Monday, August 31, 2015

Staying in Toulouse!!

Salut! Well transfer calls came and I am staying in Toulouse! I will be receiving my new companion Soeur Nef! She's from California and a whole foot taller than me, we will be quite the companionship! Soeur Stapley is heading to Nice! It's a bittersweet moment when someone you really love leaves. I learned so much from Soeur Stapley and I'll miss having her by my side. But I'm also excited to learn lots of things from Soeur Nef! It should be a good transfer:)
This week was slightly crazy. In different ways. Monday was zone p day! We went to this place called Toulouse Plage and played beach volleyball together. My volleyball skills are still as bad as ever but I can officially serve it over the net! Progress my friends. Haha it was super fun and we all had a really good time together! Then Mondaynight we started our exchange with the Perpignan sisters. I was with Soeur Staples. We went and visited Angela. It kind of ended up being a crazy lesson. She has just gotten home, Nicolas was hungry and crying, she was trying to cook dinner, her mother in law kept interrupting, and everything was just going bad. She told us how she's been talking with a "prophet" who told her if she joins the Mormon church that she's a horrible person etc, etc. Every missionaries worst nightmare. It's in these moments where I realize that I literally can't control anything. I just have to try my best and leave the rest to Heavenly Father. We left discouraged but hopeful that she would read the law of chastity pamphlet and pray for the next rdv. Then we tried to find a less active but got kind of lost and almost missed the last bus of the night, but hey we made it!
Tuesday was such a cool day! It was a full day of back to back rendezvous! It's been a long time since that has happened. It felt so cool! We started the day off with teaching this man named Remi who had met with missionaries before. He's just really discouraged right now. He believes in God but kind of feels abandoned because he isn't getting responses to his prayers. But he's willing to try again, so we're excited to see where this goes. After Remi we headed to the church to meet Tya. So Tya actually referred herself! She's friends with a member in our Ward and she's writing a book. Her main character is Mormon! So she wanted to know what we believe from the real source. Alors, she called us! It was a cool rendezvous, we talked about a lot of different things. Mostly just answering her questions and such. I don't think she's actually interested in joining a church, more curious if anything. But super willing to learn and listen so that was really cool. If anything she has a better idea of who we are and what we believe. We're going to see what we can do about actually teaching her:) stay tuned. After Tya we had such a good rdv with Lien! She's the really cute girl from Vietnam that I told you about last week. She's so cute! She's Buddhist but not practicing. She was so curious thought and our lesson about the Book of Mormon went really well. We committed her to read and pray. I think she had a lot of potential and I'm really pumped to see where it goes with her. Whoo! Quite the day! We ended the exchange we these really yummy raspberry chocolate p√Ętisseries. I'm seriously considering opening up a boulangerie in America because I don't know how I'm going to exist without them. Overall it was a good productive day! Soeur Staples is a great teacher and really hard working.
Wednesday! We had district meeting. So we went to half of our district meeting and then half of the Capitole soeurs district meeting. It was cool to see how the two different district leaders took two completely different approaches for district meeting. Our district meeting was all about  the power of the spirit in conversion. It was such a cool meeting! In Preach My Gospel there is a a part where it talks about the spirit in conversion and what a member must feel, a missionary must feel, and investigator must feel in the process of conversion. Then he had people share from their different point of views how they felt. For example an elder who is a convert shared his experience (investigator) another elder shared his experience helping convert a friend (member) and I shared my experience with Yazid (missionary) it was so cool! It was really neat to hear the different points of view and no matter what role you play each piece of the puzzle needs the spirit in the process of conversion. In the other district meeting we talked about how even though we are doing this big temple project we can't forget all the other great tools we already were using before. It was good to have a little reminder of all the wonderful tools the Roney's gave us, now it's time to incorporate those with all the new tools that President Brown has given us. I feel so blessed to have been given two amazing mission presidents to guide us in this work.
Thursday was great! Haha well it started off not so great:( we went to do soeur Stapley's legality in albi. We got to albi and realized we had forgotten her passport! And so we get there anndddd turns out that her rendezvous isn't for a month. Whoops. So we went back to Toulouse and did a lot of less active hunting, which was fun. Then we had the Capitole Soeurs sleepover because transfer calls were Friday morning. We did the usual Tim tam slams and bible prophesies to prepare ourselves for the transfer calls. Haha it was fun!
The weekend consisted of packing and visiting less actives and members. We were able to go to this really far place called foix Soeur Chautard who has a less active husband. We went with Soeur ducrocq and we took Soeur Chautard to get ice cream. She told us her conversion story and we talked about the importance of the temple. It was great. I love talking about the temple!!  Their is such a special spirit that comes along with it. Also!! So when I was in Tarbes there was this great family named the Polteau's, well they showed up in Toulouse on Sunday! They might be joining my Ward! It was so cool to see them!
It was a good week. This transfer went by fast but slow. I can't believe I'm starting my 10th transfer as a missionary. It seems like yesterday that I arrived in Tarbes, not speaking a lick of French. Haha weird how fast time goes. I'm so grateful to be a missionary! I love this work and I love the Lord! I love you! Have a great week!
Soeur Holmes
Challenge: read "the touch of the master's hand" by Boyd K. Packer

