Monday, December 26, 2016

Finding Dory Analogy (Update #21)

Bonjour tout le monde!

Christmas was AMAZING!! We were the absolute worst at taking pictures, though,
so I'll just share some highlights from the week, with fewer photos than usual.

1. FACETIMING MY FAMILY. Best thing of the week by far. I won't
pretend it's not hard to be away from them, especially at Christmas
time, but that doesn't change the fact that I love my family and they
are the biggest blessing in my life.
2. Literal 7 course French meal for Christmas lunch with one of our
members. Included escargot, beaucoup du fromage (cheese!) and lots of other
yummy things.
3. Finding Dory! This was the one movie that President Brown approved
us to watch this year and it was SO GOOD. Maybe it's because I'm going
on 5 months without any Disney movies, but either way I loved it. Of
course being a missionary I couldn't help but notice the spiritual
parallel that we're all a little like Dory. We don't remember our life
before this earth, we don't remember exactly where we came from, but
the more we try and remember, the more we pray and study the
scriptures and listen to the spirit, the more we remember. The further
we progress on our path to returning home to our Heavenly Father. My
favorite scene of the whole movie was when Dory finally finds her
parents and she starts to present herself "hi I'm..." she's
immediately interrupted by her parents tackling her and screaming
"DORY." They instantly forgave her for forgetting them and they had
never forgotten her. They spent every single day, every moment laying
a shell path to help her find her way home. I think our reunion with
God will be the same. He knows all of us perfectly, every day he is
laying shells, he's giving us tools, he's reaching out to us trying to
help us find our way back home. But we have to let ourselves remember.
We have to choose to follow the shells. And it's so cool to be a
missionary and be part of the daily work of laying shells and
searching for the lost Dorys who have forgotten who they are and where
they came from.
If I have a testimony of anything,  it's that we are all children of a
Heavenly Father who loves us and that more than anything, He wants us
back. He wants us to return home.

This email in no way did this week justice but I'm all out of time. A
la prochaine!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!! Je vous aime!
Soeur Cami Goold

Pictures and notes from mom:  

Her and Soeur Wilson were given a lot of chocolate this Christmas!    Also, I'm loving her cute little missionary tree!  

She didn't explain this artwork to me, but she told me to make sure her grandma saw it.    :) 

Our family has a tradition of matching pajamas each year, so we had to make sure she matched from afar!       

We love our Cami Rose! 

Sent from my iPad

Monday, December 19, 2016

JOYEUX NOËL (Update #20)

 I don't have a whole lot to report on this week except to say that
it's been amazing! The cupcakes turned out even better than I hoped
and the zone conference with Elder Sabin (area general authority) was
It was so fun to have all the other missionaries here in Lyon
with us (including Soeur Kelley and Soeur Jones!!!!) sometimes it's
easy to get caught up in the daily grind of missionary work and these
conferences are always great reminders of WHY we're here and that
we're all in this divine work together. Not only do we have the very
God who created us and the entire universe. Not only do we have His
son, Jesus Christ, the Savior of all mankind. but we also have
prophets, President and Soeur Brown, and about 200 other missionaries
just in the south of France working shoulder to shoulder with us. Not
to mention the thousands of other missionaries throughout the world!

(Shoutout Elder Holdaway, Elder Crain, Sister Harrison, Sister McGlinchy, the other
Sister Goold, Sister Teasley, soon to be Sister Powell and all the other
incredible missionaries that are such amazing examples to me)

And in addition to that we also have the millions of members that make
missionary work a life style and not a calling, who support us and our

