Monday, December 30, 2013


This video inspired me this week. We had Christmas here in Limoges and got to Skype and eat crêpes and watch a Disney movie and it was wonderful but I think it's time to move forward.

I love New Year.

At zone training we talked about finding a family who is ready for our message and how important it is that we are ready to find them. As expected though, you set a big goal and there is opposition. The weather. Extra mean people. Exhaustion. But that way, we know it is a good goal :)

I think often we tend to look back and feel regret for what we have done or maybe look back and wish we were doing something else, but we can't go back there. Something one of the guys in this video says is that Lot's wife probably never even considered that her future could be better than her past. We do that a lot, probably. It is hard to leave things behind and walk forward because we don't know what is there! But if we keep turning around, we'll never get anywhere. Faith always looks forward.

So I'm going to do just that. Look ahead to what I have to do despite the work being slow and the mistakes that I and everyone have made. I think the future looks pretty promising :) Even this week looks like it will be a good one. I love the work. I love France. I love the Savior.

Look forward to an e-mail full of miracles. Next week.

I love you all!

Sœur Loder

Monday, December 23, 2013


I'd like to start this e-mail by saying that our new assistant to the president is a convert and at our big Christmas zone conference we (we being not me) were singing kind of an obscure Christmas primary song and I was sitting awkwardly as usual and enjoying it. Shortly after he comes to me and says, "Were you totally lost during that primary song?" He gets me. That's why we're friends :)

So yeah! We had the BEST conference ever. Three zones all met in Bordeaux and had the cooloest meeting ever. It was fun to see everyone and eat and get packages but we started with President's son in law speaking to us. He recently lost a baby, he only lived a week (Elder Anderson mentioned it in his conference talk in October) and he talked about this whole experience. As he told the story I watched all the emotions on his face... reliving all of it. He spoke of how after the experience he and his wife feel full of hope. He said that suddenly everything seems a little brighter, even despite his loss. I was astounded by his strength and hope. If anyone wasn't crying, they weren't listening. They know they will see their sweet son again. THAT is the message we are sharing. Hope in a world full of sadness. Joy. Faith. All through Christ.

This week was full of knocking on doors. We had our share of adventures. Dogs and old ladies staring at us through the dark windows... straight out of a horror movie. During the day it feels like spring but as soon as the sun starts going down it turns to winter. It's insane. When I notice the sun going down I feel a little bit of panic because I know I'll be numb soon. I just love that! Haha, we haven't found a lot of interested people but a lot of nice people! One day :)

Not too much to report on. So many doors. And trains. But we're happy and excited for Christmas and Skype! We're also making crêpes Christmas morning... not that we don't make them a lot but we really like them so we're excited :)

Joyuex Noël à tous! Je vous aime :)

Sœur Loder 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas pictures!

Christmas party fun!

Crazy Christmas buffet!

Finding Joy.

This week I have hit a level of exhaustion I never knew was possible. My knees would not move and every step was a physical effort to go forward. I think everything was against us. A lot of our plans fell through... and then our backup plans fell through and we had a lot of, what now? type moments. All throughout the nights I was coughing instead of sleeping (it's under control now don't worry) and the weather goes from so warm you don't need a jacket to instant hypothermia.

My entire mission I have never struggled with motivation or not wanting to get up or not wanting to talk to people but in those moments on the street corners, not knowing what to do next, I really just wanted to stop. I learned something about perserverance though. I learned that even when you literally think you can't move or one more person waving their finger in your face might just be too much, giving yourself up to the work will always make you happier.

It might have taken 100 doors and only one person being nice to somehow make me smile or want to keep going and I'm not really sure the logic behind it, but WORK really works. When we forget about ourselves things always get better. The amount of desperate prayers I said in my heart this week is an astounding number, but I think of a quote from President Monson I love a lot, "When we look heavenward, we inevitably learn of our responsibility to reach outward."

Our week ended pleasantly with the ward Christmas party :) It was the most fun thing I have literally ever attended. Limoges ward knows how to do parties! I tried a lot of French Christmas food and I'd tell you about it but I really don't know what a lot of it was... a lot of salmon, I think. I avoided that :) It was a good experience though! I love this ward. We are blessed to spend Christmas here.

Anyway, nothing too exciting this week. We're happy in Limoges. We've learned a lot this week and we're excited to turn this one around. We're doing a lot of teaching. Don't hesitate to remember us and our amis in your prayers :)

I love you all!

Sr Loder

Monday, December 9, 2013


I'm happy to report that... I'm STAYING in Limoges with my companion. I could not be more pleased :) I'm so in love with this ville and I know the day I leave will be a sad one. But for now I'll be happy and work hard.

We had a CRAZY week. It started with Monday night. We met the elders at our amie's apartment to give her a Priesthood blessing since she was sick. However, our member wasn't there yet so the elders couldn't even go in yet. We call the member to find he is all the way across town at another person's house because he got the people mixed up... but the member he was with also needed a blessing. So. We jumped on a bus and ran across town, the elders gave her a blessing and spiritual thought, and then raced back across town to our amie and taught her and gave her the blessing and sang Christmas songs :) We also ran around like crazy people contacting because, as I said last week, we set a high goal.

