Joyeuses Pâques !! (Happy Easter)
A few weeks ago a very VERY drunk man named Samba followed us to church. He was hammered. It was really funny at the time because Soeur Burgoyne and I had prayed so hard to get someone to church and then we realized...we should probably be a little more specific about the things we ask for. We weren't very excited about having a weird drunk man in the church. Neither were the members. But, nevertheless missionaries never turn down an opportunity to teach, haha! The elders gave him their number. None of us really expected that he would even remember what had happened that day, nor that we had even met. We were ok with that. A week went by and nothing unexpected happened. The next Sunday, we were sitting in Sacrament and then to our surprise, Samba walked in! We had no clue how he had found his way back but somehow, he managed! We were all pretty shocked. I think he was shocked too. Haha. He told us he didn't know what it was but that something was drawing him back to the church and he had to come back this Sunday to see what it was...HOW COOL IS THAT!? He met with the Elders that week and the rendez-vous ended up going really well!
Last Sunday, Soeur Burgoyne and I decided to pray and fast again that the Lord would help us get someone new to church. Guess what? This time, Samba came back to church a THIRD time... AND... He brought a friend!! Samba and his friend are now both taking the missionary lessons :)
This week has been the longest fast week of my mission. It has been going foreeeevvveeerrr and yet, it is already over! Funny how that works. Traffic manifestations made missionary work a bit more interesting this week; there were no buses or trams so we had to walk everywhere. We have been averaging about 8-10 miles a day. That adds up when you are walking in skirts and Church flats, haha. Thankfully we have iPads now so we don't have to carry around all of our books as well! :) It feels so good to be outside and walking around, enjoying all the beautiful creations of the Lord... It also helps a lot with digestion hahaha. We went to a yummy creperie that Eva, one of our Amis, works at. Apparently it is famous. It tasted famous! Haha. We got these amazing galettes (dinner crepes) filled with butter, potatoes, sour cream, onions, ham, and other yummy things. We were pretty full...but she insisted we order dessert haha. So we finished off with a banana split! They thought that was HILARIOUSLY American. Apparently banana splits are not French at all. We ordered and the waitress just starting laughing and said...where are you from? Of course... The United States. We are proud to be American ;). We were grateful for the lack of buses after that lunch. The 6 mile walk home gave us plenty of time to digest everything we ate hahaha.
Before we left, we gave the waitress a 3 Euro tip. It wasn't very much but people in France don't leave tips. So, we decided to gather together what change we had to give to her. She was so touched. She didn't even know how to thank us.
It's so beautiful that we all have the power to touch lives with even the simplest acts of kindness. In fact, one of my favorite experiences of my mission so far came from a simple smile. My companion and I were on the tram and I saw an old lady who seemed quite down. It hadn't been the best day for me either and I was finding it a bit difficult to be smiley. But, I smiled! The old lady immediately lit up and told us that we were "absolutely amiable young women" and that she has never met anyone our age who would care enough to smile at "an old person" they didn't even know.
It was then that I realized just how many things I had to be smiling about. The Lord blesses us with so much. We have reason to rejoice! There are also always going to be things we can frown about. But, we can choose to smile! I am so grateful for the counsel that President Uchtdorf gave in the past April Conference, "Everyone’s situation is different, and the details of each life are unique. Nevertheless, I have learned that there is something that would take away the bitterness that may come into our lives. There is one thing we can do to make life sweeter, more joyful, even glorious. We can be grateful!"
Two Random Funnies:
On our way home for the night we saw two college age boys digging through the trash can outside our apartment hahaha. We live above a Boulangerie. They throw away all their bread at the end of the day because it isn't completely "fresh" anymore. It was funny because they were nice looking, very clean cut, young men. Yet, they were pulling bags of bread out of the trash can... The boulangerie wraps it up so it is sanitary, it just seemed strange haha. We made a comment to them about what they would be doing with all that bread haha. Their response was..."student life.." I got a good laugh. I know how that is. That joke turned into a pretty solid missionary conversation and we ended up going home that night with some really yummy bread!
