Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Time in Carcassonne

I can't believe it's already Christmas!! Crazy how time flies. You know, exactly one year from now I will be home. I have mixed feelings about it.. But I have to have the most amazing Christmas every while I'm here on my mission!!

I have a TON to tell you all, as usual. I'll do my best to fit in the most important - and I can tell you the rest on skype in 2 days!! Whoohooo!

Where to start!?

I don't remember if I've ever said anything about Myriam, but I'm going to now! Briefly, she started talking to me while we were in line for the post office a couple weeks ago when I was sending your package. She probably heard my American accent because she asked me if I spoke English. I said yes!! She told me that she was looking for someone to come and speak to her kids in English so that they could learn it from a real native speaker rather than just at school. She told me that she wanted someone who could be a stable job and that she could pay.. I told her that we couldn't be paid but that we would love to do it for free! She seemed hesitant about it but I gave her my number anyway and she said she would think about it. So Tuesday night we get a phone call from a random number... IT'S MYRIAM. She told us that she would love if we could just come over and help her son with his English homework. We of course agreed! She was so grateful for our help and told us that she would love to have us over often to help him! YAY!!! There family is adorable - and the way their house is decorated looks EXACTLY like ours. Its a little scary. They're going to join the church someday for sure. :)

Zone Conference!!! Oh my heck it was so fun and so uplifting. President is such an amazing speaker - he knows how to make the entire room laugh and cry. It's astounding. I love how much he uses the scriptures when he talks to us - he's such a good example for how we should be teaching as well. So their son-in-law was there to speak to all of us (he's a talented speaker as well) and he came up to me afterward and called me by name without looking at my plaque. He said that he tried so hard the night before to memorize missionaries names but had a really hard time remembering them all, but he told me that I was the easiest to remember. Haha! After the conference we packed up all of our packages and prepared to make the 30 minute trek to the gare. When we got to the door we realized it was POURING RAIN. So all of us missionaries walk 30 minutes in the pouring rain with ALL of our packages. That was a great memory haha.

Reunion of the September arrivals (with Pres. Roney photo bomb...)

JEAN PHILLIPE!!! I can't even begin to describe my feelings on Saturday at his baptism. I thought I was going to explode from joy. The service went flawlessly and the Spirit was so strong. Our DMP, Frère Vital was the one to baptize him and when he heard the news that he got to baptize him he told us that this was the best news he had heard all year and that this is the best Christmas present. :) I love Frère Vital!!!!! He gave a talk on the Holy Ghost right after Jean Phillipe was baptized and he started crying (I've never seen him cry my entire time here). He said that when Jean Phillipe got out of the water he told Frère Vital "I want to do what the soeurs are doing. I want to be a missionary too." When I heard this I couldn't help but cry. I wish you all could have heard Jean Phillipe's testimony afterwards. Everything on the mission is worth it when you get to teach someone as changed and converted to the gospel as Jean Phillipe. Soon enough he'll be a missionary too - what could be better!?

Baptism of Jean-Phillipe by Frere Vital
Soeur Reichelt, Jean-Phillipe et Soeur Everett
This is the biggest miracle of the entire week. Last night at about 9 we get a call from Christian. (Remember Christian? The eternal ami of 8 years who comes to church every Sunday, who was going to get baptized a couple transfers ago but dropped us the day before his baptism?) Well he called last night!!!! He laughed a little when I answered and then he said "Are you sitting down?" I said "Yes... what's up?" Then he said "I want to get baptized." WHAT. At first I thought he was just joking around but then he told us that while he was sitting in church he had a strong spiritual confirmation that he needed to get baptized. So we set a date for January 11th!!!! I'


Well there are about a million other things that happened, buts its impossible to write it all down in so short time!!! I love you all so much!! I am so excited to skype you!!


