Voilà!! Our weekly adventures!
When The Phone Rings at 8am.
Normally, it's just a little annoying. But, with the new schedule, we were already half way through our personal studies! About 30 minutes into our personal studies, Soeur George and I looked at each other and said... "I KNOW WHAT EMELIE NEEDS!" After thinking about her blessing, and what we needed to teach, we had both come up with the exact same scripture in Doctrine and Covenants. D&C 82:10 "I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." We found another scripture in the footnotes that perfectly accompanied it D&C 58:27-28 "Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness...For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward." The very moment that we wrote those two scriptures down in our agendas, the phone rang. It was Emelie calling to tell us that she needed to cancel our lesson that day. But the spirit let us know that we needed to take the opportunity to share the scripture we had found for her, despite the fact that it was 8am and over the phone. We ended up teaching a full fledged lesson, starting and ending with a prayer, over the phone, at 8am, in our apartment!!! The spirit in the room was absolutely incredible. Words, scriptures, examples, and inspired questions were just flowing out of our mouths with absolutely no effort at all on our part. The spirit was filling our mouths. Then, before we finished, Emelie said... "I understand now. I need to be anxiously engaged, meaning, giving 200%. I will stop drinking tea." She continued to explain to us a "strange feeling" that she had. When she looked at the members, or even at their pictures, she was absolutely certain she could see a sort of light encircling them. She wanted to know if it was real, or if she was just seeing things. We testified to her that it was absolutely real, and that it was the spirit manifesting himself to her, letting her know that these were his people, and he is there. This was a truly powerful moment. It was the very first time that Emelie has ever recognized the spirit.
Morgan and the ledrus
We found a lovely new ami named Morgan! She is 26 and from Belgium. We taught her on Monday night for the first time. We had a little crepe night with a couple of empty nesters in our ward. The lesson actually started off really awkward, I think we arrived at a bad moment... hahaha. But it ended very well! Morgan had lots of great questions about how to build a relationship with God and the members were able to help respond well to her questions, being converts themselves, by sharing their own personal conversion stories. Morgan also came to church with us on Sunday and loved it! It was quite amazing, she only got one hour of sleep the night before because of exams, and she STILL came!!!
Welcome to Sunbeams
I was called to teach the Sunbeams class in primary on Sunday. The only problem is, I arrived to find I had no co-teacher, and I can't be with the kids alone. So, I snuck into Sunday school to ask my Mission President for help and he sent his wife to teach with me Hahaha. It was great. It was a class of English speaking 3 year olds, and she is still in the process of learning English. So you put English and three year olds together, it is no longer English, hahaha. The poor thing! My favorite part was when Chase (little boy) was trying to teach Soeur Babin how to draw the Puppies that are "in the garden at the temple". He was getting so frustrated and kept telling her, "No!! Dwaw da Waywel wight Dare!!!" (Translation: draw the tail right there!). I assured her it was not just the language barrier hahaha.
Speaking of language barriers...
My companion was sick the other day so I spent the night making area book calls. I managed to set a rendezvous with one woman... I think... the only problem is... she only speaks Spanish hahaha. She understands French, but doesn't speak any. So, I would say something in French, and she would reply in Spanish. VERY speedy Spanish! I was having all kinds of scary flashbacks to my first phone call in French hahaha. Somehow I managed to understand enough to fix a rendezvous with her... and by "enough" I mean... "Iglesia"... "domingo"..."OK!" And I consider that the gift of tongues! ;)
New Missionary Schedule
The purpose of the new schedule is to help missionaries: be more productive each day, set more inspired goals and plan more effectively, be more healthy, and use their agency to make righteous decisions about how best to spend their time. I'm sure you have all heard, but wow! It is SO cool!! It gives us loads more time to be out working, finding, and teaching! We get out of the apartment a lot earlier now (which I LOVE). The reason we have so much more time is because we no longer have a "fixed routine" but rather more of a "bucket list" of things that we need to accomplish during the day and we can place them whenever works best for us each day.
Week one without sugar... well, day one...
After one almost full day of no sugar, Emelie told us she drank tea and that she wasn't ready to stop because it, and I quote, "Kind of sucks". Hahahaha. I laughed out loud when she told me that and responded with, "Well, that's how it is!" My companion gave me "the eye" when I said that... oops, I shrugged...But hey! Emelie has now been 3 full days without tea! ;)
Ups and Downs.
