Bonjour tout les monde! J’espère que vous allez bien!!
Oh la vache! (Holy Cow!) Where do I begin?! Our last few days in the MTC and our first few days in France were bizarre! We got no sleep for about 3 days in a row because our trio companion, Soeur Landavery, had to be dropped off for her plane at 3:30 am on Monday morning! The next time we had the chance to sleep was in PARIS! #jetlag... We we got to the airport after our 10 hour flight. Our mission president and his wife greeted us with a pain au chocolaté--which is an AMAZING French patisserie--ummm WELCOME to FRANCE! From the airport, they drove us back to the mission office for lunch and we had really yummy quiches and fun little salads. Normally we would have taken the métro but because of the attacks here, they don't want groups of missionaries parading around town together. From there, we went out contacting in Versailles in companionships of 2 with the sister training leaders in Paris. We got hit on by some creepy garbage truck drivers, that was pretty weird...good thing I didn't understand anything they were saying! ha! Count your blessings right? The first time I contacted someone was a little awkward, she was by a little lady with a baby boy and I introduced myself and when I said I was from the United States she goes, "Hey me too!!"... then she starts speaking to me in English... haha wait, they didn't teach me to do this in ENGLISH in the MTC... AHHH!! After her we contacted about 7 more people and got 3 of their numbers and had lessons with all 7 of them, IN THE POORING RAIN! It was so cool! The work is really moving along in the cities closer to Paris right now so that is super awesome! I wish I could say the same for the work here in the south haha! I have some interesting stories for you today about the city that I am stationed in hahah ;)
After contacting, we walked to the mission home and had dinner there. It was lasagna with fresh FRENCH CHEESE! It was the best lasagna I have ever had in my life... don't worry, I just had a tiny portion ;) The food is heaven here, need I say more? Bring on the pounds!!... just kidding, I have actually lost weight since being here! The French eat incredible food, but in small amounts, and then we walk everywhere!
President Babin dropped us sisters off at a cute little French hotel for our first night in France. I "sat" on the bed to take my shoes off... next thing you know, I was out cold! haha. Ohhh jet lag...Also, after the MTC, it is pretty safe to say that the beds in the hotel were the most comfortable beds ever!! haha. I woke up around 10:00 that night because they let us go to bed at 6 and I was like...where am I?! Then I looked out the window and saw a row of little French stores and a cobble stone street and I wanted to cry...tears of joy of course...I am in Paris!! It was the best wake up call I have ever had. Not to mention our hotel breakfast consisted of fresh crêpes and fruit with home-made jam.
Finally, what you have all been waiting for... I have been called to serve in a beautiful Ville (city) in the south of my mission called "Angers" pronounced "On-zhay". Everyone in the mission was jealous when I was called to be "born" (start my mission) in Angers. Because, Angers is known as the land of castles because there are sooo many giant castles here! It is amazing! It's a good thing too being surrounded by beautiful castles and wonderful food because it makes getting rejected feel a lot less painful! haha! We contacted EVERY single woman we passed on the street and we didn't get a single "rendez-vous", in fact, no one would even give us the time of day...What do you mean you're not interested? Don't you want to have eternal happiness!?
We live right in an apartment right above a Boulangerie, so every morning, afternoon, and evening, our apartment smells like fresh patisseries, yumm, it's a pretty nice wake up call in the morning, even though I eat cereal every day, it makes me feel like I am enjoying something much more extravagant ;).
The other day I was stopped on the street by a toothless man and he kept trying to offer me a half eaten block of cheese that was covered in dirt and a little piece of a baguette that he was holding in his hands hahaha, "No Merci"... He was very persistent! He was really nice though! He, along with everyone else on the street was very sincere when telling us...it's okay, even though we were Mormons, because "God loves all his children...EVEN YOU!"....oh la la...LOL.
