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

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