Bonne Fêtes Family!
How was everyone's Christmas holiday?! I hope it was a wonderful one for all of you, I miss you dearly! It was such a treasure to have the opportunity to Skype with my family on Christmas. Mom, everyone here who see's your picture says, "Elle a l'air jeune!"...which means that you have the "air of youth" :)
This last week we got to start our "vacation" early...IN PARIS! Woot woot! We had legality in Paris and so we got to take a day off and visit Paris! It was pretty awesome. Plus, my companion and I got to stay the night before Christmas Eve in Paris too! The reason being, it is Christmas time, and there were NO open seats on any trains back to Angers, so the office called us and told us just to stay the night in Paris! We stayed with the sister training leaders and we got to spend the night walking and shopping around Paris. We ate at a fun Thai place for dinner and got pistachio gelato shaped like massive flowers, it was really yummy! After we finished we tried to head back to the apartment but the key that they gave us didn't work and my companion forgot the phone!!...Oh boy...Well, we didn't know what to do so I said...hmm...If a French person were in a situation where they didn't know what to do, what would they do?...Drink?...So, that is exactly what we did haha!...Don't worry, it was just a big bottle of organic juice ;)
We took our juice and sat outside a fancy restaurant, that we thought was closed, and we drank! ;) hahaha. That is when it got a little awkward...apparently the restaurant was open...the owner walked out and gave us one of the most interesting looks I have ever seen and then he started speaking to us in English...."Uhhh...what are you two doing?...Can I get you something to Eat? Drink?...Are you staying?...Umm, Do you want to leave?"
We just looked at each other awkwardly and then I said with a goofy smile, "Do you want us to leave?" and he said, "Well, you realize that what you are doing is like walking into a bar with your own beer, or a restaurant with your own food hahaha."
Then he saw the badge..."AH, YOU ARE MISSIONARIES! WE LOVE MISSIONARIES!"...
and thus began a glorious friendship! haha :) We told him the story about how we were locked out of the apartment until the other sisters got back and he felt so bad for us, he even brought us cups for our drinks and then introduced us to the chef of the restaurant! How cool is that?! Well, we ended up going for round two on dinner that night because he was SO nice to us, we had to! The food was absolutely amazing, best French meal I have had yet, and that is saying something! But holy smokes, we were STUFFED! I couldn't even sleep that night because I was SO full! Don't ask me how I haven't gained 50 pounds, it's the miracle of missionary work...
The next morning we hopped on a different train and went to Nantes to celebrate Christmas Eve with our zone. We attempted to cook a turkey... it took so long that by the time it was finished all our food was cold so we took turns putting our plates in the churches broken microwave hahaha. Though the best part was singing at the retirement home that afternoon, there was this lady in her 90s that was holding her teeth in her hand and waving them around as we sang haha!
Later that night we went over to the Deforge's house for Christmas Eve dinner and we tried to do raclette but when we plugged in the stove, the power went out! Haha! We just laughed and sang songs while we tried to figure out how we were going to eat dinner :) Eventually we were able to get the power back on though so it ended up being a lot of fun! :) Moments like that are so fun because you learn to just come what may and love it!
I have one more goofy story for you before I get serious for a little bit and then wrap up, I apologize that this letter is a bit shorter than usual, it was a pretty relaxed week! Which was very nice :)
The other day while I was Skyping my family, my brother in law Reed told me a story about when he was on his mission. He said that his family stopped writing him and he was getting so frustrated that he decided to write home and make up a story about him getting in trouble for kissing a girl on his mission while acting like it was "no big deal" hahaha. Well, long story short...his family wrote him every week for the rest of his mission ;)...
Well, my family hasn't stopped writing me...so you can believe me when I tell you that this is a true story haha!...
Yesterday, my companion and I were waiting for the tram to go to church with a member who is about our age when this boy, about 19 or 20 came up to us and started trying to talk to us. We tried to just ignore him because usually if you do that, they will eventually just walk away haha. But, not this guy! He kept repeating this word to me and I had NO clue what he was saying! Sooo, I just stared at him blankly hoping that eventually he would get the hint. That's when the tram came. He shook my companions hand and then he looked and me, grabbed my hand with both hands, and laid a nice slobbery kiss on the back of my hand! hahaha. EW! I was pretty grossed out, but I figured there were worse things that could have happened, so we laughed it off. Then, on the tram, the member explained that the word he was saying to me meant, "Love at first sight" haha, oh dear! At least, it was over, or so we thought...haha!