So the water heater in our apartment doesn't work. We have to manually light the flame in the kitchen every time we want hot water...the worst is when it goes out in the middle of your shower BRRR! But, our apartment is really nice and quite big! We are right in Centre Ville overlooking the city. There are tons of Christmas lights up right now and there is a bunch of cute little red and blue shops set up for Christmas with lights and Christmas trees everywhere! It is kind of like an outdoor version of the Dickens Festival, but even better because it is French...it is called "Marche de Noel"
They are very festive here in Angers! There are so many people at Marche de Noel! But, sadly... we can't go because of the attacks:( we can't go near big public events or touristy places until after New Years, for safety reasons. So, I just admire the festivites from my window...It makes me feel kind of like the hunchback..."Just give me one day out there! All I ask is onnneee!!" hahaha. At least we can hear Maria Carey playing in the streets! haha. We are allowed to listen to any "nice" music here which is super awesome. We can listen to disney, Pentatonix Christmas, Michael Buble, Justin Bieber Christmas, etc. etc. hahah, our mission president REALLY likes music. Sometimes we listen to the Frozen soundtrack in French while we workout, that is really fun haha.
My new companion, Soeur Curtis, is from Spanish Fork Utah and she is a sweetheart! We are sooo much alike when it comes to things we enjoy doing, eating, singing, etc. She is my "Mom" (trainer) and I am her "blue" (new missionary). We always cook really awesome healthy meals together and we haven't had a meal fail yet so we are doing great ;)! She has been out for 13 months so her time out here is winding down! Our favorite "treat" is something that a member taught to us...we slice up beets with French dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, and another French balsamic reduction... yummmy! It is really great, and healthy! We have also made a few different kinds of quiche and some other fun French foods that I will send pictures of! Also, a member taught us how to make ratatouille! We are going to make that sometime soon, I am super stoked!
Saturday was totally awesome! it was really long at first but then miracles started happening! we were heading home after a very long day of rejection and we decided to stop in one more place for one more port (door)... We called into the building and finally someone rung us in! We went up to their door and then they didn't answer!... curse the peep holes...they must have seen that we were missionaries! Well, we decided to frappe (hit) every port in the building while we were there and everyone there either ignored us or they closed the doors on our faces. Then I tripped down the stairs and twisted my ankle... the story gets better don't worry. I limped out of the building and we started to make our way home...it was a slow and cold process, LUCKILY! Because, on the way, we ran into a woman on the street and she was really nice to us and she let us pray with her! When we finished we gave her a Book of Mormon and she couldn't believe we were giving it to her for free! haha. So she asked where our church was and then said that she was going to read it and then return it to us after she finished it! haha, we weren't going to argue with that, as long as she was going to read it!
The next miracle happened no more than ten minutes later, we were walking home and when we passed the bus I saw, through the window, a family signing together! Is that sign language I see? Jump on that bus! QUICK!... I was able to jump in and sign with this family while speaking French with the dad and we were able to communicate even though French sign is different than American sign! It was amazing! I told them why we were here in France and how I know sign langauge and they were SO excited! They said that they would love to teach me French sign language if I was interested and that we could meet in a cafe around the corner every week to practice! I said that I would absolutely love to learn but that if we did that, we would need to share a message with them about the gospel and they thought that sounded great! They asked for our number and they told us that they would call us soon so set up a time! Here's to hoping!!! It was a family of 4, a boy, a girl, and the parents. They were sooo sweet.
My first Sunday in France was perfect because it was the primary program and the little kids spoke so simple and slowly haha, it was a really nice break for my brain! I was able to understand everything!;) The ward is adorable! Bisous (kisses) all around! There are 140 members in the ward!! It is huge!...Well, not compared to Utah...but for France, wow! Everyone laughs that I am from Utah because they say "Toujours" which means like "always" or of course because apparently that is where all the missionaries are from hahaha.