As you can see, this week has been full of ups and downs. Especially with Emelie. The day after our miracle lesson, she sent us a text saying that she needed some "time off". She didn't come to church on Sunday but we managed to score one more rendezvous with her tonight. We will be teaching with my mission president and his wife in the mission home. Keep her in your prayers!
I LOVE ASL.
Learning sign language was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It opens up an entire new world of people to talk to, and love! We went to a diner on Monday and saw a family signing next to us. They were the sweetest little family. They want to move to America because it's 'easier to be deaf' in America than in France. She was so touched that someone would take the time to stop and try to communicate with her kids, even in a foreign language. She says it's the first time anyone has ever done that. We ended up exchanging emails! My companion and I are practicing up on our sign language ;) So far, I have taught Soeur George, "Awkward" "OK" and "Jesus" in ASL. All of which are very useful as missionaries. Lol.
A member has been begging us to make her fudge. We couldn't get a recipe in time that didn't include marshmallows (which they don't have here). So instead, we whipped up a quick little Brazilian fudge-like dessert with Chocolate, coconut, and sweetened condensed milk. They loooovvvveeedddd it. Only, it was really awkward when the mom looked at her kids and says, "Guess what it is made with!?!"... "It starts with an M!!!"... "MARSHMALLOWS!!!!".... My companion and I looked at each either other with wide eyes and began to practice our "sign language" to let the other know, "Don't say ANYTHING!" (insert sweating emoji) Hahahaha. We got a good laugh about our "phony fudge" on the walk home.
When the District Leader Calls and there is a Man in the house...
The title explains it all. Hahahaha. Remember our "husband" (painter) Patrick? Well, he was here until 10:30 pm the other night... and happened to pipe up right as we answered our district leader call. He only freaked out a little... "Is there a man over there!?" Hahaha. We had some explaining to do. Oh Patrick, hahaha. We are gonna miss that guy. He is officially gone now, we are pretty sad... but our bathroom looks AMAZING! We also came home to find a roll of nice quality toilet paper because he saw we were too poor to afford the good kind hahaha. What a guy!
Fabienne... The "very stubborn catholic woman"
We found an Ancient Ami in our area book the other day and gave her a call to see if we could come over. The only notes on her were "Very stubborn French catholic woman. Will not change religions." When we got to her house, we found the sweetest and most open minded French woman either of us had ever met! We also found out that the last missionaries who came over, "Didn't speak or understand any French" Hahahah. Hmmm... everything makes sense now.
Isabelle and her Maid.
It was our first time seeing Isabelle since I got to Versailles and we could not figure out what we were supposed to teach her. We prayed and prayed to know, but our minds were just blank. Eventually, we settled on "Either" the Gospel of Jesus Christ or a review on the Restoration. However, the moment we stepped foot into her apartment, we knew what we needed to teach. Isabelle's new maid was in the back of the room doing her laundry. We taught the Restoration. At the end of the lesson, her maid says timidly... "I'm sorry to overhear... I'm just curious... What is the Book of Mormon?"
We are now teaching Charlotte as well!!!
Lou and Morgan.
Lou, my sweet Brazilian convert in Paris, showed up to church here on Sunday!! We were SO thrilled to see each other! She had no idea I was still there, and I thought she had moved back to Brazil! It was such a fun little reunion. Although I have to say, my favorite part was seeing her testify to Morgan, one of our current amis, about the church and her conversion story. The joy that comes from teaching and seeing a dear friend enter into the waters of baptism in inexplicable in itself. But it is a whole new level of joy to then see them invite others to do the same.
I love being a missionary.
Prepare yourselves for greatest and most accurate account of missionary life ever recorded.
Stephan, round THREE!!! Next prophet maybe?
Okay, you'll never believe it... only minutes after sending out my group email, we ran into Stephan... AGAIN!!! This seriously never happens in Paris. We couldn't even believe our eyes. We decided that either he is supposed to have a very very important calling in the church and needs to be baptized right now, OR, he is stalking us... hahaha. Both very possible...
Companionship Ring = Companionship Unity.
