Monday, October 29, 2012

October 29, 2012 - Pau, France

Standing on the road, trying to contact lots of people, I've got seven amis on my mind...


(Sorry this is short, didnt have a bunch of time!)

I hope you recognized the song in my title. But updated lyrics for the mission! "take it easy" by the eagles! hahaha. Soeur raney knows that song, too! so we were coming up with the lyrics sitting at the bus stop. yes, that was "sitting at the bus stop in Pau-oh-oh-oh-oh france", but it doesnt work as well. anyway! so this week! has been good. difficult, but good. so basically we didnt teach lessons, we just contacted and ported and walked everywhere and I had to show soeur raney the town and stuff and stuff. so we didnt have much success from the people we contacted and ported, to be honest. its hard doing that all the time and no one accepting rendez-vous and just telling you no all the time and blahblahblah complaincomplaincomplain. but you know what? I learned things from this. Very useful things. First thing, I learned that we are given trails to strengthen our character. I read "the Transforming Power of Faith and Character" by Elder Richard G Scott and it really helped me refocus. i was getting down because literally the past 4 weeks me and my companions have been trying to find new amis. have we found them yet? no. is it because we're not trying hard enough? I dont think it is. we are working our butts off, doing what we should be, being obedient, and having faith. and are our actions resulting to nothing? NO! Saturday night we were like, wow, looking at our numbers and stuff doesnt show how hard we've been working, but its not about numbers. and we are searching for the elect. if we arent finding new amis, we havent found the elect yet. plain and simple. So yesterday began, and it was incredible. It was just so great. I dont even know if it was the people we were talking to as much as it was me changing my attitude a little and just loving them, loving them till it hurt! haha. But really. and we taught marie and roger, and they are just so great and have a meeting on thursday with the law people to set up a date for their wedding so we can set a date for their baptisms, and they just love us so much! roger picks on me a lot, and its fun. he's like a french uncle I never had. they just love us. I felt so much love for and from them yesterday. then we taught the Lavie family with the  6 children, and Alex, soeur lavie's boyfriend was there, and he goes to church and has lessons when he's there on the weekends, and we have invited him to baptism several times and he's always like, yeah when i feel ready and wont accept a date. so yesterday we get there and are just talkign to them, and alex is like, "so I talked to the bishop about wanting to be baptized and he said to talk to the missionaries." and we were like, "ummm....Yeah!!!" and he said that he got an answer and he wants to get baptized! and before one of the older members, who is going to serve another mission, leaves on her mission, which is in the middle of december, so maybe sometime this transfer he'll be baptized!!!!!! He ASKED us to be baptized! And it was so incredible! oh my goodness. so great. And so we planned out what and when we'll teach him the rest of the lessons, which are only the ordinances because he has already recieved the first three lessons! It was a MIRACLE.

I know that Heavenly Father loves me. I know that He hears my prayers. We truly are given trials to become humble and to exercise the faith that we have. Each trial is for our good. As Frère Wilcox said and I've quoted this before, "what if we came out of every trial more Christlike?" After all, that's what we're here for and why we HAVE trails! And you know what? I'm grateful that I have had to struggle, that we have had to contact and porte and do all these things, to not be able to see results, but in reality there are many incredible miracles that have and will come from our hard work, whether it's miracles in Pau or someone in our district or in the mission! Heavenly Father hears each one of His children's cries. 3 Nephi 14:9-11, also the same scriptures as Matt 7.

I know that this church is true, and I am so grateful for it in my life. I am proud to be a missionary, and member, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I know that we are all here for a purpose. What an incredible knowledge! Our purpose! The reason why we have a life, why we're on the earth. There are so many wanting to the know the reasons for this, and we have it! Share the gospel! Tell your friends and coworkers and other family members! It's the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and we have it on the earth today! What an incredible knowledge!!! AHH! Lets all become disciples of Jesus Christ!

