Monday, August 5, 2013

August 5, 2013 - Bordeaux, France

trains, planes, and automobiles

first thing I thought of when I thought about today. basically only having to do with the first thing. and it doesnt involve me.

fam! 

so this week we did great, soeur hirschi and I. unfortunately our golden ami, esther is going to be on vacation in paris until sept 20th. that is the beginning of NEXT transfer! and we just started a new one!!! so we just call to check up on her, probably will be asking if she wants to meet with the missionaries there. she is so awesome, though! she highlights her book of mormon!! anyway. yeah. dont have full time today, we have to go pick up a sister who is staying the night with us tonight and finishing her voyage tomorrow so we have to take her to the gare tomorrow morning. so! transfers!

soeur hirschi left me, I kicked her out of the nest and she's headed to montpelier! she'll do great there. super excited for her. she is so wonderful and has taught me so much!! such a hard worker!!!!! kicked me in the butt when I got lazy and helped me a lot, so it was great!! super sad she is gone, but its okay. all change is good. now I have soeur green, soeur harris' blue! so she just finished being blue and she seems really eager to work hard too, so this will be great!!! super stoked to keep working and teaching and baptizing! inviting people to come unto Christ! such a fulfilling feeling. 

so the rest of transfer info, we have 4 equipes of missionaries in our ward, and 1 is a couple equipe in charge of the young adults, and then there's the zone leaders (was elder call and elder dicou) and the chinese equipe (was elder phelps and elder standford). elder call left (so sadddd, he's from my mtc district!!) to be zone leader in nice (in my old apartment there! haha. sisters and elders switched since I've been there), and elder phelps left! he was a blue! gone to toulouse. and my lovely comp is gone. so its been sad, cause all three of our equipes lost people, and to be honest, they were my favorite so that was super sad. but its what has to be done! time to work hard! will miss elder call, phelps, and soeur hirschi, but they'll do incredible where they go! I'm super stoked for them. and our new assistant is elder fox, who was in my district for 3 transfers when I was in pau and he's crazzy so this will be fun. lol. well, I gotta fly, but have a great week!! the church is true! gotta pick up the other soeur!!

love you and love letters!! same address as before!

love always,
devaneau

Monday, July 29, 2013

July 29, 2013 - Bordeaux, France



Here's my Heart

Take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.

Chére famille,

Je vous aime. I love you. (vous is plural "you" or singular formal). So if I were specifically saying "I love you" to one person and I was close with them, I would say, "Je t'aime", but since I'm saying it to a group of yall I say Je vous aime. And as a missionary we have to use the formal "you" (vous) when speaking to others, which can sometimes make us look weirdd because people are like, you can tu-toi me, and we're like, sorry, we cant. and we speak to each other in vous and people dont think we know french correctly, when in reality its just a rule. which we obey. because we are obedient missionaries. anyway. Nice language study for mom and dad and whoever else doesnt know french! This week has been awesome. I feel so good!! Like spiritually pumped! let me start off by telling you about our first progressing ami of the transfer, Esther! (isnt it great that her name is esther?? haha, love it. God is so great.)

Esther was originally contacted by the elders(our zone leaders) a while ago and put her in the phone, and I dont know what happened but they never taught her. (ps: the sisters lost their phone last transfer so we have their phone and they eventually got a new one, so we have their old numbers including esther's) and we got a call from the sisters in Talence (just outside of Bordeaux, where our church is. its like  Benbrook and Fort Worth, theyre basically the same thing, but just outside of the main "city". But yeah, so the sisters call us and tell us that they contacted this girl named esther and that she wanted to meet with them near Victoire (look it up-Bordeaux) but she lives in our sector, and so they were passing her to us. So we call her, and she didtn have time to see us until the next week on Wednesday and to call her then.

So Tuesday we're just going home, contacting on the way (by the way, contacted over 400 this week! :D)  and we contact this girl, and she ends up being esther, who we talked to on the phone!! so we set up a rdv with her for the next morning, taught her, then set up another rdv with her for the next evening, taught her, then set up another rdv for the next morning. taught her. :O yeah, we were so surprised. lol. /really really excited! so she's left on vacance for she didnt know how long but she was like I hope to see you reallly soon!! We're like, us too! haha. but its great. we also taught...xavier! 

so we set up and had the rdv for friday. we had taught a lesson with a member, soeur Lecave last week and it was really great and we were like, we should use her again! she did a great job! ...well. we begin teaching xavier, and she's like, super aggressive to him. when he had questions she attacked the questions and it was out of control!! It all started with us reading the introduction with him because he hadnt, and then we asked if he had questions and he had a lot and she just grabbed those questions and gobbled them up and spit them back out at him, and we're just watching in horror, trying to get a word in, but they were speaking so quickly in french and he kept asking so many questions and they were talking over each other and if youre not a native speaker..youve got no chance. I tried at one point and he was like, I have a lot of questions-I just want to learn more about this! in a kind of rude tone and I was like, I know we just want to answer them-but they kept going!! I was really annoyed but I prayed to have love for him, so I just took a deep breath and thought for a second. they kept arguing. I looked at Soeur Hirschi and she was like, we need to watch the restoration. I just nodded. yeah, they were arguing so much that we could talk to each other without worrying about them listening or hearing us. haha. So basically after too long of that, I put my hands up between them and was like, okay! thats enough! so back to the Book of Mormon! and they both stopped, surprisingly. We told him how Joseph Smith did translate it, and that we had a video for him to watch. We lead them to the other room to watch the Restoration, and it really was great. I was scared that he would be very rude about the video and pick out things, so when we asked how he felt, and when he said that he thought that it was very well filmed, I was happy. lol. (he's a film guy). Then we talked a little bit about the story and about Joseph Smith seeing God the Father and His son, Jesus Christ, and about prophets on the earth today! Then I talked to him very kindly, way kinder then I usually speak, and said, I know you said that you've had a spiritual experience before, and I know that you can have those good feelings, from the Holy Ghost again when you read this book and pray about it. We arent here to try to convince you. We ask everyone, including you, to know for yourself. And he really looked touched. And I felt so much love for him! Gospel love! It was great. I was so happy to know that Heavenly Father heard my pleas, my rather prideful pleas, to have charity for this man. And it came about! He told us he wouldnt be able to come to church, but that we could meet again for sure. He also talked to Elder Kunzler who was there, and that was really nice because Xavier is a really funny guy, and in english, too! and he likes to joke, but its hard to joke a lot with him and for it not to come off the wrong way, so him and elder kunzler had a good time. :) But it really was a great lesson, after a few clean-ups. haha. 

