Tuesday, February 25, 2014

White & Nerdy - February 4, 2014

This week, Angouleme was actually a popular place! Every year there is a festival called the BD which stands for Bande Desinée, meaning comic strips. Thats right, the international comicon is held in Angouleme France!! Talk about the biggest nerd fest in the world. We were feeling White and Nerdy. There were people here from accross the world, but mostly from all over France. THERE WERE SO MANY PEOPLE! The crowds were as vast as the sands of the sea... So, of course Soeur Hoar and I took this lovely opportunity to preach the word of God to His beloved children :) We contacted for two hours Saturday and then two hours on Sunday, and by the end of it all, we contacted 1,022 people during the festival... so sweet. We were expecting to find lots of tourists, and we did, but every family in Angouleme was also present. We literally met 3 families that practically threw their information at us to teach their families. It was so cool!! We already have 2 set RDVs with these families :) The BD festival, and the Lord, have blessed us greatly!! Pray for these families to be open and touched by our message :)

We had another phenominal lesson with Sandra, and this time her mom was there... usually her mom,
Kathleen, is the strongest Catholic in the world, but this week she had a change of heart. When we came in, she told us that she didnt feel the spirit or warmth in the catholic church, and that she no longer wants to attend there. We immediately invited her to church, and she accepted excitedly! She also listened very sincerely to our message about the Plan of Salvation... It could not have been a more inspired lesson, because during the week, Kathleens mother died. We had just taught her about the wonderful plan our Heavenly Father had created for us. It was hard to hear the news, but we know that our message will have a stronger affect on her now. The Lord is preparing their hearts. They were not able to go to church on Sunday beause of the funeral, but we are planning on seeing them this week and continuing. Pray for them to have soft hearts and to continue to progress :)

One of the old engagés here in Angouleme returned last week. Her name is Audrey, I cant remember if I wrote about her last week... but she is engaged to one of the members here in Angouleme. They are both the sweetest New Calidonians in the world!! Theyre in their 20s, and she is basically already a member. She knows so much and fits in so nicely to the branch. We were able to teach her this week, and we talked about how she can progress towards marriage and baptism. She is worried that things are moving too fast. She doesnt want to get married too young... but she loves him and blah blah blah. We will get a ring on her finger in no time and then shes gonna get baptized. She is fantastic. We were supposed to see her two other times during the week, but she had to cancel and then we had to cancel... lame. But we saw them today in the poste and fixed something for Wednesday :) pray for her to be open and to feel reassurance from the spirit.
Soeur Hoar and I felt so inspired this week in our preparation for lessons. We have learned how to stay very intune with the spirit and plan according to the needs of our amis, not according to the next check box on the teaching record... We were so pumped to teach all week, but then we had tombez-vous after TBV... it was rough, but we still felt very inspired and now we are prepared for next week. Pray for us to continue to hear the spirit and to teach our amis with the love of the Lord.

The overwhelming message we received at Zone Training and Conference was Logic versus Faith. President Roney said "There will arise in every persons life an opportunity to choose between logic and Jesus Christ. Lets always choose Jesus Christ." Think about John 9:1-7. The Savior approaches a man who has been blind since death. The Savior spits in the dirt, creating mud, and then smears it on the eyes of the blind man. He then tells him to go to the water, and wash his eyes. Could you imagine this man? I think if someone made spit mud and put it on my face I would just punch them for being so gross... And yet, this man, knowing that the Savior had the power to do miracles, followed his faith, ignoring the logic that mud does not bring sight, and washed himself in the water. He was then blessed with his sight. It is often we find that every story in the scriptures is an example
of choosing to have faith, rather than accepting logic. The serpent on the stick to save the peoples lives; The brother of Jared crossing the ocean in the barques; Christ telling the apostles to cast in their nets one more time... Every miracle in our life is proceeded by our faith in choosing the Savior, over the logic of the world. I invite you all to choose the Savior. Choose to do something that might not make sense, to follow the commandments. I know that trusting the Lord is the only true way to find happiness. It is the only way we are going to find peace in this life. I love our Savior, and I am willing to do silly things to follow him and serve Him, even if it means getting spit on by a couple of French people... :) Choose the Lord this week, and you will be happier.

