Thursday, December 25, 2014

"You're fantabulicious" - Soeur Staples (Week 49)

My colleague would like me to publically clarify that all of these quotes are taken completely out of context so don't judge her. :) haha

This week has basically been insane. If I ever thought I was busy before on my mission, those times don't even compare to how busy we are now. We don't even have time to study OR eat. I know its bad... we made a goal to be better this week.

David Archeleta - Sings like an angel even live.
I can't remember if I told you this but President invited us to visit every single member in our entire ward before Christmas. This is one of those challenges that should be impossible but we are doing our best and we're getting close!! Luckily we have an amazing DMP and amazing relief society members who are extremely helpful. This week we have gone on splits 3 times and spent about a total of 8ish hours with members. Which is about 16 hours together! Not to mention that we were in cars so it took about 10X less time to find people. Pretty cool huh?

It's been incredible the miracles we've seen from this challenge President gave us. The night I was on splits with Soeur Perez we saw her mother in law and by the end of the RDV she was in tears as she prayed and said how much she needed our visit that day. The Lord really does send people when we need them! And I love when I can be an answer to someone's prayers. There's nothing better.

Soeur Francis.  Absolutely love her.
So I think I told you about how our ward is collecting, cleaning, and packaging toys for children in need? This week we have done a lot with it! We went with Mama Gentil to drop some off and we did even more sorting and cleaning and packaging as well. The Christmas spirit is really strong in our ward. It's inspiring. So one day when we were planning to go drop toys off at a hospital with Mama Gentil there was another lady there who was helping us load toys into her car. I didn't know her but I found out that she was a member who was only inactive because her only child made her choose between her and the church. She was alone since her husband was deceased and she couldn't loose her only child so she chose her. She even told us about how her daughter had recently had a child who was a miracle after they had waited so long to have children. She had been diagnosed with something fatal and was going to die soon. (I found most of this out from Mama Gentil after the lady had left.) I learned a huge lesson from her. Even amidst all of her many trials she is able to turn out just like Christ would. While we were at the church I was looking for my scarf that I had left there a few days earlier on accident and I couldn't find it anywhere. I asked Mama Gentil if she had seen it and she couldn't find it either. This sister then took her scarf off her neck and gave it to me. She said would be fine without a scarf and that I would be outside longer than her that day. Can you imagine that? An elderly lady with so much sadness in her life and she can still give a missionary she doesn't even know the scarf right off of her. Now forever when I see this scarf it will be a beautiful reminder for me to reach out to others.

Elder Carré. A RM from my first district.
So as you've seen from my pictures.... DAVID ARCHELETA CAME TO OUR MISSION. If you had any doubts about the France Lyon Mission being the best mission I think you can go ahead and tell yourself you're wrong. ;) It was incredible. Not only did he sing flawlessly but he is a great example to us as missionaries and he definitely taught us what the most important things are. Namely serving our Heavenly Father. He even sang us a song completely in French that he had just learned like the day before. And I have never heard a better rendition of "We Three Kings." Ok now I'll stop being a fan girl hahaha.

We've been feeling a bit overwhelmed lately because of all the extra things we need to do and we didn't feel like we were getting enough time in to contact people. But its interesting how if we're obedient and do all we can to bring people to Christ, He will make up the difference and give us people to teach anyway. This week we received 11 referrals and contacted 9 of them. 9 of those referrals were contacted all on the same night but one amazing member named Alberto. (From Portugal.) He is another one of those people who has changed my life. Honestly when I think about his situation and what kind of person he is I often cry. Just briefly he is here in France and his wife and children are all still in Portugal. He came here to find work but couldn't afford to bring them with him. So he is working and saving until he can have enough money to have them come. In the meantime you would never know how much stress/distress he has. He is the most smiley person I have ever seen and he constantly wants to help us! The other night we went around and caroled and shared the "he is the gift" video with 3 different households. The last place we went was his sister and as we sang she cried. I think that might have been an answer to her prayers as well. Isn't it cool how even though we haven't had much time to contact Heavenly Father still blessed us with all those people to teach?? He is so good to us.

Right before getting on our bus
Ok I should probably give you a quick update of Sandra and Raphael. Both are doing really well!
At church on Sunday Sandra expressed interest in getting a priesthood blessing to be able to quit smoking. Sounds like she is getting more serious about being baptized!! We are going to set a solid date with her this week. :)

My favorite Christmas present

Raphael!!!!! He is so great. We went and visited him with Soeur Paya (one of my fave people ever - shes an RM) and she was sooo bold with him. It worked like a charm!!! She told him that if baptism was what he really wanted there should be absolutely nothing standing in his way and that he would do anything to get to that point. She encouraged him to be serious about quitting smoking and to set a firm date to not only quit smoking for good but to be baptized. He was engaged the entire time and he accepted!! January 17!! Everyone pray!!

Sorry I don't have much time for a spiritual thought but I invite you to watch the "He Is the Gift" video again. Even if you've seen it 10 times already. I have watched it about 50 and I still feel the spirit just as strongly during it. Merry Christmas everyone! Remember the real reason for Christmas and show Heavenly Father how grateful you are to know Christ is the Savior and for this time to remember Him and His birth.

I love you all so much!

Talk to you in a few days!

Soeur Ev

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