Yesterday we taught the lesson in young women about taking upon you the name of Christ. It was really nice to see their perspectives as teens here in France, because its hard! Everyone all the time offering you alcohol and cigarettes. way more smoking here then in America. And alcohol is legal starting at 16 or 18, so lots of that, also. So I grew more respect for them and for them sticking it out and becoming disciples of Christ! 

Later on in the day we contacted, and I dont remember having so much fun contacting before! It was so fun because there were so many tourists who spoke spanish or italian or german or whatever and thanks to my friends who speak/spake those languages in the mission (aud, claire, will) I had those things to say! hahaha, it was hilarious! I was like stuttering through it, but I think they appreciated it. In fact, I know that at least 2 couples really appreciated it because I was trying to teach them to their needs, which was the language! ha. it was really fun. We also cleared up some false information about mormons. thats always an uplifting thing to do, especially when people actually recognize that youre telling them the truth! And we got someone's number and set up a rdv with her for tomorrow! so we'll see! :D 

Things are really looking up here in Bordeaux! We have 1 progressing ami and lots of potentielles and new amis. I love soeur Hirschi so much, and we have transfer calls on Friday. So dont send me any letters this week unless its to the office. Dang I dont want either of us to leave! We're achieving things and doing better every week!!! I love yall and I know this gospel is true. I love this church. I love Jesus Christ. I love our Heavenly Father. I know with all my heart that He hears our prayers. 

I love yall and I hope you have a great week!!!!

love always,
devaneau

Monday, July 22, 2013

July 22, 2013 - Bordeax, France

Let our Hearts Find Access to Thee

In thy holy courts on high

chére famille,

bonjour!! This week was pretty awesome. Hard but still really awesome. We taught more lessons then we have this whole transfer! Not combined, but it was great. We're improving. :) We have continuously been searching and contacting over 350 people for the week (our mission's standards of excellence), and we are beginning to see the difference. We've still been contacting and teaching recent converts and nonactives, but we've finally been able to set up rendez-vous with our potential amis and teaching! I loove teaching!! oh man. I have missed it. Not that  we havent taught since this transfer started, just that we only have taught a few times a week, not enough to feel like youre doing it often. Finding is a pretty difficult thing, especially for me; I'm much more comfortable teaching and helping our amis understand and apply, so the Lord recognizes my weaknesses and decides to build them up. I think this is one of the reasons I have been in this situation for 2 transfers now. haha. the situation where we just dropped basically all of our amis or they dropped us, so we NEED to find like crazy or else we're not accomplishing our goal. Thats what happened in the middle of last transfer in Grenoble, and that's what happened before I came to the Eysines equipe, so our finding is finally paying off! The Lord is really blessing us with some really great potentials. 

Par exemple! We contacted this french guy, Xavier, and stood and talked for a good 15 minutes about life and we had asked him, "Où est-ce que vous trouvez le bonheur?" (where do you find happiness). And he said work, but its a temporal thing so he is really searching for that. so we set up a rdv with him for the next morning, we feel like we should teach him with mama yonnet, our bishop's mom, and she is crazzy!! lol. so much energy and kind of aggressive and he's kind of aggressive so we're like, well, we'll see! so we start the lesson and she's like asking all these questions and tellling him so much and he's like, gurl get outta my face but not really saying that, just looking like that, and then he tells us he will never ever be baptized into the mormon church, I'm like, dang. but we keep teaching and pull things back to together, he tells us his life story, really opens up, gives the closing prayer, mama yonnet goes over to him, grabs his face and bisous him and was like, that was such a beautiful, sincere prayer!!! and I'm expecting him to be like, what the what! but I see his face and he's just smiling ear to ear! french boys are mama boys. so basically she adopted him as another one of her sons. oh and she kept on relating him to her sons and saying he needed to meet them..but yeah. so he was on vacation this weekend but we talked to him yesterday and we'll see him this week. miracles!!!

Oh, we visited a nonactive, soeur drumeva, and she was a choral director, a really good one, in Bulgaria. she can read music like no one i've ever seen. soo fast!! anyway, after we sang a cantique, she took me to the piano and made me sing scales. then she told me that I would be giving up my gift if I didnt go into singing, and not in choirs, but classic singing!! opera! I was like, whha?? That was really nice and boosted my confidence. haha.

I know that the Lord is blessing us. I know that this gospel is so true, that it can truly change lives and hearts. I dont know if Xavier will be baptized, but I do know that he really could be. The gospel can change everything. I've seen it. It's incredible to be able to share that with others. Its sad when people disregard it, but I work hard to not let that get me down, because there are His elect out here in Bordeaux, searching for the truth and waiting for something to happen in their lives. I love this gospel! Its incredible!!!!!!
I love yall and I hope you have a great week!!!

love always, 
devaneau

Sunday, July 21, 2013

July 21, 2013 - Letter from the France Lyon Mission President

Dear Parents, we just finished a zone conference tour to four cities. We tried to get photos to send to you. It is a harder job than you would think but here they are. I know in one city a couple of missionaries ran for a train before the photo so we are sure sorry if you can not find your missionary or if they made a face. They are here in France I assure you, and they are accomplishing miracles. Wonderful things are taking place in the mission. Thank you for sharing your wonderful missionary with us. 

