I continue to fall in love with Angouleme France... And it continues to fall in love with us! Soeur Paulo and I had a fun week swatting away men who might be a little TOO interested in us... however we share our message and hope that the Spirit softens their hearts and their love is more directed towards Christ, haha. Fun memories and phone calls and rendezvous. I'm not sure if I became more beautiful when I got to France, or if the men just have lower standards, hahaha. French Men love Sister Missionaries!!
We saw some fantastic miracles this week! It was a record breaking week for our district... We taught more lessons this past week than our district has in MONTHS. YEARS EVEN! Haha, so cool :) We are truly seeing the Lords work hastened in this corner of France. Our mission leaders even called us in the middle of the week to congratulate us. Angouleme has been the talk of the stake presidency. They have recognized how much the work has increased here and are very pleased with our efforts. We are so blessed that the Lord is showing us the fruits of our labors!
We were able to teach Henriette this week, tackling the Restoration for the FOURTH time, but with a secret weapon this time: Soeur Temahuki! Henriette was sparked out of her mind and fell in love with Soeur Tem. She was able to explain principles in ways that I have never heard... the blessings of teaching with members: uncountable. Something clicked with Henriette, and she realized that she needs to pray to know if our message is true. She finally understands that we are the ONLY true church upon the earth with the actual authority of Christ. So cool. She really wanted to come to church, but her atheist husband decided to take her on a spur of the moment trip Sunday morning... grr. She called Soeur Temahuki to explain and said she would come soon... hopefully she'll be excited to hear the words of the prophet this coming week!
Audrey. Audrey. Audrey. She came back from her trip early. YAYYY!! But then we didnt see her for a couple of days. We went over SOOO many times. We had a feeling she was home one day, but she wasnt answering the phone or the door. I gave Soeur Paulo a boost, and she climbed half way up the house to knock on her bedroom window. hahaha, it was a quality boldness moment. Joe came home right after she had climbed down and let us in the house. SHE WAS THERE! She went into a little hibernation for a few days. When she got back from her trip, Joe and Audrey went to the Marie (Town Hall) to do file their papers for marriage... YOU HEARD RIGHT! AUDREY AND JOE ARE GETTING MARRIED!! WOOOO!!! She is still having silly fears that are deriving from Satan, but she is more at peace and has continued with the reading schedule we made her. She was glowing at church yesterday in her bright pink dress :) We hope to set a baptismal date as soon as they set a solid wedding date, which is for the beginning of May. Keep her in your prayers.
We got quite a few sweet new amis this week... but the best ones are a super old couple. Jean Bernard and Ginette. They were taught by missionaries like 2 years ago, but then the missionaries just stopped seeing them. They live in a beautiful big house, with a wide French garden in the back. Their walls are covered in tapestries and paintings. Its like a museum. They have a dog named Ami, and they have pet hedgehogs. They are wealthy, retired teachers. They are very kind and welcoming. They are also pretty worldly. They drank alcohol during our first RDV, at 10 in the morning, haha. They also don't believe in chastity. He is a practicing catholic, and she is nothing at all. She doesn't really know what to believe. We began the Plan of Salvation with them, but we went off track and talked about a million other things. Ginette plays the piano like a BOSS. They like when Soeur paulo playsPand I sing. They are a quirky couple... Ginette was having a hard time remembering to call us Soeur, so she gave us ploy first names so she would know what to call us... She named me Clara, and Soeur Paulo Lea, haha. They're real characters! We wont be able to see them this week, but they want us to help with their garden! My favorite part of their home is the giant magnolia tree out front. Made me think of you mom :)
STEVE!!! Such a stud. He continues to continue with faith. When we began to work with Steve, he would never commit to anything. If we asked him to read he would say "Ill try, but no promises." Also, he would never pray during our RDVs with us... Well, We taught him a killer Word of Wisdom lesson. He takes really good care of himself already, so he only had to give up coffee. We invited him to live the WOW and he immediately accepted. And then we asked him if he would like to offer the closing prayer during our RDV and he nodded yes with a smile. MIRACLE. Our next RDV with him we were able to talk about the importance of the small things: prayer, scriptures and obedience. The Spirit really touched him. He cried as he discussed how much our message has blessed him. He eagerly reads the Book of Mormon and searches out topics he wants to study. We asked him how quitting coffee was going. He said that he went to the café every morning life always, but that he took fruit juice instead, which is three times the cost! He thought it was a hefty fee, but knew it was for the best. Later that day he found 10 euros in his wallet that wasn't there earlier. He immediately recognized that it was the Lord blessing him for his obedience. EVERYONE! IF WE KEEP THE WORD OF WISDOM GOD WILL PUT MONEY IN OUR POCKETS! Haha, not exactly, but very cool. He came to church again, even though he told us that it was a one week deal, haha. He also told the members that he would see them again next week. Steve deserves this message so much. He is such a great guy. The Lord loves him so much :) Continue to pray for him! His baptism should be in 3 weeks.
We were able to teach Sunday School yesterday and give out cool Missionary Packages, complete with brochures, pass along cards, and Livre de Mormons! It was a fun way to prep the branch to do even more than they are already doing! A couple of members came up to me and told me that they needed a Livre de Mormon during the week to give away to a relative or friend. They told us we were inspired... HOW COOL! They are the greatest little branch :) We shared the story of Christ at the well with the Samaritan woman. We invited them to share the living water with those that are thirsting for the truth. Progress is being made. Faith. Patience. Courage.
This week I came to the conclusion that I would like to be the greatest missionary in the entire world. As I prayed about it, I felt nothing but support from the Lord. I began to study the white hand book and marked the areas where I need to improve (there were a lot of them), but I felt strength that I recognized where improvement was necessary. The mission is focusing on Boldness right now. I feel pretty bold already, but I knew I could do even better. We are also focusing on having endless love for the Lord and His children. I love, but I can love more. I studied the scriptures and found Moroni 8:16 which states "I speak with boldness, having authority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love castest out all fear." I felt more support from the Lord in this endeavor to be the greatest missionary ever. I went through the week working more mindfully than ever. I was bolder than ever. I talked to people and found myself turning around and running after people that had walked by us. I didn't want any souls left out. We were more obedient than ever, making sure I didn't ever lose sight or sound of my companion. I was more smiley, and more light minded. There were moments that I fell short, but I picked myself back up and continued! Its funny how improvement makes you realize how much more you need to improve. I went from 3 to 4 this week, but I want to make it to 10. Last night as I was talking with the Lord, I felt His support again. There is improvement to be made. There will always be improvement to be made. But, improvement was made, and that's all that really matters. The Lord loves us and knows we are imperfect. He will never lose hope or give up on us. He is eternally patient, and we must be patient with ourselves as well. I am grateful to be His servant. I love Him and I love His gospel.
I love you all. Have a beautiful week :)
Avec tout mon amour,