What a wonderful week. It went fast, as most have, I hardly can get done what needs to be done. But the Lord provides a way for what is most important.
|Walking across the border to Belgium. |
Exchanges in V d'Ascq which
includes some of Belgium!
We had a lovely week with rendezvous with Marie, Isabelle, Ilona, exchanges in Villeneuve d'Ascq/Lille with our fabulous STLs Soeur Ulrich and Soeur Clements, met with the bishop and his family, had our Consecration Day in Arras with the whole district here, and ended the weekend off with Elder Christofferson at our stake conference! Many many blessings.
Saturday was filled with miracles, though many were experienced by the others involved. It was kind of a "persévérer jusqu'à la fin" day with lots of attempted contacting and porting but very very little success. We spread some smiles and tried to talk to everyone, but just about nobody wanted to listen. The Soeur with whom I was felt a little down and frustrated that it was something she was doing wrong or not good enough. I assured her as well as retaught myself I think that the agency of others plays a huge role. As long as our desire and diligence in inviting and trying to share is present, we are fulfilling our purpose. We prayed many times throughout the day, and though nothing we saw came to fruition, it was a good day, and we let that we had given it our all.
Train strike...so we took a bus to Douai,
got car sick, then waited in this gare which
smells like peanut butter + hamburger,
then took a train an hour later to Lille.
We switched back to our companions before the others sœurs had to catch a train back. We only had 50 mins left of the day before coming for dinner and district meeting to wrap of the Consecration Day. Soeur G and I prayed and planned to take the bus and contact to the terminus of the bus and take it back. We both felt like it would be the most efficient and useful at the certain time of the day. Nothing. Every single person refused and it just did not work. Unfortunately, same thing on the way back. I finally just looked across the bus to Soeur G and nodded that we needed to get off the bus. We waited at the stop for a few seconds but the only other person there was a drunk man...so we decided we better leave. We decided to head across a park ish area between batiments back towards the church.
I've been in France for nearly 17 months
and never bought cheese from a fromagerie...
So I finally accomplished this goal today for PDay.
As we were walking, we talked about our days and how we felt a little like nothing really happened and neither of us had found any new investigators. We continued and a man driving his kids slowed a bit and looked at us like we knew him and he knew us. It wasn't in a creepy way at all. We smiled and he kept driving. Well, as we arrived to the other side of the park area, he was parking his car in front of his apartment building. He and his kids got out and he turned and saw us and we yelled a friendly bonjour. Sour G and I looked at each other and both said we needed to go talk to this man.
|...this. It's an Austrian cheese. |
I hope it's good!
Stéphane is a very believing man from Côte d'Ivoire and his faith is inspiring. We introduced ourselves and began talking. He began testifying about the Holy Ghost and our discussion about faith in God and Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost was so powerful. We talked with him for about 15 minutes, teaching about Jesus Christ and the power we receive in following His example and relying on Him and the Holy Ghost to guide us. He prayed with us and we set up a time to go teach him, his wife, and three children. A family.
We were walking on air after that. Simply beaming with the joy that comes from sharing the gospel. We prayed after turning the corner onto the next street to thank Heavenly Father for the miracle of meeting Stéphane in the last minutes of the day. It was such a blessing. We should be meeting with him and his family on Saturday!
Another highlight of the week was definitely Elder Christofferson at Stake Conference. Such a blessing to begin my mission with the visit of an Apostle and finish it with a visit of an Apostle. He talked of the importance and blessings of tithing, keeping the Sabbath day holy, and the love from the Quorum of the Twelve and the First Presidency. He said the President Monson always asks when the Apostles report their weekly voyages if they delivered his love to the Saints. We are so loved. We are so blessed to have a living prophet of God on the earth today. I know that Thomas S. Monson is the prophet today, chosen, prepared, and called by God to be the mouth piece of Jesus Christ's church. I know the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are men called of God and righteously guiding us in these days through the difficulties of life in the world in which we live today.
I am grateful for the blessings and trials which God gives us. I know He lives and I know with every fiber of my being that He loves us. He wants us to be happy and joyful. He wants us to return to live with Him. He has given us the way to do so, which is following His son, whom He sent because of His love. I know that in following the example of Jesus Christ and living His gospel we can be truly happy.
Feel His love this week and be happy. He is waiting for you.
I love you,
Sœur Kate Simpson
P.S. Also realized I didn't mention anything about frites, as mentioned in the subject of this email. I feel like I ate frites at least 3 times this week, so that's why. Not super great pour la santé... Mais bon. Ça va. They were good. Gotta eat them with sauce ch'ti.