Monday, November 12, 2012

The Language .. .AAhh!

Hi everyone!

First of all, I think I was physically sick when I heard the election results of the United States.  It's so sad to me what is happening to our country.  

The big news of the week is that I'm getting a new companion this week!  The office called a few days ago and said that there is another visa waiter coming in who will be serving in Arizona spanish speaking mission.  She is from Torcy (right outside of Paris).  So I'm restarting the training program with her, I am going into Paris Wednesday to pick her up. Soeur Grewar is taking over the training program with Soeur Deleu and we are opening another companionship in the city.  Honestly, I am super nervous.  But it will all be good.  Just pray for all of us please!

I think the biggest struggle for me this transfer has been the language.  Which is really ironic and weird to me because I was not expecting that at all.  I think just coming from training a blue who was just learning french to suddenly being immersed with a companion where we only speak french all the time has been a huge adjustment for me.  It's also weird because although I'm now speaking french more or less all the time, I feel like it is getting worse.  I'm super self-conscious about it and am now constantly doubting myself.  It's also interesting because most of my mission people have been telling me I speak pretty well and I get to Angers and random people on the street are calling me out on my french.  So, that does not really help with confidence boosting on the language.  

We were teaching someone the other night, her name is Estelle and she had invited over her friend to listen.  This friend had read the introduction of the BOM and had tons of questions about what was what.  He asked a question at the beginning, I started answering and he stops me and says, "you have an accent that makes it difficult to understand you, you're from where?"  I just had to swallow all my pride and seriously use all my courage to keep talking and trying to teach.  After having so many comments about my language the last week I was so frustrated and I just didn't want to even try to speak french anymore.  So I'm just trying to take it as a challenge, and am trying to dig in deeper so that I can improve.  Whenever we have opposition in anything we can choose to accept things for the way they are or try to overcome them.  Please pray for me to have the gift of tongues!  This morning I made some good language goals and am going to change some of the things I am doing so that I can improve.    

Estelle is a woman contacted by the elders and was passed to us.  Long story short, we went in and decided first lesson needed to be Word of Wisdom.  Pull out the Bible to read about the Word of Wisdom and how our bodies are gifts from God and she lights up a cigarette then and there.  We read DandC 89 whild she is smoking.  It was super bizarre experience.  She said she wants to stop and currently smokes 30 a day and is now trying to decrease.  We gave her a BOM and committed her to read it whenever she felt the desire to start smoking.  Please pray for her.

Training in a three-some has been very interesting.  a totally different experience than training Soeur Horn.  Training Soeur Horn was so much fun, I knew the city, we had developed trust with the members already, I loved all the people we were teaching, we had vision and it was so fun.  This is completely different because Soeur Deleu hasnt been through the MTC yet and is feeling like she doesnt know enough.  And it's different because language is not a barrier in this situation.  I tell Soeur Deleu though, she is one of the most optimistic people I have ever met, connects with people really well and is always wanting to improve.  She's already great and will just keep getting better.  I just am trying to figure out how to train this time because it's so different.  It's an interesting challenge to try to balance the needs to two companions, and trying to understand the area and the people and the members and the people you're teaching and trying to teach and your own personal challenges and still just trying to have fun and not stress too much.  It's a good challenge that I'm sure prepares you for life.  Soeur Grewar and I were talking about the training program yesterday and feel like we need to make some adjustments for how we will do it.  I'm excited to start over with the program again with another french visa-waiter, because I think I'm going to try to go about it a different way.  Focusing more on faith in Jesus Christ and setting goals.  And the more we can all grow faith in Christ that we will know what to say in lessons, to learn to trust your companion, that there's people prepared to find, that God helps us the way, the knowledge that comes as a missionary will come more quickly and confidence in our calls as missionaries also grows.

My companions are both awesome.  Two of my very favorite companions on my mission.  We have so much fun together and I feel so grateful we have met here so we can be friends forever.  

My favorite thing I've studied on my mission is the "character of Christ, Atonement  of Christ, and conversion to Christ" that dad sent me about six months ago.  I dont know how many times I have read it.  My most read things on my mission= the BOM, Preach My Gospel, the susan fulcher case study and that talk probably. haha  Because I think the three points in that talk are the most valuable lessons I have learned, am continuing to learn and hope to continue to learn throughout my mission.  Emphasis lately is on the Character of Christ.  It's so good.

Rahel is getting baptized this weekend!  Her mom just signed the form yesterday.  She is sixteen and is originally from Ethiopia.  I love to watch people change with the gospel of Christ in their lives.  Nadege (the woman soeur horn and I started teaching) is also getting baptized next week!  Because of her decision to be baptized, her uncle kicked her out of the house and she is now living with a member.  She is amazing and I feel so blessed to have met her and take part in her teaching.

The last thing is that President and Soeur Poznanski asked that we all ask our families to pray for the goal we have set as a mission.  The goal is that each companionship is able to find one family who is prepared for the gospel before Christmas to be baptized as a family.  It's really cool because in preparation for Elder Anderson to come the mission set a goal for 78 baptisms by the time he came between the beginning of September to when he comes and as of yesterday there were 74 baptisms.  Much more than ever before in our mission in that amount of time.  So cool.  So please pray for the mission and for the members and for families to be prepared to receive the gospel right now.  Thank you!

I love you all! Have a great week!

Soeur Chard

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