President Roney

France Lyon Mission


Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15, 2013 - Bordeaux, France

Concrete jungle, where dreams are made of!

there's nothin you can't do now you're in BORDEAUX!!!!

fam,

so! things are going good here in ol bordeaux. So many reasons for my title. first, this will be a short little email, but! great thing that happened this friday during weekly planning, the sonnerie goes off, and there's a package for me, apparently. I'm like, huh? I got my package from my fam yesterday..( thanks again!!) so we go down, open the door, and its SOEUR BERTOLIO and her fam!!!!! By soeur bertolio I mean Micol! crazy, right??? I was so happy!!! This week has been great. We contacted over 350 people (366, to be specific), and we taught lots of recent convert/less actives lessons, and it was great. dang I dont have any time, but it was all good good fun. today we did service and helped someone move with the elders. luckily we have 2 equipes of elders in our ward, so we didnt have to do too much, funny enough. We met some guy that works for nuSkin and we told him that president roney was our mission president and he was like, "you know blake RONEY??!" and he had this higher pitched voice and it kinda cracked at the "ney" of roney, and he was a short little man with a light purple button up in a suit. classy. but yeah, it was great. he tried to sell us nuSkin. theyve got their own little nuSkin missionaries! we laughed so hard and called president after and he told us not to give him his number. lol. We ate with the missionary couple in our ward for one of our lunch hours and it was wonderful. I absolutely love the Dickensons. theyre from England and have the best accents!!!

We havent been able to find any solid amis yet, but we will continue to search and eventually find and baptize!!!!!!! :D

Also, could people who speak ITALIAN, SPANISH, RUSSIAN, and GERMAN please send me an email saying how to contact someone to learn more about the gospel. for example, "We are missionaries for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Would you like to learn more about Jesus Christ?" just put that into those languages. Thanks!

well, I really do have to go, but thanks for all you do! I LOVE letters!!!

love always,
deveaneau

Monday, July 8, 2013

July 8, 2013 - Bordeaux, France

I will survive

Fam,

so it has begun getting super hot here. the heat wave is a'comin! or its already hit. either way its hot. i dont think I've ever drank so much water before. lol. I seriously take in like 4 glasses before lunch. And those hours before we're just doing studies since I'm finishing training soeur hirschi. its cray. but good, cause otherwise I would totally get dehydrated, and we all know that leads to exhaustion which leads to passing out to going to the hospital. so to save a trip, I just drink a lot. of water. But other then the heat things are looking great! things are picking up, we're contacting and getting super close to having solid amis! As I told some of you already, when I got here my comp and her last companion had just dropped a few of their solid amis who werent keeping commitments, so we had some potentielle who we're trying to meet with, but its been hard since its the time of the season for VACANCE (vacation). And its not normal vacation that youre gone for a week or 2 like in America; here youre gone for a good 4 weeks or more. its out of control and makes missionary work a bit harder when your new amis are leaving for forever it seems. haha. But we get by by finding more amis now, so that by the time that our potentielles come back we'll have a bunch of amis! win/win! 

So this week we had some great miracles. first off, we went to visit a somewhat new ami (Ive taught him only once, but the soeurs had taught him twice before) but he wasnt home, so we thought to stop by a different new ami, Luce. she's home, so she invites us up to her apartment, and her boyfriend (father of her 5 year old) and her younger brother (16 yrs old) are home also. so we begin asking how theyre doing, we introduce ourselves to the new people, then the boyfriend says very simply and not accusingly, oh yeah yall are a cult. and I'm like, actually we're not. and he's like, yeah, you are. and I asked him why he thought that and something having to do with having a prophet that we pay all our money to and so we explained the purpose of a prophet and the purpose of tithing, and then we asked if we could continue explaining after we prayed, and they were a little surprised but said okay, so we prayed and then began teaching a very simple lesson 1 and they were really touched.We didnt get through the whole thing, but it was good. We asked them if they believed in God and she told us about her cousin who she was really close with who believed in God but she had recently died. I felt really inspired to ask her the question, do you think that you'll see her again after this life? She really thought and said, I dont know. And we shared a testimony that we know that she can see her again because we have a loving Heavenly Father. We gave them another Book of Mormon and prayed and they thanked us and the boyfriend, Jerémie, thanked us and said that we were really nice about answering his questions and explaining, and I thought that was really cool. We're not here to convince, we're here to teach with the Spirit and let them decide for themselves. 

Another cool experience was yesterday in relief society we were talking about the talk by president uchtdorf about the plane going just a little off course and that can change everything, afterward the teacher asked if there was someone who would like to share an experience, and this woman sitting the back stood up and told us that she has been inactive for the last 5 years but has decided taht seh wants to be fully active again and cried and bore her testimony and the Spirit was so strong! so we sat with her in sacrament and exchanged numbers and she is so sweet and really happy to be back and to restart. I love the atonement!!! 

I love this gospel and I know that it's true!!! I Love yall and I hope yall have a great week!!!

love always,
devaneau 

Monday, July 1, 2013

July 1, 2013 - Bordeaux, France

I'm a travelin' (wo)man!

fam,

haha, so this title! mainly is referring to the fact that I left grenoble on monday and got to bordeaux monday evening, then thursday we left for Lyon for the "bleus conference", a conference for the just beginning 2nd transfers and their companions to see how theyre doing and such. Then Friday we left and stayed the night in Toulouse, then we left on Friday and got back to Bordeaux. Phew! needless to say, we travelled a LOT. we only had one day with real studies, wednesday, because tuesday soeur raney had her train at 10:30 and so we had to go with her to the gare (train station), then thursday we had a tombez-vous which had been planned for 8am. ha! so early. and he wasnt even there! but its cool. got a number f'rom someone while we were waiting for him to answer..which he didnt. So this week will be a lot better when it comes to planning and studies and working here! 