It's true. Ever since we bought our companionship rings, we seem to be significantly more unified. Monday we started our new transfer, thus motivating us to "Start Fresh". Part of that starting fresh was setting out on a quest to find our "Companionship Truc (thing)". We chose a giant gold thumb ring with a blue stone in the middle. Because it reminded us of one of our favorite mission movies (The Prince of Egypt) as well as one of our favorite before mission Series (Merlin). If you knew how much we quoted those movies... So, every time we do something awesome, we throw our thumbs in the air with our cute little Merlin rings on and yell something witty. Well, I guess it's not really that witty... we usually just yell, "YEAH!"... Hahahaha.
Saved by the Ring.
This week while making loads of treats, to take to members houses, my finger was sucked into the mixer (on the Turbo setting), twisted it all the way around, and then caught my new ring. The moment it hit my ring, it stopped. My ring had blocked the blades from chopping off my poor little finger! Oh my goodness. It was probably one of the biggest miracles of my mission. I seriously sat on the ground in the kitchen holding my swollen purple finger, that was somehow miraculously still attached to my hand, and just prayed!!! THANK YOU!!!!!... The Lord is looking after us. #YEAH
Emelie's First Blessing.
Emelie received her first priesthood blessing this week after an awesome lesson with the bishop and his family. We were all a little nervous when in the blessing he said... "I bless you to find work in the coming week". Hahaha. He was probably just as nervous when the Lord told him to say it!! Which is probably why he then sent out a job search email to the entire ward the very next morning. But hey!!! I'm looking forward to emailing home next week and telling you all about Emelie's new job!!! :D #YEAH
My companion and I have realized that one of our favorite bonding activities is watching movies during our dinner hour... the only problem is, you can imagine how slim your selection becomes when your options are limited to appropriate church made films. So, after having watched all of them, we came to the conclusion that Ephraim's Rescue is definitely the favorite. Therefore, we have watched Ephraim's Rescue almost every single dinner hour for the past 6 weeks, hahaha. Yes, we have it completely memorized... it's become a great joy to us. #YEAH
The Crazy Head-Petting Lady...that smelled like Flatbread.
We contacted a super crazy old woman who started crying and wouldn't stop petting our heads, necks, and chests, while calling us her "petit chouchous"... which is basically just a super weird pet name in French... Hahahaha. We were just a little freaked out...
As for the flatbread, that is another story in itself Hahaha. So we made a batch of buckwheat flatbread dough, and then left it on the counter over night (without thinking). I didn't like the taste and I could not handle the smell, so I didn't eat it. But my companion LOVED it. It didn't matter how many times I told her it smelt awful and "just like wine"... she has never smelt wine so it didn't make a difference to her hahaha. Well... as the days went on the awful smell got stronger and stronger, I felt sicker and sicker, and my companion ate more and more of that awful bread! Until finally, I stood up, walked into the kitchen, grabbed all the leftover dough, and chucked it in the trash Hahahaha. My companion was like, "What the!? why!?!" Then I showed her a verse I had just happened to read in the Bible that talked about fermenting yeast to make wine Hahahaha. I KNEW IT.
So, coming back to the old lady... my companion turns to me after she walks away and says, "Oh my goodness, was she drunk??....You were right!!! SHE TOTALLY SMELLED LIKE FLATBREAD!!!" #YEAH
Cookies for strangers - the accidental perfect recipe-
We tried to make cookies this week but used an awful recipe. They were SO salty!!! But we couldn't bring ourselves to throw it all out. So, we tried adding some water to re-soften the dough before adding more flour and butter to counterbalance the salt. They ending up being probably the best, fluffiest cookies I have ever accidentally made Hahahaha. So we loaded up our bags with them and gave them to everyone we met on the trains and on the road! #YEAH
Pioneer Women!...Speaking of Ephraim's Rescue...
We are currently having our entire bathroom redone. Meaning... no showers. Yes, this week we went a whole 6 days and 7 nights without showering Hahahaha. Oh my goodness, it was so dang funny. Luckily, Saturday afternoon, we were able to find a member who let us come over and take a shower at her house Lol. It was the teeniest tiniest shower I have ever seen in my life, but oh my goodness, it was the greatest shower of my entire life. I told my companion that I am going to start showering once every six days just so I will start enjoying every single shower as much as I enjoyed that one, Hahahaha.
