Wow! So much has happened this week I don't even know where to begin... Well I suppose it would be logical to start where I left off. Yes, I went to Mont St. Michel... and it was an absolute fairytale. I love love loved it. I could go on forever about it, but I have a lot I want to talk about today and very little time to email because we are headed to St. Malo for the day directly after emailing. Just know that it is basically dreamland and you all should go :)
We had a rough week. We got canceled on like no other! And Wednesday was just...horrific, to be honest. We ended up eating at THREE members houses (we did not plan it this way). I don't think I've been compelled to eat that much food ever in my whole life. It was terrible! I just cried and we laughed because of the sheer ridiculousness of it all! Is this real life? But then at zone conference on Friday I was talking to some of my MTC friends and they've only ever had one or two meals with members. Some even are in branches where the nicest thing a member has done is smile at them. I felt so guilty for complaining. Rennes truly is an amazing ward. The members here sacrifice so so much. We attended Ward Council right after zone conference and I was so touched by these members. They are saints. It is not easy to be part of the church in France. They really are angels.
That brings me to zone conference. It was incredible. We got up nice and early and took a train to Angers. I got to see Soeur Elliot, my MTC companion. It was a great reunion! I've missed her. Her city is much tougher than mine, apparently they are harassed by men a lot, and also they opened the city, so they port all day long. She is super though! I also got to see Soeur Cameron! She is opening Tours, and it's tough too! I just came out of zone conference so grateful. It was really wonderful to see and talk with other bleus. You really don't realize how much you'll miss the MTC.
Zone conference was really inspiring. We watched a video with a talk by Elder Holland. He was saying that many wonder why missionary work is so hard. If this really is the truth, shouldn't people be flocking to the waters of baptism? I had asked myself these questions a lot since coming here. The reason is that salvation is not cheap. It never has been. We are not the only ones who have wondered if there isn't an easier way. Christ himself posed that question. He suffered, he was rejected. When we are struggling, when we are rejected we can remember that He was too. But he is with us. And His work will go forth. So great, loved zone conference! It was spiritually exhausting though.
We have the honor of receiving Elder Oaks this September! The mission has set the goal to get 100 baptisms before he arrives. Apparently, before Elder Anderson came last year they set a goal of 75 and they actually exceeded it. 100 is a pretty high number, but I think that it is inspired. We prayed as a companionship and asked for confirmation if this was a reachable goal. We are really going to try hard to help the mission attain this goal.
Then there was Sunday. I don't know what it is about Sundays, but it just seems to be the day for miracles! Okay let me set the stage. It was Soeur Kohlert's birthday, so the night before we made a cake because the family Alliot had invited us over for a birthday lunch after Church. Their friend Monique was going to be there so it would be a good missionary opportunity.
Side note: church was great. Gladys came, oh and we set a baptismal date with her this week! I forgot to say that. Also Mart was there, and she is going to FHE with Phillipetonight. Soeur Kohlert and I are secretly hoping they get together, they would be a hilarious couple (tall, quirky french guy, with a girl from Mongolia who doesn't speak much french... oh I want that to happen!)
Okay, so after church we went to the Alliot's for dejeuner and tried to have a lesson with Monique. It was an absolute disaster. She was just a really loud, grumpy french lady. And it went on forever. We finally got out of there around 4 o'clock and I was exhausted. I had a terrible headache from all the French, and the yellling. Also I had to eat a lot of sugar... and my throat was killing me. We were both feeling pretty down. I didn't want to talk to anyone. So there we were, standing at the bus stop, headed home for some advil. Then a man started talking to us about the cake, haha he even wanted some. This was strange, nobody talks to us. Then we got on the bus, it was super crowded. As soon as we got on a lady started talking to us about the cake and just smiling really big at us. Then I saw this other lady, with a baby stroller staring at my name tag. She started reading it out loud "des saints des derniers jours." Then she asked us who we were. She said she hasn't found a good church here in Rennes and wanted to come to ours...timeout. What? Then as we got off the bus to talk to her more another family started talking to us! And they want to come to church! What the heck? Soeur Kohlert and I were completely shocked. Had we just been transported to some sort of Brazilian mission? But that was just the begining. We got on the metro and immediately met a girl named Clementine. We got her number and she wants to get together soon! Then we went to the bus stop to catch the bus home. It wasn't coming for 15 minutes. So I announced to Soeur Kohlert, "great! We'll just sit here and people will come talk to us." There was just no doubt in my mind. And sure enough, within seconds, we were chatting with about six people, and they started it! This one man even asked us if we had a Book. So obviously we gave him the Book of Mormon. He was thrilled and said he'd read it. He said he was really impressed by our name tags. He said it was bold that it said "saints" on it. He doesn't like how the people here just pray on Sundays, but don't do anything else. You are living it, he said. And then as we were going back to our appartment we waved goodbye to one of the people we were talking to and he said "vous etes belles!" We just came into the appartment and fell to our knees. I was so overwhelmed and my head hurt so bad at this point, I just started to cry. That was a miracle. Those kind of things just don't happen in France, or I didn't think they could, especially in just one 45 minute trip home... I am still just speechless... keep praying for France, there are people here that are looking for the truth.
Okay this was a super long email, I hope you all made it through the whole thing. No time for pictures today, no time to re-read this either, I hope it makes sense. Next week I'll have much longer. I'm off to St. Malo!