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

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