His stop came and he gets up and runs over to me, sliding into the chair next to me on the tram and continues to preach his "love" to me. I just kept looking at my companion hoping she would know what to do, then next thing I know, BAM!... He was kissing my cheek! Then he went straight for my lips and my companion screamed and tried to shove his head and ended up accidentally shoving his face right into mine!! hahaha. I was in shock!! Then he bowed to me and ran off the tram blowing kisses along the way. Rahel, the member, was SOBBING! She was laughing SO hard that tears were streaming down her face! I didn't even know how to react! I just sat there, still in shock! That was the most bizarre thing that has ever happened to me! hahaha! Oh goodness...French boys...
Well, I can honestly say that I would never have believed that my first New Years kiss would be on my mission HA!...I also got proposed to later that day by an old man on the street on my way home from church...it was an interesting day....But, back to missionary work!! ;) I hope that goofy little story brought a little humor into your day!
A sister told me the other day before she went home,
"being a missionary is awesome because it gives you the chance to become the person that you never thought you could become, but always wanted to be."
I have been thinking quite a bit about this over the past few days and I think it is wonderful. Though, the thing that makes it truly beautiful is that it isn't just applicable to those of us who are on missions for 18 months or 2 years. Every single one of us can be a missionary as we look for ways to serve those around us, and invite them to experience the blessings, and everlasting joy, of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ; That is how Jesus Christ spent his life, he went about doing good. Serving, healing the sick, teaching, loving...being a missionary! I know that if we choose to follow his example, and constantly strive to live as he lived, serve as he served, and love as he loved, we are able to become the person that we never thought we could become, but always wanted to be.
I love you all so much and I hope you have a wonderful new year!
Bonne Fêtes! Happy New Year!
Joyeux Noël ma Famille et mes amis!!
The past week was quite rough, but The Lord has been so good to us. After a very hard week, we received a call from some members in our ward, the Deforge family, inviting us to go caroling with them. I think it was for his cousin if I remember correctly...But she is 93 years old! It was a really fun experience as well as a really funny one because we had to YELL at FULL VOLUME, everything that we said to her because she couldn't hear us otherwise hahaha. We repeated everything at least 3 times so that she could hear us haha. It was great! Singing with the Deforges was the first time I have really felt "at home" here on the mission because everything is so different here and my family is so far away! But it was a real tender mercy of the Lord because even though it might seem insignificant to others, that was such a special moment for me... It reminded me of one of my most treasured family traditions; on Christmas Eve when my family gathers together around the piano and we sing Christmas songs together. It was a truly beautiful evening. The Lord knew how much I needed that. It is so special to receive those little tender mercies of the Lord that remind us just how much we are loved :). Though they might seem small and insignificant to someone else, they mean the world to each of us individually.
This was the week of tender mercies. We saw lots of rejection this week and very little success, but the Lord blessed us with so many tender moments that kept us going<3!
Tender mercy number one...We had a much needed "day off" last week for a Christmas Zone conference in Paris! I am not sure if I have ever been so excited to see someone as I was to see Soeur Hodgman! My MTC companion :). There is a special bond that you have with the person you start your mission with! I missed her so much! We were both on the verge of tears when we saw each other haha! I felt like we were in a movie, running in slow motion towards each other with that extremely dramatic music playing in the background. haha! Our mission president and his wife gave us the best Christmas gift in the world this year. They secretly gathered letters from all of our parents and then gave the letters to us during zone conference! Just about every single missionary in the room was in tears as they read their parent's letter, including President Babin as he saw how much it meant to each and every one of us! Yes, even I bawled, like a baby, surprise haha. My companion and I were asked to sing at zone conference too which was fun! Even though we were only able to practice with the elders one time beforehand haha, yikes! But I think it went pretty well!
On our way back from zone conference we got a call that the train that was supposed to take us to our connecting trains for Angers was canceled because someone jumped in front of it :(...we had no way to get to our other train so we ended up missing it. Luckily after about 2 hours of frantically running through Parisian train stations, we were able to exchange our tickets and make it back to Angers. My companion and I got home so late that night we just crashed in our living room on some blankets, we didn't even bother to tuck ourselves into bed, we were exhausted! haha.
