Monday, October 22, 2012

Seven on Sunday!!!

Hi family!
Sorry this is going to be fast because we are in a big hurry but yesterday was one of the best days of my mission for sure.
We had seven amis there at church.  Way way way more than I have ever had at church at one time my entire mission.  Here is the run-down of them:
1.  Nadege.  She's amazing, Soeur Horn and Soeur Jenkins found her during exchanges a couple of weeks ago and she is progressing so quickly.  On the way home from church (she lives really close to us so we walk home with her) she broke down and started crying telling us some things she is going through.  We talked to her for a while, super spiritual experience and ultimately she is preparing for baptism now.  She's amazing.
2.  Pema and her two kids, Champa and Tenzin.  This family is Buddhist but she feels something special about Jesus Christ.  Since we started meeting with her she has been praying to God and so have her two kids.  She told us that last week she was offered a full job contract and she recognized that as a blessing from God.  Her two kids went to primary, and came into sacrament with missionary plaques on.  The intermediate hymn came around and Champa drags me up to the stand because she wanted to sing with the other primary kids so Champa and Tenzin sang "i hope they call me on a mission" it was awesome.
3.  Maria Gomis (ask soeur dawson for her story) appeared after having disappeared for months.  She showed up at church for the first time with the Ya Family.  Last night we went over to teach her for the last time before I got transferred.  She told us she believes this church is Christ's and she wants this for her family.  She said she wants to come to church for entire time (she had to leave in the middle of sacrament meeting) and then wants to set a baptismal date.
4.  Marianna Nop came to church for her first time going to a church in years.  At the end of Sacrament Meeting she said, "I feel so good here, I'm so glad I came."  She was awesome.
5.  Bettina who we have been teaching since I first got her.  We stopped teaching her when Soeur Horn got transferred in because she wasn't progressing.  We walk in to church and Bettina is sitting in the relief society room I was so happy and she said, "I told you I would come, it's your last Sunday!"  She fasted and prayed and is almost finished with the Book of Mormon and is prepraing to be baptized in December now when she is back with her family.
It was an amazing day.  Soeur Horn and I also were able to sing/play together during sacrament meeting, Elder Gubbay and I gave our leaving testimonies because we are both leaving, and Nicole Alvine had her missionary farewell.  It was such a good Sunday and we saw so many miracles. I really felt like it was a gift from Heavenly Father for my last Sunday here, it was amazing, everything just worked out perfectly and our amis progressed so much from coming to church. 
I am excited to go to Angers!  I'm really excited for my new companions.  The visa waiter (Soeur Dreurer I think?) is awesome, I have met her before at STake Conference, she's waiting to go to Temple Square mission (by the way, that's where Nicole Alvine is going, and I told her I would send my family to go visit her, she has helped us so much, she's basically already a full-time missionary), and Soeur Grewer I have heard a little of her conversion story, she has a lot of faith, I am really excited to serve with her.  Angers is supposed to be a great ward, it's the center of the stake up in the Angers area and it's actually the home ward of the Poznanski's!
Have a great week everyone, I am praying for Danielle and her mission call, she will be an awesome missionary.
I love you, have a great week!
Soeur Chard

Monday, October 15, 2012

Bonjour ma famille!

Bonjour ma famille!

Thank you so much for all of your emails today, they are always a highlight of my week.  I can't wait to hear when and where Danielle is going on her mission.  Best thing you can do and so amazing that she has been able to get everything in so fast.  Not by chance. :)

This week was awesome.  In brief:

Nadege Soeur Horn and Soeur Jenkins found during exchanges contacting.  She's awesome, looking to make life changes and says that while others go to rely on their families or their friends, she feels it's important to rely on religion and God while she is going through this difficult time.  We started teaching her and she reads the BOM, she prays and she has a serious appetite to learn as much as she can.  She came to church for all three hours on Sunday and said she really loved it because unlike other churches, she loved that it was members sharing with each other and teaching each other instead of just being talked at the whole time (it was fast and testimony meeting).  She asked us a few days ago when we came, "I see you both have so much light and joy.  How do you have that?"  

Sidestory, we contacted this family a couple weeks ago and were talking to them a little while and at the end of the contact (they said they werent interested in learning more) but she said, "i hope my daughter is like you when she is your age."  and I asked her why and she said, "because you can see that you believe what you are teaching and I would rather have my daughter be doing something like that then going out clubbing."  You just pray people like that keep getting contacted by missionaries (they told us they had been contacted by missionaries just a few weeks before) and will really feel the desire and understand that they can have that same light and truth for their own lives and their own families.

