Monday, March 30, 2015

30 mars 2015

What a week in Nogent. One of the greatest weeks of learning about myself and about the Atonement of Jesus Christ that I have ever had.

Communication. A relatively simple word which is ridiculously difficult to do well sometimes.  It has been the basic concept underlying many of the trials of this transfer. Though we can communicate with one another, understanding is a completely different story. The opportunity we have to speak, to pass our emotions, feelings, and thoughts to another person is incredible when pondering of the idea of communication. I am ever so grateful for the chance to practice communcication everyday, not only with my companion and those with which I serve, but also the blessed communication with my Father in Heaven through His son Jesus Christ.

The healing of the Atonement is real. The love of Christ is often given to us through others. I am grateful for the difficult times in life, for they are the greatest opportunities to grow, to learn, and to love. The last words my dad said to me before entering the MTC were, "obedience fixes everything." I do agree, but would like to add patience and charity along with obedience.

I pray you have a week filled with the love of Christ. He is there for you. Always.

Soeur Kate Simpson

Monday, March 23, 2015

"There she goes" - 23 mars 2015

Bonjour tout le monde! I hope all is well! We had a pretty good week this week good old Nogent sur Marne.

Miracle of the Livre du Secteur (area book)
Organizing le Livre du Secteur
Sr. Tane, Sr. Dufour, et moi
So, in preparation for the STLs coming to join the work in the Nogent ward, we cleaned out our Livre du Secteur and organized it all nice and properly. I love order and cleanliness. It felt so great. Well, we then began to call all of the old investigators that didn't have addresses and hadn't been in-touch with the missionaries for a while. We called them all during the week, and every one of them said they were too busy, the number didn't work anymore, or they weren't interested. EXCEPT Juliette. She didn't answer our call, but she called us back when we were in a lesson with a member family and we set up a rendez-vous! She has been off the records and out of contact with missionaries and the church since January of 2012. Two thousand twelve. Well, this
668 steps later...
I'm on top of the world, hey!
La tour Eiffel
Me, Sr. Dufour, Sr. Farmer
Sunday, yesterday, we went to her apartment, met her and had a lovely lesson of the plan of salvation after finding out her sister had died the week before and was struggling with the death of another family member too. The Spirit was incredibly present and the 3 of us felt the invitation to baptism was needed. Soeur Dufour, for the first and last time in France, invited Juliette to follow the example of our Savior Jesus Christ by being baptized by the priesthood authority of God. She said, "Yes. yes, I will."

I am so grateful for the valiant soeurs who served here 3 years ago and planted the seeds in Juliette's soul so that they could grow inside and soften her heart to be ready and accept the Gospel now. You never can give up. Ever.

It was an awesome Sunday, a perfect way to end the week!

"there she goes... there she goes again"
Au revoir ma sœur! Bon voyage!
Aéroport Charles de Gaulle
This morning, we woke up at 5:30am and headed to Charles de Gaulle International Airport to take our daughter, Soeur Dufour, to her plane to America. As I type this, she is traversing the Atlantic Ocean and is on her way to Salt Lake City, home sweet home. She'll be in the MTC for 6 weeks, I believe, she may be let out early for good English, haha, and then to Temple Square! It has been such a wonderful adventure and blessings galore to serve with her. She is incredible and will be such a blessing to Temple Square.

In personal study, one day this week, I did a little study activity in the end of chapter one of Preach My Gospel, and it asked to write down how I have come to know in my life that our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith. As I thought about the experiences that have built my testimony of Joseph Smith and the First Vision, the Holy Ghost reconfirmed all of my feelings that I know to be true. I know that Jesus Christ and God the Father appeared to Josph Smith. I cannot deny it. I invite you to do the same this week. Reflect and write down the experiences and ways that you have gained a testimony of the First Vision, or how you can gain a testimony of it.

I pray all the best for you all! Be good. Do more. Look outward. Smile. Take lots of photos!

Soeur Kate Simpson

Monday, March 16, 2015

Je vais la tuer! - 16 mars 2015

I love my wonderful district.
Sr. Tane, Sr. Simpson, Sr. Dufour,
Elder Mattson, Elder Westwood,
Elder Pieksma, Elder Jouffray,
Elder Maono, Elder Utahia
The Verdict: SIX MORE WEEKS IN NOGENT!!! :) I am happy and excited. Though I would have gladly welcomed a new ville, I am happy to stay in my bleueville for another transfer! That means it'll be 6 months in my first area, and who knows? I could stay again? ah. that's a long time. But, I'll gladly be where I am needed. AND it means that I get to "kill" Soeur Tane! She's got 6 more weeks left on her mission and she is just about out of fuel, but we are determined to make it the best 6 weeks of her mission. :)

Saturday was the culminating event of the week and the transfer
Charles, Marie-Rose, Fatoumia, et moi
Chez Kusseling
and we definitely finished strong with the Soirée Tahitienne! It was SO much fun. For real, it was a success. The members came and brought their neighbors and friends. We had 17 new amis that came! We all danced, sang, and ate Tahitian-ness. It was awesome. :)

This week was filled with lots of thoughts. When transfers come around, it's hard to know what to think because you never know what's going to happen. I prayed that no matter what would
Sr. Tane, Sr. Dufour, Elder Utahia, Sr. Simpson
Soirée Tahitienne
happen, that I would have the patience and love and accept with grace what ever came. My motto for the week was "come what may and love it." from Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin.

