Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 10, 2012 - Pau, France



crazzzy things happenin on the mish!!! Miracles, the Spirit, changes of heart, etc!! Life is GREAT!!!!!!!!! okay, so first of, I am STILL IN PAU! And so is SOEUR BERTOLIO!!!!!! Yeah!!!!!!! I think this is so crazy. Same comp for 3 transfers!! Thats a lot. Luckily I love her, so its all good. haha. Pres Roney on the phone said, you guys just keep having miracles in Pau! So! Thats what we plan on. :-D

So same address, 1, bis, rue Bernard de Clairvaux; 64000 Pau; France

Okay, so Tuesday was CRAZY!!! we just did lots of porte-a-porte in a different town outside of pau but no one was listening or wanting to know more which can be a bit disheartening (word?), then in the evening soeur bertolio really wanted to visit the Stievenard's, this part member family. basically soeur stievenard and her husband, cause theyre a bit older. The husband use to be a member and even went on a MISSION, married in the temple to his wife, but then got into science and "intellectual" stuff and became inactive and then asked to have his records removed from the church. yeah. Crazy. You'd think this guy is like, super evil and a mean person, but he is actually really nice! we ended up being late for our appointment with just her because we took the wrong turn getting off the bus and went the long way there (haha), and so we had been there for maybe 5 min and then he walks in! and we're like, heyyy!.. and he really likes soeur bertolio(she has met him twice visiting them before I got here), and he was like, hi!! and introduced himself and I introduced myself and he speaks some english so he was talking to me in english for a bit, then we just all talked about stuff going on and then soeur bertolio was like, okay, we have just a short message to share with you (he has NEVER sat in on a lesson given since he has become a nonmember, the past THIRTY YEARS!!) and he got up, pulled up this little cushion seat thing, and sat down, so we were like, okay, and prayed and began the lesson and he stayed for the whole thing! and I felt prompted to sing for them!! It was crazy, and they LOVED it and come to find out, they are both huge fans of the arts and of music and films and all that stuff. So they asked us to come eat with them on thursday, which we did and it was really fun again and we became better friends with frere stievenard and he sat in on the lesson AGAIN, and this time both soeur Bertolio and I shared personal experiences with our lesson, and neither of the experiences worked together that well, but we hadnt planned on sharing them, but we felt like we should! And Soeur stievenard gave us a ride home and thanked us and told us that these past two times have been the first times that he has sat in on the lesson and that the last lesson really was meant for him and it was just really cool. He has changed dramatically in the last few months, she says, towards the church, and after the first little lesson we taught that he had first sat in on, she asked him about it and he was like, I didnt realize they were teaching! ha. right. So we are slowly bringing him back in. It's so exciting!!!

So after we visited the stievenards the first time, on Tues night, I really felt like we should visit marie and roger, just for like, 10 min because it was late and our last bus was like 20 min away, and soeur bertolio was like, we can visit them tomorrow and I was just like, no I think we need to see them tonight, and she was like, okay! so we went to hteir appt and we were going to be super hard on them and so we got up there and I asked them if they had read, he said no, and I said, okay! we are coming back tomorrow, and you will have read! Okay, Roger? And he just looked at me and smiled and said, "okay", then i put my hand out so we would shake on it, and he laughed and shook on it. Then marie (who was in her pink night gown that court, shelby, and I would get as like 6 year olds, but for it was for older ladies! hahaha) said, okay, the soeurs are here as witnesses! and took off her slippers, pulled out the kitchen chair, stood on it facing roger, and PROPOSED!! WHAT THE WHAT!!! Soeur Bertolio was like nearly crying and I looked at her all confused because I had no idea what she was saying. lol. So what was going down, was that roger was getting back surgeury in probably a month, and there is the risk of him being handicapped from it, and she was saying, I dont care if youre handicapped because I love you and want to take care of you, and he didnt say anything for the LONGEST time, because he didnt want her to have to deal with him, but he finally said YES! And we were standing there awkwardly watching the whole thing! It was so cute. Crazzzy!!! So I gave marie a huge hug and roger gave soeur bertolio a hug (hahaha), then I gave roger a handshake and he put his hand on my cheek like I was his daughter or something. it was so touching. so there ya go. Crazy things happening. And the missionaries have been teaching them for over 2 years!! So yesterday we went to see them and marie was being all cold hearted and saying that maybe marriage isnt the right thing because of blahblahblah and we were like, NO! You KNOW that its the right thing. WE know its the right thing. You need to get married! And the Spirit was sooo strong and Roger really wants to be married and baptized but marie is trying to slow it down, so we're going to be asking them the "Dr. Gardner Question", as soeur bertolio calls it. "If marriage werent a problem, what else is keeping you from being baptized?" because last night she was just being dumb!! she knows the answers to all the questions and the different scriptures we read with her, then I ask how she can apply it to her life and she's like, I don't know. Really! And at one point I was like, "you do know. I know, and I know that you know. This is ridiculous. You need to be baptized." and then later she said she didnt think we could come over tomorrow night (tonight) and soeur bertolio was like, we ARE coming over tomorrow. We're coming over, and you will have your papers ready to get married. It was AWESOME!! And theyre like, okay.I love this because we arent being overbearing. We love them sooo much, and they know that, and we tell them this all the time, so its incredible what you can do with love. but now we are just trying to be careful and listen to the Spirit. We ended the lesson with Alma 58:10-12, 39-40. It was incredible. I love the Book of Mormon. I flipped to this, and had just studied this last week, so I knew the background which made all the difference. Oh man. LOVE. 

