Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sister Tsunami

There is so much to tell!  I'm going to start with Sunday because that was the most important.

Sunday Morning I went to my first Relief Society Meeting at the MTC.  We started by singing, ¨As Sisters in Zion.¨  All of the older women turned around to face the missionaries, there were tears in their eyes.  They probably never thought they would see such a sight.  This generation will never, ever be forgotten.  I was priviledged to attend the largest Relief Society meeting ever held at the MTC.  These sisters are going to change the world.  The speaker, Sister Edmonds, was amazing!  She said this wasn´t a wave, it was a SISTER TSUNAMI.  She was the first lady missionary to serve in the Phillipines and has served numerous missions.  She said, ¨If we could send you all to the same mission, you´d have it ready for the millenium in a couple weeks!¨  She was so funny, but so powerful.  She talked about homesickness.  She showed us her 700 page journal from her first mission.  ¨I couldn´t have gone home, I hadn´t finished my journal,¨ she said.  With tears in her eyes, she said, ¨I can´t imagine heaven without the people I met and taught on my mission.¨  I can´t either, even though I´ve only been here two weeks.  I already am overwhelmed with gratitude to be here.
The MTC became holy ground for me on Sunday.  After the Relief Society meeting, the sisters and my district and I went into a piano room to play some music.  Sister Cameron started playing homeward bound, and Sister Lefrandt burst into tears.  This was the song she played right after her father died three years ago.  He is here with her, he is here with us.  There are angels supporting us and all the missionaries.  I can´t even tell you how sacred the next hour was as we bore our testimonies together.  Sister Smith, who never cries, said, with unrestrained tears,  ¨This is heaven for me.  Sister Cameron playing Homeward Bound, Sister Lefrandt reunited with her father, Sister Hilton with her family and dear, dear friends, and Sister Elliot with her whole family.¨  Just as Sister Edmonds said, I can´t imagine Heaven without these people.  I already love the people in France.  I pray for them every night.  I want them to have joy and peace and redemption. The rest of the day was amazing.  We had a great devotional about church media.  They are doing a breathtaking campaign in London.  It just started this week.  It will change that city.  To finish the day off we watch the Joseph Smith movie in French.  I loved it.  And I understood so much!  I am definitely being blessed to learn French quickly.
That was Sunday, now I´m going to backtrack and tell you about Thursday and Friday.
On Thursday...wow.  What a day.  My companion and I were teaching Christopher.  Right at the beginning of the lesson my companion threw her head back (to swish her hair or something), and she hit her head against the wall.  We continued the lesson and it was pretty good.  We introduced the concept of baptism, but Christopher had a lot of questions.  After the lesson my companion threw up and we went to the doctor.  Turns out she had given herself a concussion!  Can you believe it?!  Haha, what the heck?  So the next day I had to teach the whole lesson.  The original plan was to teach the Plan of Salvation, but I felt like I should just answer his questions from the previous lesson.  It.  was.  amazing.  We read some scriptures about baptism and I said to Christopher  ¨I know in our last meeting you said you wanted to be a good example to your daughter.  Christ has set the perfect example for us to follow.  You can set an example for your daughter by following him.¨ And then, although I hadn´t planned this, I extend the baptismal invitation.  I don´t know how to explain how I felt in that moment. The spirit was so so strong.  I felt Christ´s love for Christopher, for all of His children.  All of his doubts melted away and he agreed to be baptized!  I didn´t think we´d get that far, so it was kind of funny because I didn´t know what to say.  So I just kept saying what a great choice he had made and told him to read Mosiah 18.  I know that it wasn´t really an investigator, but Christopher is a real person that my teacher taught on his mission.  And the people I meet and teach will be very real.  I can´t stop thinking about the people of France.
Then on Friday we went to San Francisco!  It was so great to be there.  I just kept thinking of the wonderful day I spent there with my parents and Anna Joly!  We went to the French consulate, Pier 39, Gheridelli (I don´t know how to spell it, nor have time to look it up, haha) Square, and the Golden Gate bridge.  It was sort of a surreal experience though.  It was my first time in public as a missionary.  And let me tell you, the reactions you get are all over the place.  In Salt Lake we were spoiled.  Members took pictures of us and texted them to our families, paid for our pizza when we got stranded in the airport for 2 hours, and even an award winning choir from Washington (that was lead by members) sang us a song in front of the Golden Gate Bridge.  Also, an older couple, when they found out I went to BYU, said that their grandson went there and needed a wife.  So they took my picture, without asking, and somehow got my email address.  I said, ¨ Well he´d have to wait 18 months minus one week!¨  haha.  We got stares, people took pictures of us creepily, and a drunk man yelled at a few of the sisters.  But what surprized me the most was how open people were with us.  I sat by a lady on the plane ride home that told me all of her problems.  Many of the other missionaries had the same experience.  I guess people see our name tags and recognize us as ¨spiritual doctors¨ perhaps?  We have what this world needs... I can´t wait to share it.  One Elder talked to a French lady on the plane and he was so pumped the rest of the day!  When we got stranded in the airport (because they forgot to send someone to pick us up to come back to the MTC), instead of complaining he took off and said ¨I´m going to go do missionary work!¨  He even did a back flip.  It was pretty funny.
Well, I am really loving this whole missionary thing.  I´d just like to give a shoutout to Bruno and the Joly´s.  I got your email and I loved it!  I really appreciated the advice and wonderful mission stories.  I can hardly wait to see you.  I love you all so much!  Hopefully I´ll have time to write a letter to you soon, maybe this afternoon.  Also I got a postcard for Anna from San Francisco, I´ll send it ASAP.  Je vous aime beaucoup et j´adore le langue francais.  Especialement, apprendre l´Evanglie en francais.
Well, that´s it for this week.  I´d love to hear from anyone who cares to write!

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