. We only see well with the heart." think about it and read "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry :)

transfer email this Saturday. CRAZY!!!!!!!!! It’s my last one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love you!

I always wanted to teach a Nun.

January 17, 2011
Dear family,

This week, was eventful and not all at the same time....the end of last week, my back started hurting, so we weren't going at our typical speed....

Monday was spent in Paris. We met up with missionaries and went to Angelina’s, this amazing restaurant for hot chocolate and patisseries. I got what was called a "Japanese cheesecake" and white hot chocolate. Both were amazing. We then hung out at the bottom of the arc de triomphe and sadly, I did not take pictures.

Tuesday we saw Ngwang and Annie and they made us traditional Tibetan food. They made us pot stickers! I was so excited to see the mound of pot stickers coming my way...and then when another mound came my way. I believe I ate about 25 pot stickers, a ridiculous number of chocolates, fruit, some sort of soup, and like 7 glasses of tea [don't worry, it was an infusion]. It was when we learned that Ngwang and Annie were friends that met in a monastery, that we discovered that they are Tibetan Buddhist nuns! I could not believe it! We are teaching nuns! We talked about the Godhead and helped them understand what we meant when we said, Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. I feel it went well. We went home and rested from eating pains and then went to see some recent converts.

Wednesday we were getting ready to head into Paris for visitor center when we received a call from Melun, the ville that Soeur McClaine is in, saying that she woke up and could not move and wanted to know if we could do an exchange with them, as they had rendezvous’ that night. We decided yes, we only had English class that the elders could cover and rendezvous are more important. We went to visitor center and nothing exciting happened. The contacted was difficult, I was still feeling sick and so I was super stoked to be able to rest that night and Soeur Turney was able to go out with the other 2 sisters [Melun is a 3-some]. Plus it was nice to catch up with Soeur McClaine :) we ended up getting stranded in melun and having a sleepover :) very fun, but at the same time, we had district meeting the next day in a ville that was not in Evry, so we felt kind of gross...

Thursday we went to Torcy, complete other side of Paris, for district meeting. We were able to watch the district 2, these DVD’s that the church made of missionaries. It’s weird that I find this as a form of entertainment; they are doing the same thing as me, except in southern California. Still was not feeling tip top, so we rested in the evening.

Friday we were supposed to see Nathaly for one last time, but she had to move the rendezvous’ to Saturday, so we went out to do a pass by, but I was feeling completely miserable and Soeur Turney told me I looked about that way. We rested through the afternoon and did planning until Yué’s that night. I really want to take a Chinese member from Paris, but I haven't been able to get a hold of one yet :( we talked about the gift of the Holy Ghost and how it is a great blessing. She never really has many questions and didn't have any over the reading. She said she can't come to church this week or next week, so that was kind of a bummer:/

Saturday Soeur McClaine was still down and out. She had talked to the mission doctor in Germany and he told her that he thinks she has gangy fever. How she got it, no one knows, so we went back to Melun so that they could go out. This time, we did not get stuck :) I spent the afternoon visiting with Soeur McClaine and reading le petit prince, very good book and mission approved :) Sadly, Nathaly had to cancel our rendezvous’ tonight as well so we never got to see her before she left :( she said that she will come down and visit, so hopefully I'll see her soon.

Sunday church was very hard, all that sitting. I was supposed to give a talk, but when I approached the microphone the bishop asked if I would mind only giving my testimony to leave time for the high counselor. I told him that was fine by me. I had read "Faith-the Choice is Your's" and I really enjoyed it. We all know my new found understanding and love of faith. Elder Neil l. Andersen has said:
"Faith is not only a feeling; it is a decision."

Let us all decide to be a little more faithful :)

until next week,

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Church of the Madeleine

Birthday Cake

Birthday Sign

no one should be sick on their birthday....

January 10, 2011
Dear Family,

I'm 23! Kinda weird.

