Monday, October 1, 2012

October 1, 2012 - Pau, France



This week has been so great!!! First off, shout out to my wonderful older sister, quart-knee (my parents spelled her name this way! so weird.. ;) ), to wish her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! holla!! Second thing, we had our zone conference this week!!! And it was SO GREATTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH I LOVE President Roney and his family!!!!! They are soooo great!!!! Soeur Roney (his wife, not my friend serving in the Paris mission) asked me if I would be at school after the mission and I was like, yeah! and she said, "good! you have to come over all the time!" haha. I was like, I plan on it! lol. Pres Roney spoke to us about prayer and about being a team. It was so inspiring, everything that he talked about! He used the example of Lazarus rising from the dead and he said that Jesus didn't just weep because He was sad that Lazarus had died; after all, He later made him rise! He was sad because the people didn't believe what he told them, that he would rise again. John 11:40 is my favorite. We need to believe in Christ! like the song, "the Spirit of God", it says "Angels are coming to visit the Earth", but they won't come unless we ask! Which is where prayer comes into play. Pray before EVERYTHING! Pres Roney said, "Unlock the powers of Heaven through PRAYER", and that is what we are doing. It's so exciting!!!!!!!!! We need to focus on praying more and praying specifically. And that we should be praying for all the missionaries in our mission, that they will have success! So I invite you to pray for our mission! France Lyon mission!!! It's incredible recognizing that we are here for a purpose; there are people that we were sent here to specifically find!He also told us that as missionaries we represent Jesus Christ, and he stopped and said that with the authority that he has, being set apart as a mission president and as a judge in Israel, that all the missionaries in the room are forgiven of their sins and are pure vessels, and that through this we CAN have miracles with the help of angels. He said after this that if we doubt that he has that power or that we arent forgiven of our sins, we are insulting Jesus Christ, who is his (pres Roney)'s friend, and he doesn't want anyone to insult him, and that if any believed that, they need to repent. It was soooo powerful. everyone was quiet and the Spirit was so strong! Wow. It was He said that we have to begin to understand the power of the Savior, and the power of our calling, to bring people to Christ. It has been hard because the past 2 weeks have been difficult because I've had a head cold and just havent been as enthusiastic as I should be, and I recognize that, but after Pres Roney did that, all of those feelings of guilt and regret just left, from things I've done on the mission to things I've been dealing with since before. I seriously felt a weight taken off. I don't think I have ever experienced something so Spiritually real before in just a moment. I know that the Atonement is real. I know that whatever sins you have, Heavenly Father has provided a way for us to be cleansed, through Jesus Christ. And because of the Atoning sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for us, he is our Savior and Redeemer. He has paid the price for all of us to feel clean and worthy for whatever situation. It is incredible the feeling of forgiveness and the love that you are filled with. I just felt a peace, a quiet peace in my heart and soul. It was incredible. I love the Savior, and I love my opportunity to testify of these things, to the people reading this and to the people in France and Suisse(hopefully!).

So I was reading some scriptures that the a.p's gave us, and one of them was Jacob 5:21-23. It's the Olive tree analogy, and it is when the servant is questioning his master about about how the master told him to plant in the poorest spot of the vineyard,  and "the Lord of the vineyard said unto him: Counsel me not; I knew that it was a poor spot of ground; wherefore, I said unto thee, I have nourished it this long time, and thou beholdest that it hath brought forth much fruit.(v. 22)" and this is so true! We, the missionaries in the Lyon mission, have been called to serve here for a purpose. Everyone says, oh, youre in France, good luck baptizing! and I read about other missionaries in California (audrey!) and Mexico and where ever else having like a million baptisms, but so can we! We arent here to just waste our time; there are people here ready for the gospel, waiting to sit next to us on a train and have us talk to them. We cannot doubt, otherwise there is no point in us being here. A man alone cant change hearts, but with the Spirit of God, all things are possible. I know this to be true. It just reminds me of the story of Jesus Christ healing the little boy who has a bad spirit in him with the father there, in Mark chapter 9, 

21 And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.
22 And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.
23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
I love this. I cry when I read this. Seriously. To me, it's not saying that if you're unbelieving that you can have miracles; It's saying that if you put forth all of your effort, Jesus Christ will meet you the rest of the way if you ask. That is why we  have been asked to pray specifically. and with faith! I know that if we do all we can, like this father coming to Jesus Christ to have his son healed, that He will meet us in the middle and we can accomplish anything with His help.

We taught Frere Steivenard again yesterday!!! And he actually sat with us and commented, but just asked about a quote, not real commentary, but it means he was paying attention! And it was so incredible!!!!!!!! their daughter was there visiting them (she's 29 and single-Ben! haha. Learn french!) and we had dinner (Soeur Steivenard out of the blue called and invited us to dinner for sunday night! sweet!!)  and we had a good dinner, frère steivenard now calls me "Soeur Navajo", and he kept on saying, "yeah the next time you two come over we will..." so he expects us to be coming over more! and he LOVES soeur bertolio. lol. And at the end of the night, we taught them a lesson on the talk by Russell M Nelson, called, "Thanks be to God", and it is so great! read it!!!

Also read Alma 7, Alma 24:14. And the one I mentioned before, Jacob 5:21-23 and Mark 9 if you want.

I love you all and I pray specifically for you!! Pray for not just me and my comp, but for the mission as a whole, for success!! Please!! You're all so great and I pray that you have a great week and make good decisions! :)

Love always,
-soeur gardner-

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