                                                              Saying good-bye to Soeur Stapley

Zone p-day

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Trains, Trains, and more trains!!

This week has been another week full of trains rides, within three days we took 14 hours worth of trains! 14 hours worth of trains to go to the prefecture in Nice for a 30 second rendezvous to pick up my legality! Crazy. Sometimes after being on a train for a really long time, I tell myself "thank goodness trains aren't common in America because after 18 months of trains I never want to take a train again!" But I think once I'm home I'll miss peacefully riding a train through the south of France. I'll start at the beginning:) Monday was great! We had a great lesson with Angela on faith! She has so much faith and even though her life is incredibly difficult right now, she has faith that the Lord will help her and that she will be able to overcome her problems. She's just lovely. Then for p day we went to this really cool museum with the other missionaries! And then that night a cool miracle happened! So we were on a bus heading home for the night when I saw this lady and I kinda felt like I should talk to her but we had made eye contact a couple of times so I felt awkward going up and talking to her. But I put on my big girl skirt and did it anyway! So I start talking to this lady and turns out she's from Vietnam and the most adorable person ever. She wasn't super religious but she was so sparked by our conversation that she gave me her phone number and email and told me she wanted to keep talking! Also she told me that if I'm ever in Vietnam I've got a place to stay:) yessssss.
Tuesday! So we didn't have a lot of time Tuesday because we had to take a train to Marseille at 3 and it's a four hour train ride. But in the time we had before our train ride we decided to go pass an ancient ami. Her name is Maud and she was being taught for a really long time. Then her boyfriend got interested so he was being taught as well, but then her boyfriend got less interested and it was kinda tearing apart their relationship. So she picked him. Anyway so we decided we would just show up at her house and see if she was there. And she was! And she told us they weren't interested, but she let us in! She told us the story about why they stopped meeting with the missionaries, but she also used the words "we're on standby" so that gives me hope that they'll start meeting with us again! She also expressed that she misses praying and coming to church, so maybe our little visit was the answer that she needed:) also about a week before meeting maud we were out contacting on this giant bridge by our apartment and we stopped this couple and asked if we could talk with them, they said no but they knew what we were and they had a lot of member friends! Turns out it was Maud and her boyfriend Olivier! So when we met Maud for real, she was like "didn't I meet you on the bridge?" I really don't think it was a coincidence. I think Heavenly Father is sending her a pretty clear message to meet with us again. I hope she follows through with that prompting:)
Then we took the train to Marseille! We traveled to Marseille and spent the night there with the sisters there. They just barely put a sister equipe in Marseille after years and years of not having one. It's really sketchy there. Like I think Marseille is one of the most dangerous cities in Europe, so I've been told. BUT guess who's in Marseille?? Soeur Gerritsen! One of my companions from Cannes! It was so good to see her and catch up!

