Monday, May 28, 2012

LIfe is Good!

Hi family!

This week has been so good.  Honestly, now the transfers just keeping better and better.  Soeur Dawson said she has never been so happy on her mission as she is this transfer and I feel the same way.  We love it and we love each other so much.  Yesterday we went over to one of the J.A. (YSA) houses and Nicole said, "wow, I can really tell that you gel so well, you can feel it;"  We think the same way, we are often thinking the same things, it is just so good and we love it.  It is so fulfilling.  It's still hard but it's hard because we are constantly strategizing and trying new things, it's so fun.

I want to tell a story about a new ami we met with for the first time on Tuesday.  We contacted her a few weeks ago (last one of the night)  and she ended up being a student from Venezuela but speaks english really well, wants to move to New York and is in Paris studying right now.  She is twenty.  We had a really good conversation and were all three friends really fast.  So we told her we are missionaries and are here to help people strengthen their faith in Christ, would she be interested in meeting with us again?  She said sure why not.  So she offered to meet us in Starbucks because she cant meet at her house since she lives with a family.

When we walked away Soeur Dawson started crying because this girl is like her twin.  Soeur Dawson is from Venezuela as well, lived in the Caribbean (as did this girl...her name is Alejandra), she was contacted by the missionaries in the street  and her first lesson with the missionaries happened to be in a Starbucks.  

So we went for our lesson and we brought a member who is from Mexico who is also a student here in Paris with us.  We went to the Starbucks and Alejandra was there waiting for us.  We talked and found out more about her history and her life.  And she is Soeur Dawson's twin.  LIterally, she is an only child, her parents were divorced when she was young, she grew up with her father, went through a period of time when she and her dad werent talking, she was engaged and broke it off right before the wedding.  All the same things have happened to Soeur Dawson.  

We asked her what her passions are, she said she has seen the hand of God in her life.  Her passions are modeling and helping other people.  If I had more time I would go more into detail about the modeling, but it's not sketchy at all.  This girl is so good and so pure, you can tell.  Alejandra said she has goals but she's in a place in her life where she doesnt really know what the future is going to bring.  Anyways, Soeur Dawson, Karen, me and Alejandra all have connections with serving people in Africa. We told Alejandra that although we all have different backgrounds, in a lot of ways we all have similar goals.  we all have passions that we want to be able to use throughout our life to help other people.  WE told her that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is what gives us direction and helps us know how to accomplish those goals.  Honestly, we dont really remember everything we said exactly but it was really cool.  We invited her to start taking the lessons and she said, "yes of course!"  So we are meeting her again tomorrow.  Please pray for her that she will be touched by the gospel! :)

Otherwise, we are now working a lot with teh J.A.  the J.A. in this ward are amazing.  Theres a lot of them and they are super strong and really social.  So we have started meeting with two or so J.A. a week to discuss what we can do to help them as missionary work and it is so cool to see how Heavenly Father is inspiring us as missionaries and them as young adults.  Last night we met with two J.A., both recent converts and both who are preparing to go on missions (girls).  We realized there's no type of mission prep here and there are so many J.A. who potentially may want to serve missions but dont even really know what to expect.  We still have to talk to our mission leader etc.  but we want to do a mission prep type of thing night for our ward.  We are excited about it!

I love you all, sorry I dont have time to write personal emails today, we have to run to catch a bus right no!  I love you and hope you have a fabulous week!

Soeur Chard 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Miracles in Versaille

Hello Family!

Well, as I mentioned to mom on Saturday, I am staying in Versailles!  Soeur Turney is going home on Wednesday and Soeur Dawson is coming down to Versailles with me!  

Honestly, this last transfer has been so absolutely incredible in so many ways.  It has been such a happy transfer for me and Soeur Turney and I have seen so many miracles.  It feels like every single time we have gone out contacting or knocking doors we find someone who is amazing and so prepared to listen to us.  It doesnt always mean we get to teach them another lesson but for example we were contacting the other day and met a woman who is from Vietnam.  She told us that she is Buddhist but that she also has a very strong belief in God and in Jesus Christ.  She ended up crying on the street while she was telling us two experiences she had in her life so that she knows that God is there and that He knows and cares about her personally.  It ends up that her husband met with missionaries years ago, she wasnt interested in meeting with us again now but she recognized the Book of Mormon and accepted one when we gave her one.  We have been meeting incredible people like that almost every day this transfer, it has honestly been incredible.  

As far as people we are teaching, we have hit a gold mine in these two apartment buildings fairly close to our house.  We spent a lot of time porting both the building and are now working with four or five families we have found there.  We have seen so many miracles there.  One family we found a couple weeks ago, years ago the man met missionaries and pulled out a dusty Book of Mormon from another room.  The wife had also been contacted by missionaries years ago.  The husband came to church yesterday and ended up staying all three hours!  We will see what happens, but they are amazing.  Another woman named Marie-Claire we met in the same apartment building a few weeks ago and have been able to teach her three times.  She wouldnt take a Book of Mormon when we met her at the door, but she said she was interested in our message because we said it was about Christ.  As we have taught her the first few lessons it has been amazing to see her progress.  She started out so skeptical, and watching her beginning to take steps to find out for herself if the message we are telling her is true has been so amazing to see.  We're nervous though because she said she would come to church yesterday, and at the last minute said she couldnt because her husband wouldnt let her.  We are supposed to have a lesson with her tonight and she didnt answer when we tried to call, so we are really hoping we will be able to see her tonight!

I am really nervous for this upcoming transfer though.  The most nervous I have ever been going into a new transfer.  Because first of all, I have a feeling we are going to be lost all the time.  I still do not know my way around well at all.  In Caen I could just carry around the map but in Versailles the map book is about 20 pounds aka impossible to carry around!  And we have a lot of new people to work with, we have a lot of work right now which is so exciting but also such a big responsibility.  It's a big ward so I feel like I dont know the ward as well as I would like to, I just feel very very inadequate in almost every single way.  Soeur Turney has been so good.  I was sitting at dinner last night and she said, "how are you doing?" Me: "honestly, I am so nervous.  I dont know if I can do it."  Soeur Turney just said, "just love.  Love the people we are teaching, love Soeur Dawson and love the Lord and everything else will work out."  So Im just trying to do that.  And praying a lot.

I love you all so much, be nice to mom on Mothers Day!  
Soeur Chard