Monday, February 3, 2014

On Waiting for Your Hair to Dry and Other Miracles

Last P-day we went to a big park/zoo. The zoo got boring fast, so we found a big field and a huge sign that said ONLYLYON. We have limited resources for entertaining ourselves as missionaries so we brought our frisbee and our exercises bands that we got at the MTC and played frisbee. Then had a three-legged race with the exercise bands. Then played three-legged frisbee. Then launched the frisbee with the exercise band.
And then it started raining and voila, a rainbow over ONLYLYON. We be real happy here. This P-day we're going bowling. Soeur Hutchins and I are going to win. Because we're American and we know how to bowl.
rainbows attend us everywhere we go
Just kidding about the American thing though. Because we really lost really bad at frisbee and the three-legged race and the three-legged frisbeeing. But it's okay. We've challenged our whole zone to a jumproping competition at the end of the transfer and Soeur Hutchins and I are training like Rocky every morning. 

On Tuesday we had our magic meeting of the transfer (aka Leadership Council). You leave that meeting feeling like you've been with angels. My favorite moment of every transfer is when at the end of that meeting, we all stand and sing "Les Anges Dans Nos Campagnes" and the walls reverberate with our singing, and apparently the people below complain every time. Oh quel bonheur. Angels are there when we sing that. After the meeting Sister Moderzitski (who is from Alpine) came up and said something about how I only have 3 transfers left after this one, and I FREAKED OUT. My heart stopped and I started shaking. I thought I had 4 transfers left after this one! (Then we figured out that indeed I do have 4 after this one, she'd counted wrong.) But wow, I didn't expect to have that kind of reaction to my mission coming to an end. I'm hitting the one-year mark in a couple weeks. There have been so many moments when I've thought it was never going to end (moment of honesty here), and lots and lots of time spent just feeling like this is normal life, but that is punctuated by these really deep beautiful moments when the significance of being a missionary and of this little moment in time in France pierce me to my very heart. And those are the earnest that this will be a blessing for all my eternity. I am so grateful to a patient Heavenly Father who gave me this year and a half to learn and to cry and the strive and to push and to laugh and to love and to be left totally alone and to be with Him constantly.

And there are lots of France moments I will miss. That is for sure. Like the muesli cereal, and being able to walk out the apartment at any moment and speak French to anyone I come across, and the patisseries on every corner, and people saying things like "up!" and "tak" as their noises they make (instead of "oops" "there we go"). Oh France.

We had an exchange in Valence this week. On the train ride there, we were in a train compartment like on Harry Potter with 6 other people and Sister Hutchins was sewing up her purse and I was sewing up my coat pocket and we were laughing about how we're totally reinforcing France's stereotypes of Mormons--that we don't use electricity and that we're Amish. Yep. Handsewing up our very well-used vetements.

a pretty door in Valence

And our joke of the week is that we have way way way too many things to do for the amount of minutes we have each day. But we teach our ami every night at 7:30, so whenever we think of something else we have to do, we've started saying "Well, we'll just do ________ while we're teaching our ami!" Need to call all our 22 sisters and follow-up on them? Great, I can do it while Soeur Hutchins teaches our ami. Need to make cookies for the fireside on Sunday? No problem, we'll do it while we're teaching our ami. That's also when we'll type out the report for the genealogy activity we had, prepare English class, practice the piano for the musical number we're doing, and oh yeah teach all the rest of our amis! Haha we laugh a lot at how stressed we are. And the laughing helps alot. Soeur Hutchins helps a lot. We bear this burden well together. And by burden I mean joy. We think the same things at the same times too, so we're going going going all the time. It is near seamless wih her. Having fun, trying to make some miracles here in ONLYLYON.

Also we had an ami text us this week that he couldn't come to church because he had to wait 2 hours for his hair to dry and hence, couldn't make it. WE LOVE THESE PEOPLE SO MUCH. funny funny funny

A miracle for the week:

We took a train out to a little town called Bourgoin Jallieu to visit a family. We ran to catch it, and another girl ran right behind us to catch it too. We had a presentation to prepare for our zone training meeting the next day, and we only had the 20 minutes on the train that were free for the day. So we started in on our preparations, spread all our materials out on the train compartment table. And then the Spirit, that wonderful persistent Spirit, started pushing me to talk to the girl who'd ran to catch the train and sat down by us. After a couple more good pushes from the Spirit, I finally said something to her, and we started talking. And without us saying anything, she started asking all kinds of questions about faith v. logic. Which was perfect because that was the very thing we were preparing our presentation about. So we taught her from the scriptures we'd spread out all over the train compartment table. I've been studying a lot about faith lately, and what I'm learning is that the whole point of faith is to believe in things that seem impossible! Like that a man can heal sicknesses. Like that He could walk on water. Like if we follow Him, we'll be happy. Like that He has the power to resurrect. Everything Jesus does with his disciples in the Bible is to help them build their faith. So often He asks them to do impossible things (or at very least illogical things), like in Luke 5, when he asks Peter who is an experienced fisherman and has been fishing all night with no succes to throw his nets in one more time. And laying aside logic and pride and fear, Peter does it. He just lets go and trusts and does it. And they pull in so many fish their nets break and so they call over the other boat to help them out, and they pull in so many fish that BOTH boats start sinking. The whole POINT of faith is that you can't see the proof. It's to believe in things you don't know yet, things you can't prove, at least not by our limited brain's logic and understanding of the laws of the universe. There is something magic about undying faith. It isn't weak, but it is a mark of the strongest men and women the world has ever seen. Faith demands miracles come. So believe in God, believe He loves you, believe He has a plan, even and especially when it requires you to believe in things not yet seen or not yet fully understood. Study Hebrews 11. Then read these verses, because herein lies all of the Gospel of Jesus Christ:

Hebrews 4:

14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

More on faith later. I love you all! Happy week!

my companion has basketball scriptures

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