So the big day...early this last week I got a really bad head cold and could hardly stand to walk, I felt soooo sick. I was still sick on my birthday, sad day. I woke up around 10 and turney made me pancakes and then around 1 or so, I went back to bed until 4. While I was awake the first time, we noticed a slight drip coming from our water heater, so we called the office and they scheduled a repairman to come out the next night. We went to Yue's and talked to her about repentance, we are teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. She really liked the idea of repentance and the change that it brings into our lives and how Jesus Christ can help us. She gave me a hankie with panda bears on it :)
We went home to a flooded kitchen :/ I called the elder in charge of apartments and he didn't answer his phone so I left a message that our kitchen was flooded. Then the birthday calls started coming in and in the midst of it I am trying to figure out what to do with this leak that is now a steady stream of water...I get a hold of the old greffier and he is giving me tips while the new one is calling me, about 945 at night. The new greffier says that he is coming out and so we had to stay up and wait for him....he gets to our apartment about an hour later and looks around a bit to find that a small hose or pipe or whatever had come loose and so we were able to stop the leak. That was my exciting birthday :) Today we are getting fancy hot chocolate and patisseries in Paris with some other missionaries.

On Wednesday we went to teach our ami Ngwang and her friends Annie. We talked about the life of Jesus Christ and different things that He did and we watched "Finding Faith in Christ." it is kind of hard with the language barrier, but they really want to learn about the "Jesus tradition." they keep relating it to Buddha and I was able to talk with the Chinese elders about how to help them differentiate between Jesus and Buddha. This week are going over for a traditional Tibetan lunch :)

We saw Nathaly this week and she told us that this Friday she is moving to LILLE! Of all places! I am bummed that she is moving so far away, but I feel like it will be really good for her. The ward there is smaller and all during the lesson I was thinking of different members that would be so good to teach her with. We talked about the plan of salvation with a member and it was so good! Nathaly really opened up and asked him a lot of good questions and it was really good!

Fatilha was last night, we saw her with a member named Marianne who is from New Zealand and it was such a good lesson! Marianne really worked with us in the lesson and help explain things to Fatilha. I think we are going to take Marianne with us every week and she is really excited to work with us :) She served a mission a long time ago and told me at church yesterday that she wants to get more available so that she can work with us.

We didn't go to the visitor center last week because there was no electricity :/ It is back up and running and this week we have a rendezvous’ with someone named Pedro that the elders of St.Ouen found. One of the elders served up in Lille and told me that Pedro reminds him of Xavier. So naturally I am VERY excited for that :)

The health has returned and this is going to be a good week and TONS of work!

Last p-day we went to the Church of the Madeleine and it was beautiful. We then wandered around and ended up on the Champs-Elysées! It was cool to see the Arc de Triomphe and all the Christmas lights! The picture is me at the church of the Madeleine.

I love you!


Friday, 14 January 2011

miracle of 2011!!!!!!

Jan 3, 2011
Dear family,

I don't think I ever told you about the Miracle of 2010....which is sad because it was kind of a big deal. At the beginning of the year, President Staheli felt like 2010 was the year of miracles and that we needed to raise our standards of excellence. One of which, was 300 baptisms in the year, which was unheard of in this mission. I didn't really understand the impact of it because I was still pretty new and I had no idea about anything, but I remember him talking about it and feeling like it was really important. President talked about how he knew we could do this and he knew that the numbers were big, but he knew it was possible. Right after, we merged with the Brussels missionaries and miracle of 2010 became a HUGE deal. As the year was coming to an end, President Staheli kept stressing that the real miracle of 2010 wasn't necessarily the 300 baptisms, but that as missionaries our faith was increased. That is what I saw as a missionary. Yeah, I saw a lot of great things, like Kai and Xavier and Alexandre and Francoise and Sylvain, but I also had a lot of hard times. However, through it all I learned a lot about faith and what it really means and what a miracle really is. I am so grateful for the year 2010, that for everyday of it I was here in France as a missionary. I'm grateful for all the people that I have met and all the experiences. I am looking forward to the miracle of 2011, which has already started :)

Last p-day we spent it walking around Paris and just looking at buildings. It was fun to just wander and not have to worry about being somewhere or making sure we are doing something, just enjoying the scenery of Paris. It is crazy that I can feel so at home in one of the biggest cities in the world. We got crêpes and went to FHE with Nathaly. Sadly it didn't work out like we had hoped. We talked with her again yesterday with the mother of the British family that had us over for Christmas and she challenged Nathaly to get baptized soon and to not hesitate that Satan is going to try to work on her and turn her again the church. I just don't know what to do anymore and as always it requires a lot of prayer and meditation.

