Monday, March 26, 2012

a list.

what do you say at the end of a mission?

i loved it more than anything.
it changed my life.
i'm so happy.
all of that seems so insignificant, so small, compared to what my mission really was for me.
the words just simply do not exist!
the only thing i can think to do is, of course, make a list. :)
10 little things that make me terribly happy:
my last week as a missionary edition.
1. Carlos passed the sacrament and bore his testimony of the power of the Book of Mormon yesterday.
2. Clément came and taught an ami with us this week. He's also going to get his temple recommend soon. Bliss.
3. feeling so loved by our beloved little branch as we said au revoir.
4. crying and laughing (but mostly laughing) with soeur larsen all week long
5. spending monday afternoon at a beautiful château, trying to soak up every little french detail
6. eating "à la niçoise" sunday night with our ami who is from nice. yum.
7. cobblestones and baguettes and "bonjour"s.
8. bearing my testimony as often as i can.
9. watching the book of mormon change lives little by little every day. 
10. living my dream.
so much love from the loire.
à bientôt,
little mish.

ps... she was supposed to send LOTS of pics today, but forgot her camera cord.  the pics will be added later this week, so be sure to check back!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

too busy to write!

I received a short little note from Lindsay today that said:

we have TWENTY-TWO lessons scheduled for this week. that's a lot for this mission! we're going to sprint to the finish. then next monday and tuesday will be packing and cleaning (i'll write a last email, don't worry) and then wednesday morning we leave for paris! 
i'm doing good. it's going to be hard, but i'm excited for our
busy week and even MORE excited for paris! 
i'm sorry, but i won't be able to send a big email today. we're going to a château with some members that's kind of far away, so we have to leave early. i will send a nice long email with lots of pictures next week though! 

love you xo 

I love that she's too busy to write on her last week of her mission!  

Monday, March 12, 2012

you can make the pathway bright.

last week before fast sunday, i read a talk by Joseph B. Wirthlin called "The Law of the Fast" (read it!). I loved this quote:
“If you want to get the spirit of your office and calling as a new president of a quorum, a new high [councilor], a new bishop [or, I might say, a Relief Society president]—try fasting for a period. I don’t mean just missing one meal, then eating twice as much the next meal. I mean really fasting, and praying during that period. It will do more to give you the real spirit of your office and calling and permit the Spirit to operate through you than anything I know."
I read it, mulled it over in my head, and decided that if it works for a bishop or a relief society president, it works for a sister missionary. I showed it to Soeur Larsen, and we agreed to fast to be filled with the spirit of our calling. we fasted and prayed, and of course, it worked. we were filled up to the brim with the missionary spirit. this week was just amazing. we taught more lessons than we ever have here in Blois, we had new amis just pop up out of nowhere, and all the while we happily bounced from lesson to lesson, testifying and inviting.
Maria is doing great. this week we taught her with Ginette, an older member in the branch. she and her husband have been members for 35 years and just got back last year from a three-year mission in the swiss temple. they're so good. anyway, Ginette was just perfect to teach with us. Maria has two little kids, 8 mos. and 2 years, and the two year-old is a HANDFUL. i've never seen a crazier, wilder child in my life. Needless to say, some days are pretty hard for her. Ginette has two kids who are close together in age, so she was like, "girl, i've so been there" and then gave a little "this too shall pass". it was great and just what maria needed. 
we've been working a lot with maria about the book of mormon. we had a really good lesson this week- we just explained the book of mormon clearly and simply. we brought the Book of Mormon edition of the Liahona to show her. she opened it at random, and it opened to an article called, "how do i know if the Book of Mormon is true?" she got so excited and said, "hey, that's my question!" then she dog-eared the page for later. so cute.
we taught Clément about temples this week, which was such a joy. he's so sweet and humble, and he just loves being a member. we explained that he can have a temple recommend right now to do baptisms for the dead, which he was super excited about. he's going to ask the branch president about it this week :) we get so happy every time he makes a step further into the gospel. It has been pure joy to watch him get baptized, get the priesthood, bless & pass the sacrament, get a calling, and now prepare for the temple. he even said the closing prayer in sacrament meeting a few weeks ago. there is nothing more joyous than seeing all this.
we had another english lesson with Fumi on friday. we watched "The Restoration" together, then talked about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. We had a member, Pascale, there with us who speaks English very well. She bore her testimony of the Book of Mormon and told her conversion story. it was so cute with her french accent, and the spirit was so strong. Soeur Larsen and I testified of its power, and Fumi agreed to start reading and praying AND to come to church. and she came! she brought her Book of Mormon and a pen and was marking the verses we studied in Relief Society and sunday school. 
You can live a happy life
In this world of toil and strife,
If there’s sunshine in your heart;
And your soul will glow with love
From the perfect Light above,
If there’s sunshine in your heart today.
missionary life is the best. especially in blois.
love from the loire.
little mish.

Monday, March 5, 2012

emerging as gold.

my cheeks are sore from smiling.
with each passing week, i get more and more tired. i also fall more and more in love with my mission. funny how that works! this week was so great, and lightning-fast. 
yesterday, we had a surprise: Carlos came to church! we were overjoyed. he got a haircut, shaved, and wore a white shirt and tie. it has been so amazing to watch him evolve. he was absolutely glowing... he cried when we sang "there is sunshine in my soul today". we are just in awe of him. such a beautiful redemption story. we talked about the Atonement with him this week and shared "The Atonement covers all Pain" by Elder Richards. I especially love this quote:
"Our great personal challenge in mortality is to become “a saint through the atonement of Christ." The pain you and I experience may be where this process is most measured. In extremity, we can become as children in our hearts, humble ourselves, and “pray and work and wait" patiently for the healing of our bodies and our souls. As Job, after being refined through our trials, we “shall come forth as gold."
that perfectly describes what is happening to Carlos. he has had a mighty change of heart. he went through a lot of painful things, but he is emerging "as gold".
we had kind of a funny experience this week: we found an old investigator, Fumi, in the area book. She's from Nigeria, which means she's an english speaker. we called her up and she was happy to hear from us, so we went over for a lesson. we were so nervous to teach in english! it was really funny. we even practiced teaching and praying in english before we went. :) it was a funny realization for me... a lot of times you hear foreign language-speaking missionaries get frustrated about not feeling like they can express themselves in their mission language, and then they say something like, "this would be SO much easier if i could just teach in english." well... it's not! it felt super weird. all of my thoughts kept coming in french, but i had to speak in english.... and i just felt awkward. i guess that's a good sign though, right?
the lesson with Fumi went well, despite the language awkwardness. she has a really cool accent... in Nigeria they speak pidgeon english. her prayer at the end was so cool!
we had another lesson with an old investigator on saturday. her name is Arlette. she and her husband, Max, were investigating the church last year and really liked it. they wanted to get baptized, but the missionaries told them they couldn't because they had a tribal marriage (they're both from Cameroon). we went to see Arlette with a member this week and it went really good. she pulled out her Book of Mormon and the Bible and she said she and Max read them every night before bed. so cool! she talked about how she felt so warm and peaceful when she went to church, and that she was sad they weren't allowed to be baptized. Afterwards, we were talking with the member and she asked if we were sure about the whole tribal marriage thing. we weren't, so we called the assistants, and they said YES! we were so excited. we're going to go break the news to them this week.
life is lovely and busy and wonderful.
love from the loire.
little mish.