My last story for the day is a crazy one... We missed our bus home from church so we had to walk and we ran into a super crazy lady, who was VERY catholic. She started yelling at us saying that we worshipped the "Diable"...I wanted to pipe in with "Ummm, excuse my french..." but, luckily, my language abilities are pretty limited as of now. But, I got to the point where I just broke down and started crying because she was being SO mean! She went dead silent and immediately ran up to me and grabbed both of my hands and held them really tight and close to her. She was asking tons of questions like, "What is wrong? is it your family? Are you far away from where you are supposed to be?!" and my personal favorite... "My Dear child, Have you been baptized?!"...Well I looked her directly in the eyes and I bore my testimony to her with my whole heart. When I finished, she was silent. The three of us just sat there and then I asked if I could close with a prayer just to bless her family, she said yes. I explained prayer and then I closed my eyes and just gave a very simple prayer.
When I finished she looked at me and said..."Do you feel that spirit?...I think that we have crossed paths for a reason... you poor girl, you need to find the truth and stop following the devil! I will help you! She then dug through her purse and handed me a necklace with Mary on it and she started reciting a bunch of catholic prayers in French...I had NO idea what was going on! haha!! Honestly I thought that it was going in a completely different direction once she said we crossed paths for a reason... ha! Oh well, it made for a really great story!"
Well, that was my crazy first week in France!! I hope you enjoyed it hahah :) I can't wait to share even more stories with all of you!! I love you all so much! I love this gospel so so much and I am so grateful to be here on a mission. It's not easy, but I never thought it was going to be!
....I will send pictures later!! Which doesn't really matter because you will all still be sleeping anyways hahah :)
Thank you for the emails and pictures! I LOVE them! PLEASE send more pictures! They are so fun to show the people here! :
Bonjour Ma Famille!!! Comment Allez Vous?
I am going to start out by apologizing for the shorter email today; I have three p-days this week so I can pack all my stuff up and get ready to go so you will be hearing from me a lot this week! I will be emailing on Saturday as well as Monday morning right before I leave! Woot woot!
I am sure many of you have heard about the terrible things that have been happening in Paris and I have received emails of concern from many of you. Thank you for your concern and love! It was a quiet couple of days among our districts as we mourned for our dear brothers and sisters in France. I know that we all feel very broken hearted not only because it is a tragic event, but also because ever since we received our mission calls, we have felt that the French people are our people and our families as well. We love them so dearly and we are praying for their safety and peace. We feel so grateful that the Lord is allowing us to serve the people of France during this time of great tragedy. I know that we have been saved for this time so that we would be able to share the great joy of the gospel of Jesus Christ into their lives. As far as our safety, I know that the Lord takes care of his missionaries and that as long as we are obedient, we will be protected and blessed with opportunities to serve the people who have been affected in any way by this tragic event. We are preparing to leave to Paris Monday morning at 11:30 and we will be on a direct flight to Paris, we are very excited! We are so glad that the airways into France were opened back up so that our flight didn't need to be delayed and we can get out there and help as soon as possible! :)
The other night, some sisters in my zone from Madagascar and Vanuatu braided my hair hahha, tiniest, tiniest corn rows ever!!! It was soooo cool! I am going to send a ton of pictures that I took of it, I wish I could do it every day! There was a branch president in the Lunch room that saw my hair and told me that the church needed to get me on their website because he thought it was so sweet haha. That was pretty funny. It felt a little weird having my hair like that though because it kind of felt like I was bald! I felt all the wind and everything on my head, BURR! It was totally worth it though. The elders in my zone started calling me "Ronda Rousey", after a famous woman fighter, like "MMA" or something like that haha! Oh dear...! It was pretty sweet, I did look pretty scary though, I don't think anyone dared to disagree with anything I said while my hair was like that!
I left the braids in for a few days and then took them out and I had a HUGE AFRO!! I put on my companions glasses and I looked just like the girl from princess diaries before she was transformed into the princess...or Belatrix from Harry Potter if I took my makeup off. HA! It was the coolest thing ever, I have always wanted an afro! One of the elders said, "Woah! I thought you looked black before but WOAH! Now I am not sure if you're even Caucasian!" hahaha. Don't worry, I took lots and lots of pictures! I was so proud of it. I have never gotten more compliments on my hair in my life!