Wednesday! We woke up and headed straight to the gare to catch our train to Nice! It was weird to be back on this side of the mission. The Cannes/Nice area is just so different from Toulouse. It kinda feels like two different worlds. Haha but it was cool to go back! The elders in Nice were super nice (haha puny right??) and helped us get to the prefecture to pick up my legality. We even got lucky and got to take a picture in "the Niceian diamond". I'll explain. So pretty much the elders in Nice started this thing where the 4 of them when they take a picture anywhere they call it "the Niceian diamomd" and they take a picture in a diamond form. Sounds weird but oddly hilarious. So to get back to Toulouse from Nice we were supposed to take an airplane! We were SO pumped. So we are looking at our boarding passes and such when we realize that he accidentally ordered us tickets for Tuesday, not Wednesday! So instead of getting home Wednesday evening we took a train to Montpellier to spend the night there! And guess who was also staying in Montpellier??? Soeur Zenger!!!!! Another one of my old comps from Poitiers! I just got so lucky and got to see two of my old companions! It was great! It was kind of a n'importe quoi day. Haha (there isn't really a translation for n'importe quoi in English but pretty much it means "whatever".)
Thursday! Woke up super early again and took a train back to Toulouse!! Feels good to be home:) We headed straight from the gare to the church to meet a member there to take us to another members house to do service for her. So we ended up wallpapering a room for Soeur Marand's mom who is like 90 something years old. It was a birthday present for her:) she loved it! The wallpaper was like this beautiful island scene, I wouldn't mind waking up to that every day! Also wallpapering is harder than you'd think. Haha but it was fun! Then we headed to a lesson with Angela! She is doing well and excited for her baptism!
Friday was kind of a crazy day! We had planned 3 different rdvs with members who lived nowhere near each other. Making it seem pretty much impossible to get to all of these places with the crazy bus schedules. But with a lot of prayers we were able to see all 3 of these members and talk about the blessings of the temple with each of them. We encouraged each of them to prepare themselves and their families for the temple open house in Paris next year. I'm so excited for the amazing people of France to have a temple in their own country.
Saturday! Taught Angela the word of wisdom! She had so much faith and just accepted it so well. She used to smoke 10 cigarettes a day and now she's down to 1. Please pray for her to be able to stop completely! She's so cute and she understands that if she wants to get baptized she has to stop. I love her so much!!!! Also when we first started teaching her when we would go over all of her neighbors and family members would like hard core stare at us and be super judge mental. Now we're totally homies with them! The spirit really does soften the hearts of others. Later that night we went to our dmp's (Ward mission leader) house for dinner. Him and his wife both served in New Caledonia and are just awesome. They told us mission stories and their son in law shared his conversion story, it was great! Love them!

Sunday was great! We taught relief society. The lesson was on the talk, "truly good and without guile" by elder ringwood from this last conference. I'm obsessed with that talk. It ended up being a really good lesson! Angela was supposed to come to church but she got sick and is in the hospital! We don't know what's wrong but we're praying really hard that she gets better soon. Please pray for her!
This week was just kind of all over the place. Haha we weren't really home and when we were it felt like we never stopped running. I love this crazy missionary life and I'm so grateful to my Heavenly Father who gave me that push I needed to serve a mission. I love this gospel, I love this work, it is His work. I love you all! Have a great week!
Soeur Holmes
Challenge: doing something nice for the missionaries in your ward:)
Pics: cool pic of my plaque, saw Soeur Gerritsen in Marseille, and Us with the Nice elders forming a "Niceian diamomd" haha

Monday, August 17, 2015

I love Zone Conference!!

Another great week come and gone in Toulouse. I can't believe that we are starting week 5 of the transfer already! It feels like the transfers go by faster and faster now days, I'm not sure how I feel about it.