I've been studying the Christmas story in Luke this week and something
that stood out to me was the part when the angels went and told the
shepherds to go visit Christ. I think I always assumed that when
Christ was born, everyone in the whole world knew about it and was
excited and worshiping him, but I don't think it was actually like
that at all. Sure, there was a new star in the sky, but how many
people actually knew what that meant? The angels had to go around and
spread the "glad tidings of great joy." It's just the same in today's
world. The hope, joy and light of Christ is just as real today as it
was the day he was born, if not more real because of the life he's
lived since then. But not everyone knows that. It's our job, or really
our joy, to announce the joyeuse news of the gospel. It reminds me of
the third verse of "les anges dans nos compagnes" (angels we have
heard on high I think) which is our mission song:
"Ils annoncent la naissance du rédempteur, roi d'israël. Et dans sa
reconnaissance la terre chante avec le ciel"
What a beautiful thought that heaven and earth are singing together in
joy and gratitude to share the greatest message of hope with all the
Words cannot express how grateful I am, especially in the Christmas
season, for my Savior Jesus Christ. He truly is the light of the world
and the only reason that I wake up every day, at 6:30, thousands of
miles from my loved ones, speaking a foreign language to absolute
strangers, and I couldn't be happier about it. Christ lives. He loves
us. He was born for us, lived for us, and died for us. And in him
there is hope and light and love that is somehow infinite and enough
for every single one of us. Don't ask me how, all I know is that it's
true and that it works.

Thank you for your light and joy that you spread to those around you
and to me. I wish you the Merriest of Christmases and hope that you
feel the love that God has for you and your families in the beautiful
time of year. I love you!

Et souvenez-vous, ÉCLAIREZ LE MONDE!!

Soeur Cami Goold

Fun things this week:
Soeur Wilson's first trip to Fourviere!!

Seeing Soeur Jones and Soeur Kelley

Ward Christmas Party, SO CUTE. Love little French kids.

Delivering little flowers to some of our French mothers because we
can't call our real mothers.
Christmas caroling with the Famille Brenders!! No pic but was SO FUN!
We went and visited a bunch of less actives who live out in Bourg en
Bresse with them and their 6 KIDS. They are such a perfect family,
also they're moving to Idaho soon so they love practicing their
English on us (and we always respond in French to practice too haha).
So sad we forgot to take a picture. funny story with the caroling, we
went to sing at a less actives house who nobody had met before except
me. There were two doors on the floor so we picked the one I thought.
As soon as she opened the door I knew it was the wrong one but nobody
else knew so they just gave her the cookies and sang as if it was.
Meanwhile I was trying to contain my laughter and decide if
I should say anything. At the very end they figured out that it wasn't
actually a member of our church and that she was Muslim so we left her
with our card and let her keep the cookies. Pretty funny hahaha

Monday, December 12, 2016

A New Companion and Lighting the World with Cupcakes (update #20)

Bonjour et joyeux Noël!!!
So first things first, my new companion is Sœur Annabelle Wilson, straight out of the MTC, from California!!!

She is awesome and I'm so excited to start working together :)) Our first week together has been a blast! It was her birthday on Saturday, so we celebrated with some French pastries, going  to Fêtes des Lumières  (Festival of Lights) in Lyon with all the Lyon missionaries and President and Soeur Brown, and we did some serious work with the travail missionaries and met our goals even though we only had half the week together!! 
She hasn't really taken French before so suffice it to say, I have a lot of hard core language studying ahead of me this transfer! We have a lot of learning and growing to do together and I'm excited to get started!

#mishspiration this week is something I've been meaning to share for a long time: ÉCLAIREZ LE MONDE!!! (Light the world). Aka the church's Christmas campaign this year.

If you haven't seen this video yet, go watch it right now. If you've already seen it multiple times, still go watch it right now. No matter how many times we share this with Amis and members, it never gets old and never fails to bring the spirit.

I love the beautiful juxtaposition of Christ's life and what we can do
in our own life.
     Je suis la lumière du monde (I am the light of the world)
     Vous êtes la lumière du monde (you are the light of the world)
     Éclairez le monde (light the world)

I feel like this just sums up the reason I came on a mission, but also the reason all of us are on the earth. Each of us has so much potential and so much light to share and it's the little things we do that bring us closer to Christ. That slowly help us become like Him.

In other news, I volunteered to make 200 cupcakes for a mission conference next week so I guess #cupcakesbycamiFrance is now a thing.  :)
Baking is such a comfort to me and I'm so grateful that I get to do it here as a missionary! And I love that there are always ways for us to use our random little talents to serve others. There are a lot of things about missionary work that I'm still learning and still have a lot of room for improvement on  (language, lessons, edifying members with every visit), but, by golly, I can make some mean cupcakes. I have faith that as I work hard God will help me overcome my weaknesses and make them strengths but in the meantime, I'm going to do what I can and work some magic with butter and sugar and love.

