Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Week of Wonders - 13 juillet 2015

What a wonderful week of wonders. It flew by like a flash. We had a magical district meeting at the Eiffel Tower, our last exchange of the transfer with the sœurs in Rouen, Soeur Sarah Facer and Soeur Rachel Hogan, built and painted a 7ft. tall Book of Mormon, had a miraculous zone activity with said giant Livre de Mormon, a soirée musical with the St. Ouen Ward, and ended the week off right with a baptism of a little girl in our ward from Hawaii. Needless to say, it was a great

We had some amazing experiences with our new ami Anna. She accepted to be baptized when she knows the gospel is true and is praying for the date of 9th of August. We accompanied her to the YSA home evening and she jumped right in and was the first to participate in the spiritual message part, played the game with everyone and just made friends right off the bat.

District Meeting a la Tour Eiffel
District meeting was probably one of my favorites thus far. Though it was a quaint picnic on the lawn of the Eiffel Tower, that was not what made it memorable. The spirit we felt and the testimonies shared left an imprint. Elder Martin's training was about helping our contacts become amis. He then asked us to each share a specific experience that has been a part of our conversion. I shared when I was in the National Portrait Gallery when I was working in D.C. And happened upon an original portrait of Joseph Smith. I had my headphones in and was listening to film scores as I walked through the gallery. I changed
the music to "Praise to the Man" and stood there, pondering about all that Joseph Smith did. I remember having an intense feeling of overwhelming gratitude. I knew for a fact, from the witness of the Holy Ghost, that he was truly a prophet of God, he restored the gospel of Jesus Christ, and he sacrificed his life so the truth could be restored. Sharing the story brought back those strong feelings and the spirit was with us more deeply. It continued as each person in our little district shared personal experiences and testimonies. It was beautiful. I love these people.

We had the cutest little picnic for the meal part of district meeting. Sœur Tippett and I mad main dish, a delightful grilled 
The cheese, and delightful dessert...
Thanks elders.
vegetable creamy tomato sauce thing served over rice. Quite delish. The Elders on the other hand... The ZLs bought an expensive cheese from a legit fromagerie. It smelled horrendous. Then the mandarin elders had
dessert. They told us of their jello fail and they made plan b. Stuffed apples. Cinnamon, butter, sugar and then he added blueberry jam and cooked them. And baked bananas... They were black. Good times. We headed strait off to an exchange from district meeting. The elders went on exchange too, but with each other, so Elder Madsen and Elder Martin took all the dishes and washed them for us. So sweet of them.

Exchanges in Rouen were wonderful. I was with my dear friend Sœur Rachel Hogan. It was fabulous. It was such a dream to serve with her. Not only did we have a great time spreading the joy of the gospel, but we even got to catch up a bit since high school. She is wonderful. Such a strong stellar missionary. The next day, we woke up early for exercises and went for a run along the Seine. It was breathtaking. Quite literally. I am so out of shape. But also in the sense of beauty. Later, after some great studies, we headed out and went on an adventure to find a less active. On the way, I talked to this lady, Françoise, who is a singer for the cathedral of Rouen. We had a lovely conversation about faith, prayer, and the restoration. We prayed with her on the tram, she sang for us, and we exchanged numbers. I believe she became a new investigator, as the soeurs made a rdv with her after the exchange. It was the first time I've prayed on a tram. All that is
left is the metro. I've prayed with people on the RER, on platforms, on TGVs, etc. I love people. And prayer. Especially praying with people.

We got back to Paris, always a great feeling to be home, and went strait to the church to do reports on exchanges. We had a lesson with Anna, which went well. Then had a little adventure escorting a lady to the train station to protect her from a creepy ex member who came in. Long story short, we left her at the train station where she was going and then she didn't go in! We were confused a bit and wanted to make sure, so we were basically spies and walked slyly behind trees, more like cement blocks, and tried to intercept them returning back to the visitors center. We lost them in pursuit...so we decided to run back because it was getting later and there was nothing further we could do. It was so fun. Running through the streets of Paris, always a great time.

Thursday after studies, we had a little home improvement project. The Maynard's came to help us with our moldy shower. We spent the day scraping and painting. It felt so good to paint and work on a house. Felt like home. We then went to the VC for a lesson with Priscillia. Then helped the ZLs start painting our beautiful project of the giant Livre de Mormon. 7ft. of happiness for all to see. After an idea done by some missionaries in New York City, we prepared a Paris version for the Paris zone activity.

The dungeons of St. Merri
making the Livre de Mormon
Friday, we taught Anna, invited her to commit to a date! She's praying about it! Then spent literally the rest of the day saving the zone leaders by painting and constructing the Livre de Mormon. It was another day of painting and fun. Super sore from bending and folding all day, but so worth it.

Saturday was the day. Our wonderful zone gathered together to share the Book of Mormon with all here in Paris. It. Was. Awesome. Some elders carried the 7ft book to La Fontaine des Innocents right, a main fountain plaza right in the heart of Paris and there we set up shop. We had tables with copies of the Book of Mormon with missionaries manning it, then other companionships contacting all around. SOOO many miracles. We gave more than 100 copies of the Book of Mormon. We were able to receive more than 50 referrals and taught who knows how many lessons. All in 90 minutes. Probably one of the coolest miracles was witnessed by Elder Hall, one of the Assistants to President. A man came up to 
Le Zone de Paris

him, who already had been contacted by one of the missionaries. He WAS atheist before he got the Book of Mormon. He decided to go into McDonald's right across the plaza after getting his copy and started to read it. He read NINE chapters in Macdo and came
to elder hall and asked him if he could get baptized. This guy went from being atheist to wanting to get baptized and become a member because of 9 chapters of the Book of Mormon.

It was seriously just a day jam packed with miracles.

We went to St. Ouen's musical fireside with our amie Marie. It was a fun little night. More of a singalong and missionary singing, but it was still a spiritual experience. Sunday was wonderful. I translated relief society again. This time was a bit trickier because the teacher is a young adult and talks SO fast and just whipped out quotes that I couldn't get right then people told metaphorical stories that I didn't know some vocab... But all the English sisters were nice and patient
with me. Good experience. Haha A cute little girl, Jada, got baptized. They are Americans on an adventure for a year around Europe and have been in our Ward for a month. Super cute family and a wonderful spirit at the baptism.

Well today was a great pday. Sœur Tippett and I went to Versailles. We took a turn about the gardens. It was splendid and quite dreamy.

The work continues here in Paris and it's the last week of the transfer! It should be a great week! I think I should be staying. sure hope so. 2 transfers is not enough in a ville. But I will gladly go where I am called. I love this work and I know it is true. What innumerable blessings there are in life. I am eternally grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who is patient with us. I know He lives. I know His son lives. This is His gospel.

I hope and pray you have a lovely week. I challenge you to find someone new to talk to and share happiness with this week. Everyone needs a listening ear and open heart. I love you!

Sœur Simpson

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