We ate a lot of chocolate this week. A member gave us a box of assorted chocolate and we ended up taking one little bite out of each one just to test the different flavors. That was a bad idea. I dumped
them all in the trash after to get rid of the temptation to eat more. Soeur Burgoyne later confessed to have eaten the chocolate out of the trash can whilst I was busy doing something in the other room.😂 She couldn't bear the thought of all that good French chocolate going to waste. I thought that was HILARIOUS. --
Lizzie is still incredible. We love her. She is practically our companion haha. I can't even count the number of times people have mistaken her for another sister missionary. We might as well be a
trio! :) I was extremely touched by something that Lizzie said to us during our lesson yesterday and I wanted to share it with you. I hope she doesn't mind me sharing because she reads my blog (Hi Lizzie!), I was just so touched by it :) ... Together we were discussing how we can find answers to all of the great questions of the soul in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Lizzie explained to us what it was like growing up in a home without the gospel; having so many questions and no way of knowing how she can receive or find answers. She tried asking her parents, her grandparents, her sister...Yet, no one seemed to have the answers she was searching for. She didn't even know what she was searching for. She just had unanswered questions. At a later point in time, she met the missionaries on the bus and started learning about the gospel. For the first time in her life, she was receiving answers. That's when Lizzie realized what it was that she had been searching for. It wasn't just curiosity after all, it was a hunger to know the truth.
"12 For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it-" (Doctrine and Covenants 123:12).
Many of the people we will teach often do not recognize that they are looking for the restored gospel until they have found it. They don't always know where to look or who to ask. Many might even think the search is useless and give up. These people are our friends, our family, our neighbors, our coworkers... "Therefore,...we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven--" (Doctrine and Covenants 123:13).
In Preach my Gospel, one convert said, “When I heard the gospel, it filled a hole in my heart that I didn’t know was there.” My wish is that when we are placed at the Judgment seat of The Lord in the last days that we fall to our knees because we have given every ounce of strength and energy we have in bringing others to the light that the Lord has so graciously blessed us with. We have the truth they are searching for. We have the light that will fill the holes in their hearts they didn't know were there. That truth and light is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and the knowledge that they are children of a loving Heavenly Father, members of His eternal family.
“We are commanded by God to take this gospel to all the world. That is the cause that must unite us today. Only the gospel will save the world from the calamity of its own self-destruction. Only the gospel will unite men of all races and nationalities in peace. Only the gospel will bring joy, happiness, and salvation to the human family” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson).
My Dear Family and Friends,
I would like to share a few thoughts with you that I have felt prompted to write. I am sure that by now you have all heard about the attacks here in my mission. I want you to know that despite the recent attacks, I know that this is exactly where I need to be. Faithfully serving the Lord and his people in their desperate time of need.
I recall many of the things people said to me when I received my call to Paris, France. Most of them along the lines of..."Wow! You should enter the lottery!" or "What on Earth did you put on your papers to get sent there!?!"
I would agree that being called to the Paris, France mission felt like I had won the lottery. It was a dream that I never dared to dream. If I had, any other mission call would have been utterly disappointing. Though, over the short 6 months that I have been out, I have realized... a mission call is not a matter of winning or losing the lottery. Though some may seem more lottery worthy than others. Each area is different, with different challenges, and different perks. Though all things considered, we have the same mission: To Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism,
receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.
Making the decision to serve a mission wasn't an easy one. I haven't lived very many years, but, It was the toughest decision I have made in the 19 and a half years that I have been on this Earth. I knew that as soon as I made the decision to serve a mission, I would be giving my whole heart and will to The Lord for the next 18 months of my life. Going home was never an option. If I chose to go, it meant, I was choosing to stay. The Lord doesn't send us out here for us to decide that it is "too hard", pack our bags, and go home. Of course it's hard. It is no secret that missions are a challenge.
I also knew that in making the decision to serve, I would have to trust in the Lord enough to know that wherever he sent me was exactly where he needed me.
I trust in the Lord with my whole being. I know he protects his missionaries. We can feel his protecting power. That doesn't mean that bad things don't happen. As you may have heard, 3 missionaries were seriously injured in the attacks... So how can we say the Lord protects his missionaries when things like this happen?
One of the hospitalized missionaries is a good friend of mine. When we received the update on him, it was that, his body is covered with awful burns and his legs filled with shrapnel. Yet, the thing that he said to tell us was that he was determined to finish out his mission.
Many might wonder why on Earth he wouldn't just go home after all he had been through; they simply don't understand the mighty cause for which we are serving.
I admire this elder because even through the pain he must be in, he understands that burns to our physical body, no matter how awful, are nothing compared to the spiritual burns that are caused by the bombs going on around us every single day. We were already at war. It is my testimony to you that Christ is the light and life of the world and that he, Our Lord and Savior, is our only source of healing and protection. Without him, we cannot be healed from our spiritual burns and we cannot be protected from Satan's threats.
"Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up--that which ye have seen me do..." (3 Nephi 18:24)
Through these dark times, we have the power to hold up our lights so that they might shine unto the world and dispel the darkness. We have the light for which these people are searching..."Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven." (3 Nephi 12:16)
My wish is that you will make the decision to always hold up your light. Because no matter how dark the world gets, we do not have to live in darkness. This is my testimony to you in the name of our
Savior--our light--Jesus Christ. Amen.
Sister Tracie Laina Wyson
I had so many experiences this week but I feel the most important thing for me to share with you in my email today is my testimony of the Savior, his power, his peace, and his love for each and every one of us.
I gave my first sacrament talk in French yesterday. It was on very short notice, as it always is with missionaries haha. TEN MINUTES LONG. Ten minutes speaking in any language is pretty long, but in French it felt like I was giving a sermon! Though I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to speak because I learned so much in the process of writing and giving it.
When I had originally written my talk, I was following very closely a general topic I had been given. Then, after having finished, I felt extremely impressed to start over and rewrite the entire thing. It isn't easy to write a ten-minute talk in French, but the prompting was so strong, I knew I needed to listen. The Lord made it easy for me because there was no question in my mind about what it was that he wanted me to say.
As I delivered my talk, I looked out on the congregation and wondered who it was that the Lord needed me to change my talk for. I won't deny that I felt pretty special thinking The Lord had decided to use me to deliver this "special message" to someone in the congregation. Though now I believe that "someone" the Lord was trying to teach, was me :)
I won't be sharing my exact talk with you today (as it was entirely in French) but I wanted to share some thoughts with you that have touched me deeply this week.
Jesus Christ is the only source of enduring peace. When we have correct knowledge of and faith in him, he gives us the power to hush our fears. Though the peace that he gives is different than that of the worlds..."Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.." St. John 14:27
The peace that Christ gives allows us to view our lives through the precious perspective of eternity. In doing so, we are able to concentrate more consistently on our heavenly destination. The Gospel of Jesus Christ provides purpose and direction in all aspects of our lives. Heavenly Father loves us so much that he paved a pathway for us to return back to him and he sent his son to walk the pathway first before us so that we know exactly where to go and what to do. Then, our Father in Heaven gave us the Holy Ghost, or as we learned in preschool...a "safety buddy"; a constant companion to hold our hand and guide us up the path. Other resources he gave us include: prayer, scriptures, prophets, missionaries, parents, teachers, and other leaders.
Though sometimes, even with ALL of the resources God gives us to walk this path, we become distracted and we lose sight of our heavenly destination. Like God, Satan also has many resources. Though his resources are used to keep us from progressing because he knows, the gospel of Jesus Christ is the true and only pathway to happiness.
My dad shared something with me this week that really rang true to me. He said, "the world is so filled with distractions... There is so much noise. It is hard to stay focused on the light of Christ when the neon lights of the world are blazing in your face." This made me think of one of the most well-known biblical stories, which is also a personal favorite of mine :)...
In the Book of Matthew, The Lord’s Apostles were in a ship that was being tossed in the middle of the sea. Jesus went to them, walking on the water. But, because they did not recognize Him, they began to cry out in fear. Then he spoke unto them, saying, "Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid." Peter answered the Savior and said, " Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water." The Lord invited Peter to come and Peter then walked on the water to Jesus. “But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid,” began to sink, and cried out, “Lord, save me." Without hesitation, Jesus stretched forth his hand and caught him.
When Peter had his eyes fixed upon the Savior, he stepped out of the boat and miraculously walked on the water. It wasn't until he became distracted by the wind and the waves of the sea that he became afraid and begin to sink.
I have always admired Peter's faith. He had so much faith that he stepped out of his boat in the middle of the sea to walk on water out to Jesus Christ. Even after he had momentarily become distracted by the "neon lights of the world" blazing in his face, he still had enough faith to call out to the Lord and say, "save me". He had faith that the Lord would not let him sink.
The Lord is incredible. He has blessed us with so much. It's such a privilege to be one of his messengers. I know Jesus Christ lives and directs His work on the earth. I have felt his power, and I recognize his hand as he works miracles in the lives of those we teach. I witness his miracles every single day.
