Salut! Comment va tout le monde?
Cette semaine étais PLEIN des choses!... Or in other words...this week was jam packed of stuff! This transfer is going by so fast I don't even have time to cross the days off on my calendar! It's absolutely
unbelievable how fast time flies.
We started our week with a recent convert to the church named Amandine at her boyfriend’s family’s house for a Soirée familial and it was a BLAST! That family has so much energy it took me right back to family reunions in the Wyson house! Hahaha :) and for all you Harry Potter fans out there (Sidney Grace) their last name is Jean-Voldemort...which, fun fact for you...Voldemort in French means
"flight of death". I though that was pretty sweet haha :) Soeur Voldemort is from Italy so she made us authentic Italian lasagna for dinner and let me just say... WOW! I felt like Garfield. It was so
heavenly, I just wanted to swim in it! Hahaha. Yes family, I got the recipe!
After dinner we taught a lesson using the talk "Come what may and love it". I told you a little about this talk a few weeks ago so I won't take too long on it today, but something that I really, really love in
this talk is that he says one of the most important things we can do to be happy in life is to "learn to laugh!" We can't control everything that happens in our lives, we will face good times and bad
times. But, we can control how we react in those situations, and that will determine whether or not those times will shape us into the person that we want to become. So, my engagement for all of you...
Find time this week to LAUGH!....you'd think this would be an easy engagement, but I have engaged lots of people to laugh this week and you would be surprised how many of them didn't keep their engagement! How is that even possible!?...I engage you to laugh!!!...There was a family that we visited the other night and I kinda’ giggled while asking them if they laughed this week because OBVIOUSLY they laughed...at least once...right?...WRONG! I was beside myself!
Speaking of laughing... We had a good laugh ourselves the other night! We also elicited some solid laughter from everyone on the bus! We were on our way to a Soirée when I noticed a woman crying on the bus. There weren't any places open next to her so I just smiled as big as I could
at her from where I was to try and brighten her evening! She was so so happy! She immediately wiped her tears away and smiled back at me :) She couldn't stop smiling actually, I think she looked back at me about 30 times with the same enormous smile on her face. I was so happy that smile had made her night!...well, until she went to get off the bus. She turned to shoot me one last smile before exiting the bus and then suddenly she stops and with the most disgusted look, checks my name tag. She glances between me and the badge about 4 times before storming off the bus yelling, "UGH! YOU ARE A MORMON! WE DO NOT WANT TO SPEAK WITH YOU! WE ARE CATHOLIC! WE ARE FRENCH!"...just about every single person on the bus burst out in laughter as they quoted the
woman with their friends...I just sat there, trying to figure out what just happened...Then I remembered my engagement, and so I laughed! Haha!...I'm still not sure if those people on the bus were laughing with us or at us...but hey, we got some publicity!
We went out to visit Jacqueline the other day! It was awesome because we had an hour bus ride to get there, aka...a solid nap! I don't think I have ever been so conked out hahah. It was awesome for more reasons than just a nap, though that was pretty great! We had lunch with her and her family before the lesson and are you ready for this series of miracles?... We were teaching the first lesson and my companion gives me this look, well...that look was the "we are out of time" look. I am
familiar with this look, since I am the one who created it. But, for some reason, I mistook it for the "invite her to be baptized" look. Two different looks. Oops! Well, I invited her to baptism and my
companion looked at me again...this time it was the "What are you doing, this isn't in the lesson plan!?" look...I am familiar with this one too… The room was pretty silent and Jacqueline didn't say anything, but it was too late, I was already committed! Haha! I gave her a date and asked her to pray about it with us right then and there! We knelt on our knees and she offered one of the most beautiful prayers I have ever heard, asking to know if our message was true. She started getting choked up in the prayer and the spirit was so strong in the room! Then she closed her prayer and looked at us and said...YES! She is getting baptized on the 14th of February! Miracles happen everyone, even in FRANCE!