Miracles. That is what this week was. And we knew it would be because opposition started immediately. I woke up Monday morning with NO voice. Nothing. But I kept going because there was no way I wasn't talking to people... and it was hard and miserable but we pushed through. I talked to a man in a parking lot and it was the shortest and most awkward contact I've ever had. I walked away thinking about how terrible that was, but ten minutes later he drives up and says, actually, what were you trying to say? We testified and told him what we do as missionaries. He was interested :) No effort to talk to God's children is wasted.

The number of people we met this week is astounding. People were touched by our bold testimonies. We got phone numbers. We got rdvs and we taught and we have two people on date for baptism in January and even more to follow :) We talked to 1009 of God's children this week and despite not having a voice, I've never felt happier. We reached our goal Saturday night (Sunday was too full, so we knew we had to work extra hard) and as soon as we got to about 950 my voice started coming back. Opposition in all things :)

Sunday we had dinner with our bishop and it was the BEST, but it was a sad day. Elder Ashton finally revealed his secret to the ward that it was his last Sunday on the mission. We went to the gare and waved goodbye as the train left. SO SAD. I do not like missionaries leaving but... it happens. His companion is staying so we're excited to keep the work going in Limoges :) I love it here.

I love you all. Never stop moving forward. Choose to be happy NOW. We don't have to be perfect, but we can always progress :) I love this Gospel.

Have a wonderful week!

Sr Loder

Monday, December 2, 2013

Peeling Pumpkins.

This has been a very funny week! Understatement of the day, I know. Every week is weird and funny when you're wearing a nametag and talking to everyone on the streets.

So Monday night we were the only ones on the bus, except the bus driver, so I went and talked to him... and we chatted ALL the way back to the other terminus. He was seriously so funny and was driving extra slow so we could keep talking. He asked lots of questions and taught me some French (that is the easiest way to get French people talking, be American and ask for language help). The funny part of the story is that the nexy day the elders tried talking to this same bus driver and he remembered my name and told the elders he liked me more. HA. But really, I love talking to the bus drivers. They say the funniest things.

The next night we had to drop something off for the elders and went up to drop it by the door, but they were there still and we were talking a minute. When someone presses the button and it's to firemen and they ask to come up. Of course they are mircowaving rice in a microwave they have plugged into the hallway (long story, don't worry about it) so we freak out a little. Turns out they are just selling calendars. So all four of us get them talking and they are SUPER cool guys, but they find out we are volunteer and are like, I guess you can't buy these then. We're like no sorry, but actually we have a free gift for you! The elders run inside and get two books and we start filling out our testimonies and teaching the first discussion and it was the coolest little miracle ever. They accepted the gifts and then gave us some calendars in return :)

Our week mostly revolved around a big Thanksgiving activity we have been planning. We made hand turkeys, put them on a streetboard and invited everyone and their dog (literally, I invited a guy and his dog) to come. We had a little competition with the elders and we had a good time with it. People are a lot nicer when you are inviting them to come eat :) Haha, but yes. The preparations for the event were really interesting. Because we don't have access to American things here. Therefore, my simple pumpkin pie turned into literally buying a pumpkin, cutting and carving it, PEELING IT like a potato and boiling it to make what kind of comes in the can. We also didn't have the right spices. So, it wasn't a masterpiece but it turned out pretty well for what I had to do to make it :) Admire the picture, because I'm really proud of it.

It turned out so well! Not tons and tons of people, but all the right ones and lots of food and music :) We really achieved our objective of getting lots of amis and non-members to come. We even taught all the French people how to do American line dances like the electric slide and cotton eye joe. SO funny. It was a fun night, except everyone left to catch their bus and we (the missionaries and a recent convert) got stuck with ALL the dishes. But we left the music on and it made dishes a lot more enjoyable :) Then we walked all the way home... there's the sad ending. Haha.

It has been a good week, but this week we're giving everything. Our goal is to talk to 1000 people this week. I've never done it, but I'm pretty pumped. That requires talking to about 143 people a day so... should be fun :) I love being a missionary! Yesterday we saw the new Mormon messages, Wrong Roads and the one for CHRISTMAS! I invite you all to watch them and be uplifted :) Je vous aime tous!

Sœur Loder

Monday, November 25, 2013

500 Miles

There was a bus strike Saturday so we had to walk...everywhere. Including to the church which is REALLY far away. Then we had to walk home. I had literally worn holes in my shoes. Thankfully one of my favorite members took them and said he would fix them :) I love this ward! Anyway, that is the point of my title. We sang that song over and over with the six elders we had in town as we walked everywhere.

So yes, it snowed this week. THE biggest snowflakes I have seen ever. One hit Sœur Mag in the eye and almost took her down, hahaha. It was really fun. They are also testing out the Christmas lights in random parts of town so every night we're excited to see where! I can't wait until they ALL come on. This place will be a wonderland.

This last week we took a train out to a day full of service for an English family in our ward... and they have 19 horses. NINETEEN. We went out and met every one of them (mostly fjords and shetlands) and I got to groom them and play all day. The elders had to move wood all day :) I was in heaven. We had a big dinner and it was pretty much the coolest day EVER. They want be to come back and work with their horses. Don't mind if I do!