Soeur Everett

The mission watch
P.S. I've been thinking a lot about Mary the past few weeks since its almost time for Christmas. This morning I was reading the first 2 chapters of Luke to get in the Christmas spirit and one verse really stuck out to me. Luke 2:19. Mary was so magnificent yet so humble. She was the mother of the Savior but she kept all of her spiritual experiences so close to her. We should follow Mary's example and ponder a little more.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Crazy Week!!

What a week!!!! It is always such a party whenever we get to go to Lyon. The train ride there was like 4 hours long so we had tons of time to relax, have fun, and of course spark some French people. :) I sat next to a really cool girl on the train and she was asking me all sorts of questions about the elders because she speaks English pretty well and she wanted to know what they were talking about haha. The first thing when we got off the train I see Soeur Vidal from a distance screaming and running towards me. She didn't leave my side the entire rest of the day - I love my mommy!
So that night after we all went out to dinner, some of the trainers went back to the STL's apartment. They have about 20 beds there - that place is HUGE. TRIPLE BUNK BEDS. Just imagine that for a second. It was basically a hotel. But since its tradition that the trainers dont see the blues before we get assigned we all hid in a back room of the apartment (the blues had no clue we were even there). It was fun to be up there and see some old friends and make some new ones!! There are so many sisters that I'm dying to get to know better!! But I have time for that later. :)

Soeur Reichelt and I hit the ground running. We contacted some really great people while we were in Lyon (she literally has no fear of contacting, its incredible). On the train ride home we taught the entire first lesson to the man sitting across from us on the train (Gerome). Neither one of us had a copy of the Book of Mormon so we had to search the train asking missionaries if they had one. Finally we found one!! So we get back and tell him all about the Book of Mormon and he is really excited to learn more about our church - he has a big family too! (You're welcome Perpignan elders haha.) Then I noticed the man sitting across the aisle was listening in and I asked if he wanted a Book of Mormon too - he said yes - so we searched again for another copy. The missionaries were like "are you baptizing the whole train or what?" - yes :)

It's been crazy how amazing the work is going since we got back to Carcassonne. I feel like every other person we contact on the street is interested in learning more. (Perks of having a blue.) The work is exploding here I'm so excited to see what this transfer brings!!

Ok a little about my blue! :) I have the most amazing daughter I could ever ask for!!! She is incredible. Soeur Reichelt is from Freiberg, Germany - she speaks English REALLY well and she just started learning French 6 weeks ago...but she learns so fast!! And French people love when people are just starting to learn their language, it makes them feel proud that their language is so hard haha. She is 24 - so a whole lot older than me, but she never makes me feel younger!! She completely respects me as her trainer, which is really nice because its not always like that with such a big age difference!! She is HILARIOUS. We have so much fun together and I love being around her. She is really really confident too! Absolutely no fear. When I first picked her up we were at the metro stop waiting to get on and I told her to go contact a lady standing by herself. She said "Sure, why not." She said bonjour and smiled and then had no clue what the lady said after that haha. I remember when I first got here and I was SO scared to contact people!! But she has no problem!! You should've seen her in Sacrament meeting our first Sunday. Last minute Bishop asked us all to give talks and she wasn't even nervous. She just went up and did it! She never complains, she works really hard, she's really obedient and loving and she just lights up a room. I'm so lucky to have her! I just love my daughter!

3 Generations - Soeurs Vidal, Everett et Reichelt

The other night we had a RDV with Phillipe (Remember him from a few weeks ago? The one who missed his bus twice to talk to us?) We finally had a chance to see him on Friday! We asked him if he had read from the Book of Mormon yet and he said, "I'm so sorry I haven't finished yet. I only read about a third." WHAT. He told us that he feels something different when he reads it and that he really wants to come to church and find out if all of this is true. WHOOO

And of course the Phelipes... they are just the most wonderful family - I love them!!! We decided that we needed to cook dinner for them because they are always having us over and giving us herbal tea haha. So we cooked homemade mac and cheese - except switched the macaroni for potatoes (of course - you all know me). They loved it!! I was laughing so hard that night I thought I was gonna die. Pray for Nice to come to church! She watches her friends kids on Sunday morning and hasn't found a way to get to church. She needs lots of prayers!