It gets even better...Jacqueline told us before we came over that her family was absolutely not interested in anything religious and that they didn't want to talk to us, pray with us, eat with us, anything! We were bummed about that, but we were grateful they were at least letting us teach Jacqueline! Right when we sat down to eat lunch, her 22 year old son walked in. When he shook my hand, the spirit prompted me to invite him to eat with us. To Jacqueline's surprise, he happily
accepted the invitation! I had the opportunity while my companion was talking to his mom, to ask him if he was interested in joining us for the lesson with his mom. He said no, but I still felt the need to talk
to him a bit more about the gospel. I told him a bit about what we had wanted to teach in our lesson that day and why it was so special to me and then at the end he said, "actually, I remember hearing this gospel when my mom met the missionaries 6 years ago and I really liked what I heard. But I was only about 15 at the time. I can't come today, but I think I would really like to come the next time if that is okay with you."
THEN, her husband walks in (who was anti-religion at the time). You could definitely see Jacqueline tense up because he "doesn't like us". But then he says... "Girls?"...he was so surprised that we were normal girls and not preachers haha! This got him curious, he started asking why we were here and I invited him to join us the next time as well and he said "eh, why not"....Hey! I'll take it! Miracles happen...even in France! ;) Jacqueline was beside herself, she started crying when she said good
bye to us because she was so so grateful that we were able to "soften the hearts of her family"...though we told her, it wasn't us who softened their hearts :). That was our series of miracles with Jacqueline this week, it was a really incredible week:)
We saw so many things happen this week I don't even have time to write them all! But, I will try to catch up on them for the next week :) before wrapping this email up, I have one more miracle update for you...Manuella, the little girl we are teaching, also picked a baptismal date! February 7th!
We were sitting in a lesson with her dad and felt prompted to teach her how to recognize the spirit. I knew that the Lord was going to have to take the reigns on this one because I wasn't sure how to teach her to recognize something that feels differently for everyone. So, we asked if we could kneel and pray. We explained the importance of finding times to pray on our knees because by showing that extra level of respect, we are able to be more receptive to the promptings of the spirit. We asked her to pray and ask Heavenly Father a very specific question, and pay close attention to the feelings she has. I have never heard a more powerful prayer come from a 13-year-old in my life. Everyone in that room could feel the spirit very strongly. Manuella thought that was pretty awesome :) It WAS awesome!!
Well, looks like I am out of time...I hope you all have a beautiful week and enjoy every second of it because time goes way too fast, and don't forget to LAUGH!
Une autre semaine! Hou la la!
Busy busy busy! Wow! Our week was BOOKED! We didn't have a moment to
spare! We were holding our skirts and sprinting between appointments
to catch buses for the next, it was awesome! Working hard is the key
to enjoying missionary work. When you work hard, you witness miracles
and you have success! Even in France :)We have seen some really
unbelievable miracles here in the past week between the two
companionships in this little city of Angers. It all started with our
Zone conference in Paris!
We had zone conference on Wednesday and we were blessed to hear from
Elder Kearon, the area authority of the church for Europe. Elder
Kearon beams with the light of the spirit! He gave a phenomenal
lecture with the slogan, "Attack the Day!" He said that the first
hours of the morning determine exactly how the rest of our day will
go, so we need to attack them with energy and enthusiasm! I love that!
So, as a companionship, we made that our goal for this week and we
attacked every single day! We worked out so hard that our bodies were
jello, then we had amazing studies, we even had time to deep clean the
apartment! In fact, we cleaned the apartment so well that the couples
took a picture of us in our apartment to show the missionaries how to
"really clean" ;) woot woot! Though, we can't take any credit for
it...it is all thanks to our angel mothers who taught us how to deep
clean the real way! Thanks mom :)
I told you about Jacqueline's lovely miracle last week and I am
VERY pleased to have my first "follow-up" miracle for you! Jacqueline
lives more than an hour outside of town and we haven't been able to
find a way out there besides a very expensive bus that we can't
afford. Then, we came up with a brilliant idea...modern technology! We
had a lesson via Skype! It was our first Skype lesson so we were
pretty stoked to see how it went. It was so great! She had already
studied all the lessons we had planned to teach and she made a cute
little calendar for herself titled, "Jacqueline's Baptismal
Preparation Chart", how cool is that!?! Then she said, "I stopped
smoking and drinking after reading about the Word of Wisdom!... So
when can I get baptized?"...I have to admit, I don't know if I have
ever felt so happy in my whole life! It was the coolest miracle ever!