I Love you all, and I hope to hear from you very soon. (I love letters!!!)

love always,
-soeur gardner-

ps: an incredible quote that I have tried to begin applying to my life:
        "We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day." -Elder Scott from the talk I mentioned earlier. READ IT!!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

October 23, 2012 - Pau, France

Till We Meet Again


I'm still in PAU! But...

yesterday was a hard day. Yep, we had transfers! And I lost my collegue of three transfers, my trainer, mom (mission-lingo..), and good friend yesterday. sad day. But it's okay! Because she was transferred to her homeland, Geneva, Suisse! And has an Italian companion, the only one in the mission! I seriously prayed that she would get to go back to Suisse and have an italian comp, because she wanted to go back to suisse to serve, and she never gets to speak her first language! And now I have soeur Rainey!! She was a soeur I met in the mtc, this is her 5th transfer and I'm on my 4th. so it will be interesting trying to understand people. haha. hahaha. Oh my. I have a feeling this will be a really hard transfer for me. But it will help me grow!! "All changes are good." And this is so true! Soeur Rainey is from FLAGSTAFF! Holla! She is from the opposite side of Flag, though, so yall probably dont know her family. Anyway, so that's that. she's really nice and we like to joke, so it's all good!

So! this last week was pretty great. We did a lot of contacting and porting (with soeur bertolio) and we didnt really get anything except one that I will tell you about in the next paragraph. Honestly, it was kind of disheartening. But we had to keep a prayer in our hearts and continue pushing forward and putting a smile on your face! It rained for seriously 3 days straight!!!! It doesnt do that in fort worth or provo, so I was like, the sky is falling!!!! and soeur bertolio is like, this is normal.. so yeah. I learned that it rains a lot here. So why do I say that it was pretty great? because we learned a little thing called faith. faith that the things that we are doing is benefiting not even just us, but someone in our mission. And that is hard when youre wanting to be able to tell everyone about the miracles happening in whatever ville that youre in, but honestly, I feel good about the work we put in to last week. Hard but yeah! thats life! c'est la freaking vie!! haha.

Wednesday we went to Salis du Béarn to do service for the Boza-Lino's, a young couple with two kids who just opened a boulangerie/patisserie! They are super nice and we love them. They're from Spain originally, but speak french also. so after we helped the wife clean her home (its a super old apt above the boulangerie that theyre redoing  a little bit), we went contacting for like 30 min, so after 20 min we are just turn onto a certain street and I approach a woman and ask if I can ask her a question, then she's like, what are you guys doing here?? in american english! so she had the elders who use to be in dax (we dont have elders there anymore) come do service for her all the time and she would go to church sometimes there, but now they dont have a ward there, they meet in bayonne or pau now, so she stopped going. so we talk to her and she is actually from hawaii (she's blonde. I guess her parents are from the mainland) and she has lived in france for 20 years and I lives with her bf who is now dying from lung cancer and they just took him off chemo because they cant do anything else. sad. but she was like, yeah let me get your number and we traded numbers and then I asked her if she would like to recieve the lessons and she was like, "what else is there to learn? haha" and I looked at her seriously and was like, "a lot. we recieve new revelation all the time!" and she was like, oh..yeah..then she said, "sure, why not?" and we set up an appt for this week! so we will see how that goes. she is really nice, so yeah! we also saw the steivenard's and had dinner with them, then had a lesson, and f. steivenard gave us a ride home with caroline, a recent convert who ate with us and is best friends with soeur steivenard. soeur bertolio had earlier invited him to church cause it was her last sunday but he didnt answer, then I told him I was singing and wanted him to be there, then he was quiet then later said he wasnt sure he'd be able to make it; and he didnt come, so that was sad, but he didnt outright say no!! both times he got quiet and during the lesson he really seemed touched. we used the talk by Dieter F Uchtdorf (of course, he would be my favorite if I had one!!! ;) ) about the woman comparing herself to a 20 dollar bill, that even though she's old and crumpled up and dirty, she is still worth 20 dollars. we used this to say that in Heavenly Father's eyes we are worth the full 20 dollars, and through the Atonement we can be pure and worthy. It is crazy, when we teach him we go in with a small lesson and then when we teach we are just speaking words that come to us. After our lessons with him, I'm like, what did I say?? lol. I never really fully remember, because we are given the words we need to say. In fact, that's how it is when we teach good lessons, I dont really remember what I say, I just remember that we had a great lesson. haha. It's great. I love this Gospel! It is so true!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! This morning I read, "of Regrets and Resolutions', a talk by (you guessed it) Dieter F Uchtdorf from this last conference, and it is incredible. READ IT!!!!  Holy moley, spiritual boost!

