Monday, January 5, 2015

"My life would suck without you." -Sr. Staples (Week 51)

My companion's the best.

WHOO what a week! We finally got 20 lessons again! We're backkkk. It was crazy. We were only half-way done with our lessons by Saturday and on Sunday we still had to get 7 lessons to reach our goal. It was cutting it close at the end but the Lord blessed us to find people to teach and we found really cool miracles because of our diligence! 

Selfie in the gare (train station)
I guess I'll go a bit backwards. So last night we were 5 lessons away and we left the apartment after praying mightily that the Lord would help us find these last 5 lessons in the short amount of time that we had. We got 2 pretty easily and then we were really struggling to get the last 3. We said a prayer and right as we said "amen" Soeur Staples took off running after some guy to contact him haha. Sadly he was pressé and was heading to work... For awhile NO ONE would pray with us, let alone talk to us. Just as our spirits were dimming we told ourselves we needed to keep pushing through. We taught one lesson, then two, and then we needed one more. We had like 10 minutes left before we had to send in numbers, people. Soeur Staples then whispers to me "contact her." I could tell she was muslim and usually we don't contact them because of religious differences but I obeyed my companion. Just two days earlier she had suffered something horrible that I won't describe in my email. She told us that she is completely alone here and didn't even have anyone to talk to about it because her family doesn't talk to her either. As we spoke to her about the love of God for her she cried. She told us she knew God had protected her. She told us how much meeting with us touched her and she invited us over to her house on Thursday to eat! I love little experiences like this because they testify to me of how much God cares about us individually. He put her in our path so that we could touch her life, even if it was something as small as listening to her and caring about her!

Sandra did our nails.  She's the best!!!
We've had a lot of really cool experiences this week. I should give you an update on Raphael!!! He is doing AMAZING. He is definitely going to be baptized on the 17th and WE CAN'T WAIT!!!!!  He even told us on Sunday that he wanted to come out and do missionary work with us. He's not even a member yet... why is he so cool???? Pray for him that he'll be able to quit smoking! I know he'll be able to but prayers always help. :)

Sandra is doing wonderfully but needs lots of prayers. She is having some trials at the moment but we're hoping that they won't get in the way of her baptism. Keep her in your prayers as well!

Okay another cool miracle. The other week Frère Tantely took us over to see his mother-in-law -- I'm not sure if I told you about her but basically once upon a time she was going to get baptized and then seomthing came up and it never happened and she still never got baptized and now has no desire to anymore...for now. :) We had a thought that we should call her and see if we could stop by. When we talked on the phone she seemed a bit hesitant but still let us come! (Already a miracle seeing as we weren't even with her daughter or son-in-law.) When we got there we saw that she had bruises all over her face. She told us that she had had a terrible fall a few days earlier and was very close to death. It was a miracle that she survived it actually. She told us that she likes being alone but I could tell that she was in need to someone to talk to. She had a lot on her mind and hadn't had anyone to tell it to. So Soeur Staples and I listened to her and shared a message about angels (thank you mom!!). We sang her a hymn and afterwards she told us "You know what? I have this feeling when I'm in your church or with missionaries that I don't feel anywhere else. Not even in the Catholic church. I'm not sure what it is but I know its different." We were so grateful for the strong spirit in that moment. We testified of the Spirit and that this was the true church! We're going to keep working with her I think.

Patricia's dog is the size of my foot.
So for New Year's Eve we had a ward party (which didn't even really start until the missionaries left...) They had this dinner prepared for everyone but they were taking FOREVER to get going. So they made all the missionaries and a few other members wait in the chapel while they prepared everything. It came about that time when the last bus was going to leave from the church so the Antibes elders said goodbye to everyone. Then Soeur Mortier just about freaked out and started asking everyone if they would take them home so that they could at least eat before leaving! (She's a sweetheart.) Eventually she volunteered her husband to take them haha. Then under his breath Elder Garside said "Great now we have to go through all those crappy goodbyes again." Story of missionary life. Awkward goodbyes. Anyway then they had all the missionaries in the kitchen while everyone was running around us and they made us all little plates haha. Our ward is so adorable. They were so concerned we were going to leave without eating. We were going to wake up at midnight to watch the fireworks from our balcony but unfortunately I turned off the alarm in my sleep without even realizing it. Missionary fatigue is real... :)

Guess what?! I changed my favorite scripture. Well its actually a passage of 3 scriptures. Are you ready?

Ephesians 3:17-19

17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

Okay now read it again.

Oh man I love it more every time I read it. I wish I could express all the reasons why I love this so much but this really touches me. I'll try to explain why. 

To me this scripture is filled with hope and promise. We are promised that as we have faith and are "grounded in love" we will be able to have Christ "dwell in [our] hearts" and come to know (at least partially because it is past comprehension) the love that Christ has for us. And as we continue on our quest to be worthy to have Christ dwell in our hearts we can receive the greatest promised blessing God has given us: to receive all the He has. 

I'm sure there are many ways to look at these scriptures. I'd love to hear from you what you get from it. :) I see something new every time.

Okay well I think that's about all I will share with you from this week! Things are really good. Soeur Staples and I are really happy and we're having a lot of success right now. Things are always better when you're having success. :)

Je vous aime!!


Soeur Ev

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