Monday, April 28, 2014
Theme song of the week: I get knocked down, then I get up again, you aint never gonna keep me down.
I think that song perfectly describes our missionary week. Satan was taking some pretty low blows.
So our church got grafitied, twice. We got called a cult more times than I can count. A beloved ami said that there was no way he was ever touching our blue bible for the mormons..hmmm...what else.....Moving on,
Sooooo wonderful miracle of the week.....we've been continuing to teach Allan our ami who is awesome and he really wants to get baptized but has had a few problems with his family agreeing. But we've also been teaching his girlfriend, Cindy, whose brother is 2nd ccouncelor in the branch presidency :). It's been so great teaching them together and they are so so sincere. Allan is already almost finished with Alma in the Book of Mormon!!! So this week we thought and prayed a lot and invited them both to be baptized, and they both accepted! It was actually way cute because Allan was like yes I would love to be baptized. And then he turns to Cindy and he's like 'the two of us, together'! Oh my Soeur Sorenson and I just melted in our chairs it was the cutest thing in the world. Really for how he said it. And Cindy is such a sweetheart though and she really wants to study it out in her heart and pray for an answer about being baptized. She agreed, but she said she needs to really read the Book of Mormon and pray about it, and we were both like 'yes, yes you do'. But her and Allan were at church on Sunday, and they fit in so well with the Branch. I really have a lot of faith she will recieve an answer and be guided by the spirit to make the decision. We are very excited about them and we're going to work hard with them.
And we had a lovely lesson with the Swanepoel family, they are the South African family we are teaching. They are like fascinated by missionaries and what we do. And so they were asking a member about us, and she gave them 'The Other Side of Heaven' to watch, and told them that this is the sacrafice that the missionaries make. So funny. So i'm excited to talk to them about that.
And that was pretty much our week. Sorry that was two long emails for some of you. :)
Have a wonderful week!! Love you all!!!
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Hey hey hey, so sorry that i'm sending this out a day late. We are doing mass apartement renovations, so much fun, they will continue for the next 2 weeks.
We had a lot of FHEs with the members this week. It was something all the mission of France was doing, so the members really jumped on board. We had one with the family Swanepoel, they are the adorable family from South Africa. And we shared the message about Christs atonement and his ressurection, and before we could get to the invitation to come to church Georgette asked us 'what time are your services on Sunday?' With a huge smile we told her.
And right as sacrament meeting was starting they walked through the door. With their 3 adorable children. I got to sit next to them during sacrament, and at the end I turned to her and said 'So Georgette, what did you think of the meeting?' And she had such a peaceful smile and said 'Oh it was lovely. We really needed this, it was such a good thing we came today'. It was such a lovely moment. Even with all the little children screaming throughout the meeting they still felt the spirit, and they felt peace from being there.
Also a couple of weeks ago we found a long lost non practicing member and had a rendez vous with him! All of the members were like how in the world did you get him? Honestly we just called him haha and sometimes thats all it takes! Ever since that we have met with him 3 times, he has been to Family Home Evening, and church for three weeks, he even sang with the priesthood this Easter Sunday. It was kind of a testimony to me that all some people need is an invitation, some love, and some faith. And also a good dose of follow up. haha
Easter was fabulous and we were invited to Easter lunch at a members house so we were well fed :) We ate a lamb named Pascal. haha
Thanks for all your prayers and love! Love you all!!!
Soeur Sarah Jackson
Monday, April 14, 2014
HAPPY EASTER everyone!!!! In a few days.......
I'm pretty excited for this week. I swear French people are nicer during Holidays, so i'm pretty ready for this Easter thing to start happening.
We had a fun week, lots of drama, with ups and downs. So we have a REALLY old apartement, and lots of broken things, so the boss man is coming down to do a whole lot of fixing in a few weeks. But he didn't make it in time, and the lock broke. But big problem, it broke with us on the outside of the door. It was the biggest joke, I stress ate A LOT of baguettes this weekend. And we had to pay a whole lot of money for it (the church is going to reimburse us of course), but it is a problem because I need money for legality, I have my appointment on Tuesday, and if I don't pay I don't stay. So there were a whole lot of phone calls going around. It was fun.
Then we had some other experiences that were a little hard, sometimes things just happen that break your heart. And you cant understand why someone would hate something that you love so much, but you just got to roll with the blows I guess.
But its all good because we had some really great lessons this week. And I refuse to stay on the sad things when good things are happening too. So one was a lesson with Gaëlle, she's a 24 year old French girl. So cute! She laughs so much. So we had our official first lesson, and the last time we left her a brochure for the plan of salvation, and so when we got there we asked her if she read it. She lit up! She was like 'I don't like reading, but I read it all in one night, and then I read it again'. And we were like 'great! Do you have any questions?' And her response? 'No, in fact this brochure answered a lot of the questions i've always had'. She was so happy. And we were like, well were going to talk about it just in case, to make sure that you really get it all. And she taught us the plan of salvation. She loved it! It was all new to her, a pre-mortel life, satan, why we are here. She loved it! I'd never seen someone just glow like that. And her husband was there, and he just though we were all adorable. And at the end of the lesson she was like 'do you have any other things I can read?' and we were all 'why yes, yes we do'. It was really great.
And it was just a reminder of what this message can do for people, how happy it can make them. It was a precious moment for me.
I hope you all have precious moments this week!! Remember what we are celebrating!! The atonement and ressurection of Jesus Christ, the only way that we can live with our families forever, and return to God! The reason we have eternal life! He died and he lives! And I will try my hardest to serve him. Happy Easter!!! Love you all!!!