The Lord really is preparing his children everywhere to receive his
gospel, we just need to find them :) Jacqueline met the missionaries 6
years ago and even though she wasn't ready then, those missionaries
planted a seed! Now, 6 years later, she is preparing for baptism and
has a powerful testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ :).
Friday we spent the day out of town working on a member’s farm! The
Elders chopped wood while Soeur Curtis and I shoveled fresh cow poop
all over their garden haha! It was hilarious! Who would have ever
thought that shoveling poop in the middle of a snow storm could be so
fun! ;) haha. It was just raining at first then out of no where it
just starting snowing and hailing like no other! It was one of those
moments where you are not really sure how you feel about the situation
and so all you can really do is just laugh haha :). While we were
shoveling I felt like the girl from, "The Prince and Me" when the
royal family goes to break ground on a project and they all shovel the
tiniest bits and then the small town farm girl comes up and
just steps on the shovel, scoops up, and tosses this massive mound of
dirt hahaha! Representing my home town well out here in France, shout
out to all my fellow Cowgirls ;)! (Sarah Kemp, Waegerle Fam)! The
Raveneaus definitely didn't see that coming when I showed up in my
name brand "service jeans" haha! My shoes were so caked in cow poo by
the time I was done, you couldn't even see my shoes. I think they have
reached the end of their life; I am definitely going to have to toss
them haha. Everyone just kept saying "Oh la vache!" Which means, "Oh
the cow!" Haha :) The good news is, it is "Les Soldes" in France right
now, which is like the Black Friday that goes on for an entire month!
Everything in ALL the stores is 80% off right now! That's my kind of
Another souvenir I got from that day, aside from the manure
shoes, was a hand full of massive ouchy blisters Haha. I guess I need
to work harder so my hands aren't so tender! ;)
The Elders had a SWEET miracle this Sunday too! They had an ami come
to church and at the end of the meeting he asked if he could meet with
the bishop. None of us knew why he wanted to talk to him, so all four
of us waited VERY anxiously outside the door for a good long while
Hahaha! Then he finally came out and he said to the Elders that he was
so touched by the spirit that was in the meeting that he wanted to
drop everything bad he was doing and has done immediately and come
unto Christ! The elders were in shock because they were so overjoyed!
They only met him once on the street last week and now they are
working with him to help him prepare for his baptism! How cool is
that!? Way to attack the day Elders! :)
That same Sunday, we had a Family night lesson with a little girl
named Manuella, she is 13 years old and we have been teaching her
since I got here. Her dad is a member but the rest of her family are
not members. At the time, she just was not progressing at all. She
wouldn't keep any engagements and she didn't really seem like she
wanted to be there when we taught, even though she said she did. So,
my companion and I sat down a couple weeks ago and decided to pray
specifically for her so that we would know what we needed to do to
help Manuella have more of a desire to learn the truth for herself
so that she could progress. That night, I had a dream that I was
sitting with my niece, who is about the same age as Manuella, and I
was teaching her the missionary lessons. I was teaching her through
activities and games rather than sit down lessons and we were having
so much fun together!... I woke up around 4 am with an "Ah Ha!" moment
haha. Don't worry, I didn't wake my companion up at 4 am, but I shared
it with her the very moment she woke up 2 and a half hours later :).