I love you all! Have a fantastic week!*

Avec tout mon amour,
Soeur Beeny

Monday, February 3, 2014

Teenage Wasteland - January 27, 2014

Angouleme France... how to explain this ville... Well, in its hay day I bet it was a sight for sore eyes!! But now... I would just call it a Teenage Wasteland. There are several beautiful monuments and cathedrals, like everywhere in France, but everything else is just gross and covered in moss and graffiti. The people are almost always cranky, making contacting nearly impossible. And there are hills in every direction you walk. Bad news: I'm tired at the end of the day. Good news: My butt is gonna look great at the end of this transfer! Haha, but overall I do love Angouleme, despite the many flaws :) I've been spoiled, and now its time to face the harsh reality of French missionary work!! Haha, I'm so happy though.

How is it having a British companion? All I can say is #LongLiveTheQueen. Its fantastic. They use the funniest words!!

I was actually able to meet the entire branch before Sunday, because we passed by all of them... I was
a little shocked yesterday when there were only 20 people at church including us missionaries... The heating was broken, so we had all three hours in the primary room. There was place to spare as well. There is a beautiful chapel; we just need to fill it with a lively branch/ward! The members are fantastic. They are so sweet and they love us and care for us as if we are their children. The branch president and the elders quorum president play the flute and clarinet, and every week they do a special musical number... yesterday they asked me to stand and join them. I sang as they played, and I was filled with the spirit. These members do so much for the Lord. It makes me want to do everything I can to build up the area, not only because I love the Lord, but because I love these people, and they deserve the best missionaries in the world.

Bad parts of last week: We had lots of tomez-vous, do or die lessons, and we were dropped, or dropped amis. It rained almost everyday, and we missed every single bus we had planned to take, so we walked more than I ever have in my mission. There are no engagés right now, but we will hopefully have two or three at the end of the week. But we had a great week of finding and miracles!

There are lots and LOTS of inactives, so we do tons of nonpractiquant work. It is one of my favorite parts of missionary work. We are working with two inactive member families... Pray for them to have the faith and humility to return! Our branch needs these families back. There is only one active family, with one young man and 2 primary children. You shouldn't sit alone with your brother in primary. That just isn't right.

One day of the week we did some contacting and then went to pass lots of amis and less actives. After a few hours of snarky responses on the street, finding nobody home, and even being dropped by an amis, we looked at our backup plans and passed Sandra, an ami. She was home and let us in. It was kind of a do or die lesson because it had been so long since we had seen her... Well, she told us that she has been reading the LdeM everyday since we gave it to her, and that she has seen more joy and found more happiness because of it. She loved the message of the restoration and asked questions you would only receive from someone sincerely seeking the truth. When we invited her to baptism and promised blessings, she accepted, telling us that she needs nothing more than the blessings of the Lord in her life. How incredible!! We felt so blessed to have seen her, and knew that every other bad thing that happened during the day was because the Lord knew we needed to see her :) He's so great.

We contacted a woman, Souad, during the week and she didn't have much time, but gave us her address and told us to pass by the next day. There were no buses, so we walked nearly an hour to find her. She is living in a foyer (a homeless shelter) because she is illegal here. She escaped Chad with her 2 year old son, seeking shelter from her abusive husband. She was raised Muslim, but converted Christianity because of the peace Christ brings to her life. She is fantastic!! We taught her the restoration, and she was very touched and curious. She loves the idea that children are not baptized because they are innocent. We invited her to be baptized, and she said of course. She seemed very eager to read the LdeM as well... She gave a beautiful prayer at the end. I hope that things work out with her, because the gospel could literally CHANGE her life. I am always inspired by the people we meet, and how brave they are. The Lord loves His children, and that is why I am here; to bring them back to him.