It has been the coolest weekend. We had stake conference and so a bunch of elders were staying with our elders here in Limoges. We got to work with them all weekend and it was AWESOME. They are all elders I respect so much so I got a front row seat to watching them work as we did a few hours of streetboarding. I have never laughed so hard either... missions are too fun. Elder Truman would just say hello to everyone so happily they would just laugh and couldn't help but talk to him. Hahaha, I was dying. Some lady yelled at me, but then a guy in a cowboy hat asked me for a Book of Mormon so I was okay. People are so interesting.

Limoges is on fire! The work here is incredible and we're on the verge of something amazing. I love this feeling. With Christ as our example and the angels on our right and left, there is no way we can fail. The missionaries here care so much and love their Savior and it shows. We work miracles here. We can't fear. Christ has overcome the world.

I love you all :) Have a wonderful week!

Sœur Loder

Monday, November 18, 2013


Last week we walked into a Catholic cathedral and the organ was playing and it stopped suddenly and started playing James Bond. Everyone stopped in their tracks and turned around and we just died laughing. I had a video of some of it. It pretty much made my whole week, haaa.

Anyway, we have had a lot of fun this week serving the elders because although we have seemingly moved past our insane opposition, they have NOT. They don't have electricity in their apartment so they were quite literally freezing every night, so we made them a meal of hot soup, hot chocolate sandwiches and cake and they were pretty grateful. Those poor elders, it has been a crazy transfer for them.

Tuesday night we went knocking doors in a ville far away from town... we were excited and sure we would teach but... three hours later we were numb and had been rejected by every single person. We had a rather quiet bus ride home. Feeling down, we got up the next day and had the singlemost miraculous day on my mission. We found a miracle ami and taught him on his doorstep, engaged him to read and fixed another rdv, and contacted another golden amie who we also have a rdv with this week. Then I tried out E Ashton's method of contacting punk kids in English. Two guys were acting funny and talking about us so I looked at them and said, do you speak English? They were so surprised that they were like, uh, uh... uh... and I was like, you don't speak English? Haha, then I started talking to them in French and we became good friends. They didn't really want to talk about Jesus but I'm okay with being friends :) It was one of those days that you realize how cool it is to be a missionary.

I conquered some food fears this week. Someone brought a plate full of tomatoes, crab and boiled eggs and expected me to eat all of it. I did. It was the scariest thing I've ever done but I did it. Please everyone, be proud of me!

Anyway, we taught and testified like crazy this week. We had FIVE investigators at church and everyone there freaked out! They haven't seen anything like that in a long time. I love being a good missionary :) Plus my dad sent me the coolest package full of American food. I love being an American because let's be real... I love peanut butter and Orange Crush too much to be French. Ha, great week. I think this week will top it too.

Keep smiling, dear friends and family. The best is yet to come! I love you all :)

Sœur Loder

Monday, November 11, 2013

11 Novembre

It's a holiday here too, so everything in the world is closed. It's a big city but it's kind of like a ghost town as well. Kind of fun to wander the city and have no people around.

This week has been great. We got past our opposition (mostly) and just worked. The elders came back to clean our apartment again. They went Monday night and didn't believe us because they didn't find anything, but they came back and found a TON. It's a battle we will probably never win since it isn't our apartment. But I've gotten better at dealing with them so there's a plus.

It has rained EVERY single day this week. We have been so wet and cold all day, every day. It's fine though, all part of being a missionary. We also have traveled all weekend. We went to Bordeaux for a zone training, Brive for a musical night (we have a traveling missionary musical group now, they're all musical geniuses and we call them the Backstreet Boys) and then Angoulême for a baptism in our district. Crazy but SO fun to see people and hear good music and see a baptism :) I also got to play a flute. Felt like home :)

Currently we are kind of in a service battle with the elders. I don't think they know yet... but they do so much nice stuff for us we can't keep up! It's fun though :) I enjoy it. They are wonderful and take all the creepy men off our hands. Doesn't get better than that!

My fun part of the week was having a drunk guy start talking to us at a bus stop and get on the bus with us... then he keeps talking to me and I'm a missionary and trying to be Christlike, but he pretty much pins me in a corner and tells me I'm cute and asks me to come over. I was like, actually we can't but we have some friends that would probably like to see you. Then he almost falls (on me) and I escape but seriously. Very Christlike. I wanted to just punch him in the neck but I didn't :)

We have been really striving to see others as they are and as they can become. It has opened my eyes so much. It makes it easier to start that awkward conversation and talk to people and show them our love. My heart is so full of love for these people (even when they corner me on the bus) that I can't imagine giving up. I couldn't. I wouldn't. I love the work too much. I love the Savior too much and I'm trying to follow His perfect example :) I love this Gospel. We are so blessed to have the opportunity to share it.

I love you all, have a wonderful week!

Sœur Loder

Monday, November 4, 2013


This has probably been one of the craziest weeks of my mission. I say that a lot but basically they just keep topping each other... let me tell you about it. 

I waited all day in Bordeaux with a temporary companion and we traveled all over and saw some pretty cathedrals (even though it was pouring down rain... that's Bordeaux for you). Finally Sister Magleby came and we jumped on a train back to Limoges. She is the BEST. A lot like me actually and ready to work so we jumped right in. 