Last but not least - JEAN PHILLIPE!!! He is basically the best ami on the face of the earth. The most prepared person I think I've ever taught. there hasn't been one since problem with ANYTHING the entire time I've taught him! We taught law of chastity and tithing and word of wisdom and there were no problems... and he's good to go for his baptism on Saturday! I'm so excited!!

Well family, I am doing so well. I am the happiest I've ever been! Don't forget that its our duty to share the gospel with our friends. Everyone deserves a chance to be as happy as we are.

I love you!

Soeur Everett

Alma 26:35-37

Friday, December 13, 2013

Pure Joy

I honestly feel elated, I'm SO happy!! This has been another INCREDIBLE week. First of all... TRANSFER CALLS!!! The morning of calls we were all freaking out a bit (but that's normal...) President called about 10 minutes later than he did last transfer so I was starting to get a little worried. But eventually our phones rang and we all screamed. Sorry vosine (neighbor). Soeur Mann talked first...then Soeur Caldwell....then me. We didn't tell each other what happened until after I hung up. I have no recollection of my conversation with President because I was so stressed out. But he told me that IM STAYING IN CARCASSONNE AND TRAINING!!!! At first I cried because I was so happy, and then I realized that I had to TRAIN someone and then got really nervous... now I'm not sure how I feel now - all I know is I'm leaving tomorrow to go get my new bleue!!!

Marcos and Soeurs Caldwell, Mann et Everett

WOW so much happened this week, I don't even know where to start!! I'll start with Deborah. Remember Deborah? Her dad is inactive and the rest of her family aren't members, but about 2 months ago Soeur Richardson and I were able to go meet with her and she accepted baptism?? Well, she never came to church after that so the baptismal date passed and we just met with her here and there. The thought occurred to us that we should make her an American dinner! After our dinner we had a lesson about the gospel of Jesus Christ. At the end I asked her what she thought about baptism. She told us that she really wants to get baptized and asked her how soon she could. We suggested January and she asked if we could do it sooner!! (We can't because she needs to come to church first..) but this is the first time she has been so committed!! We're way excited!!!!!

Le Pere Noel.  Evidence that Santa Claus is Catholic!

Sorry my emails are always all over the place, I just always have so much to tell you and no time to do it!!! PHELIPES. They are just some of my absolute favorite people. I told the other soeurs that they're my best friends I just don't tell them. :) On Saturday we all went to the foire and we had SO MUCH FUN. It was one of my favorite moments of my entire mission. We played bumper cars, ate crepes, we rode the enormous Ferris Wheel that overlooks all of Carcassonne, and just laughed all night! And they invited us over to their house for dinner the next day. They kept teasing me that they were going to make TONS of fish (because I told them once that I don't like fish...) When we got there Sunday night they brought out a lasagna and they told me it was FISH LASAGNA. Of course I ate it anyway... at the end they brought it up again and I said "hey, I don't even like fish and I ate all of that lasagna" and they told me "oh we were kidding its ham!!" WHAT. I'm so gullible...

Soeur Caldwell and I decided that we're officially in a band because we have now performed at TWO venues together. Last night we performed at a Christmas Concert and afterwards bishop told us that he was so proud to call us his own and that everyone he talked to were wanting us to sing more than one song (encore in France??? WHAT'S UP.)

At the faire

One last thing I guess.... JEAN PHILLIPE IS SO GREAT. I feel so lucky that Heavenly Father trusted me to teach him because he is just amazing. We taught him the Word of Wisdom the other day and the whole time he was talking about how great it was that we had this and how important he thought it was to maintain good health to have the Spirit with us. The other day I texted him and asked him if we could meet that Friday and he responded "Of course I'll be there. The gospel is way too important to me!!" Oh and when he talks to us he uses "vous"... hardly any amis catch on to that. Ok I'm done now, he's just awesome!

Carcassonne is just one of my favorite places on earth. I am SO LUCKY to be staying here and I know my bleue is going to love it just as much as me.