Funniest part of the week: We were on a super crowded bus one afternoon. There are always
instances when the bus takes a tight turn and everyone nearly falls out of their seats... Well, the bus took a turn and I was standing, so I totally biffed it and fell on top of this nasty 14 year old couple who were literally making out!! Hahahaha, it was priceless. Then afterwards, I was having a hardcore conversation with this 15 year old girl. She was so funny. When I told her I was American, she FREAKED out and ripped open her coat to show me her Nicki Minaj tshirt. Haha, she was so excited to meet someone from the same country as her idol. She sang Bees in a Trap for me. Quality contact. I love French people.

So I studied Luke 8:22-25 this week. In this instance, the disciples and the Lord are on the ship, crossing a lake. The Lord wants to cross the waters and so they climb into the boat thinking it would be a simple voyage. The Savior falls asleep and then the storm arrives. I cannot imagine the fear of the disciples, for it says "they were in jeopardy". They were about to die! They woke the Lord and He calmed the sea and rebuked them for their lack of faith. Think of the instances in your life when you think you are simply crossing the lake, and suddenly a storm arrives. This happens often. I think of all the work the disciples must have done to save the ship, and to save themselves. Think of how much we work to save ourselves during these instances... Sometimes it feels like the Savior is asleep in our lives, but in reality, He is always there. I don't think he rebukes them because they didn't think He could calm the sea, but because they waited so long to wake Him. They should have known that He could instantly calm the sea, all they had to do was ask. Turn to the Savior. Plead with Him, because He is always there.
I love you all. Have a beautiful week :)

Avec tout mon amour,
Soeur Beeny


New Address - January 21, 2014

New Address:
Soeur Beeny
60 Rue Saint Roch
Appartment 3
F 16000
So this past week was pretty fantastic. My last week in Chambery... I seriously thought I was going to stay and that Soeur Rich was going to leave, but of course no... I never really know what the Lord has in store for me. I just do what He says and trust that He knows what he's doing with me :) We were able to see lots of inactives this week! One of which was Soeur Lachat, the African. She made us this super delicious meal. Africans, they know how to cook; can I get an amen? Except the fact that she made toast for the meal, and she burned it to a black crisp 3 times in a row, hahaha. She is the funniest. She also fed us Gizzard. It was good, so we ate, but we may or may not have become a little ill... Anyway, she is the sweetest, and she has a teenage daughter. They hope to keep meeting with her and helping her and her daughter come to church. Keep it up Soeur Richardson. I HAVE FAITH IN YOU :)

We did an exchange in Saleve Geneva... It was so cold!! I'm not a big fan of Swiss either, but it was a great exchange! I was with a younger sister from Portugal. We saw so many little miracles! We taught a lesson zero to this adorable woman who has such a great need for the gospel in her life! She is epileptic. I have never met a more genuine or grateful person in my life. We went porting and did lots of contacting and ended up finding 3 new potential amis for them!! It was super fun. OBEDIENCE BRINGS MIRACLES!

We taught a few great lessons to Daniel this week. We taught the gospel, but still didn't invite him to baptism... We are waiting for his wife to return this week... AND THEN WE WILL BAPTIZE THEM BOTH! MUAHAHA! He is way cool though. He has such a great spiritual understanding. He is such an elect. GO GET EM SOEUR RICH! He also invited us over for dinner after church when he found out that I was leaving :( it was so nice. We had a traditional Persian meal!! So yummy!! I took pictures. Also, Odile showed up to church randomly and then joined us in our meal! It was nice to see her. Afterwards we went on a nice little walk to a nearby waterfall. The waterfall is right next to the home of Jean Jaque Rousseau, the French author. We had such a fun time, and I kept holding back tears because I just didn't want to leave Chambery... I love it too much. We will definitely need to go back.