This week we spent several days with Manuella, teaching through
service projects, games, treats, play dates, and everything that we
could think of to make it more fun! She is on FIRE! She is progressing
so quickly and so wonderfully! Yesterday we were making a dessert
together and she told us that she wanted to get baptized, and she was
going to fast tomorrow to know when she should get baptized! How
awesome is that!? She is only 13! It reminds me of a scripture I
love that talks about the way the Lord teaches us...
2 Nephi 31:3
"For my soul delighteth in plainness; for after this manner doth the
Lord God work among the children of men. For the Lord God giveth light
unto the understanding; for he speaketh unto men according to their
language, unto their understanding."
Flashback! My companion just reminded me of a really funny story that
happened my second week in France and I just have to share it haha. I
don't think I have yet...if I have, I hope you find it even funnier
the second time! ;) It was only the start of my second week in France
and my companion and I were out contacting, which I really didn't like
at the time because I couldn't speak the language yet so I never knew
what to say haha. Anyways, Soeur Curtis had contacted the last 12 or
so people to show me how to do it, then she says..."okay, your turn!
Go contact her!"... It caught me totally off guard and I was SO
nervous! So I stopped her and said, "Bonjour! Je m'appelle Sœur
Curtis!"... I couldn't go on after that hahaaha! I was trying so hard
not to just bust up laughing and Soeur Curtis tried to take over,
introducing herself also as Soeur Curtis, while holding a straight
face, the lady must have totally thought we were punking her hahah!
She walked away and we laughed for about 15 minutes. Now THAT’S
companionship unity ;).
That's it for this week my lovelies! Sorry it was a shorter email
today...There is a crazy snow storm right now and we need to get our
grocery shopping done and get home before we freeze to death haha! We
look like Anna on “Frozen” walking around in the storm in her iced over
skirt hahaha, It's pretty awesome! People look at us like we are crazy
haha! I heard a rumor here that every time we get snowed/rained on
during our missions that our husbands get hotter...so family, let me
know if you notice any dramatic changes in the appearance of any young
men back home and we'll know why ;)! Haha!
Love you all!
Soeur Tracie Wyson
Salutations mes chéris!
This week was totally awesome! But, I still have quite a bit to tell you about last week since my iPad died on me haha. So I will start with that! We had the coolest miracle last week after I emailed! My companion and I were porting when we knocked on the door of a Muslim woman and she let us sing Christmas songs to her family! We figured that we were justified in singing Christmas carols because after all, it wasn't the new year yet... plus, it's so cold here, it might as well be Christmas all the time!:)...Anyways, she loved it! We ending up having a very interesting religious discussion on her doorstep, which consisted mostly of her teaching us about her religion and reciting passages from the Koran haha. But hey, it was a religious conversation nonetheless! :) IN FRANCE! The best part is, when she was done teaching us, she asked us about The Book of Mormon and she asked us for one! She said she was really curious to learn more, then she made an interesting proposition...
She promised to read it if we promised the read the Koran! Haha, DEAL! ;) If that's what it takes, I'll do it! The Book of Mormon has blessed my life so much; I would give anything for everyone to be able to have even a taste of the joy that comes when you read The Book of Mormon. Which reminds me of one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon... the prophet Lehi is explaining the vision that he had of the tree of life, which symbolizes everlasting life and love of our dear Father in Heaven. In 1 Nephi 8:12 he says, "And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit." I love this because when Lehi partook of the fruit, the very first thing he desired was to share its joy with his family and everyone else; that is why I LOVE missionary work! We get to share the everlasting joy that comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone :)
We have seen so many miracles this week I don't know where to start! A few days ago before leaving the apartment, we were determined to see a miracle! We only had 10 minutes for that miracle to happen because we were on our way out of town to visit a member, but we were determined! On our way to the train station, we decided we were going to stop every person we saw during that 10 minutes. Well, I'll be honest... on the inside...that didn't sound super appealing to me...I would rather just stop one person, and have the miracle happen with them hahaha. That WOULD be a miracle! ;) Well, lucky for me...miracles happen! Within 3 minutes of leaving our apartment, we met Sandra, a young woman from Brazil. She understands some French but doesn't speak much. Miraculously, we had a Book of Mormon AND a restoration DVD in Portuguese! It was so special because I felt we really connected as we both struggled to speak in a language that wasn't our own. The spirit was so strong and just testified even more that even though the languages change all around the world, the spirit does not. The spirit will always testify of truth. :)
Here in Angers, there is a beautiful river that runs right through the village. We haven't had much time to admire it since we have been here so Wednesday we decided to snap a few pictures over there during our lunch hour! While we were out and about we discovered the coolest restaurant...a pizzeria yacht, on the river! We went in and enjoyed some amaaaazzzzing pizzas on the deck of the boat while we marveled at the river splashing alongside and the Chateau in the distance! Later that night we went over to a new members house, Nathalie, with Soeur Chevet. Nathalie is fun to visit because she always has soo many questions! She always wants to learn which is totally awesome :) Though her question, this time, was a little unexpected hahaha...we were teaching about the blessings that come when we pay tithing and we read a passage in the bible (Malachi 3:10) that says, "10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."