So day two we are getting settled in and getting groceries and everything and we are heading back to our apartment. There are two elders that had just arrived with NOTHING in their apartment (no fridge, oven, microwave) so I decided to make them some curry and deliver it so they would have dinner after traveling all day. We're running behind and we go to change buses, and I see the one we need so we start running with our groceries and everything and the bus driver waited (because we're friends :) but as we were approaching our stop I realized the phone was gone even though I remembered putting it in my bag. Literally gone. Some lady and the bus driver helped us search everywhere but it was gone... we called and it rang, but no answer. 

So that was super bad, but the elders still needed dinner so we ran (literally) home, cooked and jumped back on a bus. I somehow found their apartment and we get to the door and all the names on the sonnerie are full... but no missionaries. And we didn't have a phone to call them so we were like, well we'll just have to try all of them. I pressed a button and I hear Elder Ashton say, good evening! MIRACLE. We just about cried we were so happy... and they really enjoyed their chicken curry. Elder Ashton says it was the best he's had. I'll take it. 

So yeah... we spent the whole next day without a phone and wandering and it was kinda scary! Wandering around France with no way to contact anyone, but the elders had to go back to Lyon so they left us with theirs and brought a new one back. Thankfully that is taken care of! We did keep trying to call our phone and eventually it was turned off... really sad. Elder Ashton sent a text, "On attend votre appel. Dieu aussi." That means, we're waiting for your call. God also. Haha! He's a funny kid. Whoever took our phone though... I'm mad at them. 

We planned a really packed week full of miracles... and our biggest day was insane. We had our miracles definitely (finding a less active family!) but it poured on us all day. Not just rained, POURED. Like, our feet would have been less wet if we had taken our shoes off and I don't know why we even bothered with an umbrella. We just wanted to show Satan that we weren't going to give up. 

Then yesterday, we realized our little cockroach problem is a big one. Sister Mag moved something on our shelf and babies... everywhere. We spent the evening catching them and disposing of them (mostly me, my comp is horrified of them) but we couldn't really control it so we talked to President about what to do. The elders are currently in our apartment pulling out everything and exterminating :) If I could hug them I would. I think I'll just buy them a pastry instead. 

Aside from the trouble, we were really happy. Halloween was fun! Lots of kids around dressed up and activities in the back alleys. We just smiled all day :) France is really cool, and now the Christmas lights are up! I guess nothing is stopping them since Thanksgiving isn't a thing here... but we're already planning a dinner so no big deal. We'll still celebrate :) 

I'm happy here. It rained on us again today but it's fine. We're still happy. This is really long, I think I'll stop now. I love you all! Happy November! The church is true! 

Sœur Loder :)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Bonjour de...

Limoges! YES. When President told me I was staying I was really, really happy. When I got to Limoges all the paperwork and everything was a disaster and I had just started getting it organized and in order. If I had been transferred I probably would have just said no because I wasn't finished yet :)

The sad part is that my blue is leaving for Toulon :( Dear Sister Patrick is getting moved away and I am receiving Sister Magleby from Utah! That's all I know so far. I've never met her :) She just finished her training though so this is the first transfer I haven't trained. I have a whole extra hour... how do I be a normal missionary? I don't know. I'll figure it out.

The other exciting news is... I'm a grandma! Sister Roberts, who I trained in Gex, is training this transfer. The mission refers to trainers as moms and dads and their new missionaries are sons and daughters :) So my daughter left and my step-daughter (since I only did part of her training) is having a daughter so that makes me a proud grammy. My posterity is great!

Our ward has a SWEET Halloween activity this week. It was a costume party and we went and had a super time with the members and their friends. Such a good night and we got some referrals so that was really good :) Everyone was incredibly creative with their costumes... Monsieur Mario and a pirate family and our bishop was a Mexican guy and he only spoke Spanish all night. He's a character. So funny. I'll send a picture next week.

It was hard to get ready for yet another transfer but I'm excited. There are also elders coming into Limoges and I know one of them pretty well, so it should be good! It's going to be a really fun transfer. Our amis are progressing and we have about 100 potentials people to visit so... we have plenty to do.

Being a trainer, I've learned a lot about myself. That I need to be more patient. That being a good example is infinitely more important than I ever thought. Everything. I just want to be a better person in every way! Good thing I still have 11 months to get there :)

Anyway, I have about 4 more hours in Bordeaux with my temporary companion and then I'll find Sr Magleby and head back to the city of porcelain! I love Limoges. I love France. I love being a missionary.

Have the best week.

Sœur Loder

Monday, October 21, 2013


I think that is how you say hello in Czech :) You pronounce it like ahoy, so it's a really great word. Unfortunately I only know one Czech person and he is the one that taught it to me so I don't get to use it that often. 

Transfer calls this Friday... I better stay. That's all I have to say. 

So this week we spent pretty much all of our week traveling or in Bordeaux for exchanges and a district meeting. Bordeaux is nice and all but I'm hoping they center our district higher next transfer so we don't have to travel 3 hours one way for a district meeting. Exchanges were fun. Sœur Mata and I planned a really intense day and everything fell through and on top of that, it POURED all day long. Opposition in all things!

Here in Limoges there was a "manifestation" by the students at one of the schools in town. I can't think of the right word in English... maybe protest? But they were parading through the streets and a bunch of kids sat down in front of our bus. I got off and asked a nice police lady what was happening and she said some young girls got involved in something (didn't understand what that something was) and got expelled? And the students were protesting. Nothing extreme, just really inconvenient especially because we were already running late for a rendez-vous. Darn that freedom of speech! 