I woke up sick the next day so we decided to make some soup to see if we could kick it before it got worse. I loaded up on cayenne pepper and apple cider vinegar, then when I went to put some dried peppers in the soup, the lid came off and about two cups of peppers fell into the soup!! haha! Well, those peppers are precious so I wasn't about the waste them!! Let's just say, our sinuses were definitely cleared that night! Our eyes and noses were running/watering like crazy haha! Good thing we both LOVE spicy food! Sadly...even that soup couldn't stop this bug haha. I was up all night with a fiery fever and a nauseous stomach. To add to the excitement, here in Angers, we only have one companionship of Soeurs... so if one person is sick, you have no one to do exchanges with for lessons...So I bundled up and we headed out! I was still excited to teach Melonie because she was progressing so well and we were going to invite her to be baptized that day! But, we showed up and she was standing at her door with our books and brochures and she gave them to us and told us to leave! We were SO broken hearted! We asked her why and she began to go off on how she "knew" that we were only here on missions because if we didn't serve then we would be disowned by our country...Whaaaaatttt?... *"forced" to live in Paris France for 18 months?! Wo is me!! ;P*
...Well, many things were said after that but it was not a very fun experience to say the least. My companion and I finished strong, though! Well, spiritually...we bore very powerful testimonies to her and the spirit was so powerful! She didn't care to listen, but at least, we gave her the opportunity!
Here is the tender mercy that came from that experience...On our way home we met the sweetest girl ever! Her name is Emily and she is from the United States, and she doesn't speak any French because she is here teaching English. She was so kind to us and she was very interested in what we had to say! My favorite part of this miracle is that we happened to have an English Book of Mormon on us that we were able to give her because Melonie gave it back to us! Melonie had one in English and French because she was trying to learn English. We NEVER have them in English!! It was SUCH a miracle/tender mercy!
As a child and young adult I never really understood the concept of a tender mercy. I often heard people speak of them in church, at home, and even at school! But, what is it exactly that defines a tender mercy?...Since I have been on my mission I have come to the conclusion that it is like of like the concept of flirting...you can't really define it, but you know it when you see it! haha ;) It is kind of a goofy way to think about it, I know. But, that's exactly what they are! Tender mercies are different for everyone, which makes it hard to define, but we are able to recognize them, by the way, they make us feel the love of our Savior-- that is what makes them so tender :)
I hope you all have beautiful celebrations and I pray that we will all remember the reason we celebrate Christmas and truly think of what we can give back to The Lord this year, for he has given us the greatest gift of all,
"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."-Luke 2:11
Merry Christmas and a Joyeux Noël! Je vous aime!
Soeur Tracie Wyson
p.s. Those of you who have sent letters and emails, they are so special to me! Merci Beaucoup! I love you!
Bon Matin! I bet you are all wondering about the duck liver...right? Don't worry, I'll get to that!
Our Christmas goal is to find one new investigator every single day until the New Year and it has been amazing to experience the miracles that we have been able to take part in! One of my favorite Miracles from last week happened right after I sent off my weekly email! Melissa's Miracle! Not to mention it just has a really nice ring to it, don't you think? :) !
