Monday, June 29, 2015

St. Ouen Surprises - 29 juin 2015

Hey family and friends,

I hope all are well. It has been a beautiful week after a beautiful weekend. Priscillia had a great week and just soaked up being freshly clean. She was gone all week on a trip to southern France so we didn't get to teach her until Sunday, but we texted during the week and she continued to read the Book of Mormon and pray, even with limited time with her class and friends. She is incredible.

Tuesday after studies we headed to Châtelet to meet the St. Ouen soeurs for an exchange! I went to St. Open with Soeur Nelson and Soeur Tippett stayed in Paris with Soeur Brandenburg. Soeur Nelson and I had a lovely time including some awesome street contacts and even a police + RATP controlling session of the bus stop right in front of the church in St. Ouen. Like full on pat down and pocket searches of people they caught on the bus without tickets... Lots of contention blocking the entrance of the church. But their ami came at last and we had an awesome lesson of the plan of salvation. After an awesome full day of teaching and talking to the awesome people of St. Ouen, we retired home and guess what we did after planning? Soeur Nelson chopped off my hair. More than 5 inches. It was an adventure. She did a great job. Not exactly how I imagined it, but I like it. It still fits in a pony tail, so life is good. That was the surprise. 

Thursday was Zone Conference. Our training went well, I think. It was about working better with members thought better usage of the progress record. It don't really know the official name in English for it, but yes. It was a great conference. 

Right after, we headed to Nancy, in the east of France. I was with Soeur Kitchen and oh what a lovely time we had. She is great. Really, all of these soeurs are just stellar. I am so grateful for the things I learn from their examples.

We had nearly a day of planning and preparing, trying to catch up on our own area. It feels good to pause, breathe, organize, and plan. Planning is the best, well it makes everything else the best. So it's great. 

Priscillia was confirmed with the gift of the Holy Ghost Sunday. She was just beaming with happiness. It was a beautiful blessing, given by Prisen, her brother. It was great to see how happy she is having the gospel fully in her life. She is awesome. The bishop's family invited us over for Sunday dinner with Priscillia and her family as well. We were 14 in total. It was a grand party, with a great spiritual message about agency and making good choices. We introduced For The Strength of Youth to her and her parents. Yay for standards for youth! 

I've got to go, but have a wonderful week. The church is true. Jesus lives. Life is good. 

Soeur Simpson 

Bateau Tour with Versailles soeurs

Monday, June 15, 2015

Mutation Six - 15 juin 2015

Say "bonjour" to my new companion: Soeur Tippett!

Our first Selfie
She's from Augusta, Georgia. A cute southern gal, full of fire and fun. :)

Friday we had Conseil de Mission and guess what we got?! iPads! Here we go, France. Welcome to the new age of "missionary work in the digital age".

Our wonderful Zone Leaders setting up their iPads
Elder Madsen and Elder Ricks
St. Merri Institute

After District Leader Training with the APs and ZLs
Elder Hall, Elder Lam, Elder Ricks, Elder Madsen, Soeur Tippett

Life saving fruit leathers with Anne, our new amie from Thailand! 

Out of time, but I love you! I'm doing well! Be good and keep praying!
Soeur Simpson

Saying goodbye to Tahiti - 15 juin 2015

Our Plaques :)

"Mothering" Soeur Wickesser, a new bleue! Super cool Canadian sister! Excited to have her in the mission!

Free mini mango frappaccinos!

Saying "au revoir" to my Tahitians
Soeur Tehoiri and Soeur Tupai
Oh how I have loved serving with and around Tahitians for the past 6 months!