Pema is from Tibet and we found her sonnerie porting last week.  Her english is broken, we teach her in english. She is Buddhist but she told us, "even though I'm Buddhist I feel some type of need and desire to learn more about Jesus Christ and who He is."  Last week she told us that since we had been coming (three times) there was a different spirit in her home.  She said she had been fighting so much with her husband and was thinking of divorce.  Since we started coming she said she didnt fight anymore and there was more peace in her life.  She prayed to God (Heavenly Father) for the first time that night with us and both of her children came and prayed with us as well.

The next time we went over to Pema's her friend, Ajour was there.  Ajour is Christian and when we committed her to start reading BOM she said, "yes, absolutely.  And I will testify that it is true when I know it is true."  Please pray that we teach her again this week as well.

Elda is a woman who has been searching for the true church for years.  She was contacted by the Assistants and they passed her over to us.  We went over and taught her and immediately when we sat down she started attacking us with questions.  I said, "before we keep going can we please start with a prayer?"  She asked me to say it since I was "avoiding" her questions ha.  Well, anyways, we talked about the Holy Ghost and how that will testify to her that the message of the Restoration is true.  We asked her to begin reading the Book of Mormon before we came back.  She said, "Absolutely not."  She didnt want to blindly start getting into anything.  We asked her how she ever is going to know if what we are teaching her is true if she won't try reading.  Ultimately she said she would read 2 Nephi 2.  She is super cool, because she has been searching.  Please pray that we will be able to teach her again this week.  

Fréderique is doing really well.  She is already like a member of 10 years and it has only been a month.  My favorite is when she will ask us questions about the gospel through text because she's studying on her own.  She read the entire "gospel principles" book in a week and would like to possibly serve a mission.  We had a lesson about genealogy and temple work last week and are hoping that she can prepare to go on the ward temple trip to do baptisms next month.  Her sister Siliane is also doing well, she is still studying in the south of France.

Maria (Soeur Dawson and I taught her) also got back in contact with the member friend last week and said she wants to come to church this upcoming Sunday.  Pray for her as well please!

I love you all and am so grateful for all of your support, prayers and influence in my life.  I get the transfer email this Saturday, so we will see where I am going! ah!  I am excited.  I have absolutely loved Versailles and am also excited for a new ville. 

I love you!  Je vais vous envoyer les photos des que possible.  Désolé!  (have pops translate that one. :) )

Soeur Chard

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Download of Conference

I have been dying to read emails today because I was wondering what you all thought of General Conference!   So crazy and so exciting!  I already wrote Danielle some of this but I think I'll just make it the subject of the email today. 
Why do we go on missions:
1.  To baptize people and bring them into membership of the church, and more importantly to help them learn to live the gospel of Jesus Christ and find joy, peace and happiness.
But when they announced the announcement in general conference, that wasnt the first thing that came to my mind honestly.  I feel like it is so important for as many people as possible to serve missions because of the impact it will have on their marriage and on their children and in their service for the rest of their lives.  In my opinion, the 1.5 or 2 years is really just the beginning, I don't feel like anyone ever really needs to "finish" their mission.  When you go home, you just continue a bigger mission.  Because the whole point of life is to constantly progress and help as many people around you to do the same.
I think the announcement is the most amazing thing ever.  I was sitting in a room with about ten other missionaries and we were all so happy and there was such a special spirit that entire session.  The Saturday morning session was one of my favorite conference sessions I have ever heard in my life. 
The rest of the talks to me were confirmations of some of the reasons why they made this change in missionary service.  Elder Cook talked about the increasing wickedness of the world and how the family is the base of everything.  He said that it's no longer enough to take your families to church activities and call it good/  Your children need to know that you have faith in Jesus Christ, you need to teach them so they are converted to Jesus Christ and His gospel.
Then it was Sister Dibb's, one of my favorites.  Soeur Horn and I have been wanting to get Versailles ward member t-shirts that say "im a mormon" to wear.  I think it would help our proselyting efforts. ha.  I loved how she talked about never be ashamed of who you are and what you stand for.  Being doers and not just hearers/  Love the gospel and constantly dig deeper.
Elder Bowen and the entire talk about the Plan of Salvation, you feel how much hope the message really is that we bring to people.  And Elder Nelson where any question or problem you could possibly think of he encouraged anyone not LDS watching conference to ask the missionaries. 
My favorite was Elder Uchtdorf's all about the regrets at the end of a person's life:
1. Not spending time with the people who mattered most
2. They failed to become the person they were capable of becoming
3. They didn't allow themselves to be happier
That talk along with Elder Holland's and Elder Eyring's (probably my three favorites but I honestly LOVED every single one) helped me to think a lot about how I want to spend the last six months of my mission and what kind of person I want to be.  So good.
I was so happy to hear about Danielle preparing to serve, when I read about all the preparation she has already done I just felt so much joy and felt so grateful to have a family that loves the gospel.  I told Danielle I think she's a lot more prepared than I was when I left.  She will be so good. :) 
As I have the opportunity to meet and talk to more and more people, I feel even more and more blessed for the gospel and feel a stronger commitment and responsibility for the rest of my life to help as many people around me, now and in the future to have those blessings in their lives.
I love you all and pray for you!  Thank you for all your love and support. 
Soeur Chard

