Monday, November 14, 2016

Je suis heureuse d'être heureuse (update #16)

Bonjour tout le monde!!
The title is a quote taken from the testimony of a recent convert, David. His testimonies are always colorful and a sometimes a little worrisome, but this line has become a new motto of mine. "I'm happy to be happy!" Amen! And last time he recited some catholic prayer to Mary so this was definitely an improvement :) he's awesome. Et je suis heureuse d'être heureuse!
So this week has been DOPE. Our mission has really been focusing on working with members this transfer. One of the number goals this encompasses is teaching lessons with members present. 2 weeks ago Soeur Kelley and I set a goal that was more than triple anything we'd ever done up to that point. We didn't know exactly how we were going to do it, but we worked and prayed a lot the last two weeks and we met our goal!! And there's no way we would have come even close if it were left to only the things we planned. God gave us paths to walk and people to teach and members to teach with. I love this way of doing missionary work because it builds our relationships with our ward and our Amis, and it integrates our Amis into the ward.
Us with Soeur "M" before she moved away
Before my mission and even in the MTC I really struggled with the numbers. "It's not about the numbers" and I would always get annoyed with how much they stressed setting number goals and "key indicators." Well, I sit here today with a new testimony of number goals. Without this goal to teach lessons with members, we would not have had Soeur Smurthwaite at our lesson with Cani, she wouldn't have been there to help him overcome his fear of his wife not accepting his baptism, and he might not be getting baptized the 26th of November. It's not about the numbers, it's about the people. It's about Cani, it's about the famille "B", it's about the members of the Val de Saône ward. At the end of this week, I'm not happy because we taught a bucketload of lessons with members, I'm happy because grâce à those lessons, we've built stronger relationships with countless people, our Amis have progressed more than ever before, and we feel motivated to keep working our butts off. Anyway, missionary rant over.

4 of the cool lessons we taught this week:

Famille "B"(wife was an inactive member and dad is catholic). There was insane traffic and we were driving with the "N" couple because they don't have a car. It took us 3 hours to make the 1 hour journey. I would make that trek 100 more times for the "B" family. We made them a family parcours au temple poster and we gave it to them (shown below).
Showing each of their individual paths to be able to go to the temple and be sealed for eternity as a family.

 With the N's we testified of eternal families and the love of God for their family. The dad claims he's not interested, but he always says "you teach good things" and he always joins us for lessons now. He's going to come around one day. Today in church Soeur "B" gave the opening prayer and this was her third Sunday in a row at church. 
Lesson with Cani and Soeur "S". Together at the church we addressed Cani's questions and concerns about being baptized. Having Soeur S's testimony and French to help us was invaluable. At the end we asked him how he was feeling about it and he replied "est-ce qu'il y a une raison de faire attendre?" To which we of course replied no. He will be baptized November 26 at 10 am. It was announced in priesthood yesterday. He's really starting to make friends and become integrated into the ward and it makes me so happy to watch.

Felix taught with Diogene (both from the Congo). Felix is an ancient Ami who is super busy so we don't get to teach him very often, I've only ever met him once at the beginning of last transfer. We planned on just teaching a good solid rétab, but as we started talking to him it became clear that we needed to teach the atonement. Soeur Kelley and I didn't even need to look at each other to be on the same page with this change. We talked about Christ and his atonement and shared Alma 7:11. Diogene is so cool. He's 20 and a convert of about 3 years, shared his powerful testimony and experiences with the enabling power of the atonement. I don't know that Felix will suddenly decide to start coming to church and meeting with us again, but I know that the spirit was there and he felt it.
We stopped by the house of one of our bishopric members to leave cookies and talk about the ward. He wasn't there, but we had an amazing conversation with his wife and her mom. During which we found out that her mom is not a member. Her exact words were "pas encore." (Not yet). We talked a little about her questions and concerns with the church and bore testimony of how the church has changed our lives. Because we took the time to get to know her first, she really trusted us and said she wants to get together again sometime. 
Other moments this week:
- Soeur Kelley and I have laughed to the point of tears multiple times this week and I can't even remember why. Sorry, I'll try to be better in the future.
- In a lesson Cani asked us "how can I share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with my children in Africa?" SO COOL. He's. It even baptized yet and he already is being a missionary. Cani is literally awesome.
- Cani always tells everyone we meet that Soeur Kelley and I are his "meres spirituelle" (spiritual moms) hahaha. I love it.
- a homeless kid who always begs on the street near one of our Amis tried to give us a coke and when we ignored him he left it outside of the door so it was waiting for us when we came out of our lesson...okay.
- FRANCE IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN THE WORLD. Sometimes I forget how cool it is that I get to live here and I want to just always appreciate it.
When I got my mission call to the France Lyon mission I knew it was where I was supposed to go, but I was excited to see why. This week I feel like I'm starting to see why. Sitting in lessons with Cani, with the famille "B", with Stella, I see why I need to be right here, right now. And I think they're teaching me more than I'm teaching them.

Je vous aime avec tout mon cœur!!
Soeur Cami Goold

a gift we made for someone's birthday
A sidewalk chalk  message for the birthday girl

They have these  little "Mairies" (courthouse) in every town.  This one with the French flag shutters struck us as particularly cute!  

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