so! this week! I sent the famille a package on wednesday I think, so be expecting that hopefully this week. I put a lot of effort into it, so i hope you like it.
monday! we had a service activity which murdered soeur bertolio's back, because she had been in a car accident almost 2 yrs ago, messed up her back but was still able to go on a mission, then she thought picking up heavy things and carrying them down 4 flights of a spiral staircase would be okay. mm...not so much. Considering that dad and ben have super bad backs..I told her! but she wouldnt listen. Haha. but really. so she was fine until the next day when we were suppose to go contacting. she could barely walk because of the pain. So we ended up going home an hour early. :( so basically the past week we have been trying to do less walking and things that would hurt her back. geez. But anyway. we moved out soeur lestrade, the mother of our now-not-so-much investigator, steven. she hasnt been a good person. she has done a looot of bad things that effected innocent people and is just a very selfish person, so it was a very hard thing to become okay with shortening our preparation day to help this undeserving woman the help that she needed. so I studied a lot about charity. it kind of sucks how you cant decide who to love, but that we have to love EVERYONE. This was a very hard concept for me. I figured out that I have a lot of love for the people in my life who I may not even know very well but seem like good people, but when it comes to people who I know their story and have done terrible things to people that I know and then want our help.. I have basically no love for them. Why should I? they are bad people who use others for their own benefit and dont even care about the other people! Through all of these mixed feelings of anger and the stupid question "why me" and the want to call her up and tell her, no way, I thought, because we are told to. Ah man. Because charity is the pure love of Christ. Would Christ have helped her? Duh. Then I thought, but I'm not Christ, then remembered that I'm a missionary, and an example of Christ. We are here to serve those who despitefully use you, which I felt she was doing. Jesus Christ would have taken EVERYTHING she had in her apartment
(just sent that. these dang french keyboards!!! continue...)
and carried it down and then some! He suffered and died for her, too!! Man. So we went to her apartment and helped her move, carrying heaps of stuff down those darn spiral stairs in the sun for over an hour. my calves died that day, as did soeur bertolio's back. But! I loved her. I love her. She is a child of God and she did need our help. After serving her I seriously had a change of heart. Yes she has done terrible things and may or may not have used us during different times, but we are here to become like Jesus Christ. So yes, I served her, and I would serve her again. Preferably not carrying boxes UP four flights of stairs. So that was the Christ-like attribute I worked on this week and it was a workout (literally! ha..ha..).
lets see...wednesday we went to an ami's home to just check up on her and maybe teach, but she wasnt there. However, her sister in law was! she is super catholic but she wanted to know what we believed. So we ended up giving her a Livre de Mormon and getting her number! But she is from Northern France so we sent it to the mission office to give to them. even though we dont get to teach the people that we get the numbers for (our ami's sister in portugal, this sister-in-law in n. france), its sooooo cool to get the other missions refferals!!! Especially since I have FRIENDS serving in the Portugal Lisbon mission and the Paris mission!!!! So we are all basically serving together. its an awesome mindset. I am totally waiting to get more for other missions where I have friends. Alma and the Sons of Mosiah!! AHHH!!!! soooo cool. Im in the process of reading the whole Book of Mormon again and Im in Alma. Can I just say that he's the most sensitive Prophet in the Book of Mormon. He is so caring for his brothers and sisters in different lands! Oh man. He just cares so much. Its incredible. I want to be like him! Seriously charity right there. Instead of being like, dude, those Zoramites are out of control with their prayers; theyre going to burn! he's like, my heart pains for the iniquities of our brethren, and he just explains how sad he is because of it and Alma 31 he is just praying sooo hard for them!! I think yall should read it. So good. All of Alma, really. Oh mannnn!! I love the Book of Mormon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
oh yes, wednesday was also the birthday of Suisse, so happy birthday to them! Soeur Bertolio made sure to let me know during last weeks weekly planning. haha. We again had chinese buffet with S. Arrieus then right after cake with Cecille, but this time she gave us a lot less, and we ate less at the buffet because we knew she made something even though we told her not to. haha.
We made S. Tapis cookie dough for her birthday and were planning on just stopping by her apartment after we visited S. Toumazou in the hospital, so we took the dough with us. so we get off the bus to the hospital and guess who is in the parking lot and was getting out of her car! S. Tapis!!! And so we were like, heeeyyy we having something for you!!!! and gave her the cookie dough and she was super touched! Because we remembered her birthday, and because we remembered that she had said she wasnt good at cooking so we made her the dough to make it easy on her. (we had made her cookies a week or two before and she LOVED them, so I asked if she would like the recipe and she was like, YESSS!! so soeur bertolio translated it into french. yeah, she's incredible, I know) then we took soeur toumazou these beautiful flowers (flowers are soooooo cheap here!!!!!!!holymoley crazzy cheap!!!) and taught her a leçon (she is less active and just found out she has breast cancer and had to get surgeory :-( ) and it went really well.
