Wednesday, July 16, 2014

You Raise Me Up - July 7, 2014

Friends and Family, your endless prayers and unwavering faith brought literal miracles in the beautiful country of France. On July 5th 2014, we witnessed an outpouring of heavenly blessings; sure signs of the Lords unending love for us, His beloved children. There were 22 baptisms mission wide in one day. This is a pure miracle. I am so honored to have been apart of this. 

Our dear Armand Mession, was one of these 22. We are so grateful that Armand and his family prepared fearlessly and diligently for this day. The baptism was lovely. Practically the entire ward was present to show their love and support! The water was FREEZING cold. He was shivering. What a champ. And then he had to be baptized twice, because his wrist didn't go under. What a champ times two. 

After his confirmation on Sunday he gave his testimony. In his 11 year old words, he told us that his baptism was an incredible experience, and that afterwards, he could tangibly feel the difference. He told us that he felt more space in his heart than before. The Lord heightened his capacities. He is such a darling little kid. His parents gave fervent testimonies. They were so pleased, and they have really begun to radiate the light of the gospel as they have come back to church, little by little during the past 3 months. I am so pleased with them!! There were many testimonies given yesterday about the power of missionary work and the need to help us. 

We got so many shout outs during the sacrament! Sister Missionaries for the win… 

 We also received transfer calls this week! Soeur Grunke and I will be staying together
another transfer here in Clermont Ferrand! We are so excited to keep working miracles, and to see even more baptisms :) Sadly, some of the best missionaries in the mission will be returning home today. Sad, but great. I have learned that there is life after missionary death… but you must use your time wisely while still in this life. How we live now, determines how we will live in the next life, haha.

We have some lost sheep here in Clermont… and they are our amis. Unfortunately, we have lost contact with almost everyone of our amis. Good thing we have another transfer to find them, and many more new amis! We are so incredibly excited :) 

We saw our ami Armelle this week, but she yet again didn't come to church like she promised… We taught Amandine a great lesson, but it seems like her gospel fire is diminishing. She has been working often and is frankly too tired to do anything. Hopefully we will be able to rekindle of the fire with the Spirit this week. Pray we will be able to see her. 

We taught a great lesson to a man named Alexandre on a park bench this week! He's Buddhist… Which is the cop-out of all religions, haha. But he was so cool and so curious. Our lesson ended in the rain with us running for shelter. 

Please pray for us to find, find, find. Especially a family of four. We need families. We have been making specific goals to port in an area given to us by our bishop. He told us we will find families there… We go porting there every Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon. We have been going for the past 3 weeks, and this past weekend was the best! It rained quite a bit here last week, and the people were so kind and considerate. We weren't let in yet, but there are so many thoughtful people willing to answer questions, share a smile, and take our card. Even people on the trams and buses were more receptive. Because its been raining, I have been putting my hair into a ponytail, making my tag more visible. Sometimes people are directly rejective when they see my tag, but this week, it was a conversation starter! Lots of people came up to me and asked about who I was and what I was doing wearing Jesus' name on my chest. It was such a miracle! I love being a missionary… 

We were able to do some service this week with the Castelao family… They are a darling family I met in Carcassonne last summer, because they have a summer house there! They invited us to come over and de-wallpaper with them! Haha, fun work actually. It is so satisfying to rip a huge piece of paper off the wall! Love it. Anyway, their 17 year old daughter, Camille, has been taught by missionaries for years. She wants to get baptized, but hasn't received permission from her mother. She considers herself a dry member… She keeps the standards and even graduated from Seminary this year! Such an inspiration. We were able to teach them a lesson, and I could feel such a strong spirit from Camille. I feel as if our hearts were knit together by the Spirit. I am going to do everything in my power to continue meeting with her and helping her progress towards baptism, even if she has a year until she could make the decision herself. Pray for her!!

So Friday night there was a World Cup match between Germany and France… haha, there was a YSA party, and they invited me to come make them balloons! It was so fun. We even got to watch some of the match, which made Soeur Grunke happier than a dog in the sprinklers. It was a fun night. We had face paint too… Germany won. 

As we walked home, Soeur Grunke wore her red black and gold with pride! Including the silly balloon hat I had made her. People came to their windows and began to yell at her "You should be ashamed!", "Boo Germany!!", hahaha. It was a lovely walk home to say the least :)

I would also like to add that we had such great experiences with less actives this week… I do love them so much. Soeur Bartin and Soeur Queyrut needed sisters. I am so grateful to work with these beloved children of our Heavenly Father. Little by little I know they will come back with love.

This week I studied up on the parable of the Sower… Seeing as we are working mighty miracles as the sowers! We can learn from the Savior in Mark 4:

3 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: 4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. 5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: 6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. 8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred." 
When we are working for the Lord, we will do many good things. We will strive earnestly, and work diligently; however, sometimes the seeds fall on broken ground… sometimes these people are not prepared. Sometimes people accept immediately and spring up! But when the shafts and the whirlwinds arrive, the lack of roots forces them to the ground. But, sometimes, the seeds land in good soil. They are gradually planted and take root. They sprout and become strong, little by little. They become one plant, and then many plants. I have faith that my work is not going unnoticed by the Lord. I know that we are the GREATEST Seed Sowers in the entire world :) 
 Doctrine and Covenants 86:4 But behold, in the last days, even now while the Lord is beginning to bring forth the word, and the blade is springing up and is yet tender— 5 Behold, verily I say unto you, the angels are crying unto the Lord day and night, who are ready and waiting to be sent forth to reap down the fields." As we pray for strength and guidance, angels are crying unto the Lord to come and help us. We are being led by angels and strengthened with every step. They raise me up, so I can stand on mountains! 
I know that the Lord has restored His word again upon the earth. And eventually, if we are diligent and patient, we will be able to reap down the fields and find a wonderful, prepared harvest. The Lord loves us. This is His work. I love Him. I am so grateful to be His missionary. Have a wonderful Week. 
Avec tout mon amour, 

Soeur Beeny

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