The best part was when we were on our way to the church after our showers and my companion says, "Oh my goodness! You smell amazing!!".... I was dying. Of course I smelt amazing, I just showered for the first time in a week!! Hahahaha.
We now schedule shower rendezvous along with our teaching rendezvous 😂 #YEAH
A 3-Euro Pack of Tissues.
There was a Deaf man on the train who was trying to sell little packs of 5 tissues for 3 Euros. Hahaha, that's almost a euro per tissue!! But, for those of you who know me... I have a soft spot for the Deaf community, as I have many dear friends who are Deaf. So yes, I bought a 3 Euro pack of tissues. But it was so worth it. I was able to sign with him and find out that he was Ukrainian! He was so excited when I began to sign to him, there are very few people here who are familiar with sign language. So even though it was American Sign Language and not Ukrainian sign language, he was thrilled to have someone to talk to :). When he got off the train, all the people who were not interested in talking to us before, suddenly had looaads of questions, hahaha. #YEAH
Our Husband Patrick.
We make jokes about our painter being like our husband because he has a key to our apartment and every time we leave, he is there, and when we return, he is there, when we sleep, he is often still there, Lol. Then, when he isn't there, he leaves little notes on our refrigerator to let us know he will be back soon, hahaha. It's been kind of funny. My companion and I were all ready for bed the other night but he wasn't gone yet, so we turned on a little Ephraim's Rescue. 10:15 rolls around and we looked at each other wide-eyed... "This is the latest we have had a man over since before the mission..."
We have been having a lot of fun "teaching" Patrick. And when I say "teaching" I mean... downloading all of the general conference sessions in French and playing them full volume all day while he works in the apartment. Hahaha. We are pretty sneaky. #YEAH
American burgers and fries!
I ate my very first burger the other day in at least 16 months! Although it was a chicken burger, not an all American beef burger 🍔. It was sooo good. The best part was when the waiter asked us how many we were and we said two... then he escorted us to a booth full of men, with two empty spots left open Hahahaha. #FrenchLogic #ItwasntadateIpromise
Yusong ... the lesson and the bust...
We taught a lesson to this incredible young Chinese girl we met on the RER. The lesson went so well, she even invited us to this big "Christian Party" with all of her Christian friends to share the spiritual message of the night. Needless to say, we were stoked out of our minds. Until she called us the next day to tell us we were a cult... brain washed... not even Christian... and devil worshippers... #yeah....
The Dead Alarm...
My Alarm clock died in the middle of the night. Next thing we knew, it was almost 8:00 am. We accidentally slept in. I don't know if I have ever felt so guilty for anything in my entire life. I spent at least 20 Minutes that morning on my knees, asking the Lord to forgive me for my stupidity in not checking to make sure it was plugged in before going to bed. We even made ourselves wake up 30 minutes earlier the next day and grounded ourselves from watching Ephraim for an entire 24 hours. I can assure you, we have never worked harder in our entire missions than we did during the rest of that day, Hahahaha. NO ONE was getting past us without hearing the message of the Restored gospel!!! #YEAH
That same crazy day, we met an incredible new ami named Joachine. After we taught the restoration she looked at us and said, "I am here to do the will of God. I will read this book and ask him if it is his will that I leave my church and come to yours. And if he says yes, I will drop everything and come without delay. I want to do his will."
After our lesson, we only had 3 minutes to sprint 800 meters to our departing train. In pencil skirts and heels, with our bags. Somehow, in praying the entire way there, we were able to jump on the train right as the doors closed behind us. The last train of the night. It was seriously a miracle. I also have asthma here because the pollution is so bad...I coughed up a storm and almost threw up on the RER. Of course it was the one day I left my inhaler in the apartment. Haha. Luckily, miracle number two, I managed to get my breathing under control without it.
Emelie Quitting Tea!