Then, in all seriousness, she says "So, is that why all the Mormons in America are so rich? Because of their tithing? The Lord blessed them more?"... HAHA, I wanted to say, "YES! ;)"... But Soeur Curtis beat me to the response... hey, at least she made the connection between tithing and blessings! Even if it wasn't 100% accurate haha :).
Thursday was a little crazy, we had planned to go out to a member’s house who lives about an hour out of town but then we got a call saying that the member who was supposed to come with us was locked in her house and couldn't get out...she didn't sound too concerned about it, which made it all the more concerning for us hahaha. But she insisted that all was well and we just needed to find someone else to go with us Hahahaha. So we started calling up different investigators to see if we could find someone to come with us for a lunch/lesson with FeiFei. It was such a miracle because none of our Amis answered!...I know that doesn't sound like a miracle yet, but just wait... So, we resorted to calling a woman named Eva who the missionaries had contacted before I came into the mission. She has never answered any of our calls and texts before but by a miracle, she answered! By another miracle, she was THRILLED to accompany us on our little day trip to FeiFei's! It turned out to be one of the best days of the mission thus far. FeiFei lives on a BEAUTIFUL farm in the middle of nowhere in this incredible home with nothing but green grassy fields in every direction as far as you can see! She made us some awesome authentic Chinese food and we had a wonderful lesson with Eva about the Book of Mormon. We finished with a challenge to her to read Moroni 10 before our next visit and she was thrilled! She has been texting us every day with updates on the things she is learning and feeling as she reads the Book of Mormon! How cool is that!? She has 3 little boys with her husband. I know this is the family we have been praying to find! She and her little 12-year-old are living alone in France right now while her husband is in America with the other two finishing up the adoption process. As she told us about her family she expressed her desire to have religion in their lives and to be together with her family as long as possible... I was so happy I just wanted to jump up and sing, "YOU CAN BE TOGETHER FOR *ETERNITY*!!!!" It was such an incredible miracle, we are so excited to continue to teach Eva and her family and see the many ways the gospel blesses their family :)
We have weekly planning every Friday, which takes a really long time, but it was nice because we were able to enjoy the snow storm from the comfort of our apartment as we stood over our little portable heater with some nice hot chocolate! Haha. Friday was also my not-so-little brother’s 15th birthday (Love ya J-Dub!)! Jayden, your birthday brought so many miracles... Two of my very favorite! The first one...YOU! I remember how excited I was to show off my brand new baby brother to EVERYONE! That excitement has only gotten more exciting over the years! I am SO proud of you! I love you and miss you so much bud :) and girls... I know, he is a stud... But he is still my baby brother...