I know that as we look to the Savior and press forward on the path he has paved for us, using the resources he has given us, we will be able to press through the distractions of the world and continue to walk toward him. Though at times we may become distracted in a world full of neon lights, wind, waves, and boisterous noise, we can receive the strength to call out to our Savior so that he can extend his hand to us. This strength comes from learning and living gospel principles and choosing to follow him.
I love my Savior with all my heart. I know his power and his peace are real. I feel it in my life every day. He is our Redeemer, and I know that he lives. Je témoigne au nom sacré du Seigneur Jésus-Christ. Amen.
I am sorry I didnt share a bunch of goofy experiences this week, I felt impressed to share this with you all instead. I love you and can't wait to talk to you all next week <3 Je vous aime !
Avec BEAUCOUP d'amour,
Amis are FALLING FROM THE SKY! Soeur Burgoyne and I set a goal this week to find 3 new people to teach. As I mentioned in my last email, we had an AWESOME start to our week when Lizzie showed up to church... Each day since has been equally as awesome! The Lord blessed us with SO many miracles. I am not sure how to format them all into a single letter and I definitely can't pick and choose between them...but, I will do my best! This email is addressed specifically to all you missionaries out there :)
I wasn't feeling too great Tuesday so we decided to stay inside for a bit and "take it easy". Well, if any of you know me then you would know...I'm not very good at that hahaha. But, we decided to take the time we had to clean out the entire area book and call every single person/family we could find! I admit that it was a bit frustrating at first that we weren't able to go out contacting and knocking doors all day long like the other missionaries. I felt that I wasn't giving "enough" to the Lord by staying in the apartment and doing book work. This experience made me think of a story in the Bible that my Dad often shares with me...which ironically, he shared with me in an email that I received the same day! Hopefully he doesn't mind me sharing :)...the story is called, "The Widows Mites".
"42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites,
which make a farthing.
43 And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I
say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they
which have cast into the treasury:
44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want
did cast in all that she had, even all her living."
This widow did not have a lot to give The Lord, but she gave all that she had. There have been many times in my life when I have felt like the widow, giving my two mites and still wondering if it was enough, just because it wasn't "as much" as others who had given. Sometimes I feel bad when
I think that others might be giving much more than I do. I love the question President Uchtdorf posed in the last general conference, "Are you making your discipleship too difficult?" Even though we were limited physically in the things we were able to do that day, we did our best to offer all that we could; trusting that the Lord is able to do his work here even with our small sacrifice. We ended up finding 2 new amis that day :)
"He Has Called Me"
A few months ago my dad sent me an email about the importance of "playing our strengths" if we want to be successful. I thought a lot about how this relates to missionary work and I remember hearing many, many times the phrase "don't be a cookie cutter missionary". I have wondered why a "cookie cutter missionary" was always associated with a negative connotation. What on Earth does it mean? Why is it bad to be one? Isn't it a good thing? That would mean we were perfect...wouldn't
I guess what it means is that there is no "right way" to do missionary work, as long as you are being obedient and following the spirit :) Many missionaries get the idea that in order to be a "good missionary" you have to spend entire day out contacting in extreme temperatures, skipping meal times, wearing down your shoes, and knocking on doors until your hands are raw. Oh... And most importantly...remember...you MUST get leadership during your mission. If you don't... You're
obviously not a very good missionary. ;)....
NO NO NO! This is not why the Lord called you! I love a song my mom wrote called "He Has Called Me"... I love it because even in the title it indicates that the lord called [you] specifically. He called [you] because you have something special to offer that no one else does. He knows your strengths already and he has called you to use them :) I don't know about you but if I went about skipping meals and contacting all day, I would not be a very jolly missionary hahah, nor would I be a very good one! My companion and I both agree that stopping random people on the street and talking about the gospel is not really a talent of ours...not to mention, it isn't very effective, especially in France haha. So, we decided to sit down together and think... "what are our strengths?"... then find a way to use those strengths in our finding efforts :) Here are some of the miracles that came from "playing our strengths" :)...