The Last 3 Generation Photo
Ma mère, Sœur Stevens, et ma Grand-mère, Sœur Tupai

Monday, June 8, 2015

L'été est arrivée, enfin - 8 juin 2015

Bonjour tout le monde! J'espère que vous allez bien! It's been a great week 6 of the transfer. It went by in the blink of an eye, but it was great.
We were walking and contacting before an appointment and we stopped a younger lady, probably 23-25. She turned out to be from Switzerland and spoke English more than French, so we had a little lesson in English. I found it relatively difficult to teach in English, but it still went really well. As we testified that God is there and he wants to hear from us, she asked, "How do you know that?" Though it was not the first time I had heard that, it hit me and it was a touching moment in testifying how I know that God is there. We prayed with Sophia from Switzerland right then and there on the sidewalk in the middle of Paris, with hundreds passing. It was beautiful.
Sushi in St. Mande
Sr. Tupai, Prisen, & Priscilla 
Wednesday night, we had some miscommunication but all worked out and we had a lovely lesson in the parc with Priscilla and Prisen. We had sushi and shared a lesson about temples, family history work, and eternal marriage. Priscilla asks the best questions. I can't believe she is really 14. She comes up with greater thoughts and questions than Soeur Tupai or I. It's always a wonderful discussion. She is getting really excited for her baptism. It's in less than 2 weeks!
Miracle of Thursday morning. We had an extra exchange in Mulhouse and we were to leave at 7:23am. When we ordered the train tickets from this Soeur in the mission office, she must have ordered us different tickets. Same time. NOT the same gare (train station). Well we didn't know that until we printed our tickets off at Gare de l'Est 17 minutes before the time for out train. Trains leave exactly at their time. If you are not on your train 2 minutes before, you don't get on the train because it's gone. Well... we looked at our tickets and it said, "Gare de Lyon"... not Gare de L'Est. Ya. It's on the other side of Paris. We RAN. I thought I was going to die, running with our 
Exchange with Soeur Clark
backpacks, and only 15 minutes. I prayed soooo hard that something would happen so we could make our train. 2 metros changes later and a whole lot of dodging people of Paris, we made it to the gare and somehow our train had not left and we got on 30 seconds before the doors closed. It was seriously a miracle. We made it to Mulhouse and had a lovely exchange. :)
Coming home from the exchange Friday morning, before the train came, a couple from Pakistan asked us to take their picture and we had a lovely conversation. I talked about Aina, my roommate from DC who is Pakistani and ended up being in the same car. We sat next to a couple from Australia and the UK, then a family from Nepal, who now lives in Colorado. It was awesome. Normally, it is dead silent on the TGV trains. French people don't talk to each other. But our little car was international and we all talked the whole 3 hours about things from family, faith, service, Mount Everest, Arches National Park, Mormons, Sir Edmund Hillary, and more. Speaking of whom, Surren, the dad of the family from Nepal, was the chauffeur of Sir Hillary when he came back to Nepal after he had summitted Mount Everest. Super cool guy. He shared a really cool story with 
Sr. Tehoiri and Sr. Tupai's
last Sunday on their Mission
everyone in the car about the first time he met a Mormon. He and a friend were on a roadtrip and ran out of gas in the middle of a long highway stretch, in the middle of nowhere. After an hour of waiting, finally a car came. The man picked up the stranded two friends and took them to his house and got his own gas can and tried to pay for the gas for them. He fed them and took them back. Surren recounted how touched he was by this man's kindness and generosity for those he didn't even know. I am SO grateful for that member who has helped spread a great image of who Mormons are. Best TGV ride yet. :)
It was SO hot Thursday and Friday. Humid and hot. probably upper 80s. and nothing but concrete jungle. But we still had a wonderful time. We did some contacting at Parc Monceau before our last rdv of Friday, and we saw a lady sitting on a bench, reading a book, all by herself. I love bench contacting. Usually they listen, or at least are nice! Well, this lady was wonderful. We were able to pray with her and give her our card. Even though she didn't accept to meet with us again, I could tell she was touched and needed the love of God in her life.
We also saw of marriage in the parc, which I suppose is as close as I could get to being at Megan and Andrew's wedding. I hope it went well! I bet it was beautiful. I've been praying for Meg and Andrew and wished I could be there, but know that I've been sending all my love and best wishes your way! :)
Well, Soeur Tupai goes home this week and I get a new companion on Wednesday: Sœur Tippet! She was roommates at
Our last Pday together
Soeur Veihi Tupai et moi
La Tour Eiffel
 BYU-I with Soeur Stevens, my trainer! I am excited. She seems pretty awesome! It's going to be an adjustment having an American, English-speaking companion again, but I am excited! All good things, all good things. :)
Words are wonderful. I know I've always had a thing for words and language, but learning French has helped me have an even greater appreciation for language. There is a sentence in Prêcher Mon Évangile (Preach My Gospel) which says, "sans l’Expiation de Jésus-Christ, nous sommes désarmées." The word "désarmées" means "disarmed" in English. Without the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we are disarmed. With the opposite in use, WITH the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we are armed. Armed for whatever is set before us to battle. The Atonement of Christ is a powerful tool that we have to help us continue, conquer, and complete great task that lay before us. I find that incredibly comforting. I know that the Atonement is real. It is poweful. Jesus Christ lives. What beauty we can see and feel in using the gift that He has given us.
Have a splendid week! Je vous aime!
Avec amour,
Sœur Kate Simpson

Napoléon told his troops that they could not return home, except by going through the arc first to finish the battle. 
Today, Soeur Tupai walked through the arc, symbolizing the finish of her battle here in France. 
Her mission is accomplished and she fought the good fight. I got to stand there and watch her walk, thinking about the day when I will finish the fight, here in France. I'm almost half way there and I cannot beleive how fast it has gone. 
How grateful I am to continue and try to do better each day, so that one day, I will be able to walk through and know that I have given all I could and fought the fight. 
Arc de Triomphe