Emelie came to church yesterday, not having drank her morning tea for the first time!!!It was amazing! She turned to me during the meeting and said she was going to have to drink it because her headache was so bad. I told her that she couldn't because she had already made it so far. Hahaha. What did she do? She, in return, made the deal with me that she wouldn't drink Tea if I didn't eat sugar...so I accepted... let me tell you, holy smokies. It's hard. Sugar is in EVERYTHING. Seriously, the things we do for our investigators. Hahaha. #YEAH
Emelie approached me after church yesterday to ask if I could schedule a family night with a few of the member families in the ward that she felt something special around. "Of course!! Who with!? :)" I responded... She continued to point them out to me in the congregation.... of course she points to The family Babin, My mission President, the Family Benezar, member of the quorum of the seventy, and the Family Caussé, presiding bishop of the entire Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Hmm, I understand why you feel something special around those guys! I'll get on that!...(insert sweating emoji). Hahaha. #YEAH
And thus ended the first week of my eleventh transfer. #MissionLyf
Xoxo- Soeur Wyson
Transfer calls came! Soeur George and I will be staying together here in Versailles! Which is pretty crazy because it is the first time I have stayed with the same companion for more than one transfer since the very beginning of my mission...4 areas, 10 companions, 11 transfers! Let's goooo!
Emelie and the Bendios- a Skype Backup Plan:
The Bendio's (an adorable mission office couple) came to teach with us after having a very rough day. It was the first opportunity they have had to teach with the missionaries since they arrived in France, so they were very excited. They told us that our call to teach with us was the best thing that had happened to them all day. Well...after being stood up by our investigators, we quickly put our heads together to come up with a back up plan to save the day before everyone's spirits sunk too low. However, it was too late to do contacting or passby's. After a few prayers, we got a little spontaneous and tried calling one of our investigators by skype to see if she was available for a lesson. Lucky for us, she was!! We ended up having a lovely Skype lesson that night with Emelie and the Bendio's.
The Simple Skirt:
A woman got on the train and my companion complimented her outfit. Her response?... "Yeah... well, I can tell you're a sister because your skirt is just... simple." Then she got up, and left. Hahahaha. I don't know why I got such a good laugh out of that, but I laughed for the rest of the train ride! Those darn H&M pencil skirts are making us look like nuns, Hahahaha.
The Book Club:
Sometimes, contacting is hard... especially when you have been doing it for 6-8 hours straight. You begin to run out of things to say to people! We split up on the train for one last contact of the night... and I wanted to try something new. Instead of looking for the people who were "ready to chat" (i.e. no earphones, no instagram/facebook, no friends to chat with, no books, etc.) I was going to seek out the most distracted group on the train, and join them! It didn't take long before I spotted my prey. There, sitting in a circle, were three grown women engulfed in their romance novels. I took a seat in the middle of them, and graciously whipped out mine (Le Livre De Mormon). As I began studying it's pages, the surrounding eyes began to pry themselves from their own novels, to inspect the strange nature of the book by which I was so captivated. One of the woman boldly struck up a conversation with me. We talked for the next 30 minutes before I had to get off the train. Although she wasn't interested or believing in God, as I stood up to leave, she smiled at me and said, "You know...It is because of that book, that you are so intelligent."
Even though she wasn't ready at that moment, I have a strong feeling she is going to come around :).
The burping man:
Have you ever tried to focus in a contact while an old man is burping in your ear the ENTIRE bus ride home?
Praying to find a bathroom... finding the celestial kingdom.
Over the past 15 months, I have found myself praying for some pretty strange things. Though, I believe one of my strangest invocations was made this week and went something along the lines of... "Father, I know free public bathrooms don't exist in France... but I am broke and moments away from wetting my skirt...please provide."
Within moments, my companion and I found ourselves being led into a FREE and spotless public bathroom, with shiny toilettes, hand dryers, drinking fountains (never seen in France), classical music, free lotion AND shoe polishers... it truly was a celestial bathroom. Miracles happen...and public bathrooms exist... EVEN IN FRANCE!!
The French Philosopher Man.
Sometimes spiritual promptings come when you least expect them. Like when you're on an empty bus in the middle of nowhere and the spirit tells you to get off. So we got off the bus, only to find that we had just gotten off of the very last bus that would pass anywhere near that area for the rest of the night...Hahahaha. Then of course it started raining--you know, just for dramatic effect ;). After a few minutes of standing in the cold rain and laughing at the irony of the entire situation, a French Philosopher man named Stephan came running to catch the bus (which he missed). After making a few upset phone calls to the bus stations, he accepted the fact that he was going to have to walk to the nearest station, which was about an hours walk from where we were. As he turned to leave he looked at us and said, "Are you going to accompany me? Time will pass faster in conversation." So we followed him all they way to the station and talked about the church the ENTIRE way!!! :D I have never been so happy to be so cold and wet hahaha. It gets even better... once we got to the station, we took the same train for another 45 minutes together...then he took our card...THEN he texted us to fix another rendezvous!! (Almost never happens). Then, the best part of all... we ran into him again the next day! IN PARIS!!! What are the odds!?! We were (and still are) extremely excited.
