Sunday, June 8, 2014

"Je pense que le portail est ouvert pour NOUS." (I think that the gate is open for US.)

This week was... crazy.  First of all... Soeur Tupai is gone!  I'm so sad.  I miss her so much.  But, fortunately, she is still in my zone, so I get to see her pretty often.  In fact, I get to see her tomorrow!

Secondly...I'm a MOM!  This is the first time I've trained, so I didn't really know what to expect.  It was super intense.  We had a big training meeting for all of the trainers (everyone was freaking out...which made me freak out).  President and Soeur Pozanaski then laid on the pressure, saying that they saved the best for last (this is their last transfer).  And that we have a huge responsibilty, not only to train these new missionaries, but to be the trainers for when the new mission president arrives.  President Pozanaski said that the first thing he did when he got on his mission was to look and see who the trainers were... it's true, all of the sisters who are training are old/experienced in the mission.  So if that wasn't stressful enough... they do this huge slideshow ceremony thing, where they show a picture of the ville with the trainer's name on it and then...drumroll...they announce the trainee!  It threw me back to over a year ago when I was on the left side of the room, nervous and excited about where I was going/who I would be with.  This time I think it was even more stressful...haha.
Well, a gorgeous picture of the Arras Beffroi came up and I knew that it was my turn.  I stood up excited/nervous as president announced that Soeur Liabeuf would be serving with me!  I looked over and waved to a tiny little french girl.  FRENCH, ahh!  haha.  Soeur Liabeuf is amazing.  She grew up in French Guiana (next to Brazil), but has been living in Aix-en-Provence (Southern France) for the last four years for her studies.  After being in Aix for a year, she was contacted by two funny look Americans in suits and ties...8 months later she joined the church.  Yep, she is a recent convert of just three years.  She is the only member in her family.  Her family is having a hard time understanding her decision, especially the mission.  They don't even really know what it is that she will be doing for the next year and a half.  She told them that she is working for the church (doing service etc.)
The craziest part is that her BROTHER lives in Arras...  President had no idea.  When he found out he simply said, "I felt really strongly that Soeur Liabeuf has a work to do in Arras, and that she needs to do it specifically with Soeur Hilton."  Yep, pretty crazy stuff.  I'm stoked!  Yeah, so yesterday we stopped by and surprised her brother and sister-in-law.  hahahaha it was hilarious.  Her sister in law said, "great! we found babysisters!"  haha
Anyways, training started out a little rough...we had a lot of things fall through and ended up doing a lot of street contacting and porting.  We had no success for the first few days and Soeur Liabeuf was getting pretty discouraged (kind of a tough wake-up call for your first week as a missionary!)  But then Saturday night we went to do some one was home... As we were heading towards the bus I saw a little gated neighborhood.  But something was different...the gate was OPEN.   Soeur Liabeuf suggested that we go porte it.  We were worried that the gate might close, however, and we'd be stuck inside.  I was really impressed with what Sr Liabeuf said next, "Je pense que le portail est ouvert pour NOUS." (I think that the gate is open for US.)  So, with the faith of my blue, we pressed forward.  It was amazing.  TWO families said that we could pass again, and we had a great conversation with an older lady, left her a brochure, and fixed another rendez-vous.  Talk about walls breaking down...or I guess, gates opening (poetic, right?)
Other than that, this week was great.  Phillipe finally admitted he wants to get baptized!  After seeing missionaries for 22 years.  AND Karine and Christophe are still progressing like crazy.  I LOVE Arras.  I'm a little "french fried" (soeur Liabeuf's English is minimal) and tired, but other than that, still going strong!

Until next week!

Soeur Hilton

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