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

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