This weekend we sat down and literally called hundreds and hundreds of people that were listed as potential in our area book. ALL of them. The previous papers were destroyed and unorganized and scribbled all over... you could barely read them. So we called every person and re-wrote everything. It took about 10 hours total but we found some people to teach so I think it was a success! Except one guy who called back and said he didn't live in Limoges anymore. I offered to pass his number to the elders where he lived and he started talking about love and how he would drive the two and a half hours so I could teach him. I said no. He kept talking and wouldn't let me leave and I was irritated... so I hung up and passed his number anyway :) One of my good friends is serving in the city where this guy lives so he'll understand I'm sure. French men...

Aside from that, the weather has been beautiful! It had been really cold and rainy and I was worried Limoges just passed from summer to winter without fall:( ... but it came around this week and it has been so pleasant! The leaves are beautiful. The city workers have been removing all the flowers (most towns have a "ville fleurie," like a part of town with TONS of flowers) and putting up... CHRISTMAS decorations! I can't believe how soon it is. I volunteered our ward mission leader to have Thanksgiving dinner with us though. He really likes gravy and stuffing :) 

Really this week was slow. But I talked to a member in our ward (from England) who has 18 horses! They just love horses and I talked to her forever about them. So nice to talk to a horse person :) She wanted me to come out and visit and she found out that I do jumping! Turns out, she has a grandaughter (how do you spell that? I don't know) that doesn't come to church anymore and she wants me to come out, make friends, and teach a jumping lesson! Miracle. I am so excited! It's true that the Lord needs us for our unique skills and talents.

Anyway, this week has a lot of promise. Potentially we have a lesson with a large group of adventists this Friday night so I'm excited. Should be interesting. Never a dull moment. The Lord lives and He loves us :) Have a great week! 

Sœur Loder 

Monday, October 14, 2013


French lesson of the week! Meugler: to moo. I found it in the dictionary and backed it up with a real French person so it's legit! You're welcome. 

So this week was a miracle week (... et nous attendons les miracles!) and I had a blast. We finally were able to set up a rendez-vous with a friend of a recent convert in our ward. She is incredible and accepted a baptismal date! She actually didn't at first so I asked why and she was worried that she might change her mind tomorrow. I testified like no other that if she continues to meet with us and pray and do the things we ask that she will be ready. She agreed :) First lesson. Love it. 

My dream finally came true... Wednesday I got to do exchanges with Sœur Anderson! We were in the same MTC district and discovered we are long, lost best friends. We both had the thought (as we were planning the exchange) that our junior companions need to be pushed, given responsibility, and have the opportunity to see that they are capable. So Sœur Anderson and her companion came to Limoges for the day, I scheduled out the day and we turned them loose. For Sœur Patrick, she had to finally learn how to use the bus systems and not just rely on me (since I'm super good at buses and all). It was a great experience for her to see that she CAN do things!

Sœur Anderson took some potentials that the previous elders had left and set out to find them. They were literally on opposite ends of our area so we had several hour-long bus rides. The first one we ended up in not a super great part of town AND got lost trying to find a specific house. We had been wandering for a few hours contacting and such when we see this guy... probably in his 20's standing across the street waiting to cross and smiling at us like a fool. Sœur Anderson says, do you know him? I didn't. WELL turns out he is a recent convert of four months from the Czech Rep. and is currently studying in France and just BARELY found the church in Limoges. Super funny, super wonderful. Craziest part... he worked at Cedar Point in OHIO summer 2011. Mind blown. 

Basically exchanges are always full of miracles so despite all our traveling and wandering, we found some solid referrals and had a wonderful time together. We discovered that we both got our mission calls on the same day, in Provo, and opened them at the exact same time... sunset :) I love missions. I love Sœur Anderson.

This week I received four compliments in under an hour about how pretty my eyes are. Why? I don't know. It's really hard to bring a contact back when French men tell you you're pretty... it's just uncomfortable. I'm counting down the days for elders coming to Limoges! I have lots of referrals for them. Sunday was great except just as sunday school was about to start, the bishop and mission leader come to me and say, we're busy. Will you teach the lesson today? 40 minute class. On two lessons I have not studied or read. In French. Okay. It turned out really well :) I think they weren't really busy they just wanted to put me on the spot. They would do that...

Okay that turned out longer than I expected. But this week I have felt so much love from the Lord as I strive to be worthy and obedient. Miracles have happened and I expect even more. I love being a missionary, the hard and happy times too. As my absolute favorite teacher at BYU would say every day, the Lord lives and He loves you... try a little harder to be a little better :)

Sœur Loder 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Bonjour bonjour!

I seriously cannot think of creative titles for my e-mails. I'll try and be better next week so then when people get my e-mail they will actually want to read them. 

