Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Wild Pig!!

Bonjour!
Wow this week has been really interesting! 
MATHIEU:
He is progressing like a champion. We had a lesson with him this week and it was so great. We sat down and before we started teaching he whips out his computer and shows us all of his notes on the book of mormon! He writes a summary for each chapter so he makes sure he understands it better and doesn't forget it! Holla. He's the coolest 18 year old I know! Our lesson was on the plan of salvation and it was really great. The spirit was strong and I felt like it touched him. So he is still getting baptized but we don't know when cause he has to come 3 times before he gets baptized and he hasn't been to church yet, but now that he moved out of his grandmas house and he doesn't have to take her to mass he can come! So keep him in your prayers:)
GLADYS:
I don't know if I already told you this story so sorry if I have haha so a couple weeks ago we were on a bus coming home and I go sit down next to this woman and start talking to her. She saw my tag and said "I'm already baptized" and I'm thinking "yeah you are probably catholic or something" so we keep talking and then she points at my tag and tells me she is already baptized into our church! So I'm like what?! She's been inactive for like 15 years and she's lived in poitiers for 10 and she didn't know there was a church here. We are going to visit her this week and I am super excited to see what comes of it!
FRERE CHEVALIER:
Had a bomb lesson with him this week as well! He started reading the Book of Mormon and praying again, he told us he feels a difference in his life and he sees how the Lord is blessing him. I was so pumped for him! Please pray for him to stay strong! 
EXCHANGE WITH SOEUR ZENGER:
So Soeur Zenger came to Poitiers on Thursday and we did an exchange and it was so so so so so so so good! Ah I miss her. We had a lesson with Yazid and I didn't tell him that Soeur Z was coming, and so when he saw her he freaked out and it was so fun and my heart was so happy. We then went on to have a killer lesson about the Prayer and the Book of Mormon. We read 3 Nephi 11 together about when the Savior comes and it was beautiful. Yazid was really touched by the Spirit. At the end of our lesson, he told us he would never leave the church:) just about the best words you can hear your convert say! After Yazid we went and saw Soeur Rousselle and talked to her about Project Elijah and how we are trying to help people connect to their ancestors, she wants us to give her another My Family book so she can share it with her doctor! The spirit of elijah is really making miracles here in our mission!
ZONE CONFERENCE:
I love Zone Conference. It's the highlight of every transfer. I love getting spiritually fed by President and Sister Roney! Of course at Zone Conference we talked a lot about Project Elijah and how we are really trying to help these people connect to their ancestors. It's been cool cause as I have been trying this new family questionnaire people really do open up. Before our questionnaire was about prophets, we had a family one too, but not like this one. Those questionnaires were good and sparked a lot of interest, but this one is incredible. The first question we ask people is "what member of your family has made the biggest sacrifice for you or has been the best example?" People really start to open up, it then invites the Spirit super fast, and then it gives us a great lead to talk about the Gospel and how the family is so important. I'm excited to keep going with this!
Also in Zone Conference we watched Meet the Mormons! It was SOOOOOOOOOO good and everyone should watch it! I loved it! 
So at ZC the missionaries who are going home give their dying testimonies. A sister in our mission who I love gave a beautiful testimony that really touched me. She was talking about how her favorite story in the bible is in John 9 when Jesus heals the man who was born blind. The pharisees ask him how was he healed and who did this and why? The man replys something like "whether this man is a sinner I know not; whereas I was blind, now I see." The sister compared this to her mission and how she felt like before her mission she was "blind" but now, "she see's" I loved when she said that. I still have quite a while on my mission, but I feel like I am beginning to see:)
WILD PIG ATTACK 2015:
Ok so we were on the train home from ZC and everything is normal and we are sitting with the Angoulême soeurs and just having a jolly good time, when the train makes this awful noise and comes to a screching hault! We are all like what in the world is going on??? So the lady comes on over the speaker and tells us they are going to check it out, like 20 minutes later they come back on and tell us that we have hit a giant wild pig and it broke the train!!! So we were stuck on this train for 4 HOURS!! No water. Always bring water on a train, you may hit a wild pig. We were going crazy and so tired. Our poor district leader, and zone leaders couldn't go to sleep until we got home! We got to angouleme at like 11 ish and then went back to poitiers the next morning! haha it was definitely a night to remember!
BRANCHE ACTIVITY:
Saturday was crazy and started out bad! So saturday we had this branch activity. Our dmb thought it would be a good idea for the branche to do some contacting with the missionaries as part of the activity. So we were all suppossed to meet at the church at 3 and head out contacting. Well everyone, starts sending us these texts saying that they aren't coming contacting but they will show up at 5 to watch the movie. So I'm super irritated, cause I knew all along that they didn't want to do this, so I had no idea why they agreed to it. SO we show up at 3 and the only people there are Dominique and Catherine. We were all a little frustrated, but Dominique said a killer prayer and we went out and worked. It had been raining all day, but for the 2 hours that we were contacting, the rain stopped and there was a tiny bit of sun.:) No one gave us a number, or wanted to see us again, but everyone was nice, and a little old lady bought us juice, and we testified of eternal families and I was happy:) The Lord blessed us and I am so grateful  for Dominique and Catherine and their willingness to help us out.
After contacting we met up with everyone else at the church and watched Ephriams Rescue and it was SO GOOD. Everyone go watch it, everyone was crying. Like I have always known that the pioneers did so much, but it really hit me on Saturday. I am grateful for the sacrifces they made so I have the Gospel in my life today. The day ended really good:)
This week was interesting but I saw so many little miracles. The Lord is always with us and he will never leave us alone. He loves us. I love you! Have a great week!:) 
Love,