AHHH!! I loveee bordeaux! its so beautiful and the ward is awesome! the leaders are great and really have a great idea of how we can change and become better. also, our bishop and his second counselor are totally "hipsters". its kind of ridiculous. I was laughing so hard during sacrament. not literally during "sacrament", but during the last meeting. its great. theyre serious about the gospel hipsters. I dont even know how to describe to you their "hipsterness", its just great. and they both speak english fluently. and our dmp (ward mission leader) is american and really is a sweet guy. he has a 2 year old son and his wife here, and they are great. We're teaching this guy, Bruce Alexandre George, and he is so legit and seriously a fun guy to teach and talk to, and we think that he will be baptized bientôt. :) Pray for us! Our mission is planning on 50 baptisms this month of July! Pray for us to accomplish it!! 

funny things, so many!!! so soeur hirschi was SO tired saturday from all the travelling and french (which she speaks super well!), that she was saying the funniest things. par exemple: "Basically, I dont believe in germaphobes." another funny thing, when we were leaving bleus conference, an elder who's dyng with me, elder uluavé, told president specifically that he would personally make sure that everyone would get to their train ON TIME. what happened? NONE of us did. lol. the metro was closed down at our stop, so we had to take a different bus to a different metro..etc. the whole time Elder Uluavé was like, dang it!!! hahaha. good times. 

well, I gotta jet, but I love yall so much! I know that I am here for a reason, and that there are miracles in this land. the ward is great, the people aren't usually super rude, things are looking up! I Love yall!!!!!

love always,
devaneau

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

June 25, 2013 - Bordeaux, France

I'll go where you want me to go

fam,

okay, funny thing about this song. first verse,
 
"It may not be on the mountain height (-grenoble)
Or over the stormy sea, (-france)
It may not be at the battle's front (-france)
My Lord will have need of me.
But if, by a still, small voice he calls
To paths that I do not know,
I'll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in thine:
I'll go where you want me to go. "

When I hear this, I'm like, ..but it is! and so we got calls for transfers and president told me that I'm moving to BORDEAUX to finish training Soeur Hirshi, I was like, oh my gosh this was totally supposed to happen! So I had been really not wanting to be transferred because I absolutely LOVE the Grenoble ward! they are so incredible! But I had in my mind decided that if I were to be transferred, I would be happy with anywhere but I have always wanted to serve in Bordeaux. or Switzerland, but I dont think that's possible for me since I dont have a suisse visa. So he called and told me and I just got super excited and I have Soeur Hirshi as a companion now! Which is crazy cause yall told me about her!!!!!! So we want to know HOW yall know her family and vice versa, cause neither of us know. lol. other then the ward in West Frankfort. So yeah, if you could update me on that, we would both appreciate it. :) Second off, our apartment is the first apartment I ever stayed in in the field, and its TINY! lol. so great. and I get to walk across the BEAUTIFUL bridge and see BEAUTIFUL Bordeaux every flippin DAY!!!!! I am seriously so happy to be here. And elder call from my mtc district is my zone leader!! Its so great to see him! But yeah. Bordeaux. Miracles. Its happening. Mom, dad, we will now have to visit bordeaux!!! o la la you will die! its so great. Well, I dont have have much time to tell you more about everything, just pray that things will all fall into place well and for the people in bordeaux and this land is blessed!!! Ahh I'm so happy to be here! I feel like I'm home. Here's my new address:

Les Missionnaires
Soeur Gardner
47 Rue de la Bénauge
33100 Bordeaux
FRANCE

Gotta go but I love yall so much and I pray for you all the time! Pray for us to have miracles!!!

Love always,

devaneau

Monday, June 17, 2013

June 17, 2013 - Grenoble, France

In the Highways

fam,

hello, hello! First off, HAPPY FATHER's DAY, DAD!!!!!! You are wonderful and I love you so much!!!! I hope that you had a great fathers day. I hope it was yesterday for yall in America, cause mothers day is different so I'm not sure.

so today was kind of weird! so this email has to be short. we came to do emails first thing, then we got a call 20 minutes in and it was a member saying that our dear soeur planeta had fallen and the window fell on her and we needed to go help her asap. so we dropped everything, and there was the couple Bertola family here at hte church so they drove us to her home and she had already been helped up so we just help to get the door/window re-hinged. which was ridiculous. but we succeeded! and then they left but we stayed with soeur planeta for a few hours to make sure she was okay and to wait for our member who had called us, messad, to get there. so we got to talk to her and eat lunch with her and it was actually really nice. she is such a sweet old lady. minus her always telling us our french is terrible. I'm pretty sure her native tongue isnt even french, but whatev. You just take it with a smile. haha. for example, today she was like, how do you guys even communicate with people enough to teach? hahaha. she's so mean but I just laughed and said, the Spirit! gotta love soeur planeta. 

so this week was a bit of a drought. we had pretty bad numbers, but its okay because from experience I know that when droughts happen we are just about to have a flood of miracles! And we have been working better and better together, so things are looking up! we are definitely seeing much more eye to eye and contacting more and trying to fill every moment with good things and such. 

haha, yesterday we contacted in a park, and one guy seemed super interested and I was thinking, this guy is totally golden!!! and we taught him basically a quick rundown of the restoration, he looks totally invested in everything we say, I  introduce the Book of Mormon, then he's like, wait wait, and we're like, yeah? and he's all, where do you live? do you live here or with a family somewhere? and I'm like, Uh..no we live in an apartment, then I try to get back on topic but he's like, oh is there space in your apartment? its just hte two of you? and I'm like, this doesnt have anything to do with the gospel, and he's like, no, cause I'd like to live there with you and i'm like, "no. anyway," and keep teaching, then he just keeps asking us ridiculous things and I'm like, "this has nothing to do with the gospel" and he's like, well getting to know you helps me understand where youre coming from and then I was like, "okay, I decided to serve a mission because I have seen how the gospel has blessed my life, and i want to share that with others, so that they can have the same joy and happiness that I have, and that is why I dont like talking about myself or about anything regarding me because none of that will bring you the happiness that I have." then he listened a bit more, then we got his number to give to the elders, and that was all. egh. guys like that make my skin crawl. soeur keating was like, I thought it was funny. and I'm like, bleh. 

well, that was just a funny story for yall. Other then that, we had Elder Richards from the second quorum of the seventy come and speak to us on Tuesday and it was INCREDIBLE!!! I absolutely loved it. SO full of the Spirit afterward and during. We had nonstop teaching from 10am until 2pm, no breaks! so we ate at 2, but it was soooo worht it!! wow one of the best zone conferences I've had on my mission!