This week was a huge growing week for my dear blue! I informed her that we would be teaching a recent convert family the Restoration (the very first lesson). I also informed her that she would be leading the lesson and she was nervous. BUT she did it! And minus leaving out a few major and important things (like Jesus Christ's ministry and the apostacy... ha), it was very good :) This week we're going to focus on talking to people on the street! Because people on the street are NOT as nice as recent convert families. They also talk faster. She'll get there :)

Unfortunately I was feeling really terrible again so I went to a pharmacy and told them that I think I have sinus troubles and they just handed me medicine. France is pretty cool that way! Most people bypass the doctor and just go into a pharmacy and ask... they'll give it to you. I think I'm mostly better but if I'm not all the way better soon I'll actually visit a doctor even though I don't want to. The good part is that since I had no desire to eat I sought out some soup and France has some pretty good soups! But they're all the cheap packet kind that aren't very filling. That's okay. The pastries make up for it. 

We've been contacting quite a bit and sometimes we meet really nice people (like a couple I had a thirty minute conversation with and taught the first lesson) and the guy who just laughed at me when I asked if he met the missionaries. I don't know why... but it kind of irritated me! So I was like, oh so you have? He just started walking away and I shouted after him, so you don't want to learn more?! and he was like, stop! So I was like, fine GOD LOVES YOU! He gave me a dirty look. But it's true. God loves him so I don't feel bad. Then another man touched my face gently when I asked him if he had met the missionaries and said, no no you are very cute but I really am not interested. ... Well. Okay. 

Zone conference was this weekend in Toulouse and it was SO GOOD. President informed us that he thinks we are holding ourselves back and asked us to stop it. I think I will take his counsel. The mission is really revamping how we go about things and I think it has a lot of potential to be super successful! I'm thrilled. I love the work. I love France. 

Then ACTUAL conference! I was really, really excited even though I couldn't see all of it because of time zones. It was so crazy to see the temple in Salt Lake and realize how far away I am when usually I'm just an hour away. I remembered leaving work at the MTC every day and literally staring straight at the Provo temple. Then realizing there isn't one here and how blessed we are over in the states. I'm so thankful for the insane amounts of things I learned this weekend from the Prophet and his apostles! How blessed we are to have their guidance today :) 

I love you all SO much! Enjoy your week!

Sœur Loder 

Monday, September 30, 2013


This has been an action packed week full of miracles and cockroaches and trains. Never a dull week!
We had a sweet family home evening with our ward mission leader and we ate TONS of crêpes and they were delicious. They are the funniest little family and their daughter is hilarious. We spent a lot of time talking about how babies and dogs aren't really that different. Maybe I won't be such a bad mom after all... I love dogs! Ha :)
So many miracles this week. We met some REALLY awesome people when we were out contacting. An inactive man talked to us at a bus stop and expressed how he wanted to return but he has to work every single Sunday. I was able to fix LOTS of rendez-vous with random people in our area book and we watched people just walk up to missionaries in Bordeaux and ask to learn more. Who says France isn't a good place for missionary work?
This week my bishop called and expressed his astonishment at my text message. He was like, did you write that? I said yes, scared that I had used a bad word or something and he went on for several minutes about how my French was perfect and how he thought it was his dad from another phone. We were talking about apartment stuff on Sunday so he probably doesn't think my French is perfect anymore but that's okay! Because it's not.
We did a lot of traveling this week and it was super miserable because I am... SICK. With something. My sinuses are going nuts and I have spent a lot of time sleeping this week. It isn't improving that much. Thursday we spent all day on the train and in Bordeaux for a meeting and I was so sick. I cannot remember the last time I was so miserable... I quite literally died in my bed that night when we finally got home. It isn't that bad anymore thank goodness!
This week has just been really tough. We haven't been able to buy bus passes yet because we have no money at the end of the month so we have been walking everywhere that we possibly can and we are just eating whatever we can find in the kitchen. Mostly we have a lot of oranges and like six bags of pasta. I think that should work out just fine. We've still had fun. I'm slowly teaching my companion how to behave in public. Some man sneezed twenty feet away from us and she shouted bless you at him... he gave us a dirty look when he walked past. Ha. We contacted this awesome guy too and at the end of our conversation... he stepped in. Bisous? SO CLOSE. I was like, uh... I can't... and it was really awkward. He probably feels worse though.
ANYWAY. Really successful week. We will be traveling pretty much all week this week... so we'll see how that goes. Also we will see if I have to go to a French doctor. Fingers crossed that it's NO but let's be real. I probably will. This church is so true. Miracles are real and the angels are working with us every day to find people who are ready to hear our message. I love being a missionary!
Je vous aime!
Sœur Loder

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Bonjour de Limoges!

I wonder how many times I will have to say hello from a different ville? Probably a lot. This week I was such a HOBO because honestly I was traveling around France for so long. I was in Chambéry and then Lyon and then Toulouse... and finally Limoges. We got off our four hour train ride (which was just after our other four hour train ride) and walked into the most beautiful train station I have EVER seen. Good first impression. 

The week was pretty good though! Wednesday night we went to Lyon and all the missionaries who were training arrived about the same time (5 sisters and 20 elders, approx) and the office elders took us to McDonalds and it rocked. I love not having to pay for my food :) Plus I got to see a bunch of missionaries that I love and missed. So wonderful. 

