Monday, February 23, 2015

23 février 2015

Bonjour à tous!

I hope and pray all is well in your neck of the woods. This week in Nogent was rather splendid. It
Along the banks of the Seine
included district meeting at the lock bridge next to the Louvre, the RER stopped working for 2 days due to the discovery of a bomb shell from WWII, cleaning out a spider filled shed for a member, ironing children's clothes for the Relief Society President's 5 children under the age of 6, another baptism! an ami of the Elders, one of our new amies came to the baptism, samedi sport, and a delish Sunday dinner chez Kusselings.

My companions are wonderful and we get along so well.
More service!
Definitely a blessing. We have just had a blast in serving, teaching, and finding new amies. It's so nice to have love and service in a companionship. I have been sick for the past 2 days, and today, on my desk, they had made a little paper heart with a message of support and love. So nice of them.

We had some great lessons with our new amies we found last
"Lost in a vision"
aka sleeping on the RER
week. It is amazing to see the change in people's lives that the gospel brings. The true happiness and joy of the gospel is real. My testimony has grown this week by seeing just how much people can change from the gospel. There was a man who was baptized, that our elders from Nogent taught and baptized, on Saturday. He's from Congo, Africa, he was Muslim, he is divorced, his children are with their mom, he was in despair, depression, and one day, his friend, who is a member, just said "check out this website and just put your name in. It has blessed
Soeur Dufour, sporting a typical
French outfit for a
perfect promenade along the Seine
my life, and I know it can help you." Ismahila said that he just thought, "what the heck, it's not going to cost me anything and I'll just give my name and number, nothing's going to happen." Boy, was he wrong. Soeur Stevens and I actually received his info from referrals but passed on the referral to the Elders because Sr. Stevens was sick and he was a single man. Well the rest is history. He started meeting with the elders, started coming to church, and was baptized this weekend. He told his story and his testimony of how much joy he has now. He went from being completely depressed and alone, to joyful and knowing that Christ and our Heavenly Father, our ward, and the
In an elevator
after a pass-by to Clara's!

whole church is here for him. The gospel truly changes lives.

I love this work. :)

Have such a wonderful week! Keep up all the good you do! Be good. Do more. Look outward!

Soeur Kate Simpson

Isn't this adorable?!
African moms carry
their babies like this ALL the time.
Clever ad.

Celebrating Soeur Dufour's
first week as a missionary!

District Meeting fieldtrip to the
Lock bridgeby the Louvre
Elders Maono, Mattson,
Utahia, Jouffray, Westwood

District Meeting
Saint-Merri building, Paris, 4ieme Arrondis.
E. Mattson, Sr. Tane, E. Utahia,
E. Westwood, E. Maono,
E. Pieksma, Sr. Dufour, E. Jouffray

Soeur Tane, Elder Maono

3 Soeurs in a 2 man apartment! Wahoo!

Thank heavens for knowing
how to use these tools
before the mission!
Scraping off tile mud and
such in a member's kitchen!
yay for service!

Monday, February 16, 2015

It's a...... BLEUE! - 16 février 2015

Life is oh so great. This week was awesome. :)

P day at Sacre Coeur, Zone Conference, Interviews with President and Soeur Babin, MEET THE MORMONS!!!!!!, exchanges with the STLs, surprise call from President with the news: I AM A
My wonderful companions
Samedi Sport
TRAINER!? Quoi de neuf?! Well it's more of, Soeur Tane and I are both trainers! Soeur Dufour, a visa waiter from Toulouse, France headed to the Temple Square mission, is our bleue! She is fabulous. I am now completely surrounded by francophones 24/7. It's awesome. I am having such a hard time speaking one or the other, it's basically franglais.

So ya. AND even better, we have found 4 new amis this week! It was a super awesome week of finding and teaching. ANNNDDD Valentine's Day was a day of miracles and love. We, the new trio, went to the DMP's house for the weekly coordination meeting, with the elders of Nogent. It was great, we continued to plan the Soiree Tahitienne. Then, we went to
Samedi Sports!
also, sorry for so much
Utah State pride, but not really. Go Aggies!
L’église de Nogent
Sr. Tane, Elder Maono, Allain,
Benjamin, Jonathan, Sr. Dufour,
me, Elder Utahia
the church for the first Samedi Sports at the church, where we played basketball in the rain with some investigators and members. SO ridiculously fun, and weird to wear pants again. haha but it was great. Then, we went to Villiers sur Marne for a rendez-vous and brought Sonia, an awesome young woman, who is from Cape Verde and speaks Portuguese, Spanish, and French and the family we went to teach only speaks Portuguese... and they weren't there. But, that didn't matter! we left them a cute little note, then went on splits for porting and contacting! And guess what?! both sets of companions contacted Portuguese people! Soeur Dufour and I taught a cute
Valentine's Day splits! <3
Villiers sur Marne
Sonia, Sr. Tane, Sr. Dufour
old lady about O Plano de Salvaciaon, pretty sure that's how that's spelled in Portuguese. And we found a new amie, Carmel from Iran! She has lived in Arizona and knew us as Mormons! Oh. It was so cool, that even though our rdv fell through, we were prepared to share the gospel with Portuguese pamphlets and copies of the Book of Mormon.

