Monday, June 5, 2017

Huit Baguettes... (update #44)

Not much to update on this week, Bordeaux is awesome. We do a lot of walking and get a lot of sun. The last two weeks have been a little bit of a shock because there are a lot of young families and young adults here which is super cool. But it's a huge change in noise level during church from Lausanne because almost the whole ward consisted of personnes un peu âgées hahah. It's so fun being able to serve in the different sides (literally) of the mission and see so many different wards.

This week we had MLC which was really cool.
We talked a lot about what's next after the Paris temple consecration. In all honesty, After seeing so many miracles leading up to the temple consecration and being so excited for so long, I was scared that after the consecration I would be disappointed. What would there be to look forward to? I found the (obvious) answer while studying in preparation for the consecration.

In Our Heritage chapter 3, it says:

<< With the completion of the temple, the Lord poured out powerful spiritual blessings upon the Saints in Kirtland, including visions and the ministering of angels. Joseph Smith called this period “a year of jubilee to us, and a time of rejoicing.” Daniel Tyler testified, “All felt that they had a foretaste of heaven. … We wondered whether the millennium had commenced.” >>

It was not just before, but WITH the completion of the temple that the blessings were poured out. What do we have to look forward to now? Powerful spiritual blessings. The ministering of angels. A year of jubilee and rejoicing. A foretaste of heaven. I'm sure that the best miracles are yet to come.

For district meeting on Thursday Elder Hansen asked us to bring 8 baguettes so we went to the little bakery in our neighborhood. It turns out it wasn't open yet but the door into the back kitchen was open so we walked up to them and in our charming American accents asked if any other bakeries were open. They of course asked what we needed and when we said "huit baguettes" they proceeded to pull 8 baguettes directly out of the oven and put them in a bag for us. Anyway, there was absolutely no value or importance of that story, it was just a moment that made me really happy to live in France where there are more bakeries and baguettes than anyone knows what to do with.

Soeur Wadsworth and I are having a blast together. I'm so blessed to be with her for her last transfer, she's literally so cool.

The end of this last week was honestly a little rough for me. Everything with Soeur Wadsworth and Talence is amazing, but I just found myself missing home a little and feeling a little discouraged about how much progression I still have to do to become the missionary/ human being I need to be. A little discouraged by not having any super progressing Amis in this moment and feeling like I'm not a good enough missionary to go find them.

Sunday morning before church I stumbled upon a talk by Elder Scott called "Finding Happiness." I know this is something I've talked about before, but it seems to be something I need constant reminding of. It gave me back the joyful perspective that I lost sight of a little bit for a couple of days.

The perspective that there is no need to be discouraged because of my personal weaknesses because:
"It is a principle of happiness to work hard and to obey willingly the principles of truth, confident that the Lord will open doors of help when needed."

True happiness is so much grander and better than always having what I want. If I want to find new Amis who are truly ready to listen, what do I need to do? "Work hard and obey willingly," trusting that God will make up for everything I can't do. It really isn't the missionaries who make the work happen, its Heavenly Father preparing His children everywhere and we just open our mouths. And that's what makes me happy. I'm so happy to know that we have a Heavenly Father who loves and takes care of His children. Who helped me learn French and helps me to keep learning every day. Who has given me the best companions on the face of the planet. Who has let me be a witness to incredible miracles. Has let me seen the infinite healing and enabling power of the atonement work in people's lives first hand.

Happiness is so much more profound than a passing mood, it's a state of being that comes from how we choose to view our circumstances. Elder Nelson said: "My dear brothers and sisters, the joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives."

And speaking of joy, something that brought me so much joy this week was seeing almost all my former companions at MLC!! 

Soeur Jones, Soeur Kelley, Soeur Goreeba. Seriously the best ever. 
While it's true joy can be found in any situation, it's also true that the circumstances of my life are pretty top, I'm so blessed and just so lucky to be here right now.

I love you all, have a great and happy week!
Soeur Goold

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Memorial Day in Bordeaux (update #43)

Bonjour tout le monde!!! Happy Memorial Day!!

