Monday, November 10, 2014

"And it came to pass that I, Soeur Gerritsen, was exceedingly offended." (Week 43)

This past transfer has been probably the best and happiest time of my entire life. I feel so blessed with good health and with amazing companions and with SO much work to do!! I've learned so much and I feel like I've accomplished a ton as well!

I love Curtis :)

First and foremost: TRANSFERS! I wasn't expecting this whatsoever but.... I'M GOING TO THE FRENCH RIVIERA!?!?!? I'm finishing training Soeur Gerritsen's MTC companion, Soeur Staples. :) Soeur Jackson is staying in Annecy and training and Soeur Gerritsen went to Chambéry! We got completely split up!!! At first when President said I was going down there I was like "wait what?? are you sure??" But I feel so much peace about it! I did a lot in Annecy in my short time there and now its time for me to go somewhere new! (Oh and Soeur Reichelt - my daughter - is a Sister Training Leader in Ecully! I'm so proud of her!)

Soeur Jackson, Soeur Gerritsen, Giovanni, Soeur Everett
GIOVANNI GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!!! Its been a crazy week. Giovanni had only been taught the Restoration before this transfer so we had to teach him every single lesson. Plus we redid the Restoration. PLUS we had only taught him the first 2 lessons before this week haha. So we were CRAMMING lessons in before the baptism. We met with him every single day. It was incredible. He felt SO much peace about getting baptized. Honestly I think he was less stressed out about the whole thing than we were. And a week before that we were trying to console him into knowing he was ready! It's been miraculous to watch. My favorite Italian, Anna (recent convert) taught with us for basically every single lesson. She even told us that someone tried to call her to ask if they could go visiting teaching this week and she said "No!!! I have to be free all week long so I can help the sisters get Giovanni ready for his baptism!!" :) The ward is in love with Giovanni. He has a strong testimony and he is the most sincere and kind man! I could never imagine him losing his temper or saying anything mean to anyone!

I made another cheesecake (this might not be the best habit)
Okay, so the service! We were running around and making calls and finalizing everything and we ended up with a REALLY good turn out and everything ran super smoothly. But...there always has to be opposition. Apparently the Annemasse sisters (the baptism was held there since we don't have a font in Annecy) didn't know how to get the heat to work in the building so the font water was ICE cold. (Members told us the lake in Annecy probably would've been warmer...) Poor Giovanni... He was such a trooper. He struggled to get in (he is still quite frail from the sickness he just got over) but he said with conviction "non, on va aller!" (we're gonna go through with it!) He told us later that his body felt ice cold as he went in but when he came out he felt a warmth come over him and he wasn't cold at all after that! What a blessing! He laughed and joked about it afterwards. :)

so much rain this week..... so much

Oh Gerard and Curtis were at the baptism!! I really hope things go well with Gerard this transfer. :) He seems to be prepared. ANYWAY. Giovanni received the Holy Ghost on Sunday and he was just radiating! I've never seen so much light from Giovanni! I can't wait to see all he will do for the Annecy branch. He is incredible. Frere Giles asked him to come up and bear his testimony (on the spot) and Giovanni NAILED it. He gave his conversion story, bore his testimony, and closed in the name of Jesus Christ. I am so proud of him!! He has come such a long way in soooo short a time.

Okay, enough about Giovanni. Even though I could talk about it for ages hahaha.

So one morning this week I woke up and I couldn't find my glasses anywhere. I always leave them on the nightstand next to my bed so I was super confused where they went. Later on I found them on the complete other side fo the room... And we also discovered that the clock in the bathroom had gone from being 5 minutes fast to right on time.... Seems to me like my sleepwalking is happening again hahaha.

Cool story!!!!! So after District Meeting in Geneva this week we were driving through the city on the way to dropping off the Annemasse sisters. Soeur Ziane jokingly says we should contact people but I completely seriously said ok!! I unrolled my window and yelled at the first person I saw. Here was our entire exchange (it lasted about 15 seconds):

Looking at the font in Annemasse before Giovanni's baptism
Me: Excuse me sir! [He comes over to the car window] We share a message that can change your life could we talk to you more about this?
Man: Sure but you're in a car and I'm on foot...
Me: That's okay! Maybe we could just get your number and we could set up another time to meet?
Man: Yeah sure! 06........
[He gave me his number, I gave him a card, and we drove off. Soeur Ziane was stunned.]

ma bella Anna, a recent convert from Italy
I AM SO SAD TO LEAVE ANNECY!!! I love that little fairy-tale land with my whole heart. I have so many good memories there and I absolutely love all the people I got to meet and learn from. But I know there's big things to do in my new city and I can't wait to get started! I have to be in Lyon the entire week though...legality on Wednesday and Blue's Conference on Friday... :( Soon enough!!!
OH. While I was coming in to the office I put down my umbrella, look up and see SOEUR CALDWELL!!!!!!!! We both screamed and started crying. The senior couples shushed us hahaha. SOOOO good to see her! We even got to sing together again. :) I can't wait to have a band again when I get back to Provo ;)

Okay, here's my spiritual thought for the week! I read this in my Book of Mormon reading this week and cried.

Maria, a recent convert from Romania
I was reading the story of Alma the younger in Mosiah 27 when he was visited by an angel and then afterwards he was struck down because of his wickedness (verse 14) to show him the power of God. He lost all strength in his muscles and couldn't move from his bed. His father gathered the church members together and verses 22 and 23 say: "they began to fast, and to pray to the Lord their God that he would open the mouth of Alma, that he might speak, and also that his limbs might receive their strength--that the eyes of the people might be opened to see and know the goodness and glory of God. / And it came to pass that after they had fasted and prayed...the limbs of Alma received their strength, and he stood up and began to speak unto them, bidding them to be of good comfort." Then Alma went and started "zealously" declaring the gospel. When I read this I was reminded of how grateful I am for each of you who fasted and prayed for me to receive my strength and how amazing is it that I am healed! I have worked harder this transfer than I ever have before - I haven't taken a single minute extra break than the rules give us. I've been reminded over and over how grateful I need to be for my ability to be here serving with all my might and strength!!
Giovanni and Raphael

That's about all I have for this week! It's been fun to be in Lyon all day. Taught 5 lessons on the street earlier. Oh also our entire Geneva Zone taught 20 lessons this week! It was super cool!!! And I got to hang out with Soeur Staples a bit and I think we're gonna have an amazing transfer together. :)

Love you!!
Soeur Everett

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