The other day was a bit rough because there is a district in our zone that is really struggling. That night, a sister in my zone came into my room right before lights out and I could tell she was about to break down. So, I took her into the hall in a private area to find our what was going on and what I could to to help her. Well, basically, without sharing anything too confidential...her companion has been a big trouble maker ever since they got here; she seems to think that none of the rules here apply to her, I mean none of them! Then I find out that she has been hitting her companion and she is terrified of her now! Well, you can imagine that I was pretty upset...but, it was too late at night to deal with things then and I wanted to make sure that I addressed the situation in the most Christ-like manner possible. So, the next morning I went with the other sister training leaders and called branch president to talk about the things that had been going on. Then, after discussing everything, the branch president looked at me and said... "Sister Wyson, we were talking about you in the presidency meeting this morning and we decided that we need to keep you here, serving in the MTC, for the full 18 months." (with a completely serious face)...I got a little nervous for a second and then he continued with, "Because, whenever something needs to be taken care of then we always say 'call Sister Wyson, she'll get it done! or 'call Sister Wyson, she's not afraid to say something!" hahaha I just said..."Thank you President, but you can thank my dad for that!!!" But then he looked at me and said, "Well, Sister Wyson, I trust that you would know exactly what to do with this sister missionary. I want you to tell me what you want me to do. Whether you think we should send her home or do something else, you tell me and I will do it."...Well, you can imagine the anxiety I was feeling at this moment... I think my mind was full of things like...*Why on Earth would he trust me to make a decision that would determine this sister’s future?! Is he crazy?! What do I say?!* and then a peaceful feeling came over me and the spirits words entered into my mind...."What would the Savior do?"...I looked up at the president and then at my companion, and the only word that I could think to say was, "Love". Whatever the Savior would do or has done, is always done in love for us. So I asked the branch president if we could pray and in the prayer I asked Heavenly Father to bless us with Christ-like love, and the ability to address this situation as our Savior would.
This story could go on forever, but the most important thing, is that what we did, we did with love, as the savior would. Because of this, attitudes, lives, and the entire situation was changed for the better. We have been able to witness miracles in this companionship and district as they have come to realize what it means to be a representative of Jesus Christ.
I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to learn and grow so much from serving in this calling. I am overwhelmed with love for each and every missionary in my zone as we have the opportunity to serve them. It can be very difficult at times, but I am so grateful for those challenges. Without them, I wouldn't be able to grow to be the kind of representative that I want to be for my savior. My dad wrote me a letter and he mentioned something along the lines of, we need to spend less time talking, and more time doing... I absolutely love this. I was reading from the bible yesterday and I read a passage in the Epistle of James that said, "be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only..." The Savior taught many lessons during his Earthly Ministry but how many of those lessons where taught only through words? The Savior was a "Doer", he taught by his example. He didn't just teach his Father's words, he lived them! I came up with this little jingle that I wrote on a sticky note in this chapter that goes, "A 'doer' doesn't just 'do', he 'does'!"...endure to the end! I have set this as a new goal for myself, to be a DOER! :)
I love you so much and I look forward to emailing you again on Saturday!
Thank you for all of the letters and emails, they are such a blessing!! I appreciate them so so much. You are all so wonderful and I miss you all so much! Love you!
Avec BEAUCOUP de Amour,
Tracie! (I miss using my name.. haha)
Goooood morning everyone!
It's freezing snowy/rainy today so I am very grateful that it is my preparation day so that I can wear sweatpants! BURRR!!...what's the weather like back home?! I LOVE hearing from all of you about how things are rollin' back at home, so keep the letters coming while they are cheap! I have a feeling I won't be getting them in 13 DAYS when I am in France...But it is a sacrifice I am willing to make ;) France here I come!
