Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20, 2012 - Pau, France


ma famille,

The Spirit of God, like a fire is burning! the latter-day glory begins to come forth! The visions and blessings of old are returning, and ANGELS are coming VISIT THE EARTH! This is a promise and it's happening all THE TIME! So yesterday was incredible. I agree with what Frère Wilcox said, that Sundays are the best days in the mission. You reap all the blessings and see what you have accomplished! Were we tired? Soooooo tired and we needed today, the day to rest, but were we totally still working? oh yeahh!! So first off! the reason for our hype were for so many things! We'll start with Harry.

Harry came to church yesterday! Who is Harry, you might ask; well, he is now our new ami. How he was introduced to the  gospel, a miracle. Honestly. We didn't contact him or anything; we didn't even invite him to church! We didn't even know who he was until we met him at church at the beginning of Sunday school. He told us that on Saturday he met this black woman who had a little girl around 8. They began talking and he remembers that she knew a LOT about the Bible and he was really impressed, so she gave him the address to our church and told him to come. He said that she told him that they moved down from Paris a few weeks ago. When he told us this, we looked at each other all confused, then began pointing out all the new members (which are few) and people who had children and he was just like,"no, that's not her. I haven't seen her here." Soeur Bertolio and I were talking about it when we got home and were trying to figure out who it would be but no one has moved down from Paris that we know of and we cant think of who it would be. She may be a real person in the ward, but I think she was our angel. and Harry's angel. He sat through our amis class and sacrament and really enjoyed it and wants to learn more so we have set up an appointment and I gave him a brochure and he is set. GOLDEN! He seriously was a blessing. We made a goal to have 6 amis at church and 2 of them had a death in the family so they are in Portugal, and 3 others are on vacation, so we were slacking on our numbers, but WE REACHED OUR GOAL! And Harry has been introduced to the church! and he wants to learn more!!!!!!!!!! The song, The Spirit of God really is a testament of the truthfulness of the fullness of the restored gospel. We really do have Angels that are visiting the earth, helping us in times of difficulty and leading people to Christ. Oh my goodness it is INCROYABLE to see the miracles that happen every day!! And to always be able to have the Spirit with you! It's so incredible!!

We also had a guy, Alex, come to church for the second time because he's dating one of our members who has 6 children!! She was converted maybe 2 or 3 years ago, and she is so sweet and is getting endowed in the temple this week!! But she brings him to church, and he comes to our amis class and he is always answering questions and agreeing with the things being taught and it is absolutely amazing to see how prepared he is for the gospel!! We went to visit them last night and gave him a quick lesson on Jesus Christ and the blessings that he has given us, like being able to repent, then I shared my testimony, that I'm here because I have recieved so many blessings from Him and felt His love in my life, so much so that I want to share it with others, to give them the opportunity to recieve the same blessings and be happier then they ever thought they could, and he was just like, oui, bien sur! shaking his head in agreement, then soeur bertolio asked if he would be willing to take the discussions and he was like, oui! bien sur! and was like, I want to go about it at my own pace, maybe 3 weeks, maybe 3 months! And we were like, whaaaaaa!!? 3  weeks?!! OKay!! haha. not really, we didnt say that. But he did say that! he is awesome!!!! 

We also have been doing "F.I.F.A", which is former investigators found again! we go through the area book in old amis and call em up and see if they or someone they know is interested in recieving the lessons again! And we have 2 new amis from it! yeaaah!!! I LOVE doing FIFA. I get to read about all these people, real people, who recieved the lessons and for one reason or another stopped. It's like, maybe they're ready now!!! We are giving them a second, sometimes third, chance of recieving the blessings of the Gospel! The chance to be completely PURE! Clean!! Oh my goodness, so incredible! And to have the Spirit of GOD with you at all times! What an incredible blessing to be able to have this all the time, and we are completely able to do so! SO GREAT!!!

Our ward has been doing missionary work! multiple people have given their friends Books of Mormon (which we need to follow up on) and theyre telling their friends about the church (like our Angel woman who got Harry to come to church), and are beginning to recognize the importance! We have been showing our love so much and have been visiting families left and right, and trying to get SPARKS! Our mission goal! SPARKS in english is basically touching their heart and doing a service for them. It can be with members or with contacts! So it's hard to be soeurs and to do services for people, because when we want to help they tell us no and make us sit back down or they wont tell us what we can do! So. My friend Colton gave me these cds for my birthday to take on my mission with me (obviously appropriate for the mission!) and one of them has this song, "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul" on it. Have you heard it? If you havent, seriously look it up. HOLY MOLEY it is the most BEAUTIFUL SONG!! So in the MTC, a sister now in Albania sang it for Relief Society when Elaine S Dalton was there. It was incredible. I cried. And Sister Dalton talked about the words and the meaning behind the song and then had her sing the last 2 verses again for us. The Sister singing was crying!! Oh my goshhhhh it was such a Spiritual moment for everyone!!!!!! Wow. Here are the lyrics:

Savior, Redeemer of my soul,
Whose mighty hand hath made me whole,
Whose wondrous pow’r hath raised me up
And filled with sweet my bitter cup!
What tongue my gratitude can tell,
O gracious God of Israel./

2. Never can I repay thee, Lord,
But I can love thee. Thy pure word;
Hath it not been my one delight,
My joy by day, my dream by night?
Then let my lips proclaim it still,
And all my life reflect thy will.

