Monday, September 14, 2015

Pumped for General Conference

This week we DID get in contact with our amis. Woohooo! 

Monday, like I told you, Soeur Waite and I adventured out to Quiberon. It was incredibly gorgeous and worth all of sacrifice to get there! That night, for Family Home Evening, at the church, we were in charge of the activity and we created a series of challenges for everyone to test their "strengths." The categories were strength, intelligence, lung capacity, sociability, and flexibility. And it was pretty hilarious when everyone found out what the challenges were. They included a push-ups contest, obscure bible story, blowing up a balloon with no hands and releasing it for distance, finding m&ms on a plate covered in whipped cream and a Limbo contest. Fun!

Tuesday, was district meeting in Rennes, but on the way back, we stopped off in Peaule to get back in contact with the family of four that we found during our finding day. They were home! And Francoise was just doing wonderfully. She wants to start learning English and is comfortable with saying the color "black," so I kept asking her what color all of the black objects in her home were. ;)

Wednesday, we helped Yvelise move again and this time, she bought me a face mask to where so that I did suffer too bad! Haha. We had the neatest experience walking to her apartment! As we were turning the corner to get into her neighborhood, we passed by a woman and her son waiting in the parking lot. We said, "Bonjour," and kept walking. But, almost like a sling shot, I made eye contact with Soeur Waite and we turned back around. I introduced myself to her and we shared with her our message about eternal families. She looked at us both and explained to us that she recently had lost her husband. We shared with her a little bit about the plan of salvation and with all the conviction in my heart, I testified that she would be with him again. She was so touched by what we had to say. We ended up giving her our contact information and a brochure for the time being, but it was wonderful seeing how Heavenly Father planted us in her path in that very moment. 

Thursday we saw Mme Gallois again and revisited the restoration with her. I think she's afraid of praying because she knows she'll get an answer that she'll have to act on. Please pray for her to have courage! It's funny how distanced she seems at first, but now she is completely a new person and is so sincere and kind and loving. There's a lot of things the spirit can do...including warm hearts. :)

Well, this Friday, the heavens smiled upon me and I came down again with a cold this weekend. (Hey, maybe there's a miracle waiting to happen, maybe?) And so I got to go through this past April's general conference magazine and reread through all of the wonderful articles. I came across one called, "Truly Good and Without Guile" that almost seemed to just come off the page it was so real to me. Written by Elder Ringwood of the 70, he quotes from Elder Uchtdorf, "When I was younger, I was impressed by those who were educated, accomplished, successful, and applauded by the world. But over the years, I have come to the realization that I am far more impressed by those wonderful and blessed souls who are truly good and without guile."

This struck me as something I'd never really thought of, but desired to see in those around me and in myself. He talked about the reasons behind why we should serve others and how our desires and motives can become refined by the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was wonderful. Read it!

One of the things I love about serving where I am is that, most often, the good acts of the members here, often go unnoticed except by Heavenly Father and missionaries like me who have somewhat of an "outsider-insider" perspective on their lives. After all, it's really only the missionaries who can feel free to invite themselves over for a short moment to get to know these families. And their hearts just open up to us as they share their stories and their testimonies. 

I see the member who plays with branch president's kids after church while he's in interviews. I see the other member who brings fresh vegetables from his garden for a widow in the branch. I see a family who picks up members and visitors every week because they don't have a car for themselves. I see a young, single mother who, though she is now back in school, has dedicated time every week to come teaching with us. And I see how all of their motives come back to their love for Heavenly Father no their desire to do his will. I wish that I might forever emulate their examples.

I love you all! Keep smiling and your chin up. (Otherwise, you'll get bad back posture...that's a nono). 


Soeur Hopkins

Here's some more images from Quiberon. You'd better believe that I explored all of the camera settings...

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