Wednesday, July 10, 2013

July 8, 2013 - Don't Stop Believin'

Haha, not much to say about home, but that's fine! I'm so excited y'all will get to go to the beach and enjoy some time together with grandma and grandpa! Aubrey will love that :) I got her a SWEET souvenir that reminded me of her.  I cant believe the fourth was rained out!! but I guess it was better there than here... NO ONE EVEN CELEBRATED, haha. But its cool. France's independence day is this next Sunday, so Ill get to see some sweet fireworks then :) That's cool about her liking dolls... or so we think now. Soon she'll be addicted and you want her back to her old self, haha.  

So, this week was way cool. Tuesday we went to this little city in our sector called Castelnaudary to contact and visit an inactive man and his non-member wife. They hadn't let missionaries over in years, but they let us right in and gave us tons of food and loved the message. They told us to come back to see them when they get back from vacation at the end of July. SWEET. We also met a potential ami (investigator) that was in the area book. He let us in, took the Libre de Mormon said he would read it and made an appointment for us to come see him tomorrow. WHAT? We are super excited. His name is Ariel and he is a way old man from Madagascar. COOL. Also, in Castlenaudary we had like an hour before we needed to catch the train so we went porting (door tracting). The third door we knocked on was an old woman. She IMMEDIATELY let us in. Very sweet woman. She had been reading her bible when we knocked. She told us she didn't want to change religions, but that's what they all say :) we didn't have much time, but she told us to come back, so well see her tomorrow! It was a great day of success for us.

Sadly, it was the only day that good. Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday we decided to stay in Carcassonne and do some porting up north. It was so hot. Like mid 90s, but HOT. When you're in the sun for 8 hours straight, it doesn't matter what the temperature is; its hot. We didn't see any success those days, but we had a great time and we got some rockin tans. Soeur Bayles is great company :) I love her very much. We also do a lot of contacting along the greenbelt (a path around the river here in Carcassonne). We meet lots of people there and even were able to have a rendezvous (RDV, lesson, meeting) with one of the men we met; however, he only wanted to convert us to Muslimism, haha. None of us were very successful in our attempts! Nonetheless, it was an experience! Funny story about porting: we knocked on a door. A woman answers and as we start to introduce ourselves her husband runs out with a broomstick and yells ELLES SONT UN SECTE which translates to THEY'RE A CULT! and he yanked his wife inside, pointed the broom stick at us like he was going to attack and slowly backed into his house. HAHAHA we about died. Too Funny! 

We were supposed to have 3 RDV's yesterday right after church, but they were all ratez vous (no shows). It had to be some kind of record! 3 ratez vous in an hour?... well have to tell president about it, haha. We were optimistic about it though :) one of them called us later and rescheduled for today, so that'll be fun! 

Thursday was awesome because we got to go to Montpellier for zone training! It was very fun to meet my district and zone. Lots of cool people, including Soeur Sarmiento who was in my MTC district. I WAS SO HAPPY TO SEE HER!! We about cried. So nice to see a familiar face in a foreign country. We learned a lot about contacting and made lots of personal goals. The Lord wants me to stop fearing and open my mouth. That was what I learned for myself that day. 

You know how they say days go by like weeks but weeks go by like days? Not true. Time flies out here. Can you believe that this week I will already be 1/9 of the way done with my mission?! WOW! So yeah :) I'm trying to enjoy it as much as possible! And work hard. The language is coming slowly, but it is definitely improving! I can understand almost all of what they say in church, which rules, and I can understand a lot more of what people say on the streets. I'm sure by the end of the transfer I will be able to understand completely :) The Lord blesses us very much here. I know that Soeur Bayles and I are trying our very best to be exactly obedient, and we have found joy in that! 

So I have lost 8 pounds since I've gotten here... WEIRD! I don't feel like it, but its probably because we eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies and we walk all day every day everywhere we go! So hopefully I'll be a hot babe by the time I get home ;)

But anyway, we have so much fun here. The other equipe (companionship) in our apartment is super fun. We have a jolly old time together every night when we get home. Also, Soeur Fairchild is an awesome cook. The best food we had this week was some killer ratatouille that Soeur bayles and I made. YUM. Also, we had Kebab at the castle today. WOW! SOOO good. Go look it up. its a French classic. But the castle was fun. I took lots of pictures, don't worry. I got some good touristy things in.

Anyway, that seems to be all. It was a blessed week. Not much success, but very spiritual. I learn to rely on the Lord more and more every day. Go read the talk The Consecrated Missionary by Tad Callister; that's my inspiration of life right now.