My photo wall
+ new missionary photos!
Things are great in Nogent. I love my companions. It's definitely a bit crammed in the apartment, but it's wonderful. I love these sisters. American, French, Tahitian. 3 countries working together for the salvation of those here in France. :)

I got the letter of pictures of all the members of our family that have served a mission while they were missionaries. Super cool to look up at my wall and remember those who have done this before me. I also successfully got my package of thermals, thanks mom. Letters successfully arrived in France from Elder Taylor, Elder Bovee, Abbi
Such a beautiful day
La gare de Villiers sur Marne
Williams, and the Seelos family. Thank you! You are wonderful!

How wonderful is the work of the Lord! I absolutely love this work. :)

Have such a splendid week! Jesus Christ loves you. I love you. His gospel is restored and true. :)

Soeur Kate Simpson

SO stinkin cute.
I want to see this so bad.
Has anyone seen it in America?!
Is it wonderful?!

Soeur Tane trying out the
"paris from the ground" technique
Bus 210 stop, Nogent

Monday, February 9, 2015

Iaorana de Tahiti! - 9 février 2015

Iaorana, ma famille et mes amis!

Nogent is 3/4 Tahitian as of Wednesday and I think by the end of this transfer it will be 4/4. I have the
We look wretched, sorry, but MACDO
at a train platform because
we didn't have time in
between rendez-vous for dinner...
Créteil, Paris, France
privilege to serve with Soeur Tane, Elder Utahia, and Elder Maono here in Nogent, all from the beautiful isles of Tahiti, French Polynesia!

This week was a week of change and this change has been good. I love Soeur Tane. She is just so full of happiness and love and people just love her right off the bat and oh. There is a Tahitian Tsunami of happiness that just hit Nogent and we are in for a treat. We have had more positive contacts the past 3 days that I've had before in 3 weeks. She is in her 12th of 13 transfers and is a francophone, so her knowledge and experience is SO nice. I am excited to learn all I can from her. I feel like we are best friends already. She really is so sweet and loving. Life is good!
Soeur Tane standing in our window
sill + snow.  She LOVES snow,
I think this is her 2nd time s
eeing it in her life. :)
Nogent-sur-Marne, Paris, France

The new transfer began with a bang, 4 baptisms and 5 confirmations in the ward of Nogent. The Elders had 4 baptisms: Marie, Cacharelle, Dina, and Kenny, a family from Congo. They are so great. And Cynthia was confirmed! It was a jam-packed weekend of ordinances of salvation! Oh it was just so great. :)

It was probably one of the coldest weeks yet, but the sun shone
My life. Everyday. #RER
every single day since Tuesday, so I was happy. :) The sun truly makes a difference. It brings happiness and joy to my soul and I am just so grateful for the day's I can see the sun. Yes, definitely a spiritual metaphor possible, but I'll let you draw the parallels of the sun and the Son. :)

I love this gospel. I know it is true. What a blessing it is to share it with others. No work is more fulfilling than seeing those you come to love enter the waters of baptism, contracting their first covenant with our Father in Heaven. So splendid.

I pray all the best for you all and love you! Be good. Do more. Look outward!


Soeur Kate Simpson

The new Bleues
Just the Soeurs; what an awesome group of Soeurs.
Soeur Stevens and I got to "mother" them,
go contacting in Paris while others are
interviewed by President and Soeur Babin.
Super cute girls and great missionaries.

Kebabs with Sonia, one of the
best Young Women on this planet
Boissy-St Léger, Paris, France
My wonderful new comp. Soeur Tane!!!!

Bye Soeur Stevens

Escorting Soeur Hogan to Austerlitz Gare
to go to her new ville: Orléans

Monday, February 2, 2015

Notre Objectif: Inviter les gens a aller au Christ - 2 février 2015

Changes. Trials. Miracles.

Just 3 of the words that sum up this week. Probably one of the hardest and most joyful and fulfilling weeks thus far.

Me and the newest member
of the church, Cynthia.
+ photobombed by the stake president
Alright, to begin, remember how we have been praying like none other and fasted for the softening of Cynthia's mom's heart to support her in her decision to be baptized? Well, she still didn't have permission at the beginning of the week and so we postponed planning the baptism. Wednesday came. Cynthia walked in the doors of the church, freezing cold, wet, and carrying the baptismal form in her hand. SHE GOT PERMISSION TO BE BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't even describe how happy I was. Soeur Stevens and I just looked at each other and smiled and just about cried of happiness. The Lord answers prayers and fasts. The faith of Cynthia is incredible. She told us how she prayed before she went to ask her mom, and after mustering all the courage she could, she calmly asked. Her mom calmly replied, "alright, if this is really what you want to do. I don't like it, but I'll sign it." MIRACLE.