Thank you for all your love, support and prayers! Every letter and email means the world to me even if I don't always have time to reply.  Je vous aime trop forte!!

Have an amazing Christmas and ÉCLAIREZ LE MONDE!!
Avec tout mon amour,
Soeur Cami Goold

Cami and a sweet little girl, Sovergna, from the ward. Cami referred to her as a good friend! 
All the new trainers waiting for their "bleus" to arrive from the MTC

All the trainers still waiting for their blues.  

Soeur Wilson 

Pictures from the Fêtes des Lumières  (Festival of Lights)

This celebration is held each year in Lyon to pay honor to Mary, the Mother of Jesus. 
The mission president and his wife took all the missionaries serving in the city of Lyon there and it looks like took them on a boat ride.   She didn't describe it, but based on my research likely on the Saône or the Rhône River.  

Monday, December 5, 2016

A Blue Training a Blue (Update #19)

Bonjour tout le monde!!!

It's been an EXCITING week. I'll start by sharing what happened when
we received transfer calls on Friday morning:
     President Brown: "Hi, Soeur Goold, are you sitting down?"
     Me: "yes"
     Pres: "I need you to take a deep breath... you're going to be staying
in Val de Saône, and you're going to be senior companion and you're
going to be training a new blue"
     Me:  *screams of joy and terror*
     Me: "are you sure?"

(Soeur Kelley is going down to Aix en Provence to be a sister training
leader!!! So excited for her, I'm going to miss her soooo much)

I'm so excited and terrified all at the same time. When we were
talking to one of the members in our ward the other day he said "c'est
comme bleu et bleu" or "it's like a blue and a blue." And he couldn't
be more right!! In other words, I'm basically still a blue (mission
lingo for a brand new missionary from the MTC) and somehow I'm
supposed to be training someone who's even more blue than me!!
I think I've shared this scripture before, but this week with this
call it has taken on a new meaning for me. All I'm trying to hold onto
are the words of the Savior in Luke 8: "fear not, believe only." There
are a lot of reasons to be scared. What if she doesn't speak French
and neither of us can communicate with anyone? What if she only speaks
French and we can't talk to each other? What if I forget to do
something important? What if I can't live up to my own expectations
for myself, President Browns expectations, or even worse, God's
expectations. What if I ruin her mission?

But at the end of the day, greater than all these fears is FAITH.
Faith that God called us both to be here in Val de Saône right now.
Faith that God qualifies those he calls. Faith that she will have so
much to teach me and bring to the table. Faith that God will not let
my personal weakness get in the way of HIS work.

In fast and testimony meeting someone bore their testimony about how
Christ invites us to come to him in our weakness and he'll make up for
the rest. There's nothing like being a missionary, learning a new
language, visiting strangers every single day to make you realize how
weak you are, but it's comforting to see how much strength he gives
us. How many miracles we see when we just give our best and let him do
the rest.
Faith can conquer fear. Every time. But faith is a choice, a choice
that isn't always easy to make, but a choice that I'm going to try to
make every single day (definitely not always successfully). As a
missionary, as a trainer, and for the rest of my life.

In the words of Elder Neil Anderson: "My dear friends, your faith did
not begin at birth, and it will not end at death. Faith is a choice.
Strengthen your faith, and live to be deserving of the Savior’s
approving words: “Great is thy faith.” As you do, I promise you that
your faith, through the grace of Jesus Christ, will one day allow you
to stand with those you love, clean and pure in the presence of God,
in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."
 (Faith is not by chance, but by choice, (click on title to read it) October 2015. Very powerful talk, highly recommended)

I love all of you so much, thank you for your love and prayers and support!!
Avec tout mon amour,
Sœur Cami Goold

 Note from Cami's mom:  
The "blue" (brand new missionary) that Cami is training doesn't arrive until Wednesday, so in the meantime Cami has a temporary companion, Soeur Mikayla Beatty, who was a childhood friend of Cami's.  They haven't seen each other in about 10-years, but were excited to be companions, even if only for a couple of days!

The "B" family! 

Soeur Goold has grown quite attached to this little cutie pie in the B family.   :) 

She is living in a very beautiful part of the world.