Je vous aime!!!
Soeur Everett

Matthew 6:22 - This is my transfer scripture. I found it the other day in personal study and I can't get over how much I love it. Read it carefully. :)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Carcassonne: Une compte de fée

This week was literally UNREAL. I can't even begin to describe all of the miracles we saw. It's been really hard not having Soeur Richardson here, we definitely miss everything she brings and its been amazing to see how much all of our amis and our ward love her. All of the prayers I've heard for her have touched my heart. She really left a mark on Carcassonne, that's for sure. (Also Soeur Richardson - Nice was SUPER excited you Facebook messaged her!! And you should've heard them pray for you...might have shed a tear...)

Soeurs Caldwell, Everett et Mann

Can I just start by saying we had 23 LESSONS THIS WEEK!!!! I could barely believe everything we got done this week and how amidst helping all of our old amis we were STILL able to find new people to teach!! It's been incredible to see the hand of God in our lives.

Let me start with the most miraculous day of my entire mission so far. Everyone take note - Wednesday, November 27th. We woke up in the morning and neither of our phones worked. We had been 100% cut off from everyone. We couldn't confirm appointments, we couldn't set up anything, RIEN!! So we went to the church to use the landline so that we would be able to accept a super important call. But the person hadn't been informed that our phones weren't working so naturally he called us on our cell phones. And somehow... WE GOT THE CALL. And right after we hung up... THE PHONES STOPPED WORKING. And they didn't work for THREE DAYS after that. Miracle????? Yes. (Also our phones not working for 3 days was highly annoying, but we still had 23 lessons, so I guess it worked out fine haha.) Then as we were walking on our way to a rendezvous Soeur Caldwell was like "hey is that Nicolas?" and so I yell "NICOLAS" (thinking back on that I should probably calm down a little when I run into people haha). He told us he had just tried calling us but obviously our phones weren't working. So because we say him we were able to set up a rendezvous for that night! When we showed up to our rendezvous we got to meet our amis sister! She happened to be SUPER interested and said that she wanted to get baptized! (She doesn't live in our secteur normally..but still!!!) But wait, there's more. Rewind to Tuesday night when we are having our "5 month on a mission" party and I go to take a picture and realize THERE IS NO MEMORY CARD. I left it in the internet café... and you know people in France - not the most honest people. We went back to the internet café, we walk in and immediately the man who works there (we're good friends but I don't know his name...maybe I should ask!!) he said "attends" and he goes to look for something and COMES BACK WITH MY SD CARD. I literally almost cried. Then later that night we had an amazing rendezvous with Nicolas (grown men cry when they feel the spirit, its true). At the end of the rendezvous we realized it was 9:26 and we had 4 minutes to get all the way back to our apartment...its' NOT close. So of course we ran. And guess what time it was when we unlocked the front door? 9:30. On the dot.


WOW, that was a really big paragraph, but that day we were just SO grateful to God for everything He had done for us. It was just amazing.


Something you'll find amusing: At FHE on Monday we had dinner afterwards cooked by Soeur Martin (as usual). She gave us this SUPER good soup. She told us all to guess what was in it. It was green so obviously we guessed normal things. She and the bishop just kind of looked at each other and kept laughing. Finally they told us what the main ingredient was. None of us knew the word and then their son translated it into English... POISON IVY. I ATE POISON IVY SOUP. Apparently its really good for you? Hahaha....

Wow I wish I had SO much more time to write. We had the most incredible week but I have no time to tell you everything that happened!! Things are just going so well! I couldn't ask for better amis or a better ward. Everyone and everything is just amazing. (Except for our crazy neighbor who yells at us for walking too loudly.. we saw her in the street one day and literally ran to avoid talking to her haha. Maybe we'll make her cookies this week :)

Well family I LOVE YOU!! I pray for you all the time. Thank you for all of your prayers, I can feel them and definitely saw many answered prayers this week. :)

Je vous aime!!!
Soeur Everett

3 Nephi 19:9