This last week has been the best of my mission and I will tell you why:
1. Siliane and Frederique are both getting baptized this Saturday! Such an amazing story. Siliane was the one who came into church by herself and the member introduced me to her. I started talking to her and realized it was her first time talking to missionaries. We set up an appointment and she ended up bringing her twin sister Frederique. We have taught them for two and a half weeks. Basically they were so incredibly prepared before we started teaching them, the spirit was able to teach them so strongly and they are getting baptized this Saturday. the best part is that they way we found these girls was because a member they work with at Carrefour just mentioned they should try coming to church and see what they think. So this story has started a huge turn of events in Versailles.
That same week we met Siliane and Frederique, the Assistants gave Soeur Horn and I this case study about what this sister missionary did in a ward in Boston and it completely changed missionary work in the ward. They gave it to us and said, "try doing this in Versailles." So I read it, and basically it changed my life. Literally. I read it and almost every night since I have read it I go to bed thinking about all these things for missionary work and after being in bed for a couple hours I have to go write down all the thoughts that come into my mind in my journal for about an hour and then Im able to finally sleep without a problem. That same pattern has happened four times in the last week. And I know they are not my thoughts, it is straight up inspiration of the spirit.
So we had a sister training two weeks ago and the Assistants did it and they just mentioned something about the case study in saying they had received it from the Lyon mission (pres roney) and they had given it to Soeur Horn and I are now going to send it to all the zone leaders. After the training they started asking what Soeur Horn and my vision was for the ward. So we told them, that night we set the baptismal date with Frederique, two days later we set one with Siliane.
Then on Friday the elders called to ask if we could help two women move into the Le Vesinet area, they arent members, arent even investigators. We agreed and went over with all the other equipes in our district. WE FOUND THE NU SKIN DISTRIBUTOR. We were unloading boxes and I saw Nu Skin written on it so I asked if she uses Nu Skin and she told me she was a distributor. I was freaking out inside. The lady was super super stressed and was really not too interested in talking about Nu Skin at the moment but ultimately, this woman does not believe in God at all, and I can basically guarantee you had we contacted her in the street it would be "ça m'interesse pas" but we helped her move and at the end she said, "wow, I am so grateful to all of you, how can I repay you? I would love to give your church some of my old furniture, just let me get all my stuff moved in and I will give you a call." At the end the elders asked if they could dedicate her home with a priesthood blessing. She said yes that would be fine. The spirit was so powerful and the other woman (from new zealand who is also so awesome) was really touched, you could see it.
That night same thing, I woke up at night and had to write for an hour. Crazy stuff. Not my ideas. The next day at church the assistants (we've been talking about vision of the mission and of Versailles, etc.) we talked and Soeur Horn and I are helping them plan the mission training they're doing for the mission this transfer. It changes everything, it's so cool.
Basically, what started it for me is this case study. I am so absolutely obsessed about it, I talk about it to everybody. I am so thoroughly convinced that it is the key to success and with it we can baptize three times as many people in the mission. So Elder Gubbay one of the assistants has a brother Elder Gubbay who is assistant to President Roney right now in Lyon. This is what happened. President Roney gave every one of his missionaries this case study, asked them to read it four times and pray for inspiration from the Lord for their ville of what they need to do and then get to work. He told them the following week was going to be an "indear the members week." .... he told all his missionaries to go home and bake cookies. Go home bake cookies and go and visit all of the members in the ward. That week they had 38 referrals. Elder Gubbay told me that part of the story about three days ago and that's the night I woke up and realized that the mission is basically Nu skin.
Leaders to employees to distributors to consumers
Leaders to missionaries to members to investigators
It's the exact same set up, it can be the exact same set up and that's what can change a mission. So it's changing trainings from being focused on tactics of how to teach amis, how to porte, how to find and it is instead giving missionaries the tools to get their vision for the ward they are serving in and show the members the how of how to do missionary work.
Soeur Horn and I started working on this ward repetoire in the ward, updating information for the ward. We did one page of 35 names, using white pages online and we found that only 16 were correct, 6 had changed addresses and 11 were unfindable. The assistants had two of their last baptisms come from people who were already located on the repetoire but had incorrect information, the assistants happened to find those people by miracles. So now we have all the missionaries working to updating that. I talked to our ward mission leader the other day and he said, "well, this is really great, the bishop just wants to know if this is really missionary work?" I told him what we had done with it and why it's such an important missionary tool. HIs response was, "Remy and I are preparing a missionary presentation to present to the bishopric on the 30th of September. Will you prepare a presentation about member missionary work? The members want to help they just dont know how to do it." so good, so good.
So, already the ward has changed and it has only been three weeks really since we have all really been changing our strategy in our district. Yesterday in sacrament meeting basically every testimony was on missionary work and the Atonement and how this church is Christ's church on the earth today. After church multiple members came up to me and said, "soeur chard what's happening, missionary work has never been like this in this ward, what's changed?" I told them it's the members, it's the attitude. The assistants have been setting baptismal dates for every other week, I will just say this. That is not even close to what is average. And now it's carrying out so much further, we're trying to help every zone have what is happening in Versailles happen in their area. It's so fun.
Mom mentioned the reporters on Mitt Romney? Yes there's a lot going on with that. We had reporters film sacrament meeting and I'll send you the link. They are finally finally starting to get that we are normal. It's a good report. The elders you see are Elder Gubbay and Elder Saguibo. Two of the best elders ever, so so good. And from this report there's going to be another baptism next week! A woman who was on the media crew started researching everything about the church and emailed someone to see where the closest mormon church was to her in St Germain. Showed up to Versailles. Soeur Merer (elder gubbay's grandma and grandma connie's friend) introduced this woman to the elders. The elders went over there and this woman had written a whole proposition of why the church should accept her as a member and explaining her situation as a divorcee, her situation with tithing, etc. Basically they fixed a baptismal date with her for two weeks later. These people are just miracles that the Lord is sending us and it's happening for the entire district and it is so incredible. The mission goal that this conference is trying to help accomplish is to have 78 baptisms for the month of September. Something that has never happened but totally can. And Elder Anderson is coming to speak to the mission in November!
Soeur Horn, I absolutely love her, could not ask for a better companion. Seriously could not ask for a better person to work with. She's a hard worker, she offers awesome input and she trusts me, she will try new things and she understands the why behind everything. I absolutely love her and we have so much fun together. We had a RDV with Siliane and Frederique last night and Frederique said she's thinking about serving a mission after she gets baptized. So crazy cool.
I love you all and hope you have a fabulous week! Please pray for Siliane and Frederique this week! And pray for the mission to all see success.