I feel a bit awkward as I stumble to find the correct words to begin this seemingly life altering email. I guess I will start by saying that all stories must come to an end, or there would never be a "Happily Ever After". Let me tell you of our wonderful week.
We were not able to teach 20 lessons this week, unfortunately, but we were still eager instruments in the hands of the Lord. In all reality, we were the victims of many "tombez-vous", meaning we were stood up about 7 times for our lessons, haha. We held to it and had some more wonderful finding moments where we met new children of our Heavenly Father and blessed their lives with the Spirit of the Lord. It was joyous!
We were once again able to see our ami Yves, who is showing a real desire and full intent! I know that he also reads my blog, so Hi Yves!! haha, I hope you have read the Book of Mormon today! Anyway, we had some very spiritual lessons and I know that he will find for himself that this message is true as he continues to show love for the Lord and His gospel.
Side note: I laughed so incredibly hard this week with my lovely companion Soeur Jacobsen! She is such a light in my life... I am so grateful that we have been able to serve together, and although I am called as her trainer, she is definitely training me to be better!
Also, there was a baptism this week in Angouleme!! I was so happy to see that the work has continued to move buoyantly forward since I left! I was touched to hear that it was Stephen Bottiau, my recent convert, who performed the baptism for Chris, the man being baptized. Being apart of this work is the glory of my life! I am so lucky and grateful to our loving Heavenly Father who has allowed someone as imperfect and flawed as I to participate in this saving work. It has brought me more joy than anything else in my life.
We had a very holy experience this week as Elder Kearon of the 70 and his wife came to speak to our mission... it all began Wednesday night in Lyon as we had a slumber party at Soeur Do's apartment. I was blessed to see some of my favorite people in the world. I literally ran into Soeur Grunkes arms with tears in my eyes in the Lyon train station! We spent a lovely night together doing girly things, like face masks and eating chocolate... (pictures will be attached). It was a night to remember as we laid down mattresses on the floor and made a super bed where we all slumbered our little heads away until the next sacred morning. But seriously. The conference with Elder Kearon was beautiful. There were no dry eyes as the Roney's and the Kearon's blessed our mission with knowledge from on high. I would compare this experience to that of our experience when Elder Anderson of the 12 came to visit us in July. We learned a lot about the Spirit and how He works with our hearts and the hearts of those we teach. My heart was touched, and even though I only have a little time to spare as a missionary, I felt more drive and will to go out and apply once again what a servant of the Lord had taught to us. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have heard Elder Kearon three times on my mission! How blessed am I? I also recognized that a majority of the conference, whether given by the Roneys or the Kearons, was focused on our families, present but mostly future. They repeated over and over that how we live now, and how we prepare now will directly influence how our future families will become... wow. If I want Ammonite children, I must be an Ammonite mother. I want an eternal family. I will be sealed in the temple to a worthy return missionary. I will bury my weapons of war and I will die before I break my covenants with the Lord. My life is not really my life... the greatest way to peace and happiness is to give my life to the Lord. During this conference, we listened to Come Thou Fount. During the song all I wanted to do was fall to my knees and tell the Lord "Heavenly Father, Here's my heart. Please, Take and Seal it! Seal it for thy courts above!!" This conference was an Alma 17 experience for me. I am again indebted to the Lord for his infinite goodness. I love Him.
Friday was Halloween. It was glorious. I celebrated by wearing my orange pumpkin socks under my boots... no one else could see them, but I knew they were there, and that's all that matters :) one of the greatest moments of the day was when I was brushing my teeth... I heard ghost noises coming from the hallway... so I go looking curiously... I found Soeur Jacobsen walking around the living room aimlessly with a white blanket over her head, hahahaha. I about lost it! We got to see Amandine and her little sister Gaelle! Gaelle was going trick or treating, so we got to do her creepy makeup and her crazy ridiculous hair!! So fun :) then we went to a Halloween party hosted by Bérangère!! We helped her prep and then welcomed her guests! It was one of the coolest experiences ever! I am so proud of her for inviting us over! All of her nonmember friends were asking us awesome questions and they all recognized us! It was a great way to show her friends that we're normal. Some of her friends even said they wanted to learn more. THEREFORE! Invite your friends over! Let the missionary tags do their work :)
One cool miracle from yesterday... we were lost looking for a less active, so we walked down a creepy alley... there we found a lovely hidden wonder house! We decided to ring the doorbell for fun :) a 19 year old came to the door and we were able to have one of the most spiritually led contacts of my entire life... the Spirit was penetrating as we testified of the love of the Lord and the reality of His existence. It was a miracle.
Other than some other miracles that I will have to share later on, we had a lovely Sabbath day... we felt like missionaries in America as we made a meal schedule and passed it around to the members. Simply put, we will be eating with the members at least twice a day this week. YUM. FRENCH FOOD FOR LIFE!
Yesterday reality hit. Moments come where I don't really know what to think and I suddenly want to burst into tears. I have been comforted by the words of President Uchtdorf for the last few months, and I believe they will carry me through the next week... He says "In light of what we know about our eternal destiny, is it any wonder that
whenever we face the bitter endings of life, they seem unacceptable to us?There
seems to be something inside of us that resists endings.
Why is this? Because we are made of the stuff of eternity. We are eternal beings, children of the Almighty God, whose name is Endless and who promises eternal blessings without number. Endings are not our destiny. The more we learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more we realize that endings here in mortality are not endings at all. They are merely interruptions—temporary pauses that one day will seem small compared to the eternal joy awaiting the faithful.
How grateful I am to my Heavenly Father that in His plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings."
I am afraid of the great unknown, but in my heart I know that there are good things to come. This next chapter will be the greatest transfer of my life long mission. I'm sure of it. I know that this is the true and living church of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I know that Jesus is the Christ. He lived and died for us. Everything I do is for Him. Its all because of Him.
I love and trust Him. He loves you. I love you too. Have a wonderful LONG LONG LONG week.
Avec tout mon amour,