The second miracle was a little more recent :) During planning, we received a very unexpected call, a woman from about an hour outside of town who we have never met named Jacqueline. When we picked up the phone, she was so excited! She immediately began to tell us how much she LOVED the Book of Mormon and that she has read it 4 times and that she just can't get enough! Then she said some words that I will never forget... She said, "I just really really want to get baptized into your church! Will you come teach me?"...I thought my companion was going to drop the phone, we were both frozen!! I think for a moment we thought someone must have been pulling our legs haha. Well, you bet we immediately started making calls to find out how we could get out to see Jacqueline! We found some members who live out in the same area and we asked them if they would pick her up on their way for church on Sunday and she came! She LOVED it! She made so many comments in the lessons and she would always say, "Hi! I'm not a member yet, but I just wanted to say..." Then she would give the most heartfelt comments, it was amazing! Not to mention her scriptures are marked and annotated to pieces! She didn't just read them 4 times, she really studied them!! Being a missionary is amazing. I believe It is moments and miracles like these that make it the "best" 18 months or 2 years of your life :) I am sure I could write another 3 pages, but I gotta save some miracles for later :) I love you so so much and I am praying for all of you, thank you so much for all that you do and the support that you give! We can truly feel your prayers out here and they mean so much to us. We hope you can feel ours too <3
One last thing before I wrap this email up...my companion and I read a talk together called, "Come what may and love it". It was given in the general conference of October 2008. It talks about how the way we react to adversity is a major factor in how happy and successful we are in life. With the theme of this 40-day fast being "Attitude of Gratitude", I wanted to share a little piece of it with you that has really helped me to keep those negative thoughts away, take everything that comes, and find a way to love it :)... "I know why there must be opposition in all things. Adversity, if handled correctly, can be a blessing in our lives. We can learn to love it. As we look for humor, seek for the eternal perspective, understand the principle of compensation, and draw near to our Heavenly Father, we can endure hardship and trial. We can say, as did my mother, “Come what may, and love it.”- Elder Joseph B.
Within I hope you all have a beautiful week!
Jusqu'à la prochaine fois!
BONNE ANNÉE MA CHÈRE FAMILLE!
Wow, what a week! I hope you are all as pumped for this new year as I am! This is going to be a year of miracles; I can feel it! This email might be a little shorter depending on how fast I can type before my iPad dies, they changed the wifi at the church and now it doesn't work, so we made a quick change of plans and headed to McDonalds for emails today! Missions are interesting because you would think everything on the mission would be so perfectly planned that you never have to
wonder what you are going to do...in fact, it is quite the opposite! Missions are made up of backup plans, in fact, you even have about 3 back ups for each backup plan for when those plans fall through! It is quite the roller coaster! But it keeps things interesting! ;)
This past week I was praying really hard to know what we need to do to find people who we can teach. Contacting on the street is not the most effective use of our time, as you can probably imagine. Which is understandable, I mean... How many of us actually listen to the random people who try to stop us on the street for things? I know the things going through my head when I see people who are going to try and stop me usually consist of things along the lines of, *head down, don't make eye contact, pick up phone, cross the street, walk fast, quick! * hahaha Well I am pretty sure the same things are going through everyone else's heads because that is exactly what they do! ;P So, I prayed to know what we could say to people to get their attention so that they would stop and listen to our message, giving the opportunity to the spirit to touch their hearts. After much prayer, I felt
impressed to tell them "exactly why I am here." I wasn't quite sure what that answer meant, because I am here for so many reasons! So I prayed again, and then I thought to myself..."Why am I here?"...I am here because by the convincing power of the Holy Ghost, I have come to know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the Earth, in its fullness; and by its grace, we can be perfected in Christ, and return to live in the presence of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ again. I am here because I know, that we are here on this Earth to gain experience; to learn and grow and become more like our Savior. We are here to build strong families, not just for this life, but for the life after as well. I know that we can be with our families for eternity. Personally, I can't think of a more incredible reward than that. This gospel has brought me so much joy, so much peace, and so many blessings, I cannot bear the thought of anyone missing out on such a gift. That is why I am here.