This week hasn't been the most eventful as far as funny/interesting stories go...I am beginning to feel like I am living the movie "Groundhog Day" when everyone is reliving the same day over and over and over again. Hahaha. The food is getting a little old, haha, I have started eating cereal every night for dinner. But, I am really lucky because since I have a dairy allergy, I have a free pass to eat in the Diet Room woot woot!!! This is super awesome because while everyone else is eating freezer food that the cafeteria cooks up, I am eating home cooked meals that are tailored to my needs! Everyone is pretty jealous of me. The food in that room is seriously AMAZING. Not to mention they have this dairy-free coconut milk ice cream that they make fresh everyday with coconut milk, honey, and vanilla extract topped with almonds!! It is heavenly. I let some of the girls in my zone try it and they were on the verge of tears, that's how good it is. So you better believe I will be making that for the “fam” when I get home! ;)
So last week I told you that I was called to be a sister training leader and that we were getting a bunch of new sisters that week...well they are here!! We also got another international sister from Madagascar today!!! (Mada-Who-Ha?)!! About 17 new sisters will be coming in next week as well which is totally bizarre because then we will have about 40 sisters in our zone! That's a lot of interviews! haha. Good thing I have my companions! I was talking to some friends who are sister leaders for other zones and most of them have between 5-9 sisters in their zone, they couldn't believe how many we have! We absolutely love and adore our "babies," but holy smokes... being a sister-training-leader is wayyyyy harder than we expected. It's hard because, along with the deep love that we have for these sisters, comes deep heartache when we see them struggling through the many challenges of a mission and of life in general. Challenges that we couldn't possibly know how to comfort them. But, that is why we are so blessed to be able to lean on the Savior to comfort us through those challenges. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we are not only able to be forgiven of our sins, but we know that through him, we can always find peace and comfort because he has already experienced all of our trials and heartaches so that he would know how to succor us in our time of need.
When President Neil L. Anderson came to speak to us the other week, he told us a story of when he was a mission president for the France, Lyon mission. During this time, he noticed that many of his missionaries were struggling and he felt so overwhelmed because he wanted to help them, but he just didn't know how. So, he knelt down in his office and pleaded with the Lord to help him to know how to comfort those missionaries. Then, the peaceful words of the spirit entered into his mind and The Lord reminded him..."You don't have to worry about their suffering. You didn't call them, I did. If they want their suffering relieved, Let them come to me." What a beautiful reminder to us that all we need to do to make our burdens light is turn to the Lord, our Savior, Jesus Christ. I have truly felt this love and blessing as I have been in the MTC. I heard another quote that I loved, I believe it was Elder Holland but I am not positive...it said, "Missions are a struggle, but it is a blessing to struggle in his name."
The other day, Soeur Hodgman and I taught a lesson to an old man from Paris who doesn't speak ANY English, and let me tell you...the gift of tongues (being blessed to miraculously speak French) is extremely difficult to comprehend, but it is very, very, very REAL! It was so special because on Sunday I fasted to receive such a gift and I received a promise in my heart from the spirit that if I bore my testimony in French, even though it wasn't perfect, that The Lord would bless me to be able to speak French. Well, you can imagine how quickly I jumped up there after such a promise! I bore my testimony of missionary work and the Atonement of Jesus Christ and it came out beautifully. I truly felt the spirit guiding my words and helping me to speak smoothly and know what I should say and how to say it. The next day, I kind of just expected that I would receive the gift of tongues to be honest... I had A LOT of faith in that promise...But, The Lord works in mysterious ways. In fact, it is safe to say that last Monday was the worst, and most difficult day of my mission thus far. I went from "Bonne" to "Horrible" in every aspect of my French. I couldn't speak or understand ANYTHING in any of our lessons or classes. The only thing I could thing to say was, "Pourquoi Moi?!" aka "Why Me?!" I have been strong through the past month of my mission but this really broke me; I sat on the bathroom floor (gross right?) and just sobbed. I felt that God had either forgotten me, or he was trying to teach me something, and I know that God doesn't forget his children, so I set out to learn what is was that he was trying to teach me. I didn't learn what is was in that same day. I didn't learn it the next day either. But, I pressed forward in faith that the answer would come in time, The Lord's time. 3 days later, I was blessed with the gift of the language as I was teaching that old French man. As I taught by the spirit, I shared a story of my childhood and bore testimony of the power of prayer and the way God speaks to us through the Holy Ghost. I read aloud from 3 Nephi 18:20 which reads, "And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you." I then went on to share this experience... (excuse the simplicity, I am going to try and translate it as directly as I can from what I said)...
