Each week I ask myself if the next week could possibly be as awesome as the one before and the answer is YES. This week was miracle packed and I am loving Rouen already.
Before I tell you about Rouen, I have to tell you about the Monday night before I left St.Ouen. There is a Brazilian member in the ward named Herminia. She was baptized in Brazil and then came over to Paris. She is super solid in her testimony, but had been really sick the whole time I was there and wasn't at church very often. I remember meeting her and her sister Lia on my very first weekend in St.Ouen at the ward Christmas party. Soeur Francis told me that Lia, her sister, was not a member and so we started talking to her and really felt strongly that we needed to teach her. Well we didn't really try anything with them until the end of the transfer, when we had a lesson with the two of them at Herminia's house. It started off good, but quickly turned into a bible bash between Lia and Herminia. She had specifically said, "Herminia, you have your church and I have mine. And I will never ever be a member of yours." Fast-forward two transfers. Last weekend Lia showed up to church with Herminia and honestly I didn't think anything of it. We had already invited her to be baptized pretty boldly the last time I was there, and she had declined, so I didn't even try to fix a RDV. The next day Ovoh, our favorite RM, calls and tells us that Lia had walked up to her and asked her what she needed to do to be baptized in the church, and so Ovoh set a RDV with her and us for my last Monday in St.Ouen. IT WAS THE MOST AMAZING RDV OF MY LIFE. As soon as the conversation turned to the gospel Lia began to tell us that she had been sick at the hospital and really thinking about what happens after this life when all of the sudden she heard a voice that said, "Lia, you need to be baptized." She knew right away that not just any baptism would do, but that she needed to be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!! Then she asked us, "okay, what do I need to do?" AHHHH. We prayed right then and there for a date and she committed to be baptized on May 10th! What a perfect way to leave St.Ouen!! I am so happy for her and especially for her sister who was just in tears of happiness because "she always knew it would happen" :)
It was so sad to say goodbye to Soeur Hosking!! I love that girl with all my heart!! Thankfully, Soeur Berge is so awesome or it would have been a struggle. Soeur Berge is from Flordia. In her 8th transfer. And one of the most natural missionaries I have ever met. She just gets it and is such a hard worker. But at the same time so hilarious. This transfer is going to be insanneeeeeeee.
Rouen is beautiful....I'll attach pictures. We live on the 14th story of a huge apartment building overlooking the 2nd largest cathedral in the world. Our view is STUNNING! It is so green and hilly here and so different from Paris. We still have a metro, and buses, but it is a lot smaller. We are over a branch and get this, our church building is in the old nunnery of the grand cathedral. Haha. I really am a nun for life. There is apparently a tunnel that used to lead from the nunnery into the cathedral...YOU BETTER BELIEVE I AM FINDING IT AND LIVING ALL OF MY NATIONAL TREASURE FANTASIES.
For Easter we had been challenged by Président to have a FHE everyday with a member family and one of their friends. We had so many with so many awesome potential amis!! I can already tell that the members here are all about missionary work and I love it!! We have a couple of people who are progressing toward baptism at the moment, Lilian a beautiful Nigerian, Laura a FRENCH student, Nina, the mom of a member, and Kate an American english teacher. I have only met Lilian so far, but they all sound top notch. I am excited to start working with them!!!
The best miracle of the week happened on Easter Sunday. We had been invited over the eat with the family Barnjack, who I am already in love with. Afterwards we prayed with them to bless us to find someone while were porting. Well...WE DID!! We found a beautiful old french couple who are both artists!! It was so cute, we knocked on their door and asked if we could share an Easter Message and sing for them. The husband had answers and was like, "hold on let me go ask my wife." She came to the door minutes later and happily let us in and led us to her art studio/piano room. We sang a couple of hymns with her and she LOVED them. She asked us if there was anyway we could come back and bring her a hymn book...bah ouiiii. She asked us if we had anything else and we just happened to have a copy of "Savoir, Redeemer of My Soul" because we are singing it in church in a couple of weeks (yeah shocking, i know). It is a pretty complicated song, but she just sightread it without a fault. The spirit was so strong. After that we sat in their living room and talked a bit about the Plan of Salvation and prayed together. It was perfect and we are going to take them on a tour of the church next week!! The Lord is seriously preparing people!!!!!
Ah man, I love y'all! I really know that this work is the Lord's. It is the most fulfilling thing I have ever done in my life and I am so happy!! I know that the trials, and injuries, and heartbreak that comes our way is for our own good!! I know that the choice is ours to refine, purify, and elevate our desires so that we can one day live with our Heavenly Father again, but even more importantly bring as many people as we can with us! Do we even understand what we have? It is our responsibility to give people the chance to choose. Don't ever be embarrassed of the Gospel!! It is the greatest treasure we have!
Bisous Bisous,Soeur Johns
|Soeur Berge and I|
|The Family Barnjack|