Tuesday, November 3, 2015

You Never Know How Much Good You Do

Monday we visited centre ville and I showed Soeur Erickson the sights
including the cathedral in Vannes. Later that day, we contacted a
referral from church headquarters and she texted us back later that
night asking, "So when can I get my Book of Mormon?" And later that
night, for fhe we talked about "Never Standing Alone" from President
Monson's talk. It was such a good reminder to me that as we keep our
standards, in fact, we never are entirely alone. There is always
someone around us that will stand with us if, for the moment, it is
only our father in heaven. We played a game involving tongue twisters
and if we messed up, we got a "tache" or a spot that made us look like
cows. Moooooo!

Tuesday was kind of wild. Soeur Erickson and I went to go look for an
address for a family that had been formerly investigating the church.
Needless to say, we ended up in the country walking alongside the road
(remember that one time Soeur Waite and I ended up walking to La Vraie
Croix?) and we caught some beautiful footage in a beautiful open field
we were passing.

And later that day, our STLs came in for my last exchange! I ended up
being with Soeur Defranchi again and it was so much fun! We went
contacting around centre ville and ended talking with so many people
who were so kind. We met a young student who was questioning the
existence of God, a nice older woman walking her dog, another young
woman who was super open and curious and, yes, a Brazilian dancer who
was very "spiritual." It was an array of contrast and we had such a
wonderful time!

Wednesday, still on exchanges, we went into Rennes for district
meeting. Our training was on living by the power of faith and it
really was something that resonated with me. We talk about having
faith that Heavenly Father can accomplish anything if we have faith,
but is it a principle that we live by, that infuses us with strength
and power? Also, is my faith and trust sufficient enough in my
Heavenly Father to let His spirit guide me? So many good
self-reflecting questions came to mind and I found that there is
always room for increasing and growing strength. We can become mighty
in the face of anything! I also loved how after our district left to
the train station, we saw that our train wasn't coming for another 20
minutes. So what did we do? We all went out, found our own spots to
pray with our companions and we worked! It was so great seeing us all
out and committed to taking this time, even somewhat small, and using
it the best way we could. There is great strength when we encourage,
lift and strengthen those around us. I always want to try to keep this
in mind.

Thursday, we met up again with Roxanne! Ann-Kristell drove out about
25 minutes to come here and it was such a wonderful rdv. It hadn't
occurred to us that with daylight savings, it was a little dark to
meet outside and so we went to the train station. People were walking
around, but we found some benches near a corner and said a prayer. She
had read the brochure about the plan of salvation and had so many
questions. We also explained to her more about the role of Christ.
Ann-kristell jumped in and added so much. But what was so incredible
was how the spirit came in and testified to her and us. It was
incredible how someone, never having any sort of religious background,
like her was listening so intently. It was as if we were sitting in a
room by ourselves. I know she is searching and God is reaching out her
if by simply putting us in her path. She's coming to church!

Friday was PLANNING. I sat Soeur Erickson down and I started off the
session 'dad style' saying,"I'd like to thank you all for coming out
today for this week's planning session. We're going to start with an
opening prayer by Soeur Hopkins...." I haven't yet figured out if my
companions love me or loath me for it, but its tradition!

Saturday was Halloween! And we made cookies for several members and
investigator to pass-by and do a little "trick-or-treating"
(Halloween's not a thing in France). This week I was a little bold and
prayed for patience. Although a lot of our plans ended up being
changed or cancelled, we found ways to go about serving and continuing
to help others. And that filed me with a lot of joy. Also, having a
good sense of humor! Later that night, as we were walking home, we
contacted two girls closed to our home and had a wonderful
conversation. Turns out that they had been in contact with Soeur
Tippett and Rasband, but never had a chance to meet with them. At the
same time, her mom opened the door to their house and immediately
invited us over for dinner another night. Uhhh, okay! Why not?! :)

Sunday!! She CAME to church, has already read 50 pages of the Book of
Mormon, put up with hovering members, felt the spirit during sacrament
meeting and LOVED IT. Roxanne had a wonderful time at church and it
was the first time in her life that she'd ever stepped foot into
church. Honestly, I was slightly freaking out thinking that she might
be overwhelmed with all of the classes and not understand everything,
but she just turned to me and said, "It'll come with time." Hold the
front door! It was the most incredible experience we've ever ever had
with an ami at church.

I went up to share my testimony about Christ and I felt strongly to
share the story she shared with us several weeks before about how
someone saved her life, but I wanted to be as discrete as possible.
And so I didn't use names, but I made a connection to her story and
bore my testimony that it is Christ who never gives up on us and He is
the one that can embrace us and pull us to safety if we are willing.
He invites us to come unto Him and feel the love of God.

Soeur Erickson later told me that as she was sitting there, she turned
to her and said,"She's talking about me!" And, as we got a ride back
together, she turned to us and said, "Those testimonies were
incredible. I've never felt my heart pounding so hard. Thank you." She
felt the spirit! And church is really the most amazing place ever. We
had asked a member to invite her, another to sit with her, another to
join us for gospel principles class and another to invite her over to
fhe. Members do sooo much when they take considerable care over

You are all wonderful! I love you. Be where you are and keep looking up!

Soeur Hopkins

This was a gorgeous field we were walking past and couldn't resist
taking pictures. You should've seen the resulting 14 bug bites I

1 comment:

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