It was P-day and we had a "mangervu" that night right after preparation day finished so we did not have time to contact that night. But, on the way back to our apartment, we had a few minutes left and we decided to see if we could use those 3 or so minutes to find a new ami! The streets were completely empty because it was FREEZING outside, so we thought maybe we should just head back. We prayed quickly to know what we should do and we both felt strong that we needed to stay on the road that we were on even though it was empty. Then, not moments after our prayer, a young African woman came swiftly around the corner! I quickly contacted her and asked if we could share a little Christmas message with her. We showed her the Christmas video "He is the Gift" and she started crying! When it finished she kept telling us how grateful she was that we shared that with her and how much it touched her. She didn't hesitate for a second when we asked if we could set up another rendezvous! It was such a miracle because we were able to use that last 3 minutes of the day to find ONE person even though it was freezing and every physical part of us was telling us to just walk home, the spirit was telling us otherwise. Melissa was the only person that we were able to contact that day and now she is taking the missionary lessons. Because we were able to heed the promptings of the spirit, Melissa is now having the opportunity to experience the blessings and joy that the gospel brings into the lives of all those who will hear it :)
Now about that mangervu...The Reigner Family is amazing! They are members here in Angers. The father is a professional French chef and we got to cook with him! How cool is that?! When we got there he tossed two aprons at us and told us to get ready to work haha, I was so stoked! I have really gotten into cooking since I have been here. It is so much fun! He brought out this giant leg of an animal and he set it on the counter, cut a good slab off and said, "open your mouth!"...he is practicing his English ;)... well, I never hesitate to try to weird food here, so I listened haha! My reaction was something along the lines of..."Wow!! That is really good! What is it cooked in?!" (expecting to learn some great Chef's secret)...can you see where this is going?...His response was, "Is not cook! Is raw Pig!" hahaha! My companion about passed out because she is a vegetarian haha, and he didn't just feed her some bacon ;)! I thought it was pretty awesome! He told me that if I want to come back after my mission that he will teach me how to cook like a professional French chef, "Starting with LIVE pig!" then he said, "But you will not be so skinny if I teach you to be Chef!" hahaha oh man! Don't worry mom, I took LOTS of pictures ;)
The next day we had a rendezvous with Melissa, but our phone started being really weird and we couldn't get a hold of her. So we went to the apartment complex that we thought she lived in and we decided to just start calling every single apartment with hopes that one of them would be hers haha! It was A LOT of calls!...Well, after about an hour of no luck we decided to try one last apartment. A young woman finally answered, and then hung up on us. We were pretty bummed. But, we had high hopes of finding someone even though we hadn't had any luck yet that day! So we prayed to know where to go next and as soon as I said, "Please help us to know where to go so that we can find someone who is ready to hear the gospel," a woman came out of the building in a robe and mini-mouse slippers and interrupted our prayer with, "Are you the girls who called me? Sorry, I couldn't hear you! Who are you and what do you want?"...well the rest of that conversation is history because she invited us in!! She was very kind and happy to hear what we had to say! We also gave her a Book of Mormon and set up another rendezvous! We have been so blessed to be able to find these wonderful people who have been prepared by the Lord to receive the gospel.
Thursday was a very interesting day. First off, It was SO COLD! There was hardly anyone outside that day because it was so so cold. The humidity is what really gets you, that plus the wind! The fog was so thick that you could only see about 50 meters in front of you at a time and my hair stayed wet all day because it was so humid! We ported all day in the weather and no one would let us come in. There was a point in time where I was periodically checking to make sure all my limbs were still there because they had gone completely numb from the cold haha! I guess that's what we get for praying for a white Christmas.
After an entire day of this, we started heading back toward our apartment for the night. We were a bit discouraged so we decided to follow the example of the pioneer children and sing some Christmas songs as we walked to lift our spirits! haha :) About 10 minutes later, we ran into a couple of college students and we were SO excited because we were finally going to be able to talk to someone! Well, the boy was a VERY devote Muslim and he had something to say about every single thing we said and more! haha. Some of my personal favorites..."Well, I am a better Christian than you because you eat pork! Yet you call yourself a sister?! And you don't even wear a vale!"...and the best one," and where on Earth did this father Christmas come from?! Did your church invent him?!" SURPRISE everyone, Santa Claus is a Mormon! ;)...Oh boy...Can we get back on topic, please?...Well, I honestly didn't know what to say to this man because his questions required French far beyond my abilities. In fact, his questions required English far beyond my abilities! haha. So, I did what I always do! I said a prayer in my heart to know what I could say to him. It was in that moment that I felt prompted to give him a brochure that explains God's plan for us and the restoration of his church here on the Earth. He took it and thanked me, then he said he would read it! He even let us leave him with a prayer :)
A couple days later we were hanging out with the bishop’s daughter Leia while we were setting up for the Christmas program that night when we received the most unexpected call!! The guy from the other night! I was SO stoked because I thought maybe he had read the brochure I gave him and changed his mind about the things we said haha, but that was wishful thinking...I am still hoping that is that case!
Soeur Curtis answered the phone and he says,
"Soeur Wyson?"...and she says, "Bah, no, C'est Soeur Curtis"...and he says (in French of course) "This is Abraham, where are you?"