We had a good week! I'll start with my exchange in Capitole! (I don't know if I explained this but Capitole is in Toulouse it's just the other sector, our sector is called Concorde) I was with Soeur Tibbitts and it was great. I learned a lot from her, she's just a really solid missionary. She doesn't let anything phase her or get her down. To me that's incredible. As a missionary you have the highest highs and the lowest lows, but when the low moments hit, when rendezvous fall through, when someone rejected us it didn't phase her. It was really impressive. I'm really grateful for her example, it's easy to get discouraged when things don't go as planned, but if we just take these moments that are difficult, learn from them and move on, I'm positive that if everyone treated life's circumstances like that we'd all be happier. Easier said than done:)
Now back to the exchange, we had a cool rendezvous with a member of their Ward who is 94 and her less active daughter. They were really nice, the little old lady was quite the sass, I liked that:) we shared a simple message about Jesus Christ and it was pretty powerful. Even though I've seen "because of Him" probably 50 times now, I still get chills every single time. The simplicity of the message is beautiful, but it's something that is relatable for everyone. The daughter really liked this videos message of change. On my mission I've learned a lot of things, but one thing that sticks out to me is that it is never too late to change. Because of the Savior, we can change our lives around. I really like this quote from the talk, the brilliant morning of forgiveness by Boyd K. Packer, he says, "there is no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no apostasy, no crime exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness. That is the promise of the atonement of Christ." I really believe that statement, I really believe that God wants to save all of His children, but we have to do our part.

Angela! Angela is fantastic. Her French is so limited but she just oozes so much love. We were able to see her three times this week. It was so great. The first rendezvous was about the restoration, it was tough with the language barrier and we left the rendezvous pretty discouraged. We left her with the restoration pamphlet in Romanian and told her to read it for our next rendezvous. Well the next rendezvous I was on exchange in Capitole, but apparently she read the whole thing, discussed it with her husband through the phone cause he's in prison, prayed about it, and found out that it was true. She had so much faith! We found out that the best thing to do with her is to discuss like half a lesson, give her the pamphlet and then discuss the rest with her the next rendezvous. She doesn't speak a ton of French, but she speaks enough that if she reads the pamphlet before we can discuss with her. Even though the language barrier is tough, we've already seen her progress so much! She really does understand and she's so excited to get baptized on September 19th. When we were leaving her house she said the closing prayer, in Romanian of course. I don't speak a lick of Romanian but what's cool is that sometimes we can pick out what she is saying in prayers and at one point in the prayer she blessed Soeur Stapley and I and our families. I was so touched, we left the rendezvous on cloud nine. It's true that the spirit is the same in any language.

Wednesday we had kind of a weird day haha it started out great. We had a lovely rendezvous with the Hitoto family. They are fantastic. Frere Hitoto is from Paris and served his mission in our mission and Soeur Hitoto is just the most adorable pregnant person ever. They are super delightful and you can guess it, we talked about the temple:) we played this cute "guess where the temple is" game and shared our feelings of why we love the temple, and talked about the feelings we get when we get in the temple. Their just so great. Then things got weird haha so after out rendezvous we decided to go porting in their neighborhood. And it's going pretty normal, mostly people saying no but we had some good conversations as well. Well we get to this one house and we ring the doorbell. This incredibly sweaty man comes out. We actually end up teaching him a lesson! Well it's just odd cause he told us he has his beliefs and isn't interested in our message, but he kept asking us questions and every time we answered one he couldn't contradict us. Anyway by the end of the conversation I ask him if we can pray with him, he says yes so I ask Soeur Stapley to pray. She does a lovely job and we say amen and look up and at the same time he just strokes both of our faces and says, "aller en paix" (means go in peace) hahahahahahaha so strange! It took everything in me not to burst out laughing as we walked away. But also it was slightly touching? I think he felt the spirit and just didn't really know how to express himself, so he stroked our faces. Haha I don't know if it's as funny typed up but it was hilarious when it happened.