Well I love yall so much and I hope that you have a great week! Transfer calls are on Friday so we'll see if I'll be staying in Grenoble another transfer or if I'll depart! O la la!!  Will i keep soeur keating??? So many questions not answered until Friday morning. Hate this feeling.

love yall and I love photos!!!!!!!

love always,
devaneau

Monday, June 10, 2013

June 10, 2013 - Grenoble, France

Our God will never us forsake!

ma chére famille,

how art thou? things are going pretty good here. just taking it one day at a time with my wonderful blue. she's been having a tough time adjusting to missionary life and stuff like that, which I totally understand, but you dont really "understand" fully when youre not in the situation. but yeah. ça va, quoi. So we had exchanges with the soeurs in our ville last Tuesday and I did exchanges with Soeur Lewis. She's a little peacemaker and just works so hard to get the language and is the cutest little 19 year old missionary here. She's the youngest in our apartment but seriously the most like a sweet little mother. its hilarious. she makes these "taco rolls" and german pancakes with homemade syrup (yeah. legit) and she's just soft spoken and its adorable. haha. But I did exchanges with her and we got to see our potential ami, Lisette, who is Yannick's cousin! So we set up a rendez-vous with her for this coming wednesday and she seems very committed to it. so thats great! super excited about her. Yannick is doing well also, though he doesnt have the desire to be baptized right now. he did have it, and he knows that the church is true, but he doesnt really have that desire that he had before to get baptized. So we are working on that with him right now. But he came to church and talked to the bishop! 

the ward members really seem to love us; its a good feeling. If you have the ward on your team, miracles happen. they trust you. its a win-win situation. and I LOVE this ward! they are just incredible and I just want to make all of them brownies and thank you cards! which we eventually will be doing in the next few weeks. haha. the young adults are amazing and always help us with lessons and the families always ask about our amis and they invite them over when they invite us over for dinner and its just awesome. I have a huge respect for French members of the church. the culture here is definitely different then the states, but when they come, they are really invested in the  church. The active members are really STRONG members. they really understand the gospel. Not that Americans don't, but its like we have members come that are just on the fence; thats not how it is normally here. 

well, dont have much time, but I love yall and pray for us! We have 2 weeks left of this transfer, this is our fifth week! holy cow! already!!!!!!! have a great week and if you plan on sending a letter send it now or wait till  transfer calls! 

love yall!! the church is soo true!!!!!!!!!!!

love always,
devaneau

Monday, June 3, 2013

June 3, 2013 - Grenoble, France

exchanges!! soeur keating, soeur reintjes, me, and soeur taylor!


June 3, 2013 - Grenoble, France

fly away home

dear fam,

I chose the title of this because of the email from soeur marker and she talks about that movie and I just like it. nothing to do with me flying home. just clarifying. :) 

so this week was pretty great! I felt like I accomplished stuff! haha. missionary work! stuff..! my heads not fully in this email. okay! so on monday night we left for aix-en-provence and we totally did exchanges there and it was so fun!! the sister training leaders there are soeur taylor (who I have done exchanges with twice in Toulouse!) and soeur reintjes! I have just heard good things about her, so it was really cool to get to do exchanges with her! she is awesome!!! love that soeur! we had a really good time teaching and singing and contacting! she's a beast! she gets on a bus and literally contacts everyone!! so I got to get a few pointers from her-just close your eyes, buckle down, and do it. haha. but seriously! you have the desire but it can just be so awkward cause everyone's watching..but who cares?? youre doing this for a better cause then your own pride! So yeah. contacting on the streets doesnt bother me or streetboarding or any of that, its just condensed people not moving, but now its getting better. Soeur keating is helping me and I'm helping her. its really cool to do it, though. you feel empowered! and a couple of times I've had good conversations with people! So I'm progressing! slowly but surely!

Yannick is doing really well, he is praying about when he should be baptized; he feels like he's not ready yet, but he is super ready to set a date and to progress towards it! but he needs to pray about it, anyhow, sylvie has a date for baptism the 22 juin but has to quit smoking before so we may push it back if she hasnt quit by next week. Vaber is doing well, he's been reading the Book of Mormon every day and seems to be alright with his situation, which is great because he's not depressed and wanting to give up on missionary lessons and such. He needs to stop smoking, also. His wife is going back to work!! She is slowly progressing to getting a healthier life and is on her way to letting Vaber get baptized! But yeah. things are going good, here in ol' Grenoble! I absolutely love this ward-they are so great. so much desire to be a missionary! Its addicting, I think. This month is the month of invitation, so things are gonna get pretty intense here in the next few weeks! :D

So this morning I was studying about "hope", because its a Christ-like attribute that I'd like to work on, and I read lots of scriptures having to do with it, and my favorite was Ether 12:4 , which says,
 "Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to gorify God."

I LOVE this! Hope is knowing with a surety that the things that we have been promised will come to pass. Therefore, those who believe in God know that the world can be made better. That is why as missionaries (and members) we should and can be happy always, because we have this hope embedded in our souls, the "anchor" of our souls, to remind us that even if something doesnt turn out the way we wanted it to, we know that what the Lord promises will come to pass. We know that through Jesus Christ we can have a better world, full of love and peace. Is that not a reason to be happy? Not just happy, but rejoicing! Let us continue to push forward with hope that the Lord will continue to bless us and not give us anything that is too difficult to handle. (NOTE: read the talk, "the Infinite Power of Hope" by Dieter F Uchtdorf!)
I love yall so much and I love hearing from you! Youre wonderful! Keep being great examples to everyone around you! 

love always,
devaneau

Monday, May 27, 2013

May 27, 2013 - Grenoble, France

...and Seek out the Righteous Where e're They May Be!

