Tuesday, June 10, 2014



I am so blessed. This week has been absolutely incredible and I only have good things to say. 

Mmkay. where to even begin? 

Let's start with the reason this email is coming to you on Wednesday instead of Monday. Monday was a holiday here for Pentecost and everything was closed, so the Wareingans took us on ANOTHER adventure to the most beautiful place I have ever been to in my whole life. Etretat. Y'all should just scroll down and look at the pictures because there is no way I am going to be able to describe this place other than heaven itself. Oh, it was incredible. After that we headed off to the Branch President's house for a meeting. President Bertrand felt that "we have been having some difficulties lately with how our zones within Rouen are unequally divided between us and the elders" and needed to talk to us about it. Let's be honest. I hate confrontation and was so nervous about this meeting, so I was not looking forward to it at all...and on top of that it was on P-day. I was clearly SHOCKED when I walked through the door to their house and heard a huge "SURPRISE!!!" and saw a big happy birthday banner!!! Turns out Soeur Berge and Soeur Bertrand had been sneakily planning this party for weeks! I COULD DIE I LOVE THOSE TWO SO MUCH. I think Soeur Berge has a little 007 in her future cause it is not easy to plan a surprise for someone who never leaves your side 24/7, she deserves a trophy. To make it even better the Bertrand's had invited their f.r.i.e.n.d.s from the wedding, an inactive family that lives in their neighborhood, and the Bitangas! And ON TOP OF THAT it was a TEXAS THEMED BBQ. Soeur Bertrand literally out did herself making it perfect!!! We grilled hot dogs and chicken and kebabs and ate chips and guacamole and she made a SPECULOOS CHEESECAKE for the cake. Ah, I am obsessed with this family. AND ON TOP OF THAT we had the most amazing missionary moment during it!! How do I explain this briefly? Ok, so the parents of the less-active family were in town and are both very strong members of the church. We got talking to the mom about her conversion story and she started sharing it which was great, but Vanessa (ami) wasn't in the room. I think every single Soeur listening to her amazing story started praying for Vanessa to come in and voilà! Prayer works. She sat down and STAYED as the Soeur explained her conversion to the gospel and her first testimony of the Book of Mormon. The spirit was so strong and I know she felt it!! As we were leaving at the end I went over to Vanessa to see if she would be coming to church this Sunday and she said "oh YES, we love the church. we would come more often it's just that my husband works, but the kids love the church so much, but we will be there this Sunday because he is not working!" Ah, I know the Lord is touching their hearts and it is incredible to watch. I know that there is a special reason for all of this happening right now! And I have high hopes that they will be members soon :) Ah, I still can't believe that happened! I feel so blessed and CANNOT DESCRIBE THE LOVE I HAVE FOR THESE PEOPLE. They are amazing.  

As if that didn't make me feel like the most spoiled princess in the whole world, the next day, my actual birthday, Soeur Berge decorated the whole apartment while I was in the shower, and then we had our district meeting and the mantes elders brought balloons and hid in our in-ground baptismal font and popped out and threw them at me. haha. and they made a banana cream pie, my favorite! AND THEN, I am almost embarrassed writing about all of this, but just know it is just out of complete GRATITUDE... we had another little party with two sisters from the ward and our ami Veronique! And then went with the Wareighans to visit a Sister in the hospital and THEN ate a gourmet dinner at their house. Seriously, SPOILED ROTTEN, je sais. I don't know what I did to deserve all of this. I am clearly obsessed with the Rouen branch and their amazingness! 

Wow, all of that and I didn't even touch what happened last week...which was full of miracles and tender mercies. 

Let me just quickly give you the highlights. 

-One of the members found a blank check that was signed and everything that had an address on it for a woman. Being the angel he is, he thought of the missionaries and asked us if we could return the check to the woman and see if she was interested in the gospel. Turns out her and her family are Jewish, and while they weren't super interested they were SO grateful and it gave me warm fuzzies. 
-Our ami Rachel called this week to tell us how much she LOVED church! She then passed the phone over to her husband, who we thought lived in Africa, and he said that Rachel had explained all of the teachings to him and that he wanted to come to church next week with her! They are golden. 
-Ludivine is progressing slowly but surely. It is so hard because she looks up so much crap on the internet and it really shakes her up. We just keep telling her to focus on how she is feeling and telling her that if she feeds her faith then her doubts will starve to death. We are seeing her later today...that will be good. 
-I got a nasty flu and was actually bedridden for an entire day, a first for my mission. I watched Temple of the Lord probably 6 times in a row. I don't know why I do that...it was like National Treasure when I got my wisdom teeth out. I just became obsessed...the temple is the FIRST place I go when I get off the airplane. We had our exchanges the next day, in Rouen thankfully and I was with Soeur Doyle. She is a peach. I was still really sick and slept through most of it, but we managed to still meet some really awesome people.  
-We had the adult session of stake conference in Versailles aka. I WAS REUNITED WITH ALL OF THE MEMBERS FROM ST.OUEN. Be still my soul. It was so good to see them and hear about all the miracles that are still happening. Go team St.Ouen. 
-Stake Conference on Sunday was re-transmitted from Switzerland and we had the privilege of hearing from Elder Anderson, Sister Reeves, and Sister and President Uctdorf. It was like a mini general conference and was SO GOOD. They talked about the struggles and blessings of being a Saint in Europe and how they need to bloom where they are planted and grow the kingdom with faith. It was so inspired. 

Yeah, that is a really watered down version of this week, but there you go. It was amazing. I feel like the Lord has just water-hosed us with all sorts of unexpected blessings lately and I am beyond grateful. I couldn't have asked for a better companion, or better people to teach, or better members, or a better ville for the end of my mission. It is simply perfect. 

I love y'all. I am so proud of you GRAMPY JOHNS!! Or should I say President Johns! You are going to be such a blessing for the Toxey branch! They are so lucky to have you! 

All my heart, Soeur Johns   
etretat aka. heaven on earth. 

the crew. 

comp pic. 

hold onto your socks dad...it's also a golf course. 

The crew. Don't you love the oragami lotus crown that Sam made me? 

i'm feelin' 22! everything will be alright if...your comp.stays next to youuuuu

yummy yummy in my tummy 

the party animals. 

Soeur Bertrand, Vanessa, and I! 

timeo! the cutest little deaf boy. 

the decorated apartement! so spoiled. 

with soeur bachelet, soeur martel, et veronique! 

us with veronique in soeur bachelet's garden! fresh strawberries, mmm. 

the gaston girls from St.Ouen! 

Nicole! She just got back from Temple Square and knows ems!! 

i'm going to miss them so much! 

chinese elders. 

Margret!! look who it is! 

with the bertrand kids at stake conference