Marie and Roger are doing great! Marie has been asking about the temple a lot, and told one of our members, Soeur Chantaraud, that after her testimony about the temple, she has decided to go and be sealed there!! OH my GOSH!!! And they are just doing so great! They have such an incredble light in their eyes; I love it! I love them!!! Marie isnt being super mean anymore, and she's preparing everything for her wedding! She already has the dress and shoes and jewelry! haha, I'm such a girl. she was showing soeur bertolio and I, and we were oooo-ing and aww-ing. lol. and we are allowed to go into Saragosse again! And the other areas we werent allowed to go into!  Not at night, and we are to be super careful, but we can go now!!!! And we dont contact in that area. haha. they are almost all seriously muslim. It's ridiculous. But theyre not the crazy ones, we usually just see women. Anywho!

transfer news: Elder willett is still my district leader, elder wilson (his comp) was transferred to marseilles and now elder willett has Elder Dean, the elder from my mtc zone! hahaha. this will be a riot. And my mtc comp, Soeur Harris is still in Nice, like me, her fourth transfer, and she has her trainer as her comp (hse had her for only one transfer), elder Gruber is back in the Bordeaux zone, elder Arnold is still our Zone leader but his comp elder cushing was transferred to aix to train! whitewash!!! and who was in aix before? my friend from before the mission, elder Kunzler, who just finished his second transfer and is now ZONE LEADER in toulouse! WHA???? Out of control. And elder call is TRAINING!!! and we now have one companionship in corsica!CRAZY!DANGEROUS!haha. its like italy, crazy gangstas, apparently; so says soeur bertolio. she goes on "holiday" there. haha

So life has been sad for me but good the past few days. I try not to think about it, because I've been with soeur bertolio for a long time, and we seriously were like sisters. always togetherrr!!! sometimes it was annoying, but i loved it. she is so great!!!!! I miss her, but I love my new collegue! So! We will keep moving forward (meet the robinsons) and keep improving my french! a LOT this transfer because I dont have soeur bertolio to help me out when I'm not sure about a sentence I created in my head!! Oh man. hahaha. This is going to be GREAT! Gift of tongues. I also prayed to be a better student, and this is what happens. prayer is real, and watch what you pray for. lol.

I love you all and i pray that you each day at least! Read the talk by Pres Uchtdorf, "of Regrets and Resolutions" (it totally sounds like an old book of poetry and essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson or E.E. Cummings, dont you think? ) and keep praying for me, my mission, and the gift of tongues!

I love you allllllll, encore, and I hope to hear from you soon!!

love always,
-soeur gardner-

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

Monday, October 8, 2012

October 8, 2012 - Pau, France

la Vie en Rose


Okay. lets just say, that general conference was the best thing ever. holy moley, I dont know if it was the spirit being so much stronger since I'm a missionary or what, but...wowwwewwow!!! i am trying to view life differently now, kind of like, la vie en rose..(life in pink), but not in the "in love" way. haha. Saturday morning session and President Holland's talk during the sunday morning session were my favorite. WOWWWWWWWWWW!!!! I seriously have a different perspective on things now. We still havent seen Sunday evening session; it was broadcasted between 10 and 12 last NIGHT, so we didnt get to watch it. But soon!!! Right now i'm in Bayonne!!! YEAH!! Haha, and our dl told us last week to wear pants since the district would all be together and we dont want to cause attention when we're not working, so we wear pants, but he told the elders in tarbes to wear suits, so..we were on the train together wearing different things. it was kind of funny and we feel kind of dumb. lol. mais c'est la vie. 

so this week we taught marie with jeffrey and it was great!!! she agreed to come to conference sunday at 2 (sat evening session), but she called us before and told us her son is sick so she had to stay and take care of him. :( darn you, satan! But we understand being sick; wed night soeur bertolio got the stomach flu, or something like it. while we were at the Leang's for dinner with ariel, jeffrey, and a nonmember who is in our english class, François, she began getting super sick and actually threw up in their bathroom! poor soeur. :( but she was super quiet!!!I was impressed. we only heard her gag once!!! then we got home, she threw up again, then we went to sleep. the next morning, I threw up all I ate the night before. eghh. It was terrible. We ended up being sick for 2 days. we didnt eat anything for almost 2 days. I barely drank water, but forced myself to drink some because I had dad's voice in my head telling me if I didnt , that I would get dehydrated and die. lol. so it was sad because we were starting off the week really good, and had to cancel rendez-vous, but we seriously couldnt teach. we had NO energy, even after we ate a little bit. So we were in bed for about 2 1/2 days. the second day we couldnt focus on anything and had no energy, so we watched the testaments and legacy. lol. to be honest, it was probably the most fun I've had being sick,  being sick with soeur bertolio, because we would start talking and like joke about our situation, then fall asleep, then wake up and say something or tell our weird dream, then fall asleep again. lol. it was not great being sick, but it was better then being sick alone. plus she wouldnt have been able to do anything without me anyway. Friday we were suppose to have exchanges with the Toulouse Soeurs, but we were super sick so we are having it next week. and it was funny because we told the people we needed to that we were sick, then we got a call from tarbes and a text from our zone leader, elder arnold telling us that bordeaux hopes that we get well soon! I told him that we just got ourselves sick from being so excited for zone conference this wednesday. haha. but yeah, we were like, how..did they was weird. but cool. everyone knows everyones bu'ness in the mish, apparently. lol. 