famille,

bonjour! comment ça va? je vais bien! en faite, je vais partir à aix-en-provence aujourd'hui! So today we're going to aix-en-provence for an exchange with the soeurs there! I'm pretty stoked cause I only have been to aix during the winter, so there was no pretty lavender everywhere. But it was still beautiful, just not AS  beautiful as it could have been. but this time will be great. so this week went well, we had zone training in Lyon and we had mangez-vous with a few families in our ward and taught marie-france with one of them, and we played the missionary game with the other, we got a new ami, sandra, through another ami, sylvie (crazy, right?? miracle!!!), we helped marie-france move yesterday! Her dad came to help her move her stuff. she's moving home for the summer and will be back in august, which means I probably wont be here. Which is really sad. and she will totally be baptized!!! But yeah, we took a photo together and we met her dad and introduced the gospel to him also and gave him a Book of Mormon (!!) and that was great!!  so we moved down her bags and dishes and stuff, not a lot of furniture, but she lives on the fifth floor, which is actually the sixth floor in america. !!!! So that was a nice workout in a dress. haha. mais ça va. It was totally worth it! and the elders came and helped too. 

things have been going pretty great here in grenoble, we are seeing miracles everyday and we are getting more and more courageous and better at working together, my blue and I. she is great at wanting to talk to people and everything! I'm so proud of her!! and her accent is getting a LOT better already!!!!! sooooo cool!! oh, so mom sent me a letter this week, and I got it when we were leaving the apartment and I read part of it and put it in my bag, but I must have dropped it and I lost it!! so I was really sad and prayed to find it. So a few days later, we come home and the other equipe of soeurs tell us that this old man came to the door and rang the doorbell and gave them the letter because he found it on the street opened and he wanted to return it because he read the end and it said "mom" and he was told my someone that that was "maman" (mom), and he knew that it must have ment something to them, so he was asking for me but I wasnt there and he was hesitant to give it to them but he did and left a note for me, so I get home and I'm like, what??! so I call him and thank him and he asked me what it was about and I tell him and it was really cool. He wasnt interested in teh gospel, but he respected our religion. That was a cool little miracle.

Things are  going great, as I said before, but I gotta go cause our train leaves soon and we gotta go catch it! I love yall and I hope that you have a great week!!!

love always,
devaneaux

Monday, May 20, 2013

May 20, 2013 - Grenoble, France

I survived!

-so I had to forward this because I typed in soeur addis' email and finished up the email and did other stuff, then totally sent it without adding yalls email addresses!!! hahaha. I'm an idiot. so..here it is. enjoy!!! love ya!-

fam-
so youre probably wondering if I'm alive. indeed! I am still here!! and things are now going great. I feel good about everything! a little unsure, but you just gotta keep pushing forward and trust in the Lord, that he has a path for you!

This week was CRAZY. I went to lyon, back to grenoble, went back to lyon, shared a room with SOEUR HARRIS(needless to say we stayed up wayyy too late talking), got my blue, then came back to grenoble thursday night. phew! 

at first it was really hard. the new equipe of soeurs were acting like i wasnt really a part of their equipe for the first few days that I didnt have my blue which was pretty lame cause we were suppose to still work all together as a trio with me as senior comp, but one of them was deciding everything and asking the other if they liked that idea..it was awk. cause I didnt want to say anything cause I'd only be with them for 2 days. so i got over it, and then i got my blue! who is from north carolina, goes to byu, took a lot of french in college so can speak grammaticallycorrectly but we are beginning to work on her accent and her understanding other people. which is CRAZY cause i feel like I'm a real trainer!! cause apparently my accent is not bad to french people and I understand what people are trying to say!!!! 95 percent of the time! haha. so thats a LOT better then when I was a blue! but yeah. i cant help but feel kind of cool when she contacts and people dont understand then i say it and they do understand. and when we finish a contact and my comp is like, what'd she say? and i'm like, she said she is late to work and she cant talk. lol. its not that I'm rejoicing in myself, I'm rejoicing in miracles. GIFT OF TONGUES!!! yeah. I think of a specific time, when she asked what brings this guy happiness  and the guy was like, huh? and she repeated and he was like, i dont understand, and I just repeated the word happiness in french cause I knew thats what it was that he didnt get and he was like, OH! yeah. I felt cool. but yeah, being a senior comp is definitely different, had a rough moment cause i'm like helping the other soeurs and trying to guide them but also train and my blue felt like i was giving them too much attention and whatnot but i talked to her about it and its cause they NEED me! and she was like, i feel like we're not working hard enough, and i was like, you've been here TWO DAYS. hahaha. and friday (her first day) was weekly planning! and we taught 3 LESSONS! AND we had to have a correlation meeting with the new equipe of soeurs and the elders and the new elder in that equipe. haha. so.. I talked to her about how organization is really important when we are all in the same ville and that we cant work sufficiently if we dont plan ahead of time. and that this week we would definitely have time to go out and contact for hours. lol. so she finally began understanding. phew! But its going really good now. we shared our own spiritual experiences and why we decided to go on a mission and all of that, and I think we like each other alright! :) She does know great french already, which is a very big blessing, and she is super sensitive and sweet. and likes to laugh, so that is great! But just trying to make sure that she knows that missions are about working hard and doing our very best, but that we can laugh and enjoy our mission, too! after all, we shouldnt be robots, we are real people and thats the great thing about being called to serve in a certain location, that the people you find and teach are the people that needed YOU and YOUR personality at that time to help them improve themselves and their lives! SO yeah. big testimony of that. introduction of the white handbook. haha. seriously! 

Okay, gotta jet, but I love yall so much and am so grateful for yall!!! Things are going great here and I'm excited to have this new missionary with so much energy to serve!!!! HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!

love always,
devaneaux 

ps-elder wilson, me, soeur harris!!!!! first time i've seen soeur harris since my second transfer at blues conference!


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

May 14, 2013 - Grenoble, France

Just what the countryside looks like here. whatevs. (aka so ridiculously wonderful i took a photo) notice the lonely tree on the top of the hill to the right. so cool.