The next morning we went to a chapel in Lyon and had breakfast and then... got our blues! So what they do is give them a letter and they go up in front of everyone and read the name of their ville and trainer pretty much like a second mission call. None of the trainers know which blue is theirs so basically everyone is excited. So when a sister read LIMOGES I jumped out of my chair and hugged her :) 

My new blue is Sister Patrick! She is the funniest... I love her so much. She is 19 and from Florida and her dad is a mission president in Canada right now so that is pretty cool! She's been really chill through our crazy week so I'm thankful for that. We showed up to our new apartment with no instruction on anybody the previous Paris elders were teaching or anything about the ward. Nothing. Except a map with some marked bus stops. I maybe should have felt more panicked than I did but I've been rather calm :) 

Always an adventure. We were both sneezing like crazy and started inspecting a little closer and found SO much dust. So we spent a long time cleaning the apartment. We also found a cockroach... a baby one! Sister Patrick tried killing it with this thing of salt and it exploded all over the floor. Yep. Plus our showerhead has firehose water pressure so morning number one I pretty much unexpectedly hosed the entire bathroom (in France the showerheads aren't mounted so... yeah). But we're getting along and it's just peachy. 

Limoges is so cool! Really different from Nice and Gex. There aren't any mountains or ocean but it's a big city and I like it a lot! The buildings here are so beautiful I can hardly stand it. I love the history here... it's everywhere. I've seen a lot of blue porcelain and it is very pretty yes :) The ward is wonderful and they are SO excited to have sister missionaries! It has been 12 years that they have had elders so... they're pretty pumped. And I don't plan on disappointing them.

So I'm content :) I love being a missionary here in Limoges. I like my blue (she is passed out asleep right now, jet lag is a killer) :) I can't wait to get working with the ward and the people here. Most of them don't know the missionaries. Haaa. They will soon enough! 

I love you all, have a wonderful week :)

Sœur Loder 

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Monday, September 16, 2013


The assistants called us this time because President was doing something important. I was pretty sure they couldn't surprise me... well. They did. 

Hi Sister Loder! Guess what?
... what?
Your transfer is the most exciting in the mission right now!

That was enough to scare me a little. So what happened is the Paris stake split and two new areas were added to our mission. So I'm going to open a place called Limoges into our mission and I know nothing about it except there is a river and they are famous for blue porcelain! And here's the other exciting news... I'm training a brand new missionary! 

When Elder Fox told be that I think my WHAT echoed through the small town of Gex. Yep. They got me. The other new ville is being opened by an elder that came out with me and he is training too. Should be fun :) So I'm currently in a place called Chambery for a few days until we go to Lyon to pick up our new missionaries. It has been a very exciting week! 

They also are replacing the sisters in Gex with elders so... we had to prepare the apartment for four new elders. Okay. I think hectic is maybe a better way to describe this week. There was so much to do I just found myself standing in the midst of luggage and not knowing what to do. On top of everything else. 

This week wasn't particuarly exciting. I did an exchange with a new sister who is actually from France... so they taught us some French expressions. She is learning English and we started talking in French. She told me she hopes to speak English as well as I speak French. What a great compliment! I don't necessarily believe her but it was nice anyway ;) She is super funny. I love it. 

It has also been really COLD! I just love it. I'm tired of the sun. I want to wear boots and jackets. Bring on fall in the north of France. Another sister in Gex was transferred to Toulon, right on the coast. She's pretty excited. 

Honestly I can't remember much else. We were able to go out and work a lot this week (until calls) and it was really nice. We did discover that we need a car because the buses just don't work. Sœur Roberts and I tried it out and the normally 15 minute drive from Thoiry to Ferney was an hour because the bus went all the way through Geneva. Yep. Well. At least now we know! 

I think this next transfer will be crazy but I think I'll learn a lot. I'm excited to see what Limoges is like! So look forward to next week when I can actually tell you :) Love you all! 

Sœur Loder 

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Monday, September 9, 2013


This week was pretty okay. Really crazy and went by really fast. We get transfer calls this week and we have no idea what will happen so send letters to Lyon, not Crozet. I'll get them soon enough. And also thanks to everyone who writes me! I love letters :)
I had exchanges in Lyon this week and Sœur Witt (my last companion in Nice) was there randomly so we got to work together for the night. Pretty neat! We had fun. We met a guy from New York that said he knew I was from Ohio because I had a bouncy Ohio twang. I don't know what that means, but cool! I met lots of really cool converts over there. I love meeting converts. The terrible part of the exchange was being in the mission office and seeing the transfer board. Each missionary has a picture and the ones going home sooner are at the top and the new ones are on the bottom. My picture was halfway up the board (it's also a terrible picture, so that didn't help). Oh man, where is the time going?
We had a fun district meeting too. Coming home on the train, Sœur Christensen and I met a really cool guy and we invited him to the end of our zone meeting. Well. He came! And I think he will probably get baptized but he lives in Lausanne, so the elders there will teach him. Coolest miracle. And on the bus we met an Italian man that speaks perfect English and laughs like a stereotypical French man. It was... awesome.
We've had so much fun talking to people lately. I like contacting. People are really funny but they are also my brothers and sisters so, basically contacting is the best! Our amie is doing well. She had dinner with one of our members who also smoked before she joined the church and now they are the best of friends :) I just love when that happens. I know she can stop smoking but it will be hard!
It has been a beautiful week in Gex and hopefully I can have another 6 weeks here but anything could happen. We'll see :) I love you all and have a great week!
Sœur Loder

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Monday, September 2, 2013

Salut les sisters!