Saturday we had lunch with our amis, marie and roger. we have been teaching them leçons for...like almost 2 years. But they wont get married. they were on and off, one wasnt into the church, then they were, then they didnt want to get married, so now we are like, seriously? Now they both want to be baptized but are iffy about marriage, but wont stop living together because they wouldnt be happy without one another..yeah. Stupid. A few lessons ago we only taught marie and I was like, I love you, but if not now, when? Dont let someone hold you back from recieving the blessings you get from being baptized. Dont wait for someone to decide, because they may never decide. Then on Saturday we taught them with the Abodie's, who are this reallllly nice couple who were in the same situation a few years ago!!! and marie and roger love them! So we taught them with this couple and it was sooo good!!!! I love teaching with members because they can really empathize with the investigator! they're real people! I mean, we are too, obviously, but not really in the investigators eyes, since we are missionaries. But yeah, it went reallllly well, and we committed them to begin reading their scriptures TOGETHER and praying together to get themselves ready for marriage, I hope. The Abodies were like, you cant stand on the fence! you have to have faith to do some things, like get married! You'll always have what-ifs, but you shouldnt let them hold you back. I love them. All of em. I ate rabbit! and duck! Not too bad! We also taught our new ami, David, with Jessica Barbarboux! It was not so great at first because Jessica and him began talking about prophets right off the bat when we were teaching leçon 1, so we start with our Loving Heavenly Father, then he started talking about the Kuran and it was crazy. Finally, we began talking about prophets again, and I almost butted in and was like, yeah, God calls prophets because he LOVES us! And we are here to be like him! then Soeur Bertolio took over from there and we were able to stop going all over the place. haha. The pros and cons of having members present. (and we HAD told her the lesson plan)
Sunday! we had 5 amis present!!!! David came!!! After we called a million people asking to pick him up since he doesnt have a car! geeez. He had a GREAT experience and participated and asked questions!! He said if he doesnt have his little girl next weekend he will come again next week! It was so cool. :))))Yesterday we had 2 meals with members! oh my goshhhhhhhh our stomachs!!!! We ate at the Wrights home, the American/Canadian family. Theyre so nice and we had spaghetti with meatballs and salad and snickerdoodles! We got to help cook with the family and it was really fun!! Then we taught a new convert and had language study and then ate again at Mishka's, this old lady who is the sweetest!! haha, she is like the woman in the ward who knows everyone's secrets. ("her hair is so big because its full of secrets!!" lol, movie reference). But yeah, she is so nice and thought dad was my brother in the photos ( ??..soeur bertolio and I were like, he has white hair...hahaha), which was weird, but whatev. Oh yeah, and Cecille thought mom was my sister in one photo? So.. I guess good job, mom and dad! keep it up? lol. Anywho, we had to ask if we didnt have to finish the lasagna that she made for us because we were still full from the other meal. Mind you, we ate more then half of it and the salad before! she was like, you dont like it? and we were like, no!!!! and explained ourselves. so she was fine with us stopping. :) But she is really kind. we were all wet from walking in the rain and she let us wear her socks because our shoes were soaked and set them near the oven to dry, and took our umbrellas and set them out to dry. She is like our grandma! So nice.
Tomorrow we are having a conference for all the blues!! meaning my OLD ZONE FROM THE MTC! IN LYON!!!!!!! So this evening we catch a train to Montpellier and are staying with the soeurs there, then going up to Lyon the next morning!!!! I'M SO freakin EXCITED!!! haha, seriously!!!!! cant waitttttttt!!!!!!! theyre so great and I cant wait to hear how theyre all doing!!
Oh yeah, we got the new missionaries this last week! Now our district leader is Elder Willet and his blue is Elder Wilson, who is my friend Elder Kunzler's companion from the MTC! I sang with them and my comp for sacrament the sunday before before we left! So thats exciting. Elder Kunzler is in aix-en-provence!!!! jerk. lol, jk! it's only for elders because its just a branch. Soeurs get sent to Wards only. At least thats how it was with Pres Murdoch and Pres Roney hasnt said anything about changing that. So yeah.
Anyway, life has been good! Missions are hard! Lots of rain this week, which i LOVE. Its sooo much better then the scorching sun. Id rather be wet from rain then from the suns heat. Much rather. haha. So shoes getting soaked? C'est la vie! I think of Ant in Costa Rica! This aint notin. ha.
We had SIX mangez-vous with members this week! SIX. Last week we had THREE and we thought that was a lot! We visited 12 families! in our email each week from the mission pres, they keep a graph of how many people visit families in each zone, and the highest (not us) was 11.5, so we are setting our goals HIGH! Its awesome seeing the numbers raise! I love it!! Now I am seeing why Frère LePretre loves goal setting so much. haha.
Alrighty, it is time to say goodbye! I love yall so much and I know the church is true!! It seriously has all the answers to the questions that people have about life. It just makes so much sense, and I want everyone to know that they can have the answers to their questions!!! I lllllooove this gospel and I love my opportunity to share it with others, en anglais AND en français!!
Commitment: Tell a friend about the Gospel and invite them to church sometime this month! Yep. I'm hoping to commit you to this. And I'll be following up, because it is important, and I want you to recognize that. :)
Love all of you!!