Monday, March 27, 2017

Easing Burdens and Unbreakable Eggs (Update #34)


All is well over here in Switzerland :) 
Friday we had zone conference and as always it was so inspiring. Soeur Goreeba and I got to give a presentation about baptism and confirmation which was super cool. It was my first time presenting so I was a little nervous, but I think it went really well. We started by trying to have someone break an egg by squeezing it in the palm of their hand (which as  my family well knows is quite impossible) and then read Mosiah 24:13-15 and talked about the "covenant" that baptism is and how it makes us virtually unbreakable. 
And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.
And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.  And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.
Like an egg, we may be fragile, but with the covenant we have made with God, when we keep our end, He will give us the strength necessary to bear our burdens. It doesn't say life will be easy or that we won't have trials, but rather that God will strengthen us enough to support our trials with "joy and patience." And then we talked about some other things too but that was the gist. The elders got a real kick out of the whole egg thing. hahaha.

We also made cupcakes for the conference which was fun. And it's always an adventure transporting them to Geneva using buses and trams and trains. We've found that the best way it to make the cupcakes, freeze them in gallon sized bag, bring them in big grocery bags, then frost them on site at the church. Makes for an early morning but better cupcakes. 

I'll start off with a funny story from comp inventory this week. Companionship inventory is what all missionaries do at the end of weekly planning when you and your companion talk about your goals, your relationship, any problems, etc... Soeur Goreeba and I get along so well so comp inventory is basically us just talking about what a good time we have together. Anyway, I said "this is honestly the happiest time I've had my whole mission" to which Soeur Goreeba responds "for me it's just the weirdest..." hahahaha I died! And just imagine this in her cute little French accent. She continued to finish the phrase and it made more sense but in the moment it was so funny. Maybe you just had to be there. Anyway, moral of the story Soeur Goreeba is the best. 

Another funny story this week is from Soeur M. For the last 4 weeks that I've been in Lausanne I've heard stories about Soeur M. Lots of stories. I knew she's Italian, kind of old, very disorganized, has food all over her floor, spends all her money on silly things, etc,etc. Anyway, when Soeur Goreeba told me it was finally time that we really needed to go visit her, j'avais PEUR (I was scared)! My favorite quote from Soeur Goreeba while she was mentally preparing me for the visit was: "she likes to rip papers and put them on the floor....and you can't touch them. But some of them you can touch."

Anyway, we show up at her appartement and I just have all these horror stories running through my head. We pray as always and make sure to ask "s'il te plaît béni nous de ne pas mourir" (help us not to die). We walk into her apartment and it honestly wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. There were crumbs and ripped papers ALL over the floor, but she had some nice natural light from the window and she's honestly a super cute old lady with some cool (a little off the wall) spiritual insights. All was well... that is until Soeur Goreeba had to use the bathroom. She leaves to the bathroom and then returns about 20 seconds later "il n'y a plus de papier" (there's no toilet paper). Soeur M. instantly stands up and starts apologizing. She didn't have any in her apartment. Soeur Goreeba just tells her it's "pas grave" and that she's happy to wait until we can go at home. But Soeur M. was determined. She was going to find a solution. She starts rummaging through piles of ripped papers and holding up various items that could work as toilet paper. An old At this point I'm holding back snickers and trying not to smile. A dirty Now I'm really trying not to laugh. THEN she pulls out of a pile a dirty, white button down (missionary style) shirt for Soeur  Goreeba to use as toilet paper. I died. It's a good thing Heavenly Father blessed me with a completely silent laugh because I was cracking up, tears running down my face. (Don't worry, Soeur M. didn't see). En fin she found some little napkins that were clean and in the package so Soeur Goreeba didn't die. But it was hands down one of the most funniest experiences I've had in my mission hahah.

So this week was more of a funny email, but I will just say super quick that if I'm learning anything in Lausanne, it's that miracles come from faith and unity which bring hope and joy. That's a lot of qualities in one sentence, but I don't know how else to describe it. I LOVE this scripture in the Book of Mormon:
Ether 12:4,6

Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with suretyhope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.
And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witnessuntil after the trial of your faith.

We're seeing so many miracles and this really is the happiest I've been my whole mission because we walk by our faith and we walk together. And that's not to say my other companions and I weren't united (Soeur Kelley, Soeur Jones, and Soeur Wilson are still 3 of my favorite people in the whole world), but just that I'm learning more about what I need to change about myself to be more hopeful and united with my missionary purpose and my companion and it's making a difference. I've found that hope and happiness really is subject to our attitude and gratitude and not our circumstances. Miracles come from faith, regardless of external variables.

I love you so much!

Soeur Cami Goold

Here are some pictures from her week:   

at the chapel in Geneva 

Random sights around town.  She especially liked the "MTC".  :) 

Food!   Apparently fondue in Switzerland is quite a thing and she's been informed that she hadn't really lived in Switzerland until she had fondue.   So now she's official.    And don't get me started on the croissants.  Let's just say that if you haven't had a real deal freshly baked croissant from France (or Switzerland) you are missing out.  

Another shot with the cupcakes...

Cute Soeur Goreeba! 

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