Monday, April 7, 2014
Well I expect to hear comments from each of you about things you have learned from Preach My Gospel. And if you don't know what I am talking about, then you need to watch conference. I was glad that Ballard did his follow of up of his Invite someone to Christ before Christmas challenge. I was going to follow up that with all of you guys on the Book of Mormon this week, but he totally did it. So great, you gotta love those apostles and prophets of God.
Honestly there have been too many hilarious, wonderful, awkward stories to write you in one email. But I will try to quickly put my week into it.
Well it began with the first of April, commonly known as April Fools in America....but wait, i'm in France! So it was Poisson d'Avril!!! So we were walking down the street to a lesson and I was all 'I am in France for only one Poisson d'Avril, how can I take complete advantage of this?' And voila an idea, I gasped turned to Soeur Sorenson and excitely told her my idea. Her exact words 'Sometimes I just wish I knew what was going on in your mind', but she jumped on in the plan. So we went to members in the ward who are single, and we heart attacked their doors, but with fishes!! We 'poisson attacked'. It was hilarious, we were so excited that we skipped dinner to go and do it for a member who was sick, and we wrote little compliments on the fishes. Hilarious. And we went and taught a less active and brought a huge chocolate fish, because you have to eat a chocolate fish on the day of Poisson d'Avril, and she loved it! She offered to braid our hair and invited us back. It was a pretty special day.
Next day, I got an AWESOME package!! So that made that whole day great. Thanks mom!!! That kind of eclipsed the whole day.
Then of course it wouldn't be a Sarah week if something totally awkward had not happened. So the next day we had a wonderful lesson, with this new ami we found, Gaelle, she's pretty awesome. So basically we were in the middle of this adorable lesson, she loves our church and how we do things. She asked how we decided to be nuns at such a young age and when we explained its just an 18 month mission then we go home and get married but can still have callings in the church, she thought that was so great. So the lesson was going great, her 19 year old brother was sitting across the table from me and he was listening and all. So close to the end of the lesson I felt one of her cats brush my foot, so I reach down and start petting the cat, only to quickly (but not quickly enough) realize to my complete horror that it wasn't the cat. Her brother's foot had touched my leg and I reached down and petted him!!!! So basically this week I caressed some kids foot. It was nice, I went bright red, Soeur Sorenson spent the rest of the day reinacting and laughing about it. Evil. Then we missed the bus and walked 1 and 1/2 hours on the highway. We decided that we needed to be pioneer strong, so we sang 'come, come ye saints' as we marched. Although we stopped when we got to the part 'if we should die, before our time is through, happy day, all is well', because at that moment a HUGE semi truck went by and almost hit us. So we morphed into singing Saturdays Warrior, which Soeur Sorenson is learning quickly.
And then we got to do some service, for a sick member in the ward. I pray to the good Lord that I will never face that challenge again. It was a trial of my faith, and I encountered things that I pray to never encounter again, and some things that I didn't even know what they were. We cleaned a storage room that no one had entered for about 10 years, and it was full of VERY expired food.
Then we had CONFERENCE!!!! Its SO great!! I still haven't been able to watch all of it, of course we have lots of rules about how/where/ and when we can watch conference. But I saw 2 sessions and they were really great. Cant wait to see it all. :) I hope you all enter into a SUPERB April!!!!
Sorry this got WAY long!
Saturday, April 5, 2014
You might ask yourself, when do you know you are in a very small branch?
I will tell you, its when 1. You do the minute missionary in both Priesthood and Relief Society. 2. Conduct relief society because someone from the presidency hasn't shown up yet. 3.Play the piano in relief society. 4. Then when still no one has shown up to teach everyone looks at you to teach. 5. Get volunteered in Gospel Doctrines class to explain the passover. 6. Give a talk in sacrament. And 7. Hold a meeting after church to explain to the members the new plan with the stake. It was a very very long Sunday. haha
But we had a really good week, some really cool experiences happened. One of them we were walking down the street and there was a lady walking on the other side, she had short black spikey hair, lots of piercing, all in black, and she had a TINY little adorable puppy. So subconsciously I made a little sound and bent down and started playing with the puppy. He was so cute! And so I started asking her questions about him and we got into a whole conversation. Then she asked why we were here, and in the end we ended up teaching a whole lesson to her, and at the end we were talking about prayer and she said she never prayed, and we were like 'well if you want to know there is a god, you need to pray', and she was like 'yeah, I guess if I never ask, he'll never give me an answer'. So we said a cute little prayer out on the street and right after we finished she asked if she could give us bisous! It was so cute! She's so cool, in a tough way. Although her name is Marion and she didn't get my joke about Robin Hood, so clearly we need to work on that.
Then a few days later we were porting an area and this man came out, and he said he was athiest, and usually someone says that and then slams the door in your face (in a gentle manner). But I asked what he thinks is going to happen after this life and he's all 'I don't know, nothing'. So we starting testifying about eternal families and the words 'I hope' slipped out of his mouth. It was the cutest thing, then he said that that is a good way to live, believing in that. :) So we taught him some plan de salut, and he said we could come back and share the message with his family.
Such simple little conversations, and yet they bring you so much joy each time. :) Its pure happiness when you contact someone and you connect with them because of your personality.
I hope you all have a wonderful week, start getting ready for Easter!! We are on the mission!!
Love you all.
Oh, and this week will officially mark one year on the mission. weird.