Thursday, April 16, 2015

"Hello, is this the angels?" - Fr. Van Tonder (Week 65)

Coucou famille!!! Such a good week.


Elodie's baptism!!!! It happened!! We had a couple things come up this week that definitely could've prevented it from happening... but in the end it all worked out! She is the cutest ever. Today she took us grocery shopping so we wouldn't have to lug huge heavy sacs of groceries home. She's going to make such a great member. She is always looking to help others and to improve! I love her so much. So the night before the baptism I was praying and I had this impression come to me that said: "Why aren't you singing?" I had figured that I didn't want to volunteer myself so I never asked. But after that I knew that it was a prompting and that I should at least ask Elodie. I texted and asked if Soeur Christensen and I could sing and she was so excited about it! She told us how nice that was and that she would love to have us sing. Although we barely practiced it ended up really well and the spirit was strong. Glad we did it. :)

This is where we did our studies this morning.:-)
I'm not sure if you remember Théophile but he's the one who is 21 and grew up Buddhist. This week we had a RDV just with him when we explained the Book of Mormon more clearly. Everything we tell him he soaks in and he is so committed to act! He told us he will be at church on Sunday (he's on vacances in the north of France this week). I can just see him joining the church and then going on a mission...keep him in your prayers!

Remember how we had Zone Conference in Montauban last week? Well while a huge herd of missionaries were walking to the church they started talking to this man named Jean Renée. He was super impressed by so many young people giving up time in their lives because of their dedication to God. He gave Soeur Staples (WHOO!) his number which they passed over to us! We got to meet with him this week and it was amazing. We told him about our beliefs and more importanting WHY we believe the way we do. He also loved hearing the conversion story of the member we had with us. At the end we knelt in prayer and afterwards he told us that he had chills. He thanked us for the RDV telling us that it was "un moment de grace" and that he would love to meet with us again. Super huge blessing.

The cookie catastrophe.

Alright now its time for the explanation of the photo. I call it: "The Cookie Catastrophe." Earlier during the week Soeur Christensen and I had made DELICIOUS no-bake cookies and we were basically obsessed with them. We decided we should make some for Elodie's baptism since they were so good! The day of the baptism while we were doing weekly planning Soeur Christensen is making cookies. She puts all the rest of the oats that we had into them and then laid them out to cool. We realized after about a half hour that they weren't going to harden... we literally just had a bunch of goo globs as cookies. Even though they tasted good there was no way we could give them to anyone... so we ate some and threw the rest out. :( So we went to the store to get some more ingredients. We made our round 2 batch of cookies and put in the rest of the oats we had and realized that it probably wasn't enough. We panicked. We dropped everything and ran out the apartment to monoprix. We both forgot our name tags...oops. We paid and ran home - the people who were sitting in the café by our house probably thought we stole them...maybe it was good we forgot the name tags ;) haha just kidding. We poured in more oats then laid them out again. (This is when I took the picture.) We both felt sick from eating so many cookies so I cut some veggies and we laid for 3 minutes before running to the church for the baptism. After the baptism we tasted our cookies. THEY WERE AWFUL. They tasted like straight oats. But for some odd reason (maybe it was a miracle that they didn't taste them right) everyone thought they were amazing. Elodie's brother ate like half of them. (Haha this whole story was pointless, désolé!!)

I just love Montauban... it's so cute.

Okay here is a really cool experience. So this Sunday there was a HUGE marathon in Montauban. I have never seen so many people here!!! But because our church is right in the middle of Centre Ville all the roads leading to it were closed. That meant that only the people that lived close enough to walk could come. There were only 10 of us! The night before me and Soeur Christensen were thinking there were only going to be us and Aurélie and Fr. Caplan - Sr. C said jokingly "And then Fr. Caplan will pass the Sacrament to himself and then tell himself he can be seated." I STILL laugh when I think about that! Hahaha. Luckily there were a few more people that that - but barely. This is the smallest Sacrament Meeting I've ever attended and it made it so special. While we partook of the Sacrament I could feel the Spirit so strongly testifying of the importance of it! The reason why we even went to the church on Sunday was solely for the Sacrament. It was cool to ponder about that.

Here's some pics from my exchange in Toulouse!
Also at church we heard testimonies from the members about them doing missionary work!!! Aurélie shared a cool experience how last week 3 members from the branch had the same revelation at just about the same time. They wanted to have an FHE for the singles in the area! They were able to invite a bunch of non-members to join them and it ended up being a huge missionary tool! (Isn't this great??? The branch is starting to get moving!)

Alright I promised Dad that I would share some of my thoughts of recognizing the Spirit. Soeur Christensen and I had a super great discussion on this today. I know in my life when I have had important decisions to make such as moving to California, going on a mission, coming home from my mission, going BACK on my mission (haha), and deciding when to go back to school and everything I haven't necessarily had a huge WOW moment when I was hit in the face with an answer. I think more often the Spirit comes by giving us peace about a decision we are facing. Everything just feels right. We can go on with a certain decision without being stressed about it or wondering "what if I had done something else?" I also find that everything is more clear in the temple - which is why I'm planning to go every week so that I can stay close to the Spirit. To make my explanation more simple here is a quote I love from President Gordon B. Hinckley: "If you are doing the right thing and if you are living the right way, you will know in your heart what the Spirit is saying to you." That's a pretty great promise. I think that sums it up! When we're living the right way, spiritual promptings will be clear. (I'm going to add in another quote from Preach My Gospel that talks about receiving revelation.)

More Toulouse
“[A person may have] a strong desire to be led by the Spirit of the Lord but … unwisely extends that desire to the point of wanting to be led in all things. A desire to be led by the Lord is a strength, but it needs to be accompanied by an understanding that our Heavenly Father leaves many decisions for our personal choices. Personal decision making is one of the sources of the growth we are meant to experience in mortality. Persons who try to shift all decision making to the Lord and plead for revelation in every choice will soon find circumstances in which they pray for guidance and don’t receive it. For example, this is likely to occur in those numerous circumstances in which the choices are trivial or either choice is acceptable.

“We should study things out in our minds, using the reasoning powers our Creator has placed within us. Then we should pray for guidance and act upon it if we receive it. If we do not receive guidance, we should act upon our best judgment. Persons who persist in seeking revelatory guidance on subjects on which the Lord has not chosen to direct us may concoct an answer out of their own fantasy or bias, or they may even receive an answer through the medium of false revelation” (“Our Strengths Can Become Our Downfall,” Ensign, Oct. 1994, 13–14).

Ok that's all for this week! Pray that we will find miracles and find those people here who are waiting for us! I can feel big things coming these last 2 months. Time to go hard!

Love you!
Soeur Ev

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