ZONE CONFERENCE!!! Can I just say how much I love zone conference?? I love it. This zone conference was a tri-zone conference. So we took the train to Bordeaux the night before and had a little slumber party with sisters there, always a good time:) Our zone conference was just so good. All about the temple. So inspired and so good. We had a big discussion about things that are working for us and such. We mostly talked about how if we are going to be sharing the temple with everyone and telling them to prepare to meet the temple standards, us too must live our life at a temple standard all the time, getting rid of anything that wouldn't be welcome in the temple. I really just love this new focus, I feel like it's broadened my perspective so much. I'm not so much focussed on baptism as I am focussed on helping others get to the temple. When we broaden our perspective, our amis perspective changes as well.

Saturday we had a really great day! So we were supposed to have a Ward picnic but it rained so that didn't happen:( so after a great lesson with Angela we headed to the Ducrocq's for a fhe. They shared the story of Abigail in the Old Testament with us. The story is in 1 Samuel 25 and its so cool!! If I would have just read it on my own I wouldn't have understood the symbolism of the atonement. I highly encourage you to read it and find the parallels to the atonement. Then they fed us Pb&J sandwiches:) I miss those!

Sunday was lovely! Angela came to church and is progressing so well!!!!!! We had a lesson after church through Skype with elders in Romania! It was so cool for her to be taught in her own language. She understands French well enough, but it was nice to just have them clear up questions she had and such. We are going to do that every Sunday. Oh get this. The world is literally so smaller, it's even smaller when you went to Davis High haha. So one of the elders in Romania who did the Skype was like, "Soeur Holmes, did you go to Davis?? So did I!" I didn't know who he was but it just goes to show how small the world is.

It was such a good week! I'm so grateful for the gospel, my family, my Savior, Angela, and so so so much more! I love this work! Have a great week!!!!!:)
Soeur Holmes
Challenge: read notwithstanding my weakness by Maxwell
Pics! The three zones at zone conference! Yes we have no shoes on, we did a water activity! Oh ps allez vous means will you. Me and Soeur Stapley , selfie of the Toulouse zone and the assistants

Zone Conference

Look at my tan lines!!

Me and Soeur Stapley

Zone Conference

Monday, August 10, 2015

I'm lovin it!

This week has been really great! Started off with a great p day! Did some soldes shopping and such, I'll really miss not having soldes back home, it's literally genius. I mean two times a year for like a month and a half everything is just like on sale, it's lovely. So we did that and then ran to the gare to catch our train to head to Perpignan to do an exchange with the Soeurs there. The train ride was so pretty, we saw the ocean and trees and sunflower fields. It was great.

Our exchange went great! I was with Soeur Christensen and she is awesome! She's been out about 7ish months and is just an awesome missionary. We had a couple cool experiences, we were walking to a rdv when we stopped and contacted a mother and her daughter. We started doing the questionnaire about the family and she opened up to us about how her boyfriend beat her up and broke her phone. So sad. She had bruises on her face and it made me want to cry. We talked about how much God loves her and she can be with her family forever. She started to cry. As I was speaking with this woman so burdened down with sorrow I thought of this scripture Matthew 11: 28-30, Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. She's someone who has a heart burdened down with sorrow, but that is exactly what the Gospel of Jesus Christ fixes. With His help He can take away our sorrows with His loving and infinite Atonement. As the conversation went on she agreed to give us her number and her daughter was so excited about it, she kept being like "give them our address! Give them our number!" It was cute. Right before we left her with a prayer she asked us how we do baptisms in our church, we told her that we do it just how Jesus got baptized. She loved that:) She was like, "we have to do that!" I loved meeting her, I know God is watching over her even though she feels alone.

The day after we went to the Perpignan Soeurs district meeting in Beziers. Apparently Beziers is the poorest city in France, but it seemed pretty nice to me and I ate a pain au chocolat that was pretty good so I like Beziers. District meeting was great, we talked about the temple. Of course:) and the spirit was just really strong. Just like how there is a strong spirit when we attend the temple, there is a spirit that comes along with speaking of the temple. It was cool to share experiences that we've had lately as we've been talking about the temple with so many people. I love this new focus. I really enjoyed this quote from Elder Russell M. Nelson, "The temple is the object of every activity, every lesson, every progressive step in the Church. All of our efforts in proclaiming the gospel, perfecting the Saints, and redeeming the dead lead to the holy temple. Ordinances of the temple are absolutely crucial. We cannot return to God’s glory without them." Since we've started this my mission has changed, it's not so much about baptism but really the importance of the temple. Of course baptism is important and we still focus on that, but the temple is the goal we are working towards, so that they can receive every blessing God has in store for them.

