Merry Christmas from Soeur Holmes and Soeur Zenger
Wow this week has been interesting to say the least! First I would Like to send all my love to my amazing family at this hard time. Although I wish I could be with you all at Grandpa's funeral today, I know that he would not want me anywhere else but here right now. I love you Gramps, I know we will all see each other again. There is the sweetest lady in my branch here in Poitiers who gave me a little candle with a scripture on it, It said "For thou wilt light my candle, the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness." She gave me this candle on Saturday and told me that she had been thinking and praying about me all week, it was the sweetest thing. My Dad shared this quote by President Thomas S. Monson that I want to share with all of you,
Death eventually comes to all mankind. It comes to the aged as they walk on faltering feet. Its summons is heard by those who have scarcely reached midway in life’s journey, and often it hushes the laughter of little children. Death is one fact that no one can escape or deny.
Frequently death comes as an intruder. It is an enemy that suddenly appears in the midst of life’s feast, putting out its ...lights and gaiety. Death lays its heavy hand upon those dear to us and at times leaves us baffled and wondering. In certain situations, as in great suffering and illness, death comes as an angel of mercy. But for the most part, we think of it as the enemy of human happiness.
The darkness of death can ever be dispelled by the light of revealed truth. “I am the resurrection, and the life,” spoke the Master. “He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”
This reassurance—yes, even holy confirmation—of life beyond the grave could well provide the peace promised by the Savior when He assured His disciples: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Out of the darkness and the horror of Calvary came the voice of the Lamb, saying, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” And the dark was no longer dark, for He was with His Father. He had come from God, and to Him He had returned. So also those who walk with God in this earthly pilgrimage know from blessed experience that He will not abandon His children who trust in Him. In the night of death, His presence will be “better than [a] light and safer than a known way."
On a lighter note, this week was actually pretty great!!! So do you remember Yazid?? I think I talked about him last week? Anyway, he is an ami that we found through the ancient potential list and he is SO cool. We had our first rendez-vous with him this week and it was amazing. He has zero religious background and came in so so open minded. So we start our rendez-vous by opening the Book of Mormon, we turn to the picture of Jesus Christ and start to tell him how our message is centered on Christ. We look up at him and he has tears in his eyes, we ask him how he is feeling and he says, "I just have these strange feelings, these feelings of relief, peace, and joy. It's like something has been missing my whole life and I just found it. I think I found it." I about fell out of my chair!!!! This man is amazing!! At the end of our lesson he said the closing prayer. This man was praying for the first time in his life. He offered the most beautiful sincere prayer I have ever heard. FASTFORWARD so we meet with Yazid again on Thursday and he shows up 45 minutes late to our rendez-vous, so we're like shoot, it was too good to be true. But he shows up and sits down and says, "Sorry I was late, I was buying you a gift to thank you for giving me such a great gift yesterday." WHAT. He is literally the best human I have ever met. We had an amazing lesson about the restoration of the gospel and it just clicked for him. We would be explaining something and he would be like, "ohhhh that makes so much sense!!" Yeah it does Yazid, yeah it does!!" I was pumped. OH and he wants to get baptized on January 24th. He's so cute about it, he'll be like "ok so when I become a member of the church on January 24th..." and he always asks if he can come to Utah to meet President Monson! I don't know what we did to get so lucky to have such an amazing ami, but the Lord truly is blessing us.
Friday was zone conference. And you better believe David Archuleta was there. I shook his hand. He is much smaller in person, like maybe 4 inches taller than me. BUT he sang like an angel and of course Soeur Z cried like a champ and it was great. President Roney gave us amazing counsel as always and I feel so blessed to have such an amazing mission president! He told us about an experience on his mission where he recieved a phone call from his father that his mother had just passed away from cancer. In the phone call his father told him what his mother said before she died. She told her husband and children that, "The two most important things are the Savior and Love." I love that, because it's true. And the greatest example of love is our Savior Jesus Christ. I love Christmas because we get to celebrate Him. It isn't about the gifts, the lights, the candy, or even the tree. It's truly about Him. I am blessed to represent Him every day. I love Him.
Saturday was great as well, we had zone training. We talked about being grateful in our circumstances, which is not always easy. It's easy to get down when things are not going how we would like them to go, but it's important to find things to be thankful for even in the hardest situations. Saturday night we had a branch talent night and it was SO fun! Soeur Z and I sang a medley of French christmas songs and the rest of the branch did lots of random things. I was dying laughing. AND Yazid came and loved it! It was great!!
Sunday!! Soeur Z gave a beautiful talk about the Savior and I cried. And Yazid came to church! He wore a suit and tie and everything! Gash he is great. We taught him about prophets during amis class and he just understood it so well.
Well friends and family I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!!!! Remember the reason for the season, because of Him we have this beautiful holiday. I love you all, thank you for all your sweet letters and packages, I am one lucky missionary!!
Ps: Big thank you for everyone who wrote a letter for the 12 days of Christmas thing my mom did, I loved every single letter! Thank you thank you!!