Soeur Holmes

Monday, February 16, 2015

Bonjour

Bonjour!
Ok so this week was good but for some reason I am having the hardest time figuring out what to wrtie about so bear with me!!

MATHIEU
He is great and so so cool. He accepted to be baptized on March 14th:) Hopefully everything goes according to plan. He sent us a text that was like "can't wait for tuesday so I can tell you about what I read in the Book of Mormon" so I am super pumped for our rdv tomorrow with him

RUHINA
Ruhina is a girl I met on the bus and she is so cool. She speaks english. Love that. So we set up a rdv with her and she is really cool! She was drilling us with some tough questions though. Like what will it be like when the Savior comes again? Why is your church the best church of all the churches? How did you get your testimony? When did you know the bom was true?? AH! Like I know the answers to these questions but sometimes on the spot it's a wee bit hard to come up with a hit you straight in the heart response ya know?? She seemed satisfied though and we have another rdv tomorrow which I am really excited about cause she is cool!

JULIE
Julie. I love Julie so much. We cracked her. We figured out why she won't get baptized. She said she doesn't feel worthy. We had a beautiful lesson about repentance. Julie cried, I cried. The Spirit was strong and it made me think of my favorite quote from President Uchtdorf,“He is not waiting to love you until you have overcome your weaknesses and bad habits. He loves you today with a full understanding of your struggles. He is aware that you reach up to Him in heartfelt and hopeful prayer. He knows of the times you have held onto the fading light and believed—even in the midst of growing darkness. He knows of your sufferings. He knows of your remorse for the times you have fallen short or failed. And still He loves you.”
He loves us always. I know He loves Julie as much as He loves each and every one of us and He wants nothing more than for her to get baptized. I hope she gets an answer soon, because she is ready, she just needs to believe in herself.

For Valentines Day we went to Zone Training in Bordeaux and it was an absolute BLAST. Gosh I love seeing all of my missionary homies:) Our whole zone training was on something called Project Elijah. In the France Lyon Mission we will be turning the hearts of the children to their fathers as we really dive into working with family history. We have a brand new questionnaire for contacting about family history as well. It should be really great and I am super excited, the best way to invite the spirit is to get people talking about their families:) so if anyone has some good stories or facts for me about our family, send them my way!

YAZID:) he blessed the sacrament on Sunday. It was a proud mama moment for me. I'm seriously so proud of him and the choices he continues to make to follow Heavenly Father. I love you all! I hope your week is great and full of lots of love! It doesn't have to be valentines day to show love:) I love you!

avec amour,
Soeur Holmes

Monday, February 9, 2015

It snowed!!

Bonjour!
Wow this week. The first week of the transfer always feels kind of slow, but this one was super super slow, BUT a lot of great things happened:)
I got my new companion Soeur Mattinson! She was serving in Toulouse before which is like the 3rd biggest city in France of something so Poitiers is kind of a change! haha She is wonderful, she is so so so nice and loving and you can't help but be happy around her, it's impossible to be sad. She's a great missionary and she is helping me become a better missionary myself. I always get nervous when I get a new companion but the Lord always knows exactly what we need, I'm grateful for that.

This week was really good, we contacted A LOT. Contacting isn't my favorite thing, but Soeur Mattinson is so enthusiastic about it that it makes it kind of fun. We talked to some really great people and we even had a couple cool miracles. One of them was that we approached this family and starting talking to them, they told us they were from Brazil and that they didn't speak French very well, so we tried to talk really simply and slowly and the Dad was able to translate what we were saying to the Mom. After a couple minutes of talking I felt really inspired to testify hard core about eternal families so I did, they were really touched. We got there number and hopefully we will be able to see them this week.

