Thursday, April 2, 2015

"I love you too...and not because I have to say it back..." - Sr. Christensen (Week 63)

Soeur Christensen
Well.... I'm deciding how to start this e-mail. So last Monday I woke up with the plague (just what I call it...when in reality it was just this weird stomach bug) so I had to call Soeur Povar (the mission nurse). Whenever I call her she always makes some joke like "Ok wait a second I need to sit down to brace myself. Ok now you can tell me what's wrong." Hahaha. Anyway she said I needed to stay in the apartment for 48 hours. Well the 48 hours passed and Soeur Christensen wakes up on Wednesday morning and HAS THE SAME BUG. We just kind of laughed about it. So yeah... 4 entire days in the apartment. But wait until I tell you what happened the 3 days we were out. It was as if we had been out the whole week with all the amazing things that happened.

Before I get into that I need to describe my angelic companion a little better (mom's request). Soeur Christensen is from Edmonton, Canada. She turns 21 the last day of the transfer so we're the same age! She is suuuuper smart and learns French really quickly. She is sporty (she like traveled the world playing sports...) and she loves snow? I'm not sure what to say haha. She's amazing.. like the most patient and kind and loving person in the entire world. She could be the prophet's wife one day that's how great she is. I've been blessed with the best companions.

Double Chocolate Chunk Brownies
Ok this is cool. Get ready. So while we were in the apartment with nothing to do for hours on end I was sitting there reading my scriptures and I get to the part when Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah are having a reunion after they had been apart on missions for several years (Alma 27). This is right after Alma collapses to the ground of joy - love that part. ;) In verses 25-26 it said: "And Alma also related unto them his conversion, with Ammon and Aaron, and his brethren...And it came to pass that it did cause great joy among them." I read this and I immediately received inspiration to something I had been praying about ever since I met the branch. Let me back-track a bit. The members here in this branch are absolutely amazing! But when I got here I just felt like there was something weighing on them, there was just something amiss my first Sunday. They needed something to light a fire under them and motivate them and reactivate their excitement for the gospel (can you kind of picture what I mean?) When I read these scriptures it hit me so clearly. They needed to share their conversion stories with one another! Alma and the sons of Mosiah all knew each others conversions stories... I mean, they were together when it happened! But even still they had so much joy in sharing their testimonies! After this initial revelation, the revelation and miracles and unfolding of the biggest miracle happened little by little.
Branch President's daughter. Cutest French girl ever!

We got a call from our DMB (ward mission leader) on Friday saying that he had just gotten a call telling him that the missionaries would be in charge of the lesson for the 5th Sunday. WHAT. Answer to prayers. As we prayed and then sat and discussed what we should do everything just came together one thing after another.

During our lesson we decided to not talk a lot and let the members and Spirit do most of the talking. We had 3 members come up and share their conversion stories (this part was powerful). Then I shared with them that scripture I read and told them about my revelation. I invited them to all write out their conversion stories and testimonies and that afterwards we would compile them and share them with one another! Then we read a part of one of the best talks I've ever read (found this while I was sick as well...led by the Spirit once again). Here's the link to it. You have to watch this. Everyone needs to watch this!!!!

There were people in tears (including me and my companion when we bore our testimonies at the end). This is one of my favorite experiences of my mission. It's hard to explain how amazing it was in words. I can see the fire being lit to the members excitement and its all thanks to the inspiration that Heavenly Father blessed us with after fervent prayers!

Soeur Gaigne is like a gourmet chef...
Ok anyway... :)

Elodie is doing wonderfully! She is adorable. I think she has the most motivation in her conviction to be baptized than anyone I've ever taught. She knows what a blessing the gospel is and she understands the importance and sacredness of the covenant she will be making. I love her so much!

I wish I had time to go into depth and tell the stories of everything that happened but I'm gonna have to pick and choose here!!! We got a new engagé! Her name is Faith. She has 4 kids and her husband is currently in Spain working. He should be getting back to France in like a week or two?? Then it will be easier for her to take the kids to church. We're going to see if we can recruit some members. She is great! (Soeur Christensen killed this lesson. She definitely helped Faith to feel the Spirit!)

Ok brace yourselves...this is awesome. So we were able to go to English Class this week! We had a member there (who is an English teacher) and then 3 young adults. One of them had come before and brought his brother this time! At the end of the class Théophile starts asking about the church. Our member Aurelie basically gives a super simple restoration (she used to be a missionary) and asks them if they wanted to just have a religious discussion another time. ALL 3 AGREED. We set up a RDV for last night. Théophile and Vanessa came and we had an incredible RDV... Both of them expressed to us that they are in the middle of researching different churches to try and find where they fit in best. Aurelie bore super powerful testimony to them and they hung on her every word. When we showed Théophile the Book of Mormon he asked how he could get one of them. He was thrilled when we told him it was free. He said he wanted to read it and was going to come to church to see how it all worked. (Vanessa expressed very similar feelings.) Both are coming to General Conference next week! So cool huh???

We did a ton in 3 days. We squeezed everything we possibly could into the time we had! At the end of the week we were just amazed at how the Lord had blessed us. The work is on fire here. I can honestly say that I love Montauban! I've been praying to love it because I really miss Cannes. But there are people here that mean a lot to me already.

Ok well pray for me to stay healthy! Haha just kidding, I think I should be good now. :)


Soeur Ev

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