Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Paris Temple! (update #38)

Hellooo everyone!!

First things first, in case you weren't aware, the PARIS, FRANCE TEMPLE IS OPENING NEXT MONTH (click here to see pictures of the inside)!!! This is a huge deal. The first ever temple in French speaking Europe is here. The open house tours have begun and now everyone can go see. It's beautiful.  Because it's outside of our mission boundaries, we won't be able to go  to the open houses or dedication, BUT they will broadcast the dedication to all the chapels in France and French-speaking Switzerland. Which means we'll be able to watch the dedication from our chapel in Lausanne!!! And the coolest part is, when a dedication is broadcasted, the chapel becomes an extension of the temple. For the first 9 months of my mission I was so sad thinking I wouldn't be able to go to the temple for 18 months, but it turns out that May 20th, the temple is coming to Lausanne!!! I'm counting down the days :)

The Paris Temple is near Versailles 

President Brown talks a lot about "la confluence." In other words, the coming together of heaven (divine help, ancestors) and earth (us) to build up God's kingdom. I love the scripture, Malachi 4:6:   "And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers"  I love that it goes both ways. It's not just us turning our hearts to our ancestors and history, and it's not just them turning their hearts to us and giving us help. It goes both ways. We help them through discovering our family history and doing temple ordinances, and they help us in ways that we often can't see or even imagine.

I used to dislike doing family history work. I still have a little love hate relationship with it, but the more I do it, the more I get excited about it. To know where I come from and to know more about the people who are doing the same work as me on the other side of the veil. My thoughts are all over the place in this email, but basically I just want to document that when we sing the words "the veil between heaven and earth is beginning to thin," it's true. I feel that we are receiving divine help from my ancestors, and from the ancestors of our Amis, every single day. And "la confluence" that is happening in French speaking Europe right now is something that I cannot put words to or describe. There is power in ancestors, there is power in temples and I'm so lucky to be a witness of that.

In other news, Life is going great over here in Switzerland :) I love Soeur Goreeba  and we're having a blast being missionaries here in Lausanne. We got separated again this week which is always
an interesting/ funny experience. This time is was thanks to the completely automated metro we have in Lausanne. Honestly I don't really know how it works, but there's no conducter, no nothing. And
when the doors close, they close whether you're in the way or not. When we arrived at the metro Sunday night to go home, I of course ran to catch the train before it left (thinking we could both make it).  Little did I know my companion was just a half a step behind me. The doors started to close so I  put my body in the way to keep the doors open so Soeur G could get on the Metro too...no luck. The doors outer doors shut between us and the inner doors shut on my shoulders. My only option was to pull myself into the train and watch my companion disappear behind me. Since it was Sunday night, when I got off at the next stop to wait for her, it was completely empty. For 5 minutes I was just sitting, listening to my watch tick with no living soul in sight.

In other news, Mary is progressing amazingly towards her baptism (May 13) and she's even preparing to go to the Paris temple open house with some of the members this weekend!

I love you so much! Thank you so much for all the prayers, love and support. Have the best week :)

Soeur Cami Goold

Here are a few pictures from her week:   

Her Easter (and half-way there) package!

At a district meeting 

Someone was giving out free roses in honor of a Spanish holiday

We passed them onto Mary and another random person.   The bunnies were from her Easter package. :) 

MLC (Mission Leadership Conference)

She didn't mention this cute couple's names, but I'm including the picture here, because she included it and I'm sure it means something to her.  :) 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Little Easter Miracles (Update #37)

JOYEUSES PÂQUES tout le mode!! {Happy Easter everyone}
This Easter Sunday was full of miracles!! First off, if you remember our amies, Mary and Ednice, they BOTH came to church on the same day!  I'm pretty sure Ednice came my first three weeks here then Mary came  my last three, and for the first time they were both there the same day! We walked into the chapel with Ednice (after picking her up at her house), then Soeur Goreeba saw Mary and went to say hi. Mary starts waving in our direction and I waved back assuming it was for me...nope! Turns out she was waving at Ednice because they do Yoga every Monday together. QUEL PETIT MONDE. {what a small world} Our two most progressing amies that we see and teach most frequently have never been to church on the same day but they know each other in their personal life!  So cool.