More Trajet (transportation) Contacting.
We met a woman named Iris and we began talking about the Bible on the train. After having talked with her for a while, we exchanged numbers and she got off the train. Immediately after she left, the man who had been sitting across from us, asked permission to slide into her seat and continue the conversation he had just overheard.
Nadine was born into a Muslim family but has never been practicing. Instead, he has spent many years trying to understand the Bible and attend Catholic Mass. He asked if we were here to help people understand the Bible. We told him of course. Then we presented him a Book of Mormon and talked about how it and the Bible support each other. He very gladly accepted it, gave us his number, and fixed a rendezvous with us for the coming week.
A Day in the MTC.
Soeur George and I were invited to help with a "future" missionary training day in Paris. We spent the entire day practice teaching and interacting with all the youth who are preparing to serve missions. It was a blast being able to see and talk to so many of the youth from the Angers Ward (my first area). Although strange because they all suddenly have a whole lot more personality now that I actually understand French, hahaha.
My Muslim Doppelgänger.
This woman and her husband were sitting across from me in the train and they were staring at me as if I were a ghost. They talked about me in Arabic for about 5 minutes while staring me straight in the eyes before I finally got uncomfortable enough to say laughing.."Quoiiiiiii?!" (What). They began laughing as soon as they realized how uncomfortable I was. Then they started reciting a part of the Koran to me that talks about doppelgängers. Apparently my doppelgänger is a Muslim woman who lives in Morocco. They seriously couldn't believe their eyes when they saw me!! They didn't stop talking about how weird it was the entire time I was on the train, about 45 minutes hahaha. I must REALLY look like her! Lol.
Well, the rest of this week's stories just might have to wait until next week, this email is getting pretty lengthy. Gros bisous à tous!
Je vous embrasse,
Sœur T. Wyson
Bonjour à tous! I hope you all had a lovely first week of the new year! If it was maybe a little less than lovely... "Bienvenue au club!" hahaha, but let's make week two a week of miracles, shall we? :)
This week about half of our investigators dropped off of the face of the planet, while the other 1/4 of them dropped us off the planet. Luckily, we still have the remaining 1/4 to keep working with, and 3/4 to find!! Woo hoo!! :D Those weeks happen. One of the best things about times like these are, they always leave us with a good story for our Weeklys ;)...
We were on our way home after a pretty rough day when, out of complete exhaustion (and some laziness), we decided to take the elevator up to our 'first floor' apartment. As we listened in silence to the classic elevator music, I read to myself a sign that said (in awfully large print)... "WET PAINT"... without even a moment of delay, I placed my little fingers right on the wall next to the sign... you know...just to make sure it was still wet...
"Hmm...Indeed," I thought to myself. It was, in fact, very wet paint.
When I realized what I had done, my pupils doubled in size. I was completely mortified... I had just done EXACTLY what President Uchtdorf, an apostle of God, had spoken of in one of his recent conference addresses... "Tell a man there are trillions of stars in the universe, and he’ll believe you. Tell him there’s wet paint on the wall, and he’ll touch it just to be sure."
As I stared at the embarrassing evidence stained across my finger tips, President Uchtdorf's following question echoed in my mind..."Aren't we ALL a little bit like this?"
This silly experience was memorable for several reasons...
Gros bisous à vous tous!!
Bonne Année à tout le monde !!
Spoiler Alert: Bad Joke Ahead...
Wow, I haven't talked to y'all since Last YEAR. Haha. That's a classic.
I hope you all enjoyed 2016 as much as I did! It's quite bitter sweet because this is indeed the last email I will be writing as a missionary in 2016! So, let's take a look at some of our final 2016 Miracles and stories, shall we? :)
A four-hour long rendezvous and a BAPTISM COMING SOON!
