Monday, October 15, 2012

October 15, 2012 - Pau, France



So the subject of my email is the hymn "carry on, carry on, carry on!". Yesterday at church for relief society, we sang this for the opening cantique (hymn). Soeur Bertolio said "I loooove this hymn!" and we began singing. unfortunately it's one of those songs where two of the parts sound the exact same but in reality one part goes up high and the other one is the same note as before. So the first part just stays the same note, so we're singing, and poor soeur bertolio sang super loud the high part, instead. right when she realized she stopped singing! It was soooooo funny. She was super embarrassed and we laughed so hard. And there's no piano, so it was obvious. luckily the second verse she remembered but some others didnt and did the same thing that she did. hahaha. Oh man. I'm terrible. and still laughing. Good times. And I saw a guy with a shirt on that said "night bird". I finally realized after staring at it that I think it was meant to say "night owl". oh french people! so great. makes for a good time.

SO! This week has been great!! We went to bordeaux for zone meeting, where the zone leaders just have a big meeting with the missionaries in the zone (like a big district meeting). And it was great! we just went over what we have been doing since president roney became president, and talked about how important those things are and one of our zl's, elder arnold, said, "if we're not willing to change, we can't expect others to do it" and this is so true! and likewise, we cant expect others to follow our counsel and be obedient if we're not being obedient to our mission president or whoever else is our leader! And how we NEED to apply the things that we are taught, otherwise we're just casting our net the same side as before (they referenced Jeffrey R Holland's talk-so great!!!). then at the end of everything and we were about to close, our other zl, elder cushing, wrote on the board, "what will you do with this?" because we had talked about always going over our notes and trying to think of new ways to apply it. so great. Life is so great. missionary work is so hard but so great!! After we had our zone mtg, we had lunch, then soeur bertolio and I had 4 hours before our train, so we got permission to visit this woman, soeur posadas, in Lormont, kind of a suburb of bordeaux, where soeur bertolio served for 4 transfers.(before she came to pau). so we visited her and she was super nice and called herself our "french granny". lol. so our train went to Toulouse for exchanges!! and I got to stay in Toulouse this time!!!! It was sooo different! Crazy different. We are in a smallll ville for soeurs, I think. It's kind of difficult to find a new area to contact and whatnot because there's just centre ville and then homes and apts! so I was doing exchanges with soeur taylor and it was awesome! everywhere we went, new people! toulouse is a large city, so it was really fun. we contacted this one girl, si si, who is a student at the university in toulouse and she was SO RECEPTIVE to what we taught her!! It was incredible! she was our miracle for the day. we contacted her on a big beautiful bridge and it began being super windy so we began walking and talking with her and she just listened intently and asked good questions! then she led us to a bench near the river and we just taught her! it was so cool! we basically taught her lesson 1. soeur taylor was teaching how we had the priesthood taken off the earth during the apostasy and she didnt understand, so I used the object lesson with the pens (Frère LePretre!!), with the pens signifying the priesthood and the hands to follow being God and the hands trying to follow being the people. she was like, OH! and totally understood! and I used these cards that I made with a short-short-condensed version of the first 3 lessons (frère lepretre!) with the bible references to the apostasy and to the restoration. it was so cool to have those scriptures just ready! holy moley! I'm so glad I learned to have that with me! (Thanks, Frère lepretre! :)) and she would begin to ask something but then say to herself, "no that doesnt apply.." It was incredible being able to give her all the answers! but once we got to the book of Mormon and introduced it and asked her to read, we had to go. it was like a 45 min lesson. and we prayed with her and she gave us her number and took the Book and accepted to read it and I really hope that the Toulouse soeurs get to continue teaching her! she was flipping through it and reading parts, really interested. And we read with her john 10:16 and 3 Nephi 15:21, "ye are the other sheep" scriptures. I love those. the Bible and the Book of Mormon work together SO MUCH, it's insane. If you know the Bible and you've read the Book of Mormon, you can't deny the Book of Mormon being the word of God, and if you know that, you know that Joseph Smith, Jr. was a prophet, and that he restored the Gospel of Jesus Christ again on the earth, and that we have a prophet on the earth today, and that we can do all the things that were able to be done in the times of the Bible! And that angels are coming to visit the earth! Oh man, the Spirit of God! That song!!!!!!!! LOVE!

Saturday we had a missionary activity that we have been trying to have since the fourth of July! seriously! but everyone was out of town for holidays, so we didnt have it until this last weekend. we were so worried that it wouldnt work out, but SO many people came and participated!! okay, so first off, we had the youth do a skit and we actually set up a stage-like area. it was pretty legit, not gonna lie. ha. but yeah, so we had this skit, where angela, the "member" is talking to her "nonmember" friends about the weekend, and her friends invite her to do something sunday morning but shes like, no, I got this thing, which is church but she doesnt want to tell them...and they're like, ? then she goes to church and a "returned missionary" (actually played by angelas little brother, anthony. lol) quotes henry b eyring, saying, "one day everyone you know will know what you know, and they'll know that you knew it", then she goes to bed that night and that quote is going through her mind, then she dreams that she's in the spirit world after death, and she sees all these people (in white) and is like, "noah! michael jackson!" lol, then she sees one of her friends who she had been talking to, and she's like, oh my gosh! this is crazy! its the spirit world! and her friends like, what is that? and angela is all, it's what happens after we die! in the plan of salvation! and her friend is like, you knew this? why didnt you tell me? and then she wakes up late for school, sees her friends, tells them she was at church and that she's a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and invites them to church. one doesnt accept but it like, its cool, and then the other one is ilke, sure, why not? then angela later takes out that quote from her backpack and reads it, and voila! the end. after the theatre we had a recent convert, frere abadie, speak about the importance of missionary work, then we had a practice with your friend how to share the gospel with them, then we had frere Barbaroux bear his testimony (his sister brought him to the gospel) and then the couple missionaries in our district were there and performed a musical number. then we prayed and ate good food that everyone brought! and it was a LOT of food! we were so impressed!!!!!!! AND at the end of it all, EVERYONE stayed and cleaned up and set up for church the next day without any of us asking! it was INCREDIBLE! wow!!!! we were so impressed. and everyone asked to give us a ride home. it was so great. I love our ward. they are hard to get to like you, but when they like you, they love you. many members told us this, that this ward is super picky with their missionaries, but that they love us. I'm so grateful for them and for their desire to help us. Thank you all for your prayers, and continue praying for our mission as a whole for success!

commitment; read alma 5. Probably my favorite chapter in the Book of Mormon. and it was mentioned a million times in general conference! (not the scripture reference, usually, just lines from it).
I love you all so much, and dont send any letters this week because we have transfers on MONDAY! will I stay or will I go? Will soeur bertolio stay or will she go??? It's all greek to me! ha. I'm a loser. I'll miss soeur b sooooo much. we've already been together for 3 transfers and she's my TRAINER(mom!)! that doesnt happen often. I wont leave the nest, apparently. haha. Maybe this next week?
I LOVE you!!!!
soeur gardner

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