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

True Happiness & Free Haircuts - 2 juin 2015

Another week has flown bye, but oh how great it was!
The Lady and the Unicorn Tapestry
Musée Cluny
Monday was a Medieval past. Soeur Tupai and I headed on an adventure to the Musee Cluny, where a gigantic collection of medieval works are gathered in a medieval castle in the middle of Paris, not too far from the Fontaine Saint-Michel. We went to see the famous tapestries of the Lady and the Unicorn, but were pleasantly surprised when it was a massive museum filled with incredible pieces from long long ago.
Tuesday we left early in the morning for Nancy, east France, for Zone
Zone Conference
STL Training 2
 Conference. Due to having two equipes of soeurs in both Nancy and Nancy-Strasbourg Zones, we got to go and give our training to them as well. It went much better than the first time. The human cathedral worked perfectly this time and helped the objective of our lesson run much smoother than with our own Zone. It was a great time and I think they were all able to learn and gain something from it, I hope.
Being in a strange. 
The wonderful sœurs of Toul
Soeur Curtis and Soeur Asay
We then headed right to an exchange with the soeurs in Toul. We were on the same train as them, so we just went all together! Toul is nearly Switzerland, which was cool to think about! It is a tiny ville and so the soeurs have a car to get to all the little villages in their secteur. It was slightly weird to be in a car driven by missionaries. I am a little worried I'm going to have problems driving when I get 
Exchange selfie with Sœur Curtis
back. It's going to have been a long time. anyway, it was great. I served with Soeur Curtis and we went to visit a family who is becoming less active. Our efforts were to prevent them from becoming less-active. It went okay. Good learning opportunities for us both. :)
Wednesday morning we headed back to Paris for the rest of the day, just in-time for our awesome zone activity. We added our mark to the streets of Paris with some gospel chalk art to contact! It was wonderful. A beautiful day, people stopped and ASKED US! and the whole zone 
Elder Madsen and Elder Edmund's 
masterpiece: the Tree of Life
Palais Royale Musee du Louvre
seemed to just love it. We had 3 different drawings, a temple, the world, and a rendition of Lehi's dream of the Tree of Life. The were located on the south side of the Centre Pompidou and in the plaza of Palais Royal/Musée du Louvre metro station. Pretty much the coolest zone activity ever. We contacted quite a bit of people, and who knows how many searched after we left.
A new amie met with us at the visitor's center for the first time and it was pretty intense. In a good way. Her family is Catholic but she wasn't raised in the customs nor going to church, so she has a ton of questions. It kept us on our toes and gave us opportunities to really use the Bible, something I need to work on. She was really touched by the prayer at the end and just cried, expressing that she felt something and didn't know why! The Holy Ghost! We are excited to teach her this coming week, she's awesome!

We met with an amie and her two boys were there this time. We had a lovely little Family Home Evening. We taught them "I am a child of God" and helped them sing it. They are so cute and such good boys, I was impressed with their willingness to sing and participate with us.
Priscilla is progressing like a champ. She has a date set for the 21st of June and she's going to make it, I'm sure of it. She is amazing. Absolutely an inspiration. It is cool to see her desire to learn and gain a testimony for herself. She being 14 years old, it is really cool for her relate to Joseph Smith and continue on her own journey of discovering truth. We had a very deep and touching lesson, totally not on the subject planned, but in answering a question of hers. She cried the whole lesson, and tried to explain she wasn't sad, but didn't know why she couldn't stop crying. A recent convert, Pamela, was with us again and she added to the spirit so much. I want to be as enthusiastic and passionate about the gospel as they both are. I learn from them more than they can ever learn from me. Absolutely wonderful people.
Thursday we had district meeting, which went well. Elder Martin, DL, went to the Naval Academy before his mission and is a pretty hard-core American military man. His trainings are super cool and always with military metaphors and motifs. We learned about the evolution of warfare and ammunition from World War I through today's missile technology and he related it to understanding the needs of our investigators and becoming Joint Direct Attachment Missiles (JDAM) in hitting the targets (our investigators) as effectively as possible. It was a pretty cool training.
Exchange adventures 
with Soeur Kemp

