Saturday, October 8, 2011


Message body

October 8, 2011
I love General Conference. =) It's such a wonderful spiritual boost. But I have to tell you one of the most incredible moments came with the announcement of the new temples. The missionaries and members here have been on the edge of our seats for months now waiting for that news. (Or for many members -it's been years.) They had a French translation broadcast in the cultural hall, but in the Relief Society room and the room directly beneath that they had the direct English broadcast. Most of the missionaries were in the Relief Society room, but knowing this building, serving in this ward, we knew the set up. Wanting the less crowded room, Sister Barros, Elder Gardner, Elder Draleau, Elder Godfrey, Rémy and I watched it from downstairs. When they didn't announce any temples at the beginning of the session we were all a bit surprised assuming that meant there would be no new ones. But when President Monson stood up our heart rates shot through the roof. Then the choice words..."Paris France." We all cheered, echoed by the much louder shouts upstairs. =)
What an experience it is to be in a place where shouts of joy were heard at the announcement of a temple. It's a huge blessing to have the temples that we have and sometimes I feel like we forget what a big deal it is. At least I think I do. I've always appreciated having so many temples so close by to my home. We read the stories of the people who travel for days after years of saving the needed money just to finally go to the temple. But I don't think I ever really had much of a perspective on the matter. But now knowing these people and having faces to place with the stories...we are SO lucky in the states! I'm really grateful that I got to be here just for that moment -to see the joy of these people at the thought of being able to have a temple near them. AND one of the other temples: Congo Kinshasa. That's Philomene's home town! It's where her kids still live. I so wish I could have been with her for that one to hear her default "Eh!" response =) And Star Valley Wyoming...that's Soeur Moraga's home town. Gotta say, not too shabby of a list. =)

This weeks has been a bit of a surreal experience. They started working on the transfer board on Monday. (Normally they don't start until the end of the week, but due to interviews and other conflicts they started early this time.) Sister Barros and I had to go into the office for some reason on Monday. When we walked in, her card was sitting on Elder Gardner's desk. (The transfer board has a card for every missionary with their name, picture etc.) Seeing it sitting there, having been removed from the board with the other "dying" missionaries, was...weird. In our heads, (depending on the day) it feels like she's never leaving. So knowing she's been officially removed from the board...bizarre! I've known the majority of the week who was currently on the board as my new companion, but until the repertoire is typed up, nothing is official. So I didn't think about it too much. But then yesterday Sister Barros and I got a call telling us officially that my companion will be Soeur Emilcy. Knowing who was coming in made it feel real finally. That's the moment it hit. =( I am really not excited for Soeur Barros to leave. I'm going to miss her SO much. But in the end, I'm just glad that I've gotten the chance to serve with her at all. We've decided that we have to stay best friends forever ha ha. But that doesn't mean saying goodbye is going to be all.

As for Soeur Emilcy, I can't tell you much about her. I met her on her first day, but otherwise, that's it. She's only in her second transfer right now. (I'll have to give you more of her story when I actually know it) I believe her family lives in France, but originally they are Haitian. As of three months ago -and it's still pretty much the same according to the office elders -she spoke no English. President told her to learn it "because it's the language of the restoration" and Preach My Gospel says the same thing. But that's not super easy for missionaries to do always. Especially since they get NO language training when they are francophone other than having anglophone companions. Not going to lie, I'm pretty stressed about it at the moment. I can get by in French, but dealing with amis, members, people on the street, etc, is not at all the same as not being able to speak to my companion in my native language. I don't have any doubt that I'm supposed to be with her. The Spirit has confirmed that one to me. It's what the Lord wants. So I know I'll have his help in the matter, but
all the same, I'm a bit stressed.Oh well. What would life be if it didn't throw these adventures at us, right?! So...on we go. =)

As always, I've got to run. Ann, Benjamin, and Karen are getting baptized in about an hour. =) So...we've got to run and take care of these last minute details -getting them dressed, filling the font, etc.

I love you. Have a wonderful week!