Soeur Curtis, "We are at our church, are you coming to the activity tonight?"
Abraham," yeah maybe...but Soeur Wyson...How is she? She goes well?"
Soeur Curtis, "Yeah she goes well...?" Abraham, "Okay, okay, that's good. See you later! *hangs up*"
Soeur Curtis looks at me, and I just said, "Heyyy!!! Maybe he just wants to be baptized!"...Well, that is wishful thinking but the other missionaries seem to think his intentions were different haha! Let's hope that is not the case but hey, it made for a great story! :)
Our ward Christmas party was AWESOME! The food was so yummy! Especially the Raclette! It is potatoes with salami, pickles, and fresh melted Raclette cheese on it! It is so simple but SO good! The desserts were really great too! I managed to try every single one of them without the risk of gaining weight because I took one little bite of everything and then handed it to Elder Grayston to finish it off haha!...I apologized in advance for being the cause of the extra 15 pounds he is going to put on this transfer.
Yesterday we ate Sunday dinner at the Bishops house. I was helping his wife prepare the food and she handed me a big bowl of something very strange looking and asked me to mash it up and spread it on the bread. I asked her what it was...well...it is a French word so I will just tell you in English, Fatty, overstuffed, duck liver! Yummy! haha haha. Sounds appetizing doesn't it? My companion was ready to toss her cookies, but the elders and I stayed strong! We thought it was hilarious, it's not every day you get to eat something as cool as that! ;) The story was worth every bite, haha!
Our Bishop's family is bilingual because he is from Scotland, his wife is from France, and his kids were raised in Wales and Angers (I think). I have to be careful because his daughter reads my blog ;) It really messes with my brain because they all have really different and heavy accents and then they switch between French and English every other word without realizing it hahaha. My brain was ready to burst! Their little boy has a really heavy Scottish accent and he said something to me in English and I had NO clue what he said! The Bishop just laughed and said, "It's really rough when you start forgetting your native tongue isn't it?"
I have shared a lot of goofy stories today, but I was saving my very favorite miracle for the last :)...
It all started with a dream... my companion and I were praying for baptisms. As we did so, we started seeing the most miraculous things happening and so many of our amis were progressing and choosing to be baptized.
During weekly planning this week, I couldn't stop thinking about this dream that I had. So, told my companion that we needed to start praying specifically for baptisms this week. Last week we prayed for miracles and we saw SO many! So this week we decided to start praying for baptisms. I gave my first baptismal invite in French to an ami named Nelly the other day, and she said yes! Since then, we have had SEVEN other amis accept our invitation to be baptized! We are currently working on setting specific baptismal dates for all of them according to their needs and situations, we are praying that we will be able to keep them all progressing! We have about 25 other amis that we haven't invited yet because they are brand new, but they are all doing so well! It is hard to teach right now because it is finals week for everyone here in school.
Okay, now for "Adelaide's Miracle"...her name is in quotes because we don't actually know what her name is...neither of us could understand it and we asked about 15 times, but it sounded something like that! Yesterday we arrived at the church and this young African girl walked into the church. She was very worried that she was late, but she was actually 20 minutes early! She speaks and understands less French than I do because she speaks Portuguese! We spoke very slowly with her and we were able to find out that she had been contacted by some elders on the street almost a year ago! Those elders are no longer here, but she found the address to our church and said she felt like she should come check it out today! How cool is that?! We were able to give her a tour and teach her a bit about the church by reading brochures and books with her in her language, hoping that she will understand even though we don't speak it! We read in French and she reads in Portuguese! We also started Portuguese on Duolingo haha, it is not easy learning two languages, but it is an adventure ;)! She LOVED church. In fact, she loved it SO much that she took a picture with us for her Instagram and Facebook and she said she couldn't wait until next week because she was going to bring ALL her friends!
The Lord is really hastening his work here and it is such a blessing to be part of it! There are times when days last forever, your feet ache, and you miss your family, but there is no better work than the work of the Lord and no greater joy than that which comes from sharing the gospel with his children and seeing the blessings and happiness that come to them as they accept his gospel into their lives.
We are SO loved and SO blessed!
Until next week! Merry Christmas everyone! <3
Ps: It's my "birthday"!!!... in the mission haha... 2 months old today haha :) I only get to have a two month party 8 more times! WHAT?! See you all in 16!