SO! General Conference! 19!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When President Monson announced the age changes, I seriously started crying I was so excited. Obviously I'm 21 and on the mission, but I think about Audrey (hermana white!) and Claire (sorella bradford!!!) and Elizabeth (irma tingey!!!) and how I met all of them at 18 and we were so set on going on missions and wishing the age were 19 and just wishing, and now after everything we are serving, and now it's possible for girls doing the same thing as my friends and I!! Wow! What a beautiful blessing!!! An how much we need missionaries!!! There are going to be barely any young people at BYU! holy cow!!!!!!  So many girls given the chance to serve before marriage and before other things get in the way!! wow!!!!!!! oh my goodness. the church is so true!!!! My favorite talks were President Uchtdorf's, basically another version of pres Monson's "Finding Joy in the journey", which is one of my FAVORITE talks!!! Oh my goodness!!!!!!! SOOO GOOOD!! My favorite things that he said was, "Strengthen things that we will have in Heaven", "we must not just do what Heavenly Father wants us to do, but BECOME what Heavenly Father wants us to be!", "Become the person that we were designed to be" and "through this, Heavenly Father will unleash the Spiritual Gifts we were promised", "essential things are invisible to the eyes" (quote from "the little prince", a french book!), "It's not a race, it's a journey! Enjoy the moment!" (his wife!), and "the Savior can wipe away our tears of regret". How incredibly true. AND my other favorite, President Holland's, when He's asking Peter, "Do ye love me?" and when he said that at the judgement bar, God will ask us, "Did ye love me? Did ye at least understand the first and most important commandment?" and he said, "I need someone who will preach My Gospel and defend My faith and do what needs to be done!" What a powerful statement. He wasnt just implying God talking to missionaries, he was talking to everyone, every member of our church. "We cant quit and we cant go back". This talk has i think affected the rest of my life. I took a very large humility pill last night, telling soeur bertolio all my feelings, which I guess she's here for, as my companion; It was crazy. I'm not going to go into detail of everything, but I was really in a recognition of how different i need to be, how much work I have to do, to become like Jesus Christ and be the person that I was designed to be. I was just struck with this, and how after this mission, my mission isnt stopping. I have to keep working, keep pushing forward, and this overwhelmed me for a second, but soeur bertolio is a great person to talk to and I thought of my last email, and the story of Jesus healing the little boy and I reminded myself, if I really try, He will meet me where I fall short. He'll carry me the rest of the way. 

What an incredible thing, the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I feel incredibly grateful to be able to study His gospel every day and preach it to everyone I come into contact with. What an incredible opportunity to repent of our sins and be forgiven for our weaknesses. "Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it; Prone to leave the God I love. Here's my heart, Lord, take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above." These lyrics. And the lyrics to "Savior, Redeemer, of my Soul" is the way that I feel we need to feel always. We need to always be striving, always working to have the Spirit with us, to keep our thoughts pure, to be looking for the best in everyone. I love this Gospel and  I know that it is true. I cant quit, and I cant go back, because I know that this Gospel is true, and it makes me the happiest I have ever been. I pray that we all find things in our life that arent completely in line with the will of our Heavenly Father and change it. Nothing happens if you dont change. I'm making that commitment to myself, and I invite you to do the same.

I love you all and you need to listen to conference and study the words of the prophet and his apostles and the sisters in the church! Their words are inspired and will build you up in the times that are hard, times that you dont feel worthy or strong enough to push forward. 

I'll talk to yall next week! I loooove letters!

Love always,
-soeur gardner-

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-