Thursday we had our own district meeting in Toulouse! We covered the same things that we talked about in the Perpignan district meeting, so I'll spare you the details:) after our district meeting we had a lesson with Sophie, she still is struggling with recognizing the spirit/answers to her prayers. We are just reteaching the lessons now and hoping something different clicks than before!
After Sophie we headed to meet Angela our new ami!! She's incredible and her life is so sad. Since her husband is in prison and she can't get work she just sits outside and begs for money all day with her 11 month year old baby. Awful. I want to cry thinking about it. But we had a good lesson about the BOM, she understands so much already and has such a strong desire to be baptized! She keeps saying "I want the true baptism." We are seeing her again tonight!
After our lesson with Angela with sprinted to the gare to catch our train to Montpellier!

Friday we had an exchange with the Montpellier sisters! Unfortunately Soeur James was sick so we were inside all day:( but it was still a good exchange! We exchanged ideas about goals for the future and stuff, and I was able to write my talk for Sunday. So it was a good use of time, Soeur James is incredible and probably the smartest human I know. It's funny cause I took her place in Toulouse and I definitely feel like she should be my Stl not the other way around!
After our exchange we headed to the gare to catch our train home to find that it was delayed one hour and forty five minutes, meaning we would get home past 10:30. We had it all planned to have a member come pick us up at the gare at 10:30 and take us home when we found another train that we could get us to Toulouse by 9:30! I'm so glad we took that train cause we saw a miracle. We got on the train and sat down, there was a woman and her son to our left. He was adorable and kept staring at us and asking his mom who we were so she told him we were Jesus' helpers:) anyway halfway through the train ride a strange man came up and asked us a out our tags which prompted the cute little boy to come talk to us! He asked us who Jesus was and why we were here. Turns out they live in Montpellier! AND Soeur Stapley just happened to still have pass along cards with the Montpellier info still in her bag. We were able to give the mom a card and she seemed pretty excited about it. I truly don't think there are accidents I this life, our train was really late so we could take another train and meet this mom and her son:) it was a really cool testimony to me that everything happens for a reason.

Saturday we were finally back in Toulouse!! We were able to visit some less actives and members and talk to them about the importance of the temple and family history work! I love the temple!!

Sunday was quite the day! We gave the relief society lesson on the sacred calling of mothers and fathers and then I gave a talk in sacrament meeting about repentance! Quite the day!! Even after being on my mission for 13 months giving talks is still horrifying. Haha there was a quote from the relief society lesson that I really liked, "Mothers are, or should be, the very heart and soul of the family. No more sacred word exists in secular or holy writ than that of mother. There is no more noble work than that of a good and God-fearing mother." "And For a man, there is no calling as high as that of a righteous patriarch, married in the house of the Lord, presiding over His children. Even the very Elohim has us address Him as “our Father who art in heaven” (Matthew 6:9; 3 Nephi 13:9)." I love that of everything we could call God we call Him Father:)

It was quite the crazy week! Between two exchanges, two district meetings, a relief society lesson, a talk in church, 6 trains, drunk people asking us for directions on how to get to the bridge that was like 10 feet from them, and lots of other things I'm grateful to my Heavenly Father who got us through. Even though missionary work is exhausting, it's honestly the least I can do. I love it. I love our Savior.

I love you! Have a great week!