Something else that was really cool that happened was Yazid passed the sacrament for the first time yesterday at church!! Ahh! I was so happy, the whole time I was just beaming as he walked up and down the rows. He was so nervous but he did such a great job. I love seeing him progress:)

We were finally able to have a rendez-vous with Aurech this week, we hadn't seen him in a really long time. The rendez-vous was good but he just isn't progressing. He told us "I just need to make the decision to keep the commandments and then it will be easier to keep them." Valid. With anything in life we first have to make the decision and then do it, but unfortunately Aurech is just not really acting on his faith right now. I hope that one day he comes around because he would honestly be the coolest member ever, until then we will just keep loving him and praying for him.

So we have this ami named Mathieu, I've known him since I got here in September. We teach him english every week and that's about it. Well we were having our dmb meeting and Joe our branch mission leader was like "why isn't Mathieu being taught??" And I'm like he is.. we're teaching him english! And Joe is like well try teaching him the Gospel. That kind of hit in me in the face because until this point we have only taught him english because he never seemed too interested in the Gospel. So we called and asked if we could teach him a little bit more about what we believe in, he said of course:) our renez-vous went super well and I could tell he was touched by the Spirit, I'm actually really glad we waited to teach him though, I feel like we first needed to establish a friendship with him first. I can't wait to see where things go with him:)

Ok so yesterday was really cool. We were getting off the bus to walk to the church and Soeur Rousselle was getting on the bus to go home. We thought this was super weird because church hadn't started yet. She looked really really upset and I was worried. We got off the bus and called her and she didn't answer her phone. Well we went about our day and we thought we would try and see her sometime this week to make sure she was ok. Well later last night one of our rendez-vous fell through so Soeur M is like lets go see Soeur Rousselle. So we did, we got to her house and she did not look happy to see us and she was super hesitant about letting us in. But after a second she did, she made us hot cocoa and we sat down and started talking. She told us about how she was having some problems with her family and neighbors and such and that this week had just been awful. We shared a scripture with her about prayer and by the time we left her house she was so happy and smiling. She even gave us chocolate butter, you heard me chocolate butter. I was so glad our rendez-vous fell through because Soeur Rousselle needed us last night. The Lord is so aware of His children.

I hope you all have an incredible week and think about the Savior a little more. I love Him, and I love you! Que Dieu vous bénisse!

Love,
Soeur Holmes

Ps it snowed in Poitiers!
The other pic is soeur zenger and I when I dropped her off at the gare




Monday, February 2, 2015

Poitiers

Bonjour!
Welp I am still in Poitiers! This will be my 4th transfer here and I love it so much. The day I leave is going to be a really hard day. I am so grateful for all the amazing experiences that I have had here. Soeur Zenger got transferred to Talence, which is in Bordeaux. I was heartbroken, I just cried and cried. She became my best friend. I loved being her companion, we had so much fun, but we also worked really hard and saw so many miracles. I'll miss her so much but I know that she is needed in Talence. She will do amazing things there.

This week was really good. Soeur Zenger and I had a feeling that someone would get transferred which means that so many members invited us over to eat with them! haha So we got to spend time with Soeur Rousselle and Soeur Chevallier! They fed us Raclette which is my favorite and then Soeur Z and I made Speculoos Cheesecake which is SOOOOO good and I'll make it for ya'll when I get home. I love these two women, I loved spending time with them as they told us their stories and shared their testimonies.

We also did exchanges this week! Soeur Cherry came from Limoges and we did some killer work in Poitiers. We were able to see aurech for a little bit. He is probably the most frustrating investigator we have. He knows the church is true, he just really struggles with commandments. I know one day he will get baptized, but maybe now just is not the time. I refuse to give up on him though. We also were able to see Yazid! We are teaching him all the lessons again. It's been really cool, he practically teaches us the lessons he knows everything so well! It's been really cool just to watch him grow even in just a little over a week since his baptism, it's incredible.

Yesterday was my favorite day of the whole week! It was fast sunday which means testimony meeting and I love testimony meeting. President Achar always invites the missionnaries to bear their testimony first, so I get up and I start talking and then I talk about how I will miss soeur zenger and I just burst into tears and it was really awkward but it was ok cause everyone else started to cry haha but I love hearing all of their testimonies. This branche is incredible, their faith is unshakeable. I love them so much.

Yazid got the priesthood yesterday:) we were able to be there for it and it was incredible. I love to see him progress and take steps in his life that keeps bringing him closer and closer to the Savior. The Spirit was so strong in the room when he was getting the priesthood and even though I didn't understand every word cause French, the Spirit is the same. It's the same in any language and I love that.

Last night we went to the Meloen's for the last time with Soeur Zenger. Soeur Meloen of course made amazing food like usual cause she is such a good cook! It was so great, the Spirit is always felt in that home and I kinda consider it my second home:)

It was a good week. Sad and hard to let Soeur Z go but I am grateful for the time I had with her. I love you all and I hope you have an amazing week!