1. We both LOVE music:
Because we love the song my mom wrote so much, we decided to find a way to use it in our finding techniques :) Soeur Burgoyne is a wonderful piano player and so she learned the piano part. But, instead of using the pianos at the church, we decided to use the piano that sits in the middle of the train station so that we could turn it into a finding activity! We aren't allowed to contact like normal in the train station which is a shame because there are always SO many people. But, if people talk to us first, we can teach them! So, we took our music and headed to the train station! Soeur Burgoyne sat down and began to play the song while I stood and sang. People everywhere starting stopping to listen. My heart was beating so fast. When I sang the words, "I will stand as a witness of God" I about broke into tears. It now had a whole new meaning for me as I literally stood in front of so many of his children, who don't yet have the gospel in their lives, with the name of Jesus Christ written on my badge. I was truly standing as his witness. The spirit in that crowded train station was so powerful, and we weren't the only ones who felt it either. After the song finished, several people approached us. One of those people was a young mother with her son. Because we shared the talents given to us by our Father in Heaven, we were able to share the message of the Restoration of the gospel with this young mom and her little boy. We are even more blessed that we get to teach her again next week with even more of her children :).
1. We both need help with French! (Did you know that could be a strength?!):
Soeur Burgoyne and I learned that it is a whole lot easier to sit separately on the bus and ask people to help us with our French rather than trying to talk to them immediately about religion. The cool thing is... The conversation always ends up going to the gospel anyway! We have seen so many cool miracles this week because of it! My favorite experience was a cute lady named Yasmine. I was sitting on one end of the tram and Soeur Burgoyne was sitting on the other and we were both talking to people who ended up being in the SAME family! Hahaha. What are the odds? Anyways, Yasmine is a young mom with a 2 year old little girl and in the time that we spent on the tram she basically just adopted me as her daughter hahaha. She was so cute. She even called her entire family over to meet me and they all started kissing me haha! When she was about to get off I tried to get her number but it was too late! :( I was so sad. But before she got off she was like "Do you have a card!?" I throw her a card as she was jumping off the tram and she yells, " I'LL CALL YOU!" ... Well, that's what everyone says who takes a card...
We got of the tram at the next stop and I told Soeur Burgoyne, "I almost found a new ami..." Then the moment I said that, THE PHONE RANG!... Most people would be concerned getting a call from a random number but as a missionary it is literally like Christmas hahaha. I picked up the phone and I hear, "COUCOU! ITS YASMINE! I just wanted you to have my number! I will call you again later!" .... 5 hours later we got another call, "Kisses! It's Yasmine! I was just wondering...on this card you gave me...what is 'The Book of Mormon'?.... Can I have one?"... HOW COOL IS THAT!? We have our first lesson this Friday :)
This week's email is another short one because it is Soeur Burgoyne's birthday and I have some surprises planned for her so I don't have much time :)...she thinks that I talked to every single member in the ward and "couldn't get a RDV" for her birthday tonight and I "feel horrible". So she thinks we are going to spend the entire night knocking on doors and contacting...poor thing... I'm so mean haha...But little does she know... We will actually be knocking on the door of a member and SURPRISE!! We planned a surprise birthday dinner with one of her favorite member families :)... (which was really hard to do since we are ALWAYS with our companions). I am so excited to see
her face!! :D
But, to close this email...this week we prayed for 3 new Amis and we worked SO hard to reach that goal. We played our strengths and we relied on The Lord because he called us for a reason and only he knows what that reason is! Well, we are very very happy to say that not only did the Lord lead us to those 3 new Amis...he lead us to EIGHT new Amis! 3 individuals and 5 new families! It is RAINING Amis!!! Hallelujah!!
Miracles happen everyone...even in FRANCE!! ;)
Coucou à Tous!
Late trains and interesting men are a common occurrence here in the France Paris mission. Our train for exchanges was late and we had been waiting in the dark at the tram stop in Nantes for a very long time when a strange Russian man (who ironically happens to be from Saratov, Russia and only speaks Russian and hardly any French) "approached" me and started speaking Russian. Apparently I look like I speak Russian... Then he looked puzzled at me and says in the little French he knows "You don't speak Russian??"... I don't know why he seemed so surprised, after all, we are in France hahaha. Though that's probably what people here are thinking when I speak to them in broken Franglish hahah. Then, he says that the tram is broken so he is waiting for his friends and offers me and Soeur Burgoyne a ride with them to wherever we need to go...."Saratov Approach 2". Just kidding mom, don't worry! We didn't go with him. Stranger Danger!!! Even though I am about 67% sure he had all good intentions, better to be safe than sorry, haha!