Mary and Ednice! 
Next miracle is that Ednice stayed for the second hour which she's never done before!  And then, right after the lesson Mary came up to us and said "so when are you going to bring me the baptism interview questions? I'm ready.  I want to be baptized. And I want to make sure to prepare myself. I
know I have a lot to learn from you people." As those words came out of her mouth memories began to flash through my head of when we started teaching Mary. We sat in a dark room (she never turned on the lights...idk why), she was wrapped up in a blanket with a hat over her hair in the corner and we sat on the couch on the opposite end of the room. She would always go on rants in her speedy, African English. And we loved it. BUT to see the difference of where she is today is incredible. She comes to church every Sunday, she's excited to be baptized, she loves the members, there's always light in her house (lol). But the most incredible change is the light in her face. The way she smiles when she sees us, the way she listens humbly and bears testimony. If I've learned anything on my mission it's that the gospel works. If we're willing to apply the principles, change happens. We learn and grow and find peace. Maybe we won't be over the moon delighted in every moment, but we can have peace. A peace that only comes from the savior. (As shown in the AMAZING Easter video about the #princedelapaix)  Watch it here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ly9xk59Qkfc

THEN, after church the miracles weren't finished! The famille Waechter (one of my FAVORITE families from Val de Saone) was in Lausanne visiting family for Easter and they invited us to eat with them Chez the Soeur de Soeur Waechter (the house of the sister of Sister Waechter), who just so happens to be a less active in our ward in Lausanne! A less active that none of the missionaries here have succeeded at finding or teaching. And we were invited to eat at her house because I "happened" to serve in Val de Saone and become friends with her sister. And now we have another rendezvous to go back another time!! And when I say "happened" I mean the opposite. It's so obvious that God is in the details of this work. We do our little part, our little efforts. I just go where I'm called and try to be a good, obedient missionary and often fall short. And then God turns my water into wine and we see so many miracles. It really is such a humbling and joyful experience to be a missionary. I wish I could just put all the feelings and memories I have into your hearts.

In other news I'm writing this email while we're on our way to Lyon for a MLC (conference) (YAY)!!! Conferences are just the absolute best. Seeing so many other missionaries, the Browns and returning to Lyon where I started my mission. And it just makes it so much better that my companion is the best person in the world because it almost feels like a mini vacation with a friend. Not quite...but a little :)

Anyway, JE VOUS AIME!! Have a great week!



Here's a little glimpse of her week in pictures:  

A missionary from the Lausanne ward just returned from serving in Tahiti and Cami and Soeur Goreeba helped her mom prepare this welcome home goodie spread for her.  

 The picturesque corner she lives on....

Visiting Soeur G. in the hospital...

This is the view from her hospital room...

Cami loves Soeur Goreeba

12-grain Easter soup that Soeur/Hermana C. made and a birthday cake that Cami and Soeur Goreeba made. 

 These are the flowers in front of her house.   She said they make her smile every time they arrive home.  

 Hermana C. (the same one who made the soup) loves doing Cami's hair.  

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Exploding Eggs (Update #36)

Bonjour tout le monde!

First things first: this week we got transfer calls and SOEUR GOREEBA AND I ARE STAYING IN LAUSANNE!!!! Literally could not be happier. We were pretty sure Soeur G was going to leave because she's already been here for 3 transfers and I have to leave next transfer (the Swiss government only lets Americans stay in Switzerland for 89 days), but it was the best surprise ever to stay together! We've been seeing so many miracles and we've gotten so close over the last 6 weeks that it would have been heartbreaking for her to leave. And there are so many huge miracles in store these upcoming 6 weeks.   :)

Funny story from this week: we were at our DMP's ( ward mission leader's) house for dinner on Friday night with the elders. For the spiritual thought we decided to use our unbreakable egg example from zone conference. Right before we gave the egg to everyone to try to break it I noticed a little, tiny crack. I turned to Soeur G and asked if we should ask for another egg, but we decided it would be okay. We passed the egg around the circle and everyone tried to break it. After Frere Deppe, Soeur Deppe, their 2 daughters, Elder Sumter, and me and Soeur Goreeba had all tried to break the egg, it was still holding up strong. Whew. All is well. Then the egg goes to the last person in the circle, Elder Wilkey. As usual, he starts squeezing with all his force and nothing happens... until BAM. EGG EVERYWHERE. Mostly all over Elder Sumter from head to toe hahaha. And Frere Deppe. And their living room. Hahahaha it only would've been okay at the Deppe family's house because they're the absolute best, chilliest people ever, but it was soooo funny. Not the best for our spiritual thought but a good memory. (And the moral of the story is that God can only strengthen us and make us unbreakable if we keep ourselves crack free, in other words keep the commandments and repent).

Cool miracle this week was Sunday!! Mary and Marisa came to church.  Marisa is the PERFECT new Ami of the elders and she's seriously so cool. I got to sit next to her during all three hours of church and she's just super cool and open. I told her I thought she was a member at first and she was like "that's weird because it feels like I've been coming to your church my whole life even though this is my first time here." SO COOL. Then there's Mary, our Ami, who usually gets rides from members for church. This week she told us she wanted to take the buses and try to find her own way so we didn't ask anyone to go pick her up. When we got to church she was already there and with tears in her eyes told us how she got all the way ready and was about to leave when Rudy (a member) called and said he was on his way to pick her up. She was willing to come by herself, but it meant so much to her that a member thought of her and was willing to get her (without anyone asking him to). Crazy how big of a difference little acts of charity can make.