We got to see Soeur Tabka twice this week! We visited Soeur Charrut in the hospital with her. It was
such a humbling experience. Both of these woman lost their sons at premature ages. They discussed and gave each other advice on how to continue and find faith and hope. It was incredible. I love them both so much. The Lord FILLED me with love for these people. We went to see Soeur Tabka Sunday night so I could say goodbye, and I wept. She cried as well. Soeur Richardson and I were so blessed these last two transfers to have been able to meet her and help and serve her. We testified of the savior and of his atonement. We invited her to  I will miss Soeur Tabka with all my heart. We didn't have time to visit Soeur Charrut, so I called her and said my goodbyes. We both cried and she uplifted me and promised me blessings for my service and told me that there was a little part of her heart with my name on it. I love them. I love Chambéry.

So we got our transfer calls almost 2 hours late. I thought I was gonna throw up I was so nervous. President told me I would be moving to Angouleme France with Soeur Hoar, who is an older missionary from Telford England. We spent the rest of the day visiting members and teaching our amis... We went to eat with the Menet family. They made a delicious traditional French meal with some crazy French vegetables. SO YUMMY. Pictures attached. We were able to teach Ive and Yve that night as well. Ive got me a birthday present... two boxes of mint herbal tea, haha. He called it a Mormon present. We refixed his date. he is so sincere. The sweetest big, burly man I have ever met!!  They were both really sad to hear that I was leaving. Ive teared up and said he had to leave. He will be baptized one day. I cant wait to see his name on the baptism list!! I am so grateful I was able to work with awesome amis like him.
So all in all, it was hard to leave Chambery and our adorable fairy tale life, but I know that the Lord has something in store for me in Angouleme. I am going to learn so much, and I am going to meet new people! How fantastic. I may have cried, but that doesn't mean I am any less excited for this new adventure!

Oh man, the traveling was extensive! I left Chambery at 9, got to Lyon at 11, went from Lyon to Toulouse, and then from Toulouse to Bordeaux and then from Bordeaux to Angouleme. I was told it was a total of 467 miles in one day... wow. We got in at 8:30 last night. We don't live far from the gare, but we walk up a HUGE hill... and even worse, two of my suitcases broke yesterday during the journey. The big red one, the handle literally snapped off. And then the little red one, the handle wont come out of the bag... So we pulled all 3 of my bags up a HUGE hill in the darkness and freezing cold, hahaha. The apartment is a little loft. PERFECT! Its so European... Like my companion! Her name is Soeur Hoar, haha. She is from England, near Birmingham. She is way super cool! I really love her already. She only has two more transfers left, so I may end up killing her... The branch here has about 18 active members... Yikes. I'm going from small to smaller, haha. But we are so excited to be here. ANY work we do, any amis we find, and any less actives we reactivate will count for a lot. The branch is fantastic... as far as I have heard. We have set some incredible goals and are ready to EXPLODE this place. We are already working with inactive and nonmember families. Pray for us that we will find more families and bring them to the light of the gospel!

This week I studied Luke 5: 18-25. I am so impressed with these valiant friends. They heard the miracles of Christ, and they immediately thought of their friend, who was struggling, who needed help. They brought him to Christ, and when it seemed impossible to get to Jesus, they did the impossible to overcome the impossible. They lifted their friend onto the roof, and then lowered him down from the ceiling... Wow. I cant imagine how many odd looks they received. I cant imagine how many people told them to get down or to give up. I think about myself as a missionary. Am I doing all that I can to bring my amis unto Christ? Am I doing the impossible to overcome the impossible? I sure hope so. I sure hope you are too. Pray for an opportunity to serve the Lord by sharing the gospel with someone. Do everything you can to bring them unto Christ, and I promise you, the Lord will forgive your faults. He will heal your friends. You will be happy. Because Christ is the source of all joy and peace in this life. I love you all. Have an incredible week :)

Avec tout mon amour,
Soeur Beeny