May 14, 2013 - Grenoble, France

you gotta have FAITH!

okayyyy

so update, I have soeur lewis and soeur hall here in grenoble with me and theyre on their second transfers. theyre both nice girls, one just turned 20 and the other is 19. yeah; weird. one has had 1 semester of college. weirdER. I'm like, yeah..I'm 22...3 years at byu..nbd. blah. old. but its okay, I'll get use to it pretty dang fast, I think. So this last week we had a million mangez-vous with members because soeur addis was here for 5 transfers and just died. crazy how that happens. dead. dead and gone. but she will live on in our HEARTS! :) what else...our stake pres is a beast and always gives great talks, and he came and spoke for our ward conference on sunday and it was again great! he actually has a mormon message thing! I dont have time to pull it up for you, but yeah. its good. umm...oh, already got the 4th missionary, dont have to worry about that. 

 there's a talk by..I dont remember who, but he talks about how our Heavenly Father gives us trials and hard things in our lives to make us stronger and better then we were, and he uses the analogy of a gardener talking to his plant, and how the plant talks back. the gardener cuts off some branches and the tree asks, why, why gardener are you cutting me down? I've grown this big and i've done so much good, why cut me down now? and the gardener says, because I'm the gardener, and I know of your potential. I'm making you a stronger, bigger tree then you have ever imagined. and he talks about in this talk (called "the gardener") how he has seen those times in his life  when he feels like he has been cut down, but he has learned that it was for the best. and he says that he would say to the gardener, "thank you, mr gardener for cutting me down. for loving me enough to hurt me". and I thought a lot about this talk when I got the call for me to  train and found out that 2 very young sisters would be coming here. So I am viewing this as him cutting me down, loving me enough to hurt me for a bit. Life is hard. I am positive about this. I am also positive that we have a loving Heavenly Father. He gives us trials so that we can become stronger. What doesnt kill you makes you stronger, to be cliché.  He knows what we can handle and He has trust in us that we will do our best and become even better then we were before. Isn't that what it's all about, to progress? To become better then we are right now? Well, this is that moment for me. To become better. We all have a divine potential. Dieter F Uchtdorf said that if each of us knew this it would change the world. How incredible is that? We need to better ourselves all the time. And not only that, we need to serve. Showing the pure love that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ has for us to one another. Let's all make the change we need to make today.   

I love yall so much and am so grateful for each of you. thanks for supporting me in my time of need and for the love that you have for me and the gospel. I know that our Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us and knows us personally. He knows us. I know that Jesus Christ suffered and died for us so that we can have the strength we need to get through life and trials, and to repent and become better. We matter to Him. 

I love yall and I hope you have a great week! I love letters! :)
love always,

devaneaux

ps. photo-I got to hang out with soeur bertolio all morning/afternoon before I came back to grenoble at 4! it was SO GREAT!!!  I love her!!! what a great example to me of what I should be like with my blue. just show lots of love and be PATIENT. she needed a lot of that with me. haha..seriously.


Monday, May 13, 2013

May 13, 2013 - Grenoble, France

fam et amis,

real quick and real email later, but! if you havent heard, I'm training. and we are getting a new equipe of soeurs who will both be on their second transfer and they've never been to the ville. so..we'll be an equipe of 3 until wednesday and I'll be going back to lyon to pick up my blue! That's what's going down. love yall and it was SO GREAT to talk to yall!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love yall so much!!! and I am totally hanging out with soeur BERTOLIO RIGHT NOW!!!! I love my mission mom. shes the best.

love always,
deveaneaux

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

May 6, 2013 - Grenoble, France


Praise to the Man

fam-

hello! so this week was okay. okay because soeur addis was sick until tuesday (got sick on friday), then i got whatever she had on wednesday until saturday. nasty cough and tired as a dog! but yeah. we still taught lessons! wednesday was the worst for me and I slept basically the whole day, which actually helped a lot and i got better faster then soeur addis! and my cough is almost all gone! Got a blessing from the elders so that definitely helped me. love the gospel! 

so this week we taught yannick a couple times and he is so accepting! I LOVE africans! they just love and have so much faith in Jesus Christ!!!! Its incredible. He's golden. he was a referral from the elders in lyon, well, a family in lyon who had them meet their nephew, who is yannick. he is really cool and just having issues with gettin baptized AGAIN, but we taught him about it and told him that he should pray about it. he accepted. and he came to church! 

Dan went to the temple and brought soeur addis and I little Book of Mormon figurines!! So cool!!! I got Nephi, soeur addis got Lehi. Keepin that thing forever! so cool!! He is really doing great, and he's reading this so awkward!! haha just kidding, dan! lol. 

Caterina, another ami, she's the athiest one, she told us on tuesday that she had this dream on saturday night that she was with Jesus in a garden and that she was wiping his face with a white shawl, and that there were mean men who showed up with torches and took him, and then she woke up with this reallly bad stomach ache problem and threw up and was  still sick when she came to meet us on tuesday, and seh asked what it meant, and she never remembers her dreams, then we told her she should pray to be healed (before we offered for her to get a blessing and seh accepted but the elders werent in town) and she was like, yeah maybe and then we saw her on tuesday and she was better! she said on tuesday night she woke up and threw up once more then she went back to bed and felt better. and she said she had read, and we watched the restoration, and then wayyy later in the lesson soeur addis was like, oh, have you pray? and she was like, oh yeah, I did. actually, it was on tuesday night, before I threw up one more time and then went to sleep and felt better. and we were like, "...WHAT??? thats the answer to your prayers!!!!!" and she was like, you think so? and we were like dying it was so obvious!!!!!!!!! hahaha. and we were like, you have been praying for a sign, this we think is your sign.  and she was like, huh! it was crazy. so yeah. she is progressing, needless to say. slowly but surely.