At the beginning of the week Yue said that she was no longer able to see us because she was too busy. This was a pretty big blow, as she was our most progressing ami and I just love her to death. I knew that she was making the decision out of stress and the whole week had been thinking about making cookies and drop them off. However, we had bowtzah, those Chinese dumpling balls for interview lunch. Previously Yue had told me that she loves bowtzah, but didn't know where she could get it. There was tons left over so we dropped it off with Sufang. The next day we received a call from Yue saying that she was really touched by us thinking about her and assuring us that she still wants to meet with us.. She then invited us over for a lesson on Sunday and we talked about the Atonement and the significance of Christ's sacrifice for us in our lives. I feel it went really well and am excited that I get to go over to Yue's for my birthday :)

We also had our first shift at the visitor center this week. Our shift is for 4 hours, 2 hours contacting, and 2 hours giving tours. The contacting was pretty stressful, A new experience for Soeur Turney. A crash course in contacting. This week will be much better as we will practice contacting. I did see this mother with 2 boys, probably 7 and 9, and I talked about how much having the gospel in our family has blessed us and invited her to pass by the visitor center. I hope she does :) We gave one tour and it was to 3 friends of a former elder in the mission! It was pretty crazy to see him again, I still called him happens.

We got a new ami this week! soeur McClaine and I had contacted this woman from Tibet. Soeur Turney and I were able to teach her. She is very Buddhist and has a hard time understanding the difference between Jesus and Buddha as their teachings are similiar... she wants to meet with us. We gave her the Book of Mormon, she felt bad putting it in her sac with her work clothes because "the Jesus book is more important." Her name is Ngwang and I am excited about teaching her!

This week I want to sharea quote I really like from Elder WWirthlin from "The Great Commandment"
"Oh, it is wonderful to know that our Heavenly Father loves us—even with all our flaws! His love is such that even should we give up on ourselves, He never will.
We see ourselves in terms of yesterday and today. Our Heavenly Father sees us in terms of forever. Although we might settle for less, Heavenly Father won’t, for He sees us as the glorious beings we are capable of becoming.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of transformation. It takes us as men and women of the earth and refines us into men and women for the eternities."
Think of how great this is, how much it impacts our lives. I am grateful for this refinement and I know that my Heavenly Father loves me. Have a great week and
à la prochaine :) je vous aime

Friday, 7 January 2011

Christmas Cake

Hot Chocolate Break in Paris

New Companion

My first snowy white and UK Christmas

December 27, 2010
Dear everyone!

This last week has been a crazy one! Lots to tell you that I don't think was covered in the phone call...

Last p-day was boring on account of all the snow. There were no buses and it took us the whole day to walk like pioneers to the email place and the grocery store. So that is what we did.

On Tuesday we went and saw a member, Natalie. She is incredible and is going through a terrible divorce. Her husband is trying to take the kids to get back at her and is telling the courts that she is part of a cult and that she doesn't feed the kids....just terrible things. It is so hard to watch people go through trials like this when they are so good and amazing, but I know that she will come out a better stronger person. We ate raclette and it was delicious :)

Wednesday was the big day. I woke up and got ready and went to the mission home to pick up my new companion. I thought back to when I was picked up and it was crazy to think that I am in Soeur Roberts position. We had to wait about an hour and a half for our talk with president. He talked about how in his whole mission, he only remembers one zone leader, but everyone remembers their trainers and about how our good and bad habits will influence them. He told us all a tiny bit about our new companions because he hadn't had the time to interview them yet. My companion is Soeur Turney from Sandy, UT and is an animation major at BYU. There are 5 kids in her family and she is the first missionary. She is pretty quiet at first. we came back to Evry to discover that Soeur Mcclaine hadn't been picked up yet, so we all had lunch together before heading to a rendez-vous with Yue.
With Yue we talked about faith and it was really good. She is just awesome. When we left Yue's we received a call from the Paris sisters that the elders who transport our bags had left Soeur Turney's backpack in Paris, we went into Paris to get her backpack and came back home to find that Soeur McClaine STILL had not been picked up! The elders were running super behind that day and so she didn't get picked up until 9:30! Normally we get picked up early in the morning, but it was a bit different this transfer.