Right from District meeting we left for the train to take us to Caen, up in Normandy. I served with Sœur Kemp for the exchange and we visited a member who is 82. She lost her husband a few years ago but talks about him all the time and how great of a man he
Soeur Kemp's favorite door in Caen
It's just my size!
 was and how much she loves him. It was thanks to him that she was converted and became a member. She showed us her marriage photo but was even more proud of the picture of she and her sweetheart in front of the Swiss temple decades later. We contacted a couple from Australia right before we went in for the night. They were super nice, though not interested, and we shared a little lesson and prayed with them. A fabulous way to end the day.
Back to Paris at last for the end of the week. We went strait to our DMP meeting (ward mission leader) A YSA member had us over for a visit and introduced us to her roommate, with whom we taught the Restoration with her. She became a new investigator! Yay for member-missionaries! Afterwards, a lesson with Pepita at the VC. She is so sweet. She's from Peru, which makes me think of Hermana Emily Bott every time we teach her. She is a member, but she is progressing to become fully active again and it is amazing to see the change in her.
SDJ Mains Serviables
(LDS Helping Hands)
Ward service activity in the 18th...
Moulin Rouge
Saturday we served with the ward in cleaning up the streets of the 18th Arrondisement of Paris. Little did we know that we were on the road of the Moulin Rouge and eventually made it there cleaning up a billion cigarette buts, broken glass bottles, etc. It is probably the only time it would be safe to be there and in the best condition to do so: 10am, ward activity, surrounded by worthy priesthood holders, missionary safety, etc. It wasn't too bad, though I did get cut and was slightly worried I would get a terrible disease or something, but so far, so good. Weekly planning. always a good time. Then to the 2nd Communion for
Our investigator Marie 
and her girls after their 
confirmation/2nd communion
St. Paul's Cathedral
 the two daughters of our amie, Marie. We had permission to go to support Marie and be their family. Super cool experience to go to a Catholic service. It was the first time for Sœur Tupai and I. It was at St. Paul's Cathedral in the heart of Paris, absolutely beautiful in architecture. It was fascinating to see how they have interpreted the Bible. We both discussed later that night how grateful we are for the Restoration of the priesthood and the true doctrines of Jesus Christ. Good experience for all.
Sunday was great, as usual. Church was great! Marie, Priscilla, Grace, and Pepita came! We took a ward photo because one of the 4 remaining members when they took a photo the last time is moving, so we took a picture. I hope to 
Soeur Armelle on 
Mother's Day here in France
Soeur Tupai got to skype her family, 
so I got talk with this wonderful sister! 
Such a sweet lady! 
get that someday, and I'll send it. It was Mother's Day here in France, so all the women got flowers and the talks were about Mothers and women. It was great. I am so grateful for my mother. for my grandmothers and all the women in my life. I feel incredibly blessed to be raised by such a righteous and caring woman. I hope to be more like her some day. Sœur Tupai got to Skype her family, so i talked with Sœur Armelle, the kind member who let us over for the computer. We talked about her life and how she became a member. It was a great time. People are so fascinating. It is so cool to see how creative God is and how wonderful His children are.
Monday, studies were lovely, conference call was good as well. We got our groceries and went to the Poste and sent some stuff. We got the Milk, the cybercafe in Paris where we all do emails, and more than half of the missionaries' emails didn't we decided to try again later = today. We did some shopping for Soeur Tupai's family then went to visit an old investigator after no luck finding a less active member. On the way back, we heard, "Hey Sisters!" Two American girls, looking slightly lost and in need of help, walked over to us. Just guess where they are from. Hooper, Utah. Erika and Paige, they went to Freemont and know Kylee and Greg's family. the world is so ridiculously small. Cool moment. Even in Paris you can find a connection to Hooper. We helped them find something to eat and headed home for the night.
This morning was like any other morning, except I chopped off Soeur Tupai's hair!!! Ah! I have become quite the haircutter. I have now cut 4/5 companion's hair. It looks pretty good, if I do say so myself. I was kind of worried. She has the most beautiful, thick, Tahitian hair, but it turned out really cute. Then to district meeting for the last time with this district. Another military analogy by Elder Martin that was really good. "Run toward the gunfire" was the title. He taught about Marines and their training to do so, so as to face the problem and get it done. It was very much a "just do it" sort of training in facing fears and obstacles of the mission and how to get solve them. We had Raclette for lunch and ended with a flan suck, which I completely failed at this time. District pictures as well. I love these people. Everyone of them. 

It was a wonderful week;busy and full of great things. I love this work and I love sharing it with others. I wish and pray you have a fabulous day and week!
All the best,
Sœur Kate Simpson

Part of the Paris Zone
Centre Pompidou

The Paris District
Soeur Simpson, Soeur Tupai, 
Elder Nga, Elder Martin (ZL), 
Elder Martin (DL), Elder Madsen
St. Merri, Paris
The "killing" of our companions. 
Elder Madsen and I have "killed" off
our last two companions. 
St. Merri