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

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mary's Baptism! (Update #41)

Hello everyone!!!

This week has honestly been the best week of my whole mission. I'll just dive right in and start with the most exciting thing which is that MARY GOT BAPTIZED!!
 Her baptism was beautiful. That's not to say that everything was perfect, there were definitely some glitches. For example, we forgot to fill out her baptism form before hand so during the opening hymn we were rushing to figure out her full name. And the font wasn't filled up high enough (elders, cough cough ;) so she ended up getting on her knees which made her swallow a bunch of water, etc, etc. Before my mission, little details like that might have stressed me out, but one of the lessons I'm learning is to just have faith and move forward. Water's too low? She can get baptized on her knees. And she even went all the way under the first time so they didn't have to do it again! Didn't do the baptism sheet yet, it's okay we'll just ask her full name now. And it was beautiful. Everything worked out. My favorite moment was when she got up to share her testimony. She talked about the love she feels from God. She said "God has been preparing her for her whole life, but she didn't know where to go. And now, she's found her home." Seeing her joy and light was indescribable. God is so good to let me be a little part of her story. Mary's experience is evidence to me that  God is aware of and loves every one of His children. And this if we chose to apply His commandments, our life will be changed.

Yesterday I was asked what I love most about being a missionary. I love a lot of things, but my favorite part is watching the atonement of Jesus Christ work in people's lives. I see it in our Amis, in my companions and in myself.

In other news this week, I got to talk to the BEST FAMILY IN THE WORLD!!! (Aka mine) it was the best thing ever. I miss them so much, but talking to them on the phone helped me remember how HAPPY I am to be right here in Switzerland right now. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world.
Thursday was zone conference and we gave a presentation on eternal marriage!! Crazy... never would have thought that I would have to give a presentation to 20 elders about marriage as a missionary. But it was a really cool experience. My favorite realization in preparing for our presentation was in this quote:

Sometimes I start to think of eternal marriage and families and the doctrine of Christ as two separate things. But that's not the way it works. Our missionary purpose to "invite others to come unto Christ
through faith in Jesus Christ and in his atonement, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end." Is one and the same with Heavenly Fathers goal to build eternal families. The family is Christ's doctrine. And all things are made one in Jesus Christ. I'd never really thought about it that way before.

Then on Sunday I gave a talk in sacrament meeting about MOTHERS DAY! I would write my whole talk here, but instead I'll just give a shout out to my incredible, angelic mother. She is the strongest influence in my life (along with my dad). Her faith has been my rock throughout my whole life and I would not be here without here. Literally I wouldn't have a body, but also spiritually, I could not be here without her. I love you mom.

The last cool miracle was on Thursday after zone conference, we were going to the Echanique's house for dinner. We got there a little early so we decided to sit at the bus stop and wait for 20 Minutes to go up. The dad came out and told us we could go in, but we felt like we should wait until it was time to go. We were just talking so it wasn't really a good reason, but it felt right. So we just stayed at the bus stop and kept chatting until it was time to go. We stood up and started to cross the street when mid sentence, mid step, Soeur Goreeba stops and turns around to the guy at the bus stop and says, in English "do you know the missionaries." Turns out he does. Hes a less active for
a long time and has been hoping to come back to church. We gave him the address and directions and said we hoped to see him there. After I asked Soeur Goreeba where that came from and she said she had no clue, but that it was clearly the spirit. And guess who showed up at church with his girlfriend on Sunday?? Bus stop guy!! So cool.

That's all I have time for this week, Stay tuned next week to find out where I'll be going next!! President will call us on Friday to let us know :)

I love you all so much, have the best week ever!


Soeur Camille Goold

Here are a few more pictures from this past week: 

This is them with Soeur Canino, a former companion of Soeur Goreeba's, at Mary's baptism.  She's home from her mission and came all the way from Italy to be there for the baptism!

Another picture of them getting silly with Mary. 
And the two of them with Soeur Segers (the mom of the two little cuties from last week).  

Eating dinner at the Bishop's home.   She loves their family and she commented with #goals when she talks about them.  

Soeur Keck and Cam

Matching shirts! 

Making Chilean hotdogs with George.
Ednice gave them temporary tattoos.  

She's going to miss Soeur Goreeba when she's transferred next week. 

They rode on a double-decker bus as part of their P-day adventures today. 

They ran into Eva while they were going around town today!

Sent from my iPad