I'll be completely honest and admit that I 100% forgot that Memorial Day existed until I read my moms email this morning. BUT while we were in downtown Bordeaux with all the missionaries we ran into two very patriotic Vietnam war veterans who most definitely did not forget about Memorial Day. You can imagine our surprise when we saw this guy walk by in a button down shirt covered in American flags and tanks.
Of course we had to go talk to him and his friend, turns out they're here on a cruise touring Europe and their kids are members living in Utah! We gave them our names and card and they were super sparked to meet "Mormon missionaries" in France. And it made my day and reminded me of how grateful i am to be American. I LOVE France, but I love my country too.

This week has been so incredible. For starters, Soeur Wadsworth is the best!!! We're seriously having so much fun already and we just naturally get along super well. Just for a little peek into her personality, she's the most chill, calm, happy, best listener, funny, person alive. And she has an angelic voice. #blessed Anyway, it's honestly usually a bit rocky for me adjusting to a new ville and new companion (I can take a while to warm up to people), but this week has honestly been incredible in a weird way. It's been SO HOT. I think right now in the chapel is the first time all week that I haven't been sweaty. And we've done a lot of walking! I love it. It's kind of a nice change from Lausanne where we were still wearing coats last week.

Here are just a couple of my favorite moments:

Saturday morning we had Conseil de Paroisse (Ward Council) over the phone and I'll be honest and say I wasn't understanding anything. Conference calls+ French= bad combination. Even the French people said "je n'ai rien compris" I'll try harder next time.. but, anyway, I decided to do something semi effective so I just sent out a little scripture text to some less actives and ancient Amis. Nobody responded except for one person who said "merci," pretty normal. Fast forward to that afternoon, we had a rendezvous with a less active which we ended up being late for and then she wasn't even home, so we went straight to our next rdv at the church which put us on a bus we normally never should have been on. There was a cute mom with an adorable baby and 2 little girls I decided to talk to. We had a nice little conversation until I mentioned that I was a missionary and she just responds "I know. I was baptized in your church in Guadeloupe." NO WAY!! So cool. When she moved here she lived too far to go to church so she never came but she recently moved to Talence! Then I asked her name... Angelique. She was the same person that responded "MERCI" to my text that morning. Her names not even on our ward list, but somehow she was in our phone, and it's pretty clear she's on God's list.

Then another huge miracle was the rdv with Maxime. He was an ancient ami in our phone that we called and fixed a lesson with. He's a little interesting and has trouble speaking, but it was honestly one of the best rendezvous of my whole mission. The spirit was so strong and he agreed to be baptized the 22 of July. He has a lot of preparation to do before then, but it was so powerful how the spirit really prepares people and gives them the desire to act.

One day while we were walking Soeur Wadsworth told me a story from her first transfer (she started her mission in Lausanne!) she was leaving the church and they had to run to catch the metro. They were in a serious rush so they were hard core running. Noticing that her stride felt a little more free than before, Soeur W looks down to realize that she was no longer wearing a skirt. She whips around to find her skirt lying on the ground several feet behind her. In her rush to catch the train her skirt had literally fallen to her ankles and she ran right out of it without even noticing. Hahahaha. I literally died laughing. Almost peed my pants imagining her running the streets of Lausanne with out a skirt. (Don't worry I didn't actually though...).

In other news, tomorrow we're taking a PLANE to Lyon for MLC (mission leadership conference)!!! I'm so pumped. I always thought the next plane I took would be going home, but nope. And tomorrow I'll get to see Soeur Jones and Soeur Goreeba and Soeur Kelley at MLC. SOOOO EXCITED! Anyway.