So Saturday we had some crazy things happen. We contacted almost all day. It was crazy. And we had some random guys in a car offer us money for n'import quoi (in our missionary clothes!! really? prostitutes??), some teenage boys shoot at us with airsoft guns (did we get ugly??), and I have the bruises to prove it (on my hand and soeur bertolio's leg), and we went into a building and this older guy tipped his hat at us and said, "bonsoir!" which made us finally feel good about ourselves. lol. And we had 3 really good contacts! One woman with a dog, another woman with a kid around 9, and a big Fijian man who spoke English!! This Fijian guy who we are calling tonight was getting out of his car and so I contacted him and he was like, I speak english, sorry, and I was like, me TOO!!!! lol. And I told him that we were missionaries and we have a message about Jesus Christ and he was like, I believe in Jesus Christ, and I was like, sweet! so we got his number and I asked him where he is from and he said Fiji. So! I have a friend serving in Fiji and I got a letter from him a week or two ago and he said that its hard to find investigators because everyone thinks rugby is more important, and a few weeks ago we visited two half tongan families who the husbands (both tongans) play rugby for the team here, and so after he told us he was from Fiji, when I got home I was like, maybe the Tongans in our ward know how to speak Fijian or vice-versa, then I was like, wait a second! he's on the rugby team!! So I asked Frere Fekitoa yesterday at church if he knew this guy from Fiji and I showed him the name and he was like, yeah he's on the team!! so BINGO! The Spirit. Everything happens for a reason. Oh goodness. So crazy.

We had a GREAT district meeting given by Elder Willett about what our life would be like without the Gospel and Jesus Christ, and how it would be like playing golf without knowing the field or something (elder willett plays golf). He told us that they have an ami who just sleeps all day because he doesnt see the point of life. How sad is that??? And then I realized, just for a second, how sad my life would be without the knowledge of the Gospel. We as members of the church are so blessed to have the knowledge of the Gospel in our lives. We can find peace in our trials and be lifted up through prayer and be guided. Through the Gospel, we know our purpose; we know where we came from, why we are here on Earth, and where we are going. I love this Gospel and I am so glad that I am given the opportunity to give others the opportunity to have this knowledge. It is CRITICAL. We NEED to be sharing this with others!! people dont know what theyre missing. Really. THe plan of Salvation! We have a plan! We have the answers! We NEED  to share this with others! Even if they don't want to be a part of it, you wont have to feel like you never tried. That is what keeps me going on hard days, the knowledge that I tried to share the gospel, even if they dont accept our message. We have the gameplan for life. We have a purpose. 
I love this Gospel sooo much and am so happy to be a missionary!!!! Some mornings I roll out of bed and think, I chose to wake up every day at 6:30? I'm CRAZY. but the joy I have from sharing the Gospel and helping others feel like they have a purpose is SO WORTH the lack of sleep and the bags under our eyes!!! haha. 

I love you and please let me know of your missionary work!!!

Love always,
-soeur gardner-

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