I LOVED the quote from General Conference: "the key to teaching as the Savior taught is living as the Savior lived." Not that we can be perfect like the Savior, but we can look out for ways to lift and serve those around us like He did.

Rudy took the time to think about Mary and then act and call her and pick her up. And this little act of Christlike love and kindness helped Mary to feel the spirit during church and to feel truly loved, by the church, and by her Heavenly Father. Sometimes I forget the power of simple kindness and love.

Also, Simone is a recent convert of 2 months who just moved here from Brazil! She's so cool (doesn't speak any French), and made me think of all my missionary friends serving in other countries right now and how it really is all the same work. The gospel that Simone learned in Brazil and the missionaries that baptized her allowed her to walk into our chapel in Switzerland without a doubt in her mind if it's the same. Because it's the gospel of Jesus Christ and that can't change from country to country or language to language. She said "I'm so new and have so much to learn, but I'm so happy to be here." So excited to start working with her!! And maybe learn a little Spanish on the way... (she speaks Spanish and Portuguese)

Well, life is good here in Switzerland. Thank you so much for your faith and prayers. God's work really is happening all over the world.

I love you all!


Here are some pictures from this past week:   

She's been sick this week and so took advantage to rest for a moment whenever she could.   

This little cutie wanted to see what she'd look like with Cami's hair. 

Soeur Goreeba likes to take pictures of her, sometimes when she leasts expects it. 

You can tell she's feeling better in the later pictures. 

Beautiful Switzerland in the springtime.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Switzerland: The Place to Be (Update #35)

Bonjour tout le monde!!
JOYEUX printemps et JOYEUX conférence générale :) (happy springtime and happy general conference!)

This week I got this postcard in the mail from my mom and now it's hanging on our wall because it's SO TRUE. 

Switzerland is the place to be. 

The sun is coming out, the trees are blossoming, the members are awesome, we're seeing miracles all over the place, Soeur Goreeba is the best companion in the whole world and all our Amis are doing well. I won't pretend that it's all sun and roses because that's just not the way life works, but none of the bad things seem worth mentioning this week. 

Friday night we found ourselves coming home from a rendezvous, walking to our usual bus stop when we walked by a small crowd of people surrounding an old lady on the ground. There were several people trying to help her, but it was clear nobody knew exactly how. She was breathing super heavily and unable to sit up. Though I have very little medical training, my pre-nursing student instincts and the little knowledge I do have took over. With 2 other people we helped get her coat off, cool her down, help her breath deeply and got her talking. She insisted on getting on her bus even though she clearly wasn't well..thankfully her bus also happened to be the bus Soeur Goreeba and I needed to take to get home. Another man who was helping came with us and we sat with her and then accompanied her off the bus at her stop. Almost immediately upon getting off the bus, she started to hyperventilate and fell again. We helped her to the ground, called the ambulance, stayed with her and comforted her until they arrived. Her name is Rosaline, she's Italian and she is 88 years old. 

That night I was just feeling so grateful to have been in the right place at the right time to be able to help this woman in a small little way. I want to be a nurse after my mission and it feels so natural for me to help people in this way. During General Conference I was struck by Elder Rasband's talk about being spiritual first responders. In this moment of helping someone physically suffering, I felt completely in my element. But how much more Incredible is it that for 18 months I am called to save those who are spiritually suffering? To align my will and efforts with those of the godhead in "bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."
The only real difference is, there are plenty of people on the street with limited first aid skills and a willingness to help a sick old lady. However, There are very few people in Lausanne, Switzerland who are dedicating all their time, faith, skills and love to seeking and saving the spiritually sick. The people are hyperventilating on the inside and have let their spirit fall to the ground. The ones who are spiritually lost and don't even know they need saving.

This is my real calling. Being a nurse and helping people heal physically may be my future occupation of choice (and I will love it), but the responsibility to heal people spiritually is much more needed in this world where so many people are broken down on the inside. There is a high demand and a low supply, and the only way to make it happen is through the little acts of faith and love we can do every single day. As missionaries, yes. But the call to lift the downtrodden and help spiritual is the call the goes to everyone in the whole world. It's God's work that He lets us to be a part of, and it's a work of love and not statistics. 

In other news we've started teaching Jessica and her 2 sons, oscar and Gabriel this week and they are so cool. They're the ones that came to church all by themselves 2 weeks ago because her aunt shared the gospel with her. They're such a HUGE miracle and just evidence that God is preparing His children to discover the truths of the restored gospel all over the world. Just wanted to share that miracle, hopefully more updates to come on that next week :)

JE vous aime fort!!!!

Soeur Cami Goold

Here are some more pictures from the week:  

She lives in a gorgeous area...

 We gave the "free hug" guy a free passalong card....

 Soeur M from last week's email...

Mom asked if there were any references to the book, "Heidi" in Switzerland.   I found this.

Us with Mary at General Conference....

Soeur Goreeba took this during one of our bedtime chats...