Friday, August 21, 2015

Gravediggers, Ragae Rock Bands and Missionary Work

This is me face palming it because I TOTALLY forgot to take pictures with members and amis this week. Nevertheless, it was pretty incredible. Today, we decided to discover all of the secret gardens in Vannes. yeahyeah

I made sure to take a selfie with President and Soeur Babin at conference. Turns out that my companions grandpa was mission president over 30 years ago, so her dad actually knows the Babins pretty well. So, to Soeur Waite, he's often referred to as "Fredo" :)

Secret "hanging" garden

The Heartattack was a success! (not a real one)

This week has been a fun adventure. We saw so many incredible miracles!! I just have to give you a weekly run down.

Monday for family home evening, we decided to heartache a member with the young adults. (No one here has ever really heard of that before, so it sounded sooooo original.) She was going to start back up with her job after she took a break when her husband passed away. And so, the night before, the young adults came and just plastered her door with notes of love and encouragement. And it didn't take long for the member to catch on. Before even being able to drive away, she swung her window open and caught them. She was just floating for days...

Tuesday: There's a tradition in our mission to text in miracles to our zones leaders who then forward it to the rest of our district as words of encouragement. Here's what we sent in:
"INCREDIBlE rdv with a French woman we contacted last week! She had met missionaries years before in Paris, but nothing ever came of it. When we met up with her, we found out that she had to drive and take two buses to come see us! But she had felt something different when she talked to us and knew God was leading her to us. During the last week, she looked up everything she could on the church website- she had questions ready for us about prophets, baptism for the dead, the Paris temple, priesthood, church organization and she contacted us before our rdv asking for a Book of Mormon. We were able to respond to questions she's been asking herself for years. We know that she has been prepared for This moment and that God led us to her. And- she had kept the brochure those missionaries left with her so many years ago, because she felt it was important. No effort is wasted- keep going strong! #VANNES S"

It was quite an incredible experience being able to follow up teach this lady and listen to her search for the true church of God. I feel like a lot of people have been talking to us about trying to find a place where they can feel at ease. We've been able to talk about the spirit and it's influence.

So Wednesday we went with Gayle Morgan to visit a family that was formerly investigating the church, but for several reasons had stopped. The wife was occupied cooking for their 3 boys, so we taught the husband while we were there. They only had three chairs to our four person ratio, so Soeur Waite, Gayle Morgan and I pushed the two chairs together and shared it. It was real cozy...
We got to know him and his family a little better and asked him about their decision to move from French Guyana to France. The conversation turned into one about receiving confirmation to questions and making decisions. He talked to us about his search looking for the true church of God and a place where he felt like "nothing was missing." He was bearing testimony to us of what he found when they were first meeting with the missionaries and attending church. 

He talked about reading the Book of Mormon and how he actually prayed about it. He told us that he had a "songe" or a dream, but he wasn't sure if that was his response. As he expressed his personal experience, the spirit just came into the room and everything just grew still. Sitting there, I knew that he had already felt the confirmation that the Book of Mormon is true, but that all he needed was another experience in order to be sure of himself. So we invited him to pray again and ask that Heavenly Father to tell him what his songe meant. I'm just amazed at how many signs Heavenly Father gives us, but how much it depends on us to recognize them. But he just keeps sending them until we notice.

Thursday and Friday: conference in Rennes. Honestly, I don't know how we met up with all of our investigators, recent converts and less active members. But somehow Heavenly Father blessed us. Felt super old at zone conference. We now have another senior couple in the mission and it is just wonderful! They just can't understand how much of a difference senior couples make for us!

Saturday: We went and visited a family in our ward that moved from England more than 8 years ago. Get this. He was a gravedigger for over 20 years. He moved over 3,000 tons of dirt during his career and he "absolutely loved it." Why on earth does digging graves give someone a sick kind of pleasure. It was because of the people that came to the graveyard everyday. He got to know them, their stories, he listened and saw them healing from week to week as they visited less and less frequently. Maybe you could in a different sort of way, that he's a people person. But now, he's in a reggae rock band writing music and performing as a way for him to share the gospel! Gravedigger. Rock artist. Missionary. I was absolutely floored by their family's story and how they made the inspired decision to come to France, learn the language and bless people around them.

I've really been thinking about talents and how we all have various talents- noticeable and somewhat unnoticeable. Often times we can't even see them until someone else points them out to us because we can see them in other people. It's kind of like a mirror. We need the reflection in order to see our image. And so sometimes the best service we can do for others is letting them know what kind of gifts and talents they have. 

I love you all! Keep keeping on and believing in miracles because they haven't ceased-even today. 

With love,

Soeur Hopkins

And p.s. Corinne from my previous email came to church and loved it! We were sitting in class and the instructor, without knowing, straight up answered one of her questions. Church brings personal revelation! 

Lots of love,


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