3. O’errule mine acts to serve thine ends.
Change frowning foes to smiling friends.
Chasten my soul till I shall be
In perfect harmony with thee.
Make me more worthy of thy love,
And fit me for the life above.

Holy moley. So I put this cd in for the first time on Tuesday when we were getting ready in the morning, and I was like, I know this song!! And the obsession began. during lunch I wrote out the lyrics from listening to it, and by the end of the day I had sang it probably 6 times. at least. And we went to visit a partially less-actif because she works in the hospital and ends up having to work a lot on Sunday. So we taught her this short lesson about forgiving others, and she thanked us and I got this feeling like I should sing for her and i was like, no, thats just me wanting to sing that song over and over! then we had the closing prayer but I still felt like I should sing; it felt like when you know you need to bear your testimony, like RIGHT NOW! So to Soeur Bertolio, I was like, umm..I feel like I need to sing her that song I've been singing.. and she was like, right now? and I was like, yeah...and so she was all, okay! and so we told the woman that i felt like i should and explained the lyrics (english lyrics) and then I sang that song and she was super touched!! and she told us all about how she has been feeling like she is losing the Spirit because she has to work on Sundays and how she hadnt wanted to meet with us but she felt like she needed to and how she was so grateful for us and the Spirit we brought to her home and it was just really cool. The Spirit teaches!!!!!! NOT YOU!! This is seriously true. She doesnt understand english!!!! But did she understand the feelings of the Spirit? YEAH!! And so that was our service to her, which I think is way more of a service (bringing the Spirit into her home) then washing her dishes or something. Though we can do that also. So we have visited...2 or 3 other families since then? And I sing for them. Haha. Soeur Bertolio is like, what should be our service? And after a moments pause of us thinking, she is like, you can sing for them! So.. I sing. And it is so incredible to be able to testify through song! Oh my goodness!!!! This week has been the first week that I have felt like I AM A MISSIONARY! I am able to testify exactly the way I want to through singing! It is the greatest blessing! And yes, I am learning the language and everything still, taking part in the lessons and teaching with soeur Bertolio, but to be able to bear my testimony through a song to these people in my native tongue and for them to be as touched as I am..that is a gift from God. I have stopped comparing my voice to the boys and whoever else, because it's not how well I sing (though that definitely helps), its the Spirit that I am singing with. Its sooooo INCREDIBLE §%.lJL38°13°)"éà()é"'ç&'!!!!!!!!!!!! So yeah. Oh man, so much left to say!!!
On Tuesday morning we had companionship study and Soeur Bertolio will get this look of sadness in her eyes when she begins thinking to herself, so I asked her what was wrong, and I was nosey and she finally told me that she is afraid that she will go home from the mission without feeling like she has accomplished everything she should have. So I thought of dad's letter to me and how he told me "successful people have many goals. Unsuccessful people usually don't have any goals" and then read that to her and we began setting goals! And I pulled out stuff Frère LePretre had said about goal-setting also! And a letter mom wrote to me about setting goals so I don't feel the way Soeur Bertolio is afraid of feeling! It was such a spiritual moment for us! Talking about our weaknesses and how we can overcome them through hard work, dilligence, obedience, faith, and prayer. Through God everything is possible if we do our part! SO TRUE! And we did our part trying to get people to come to church and getting new amis and we reached our goals for the week!! YESSS! The theme of the week has been the scripture "a song of the heart is a prayer unto me" or something like that. I don't remember where it is right now, but it rings true! Yesterday night soeur Bertolio and I were on a Spiritual high! Like, everything we said to each other was us bearing testimony. It was out of control! Then after we finished praying and were going to sleep, Soeur bertolio laughed and was like, "I'm testifying to myself in my head!!!!' hahaha. it was so great. It IS so great!!!! Ahhhhhh the gospel is true!!! Lets all be missionaries!!! "should we not go forth so great a cause? Courage, brethren! and on, on to the victory!!!" Oh Joseph Smith!!! What wonderful words! And when youre discouraged, think of the lyrics, "fear not, I am with thee, oh be not dismayed, for I am thy God and will still give thee aid! I'll comfort thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand upheld by my righteous omnipotent hand!" AHHH!!!

Okay, I better go, but I love you all!!! I wish you could feel the joy I have right now! My heart is almost on fire!! It's incredible! 

Commitment: Listen to the song I have been singing nonstop!!!! "Savior, Redeemer, of My Soul"! and The Spirit of God! I know this church is sooooo true and it has blessed me so much! I pray that everyone who reads this will pray about the truthfulness of the words that I have spoken. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is on the Earth again today! We should be rejoicing every day, Hosanna! HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!!

Love always,
Soeur Gardner

study ideas: Doctrine and Covenants 84:88; 24:8; 64:33; Mark 9:23-24; Alma 13:22-25; Alma 48- Moroni=no words.

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