This is the Lord's restored gospel. He loves us. We are ALL his children. His LITERAL children. He wants us to be righteous and return unto Him. I am trying my best. Please pray for my companion and I and the people of Carcassonne, that we will be able to find those seeking the truth. Love you all very much. KEEP THE FAITH! AND DONT STOP BELIEVIN!


Avec tout mon amour,

Soeur Beeny 


July 1, 2013 The Hills Are Alive

Well. AHHHH! I'm in France. It's just so weird.
Every time I look out the kitchen window at the beautiful hill sides of France and the castle (that's right, I can see the castle from my apartment), I hear music. This is where the Lord needs me to be.

My companion Soeur Bayles is from Florida. She went to school in England however; she is sups cool and a great missionary. I am learning very much from her. We have lots of fun together.

Carcassonne is BEAUTIFUL! It reminds me of Georgia.  It is very green and sunny and warm. There is a beautiful river that runs through the town. I love the scenery. Couldn't have chosen a more beautiful town myself. It is about two or three hours train ride from Lyon (which was super beautiful and amusing. I even saw the Mediterranean sea during the ride!). I kinda sorta can't understand 75 percent of what everyone is saying, but my companion does! So im good to go. I know understanding will come with time. Everyone in France has a dog. And everyone smokes. The missionaries here joke that we will all be addicted to second hand smoke before we leave, haha. Wouldn't doubt it... but the key to talking to people is smiling. They don't really smile too much here, so that makes us stand out; but in reality, French people are very kind, yet honest. If they're not interested, they will tell you. It makes missionary work easier when you're not lead on by false interest! 

Carcassonne doesn't have a car, and there is no public transport, so we walk all day everyday; which is good because we do eat pretty heavy foods. My companion has already made us homemade quiche and couscous; both very delicious! we have had yummy gelato, bread (sacrament bread owns here) and yummy cheese (that's right, I liked it!). Speculoos is the yummiest thing I have had here so far, but the chocolate is pretty darn good too!! 

Our ward has about 80 members with probably 50 or so actives. The bishop is ROCKIN and so is his family. We have a lot of work ahead of us with the inactives though. (Funny stuff about our ward: Carcassonne: there is a mental hospital in the middle of town, so many of our members either work there or they LIVE there, haha. We have a curfew of 8 instead of 9 because there are stalkers of the missionaries. I haven't seen them yet though, haha. Half of the city is red zones because it can be kinda dangerous. Also, there is a Muslim mosque near and lots of Muslims. The last sisters received a death threat on the door of our
church building if they ever were to return to the area of the mosque... so we stay far away! haha, Carcassonne is very interesting, but I love it and I feel very safe.) Soeur Bayles and I are whitewashing (meaning neither of us have served here before, so we are meeting the ward and learning the ward together. it also means we do not have any investigators of our own... it makes it harder, but it will prepare me for the rest of my mission.) We do however live with another companionship, and one of those sisters has been here for months. Her name is Soeur Fairchild (very interesting girl... she is allergic to everything under the sun, including anything scented, lots of foods, and purple flowers. Bu she is very strong and knows what she is doing. I am not her companion, thank heavens, but I learn a lot from her.). This is her last transfer of the mission. She is very experienced. She knows the ward and has three investigators with baptismal dates. VERY EXCITING!!!

Starting from ground zero has been hard. Soeur Bayles and I have been walking for probably 8 hours a day since Thursday contacting and porting; not much success. We did teach our first lesson yesterday though! Just this curious guy... who knows though, it may go somewhere!! We also taught a non-practicing couple. We do have like three lessons planned this week with some people we contacted, so that's exciting and Ill be sure to let you know how they go or if they look promising. 

Like I said, its been hard. The Lord has been testing me. I was feeling way off yesterday, missing home and wondering why the heck I decided to come on a mission. I prayed for a desire to be here and to stop thinking about home and BYU... Then I read my scriptures. My next chapter was Alma 29... WWWOOOOOWWW!!!!!! Go read and you'll understand how much the Lord loves me and that he hears and answers our prayers. I realized how self-centered life is, and that I have a lot to learn. I am excited to work and get some real investigators.

Also, our apartments electricity goes out if there is more than one appliance running at a time. And my blow drier always makes it go out, so I cant use it. And my straightener doesn't work At all, even with the converter. My companion says its probably for the best because even with convertors, my curler, straightener, and blow dryer will burn out here within the first few weeks. Should I send them home? Cause they're all nice and I don't want to ruin them!  And if I really want one the rest of the mission, I can buy one for twenty euros if needed.... so let me know next week.

Well I love you all very much. I hope you have a splendid week!! Keep the faith. THIS IS THE TRUE GOSPEL!!! The Lord lives. He knows and loves us individually.


Avec tout mon amour,

Soeur Victoria Beeny