Salut tout le Monde!
I have seen a lot of miracles on my mission... but WOW!!! Let me tell you about this week!!!
Conquering Paris, in PANTS!
No, our mission wasn't changed to a pants mission... #wishfulthinking... BUT! I had a doctor’s appointment in Paris and so we got to wear pants. It was actually quite incredible because apparently when we wear pants, suddenly EVERYONE wants to talk to us. Maybe it's because instead of looking like a couple of nuns, we just look like super stylish, cool, happy people with shiny black badges.
We were probably enjoying our pants a little too much. On our way back home to change into skirts, we saw a train going out to an inactive member's house that normally only comes every 45 minutes or it just doesn't come (usually the case). So when we saw that it was leaving in only three minutes we looked at each other slyly and said... "Heyyy ;)...Is it worth finishing the day in pants?" Then we jumped on the train as the doors closed, in our pants. We have been trying to see this lady since I got to Versailles, so we had to seize the opportunity!
When we got to the end of the line, we got off the train and headed to Alphonsine's house. Upon arriving at her house we realized there was a code to get into the building that we didn't have. Then we remembered a text we had gotten from the member who had originally given us the address saying, "Oh yeah, there is a code to get in that we don't have. But you know, with a little Fasting and prayer, you will figure it out ;)..." hahaha. So we stepped off to the side and said a prayer. In that prayer we said something along the lines of, "Heavenly Father… We are here to visit Alphonsine but the door is locked. Please help us guess the code, or send someone to open the door for us. Thanks!" Then we turned back toward the door and guessed a few codes before a woman walked out about 10 seconds later and held the door open for us. Woohoo!
We came to the second locked door, that you have to be “rung” into. So we called up to Alphonsine's apartment... and her daughter answered! Alphonsine is a recent convert and we had NO idea she even had a daughter! Neither did anyone else! But we were pretty stoked because she let us in. Alphonsine wasn't home but we were able to talk with her daughter for a while, which was super cool. She didn't know anything about the church! She didn't even know her mom was a member! But now she wants to come to church so that's amazing, hopefully she will bring her mom with her! She called her mom while we were there and let us talk to her. So we get to see her on Monday morning :)
On our way home from Alphonsine's, we met this super cool lady on the street who told us that she wasn't interested. Then we told her about modern day revelation and she was like, "WHAT!? Are you serious!? Take my number!! Here is my address!! Come back on Monday!!" So we will also be seeing her on Monday!! :D We are pretty stoked about that!
On the train ride home I met a super funny old man who invited me and my companion to come to the community swimming pool with him. Hahahaha. He cracked me up. Then he gave me chocolate and said he would come to church this week. I hope he does! Hahahaha.
All of those awesome miracles happened, while we were in pants. We were pretty giddy about it. I don't know how many of you have seen spongebob... but we kept on saying things like... "Getting on the metro!... in pants ;)... Contacting!... in pants ;)... Teaching the Restoration... in pants! ;)"
Our Valentine's Day Date.
On our way to meet up with Rounar (The African guy I met last week), whose name actually turned out to be Omar, oops. Hahah. We realized... he had invited us to go to a café in La Défense (Paris) on the evening of February 14th. Wait a minute... I sure hope this isn't... Soeur George and I laughed the whole way there. Did we just say yes to a Valentine's Day date!?! ON OUR MISSIONS!?
Luckily, as soon as we sat down, he said "Okay. So we are here to talk about religion. What have you prepared?" Hahaha, it was totally awesome. He promised us he would read the Book of Mormon every single night after work until he was finished--at least two to three chapters a night. A little more about his story... he and his wife just got a divorce and he is trying to get custody of his children. But he feels that they deserve to be raised in a good religious home. So he has been searching diligently to find the right church to raise his children in.
The Fire Side/Open House.
Last week we planned with a member family to do a fireside for our amis at their house. The only problem is... none of our amis could come at the same time, and they could all only stay for an hour. But they all said they could come! So it turned into more of an Open House than a Fireside, hahaha. We taught a new ami at 6:00. Sent her on her way. Eugénie at 7:00. Sent her on her way. And finally, we taught Omar at 8:00! Three, member present, Restoration lessons right in a row! Woot woot! Also, what are the odds that Omar works at the grocery store right across the street from this member’s house?! Omar loved the Restoration. He told us that he felt something very powerful when we shared it :).
The Nanny and the Two Second Contact.
Soeur George and I were running through a park to get somewhere when we felt prompted to contact a woman that had just passed us with 3 little kiddos. With only a couple seconds to spare, we ran back and stopped her to ask if we could come back and share our message with her this week..."Sure! Same time tomorrow?" she replied.
