Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

Did this week not FLY by?... It did here in Carcassonne. The cold has arrived. We wear our boots, tights, coats, and gloves everywhere. It worries me... its only October. I hope to be transfered to Montepellier or Nice, where I can stay nice and warm through the winter :) but who know... I may be transfered to Gex, on the border of Switzerland where I will be trenching through snow. We shall see in two weeks time!! 

So we spent about two whole days traveling to and participating in our tri-Zone Conference in Aix en Provence. It was so incredible!! We had lots of fun staying the night in Montpelier. I love the sisters in my apartment. We had funny story telling competitions on the trains. Wow. We have some pretty bizarre lives. I shared the throw up story about Trevor after he ate Macaroni and Cheese at O'Charelys. That was a crowd pleaser! 

Anyway, President Roney is incredible. I'm his favorite missionary, I can tell. He talked about the Paris mission... they have about three times as many baptisms as us, and yet, we have the same amount of area and the same number of missionaries. We were all kinda ticked to hear this information. WHAT?! There is NO way the Paris mission is better than ours, or has better or harder working missionaries than us... Which is true. The difference is the way the set goals. President challenged us all to make a baptismal goal. Our mission is planning on having a "White Christmas" for Jesus' birthday. White as in baptismal white. We made personal goals for how many baptisms we are giving to Jesus for his birthday between now and Christmas... its a little weird, but we are very excited and motivated now! We are breaking the lid off of our mission. Pray for our mission as a whole. I know we can accomplish anything with the Lord! 

We had some pretty incredible leçons this week with our amis! We taught Jean-François the law of tithing... he accepted it eagerly and then asked if there was some other way he could help out the
ward. He feels indebted to the church for the change it has brought into his life. We taught him about callings. We also taught him The Law of Chastity. It was amazing. He was so happy to finally find support on the decision to stay chaste until marriage. He has always felt that intimate things should be saved for those that you truly love and are loyal to. He has had many relationships end in heartbreak because he has asked that they wait until they become more serious and are married... he is seriously so golden. He came to church yesterday and was very very nervous. He told us he was nervous for his baptism this coming weekend and that he was intimidated by the members. It was scary for me to see him like that, but he stayed all three hours, and there was one brother in the ward that really reached out to him. We watched Finding Faith in Christ during Sunday School and it really touched him. Then he took notes during sacrament. He stayed after church talking to lots of members. The sacrament prays were specifically for him and his preparation this week. By the end, he was very happy, smiling ear to ear. We ran into him later on in the day as we were contacting in Central Ville, and we sat down next to the fountain and planned his baptismal service. I am giving the talk on The Gift of the Holy Ghost. We are also singing a special musical number. WE ARE SO EXCITED! It is Saturday night at 17h00. We also talked to him about the temple and eternal marriage... it came out of no where, but he loves the idea and says he wants to find someone and get married in the Salt Lake Temple, and he wants us to be there!! We feel so blessed to have been the missionaries to teach him. He says he's blessed to have this gospel now, but we feel blessed to have seen someone make such changes in their life. He is so prepared. Pray that all will go well at the baptism this weekend.
We were able to start teaching another one of our amis, Maria. I believe I said something about her last week. She has 4 boys all under the age of 7 that are home with her all the time. We still have not met her husband because he works all the time. Well our first RDV this week we went over to teach her the Restoration. It turns out that she doesn't read French, only Italian. It made it a bit harder to teach her because we couldn't really use the pamphlet and the Livre de Mormon is a strange translation. During our leçcon she was breastfeeding the whole time... you should know that French people find breastfeeding very natural wherever they are. It is not alarming to see them walking around or sitting on a bench out in the open without anything covering them. It is quite hysterical actually, haha. Also during the leçon her sons were either trying to kill each other or us. Literally at one point the five year old ran out of the kitchen wielding a knife! Maria has to tackle him and I honestly thought he was going to cut her. The kids are CRAZY!!! We are having a hard time teaching her, but she loves when we come and keeps inviting us over. The kids don't affect her at all. She just laughs and tells us to go on, haha. We returned later that day to drop off a Livre de Mormon in Italian, and her sons answered the door... buck naked. Seriously. I saw waayy too much of that family in one day, haha. We went back for another RDV yesterday, and the kids were about just as bad as usual, but she had read some of the Book of Mormon and we brought Italian brochures. She understood a lot more. We have found our key. So pray for her that she will continue to progress, and that we can help her children be more calm so we can feel the spirit!

Chan Than succeeded in his goal to smoke only 5 cigarettes a day this week... yay! So it is on to 4 cigarettes a day. Slow and Steady wins the race. Pray for him to continue to progress.

We went to Perpignan again this weekend to see a couple get baptized. THEY ARE SO CUTE! We had a great time. I felt so strongly that I was supposed to be there... one of the sister missionaries is struggling a lot right now, and I was able to comfort her and help her feel the love of the Lord. We were only there for a short time, but I know the Lord placed me there for a reason. Pray for Soeur Shultes please. 

We cleaned the entire church by ourselves this weekend... Just Soeur Mann and I. It was rough, but worth it. We also had some great experiences with the ward members this week. We ate lunch one day with the Mulendas. It was so yummy!! While Soeur Mulenda cooked, the little girls literally taught us French. They went over the Articles of Faith and helped us with our pronunciation. I have received lots of good compliments this week on my accent. Cool stuff, right? 

We also had a great lunch with Adhna and Dior Martin, our bishops daughters. We had such an incredible time! They are both return missionaries. They helped us feel loved and told us cool stories from their missions that were inspiring. They are such a great support to us. They have been here since I arrived in Carcassonne. They will be leaving in about two weeks when their vacation time is over... I'm worried. I kinda hope I get transferred so that I don't have to be here without them, haha.

So it was a hard week, because we had lots of plans fall through, and we didn't reach all of our goals, but I realize each week that we have so many beautiful miracles that outweigh all of our downfalls. The Lord is continually watching out for us and helping us as we continue to grow and strive to do his work. Pray that we will find new investigators this week. Pray for Soeur Mann. She is really struggling right now. Pray for us to have unity. Pray for our amis. Pray for our ward. I promise I will pray for you all as well. Love you all. Have a beautiful week!
Avec tout mon amour,
Soeur Victoria Beeny

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