Thursday was good, we ran a lot of errands, getting Soeur Turney settled and had a rendez-vous with Nathaly. We talked about diligently searching and answered her questions from the Book of Mormon readings which was just clarifying who she was reading about.. We also made our giant reese's peanut butter cup for the elder who wouldn't be receiving a Christmas package this year.

Christmas eve we were in Paris for our meeting about the new Paris visitor's center. Good news for the mission and I am very excited about it and it looks great. Very professionally done and I can't wait to take members and amis there! After we got hot chocolate with a couple sisters and some elders before heading home so that Soeur Turney could have her jet-lag nap :) we spent Christmas eve with a French family named the Plugg's, they all speak perfect english so it was great for Soeur Turney and the other elder in our district who is getting trained. It was great for me! We ate smoked salmon and scallops, green beans, potatoes and some giant bird, cheese and salad course, and the Christmas log and some prune cake. It was all wonderful.

Christmas day we spent it with the Camille family from England. As I told you all, I schooled everyone on "just dance 2" and set 4 high scores. It was so fun! The meal was incredible, turkey, pork, parsnips, brussel sprouts, Yorkshire puddings, potatoes, carrots, broccoli, and of course, amazing wonderful Christmas cakes :) They got us home right in time for the phone call :)

Church was good. The bishop's wife invited 2 of her friends to church and asked us to sit by them during sacrament. Soeur Turney was a bit embarrassed that she fell asleep in church, but I told her it happens to all of us in the beginning. After sacrament meeting I tried to exchange numbers and fix a rendez-vous with them, but they started talking to the bishop's wife about the I just gave them our number before they left and they said they would come back. We did our weekly planning yesterday and talked about all the different things like the area book and progress records and all sorts of things. We fixed a lot of rendez-vous, we have a rendez-vous with that woman from Tibet this Wednesday! So excited! I'll try to fix some more tonight during the FHE in Paris, we're going with Nathaly.

Well, that is my week. It has been long and tiring and full of randomness, but that will all change soon!

I hope you all have fun recovering from the holidays and I love you!


Our new scarves

it's beginning to look like a lot Christmas

December 20, 2010

Dear family,

It is freezing and it has been snowing for 2 days straight. I have never seen this much snow in France. There are no buses and so we had a nice long trek in the snow to get to emails today.

This week was the week that Soeur McClaine had to say goodbye to a bunch of people. We went and saw our African mama that we teach and she gave us scarves. We love her!

Lately our amis, Nathaly and Fatilha, have started to stagnate a bit. We felt we should share testimony and good experiences with the Book of Mormon. We taught Nathaly from the introduction together and before we even said anything she said "Whoa, I need to read this book." We bore our testimonies about the Book of Mormon and she committed to read it.

Our rendez-vous with Fatilha, went much differently. We have yellow cards that have the questions of the soul from chapter five of preach my gospel on them. We decided that we would read a chapter with Fatilha and let her pick one of the questions. The chapter that she picked was Alma 39.....The question was, how do I prevent bad things from my family? She was a bit side tracked on the real intent of Corianton. I hope the next rendez-vous we can get a member there. It's hard when we are trying so hard and it just doesn't feel like it's going anywhere. I have faith that this will turn around as soon as she starts acting. The Book of Mormon promise is there for everyone and it works for everyone :)

We had lunch with Yue, Sufang, and Nathaly on Saturday at Yue's house and it was a little hard trying to focus on all three and meeting each individual need. We did however start a Book of Mormon reading club that we would all read a chapter a day and then on Sundays after church we will discuss what we read! I am pretty excited for it because now we are all accountable to each other for what we do.So far everyone has kept up on their reading commitments :) I'm sad, Yue is just as busy during vacation as she is during school. On Wednesday we are going by her place to drop off a reading bookmark I made and hope that she will let us teach her a mini lesson! I just love that girl!

