Monday, February 6, 2017

Blue Fire in France (Update #27)

Soeur Goold and Soeur Wilson are pleased to announce the coming arrival of their new companion, an Italian Sister straight from the MTC!!! Expected to arrive in Lyon this Tuesday :)
Yep, Friday night we received a very unexpected call from President Brown saying that there's a new sister coming into our mission halfway through the transfer (we assume it's because she's more advanced in her French skills than they expected) and she's going to be joining us in Val de Saône!! They've already brought in a bunk bed and an extra desk to make room for three in our tiny apartment.   Pretty funny that the bluest (newest) sister équipe (team) in the mission is now receiving ANOTHER brand new blue. When the ward found it I was training Soeur Wilson they said "it's like a blue with a blue" so I guess now that makes us "a blue with a blue with a blue".    Hahaha. We're so pumped!!! So much BLUE FIRE, France won't know what to do with us.  
Apart from that marvelous announcement, this week has been anything but boring. I'll just share some highlights.

Friday we had a rendezvous with Aaron. We love Aaron. He's 20 years old, from the Congo and does everything in his life "par la grace de Dieu." (by the grace of God).   In the words of one of our members "il est un peu bizarre, mais il comprends tout." ("he is a little weird, but understands everything.")  That just about sums up Aaron, a little bizarre, but in the best way possible. Never a dull moment. He's doing really well, the one hiccup in his progression being that we can't get him to come for church :( He says God always pushes him to come for our appointments, even when he has other things to do, but he doesn't feel the need to come on Sunday. The other minor thing about Aaron is that he wants to get baptized in a river. "Il faut le faire comme Jesus" ("it must be done like Jesus") so... that's also a thing.

Then we have Kelly B. who is more excited than ever for her baptism in 3 weeks!! Amazing experience this week was at church when we were sitting behind Kelly and her mom, Linsey. The Stake President was bearing a very powerful testimony when he said (something along the lines of): "I know that God sent us here to learn and grow with our families so we can be sealed in the temple and live with them forever." Right as he said that, Linsey turned to Kelly and whispered something to her with a huge smile on her face, Kelly responded by grinning back at her mom with a sparkle in her eyes, nodding and then resting her head on her moms shoulder. I have no idea what Linsey said
to Kelly, but in that moment I could just picture their little family at the temple being sealed for time and all eternity. I've had a lot of incredible experiences on my mission, but I think watching the famille Blanchet progress has been the most humbling and breathtaking. From that day 4 months ago when I couldn't keep my mouth shut and invited the two Tahitian members to come with us to a random less active's house when we didn't even have a rendezvous, to now, it is so clear that God has a plan for this family. Linsey's been at church almost every week and is preparing to go to the temple. Kelly is getting baptized next month and is finding her own testimony for the first time in her life.
Words can't express how grateful I am to be a tiny part of this little family's celestial path to eternity.

Last cool story I'll share is from last night. We spend a lot of time trying to hunt down less actives from the ward list, oftentimes to no avail. Either they won't live there anymore, their address doesn't
exist, they aren't home, or they just straight up tell us to go away. It can be a little discouraging sometimes, because it honestly kind of feels like a waste of time. And nothing feels worse than being a missionary and wondering if you're wasting God's time. But I guess that's just one of the things I'm learning from a mission, that truly nothing done in God's name is a waste of time. When we walk by faith, our steps count for something. Anyway, back to the story. Last night we felt like there was somewhere we needed to be so we prayed and felt like we should go visit a less active we've never met before. We drive to his house, knock on the door and meet a lovely old French lady who has never heard of "Frankson Hyppolite" in her life and has lived there for a long time. As I turned around to walk back to the car, Soeur Wilson just yells  "cherchez!!" (Keep looking). I was like "okay...I'm following you here." She then goes turns in a circle, sees an apartment building across the street, points, and says "I think he lives there, let's go." 

At this point I'm just happy to follow. We walk up to the apartment, search the sonnerie (not sure what this is in America but the thing that has a list of all the names who live in the apartment building and you can click one to call up and they can let you in). 

What do ya know, the third name in the list is HYPPOLITE!! He came down to talk to us and told us a little about his story of conversion and how he fell away from the church when he moved to France from Haiti. We talked about the temple and how if he starts preparing now, he could go soon and how there will soon be a temple IN FRANCE (#hype). He got really excited and we have a rendezvous to go back this week. Moral of the story: follow the spirit... or in my case follow your companion who's following the spirit.  ;)

"Of utmost importance in {the} schooling process {of our lives} is our responsibility to act, without delay, in accordance with the spiritual promptings we receive. President Thomas S. Monson stated: “We watch. We wait. We listen for that still, small voice. When it speaks, wise men and women obey. Promptings of the Spirit are not to be postponed.”"  David M. McConkie

I'm so grateful to have a companion that recognizes the promptings of the spirit and has the courage to act on them without delay!      

Well I think that's all I have time for this week, je vous aime beaucoup!!!  (I love you very much.) Merci pour tout les prières et ce que vous faites!  ("Thank you for the prayers and all you do.")

Soeur Cami Goold

Here are some more pictures from her week:  

This is the Famille Wachter, whom Cami says is very strong and has them over for crepes on a regular basis.   

This is Ahmed, a relatively new member of the church, who says that everything about the church is "very very important."  

They finally got to go to a nice French restaurant...

She lives in a very lovely part of the world.

Soeur Wilson has awesome hair!    The picture on the right is her with the Ecully Sisters at some kind of botanical garden.

A closer view of the botanical gardens.

She didn't explain this picture to me, but it looks like her and Soeur Wilson brought a little treat over to the Elders who live nearby.    I have no idea if it was for a special occasion or just for fun.   In any case, it looks delicious! 

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