Monday, October 12, 2015

Bring out the thermals - 12 Octobre 2015

Where to begin?

We were out of our secteur for 3 days in a row, taught at a mini MTC activity for francophone Europe youth with calls or preparing for missions Saturday, and all of a sudden the week was over.

Metz Gare
As in the train station in Metz. 
Chocolat chaud à Angelina
We were in Toul then Nancy, out in the east, with a layover in Metz. Pretty cool stop. The station is magnificent. We bought a mousse au chocolat at a patisserie in Metz to celebrate our last exchange serving together, and my last as an STL. I have done 39 exchanges on my mission thus far. Holy cannoli.

Exchanges By transfer 
4 pre STL - Transfers 1-4 
9 - transf 5 
7 - transf 6 
10 - transf 7 
9 - transf 8 
= 39

What a blessing. Exhausting but awesome. I have loved serving these Sœurs and serving with Soeur Tupai and Soeur Tippett at my side. I feel incredibly blessed to have served with such dedicated and determined sisters.

Saturday morning, about 9:30am, our phone starting ringing, and I didn't think anything of it. Transfer calls for ZLs, STLs, and trainers don't start until 10. It was Président Babin. He asked me if I was surprised to be getting a call from him, to which I replied, yes. He was so sweet and kind, thanking me for all I have done serving as an STL for the past 6 months and joked a bit saying as much as he would love to call me as his Assistant, he can't. Well, he told me a bit of a struggling Sœur that just entered the mission field this past transfer and her trainer was struggling too. He then said he and the Lord are sending me in to train and help this dear Sœur learn to find the joy in being a missionary and want to go out and work. I said, of course and I'd try my best. As he talked to me, surprisingly, I felt very peaceful and somewhat like a soldier getting a special assignment. I am being transferred to Arras, France. It's in the north, near Lille. All I know is it's a small ville and there are some trenches from WWII and it's freezing cold. And I'm going in for winter. Bring it. Looks like my two shipments of thermal garments will come in handy. Haha

I am feeling mixed emotions. I love Paris. I love the ward, my companions, our investigators, our recent converts, and there are soooo many people here and so much work to be done. On the contrary, I am very excited to discover a new part of France and experience what it's like to serve in a small ville. As for training, oh dear. I am so grateful for my time serving as STL to help me pinpoint areas in which that Sœurs need help and then help them achieve it. The greatest thing I've gained serving as STL is to love. I feel like my heart has at least doubled in size. For the Sœurs, for their efforts, for their trials, for their wards and branches. I believe my new companion needs some extra love sent her way and a little helping find her love for the French people and love for this work. I pray that I can give her the love she needs. I am a little nervous going into an unknown ville to train, but I know I won't be alone. The Lord prepares us for our futures, and I am grateful for the previous preparation he has given me.

Gardening in Paris

Adorable Sister Powers.
And her balcony 
from which my camera fell 
and survived.
Friday, we spent 6 hours with an inactive member who is absolutely a sweetheart. She is the one who had a brain infection but is in recovery. She is SO full of energy, it's inspiring. We sewed for her, leggings with a heart patch, and fur from the 40s onto a new winter cape. She made us lunch then we shared a message about courage. She's a talker and ended up having us plant mums into balcony boxes after digging out geraniums. My camera fell out and off the balcony 6 stories... And it's alive. Nothing broke nor did it hit anyone, nor did a car run over it. Miracles. That night, I participated in my last young women missionary lesson. It was a bit all over the place with the attention spans of the girls, but it ended well. I was overwhelmed with the spirit and just testified of how loved those young women are. Their importance and example in France is so necessary and has impressed me since day one. I'm so glad for the young women's program and the guide it is for us.

Mini MTC crew
St. Merri, Paris 4ième
Saturday we spent the entire day at the church. From 10:00am-3:00pm we taught future missionaries in the francophone European mission prep MTC. Super fun. Basically just teaching how to teach the gospel and a ton of role playing. I felt like I was teaching at the MTC! I was fortunate to participate in the same activity in January with Sœur Stevens too. Good times. The youth are amazing. Some of them are already great missionaries, the their potential is astounding.

Elder & Sœur Maynard
+ Sœur Tippett
Later that evening was the Book of Mormon fireside for the end of the transfer, the second of the series. This one was how the Book of Mormon answers questions of the plan of salvation. It went very well. Malaki, a young man in the ward, showed up after absolutely no communication for the two preceding weeks. We were responsible for the musical number he was playing. It went well, we found the flowers to decorate and a cute book for the Maynard's farewell gift that Président presented to them at the end of the fireside. We had quite the crowd. And a few good friends from Nogent Ward came! Valerie, Marie Rose, and Chantal! So fun to see everyone in Paris before I leave.

Les Africaines à l'église
Me, Sœur Yao, Sœur Tippett, 
Grace, Sœur Allépo
All three are from Côte d'Ivoire.    
Sunday was beautiful. We made a deal with Sœur Allépo, and thus we wore our boubous at church with all the African sisters in the ward. They just about died and went to heaven seeing missionaries in their cultural dress. I was given the opportunity to bear my testimony for one last time. My attire matched the theme of my little testimony: we are all children of God, no matter where we've come from. The Paris ward is unlike any other ward. It is international every single week. I said thank you in nearly every language I know how to, and it just felt so good to tells the members what I know to be true and how much I love this gospel.
Monsons, Hillary, Tao, Maynard, and Halls

The Hall family invited us over for dinner to wish me on my way and the Maynard couple as well. The new couple came too, the Monsons, and no they are not related to President Monson. It was a lovely night. Our amie Hillary came with us and really enjoyed the night. I love these people.

Today was a perfect last Paris PDay. I can hardly believe it. We went grocery shopping after conference call, then went to Le Comptoir for the last time for lunch. Delphine hosted us again, and Aurélien made our delish food. We got a quick pic in the kitchen with them, bised Delphine and parted ways. I am determined to keep in contact and help her discover the gospel more one day. 

On top of the world
Arc de Triomphe
Then off to the Arc de Triomphe. We climbed to the top and saw a panoramic view of our city. It has been a humid, cold, foggy day, but it was beautiful. We made our way to Angelina, a famous restaurant across from the Louvre, and had their specialty hot chocolat. Outstanding. Like drinking pure chocolat. 8€, but so worth the experience.

I'm excited to see where the Lord takes me and what this next transfer beholds. It's gonna be a good one. Hurrah for Israel and the time I've had in Paris. I love this work and I am excited to meet the kind people of the North of France. Here we go!

Avec amour, Sœur Kate Simpson

Princesse from Nogent!
Hillary ❤️

Paris from the Ground
Champs Élysées

Nancy Sœurs
Me, Sœur Bell, Sœur Tippett, Sœur Hudson

Cutie Sœurs in Toul
Nogent friends!

The Hall Family

Selfie with Sœur Hall 😎

District transfer photos with
my dear Sœur Tippett.
+ Elder Harris...

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