Sometimes we get to be the answers to others prayers instead of having the answers we want. Soeur Tane told me that she had prayed so hard that I would stay. I am her 17th companion, and Soeur Dufour her 18th. She said she couldn't handle a new companion in her last 6 weeks. Today is her 18 months mark! She is a trooper. Due to being a francophone, she gets to serve an extra transfer. I
The Fountain of Youth.
Lac de Daumesnil
am grateful for her and this opportunity I have to serve with her for the rest of her mission. I have a feeling it's not going to be easy, but it will be wonderful! Come what may and love it. <3

I pray all is well for all. Keep the faith and love life, no matter what is thrown at you. Alison wrote to me, "the Lord gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers." :) You can do it!

Bonne semaine à tous!

Soeur Simpson

I was a shrimp guillotine. Vive la France!
Chez Kusseling

Elder Hansen, Sr. Tane, Charles
Mmm Tahitian food!
Chez Kusseling

Olga and Sonia, our wonderful Young Women!
Chapelle de Nogent

The Dance Team.
Chapelle de Nogent
Fatoumia and Ivalanie,
a part of the food-prep team for the soiree
Chez Kusseling

Sr. Dufour and I
Chapelle de Nogent

Monday, March 9, 2015

"Oh, there's sunshine, blessed sunshine" - 09 mars 2015

Finally made it to Sainte-Chapelle
Check that off my bucketlist, Mr. Oram
The sun has shone for 4 days straight this week and it was about 50 degrees Farenheit for 2 days.

What a blessed week. Seriously, the warmth of the sun and the light just fills my soul with joy. AND people are outside and happy too, which makes perfect for missionary work!

We had lots of rendez-vous with members, practices of Tahitian
Elder Utahia teaching us a Tahitian HAKA!
La chapelle de Nogent-sur-Marne
dancing, and a new amie! Milca, shés 17, turning 18 this week, and is so crazy mature for her age. She is working to pass the Baccalauréat, and is focused on literature and art history. Her curiosity into religion and the salvation of her soul is inpsiring. We are having a FHE with her and her family tonight!

Soeur Dufour and I
Nogent-Le Perreux RER
Valerie, our amie we started teaching last Sunday, came again to church, but on Friday, we had our first leson chez elle. It was awesome. It ended with her in tears as Sr. Tane testified of how the trials
in her life have prepared her to receive the gospel now, that her heart is finally open to listen and receive. We each testified of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I was able to recite the First Vision to Valerie, something I absolutely LOVE to do. There is such a strong spirit when looking someone in the eye and telling them of such a glorious thing in the words of a prophet, in FRENCH! :) It's the best.

It's week 6 of the transfer. Holy cow. We get the reperatoire on Saturday, and Saturday is the Soiree
Another of the series of
Paris from the Ground... :)
Tahitienne. It's going to be a crazy week, and I am determined to make it the best yet.

What can you do this week to spread the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ?

Soeur Kate Simpson

Monday, March 2, 2015

March. It's March. - 2 mars 2015

I can't believe it's March already. February flew bye in a flash. It was a good month. :)

Party Pieds
Washing our feet after a lovely session
of Tahitian Dancing
on the stage at the church.
Well, this week was great. Full of Tahitian dancing, rendez-vous, referrals, French speaking, and also, all 3 of us were sick. BUT, that didn't stop us from having a great week.

The Lord blessed us with 3 new investigators, one of which came to church on Sunday and was just fabulous. Her name is Valerie. She met us a the Mairie (city hall) and we walked together to church. It was the first time meeting her and she CAME TO CHURCH! She's had one crazy life, but she said she wants to "turn the page over and start new". Well, the Atonement of Jesus
Samedi Sport! The crowd is growing!
Christ was done for us to do just that. Start anew. Because of Him we can start again and be clean. We have the opportunity to get up, dust ourselves off, rely on Him, and try again. That is a beauty of the Atonement. I have great faith that she will be baptized and I believe it will be soon. :)

Yesterday was the first time here in France where I really understood everything people said, but more importantly, felt the spirit SO strongly. I was overwhelmed with love and gratitude for the people of Nogent, those I serve and those with whom I serve. I bore testimony in the last minutes
Claudia and Anna.
Cute girls visiting from Poland
that I befriended waiting in line.
Le Louvre, Paris
of the meeting and just cried the whole way through. Thinking of all that I have experienced and those who I have been blessed to meet in the past 5 months just brings me to tears. I wouldn't trade any of it. Hermana Cami Sumsion, a dear friend from USU, wrote in her weekly email this week, "I am blessed everyday with trials. They are blessings because they help me turn to my Father in heaven." Amen. I couldn't write it any better.

I hope you are healthy, happy, and grateful. Make this week the
In between Dance sessions.
Yay for Tahitians!
best week yet! :)
Be good. Do more. Look outward!

Soeur Kate Simpson