We came back the next day with the same member who hosted our "open house" the day before, Sister Valentin! After pulling out the Book of Mormon she (Marie) says, "Mormon? My husband is Mormon!" Turns out, Marie's husband is actually an inactive member from the old ward of Sister Valentin, and they were good friends!! Marie didn't know anything about his church because they don't talk about religion together (very common here in France). So we got to teach her and give her a Book of Mormon of her very own :)
As we finished the lesson and got up to leave, another woman (Tata) yelled at us from a neighboring bench saying, "Hey! Can you come back at the same time next week and teach me?"
Gessica and Kiddos. "God needs me to pray for my Family".
We got to teach our lovely new family again this week :) My favorite part was our invitation to come to church at the end when the mom said she had too much to do, and then the little girls DOVE onto her and began pleading, "PLEEEEAAAASSSEEEE MOMMY!!! PLEASE! WE WILL DO ANYTHING!!!"
Okay, I just thought of another favorite part... we asked the family if any of them wanted to share an experience with prayer that they had throughout the week and Natasha (8 years old) stood up and turns to her mom with tears streaming down her face and says, "When I pray I feel good. But when I didn't pray for my mom, my little brother, and my sister... I had nightmares that I was all alone... I know that God needs me to pray for my family every night so that he can keep us together."
The Crying Man.
While my companion and I were doing split-contacting on the train, I saw a young man in a suit several rows away with tears just streaming down his face. His eyes were so red it looks liked he hadn't slept or stopped crying in days. I felt so strongly prompted to get up and go sit by him. It seemed a little awkward seeing as I had just contacted the women next to me. But as the prompting got stronger and stronger, I could no longer ignore it. I stood up, walked over, sat down right next to him, and smiled, "Hi, how can I help you? Even if you just want to talk :)" He stared at me for a moment and then pulled another tissue out of his pocket, wiped his eyes. It took him a few minutes to be able to speak without choking up. I asked him if he was believing in God, he shook his head and told me he was never educated religiously. I smiled and said, "God exists. When I pass through difficult moments, I can pray to him, and I know he will give me strength. He will do the same for you if you ask him. :)" Then he smiled at me and said, "Okay, I will try :)" From that moment, our conversation was all smiles and laughs! We had such an enjoyable time talking together about God, life, and miracles :) I also told him that I wasn't French, but American. Then he said, "It all makes sense now, I was so surprised because a French person would have never done what you just did. I can't thank you enough."
As I got off the train, I met back up with my companion and put my arm around her and said... "I never want to stop being a missionary."
The Sushi Girls.
Split contacting round two! With only two metro stops to go, an adorable young girl named Camille stopped me to ask me about how I found my testimony of the church. Then she told me that she had met a missionary like me a few years ago but lost her contact information. However, when the missionary had shared her testimony, it touched Camille so profoundly that she decided to start searching for her own. It was AMAZING! Talk about planting seeds! We were able to exchange numbers and set up a rendezvous for later during the week :) It was amazing! Except...when I looked up at the stops...oops...I had missed mine...
Now that wouldn't normally be too much of a problem, except that my companion was nowhere to be seen... she, however, did not miss the stop. #oops hahaha.
There I was, wandering around La Défense, the busiest area of Paris... with no phone, and no companion. I guess I looked pretty lost because I noticed a girl (about my age) staring and laughing at me. Did she know me? I walked over to her and she said laughing, "Did you lose your friend?". Wait what, how did she know!? "She was just talking to me on the metro, she got off at the wrong stop!" Little did she know it was actually me that got off at the wrong stop Hahahah. I used her phone to call my companion. She actually happened to jump right back on another car when she saw I didn't get off. Phew! The girl (Pauline) was laughing soooo hard. Then she called her friend and they invited us to come to a sushi buffet with them for lunch! Hahaha. #YEAH! We had such a blast together. Plus we invited them to come to Family night with the young adults tonight! :)
Locked in the death closet, almost, by a scary old lady.
We were finally let in while porting!!! Granted it was by a super scary 90 year old African lady and she raged to us about black slavery and racist Americans and then told us to follow her into the basement and she tried to push my companion into a super sketchy, boarded up, pitch black, storage closet...yeah... we won't be going back there!
Teaching Primary-My super power.
I always have fun stories from teaching primary, Lol. I love it!! Yesterday we played a little get to know you game and then I drew the Plan of Salvation up on the board for the little kids and we talked about all of the different parts of the Plan. Then, at the end of the lesson, a little kid shoots up out of his chair, turned to the class, and says, "HEY!! In fact, In fact, I actually think she has some kind of super power or something because she answered ALL of our questions... AND, in fact, I actually think that is the first time I have ever learned something in Primary!" Hahahaha. I never want to stop being a missionary. It's a great super power :)
Well, the closer the end gets, the less I want to leave. I love being a missionary, I love this work, I love the people, and I just love my mission. Miracles happen, every single day... even in France :)
À la prochaine!
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.