Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Isn't General Conference Awesome!!!

April 4, 2011

Don't you just LOVE conference?! =) I realized something this weekend that I had never considered to be a "blessing" before. I can't even tell you how happy I am that I speak English. It is such a blessing to be able to literally "listen to a prophet's voice" rather than a translation. It's definitely something I had never thought of before, but I can't imagine having grown up with voice over translations and jokes and references that didn't make sense. (Like in the "Fundamentals of our Faith" talk by Elder Oaks in the January Ensign, he said that many Americans believe that Joan of Arch was Noah's wife. In French that doesn't make any sense - "Arch" in her name and the arch that Noah built aren't the same word at all. Just in English.) I'm also extremely glad that the church that we watched the transmission of Conference in had a French room as well as an English room! Listening to all six hours (we didn't get to see the Sunday afternoon session) in French would have been very headache inducing ha ha. The one semi negative bit about conference: nothing has made me more trunky than watching conference. I love Salt Lake. And all the shots of
Temple Square
, the Conference Center, and just Conference in general just scream "home" for me. But it was still kind of cool to know that we were seeing or listening to the exact same thing at the exact same time. =)

And I loved Elder Bednar's talk! He gave a talk in the MTC that my district watched the recording of that literally could have come from the exact same outline as the one he gave yesterday. Sister Call repeatedly talked about how she wished he would give it in conference. Well Soeur Call...you got you wish! (However, I think I still prefer the MTC version, but yesterday's was SUPER close.) I'm just thrilled he gave that talk so I can have it in writing now.
We had a pretty...difficult rendez-vous this past week. We went to see an inactive sister that we meet with regularly. She's a smoker and asked us to help her quite. We gave her a copy of the program we have in our area book to help people stop smoking. But she said she wants to really understand it before she starts. So she asked for nine days to study it before starting. We told her that was fine, but we'd still like to meet with her in the mean time to try and help her understand it ever better. She agreed. So we had a rendez-vous on Friday night. We felt like we should go over the Word of Wisdom with her (she said she didn't remember even hearing of it before.) We asked her to read a couple verses - she ended up reading the whole thing. Afterwards, we talked about what the section (D&C 89) says, commands, and promises. We then said, "Will you live the Word of Wisdom?" She said yes. We then said, "So will you stop smoking and drinking alcohol?" She said the smoking she can't quite cold turkey yet (since she hasn't started the program yet) but she'll work on it. However, she won't give up wine "because {she} drinks wine to remember Jesus." She told us that Christ drank wine. Thus wine isn't bad. She also showed us a gold goblet that she has and explained that she puts it on her coffee table next to bread and her bible and then more or less blesses and takes her own sacrament -"since Christ told us to do so." I asked her if she remembered coming to sacrament meeting and taking the sacrament. She did. I explained that that is how we follow the "do this in remembrance of me" commandment. But she just said, "No that doesn't work because the Mormons use water. Jesus' blood is red." She went on to say that she knows that it's red because she's seen him. She had a vision while praying in some church. She was engulfed by a pillar of light. And in the light, dead and bleeding on the cross, Jesus was spinning over her head with Mary crying at his feet.  We also found out that when she was baptized she was still smoking and drinking. She just told the other missionaries that she didn't do either. (Not trying to lie; She just didn't consider herself to be a smoker or drinker.) We talked and talked and talked, but it feels like it's a loosing battle. She just doesn't get it and we have NO idea how to help her. So...needless to say, kind of a frustrating situation unfortunately. But, we're going to keep trying. We just don't know quite how yet.

Happy news: we've got a baptismal date!!! =) The Paris soeurs (that I live with) passed us an amis on Monday. She's wonderful! I absolutely love her! =) She's only met with the missionaries three time (including us) but already loves the church, Book of Mormon, and -as of yesterday- general conference. She's amazing! Amis like her don't come every day. She's such a miracle. We're SO happy to be able to work with her.

Other happy news: We went up to Lille this week for my medical appointment and...I'm legal in France now! =) So looks like I'll get to stick around a bit longer. ;) I had to have a chest x-ray as part of the appointment. After they developed it, the guy was looking at it and talking to me and very happily pointed out to me that I am in deed not a smoker. ha ha Good to know French Medical Man.

We also met with an another amis this week that we've had a little bit of a hard time with. She's seemed like she was only letting us come over to be nice, but didn't really care or know why we were there. We didn't know what we wanted to teach her though. The more we thought and talked and thought some more we were drawing complete blanks. It seemed the more we tried to figure out what to teach, the more lost we got. We finally settle on something, but not because it seemed "right". It just seemed the least "wrong." However when we got there she told us that she hadn't had time to read the chapter we left her. (We could not remember AT ALL having left her a chapter to read.) So she went and grabbed her Book of Mormon and the note with the chapter written on it. Since she hadn't read before we got there, she wanted to read it with us. So we read 3 Nephi 11 with her and it was perfect! The Spirit was so strong and fully directed the lesson. And she let us in on SO much of her life and beliefs. She's been SO prepared for the gospel. Now it's just a matter of time and her agency. That lesson was a real miracle. Had we remember leaving that chapter, I'm absolutely certain it would have affected our plans for the lesson. But instead, because we "just happened" to forget all together, the spirit was able to lead the lesson in the EXACT direction it needed to go.

Mom two things. 1) I think I got all the pictures now. =) and 2) you're not the only person I've met who can burn spaghetti noddles in water! We made a MOUNTAIN of noodles for district meeting this week, and a whole lot of them got burned and stuck to the bottom of the pan ha ha.

Have an amazing week!


The picture I attached is of that "submarine" I told you about last week, but this time the guy is actually inside of there! You can see his head and one hand poking out. (It's not a good picture, but you get the idea. I had to take it really quickly and from a distance. He was shouting at me and that was the only second that there weren't people in the shot)