Monday, December 8, 2014

Il est le Don - 8 décembre 2014

Bonjour a tous!

What a blessing this week was. We actually have formal lecons that didn't all fall through. Such a miracle for us. It felt so good to teach and to testify and to discuss the gospel with members, part-members, and investigators. It's about time :) I love the people of Nogent. I still can't understand everything, but I can feel their spirit and understand what I need to. Life is oh so good.

Monday: For P-day this past week, Sr. Stevens and I trekked up to Sacre Coeur, which oh man. SO cool. We successfully made it without being pick-pocketed or having Africans tie strings around our arms and make us pay them money to untie/cut the string off. They tried, but we are pros and just plowed through them. #success AND we saw/talked with two American girls at Sacre Coeur, and guess what? one of them was in Sr. Steven's home ward in Oregon. WHAT?! I know. Small world. Down the Champs-Elysees there is a Marche de Noel with everything you can think of to buy. Food galore, and every little trinket. We found this one stand with sausages sandwhiches that look to-die-for and we are most definitely going to get one today for Pday.

a l'église during our
exchange last week: Soeur Bennion
Tuesday: District Meeting was great as usual. The Elders are ridiculously funny, and yet so spiritual when they need to be. Elder Meng is our district leader, well he was. Transfers are this week, and he's leaving to Nantes, but he's been a great leader and an example of perseverance and patience like none other. Oh my, best activity during the meal part: Flan Suck. Basically you have to suck up a flan in one piece and swallow it simultaneously. It is hilarious. Elder Hall is the champion, with Elder Mattson coming in a close second. I tried it twice, doing okay the second time, but I couldn't swallow it as I inhaled. It's hard, but so fun. Flan is kind of like creme brulee jello stuff. good times. Our training was about patience, which was is always needed. It's hard to be patient, especially with ourselves, but it is possible. It's a process and we need heavenly aid to do so. We taught one lesson as we went contacting along the Marne. A Catholic lady named Martine. We had a lovely discussion about Noel and then the Restoration. We gave her a pamphlet, the Il est le Don card, and our contact info card. She was so nice and it was so great to have someone actually listen to us.

Wednesday: The best day of lessons thus far. 3 rendez-vous, including a surprise mangez-vous with the Kusslings. We visited the Zozo family from west africa and shared the "Il est le Don" video and discussed ways we can better center our lives on Christ and have the true reason of Christmas in our homes. Later that night, we met with Kashmira, from India and her two sons and also shared the video. Her boys are 11 and 8 and just so well behaved and cute. They participated so well and I was just impressed. She quickly made us some food, which turned out to be okay, except for the chicken liver. Sr. Stevens and I almost threw up. She was so nice though, so we just swallowed and kept going. Luckily, Sr. Kussling surprised us with dinner afterwards so we had some sausage-stuffed tomatoes and rice, which I don't think I could eat because of bread in the stuffing, but I haven't gotten sick yet, so ca va. It was a day of miracles. All of our appointments worked out and we got to share the spirit of Christ. So great.

Thursday was a day of contacting that didn't really bring forth anything, except helping a lost Portuguese lady in the Chatlet Metro/RER station (the biggest underground station in Paris... it's ridiculously confusing).

Making our chaines de Noel
La Famille d'Adamson:
Princess, Michael,
Sr. Stevens, Angel, and Godwith
Friday we visited the Adamson family who are from Ghana and helped the kids made chains for Noel with a service or kind gift of the heart they could do every day until Noel. They are adorable. Princess, Godwith, Angel, and Michael are the kids and I just love them. Also, we got a cordonee! (referral) Its from a girl on study abroad here from the US and wants to have us visit with her roommate while they're here. So excited.

Saturday was interesting, but so good. We had a meeting with our DMP (ward mission leader) and it was good. Elder Meng is in a temp. trio with the Elders from Aulnay due to some stuff with his previous comp. and then his temp. comp. left to the Preston MTC. So. We had Elder Strauss and Elder Tuscanos at the meeting too and they are a bit rambunctious. Okay maybe a lot. After the meeting, Frere Kussling, the DMP, took us to get Kabob. I got a salad and a plate of meat parce-que I can't eat the actually Kabob sandwhich. But it was good. It's like the middle-easterners favorite. I guess it's like schwarma? That night we met with the Famille de Lasa. Oh my. They are the nicest couple ever. Frere Lasa told us for like 20 minutes that his home is our home and they are our parents because our parents are far away. Their food is our food, etc. It was so nice. Mama Lasa even gave Sr. Stevens her scarf because it was so cold. We had such a spiritual lesson about Noel, miracles, and faith in Christ.

We had SIX (6) amis at church. SIX. Marie-Pierre actually came! Claudia, Godwith, Angel, Dani, Vivec, and our potential amie Cynthia came too and she bore her testimony... we haven't even taught her yet and she bore her testimony about the Angulo family who has been bringing her to church. She is awesome. She is 16 and friends with the Angulo's daughter Brisa. She speaks French, Spanish, and English fluently, which couldn't be better for us because the Angulo's only really speak Spanish. Oh I can't wait to meet with her. We have a rendez-vous this week. A member was baptized after church. A little 8 year old boy of the Blateron family, all of which are members. It was a lovely little baptism. We had Kashmira's two sons there and I think it helped them see what it was like. Cool experience. The Mourier family had us over for dinner, and they are amazing. Frere Mourier was Brother Markham's companion (he was in my MTC branch presidency) and I absolutely love the Markham's. It was like sort of meeting long lost family and having awesome food. We had Tartiflette, which is like super awesome au gratin potatoes but way better. We shared the video and discussed about Noel encore. Their son Elliot is our ward's Young Men's President, Soeur Mourier is the Stake Young Women's President, and they are just an awesome family.

Well. This week was great. Sorry it's such a long email, but there was just too much good stuff. I love you all and wish you the best. I found a quote by Thomas Edison  that I loved:
"You can often gage a man's ambition by whether he hates his alarm clock or considers it his best friend."
I'm going to strive to make the alarm clock my best friend and have an attitude of enthusiasm for each day I get to do the work of the Lord. It's really hard to get up somedays when it's so warm and cozy in my bed, but it is so great to get up, get out, and serve. I know we can have the energy and enthusiasme to do what needs to be done if we pray and ask and just do it. Life is oh so good.

Have such a great week. Be good. Do more. Look outward.

Bon courage!
Soeur Kate Simpson

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