Monday, October 1, 2012

Can't wait for General Conference

Hi everyone!

It's the one week count-down until General Conference!  aka without one shadow of a doubt it's better than the countdown for Christmas as a missionary... for me at least haha.  It's so good.

This week was good.  The best part for me was yesterday at church.  Soeur Horn and I started this project to find the people who have been lost in the ward.  Aka one day we were going through the ward repertoire and realized how many people we had never seen or heard of on the list so we started to try calling them up and soon realized just how many numbers were incorrect.  So we started looking up these people online on white pages and started being able to find some of the missing information.  The repertoire has 433 names on it and let's just say on a page of 35 people, 11 were correct as far as information goes.  So we started realizing what a big project this was and we decided after talking with our mission leader (frere grenier is the best ever) that we were going to try to fix it.  We were able to track down information for 76 members that were incorrect on the repertoire just from online stuff but after that we still had/have 130 people we could not find their information but who were on the ward list.  Come to find out the last time the ward really really did an update of the ward list and cleaned it was thirty years ago, when dad was leaving the ward haha.  So yesterday at church we had a special meeting with all the priesthood and relief society for member and missionary work together.  Frere Grenier presented about moroni 6:4  how when we entered the waters of baptism our names were recorded so we would never be forgotten and would be nourished by the good word of God.  Then I spoke and presented the project we were doing, basically with the help of elder quinn and elder argyle we have these little cards (confusing to explain) but basically it has the name of the person with the information that is on the repertoire and we asked the members to help by taking one of these cards and finding these "lost sheep" or "brebis perdus."  At the end of church was the real test to see if after the members would come up (purely by volunteer we didnt assign them anyone) and participate in the project.  We started with 120 cards.  At the end we left the church with only 38 cards left.  I thought it was a miracle.  Multiple members came up after and said how excited they were about this and what an important work this is.  Soeur Gerard came up and said she did this in another ward and because of it a family that had been less-active for years was sealed in the temple.  I tell you with this project we have and are in the middle of doing there has also been a lot of opposition, but I guess that's how it is with anything that is worthwhile.  At the same time we have been seeing miracles, and have continued to feel the help and guidance of Heavenly Father in what we are doing.  

Have a fabulous week everyone!  We are so blessed, I realize that more and more profoundly.  Last night Soeur Horn and I were able to go to a member family's house for dinner, both the parents are converts and we started talking about the movie "17 Miracles"  I told them how much it meant to me because it is my heritage and I realized how many sacrifices my ancestors made for the gospel.  We started talking about how these parents are pioneers in the gospel for their children.  They told us their conversion story and how much opposition they had faced in coming into the gospel.  Now I look at the children they are raising in the gospel and I just want to cry it makes me so happy.  The gospel truly blesses families, and I cant understand why anyone wouldnt want those blessings, it's a beautiful thing.  The dad said, "I hope one day my grand-children will be able to say they are grateful that their grandparents (he and his wife) joined the church of Christ."  I have so much grateful and admiration for the strong french members here, because being a member of the church here is definitely not in the culture.  They are strong because they know with conviction the things they live and believe are true and am feel very grateful to be able to know and love them.

I love you!
Soeur Chard