Have an AMAZING week! Love you all :)
Soeur Cami Goold

Monday, May 22, 2017

Off to Bordeaux (update #42)


On Sunday, May 21, 2017, France was changed forever when this temple was dedicated. A house of the Lord has finally come to this beautiful nation and the people are rejoicing. I don't really have words to describe what it feels like to be able to be here and celebrate this moment with these people.  Something that I loved from one of the dedication  sessions (we watched all 3) was from Frère Gerald Caussé, he said (speaking to the missionaries) "merci d'être venus dans notre pays qui
était inconnu, mais que vous avez appris à aimer." (Thank you for coming to our country that was unknown to you, but that you have learned to love)

It's true that I don't have any French blood. Before 2016, I had never set foot in this country. I didn't speak their language. But from the moment I set foot on French soil, I've loved this place. And over the last 9 months with every french word I learn, with every person I get to know, with every day I spend here, I fall further in love with France (and Switzerland). And words can't express what it feels like to be here in this historic moment. To not only see the people of French speaking Europe celebrate, but to celebrate right along side them.

I'M GOING TO TALENCE (Bordeaux) to be companions with SOEUR WADSWORTH!! I'm literally so excited. I've spent my whole mission either in Lyon or pretty close (Lausanne isn't far) and now I'm going clear to the other side of the mission! All I've heard about my new ville is that it's beautiful and hot :) Bordeaux is on the west coast of  France (the word Bordeaux means bordering waters) and is 760km from Lausanne (can't get much farther than that and stay in the mission). 

I heard we might even take a plane to get back to Lyon for MLC  (Mission Leadership Conference) next week so that would be fun. I'm writing this email while looking out our train window at the most beautiful french fields and blue skies. I love that my mission includes traveling and new adventures as icing on the cake for everything else.

I've never before taken a train to my new sector with all my suitcases (I started in Lyon then drove a car to Switzerland). Today that changed. Here's what my travels look like:

Lausanne- Geneva (with Soeur Goreeba)
Geneva- Lyon
Lyon-Montpellier (where I'm writing this email from)
Montpellier- Toulouse
Toulouse- Bordeaux

I'm so pumped... but even more exciting than where I'm going is WHO I'm going to serve with: Soeur Camille WADSWORTH!!! Yes we have the same first name.  :) She was MTC companions with Soeur Kelley (my trainer) and is literally so cool. She just has one transfer left in her mission which means I'll send her home at the end of this transfer. I've never served around her but I feel like I know her through Soeur Kelley and I'm sooo excited to be her companion!!! I've literally been so blessed in my mission to have the most wonderful companions.

Speaking of which, leaving Soeur Goreeba was so hard. We really had the best time of our lives in Lausanne. We saw so many miracles, had so many laughs and really became so close these last 12 weeks. Soeur Goreeba is one of the most HAPPY, loving, grateful, spiritual people I know and I feel so lucky to be friends with her.

I've really been blessed to see in all of my companionships that when you love each other and have a good relationship, every aspect of the work is better. Relationships with members, Amis, everything. And it makes the mission so much more fun! I know that that's not always the case/ possible, but I'm counting my blessings every day that I've been so blessed to serve with 5 of the most amazing missionaries/ human beings in the whole world these last 9 months. Maybe that means I was a hard companion because all of my companions have been so great ;)

Well, the mission is great. God is real and living and good. I love you all so much. Thank you so much for your prayers, especially the ones for Mary. Have a wonderful week!

Soeur Camille Goold

Here are a few more pictures from her last week in Lausanne: 

Super cool story!!!! 
40 some odd years ago, our good friend, Mark Harrison, baptized Frere Breitenhuber  while on his mission to Austria.   Frere and Soeur Breitenhuber now live in Lausanne and Cami was able to meet them this past week.   Cami and the Harrisons' daughter are best friends and were roommates at BYU.   What a small world!  

She wore out her first pair of shoes in the service of the Lord! 

Saying goodbye to the Lausanne apartment.

With Soeur Coutino

Saying goodbye to Ednice and her dog, Funny. 

 This sweetie, Elizabeth, loves to play with Soeur Goold's hair.

La famille Echanique 

Double G

With Mary at the temple dedication.

Soeur Cosimano is from Argentina (s/o to Katy!) 

Doubt "knot" Fear "knot" rings they got.

Saying goodbye to Soeur Jaquet 

She got to see Soeur Friolo in Geneva.

One more visit with Soeur and Frere Keck