Wednesday, July 09, 2014

The Adventures are Endless.

LAST TRANSFER NEWS TODAY! What the what. I don't even know what to do with myself. There are the craziest feelings in my heart right now. I'm so good during the week about NOT thinking about going home, but then I get to emails and I am just sucker punched with the fact that I HAVE LIMITED TIME LEFT. kfljlakzqjreaujpioarkejhakljrlke. 

Anyways, my new companion will be Soeur Mangum. She is adorable and such a solid hard working missionary. She will kill me off beautifully. We will be serving here in Rouen and I have no idea what is going to happen to her at the end because of the whole mini-transfer thing, but everything will all work out. Ask me if I'm excited to say goodbye to Soeur Berge. The answer is NO. But that is just the circle of life. We have our Provo parties planned déjà. I am really excited to serve with Soeur Mangum though and show her this beautiful miracle ville that is Rouen, so it's okay. 

Speaking of miracles...don't stop reading....haha. This week we saw many. The first shall be last and the last shall be first, so I'll start with yesterday. OK, so remember the family from the wedding, Vanessa and Edouard? We are FINALLY going to start teaching, teaching them. YES! This is how it happened: The Bertrand's invited them and us over to their house for a goûter (fancy snack) with the goal of really talking to them about the gospel and where they are at in their progression and desires and all of that. It took a while after they showed up for the conversation to turn to the gospel, but once it did the spirit came in so strong and we were able to really boldly invite them to learn more. As of right now both Edouard and Vanessa read the Book of Mormon regularly, since the last RDV FHE centered on prayer their 8-year-old daughter prays out loud with them every single night and hasn't been waking up anymore, AND Vanessa admits that the church and its values speak much more to her heart than the catholic church. Amazing right!!! What we talked about yesterday is how living the gospel actually requires more than just going to church every once in a while and reading the Bible and Book of Mormon. It requires a certain lifestyle of obedience to the commandments of God and trust in the promised blessings. We proposed, as the missionaries, to come over and teach them the commandments of the church and they agreed! I will let you know how that goes next week! I am so happy for this family! 

This week was FULL of adventures, as usual.... 

Monday we did a little shopping because it is SOLDES again and I'm freaking out because I'm buying pants. Then we went and had a FHE with our DMB and his family. His mom lives with them and is not a member. Frere Bitanga feels very strongly that all of these lessons are preparing her to accept the gospel in the Spirit world because the traditions of her fathers (african catholic) are too ingrained. She loves being there and listening and I just adore my BUMBO. 

Tuesday we met with Ludivine, her progression is slowing down and it's sad to watch. Also went to go teach Daniel, but he went to Belgium for work last minute. We still had a little lesson with his mom, and their 12 year old daughter and it went well. 

Wednesday was INSANE! We went to Paris and met the Babins! Two of the most incredible people ever! I did not think it was going to be possible to win me over after the Poznanski's, but I was SO wrong. After our zone conference I almost cried because I just want to stay and do another mission with them as my leaders. President Babin is hilarious and Soeur Babin is the most loving motherly angel. They are exactly what this mission needs right now. They shared their goals with us, "help their missionaries develop a personal relationship with the Godhead, and help convert families make it to the temple that is being built in Paris" and I had a confirmation that that is exactly what they are going to accomplish. Chills. After that we went back to Mantes-La-Jolie to do an open house because the bishop had requested sister missionaries. It was INCREDIBLE. We spent four hours going out on the streets and finding someone, bringing them back to the chapel, teaching them a lesson and giving them a tour with the awesome members there, getting their numbers and setting a RDV, and then doing it all over again!! And it really worked like that. We are doing this in Rouen ASAP, I swear it was like 2 weeks of contacting in 4 hours. So effective. And it was the perfect marriage of member and missionary work.  

Thursday morning we went out to Soeur Bachlets garden again and got some work done and built a BBQ, and then had a BBQ with a couple of the members. It was a blast. That night we had one of my favorite FHE's EVER with Milady and her kids. It was Maxime's birthday, so we made them a big pancake dinner! It is so interesting to see these kids discover God and Jesus Christ for the first time in their lives. The oldest is very skeptical and takes a long time to think and reflect on the things we are teaching, but he loves church because he has made some friends there. The middle one is FULL faith, all in. He loves everything about what we are teaching and drinks it up. The youngest is just kind of crazy and we don't really know what she thinks. They were all at church this Sunday and I asked the primary workers how it went, and they said that they all participated and behaved themselves. I'm so proud! 

Friday WAS THE FOURTH OF JULY. We listened to my patriotic playlist all day and dressed in red white and blue, NOT representing the french for the world cup thank you very much. We taught Nina, and she is just as confusing as ever. The lesson was on patience and in the middle of it I realized the lesson was more for me than it was for her. She will be baptized "someday", but that is a very dangerous notion. We had a long night of meetings with DMB and then Conseil de Branche, but we kept the American spirit burning as we waved our American flags and sang God Bless America for the opening hymn. The Frenchies just loved that.  

Saturday morning we went on a hike with the Relief Society and Young Women. Great bonding time. Afterwards we met up with the young men and to our surprise the son of one of our amis, Junior, had joined them! It was so great to be able to spend the picnic with him and see him interact so well with the members! Looks like we need to pick up the pace with his family and see them more regularly! 

That brings us full circle to Sunday! It was such a great one! Milady and her family were at church at 9:30 peel and stayed for a good hour afterwards. During relief society a woman that the elders had met on the metro the night before came in and stayed for the whole time and loved it. four more men who the elders are working with came and stayed through everything, AND teclaire texted us to tell us that she went to church in Paris with her member friend! We had like 8 people at church between the équipes which is a MIRACLE number for this mission. I am so happy to see the progression here in Rouen and know that there are covenants to follow! 

Well y'all that was my week. Missionary work is amazing and the adventures are endless.  

See y'all in a few. 
Bisous, Souer Johns

Open house in Mantes! 

The crew.

Babin conference with Soeur Vance! 

Our friend Jasmine! 

Fourth of July. 'Merica la belle. 

The warrior hikers. 

That's all folks! 

Innocent missionary pranks on the elders. 

Cookin' on that BBQ we put together all by ourselves.

Oh Souer Bachlet! I love her! 
Mercredi 2 juillet, conference des zones de Nancy, Paris, et Caen

On aime les Soeurs missionnaires