"When I was about five years old, my church teacher asked a question..."How do you know that you are a child of God?" I didn't really know the answer, so I decided to pray and ask God. That night by my bedside, I prayed to know if I was a child of God. I started to cry. I cried because I felt the peaceful words of the Holy Ghost in my heart saying, 'Yes'. Because of this experience, I have learned, and I know, that I am a child of God."
Though very simple, this story, accompanied by the spirit, touched this man's heart and he began to testify of how the spirit played into his own conversion. He then stopped and asked..."Why don't we always receive answers to our prayers immediately?" In that moment, the scripture Ether 12:6 came into me mind, so I turned to it and read the words, "Car vous ne recevez de temoinage qu'apres la mise a l'epreuve de votre foi."..."For ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith."
It wasn't until then, that I understood what it was that the Lord wanted me to learn...That Monday, that horrible, horrible Monday, was a big trial of my faith. I had prayed and fasted for the gift of tongues and I received the exact opposite. But, by pressing forward in faith, I was able to "reap the rewards of faith" as it says in Alma 32, and teach this man with the gift of tongues and under the powerful influence of the spirit. I taught for more that 15 minutes without any notes, without stopping to gather my thoughts or conjugate verbs, I simply spoke by the spirit...I am so grateful that the Lord allowed me to go through this trial of faith so that I could learn and gain my own testimony of this principle of faith, just as I will be asking my investigators to do the same.
After the lesson, we learned that the man we taught had just been released from the France Paris mission presidency! He came up to me after with what little English he knew and he said, "Soeur Wyson is a good man." haha :) He then shook my hand and walked away with my teacher. He left a very, very sweet note with Frere Adams. --Family, I am going to sent this note home so that Natali can translate it for you but it is way too long for me to type and translate now haha. :)
Well family, I love you so much and I feel so blessed to have each and every one of you in my life. You are all so wonderful! Thank you for all of the sweet letters and packages! They make me so so so happy. Mom, I got your packages, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! You are the best <3 I have a letter on the way for you and the family :) Aunt Catherine, thank you SO much for the adorable Thanksgiving package, we LOVE it! It made yesterday bearable! We are so so grateful! A letter is on it's way to you as well :) Thank you so much!
Until Next Week!!!!
Love, Soeur Wyson
It all started with a Doctors visit...Oh, it ended with one too! Don't worry, this visit was not like the last one I told you about...THANK HEAVENS! Actually it's a pretty great story... My companion got hit in the face by a basketball the other night and it chipped her tooth! So had to sit in the clinic for a while until they figured out what they were supposed to do for the situation. I get the feeling they aren't use to having this much excitement here in the MTC clinic. They were way too stoked to telephone the "on call" doctor haha. The great news is, we got to take a trip into the real world Yesterday!! Woot Woot! I never thought I would be so excited to go to the Dentist! I feel bad for Soeur Hodgman but she took it like a champ! She told the doctor, "I didn't choose the baller-life, the baller-life chose me!! And took my tooth for ransom!" hahahaha! She is so hilarious. I would have bawled like a baby if an Elder broke my tooth! Though, I think even Soeur Hodgman agrees that the trip into the real world made the whole thing worth it! We got to leave campus yesterday and take a shuttle to a dentist in Provo. It was pretty awesome! On the way back from the dentist the driver thought we were pretty cool so he decided to take us on the extremely long, scenic route, back to the MTC which ended up taking about 20 minutes when we were really only about 3 minutes away from the MTC haha. But hey, I wasn't complaining!