Soeur Holmes
Perpignan Soeurs:)

Monday, August 3, 2015

oh j'aime voir le temple

Another great week in Toulouse!! Seriously I'm obsessed. I feel like I just got here and we're already starting week three of the transfer, time is literally flying.
So this week started off awesome. After some good old soldes shopping last Monday we headed off to Lyon for Jedi Counsel (leadership counsel) I'm not exactly sure why we call it Jedi counsel, but I just roll with it. So we headed off to Lyon and got in Monday night. Let me just tell you how happy I was to see so many people I love in one setting! It was lovely. We hit up Master Tacos to celebrate Soeur Stanley's birthday with everyone and it was lovely.

Tuesday was Jedi and it was so GREAT. So President Brown is so incredible. He really feels strongly that we need to focus on the Temple right now in our missionary work. So we got to Jedi and most of the time was spent just brainstorming different ways that we can implement the Temple in our day to day work. When we first started I was having a hard time thinking of ways that this could be accomplished, but by the end of the day we had a huge list of different ideas. It's kind of interesting because the temple isn't something that we just talk about with people when we approach them on the street, not because it's like this huge secret, but because it's something special to us. But as president taught us, "temples are not an accessory to the gospel, they are essential to exaltation". Wow. That hit me. We need to be talking about the temple with our investigators just as much as we are talking about baptism, because in the end, the temple is where we want them. Baptism is of course important, but the temple is the goal. Eternal families. That's what we are aiming for. We are beginning with the end in mind. I'm so excited about this. We've already started trying to use the temple in all of our lessons with amis, less actives, and members. And we've found that there really is a way of going about it, obviously you can't tell them everything, but it's been awesome to talk with people on the street and ask them questions like, "what would it mean for you if you could live with your family forever?" "Can we explain to you how that's possible?" People get really excited and it's just awesome. I'm grateful for the decision, my family made 11 years ago to be sealed for eternity. I love you:) also this quote is great, "It was never intended that knowledge of these temple ceremonies would be limited to a select few who would be obliged to ensure that others never learn of them. It is quite the opposite, in fact. With great effort we urge every soul to qualify and prepare for the temple experience. Those who have been to the temple have been taught an ideal: Someday every living soul and every soul who has ever lived shall have the opportunity to hear the gospel and to accept or reject what the temple offers."-preparing to enter the holy temple

We also had zone training this week as well! Pretty much it was Jedi all over again. It was really cool to bring what we had learned in Lyon to our own zone here. Everyone had great ideas and it'll be really cool to see what everyone comes up with to really use this in our work here.

I had the opportunity to go on exchange with Soeur McClellan! She's so great. She's also serving in Toulouse, she's just in the other Ward. We had a really cool experience as we were out contacting! So we walked up to this girl who was about 22 and we start asking her if we can questionnaire her, well she said she didn't speak French, perfect we speak English;) so we try incorporating the temple in the questionnaire by showing her a picture of the temple. We explained what it was and she got all excited and asked if she could go in:) she had to run but they got her number and they are going to start teaching her!:) the rest of the exchange was full of miracles, I watched Soeur McClellan bear hardcore testimony about the temple with tear filled eyes to an amie. I got chills. There's just something about someone's testimony that is so powerful. I love the Gospel.

We had another cool experience with the temple earlier this week. We went to visit a member who is recently divorced with two small kids. We didn't know her or her situation, but we planned on talking about the temple and prayed for the best. We walked into her apartment and she had pictures of the temple all over the place!! She bore a beautiful testimony about how important the temple is to her. She also told us that she had a friend over the day before that and her friend asked her what the pictures were, so she was able to explain a little bit about the temple to her friend! So cool!! We are going back to start teaching her daughter the missionary lessons:)

COOL MIRACLE! So at church on Sunday we had planned to meet up with this woman named Angela from Romania. She was the Capitole sisters amie, but since she lives in our part of Toulouse they had to pass her to us. Well she's so awesome! As soon as we met her she asked us when she could get baptized!! What?! She's really cool and I'm excited to teach her this week!

Well kids that's about all for this week! I love you all, keep being amazing! Oh! Also after zone training one of our zone leaders reached in his bag to grab something and a GIANT brown wolf spider crawled out onto his hand. It was hilarious. Also I'm sending a ton of pics from the past couple weeks, get ready.

Soeur Holmes