We've been contacting a good amount of people. Probably my favorite was this little Asian-looking old lady whose name I can't spell. I saw her look at us and smile, so I told Soeur McClaine to go contact her. Soeur McClaine finally did and got her number :) we figured she was Chinese and decided that if we couldn't understand her and she couldn't understand us, we would pass her to the elders. However, she is from Tibet and doesn't speak hopefully we can communicate! I think it will be good :)

Also, very exciting news! By the Paris church there used to be this exposition, but it has been closed for 6 months and they have re-done it to be a visitor center! The church is very excited to see how this goes with the installation of small visitor centers in different places. We get to go into Paris once a week to work there. A lot of people are really excited about the Joseph Smith prophet of the restoration movie in French! I am one of those people!

Well fam, can't wait to talk on Christmas and tell you all about my new companion and our Christmas adventures!

I love you!


Francoise's Baptism

Resses Peanut Butter Cups

Souer Pobst and Kohler

Mission President

Christmas Conference

Big Changes

December 13, 2010

Dear everyone!
Lots of big stuff happened this week, seriously LOTS!

Wednesday was the big Christmas mission conference and it was so fun to see everyone and take pictures. I got to see all the elders from my mtc district and that was definitely fun. President announced that this next group of missionaries coming in would be one of the biggest with five sisters coming in. I made a rookie mistake in the special musical number and was watching my hands and not the music and got lost in one of my solos. Very very embarrassing. We had made some homemade reese's peanut butter cups to give to people as a Christmas treat and so now Soeur Pobst is known for her no-bake cookies and her reese's peanut butter cups. Both recipes were passed to me from other missionaries.

For the assistants training they talked about the Book of Mormon. They have been really focusing on that the last 3 transfers and they announced that our Christmas contacting challenge would be to give a box of book of Mormons away before the end of the year. It was not fun walking to the gare with the box. During the zone conference it started to snow a lot and so it took us forever to get home that night. All in all, Christmas mission conference was the best!

On Thursday, almost all of our rendezvous' cancelled because of the snow the night before and none of the buses were working! None of the children had school or anything! It is insane what a little bit of snow can do! We were able to see our ami Fatilha with a member. Fatilha is non-practicing Muslimut who has faith in Christ and is searching for the truth. She has the cutest family, a son who is eight and a baby girl that is one and her husband. They haven't been able to come to church yet because they go to Paris on the weekends to help her parents get ready for the week. We taught them with Soeur Kehl and she was awesome! She talked about her own search for the truth and how it went when she was taught. She even offered to come and pick them up for church on Sunday! Fatilha just looks so hungry for the gospel and I wish she could just come to church!

We weren't able to see Nathaly. Even though we had talked the night before, she forgot the rendezvous:/ kind of unfortunate because a member had come with us. However, on Sunday she went to the young adult Sunday and had a good time. Yue was going to go as well, she studied all day on Friday and Saturday so that she could go to church, the stake choir concert and Christmas broadcast. She didn't end up coming to church due to ride complications, but she went with us on the train to the Christmas choir concert and taught us Chinese on the trains. All I remember is how to sing happy birthday. They both really enjoyed the concert, but left before the broadcast :/ Yue enjoyed talking to the Chinese elders and one of their recent converts and they switched numbers :) I am excited for this upcoming week where not everything is going to get cancelled!

The big moment of the week was Friday. At Christmas mission conference, President Staheli announced that the transfer email would be coming out a weekend early, this weekend that just passed. I nearly had a heart attack. If you are training they usually call you the Friday before. I had the phone in my pocket the whole day. Around 3 we got a phone call from the assistants, he said "well sister Pobst, we, no the Lord would like for you to train next transfer in Evry." I said ok and then he told me to be at the mission home at 11 on December 22 to pick up my bleu! I am sooooooo excited to train! I remember last year having such a great time with soeur Roberts. At first I was not at all excited about being away from home Christmas last year, missing Emily and Westin. I specifically remember standing over the stove making burritos on 23 December and missing everyone as I knew the festivities at home were starting for Matt's birthday and Soeur Roberts walking up and going "what does your family do for Christmas eve?!" I told her I didn't want to talk about it and that I was not happy in that moment. However, the 2 days that followed are probably one of my most memorable and favorite Christmas. I am really grateful and excited for this opportunity :) I am also grateful and excited to talk to all of you very soon! 12 days!

I love you all lots and can't wait to hear how it all goes this week with Allison traveling and Elder Bair's homecoming! Very Very exciting!