Later on, we were enjoying our last meal for the next 24 hours, and suddenly, my tongue started getting huge, itchy, and burning like crazy! So, again, we sprinted to the clinic haha! When we got there we told the front desk lady that I needed Benadryl and she started filling out this enormous stack of papers and my companion says, "Soeur Wyson, can you breathe?" And then the lady throws her papers and says, "Wait, you are having an allergic reaction?! FORGET THIS!" and she starts calling the doctor (I am sure the poor guy is ready for us to get out of here). It was definitely a "Hitch" moment, ha! It made for an interesting day! Don't worry though, we survived! Not sure what I am allergic to though...guess that's what I get for trying to eat soup instead of my usual salad for dinner. The third doctor visit was this morning, I woke up (actually I didn't, that's the problem) feeling super sick...my companions were trying to wake me up but I had NO energy. Yeah, remember that flu shot that made my arm ache for like an entire week? Well, it clearly didn't work, haha! Thank heavens for DayQuil! Nothing can slow me down! ;)
Halloween in the MTC was pretty sad...But, trying to make the best out of it, I dressed up like Snow White and I tied a blue ribbon around my head and wore a blue skirt and my yellow shirt with red lipstick. I ate so much candy. UGH. It's possible that I gained a few pounds over the weekend. But, it's okay because I lost about 7 pounds last week so I am still winning! ;) The Elders here think they are pretty hilarious and they put a fake spider on the window to the girls bathroom; of course I dove for cover, IT LOOKED SO REAL! They got quite the kick out of it. The sad part is that when I walked out of the bathroom, the same spider fell from above the door and elicited the same reaction. The Elders thought it was even funnier the 2nd time... That spider is now taped inside the front cover of my journal.
Soooo I have some pretty exciting news today...First off, fast Sunday was so awesome. I fasted and prayed to be able to learn the language and then during testimony meeting I had a strong prompting from the spirit to bear my testimony... IN FRENCH. I definitely didn't feel ready to get up and do that in front of anyone but I knew that if I did, The Lord would bless me to be able to speak the language, and he did :) After sacrament meeting I was sitting with my companions around the piano and we were singing hymns together and my Branch President came up to us and asked if we would accept the calling to be Sister Training Leaders over our zone here in the MTC! We are so so excited for this incredible opportunity! We have 13 new sisters coming on Wednesday and we can't wait to meet them! For those of you who don't know what this is, the mission is separated into different zones and districts and there are leaders for each of them. Our zone consists of about 7 districts and about 27 sister missionaries that we will be in charge of training, and taking care of :) It is such an honor!
We were blessed to hear from an Apostle of the Lord last week in a Devotional, President Neil L. Anderson. I made my companions and I wait for 2 hours in the cold outside the doors before we even knew who was speaking because I had a feeling it was someone important!! As soon as the doors opened I fought through the crowds of elders to snag seats in the front rows dead set in the middle, right in front of the pulpit! the only people in front of us were his family! I got a few bruises and momentarily left my companions in the dust but it was for a worthy cause! They forgave me pretty quickly when they saw me victoriously claiming our seats less then 15 steps away from an apostle of the Lord. I cannot not adequately put into words the feeling, power, and conviction of the spirit that was in the room as he testified of our Savior. It was truly amazing. I want to tell you all more about the meeting next week when I have more time to tell you about everything, I don't want to leave anything out!! My time is limited today because we need to work with the Elder zone leaders to prepare for our newbies tomorrow! I am so grateful for the opportunity and the blessing to be here in the MTC. I have learned so much about the tender mercies of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I better wrap this up so I can send some pictures... I love you all SO much! Thank you for all the letters of love and encouragement, you are amazing!!
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.