I turned to Soeur Waite right before she knocked on the door and told her,"This is your last door." It was about 8:45 at night and we walked home to our apartment-singing and dancing down the street for the 'grand finale' of Soeur Waite's mission. It was kind of epic with all of the neighborhood dogs howling at us.
And so I sent her home the next day and picked up Soeur Erickson in Paris. It was sad to see her go, but I just knew I needed to start off this transfer strong. So after saying goodbyes, we headed straight for the train.That night, we were on our way back to Vannes and we missed our switched in Rennes. It wasn't until our train rolled in that I realized we actually had gone all the way out to Saint-Brieu!!! Soeur Erickson and I quickly grabbed all of her suitcases and jumped off as fast as we could. We spotted the Elders and they helped us with her luggage. I was somewhere between embarrassed pink and dying of laughter red. Well, that's one way of introducing ourselves to our new district leader!
Soeur Erickson have seen so many miracles this past week--I don't even know how to explain it. It's like people are falling out of the sky! While we were contacting on Thursday, we met an a middle aged French woman named Elizabeth. We had a great conversation, prayed with her and she agreed to meet with us the next day. However, we weren't able to get her phone number just in case something came up. I kind of felt like Elder Calhoun off of the Best Two Years as he says to the other Elders in his apartment:"He took down my number and he said he'd call me!" I prayed she would come.
And sure enough, the next morning we were at the train station waiting for her and....SHE CAME! And we had an incredible lesson with her and we gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon. She accepted it, a return rdv and she wanted a copy of a video she saw on our contacting card to give to her aunt. Miracles do happen!
And then later that day, I ended up singing the song, "California Dreaming," by the Mamas and the Papas in front of the train station, waiting for a bus. I hadn't sang it since my fourth grade Cinemagic performance, but we struck up a conversation with a French woman who sings in a choir. And there I was singing the chorus of the song with her while I'm pretty certain Soeur Erickson was resisting a chorus clap. And we're going to go visit her this coming week at her home! I never realized how much more significance that song would have for me. Haha. "California dreamin' on such a winter's daaaaaaaaaay!"
On Saturday we'd gone out to pass by an ami and Soeur Erickson had made cookies for them. But when we found out they weren't there, she turned to me and asked,"What member lives close by enough for us to pass by right now?" Immediately a family came into my mind and we went straight over there. It was so inspired. When we got there, they were home and for the first time in a few months, I saw her less-active daughter! We shared a brief message with them about prayer and receiving answers to prayer. They brought up the talk by Elder Lawrence, "What Lack I yet?" and we shared Alma 37:37 and talked about what it means to "consult the Lord in all (our) doings..." It was just the message that we all needed.
Sunday, her and her daughter came to church! Woohooo! And an ami named Chantal that we'd been teaching that had gotten passed to the elders. Her husband, George, had come to church and then this week she showed up with her sister, her son Mark and her son Juaquin. Sooo cool! I can't even begin to express how much I love our members in this branch. They have become my family. That day the branch choir sang for the first time! We'd been rehearsing every week before church since I came 4 1/2 months ago and finallywe sang "The Love of God." Everyone was so nervous to get up there (worried that it wouldn't be "good enough") and since we don't have a pianist anymore, it's all accapella. Good thing I practiced! It went beautifully.
That night, Soeur Erickson were out porting and contacting when we crossed a round about and saw a young woman sitting by the curb smoking a cigarette. The smoke was a little heavy and she was wearing a very "free-spirited" outfit with piercings in various places, but we approached her and started talking with her. She expressed that she believed in God, but wasn't someone who prayed. I asked her, "What's your experience with God?"
She looked at me and said that there was one period of her life when she wanted to take her life. She was prepared to jump in front of the train tracks, when someone came up behind her and pulled her to safety. Not long after that experience, her brother got into an accident and it was her who was there to take care of him. Now she works as a nurse for others, coming to their side and pulling them to safety.
Honestly, it was the most touching story I've ever heard. Her friend met up with her and they were going to go "fire juggling" (they light num chuck looking objects on fire and twirl them? Don't ask me why!) But she gave us her number and told us that we could contact her this week and share a message with her. Lesson learned: never judge someone from your first impression of them. I noticed later in our conversation that she had pacifiers attached to her bag which meant that she probably is a mom and has her own proper responsibilities. There is so much more to people than we know.
Secondly, God never gives up on us. So we should never give up on Him. His promised help, guidance and blessing do come to us all at the most perfect moment and timing. I have been learning that lesson big time. If we have faith in Him and we go about doing good, we will see that we can move mountains. The miracle might not be that the mountain magically moves, but that we have the steady patience to see it shoveled from one place to the next.
I love you all! Have a great week and keep going!
|Soeur Erickson started her mission by the coast, in the branch at Lorient, so first p-day, we headed for the coast in Arradon!!|
|Me and my new companion, Soeur Erickson.|
|Us when we accidentally ended up in St. Brieuc with our new district leader. "Hey there....." So Funny.|
|Some stills with Soeur Erickson at the beach!|