Exchanges were fun as always, I adore Soeur Bond. She is leaving in a few weeks and I am so sad :(. I don't know what we are going to do without her hahaha. She is exactly a year ahead of me in the mission so I will get home exactly a year after her. Missions go by so fast... I am still telling people I have only been out for 3 months hahahah. I am not ready to face reality... (It's actually about double
Ever since I got to France, I have heard nonstop talk about "Kebabs" from all the members and the missionaries. Well, to describe a kebab... I would say it is the French Equivalent to a Big Mac. It's basically a bun, jam packed full of shredded meet of some sort; I'm not sure exactly what it is, but it sure is popular! Haha. We had a meeting with the elders in our district to plan out a big "Meet the Mormons" event that we are going to be doing in the next few weeks-- which gave us an excuse to try the "famous kebab" for the first time. The Elders were so stoked to witness the trying of our very first kebabs hahahah, Elders are funny. I admit the best part it was watching the elders "swim" while they ate theirs! By the looks in their eyes, you would have thought they had just eaten the fruit of the tree of life!
This week was ZONE CONFERENCE. It's in all caps because zone conference is the bomb. We went the Rennes this time and it was a blast as always. We ate Kentucky fried chicken, which I didn't even know existed in France. I got to introduce my "baby" to everyone and I also watched my "mom" give her dying (going home) testimony. We got a three generation picture! ;) Mission lingo is a bit strange. I remember when I first got here and people were telling me about missionaries who were "dying"... I was very concerned and frankly quite distraught that they were taking it so lightly hahaha.
I am going to need to buy a new suitcase just for my cookbooks. This week I added 3 more French Cuisine books to my collection, given to me from members in the ward hahaha, YES!! I have 13 cookbooks now plus one other that I have started writing myself!...it may be becoming a bit of an obsession. The other day we were at Frère Reigner's for dinner (The professional Chef) and he gave me a French chocolate, and a Thai recipe book and he said, "Now take these and promise to come back to Paris to become the chef you were born to be from a REAL French Gourmand!" Apparently a Gourmand is a Chef that has been awarded a collar colored like the French flag as a sign of outstanding achievement in cuisine, or in other words, they are ranked as the best "Gourmands" in France! Wouldn't that be amazing?!...pricey too! Eesh!!
Yesterday was fast Sunday and The Lord blessed us with the most amazing miracle. As I was preparing for bed Saturday night I felt prompted to fast for The Lord's help in getting started with the new "Our friends are your friends" program in our mission. Specifically, a family in our ward named the Rio's lingered in my mind. So, I decided to fast to find a new investigator that would fit well with them. We had a planned to eat lunch with the Rio family after church so we figured it would be the perfect time to present the program to the family and ask them to join us in prayer and fasting to find this investigator :) But, before we even had the opportunity, a cute English girl walked into church randomly and sat right behind the Rio's (did I mention they are an English family?) I thought for sure she was a visiting member, she was just glowing! In fact, everyone thought she was a new missionary hahaha. They were all congratulating us on our new trio companionship haha! She made instant friends with the Rios! After sacrament they introduced her to us. She had met the missionaries on the bus in England before she moved to France. Miraculously, we happened to have a lunch already planned with the Rios for Sunday after church. So we invited her last second and we had so much fun! Sister Rio made English food and made her feel like she was right at home :) It was incredible. She is thrilled to be back at church and taking the missionary lessons, and we are thrilled that she is here! We are all going to institute together this weekend :). I bet you can guess what I am going to say next?...
Miracles happen... Even in FRANCE! :)
Well, that's it for today everyone, I am sorry it's short, I have a very big family and lots of "happy birthdays" to wish this month haha :) One more quick thought before I send this off... In speaking with the members on the topic of missionary work I have heard this goofy phrase WAY too many times...
"I have faith, I'm just telling you that I already know they aren't going to listen!"
Where is the "faith" in that statement? Two of my favorite and most used phrases in French are "On Sais JAMAIS!" or in other words "We NEVER know!" and "Avec la grande foi vient les grands miracles!"..."Big faith brings big miracles!" Of course this reminds me of a scripture that I love :)...
"16 And there was no inequality among them; the Lord did pour out his
Spirit on all the face of the land to prepare the minds of the
children of men, or to prepare their hearts to receive the word which
should be taught among them at the time of his coming--
17 That they might not be hardened against the word, that they might
not be unbelieving, and go on to destruction, but that they might
receive the word with joy, and as a branch be grafted into the true
vine, that they might enter into the rest of the Lord their God."
The Lord is preparing the minds and hearts of ALL his children to receive his gospel. On Sais Jamais, when they will be ready. But, I can promise all of you that when we have big faith, we will see big miracles :)
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.