Lets see..oh in zone conference we had interviews and pres roney asked me if i was ready to be in charge. haha. I was like, eh....I COULD...but yeah. then he asked about the language and then he asked soeur addis a lot about me and if i was ready and it freaks me out!!!!!! We are getting more soeurs then we have senior companions, so things will be changed around for sure. transfer calls on friday, so I can tell yall in skype whats happening. ant, ask mom and dad about the skype thing. okay, gotta jet, but thanks for the emails! I love yall! the church is true and Heavenly Father really does answer prayers! Alligning our will to His. I am praying that I'll be prepared for whatever is ahead for me and whatever ville I'm in (probably here since soeur addis is dying). Pray for me too, please. :) love yall so much and I pray for you all the time!!! so if something good happened...your welcome. ;) jk jk. love yall.

love always,
devaneaux

Monday, April 29, 2013

April 29, 2013 - Grenoble, France


Abide with Me, 'Tis Eventide

fam-

bonjour!! How are yall doin??? This week was awesome! Well, minus Vaber not getting baptized, but his wife wasn't ready for that big change. He decided to wait a little while before, so that his wife will at least accept this. He was like, I dont care what my wife thinks, but it will effect my family too much. And he wants his home to be a Christ-centered home, and you can't get that when your wife really really hates you. So..we're working on that. Keep praying for him!! And dan is going to the temple this weekend with our ward missionary leader, brother barta! So cool!!!!!! ahh!!!! Super stoked for him! OH my goodness, seriously! How cool, for him to be able to go! We were super super excited for him when we found out that they were going this weekend. 

So on tuesday we had a miracle! We had 6 rendez-vous set and you know, sometimes people dont show up so you have backup plans. EVERYONE showed up for their rendez-vous! EVERYONE! We had 6 lessons in 1 day! Which, serving here, is a LOT. Hence so many CAPs. haha. But it was really cool. and we got a new ami! We are also teaching this guy, Yannick, who is originally from the Congo. He was a cordonée from the elders in Lyon and we have begun teaching him and he was a little skeptical in the first lesson of it actually being the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon being the word of God, but the second lesson he was super into everything we were teaching and asking questions to make sure he understood and when we finished we asked him to come to church and he was like, of COURSE! You dont have to ask! haha. and when we asked him to pray to end the lesson, he was like, wait we're already done? cant you teach me more?? It was really cool. And we taught Caterina twice this week, and the second time we taught her we were really firm with her and kind of gave her an ultimatum, because she just doesn't seem to want to have the faith to recieve answers to her prayers, or even to pray! And she was like, no I really do want to have this! So we re-committed her.  She would just keep disagreeing with what we were teaching and as soeur addis said in the lesson, she was trying to find the reasons of why things happen, not actually trying to feel the spirit or receive revelation for herself, and then she told us that she thinks that one day scientists will find out that God doesnt exist. I laughed at her. out loud. Soeur Addis thought that was pretty funny. Then I apologized but then was like, if you believe that, how are you having faith that God will answer your questions? and we had a long discussion about it all, and we are praying that she is going to have a real desire and to have the faith to pray with real intent. It was intense! But she's a good sport. I told her that she's stubborn like me, and she was like, yeah I know! haha. We laughed. Good times. Well, dont have a lot of time, but I love yall so much! And dont think that I'm a mean missionary, I'm not usually saying stuff like that, or laughing at people! I just broke! But it was fine, and we have another rdvz with her for this week. 

Saturday we had a "Fiesta" activity with the young men and young women where we had them make guacamole and fed them mexican food and taught them to dance (elder loera). it was a really good turn out and the bishop danced also! hahaha it was great. Love this ward!

We had zone conference on wednesday and it was great cause it was talking about how we need to have love for everyone and show it! I love this. Goin back to the roots of President Roney's reign in this mission!!! Great memories from this counsel makes for a great rest of the mission having the counsel again and having 6 months left to revamp it!!LOVELOVELOVE I want your LOVE! hahaha. No reference. ..

The church is so true and I am so happy to be serving a mission here in the France Lyon mission! It's where I'm suppose to be! I know that we truly can get answers to prayers and that Heavenly Father hears our pleas. Transfers are on May 13! Got a little less then 2 weeks to work some more miracles with soeur addis before she heads home! Wish us luck! 

 I love yall and pray for you daily!

love always,
devaneaux

My Ecully Zone in Lyon!

Monday, April 22, 2013

April 22, 2013 - Grenoble, France


Israel, Israel, God is Calling!

fam,

k, this is once again going to be short since I like reading emails and I like replying. Quick. okay! so! this week was great! We have a baptism on saturday, Vaber! He needs your prayers that his wife will
be okay with him getting baptized, though he will be getting baptized with or without her permission. He is doing really great and we will be seeing him every day this week to make sure he is absolutely ready. He is so pumped and its so cool!!!! AHH!! We had a talent show and I played the uke and sang "come thou fount of every blessing", which was pretty fun to do. I like performing. it’s a little energy boost. And we had like 7 friends brought to the talent show that we got to meet!! Yeah for ward missionary work! I love how Elder Nelson said in his conference talk, "Trust the missionaries: the Lord trusts them!" I love that. Looove. Our members are beginning to do that.

My year mark? whaaaaaa??? and we...didnt really do anything. I don’t really know what sister missionaries do! burn a skirt? No way. I like my skirts. maybe when I go home.. hahaha.

So cool contacting experience this week! we were about to leave the apt and deciding where to contact, and so we prayed and soeur addis asked what i felt like we should do, and i said to go out and turn left and then go across the tram and turn left again, then she was like, well i felt like we should port our building..so we ported, (no success), then we contacted and did what i felt we should do and we found 2 people who gave us their numbers and were interested in that 30 minutes of contacting!! And they were like at perfect times, one was right when we left our appt and the other was when we were about to be back at our appt! We were like, miracle! only if we had ported before hand would we have found these potential amis. so cool. miracles everyday. love the gospel!!!

I love yall!! Stay safe and pray for vaber!

love always,
devaneaux

ps; happy birthday, tyler!! I cant believe he's as old as my mission!!!!!! ahhhh I'm an old lady!!