With that, I decided that I was going to be bold the next person I saw. I was going to walk up to them and tell them exactly that! Well, shortly after we left our apartment that morning, we saw a young woman walking quickly to the train station. I felt immediately impressed to give her a Book of Mormon. I pulled one out of my bag and quickly stopped her. I told her exactly why I was here! I explained The Book of Mormon and closed with one of my favorite scriptures from it, Moroni 10:3-5, which reads..."3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall
receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. 4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. 5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things."
After reading the scripture, I looked her in the eyes, holding out the Book of Mormon, and said (in French of course), "Noblesse, I have asked to know the truth for myself and I have come to know, by the power of the Spirit, that these things are true. I know that your Heavenly Father loves you and he wants you to ask so that he can answer you. Will you ask him?"
She was quiet for a moment and my heart was pounding so hard I though for sure she could hear it. Then she looked at my companion and me and said, "Oui, bien sûr"... Or in other words... "Yes of course"!!! We were so happy we wanted to give her the biggest hug ever! But, she was late for her train... So, she had to run! But before she left we were able to get her number, and she was sad because she wanted to learn more but she doesn't live here in Angers and then we told her that there were missionaries where she lives as well and we would give them a call for her; she thought that was so awesome, she was really excited! So we said our goodbyes and then we called up the
missionaries for her in Paris :) I am bummed that we don't get to teach her but that's okay because either way, she gets to hear the best message ever! <3
Man, my iPad is dying fast so I am going to have to be selective with which miracles I share this week...which is really a bummer because there are SO MANY! And they are all so wonderful! But I will do what I can :)
Before I go on, I wanted to talk a bit about the new year. If you are anything like me, you are probably really excited to make some awesome goals for the year of 2016! If you haven't done so already :) This year I wanted to do something extra special for the year because this year for me is what we call a "blackout year" on the mission. Meaning, I will be on a mission for the ENTIRE year of 2016! This is really cool because not many sister missionaries have the opportunity to have a black out year, you have to go at just the right time! So, as the new year was approaching, I was very anxious to set my resolutions for 2016. Though this year I decided that I wanted to really involve the Lord in the process of making and setting goals. I knew that by doing so, I would be able to know what the Lord would have me do, rather than just what I would have me do. I began praying and fasting with the question in mind, "Lord, What Lack I Yet?" As some of you may remember, this question comes from a talk given in the last general conference.
I came across a scripture (3 Nephi 27:27) when the Lord says "what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am." As I pondered this question I began to think of many Christ like
attributes and which of those I needed to work on... The answer...? ALL OF THEM! There is no way I could master all of them in a year... But, I felt impressed to do all that I can to develop those attributes. So, this year is the year of 40 day fasts! It takes 40 days to build a habit! Every 40 days, I am going to take a day to pray to know what is keeping me from being the most Christ like person that I can be, and then I will set goals to work on it for the next 40 days. I will have 9 fasts this year :)
I titled my first fast..."Attitude of Gratitude"! I felt prompted to focus this first fast on being more grateful for the many things the Lord has given me. This fast is a fast from negativity! 40 days,
without negative thoughts or words! It's been an awesome first few days :)! I keep catching myself mid sentence and changing what was coming out of my mouth originally to something positive hahaha :) keep me in check! ;) Another part of this fast is to have gratitude prayers every hour from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed, each hour I think of something the Lord has blessed me with, and thank him for it! It's amazing how much we have been given that we don't even think
twice about...Lined paper, telephones, wireless internet, arch supports, watches, Skype... Just few random ones ;)
This week has sure been a great one! I wish that I had more time to write all of the experiences that I had but my iPad is near the end of its life...But I am so grateful for free wireless internet at McDonalds! If it weren't for that, I wouldn't have been able to email you today! :)
I hope you are all as excited as I am for this new year and that you have the opportunity to set some awesome goals for this upcoming year! I would love to hear all about them!
You are all incredible and I am so grateful for each and every one of you! I love getting emails from you and seeing your smiling faces in the pictures you send! Thank you so much for all your support!
With TONS of love,
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.