Then, just as we were about to start our lesson, our District Leader, E. Lloyd and E. Utahia walked into the church and agreed to give the baptismal interview after the lesson. Cynthia soaked up the last lesson, told us she had just thrown away all of her tea, and wanted to be baptized on Friday. As in 1 1/2 days from then! Ah! She is just so great.

Well, the next day, we had service with Soeur LeConte, weekly planning, picked up the Soeurs from
All of the Soeurs in the
France Paris Mission from Kaysville. #DHP
Soeurs Sarah Facer, Rachel Hogan,
Kate Simpson, Amy Nielsen
Lorient for the Soeur Conference that was held on Friday. When we got to the metro terminus, all of the busses were on strike... it was 8:45pm already and a forest in between us and home, a distance that takes about 30 minutes to walk. Well it had rained that day, Soeur Brandenburg had a suitcase, and we were all in our nice shoes, skirts, and such. There were crowds of people waiting for the buses that would never come, and so we decided to start the trek home. It was probably the most hilarious night of my life. Everything that could possibly be awful and go wrong happened. There were no sidewalks, it started to rain, pour like I've never seen it here, and it felt like a modern day pioneer trek through the forest of Vincennes on the outskirts of Paris. The Lorient soeurs were not happy campers, but Sr. Stevens and I just started to sing and laugh. It was too awful to not laugh. It was freezing, soaking wet, muddy, way late, dragging a suitcase in the mud, Sr. Stevens had to go to the bathroom half way through the journey, about 30 minutes in, and so she and I hiked in to the forest just enough to be slightly hidden and she checked that off of her bucketlist. I just about died laughing. We finally made it home around 11:00pm, safe and sound, but completely disgusting and warn out. too funny and so memorable.

These are the goofballs
I've had to serve with this transfer.
The Soeur Conference was amazing and absolutely perfect for what was and is to come. It took up just about all day, so we only had time to go to the church after and we decided to go for it and hold the Baptism on Sunday. We spent Friday night cleaning the church with the Nogent Elders and the Lorient Soeurs, which stayed another night because their train didn't leave until the next morning. Good times.

Saturday, after dropping the Lorient Soeurs off at Montparnasse, we headed to St. Merri, the main Paris church for a mini MTC the YSA of Belgium, France, and Switzerland held for those preparing to go on missions. SUPER awesome experience. The spirit was definitely with me as I somehow was able to understand and teach francophones. It was an awesome experience and there
rockin the super sis mish style.
ugly skirts for dayz
are some incredible missionaries-to-be headed out into the field pretty soon. I was super impressed. Their previous preparation and strength in the gospel is inspiring.

This took up most of the day Saturday, and included Répertoire (transfer assignments) during the lunch break of the mini-MTC. This was the first time it really impacted me. Soeur Stevens is leaving for Rennes and I am staying and getting Soeur Tane, a Tahitian. It was a really good thing I was at the mini MTC thing when I received the news, it helped me stay calm and focused on missionary work. It's going to be an adventure for sure.

Well, after a crazy few days and a hectic planning, or lack thereof for the baptism, Sunday came. What a beautiful day. It was a ton of work, and I am eternally grateful for E.Lloyd and E. Utahia for all of their help. There is no way we could have pulled it off without them calling the ward and coordinating the refreshments. The ward was awesome in helping out too. It was a bit rough in areas, but all in all, Cynthia was baptized. BAPTIZED! I have never felt so peaceful and calm and fulfilled as I did when she came out of the water having just started her first covenant and ordinance with our loving Heavenly Father.

Another from the
best day of my mission. :)
It was truly miracle after miracle that the baptism happened and I am so so SO grateful for this experience. What a way to end off my time with Soeur Stevens. The first transfer together was solid finding, with what we felt like was no success, but in the end, the Lord blessed us with so much more than we could imagine. Cynthia is incredible and I hope to have the courage and faith that she does someday. It is a privilege to know her and to have been given this opportunity to teach her the gospel, rather be the guide as the Holy Ghost taught her. She is an asset to this church and I know the world just got a whole lot brighter.

It's been a week of every emotion possible, but I would never give it up. I am so grateful for these first 2 transfers here in Nogent. The missionaries I have served with are the best and I love them all. I am so glad to know each one of them. I love Nogent and look forward to serving here with Soeur Tane. Get ready, Tahiti is coming.

I love you all. Keep the faith. Be good. Do more. Look outward. Believe in, expect for, and look for miracles. They are always there. :)

Soeur Kate Simpson