First off, JOYEUX ANNIVERSAIRE to my beautiful mother!! Mom, I love you so much!!! I wish so much that I could give you a huge hug and tell you how special you are and how grateful I am for you. You are an angel and a perfect example of what it means to have charity, the pure love of Christ. <3
My French is PARFAIT...when is comes to shopping...haha! Last week we were shopping for preparation day and I found these adorable and totally Parisian boots that are real leather and I just have to have them! So I turned to the owner and I just started asking for sizes and colors and talking with no problem! hahaha, my trainer couldn't believe it! I just looked at her and said, in French, "I can shop";)! I am really looking forward to the day when I can speak French the way I can speak shopping! Later that day we were shopping and I found an adorable black dress but we ran out of time so I couldn't buy it, unless I wanted to take a few extra minutes to wait at the register...Well, I wanted to be exactly obedient, so I said my farewells and left my dress on the rack. The next day, I was doing some Christmas cleaning and I found the EXACT dress in the "Soeur box" and it was my size!! Woot woot!! Tender mercies. Exact obedience really does bring blessings!! ;) The last thing I bought was my pink pillow scarf. It is super chic here to have these massive blanket scarfs. Well, you bet I bought one! The only problem is, it is basically narcolepsy in a scarf haha! It is sooo warm and comfy, you could fall asleep anywhere! Not to mention, it supports your head perfectly. I will definitely be bringing a few of these babies home with me! (This was a big shopping P-day because it's Christmas haha)
That night we had "Mangervu" at a members house...(Mon-zhay-voo)...which is a cross between a "rendez-vous"(meeting) and "manger" (to eat)... They are from New Caledonia and holy smokes, I felt like I was living in the movie, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"... "Eat missionaries! Eat!" Luckily I was able to make a few fries last the full 3 hours of dinner so that they didn't make me eat more. I managed to cut those 3 fries into about 30 pieces and "struggle" to pick each one up to kill time. My companion made the mistake of finishing the mountain that was on her plate too fast and they refilled it all over again, just as high! 3 times!! It was enormous! You couldn't help but feel a little bad for her haha! But it was pretty hilarious. She was so sick that night. At least she was sick on really good food! But they did make her eat a ton of meat and she wasn't too stoked about that since she is a vegetarian, haha.
Food find of the week was this hot chocolate that is made in a little artisan chocolate shop in Centre Ville, they make it themselves right there in the shop, from scratch! Well, I am sure it was at least 10,000 calories, and it was worth every single one of them!! It was like drinking from a chocolate fountain! We were literally just drinking straight melted French chocolate...wow, it was heaven!...Would you believe me if I told you I still haven't gained any weight? haha! I am still going strong!
On Wednesday I went on exchanges with my sister training leader and so I got to stay a couple days in a different city that is along the coast of France called, "Nantes" and it was so fun! I learned SO much and so many different ways to make missionary work even more fun than it already is! Soeur Back is awesome, we are crossing our fingers that we are put together as companions before she dies (goes home).
My companion and I were looking back at our week and the weeks of the other missionaries and we decided that it is time to start seeing miracles in the France, Paris mission! So, we set some goals for the Christmas season and one of them includes having a slogan for each day for something that we want to accomplish! Vendredi (Friday) was "InVite em' Vendredi!" meaning we were going to invite everyone we knew and met to church with us the coming Sunday. We invited SO many people! It was such a miracle! But the biggest miracle was Friday morning. We prayed so hard for miracles and we decided that we were going to get ready extra fast so that we could do our studies and get out of our apartment a little earlier than usual so we could get out and start having those miracles! Well, on the way out, I stopped and I looked at my desk. I noticed that I had left my English Book of Mormon sitting out. I went back to put it away and then I felt prompted to take it with me instead. Without thinking much of it, I grabbed it and slipped it into my bag. We were on our way to the tram when we saw Lorrainne. A cute English speaking African lady walking down the street. My companion stopped her and I felt prompted to share a little Christmas video with her. I whipped out my IPad and opened "He is the Gift". When it finished, she took her glasses off and she way crying! She was so touched that we had remembered the true meaning of Christmas and she begged us to continue to share it with everyone! She LOVES the gospel! She has been worshipping every Sunday with her friends just in her house because she feels that the other religions have "lost the truth" and that they are "confused". She then went on to ask us all the perfect questions!! Including, "can I have your number? Will you please, please call me? I really want you to come teach my whole family! Will you please, please do that? I will get them all together for you!"...ummmm OF COURSE WE WILL! Then I felt a very strong prompting to give her my English Book of Mormon that I had brought with me. I pulled it out and told her that I had something very special that I wanted her to have. I testified of the Book of Mormon and then handed it to her. She took it, grabbed both my hands and started to cry, then she said, "This is the best Christmas gift I have ever gotten." Then she gave me an enormous hug! We left her with a prayer and she was SO happy!
