Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Finally Back in France! (Week 38)

It's taking everything I have in me not to write this entire letter in all caps.... but let me just say ITS GOOD TO BE HOME!!!!!!!

It's good to be home again...

***For those reading the blog who were unaware, I went home sick from my mission in March and got back to France this week!

Unfortunately I've still had to do a whole ton of patiently waiting to really get into missionary work again....but I can easily say this has been one of the best weeks of my life.

Our flight into London was delayed by about an hour so we missed our connecting flight to Lyon (I got 2 seats to myself on the 7 hour flight by the way so I slept wonderfully!) This means that we had to spend TWELVE HOURS in the London airport with absolutely no way to entertain ourselves. (However Soeur Hurd and I did get this guys number who was working in one of the stores and we handed out a Book of Mormon to a French lady! So it wasn't completely boring.) The hours literally crept by but it was really fun to get to know all these new missionaries. I'm not just saying this because everyone says this about new groups of missionaries but they are the best I've ever seen. They were talking to EVERYONE. Our mission is going to explode with success.

Sister Coke!
I managed to hold it together the entire day but the moment I saw President Roney I burst into tears. He told me later that it took everything he had in him not to hug me. I love the Roneys so much!!!!!! Then I finally found out what was happening to me this transfer!! He told me that I would be training with Sister Jackson in a picturesque little town called Annecy near the Swiss border!! I thought it was a joke because of how PERFECT that assignment sounded....(its only gotten better...let me assure you).

Soeur Beeny and I at new missionary orientation

Can I take a second and say how PROUD I am of my daughter and step-daughter!?!? (Soeur Reichelt and Soeur Bagley.) THEY ARE INCREDIBLE and they have become such amazing missionaries in the time I've been gone!!!!! Honestly I couldn't be happier with the missionaries they are.

Soeur Gerritsen, me and Soeur Jackson
I LOVE MY NEW COMPANIONS!!!!!!!!!! My daughter is literally the light of my life. And my co-mom or whatever you call her haha is my perfect balance. She is never ever stressed but she works hard!! I am definitely learning this talent from her. And our baby is just so much fun... I have never laughed so hard in such a long time. (Did I mention we have like a gagillion engagés??? We're going to baptize the whole town this transfer I can feel it.)

The other day we passed an ami who wasn't home and ended up porte-ing the building. Soeur Gerritsen was still super frazzled from all the French happening (she's taken 5 years but we all know how much good high school language does us....) Soeur Jackson and I have been getting her to take baby steps. She can testify and everything know - we're so proud. :') So we told her just to say bonjour to someone! So this lady comes out of her apartment and we all try to talk to her and she just kind of ignores us. Soeur Gerritsen then turns to us and is like "Are you kidding me!? The first French person I said bonjour to was deaf!!?" Almost peed my pants laughing.

We are the only sisters in the mission with a car!
So we have an ami who is 9 named Nathan. :) His dad is a recent convert of a few years and his mom had been inactive for a long while before that. I'm not sure how active they've been in the past bit or why Nathan hasn't been baptized yet, but Nathan has the desire now!!! He is the sweetest little boy!! And they are such a darling family.

While we were at their house this week waiting for dinner to be ready Nathan was running around the room and telling us all of the names for the items in there. Let me tell you...learning so much French from a 9 year old is extremely humbling...maybe I don't know French perfectly yet hahah

For dinner we had this delicious lasagna!! Almost as good as yours dad. ;) During dinner Eva (4 year old daughter) went up to her mom and "whispered": mom did you use wine in the lasagna? Her mom said yes (what French people DONT use wine in their cooking??) and then Eva said: I like when you use alcohol in our food. But don't tell the sisters I said that!!!! Hahaha

MIRACLE!!! So when I left the mission they had just barely started contacting people using a questionnaire. So we stop people on the street and ask if we could ask them a few questions and I'd say we have at LEAST 70% more conversations with people than we otherwise would have because of it!!! I LOVE IT!!!! Soeur Gerritsen is still a bit traumatized by the fact that we "attack" (word she used) so many people every day, but she'll get used to it. :)

ANYWAY so we were contacting and we would switch off whether Soeur Jackson or I contacted alone or with Soeur Gerritsen. While I had my turn alone I stopped this man named Saka. He said he was in a huge hurry but I insisted that it was just a really quick 4 questions!! I had just given my questionnaire to Soeur Gerritsen so I had to do them from memory......which was scary. He honestly didn't even seem that interested even though he gave responses that would make it seem like he was interested (does that make sense?) After the third question he started trying to walk away and saying he had to go but I just had this feeling like I had to be super persistent! I asked him the last question that is basically "If God spoke to us today would you want to know what he said?" Everything changed! He wasn't even in a hurry anymore. He said of course he would want to know and asked if that was what I did was tell people what he says. YES SAKA YES! He then ASKED if we could set up a time to meet with him to explain more. HE ASKED ME EVERYONE. This questionnaire is so miraculous its ridiculous.

Soeur Gerritsen and Soeur Jackson isolated by technology
Well if you can't tell I am SOOOO HAPPYYYYYY to be back!!! Its rather embarrassing how many times I cried when I first got to France. I think I'm a bit more emotionally stable now (hopefully haha). But then again I walk outside of my apartment and am in the middle of a fairy-tale land with a castle, cobble-stone streets, and swans on a crystal blue lake and then want to cry again.

Also we went to the Bishop's house last night and I ate 4 crepes.... didn't even know I had it in me to eat so many. No shame.

Je vous aimeeeee!!!!

Soeur Everett

I think the biggest miracle that I've been blessed with in returning to France is that I feel like I was never gone. The past six months don't even feel like they happened and I feel just right back at home! I can't wait for the next 8 months!! (I get released June 8th!)

Cool quote I read this week in preparing for conference from David A. Bednar:

"There is no physical pain, no spiritual wound, no anguish of soul or heartache, no infirmity or weakness you or I ever confront in mortality that the Savior did not experience first. In a moment of weakness we may cry out, “No one knows what it is like. No one understands.” But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He has felt and borne our individual burdens. And because of His infinite and eternal sacrifice, He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy. He can reach out, touch, succor, heal, and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do relying only upon our own power. Indeed, His yoke is easy and His burden is light."

Just like Elder Bednar, I know that when we are yoked together with the Lord our burdens will be made light. How lucky are we to not have to do anything alone? I love my Savior and I am so grateful to finally be his representative again here in this country that I love!

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