This week we set a baptismal date with our lovely new Ami Emelie!! She invited us to come eat lunch at her house on Wednesday and during that four hours we covered just about every missionary lesson in the book. Haha! It was so great! As soon as we got there she pulled out a journal packed full of notes and questions that she had taken from the brochures and the Book of Mormon that we had given her, AWESOME! It took four full hours to go through all of them. Then, last but not least, we closed the lesson by inviting her to be baptized on January 21st :) She lit up and said with a smile, "Really!? You can help me be ready that soon!?" I immediately jumped up from the table and threw my arms around her, I just love her so much!
The Missionary Window Spectacular.
Our apartment windows are enormous. The best part is, so are all our neighbors' hahaha. It makes for great night time people watching. They stare at us, and we stare back. Although on Friday Night we decided to spice up the party a bit and do a little "Charleston" for our “across” neighbors' kids hahaha. We turned on some music and danced our way back to the 1920s, waving in the window to the kids while they ate dinner. They thought it was SO funny, they all started jumping up from the dinner table and dancing too! Which led to the father whipping around and looking to see what was causing his children to lose their table manners, oops. We dove to the side where he couldn't see us, until he turned around and we jumped back out to start dancing a second time Hahahaha. Sure enough, the kids leapt back up! Okay... maybe we shouldn't have encouraged them, but it was just so dang funny!
With all of the alcohol wasted citizens wandering the streets this weekend, we thought it would be the perfect time to test out a new contacting method. We call it, "W.O.W" contacting... Or in other words, Word of Wisdom contacting. They great part about W.O.W contacting is that you don't even need to contact anyone, because they are all so drunk that they just walk right up and start talking to you! My second favorite part is when they tell you they are drunk and you respond with... "Hmm... you know that's very bad for your health!" Rather than what you're thinking... "Wait, You're drunk? I never would have guessed!" Hahaha. My companion and I actually had the opportunity to teach the Word of Wisdom to the entire Bus this weekend after being contacted by a group of drunk men, Lol. It was great!
3 Closing Prayers? Why not!
We met with our cute new ami Linda on Saturday. Linda is a young woman about our age who we met a couple of weeks ago on the train. She came to the church and we gave her a little tour of the chapel before sitting down for our lesson. At the end of the lesson we invited her to try praying for the very first time. Surprisingly, she said yes without even a moment of hesitation! She said a simple, yet very beautiful, prayer and then finished with a great big smile on her face and says, "Ahh! Can we do that again!?" I have never gotten a response quite like that! It was so cute! So then I said the next prayer! At the end of that prayer, she looks at my companion and says, "Now can you say one in English!?" Hahaha. So, we finished our lesson with a solid 3 prayers in a row! That's definitely a record for us both.
New Years Eve with the Bendios!
We spent NYE with one of our very favorite mission couples serving here. It was easily the best New Years Eve I have ever had. They are the sweetest. We ate some yummy American food, exchanged family photos, and finished off with a BYU Christmas production :). By the time we got home (about 9:30) my companion and I were too exhausted to count down for the New year, so instead, we went to bed and then took a few minutes before personal studies the next morning and counted down with everyone back home who is eight hours behind us haha :). Best of both worlds! We got the countdown AND a full eight hours of sleep!
1 Year. 1 Resolution. 9 forty-day fasts.
Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to complete 9 different, forty-day fasts. Which was my 2016 New Years resolution. These fasts included things such as: fasting from negativity, from stress, from unhappiness, from sugar, and many more! It's been a wonderful year! I wish I had the time to share all that I have learned over this past year, but that would take every single P-day for the rest of the 2017! I also might need it for my homecoming talk :) Although, there is one fast that I would like to share today--I titled my final fast of 2016, "40 days of Loving others More than Myself". It was quite the eye opener as it made me aware of just how many of the things that I said and did each day that were driven by selfish intentions. After having completed this forty day fast on Christmas Day, I decided that it is something I needed to work on for much longer than forty days. In fact, it's something I could work on for an eternity! But I figure 2017 is a good start :) So, I have dedicated this new year as, "The Year of Loving Others More Than Myself".
I love you all so much. Thanks you for the incredible support you have been to me this past year. I would also like to wish a Happy Birthday to the greatest not-so-little brother in the World. I love you Jayden! Remember... even though you are turning sixteen... that doesn't mean you HAVE to start dating girls yet ;)...
I feel very honored to have had the opportunity to serve as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the France, Paris Mission.