Hello World. I'm kind of in a daze right now, I just got news that my baby brother Scott has gotten his mission call! I'm so proud of him. He is going to...wait for it...the THAILAND, BANKOK mission, reporting June 25th...wow. I immediately thought of one of my favorite Elders, Elder Ganjanakrit from the MTC. I saw him for the first time since I arrived in France last May this last Thursday. He is such an inspiration to me and to many many other missionaries. I'm soo happy he was able to come back out on his mission, the people here need him and his faith! Scott is going to meet some amazing people out there in Thailand... Also, something else really cool. My Great-great-great (I don't know how many great's) grandfather, Levi Savage (yes the one from the movie 17 Miracles) served a mission in Myanmar (a country right next to Thailand that is in Scott's mission). I love how poetic this all is. It'll be the perfect mission for him. I'm proud of you Scott!
In other news, Zone Conference was this last Thursday in Versailles. I had a JOYOUS reunion with my mom, Soeur Kohlert! I hadn't seen her since she left me behind in Rennes...like six months ago. Happiness...
I also saw Soeur Bitter...for hours we just went back to Rennes...talking about all our beloved friends, members, memories... We just cried and cried together. I didn't realize there was this much room in my heart to love...I feel like my heart just gets wider and wider everyday. It almost hurts how much I love Rennes... The best is Sophie. She wrote me an email the other day, and talking about her baptism she wrote "yeah! i am a mormon now!! life is like a magic, our first crepe, it was like yesterday, and do you still remember that the first time we have first met?...life is so gorgeous!" You know what, Sophie is right. Life is just gorgeous. I've really been going through a hard time lately...and there was a moment coming back from Zone Conference when we had to run through the Paris Metro...I have never felt so weak in my life...I couldn't breathe...then Soeur Bitter prayed for me and we talked about how beautiful the mission is, how beautiful our lives our, because of the people we've met and the miracles we've seen...it's all worth it. Every trial I've been through, that I'm in the middle of and those that are coming...it's okay. God has, in turn, blessed me more than I could ever have imagined. That day when I opened my mission call, I had a feeling that it would be hard but also worth it...but I didn't anticipate the depths of my trials...but those will pass. What I will have forever is the BLESSINGS, which I could never have anticipated when I packed my bags all those months ago.
This week was wonderful. I went on an exchange to Brussels on Wednesday. This was my second exchange with the fabulous...Soeur Holmes! I just love that girl. haha, for some reason she just tells me everything...She was like, "Soeur Hilton, I never tell anyone these things...just you. I don't know why!" In my eyes she is the perfect STL. She CARES about the sisters, is humble, and doesn't put anyone down. Love her!
Then on Thursday we had our zone conference and Elder Kearon from the Area Seventy came. HE IS AWESOME. I learned so much from his formation. I was the most impressed by how humble he was.
He is from England. What stuck with me the most was a metaphor he used to explain how Heavenly Father feels about us. He said, imagine that earth life is like going to school. How does a parent feel when the take their precious child to school the first day? Now when I think of school I think of imposing, dark, dank, terrifying Victorian Era buildings with a black tarmack, leading to the big, black, pointy gates, with the dark school yard....(he just went on and on, haha). What does every parent want more than anything when they drop their child off on the first day? They want them BACK and they want them HAPPY. This is our work as missionaries! Heavenly Father loves his children infinitely more than any mortal parent loves their child...and he wants each one of us BACK. To come back out from the frightening school building into his loving arms once again... I know that this is true. We have a loving Heavenly Father that wants all his children to come home from school. We have a responsibilty to help our brothers and sisters find their way home:)
Let's see the weekend was great too! Gigh is really progressing. She is set on serving a mission actually! I'm predicting temple square for this one...gorgeous, speaks like 5 languages...yeah, it's happening. haha we told her she needs to get baptized first:) She's working on it, she said. She'll be a mormon message before we know it.
Well, I'm really excited for this week that's coming up... I have a feeling it's going to be really really great.
Let me just leave you with some Sophie quotes:
"People always ask me why I'm so happy, I used to say it was because my name means "Sunshine," Now I tell them it's because I believe in Jesus Christ."
"I haven't known Christ for very long, but I think with time...I'm going to make a really great Mormon!"
Love you all! Remember that life is gorgeous!