Though I had to hold my breath to keep from giggling every time she yelled, "AMEN!" during my companions prayer, haha. :)
More miracles!! Each day, along with our slogans, my companion and I have started doing other things to improve ourselves and our efforts. One of them being gratitude prayers for every single miracle we are blessed with. Whether it be big or small! It has been so wonderful because what we have seen is that as we learn to recognize the Lord’s hand in our lives, and show sincere gratitude for everything that he does for us, he is blessing us with more and more each day! The miracles are FLOODING in!
A few of them that I want to share with you today :)... literally just a few because there are SO many!
We contacted a woman named Ludwine on the street and we were going to give her a tour of the church but she didn't show up to our RDV so we called her and she felt so bad that she had forgotten so she said she would just come to church with us this Sunday instead! We were not about to complain about that!!
The other day we had a RDV with a lady named Louise but when we got to her house, she wasn't home. We were so bummed, especially because she lives so far away and we didn't even get to see her :( But, I felt impressed to leave a note on her door and as we were writing the note, she showed up! It was a miracle because if we wouldn't have listened to that prompting to stay and write the note, we would have missed her! Turns out, she was really sick so we weren't able to stay long but we were able to leave her with a prayer to bless her to feel better and also give her a Book of Mormon! She was really, really grateful! It was such a blessing that we were able to be there to help her :)
We taught SIX lessons that day and found two new amis (investigators)!! Also, on the way home we passed a homeless woman and I felt prompted to stop and talk to her. I stopped my companion and walked up the the woman, I told her that I was sorry I didn't have any money to give her but that something I could give her is a prayer to bless her and to help her know she has a Heavenly Father her loves her dearly. We prayed with her and she was so touched that we would take the time to pray with her. It was a beautiful experience <3
The next day we taught a young African girl (mid 20s) for the first time and she shows up and looks at us and says, "So where’s my Book?" (referring to the Book of Mormon). Well we only had French books on us and she really wanted one in English because that is her native language. So she walked all the way back to our apartment with us so that we could get one for her! She was so excited about it! When I gave it to her she flipped through it and pretty much taught us everything that we were planning on teaching her, it was so awesome! Then she said, "Ok, I am going to go home and read this book, then I am going to call you and tell you what I think! Then you can come over and we will discuss it! Is that good?"...OH MY GOODNESS, YES IT IS GOOD!
Last night we ported all night long trying to sing Christmas carols for people with no success. No one would let us sing for them! Who doesn't love Christmas songs?! Apparently everyone in Angers ;P We thought maybe it would be better to take the tram back toward our apartment and just finish up contacting for the night over there. But, we prayed and felt impressed to stay in the area that we were in. Right after we closed our prayer we found a new ami!! We ported the house of a sweet african lady named, Carol. She let us sing some Christmas songs to her and she asked if we could come back and teach her family on Friday at 11! She said that she has little kids and they don't really understand the bible so we are going to bring the children scriptures that have the pictures in them for her little ones :) Ahhh!! How cool is that?!
We had so many miracles this week it was AMAZING! I can't wait to see the miracles that this next week bring! When we turned in our numbers for the week, we immediately got calls from both the Zone Leaders and the STLs because they thought we must have accidentally typed the wrong numbers because they were SO high! They couldn't believe it!! The Lord has blessed us so much and we are so so grateful to be able to be instruments in his hands to help with this beautiful work!
Miracles happen everyone!!...Even in FRANCE!
Pray for miracles, work for miracles, and expect miracles!
I love you so much and I am praying for you all!<3
Soeur Tracie Wyson
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.