Our DMP (ward mission leader) always says that to us. He speaks english really well but we taught him to say "fo shizzle" yesterday and it was probably my favorite part of the week! He's such a great ward mission leader. I love it.

This week was fun. We were going to Lyon and then hit crazy traffic in Geneva so we missed our train ... by probably 3 seconds. So we had to wait two hours for the next one because we have a French phone and it doesn't work in Switwerland. Thankfully the elders there found us... so I bought some nail poilsh and stickers while we waited :) The exchange was nice even though I was sick.

Okay not really "sick" but my sinuses are going crazy and I cough a lot. Then I lost my voice. Kind of all the way... kind of like, my companion has to do all the talking because nothing comes out when I try. The family upstairs gave me some sweet medicine to try and I didn't cough at all last night and I can sing bass now :) It's getting there. I'm fine.

I wrote down to talk about how it was getting cold and then the next day was probably the hottest of my life. Not Nice status, but hot for here! But now it's getting better. It's all downhill from here! I can't wait for summer to be over. I'm tired of it. Bring on fall!

We had zone conference and interviews with President this week and it was so good! I love talking to President. I answered his questions and then he asked if I had concerns and as soon as I asked him, I was sure he was already prepared to answer them. Such an inspired man. I love it! Then he proceeded to change my life as always. He is my hero, pretty much. Then at the end he asked me the capitol of California because he knew I wouldn't know and he didn't want me to pass with 100%. He also photobombs. If you want to know what President Roney is like :)

As for the work here in Gex, it's going. We are really trying to figure out how to get the ward more involved. We have a huge ward and it's a strong ward... so they aren't necessarily excited about missionary work (and it should be the opposite) so yeah. We have been working with the new church website a lot... WATCH THOSE VIDEOS. We are going to start using them with members and I'm really excited!

Our amis. Thiam went missing again but we just found him... so we will try and teach him this week. Sometimes people in France just leave and don't tell anybody. It makes our job really hard but it's okay. Melissa is doing so well! She really wants to stop smoking and we made a plan with her. At the end we proposed throwing away her pack right then and there. At first she was hesitant but she stood up and courageously walked into the kitchen and threw them in the trash and said, arreter de fumer! Stop smoking! Haha. Then we had a little party with her :) Every day we are talking to her and sending scriptures and whatever we can to help her. I love her so much and I know she can do it!

Other than that, all the people are coming back so bring it on! Finally we can start hitting contacting goals and I don't know... teach people maybe? That would be nice :) I like teaching.

Passez une très bonne semaine et je vous aime!

Sœur Loder

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Mormons! Latter-day Saints!

We were walking around the little town of Ferney when we hear someone shout Mormons! We were a little worried because, usually when people yell at us it isn't good. So we kind of look and keep walking when he shouts Latter-day Saints! What? We decide to go over and talk to him. Well. He is a pretty cool guy. He's a philosophy teacher but he is really into religion and really believeing. We talked to him and his friend a little while and they were pretty cool! Then we turn the corner and some guy says, "Sisters!" What? Oh. Just an RM (South America) from Utah visiting France and randomly ran into the sisters. His name is Chris and he is the COOLEST. How often does that happen? Never.

Contacting has been hard because... in August everybody goes on vacation. Once populated cities become ghost towns. We drove to the other end of our area (about an hour away) and it was literally empty. 2 hours of work and we only saw 3 people. It was creepy... pretty much a scary movie waiting to happen.

In one town we had a really funny experience with a guy we contacted. We said hello and asked how he was doing and he just starts getting REALLY upset. A lot. We were prepared for the worst but he starts asking us the name of our church in a huge rage. Sœur Roberts and I knew we could not say Mormons or he would flip a lid so we just kept repeating the full name of the church even though we knew that wasn't what he meant. Eventually he just yelled UTAH! You're from Utah! We looked at each other and I said, I'm from Ohio and she said, I'm from California? The poor guy was pretty confused. He's like, I've been to Utah and saw your building! The Mormons! We were like, oh yeah, that's us. He must have been a little confused. After that we had a jolly conversation and he bid us farewell with the biggest smile. It was really kind of funny.

Another fun adventure I've been having is driving a stick... in the mountains of France. There is every obstacle that makes your life a nightmare. PLUS driving in the mountains. Basically you have to learn really fast or you will just sit on a hill with people honking at you forever. We turned up this one hill and I accidentally killed it... and could NOT get it up the hill. One time it started but we hit some rocks and the tires spun... and it died. So bitter. It worked out eventually. Once I was basically back at the bottom of the hill from rolling backwards so much. Yeah... it was my first day. I'm better now.

Also, we happened to find a little stable and I got to spend some time with a beautiful horse and her baby! So precious. She's a jumper too... perfect. I love it here.

Right now we are teaching a really sweet girl named Melissa. She has Muslim background but really has a desire to believe in Christ and be baptized. She has a date for September 7 but she is trying to quit smoking. She is incredible, isn't she? I love teaching her. I love being a missionary!

This week at zone conference we talked a lot about faith and missionary work. We watched the Mormon Message, "Mountains to Climb" (watch it if you haven't) and talked about how much we need to have faith and rely on the Savoir even though the hardest times in life and as a missionary. It was really perfect. The mission has been struggling since everybody is gone and there aren't a lot of people, but it's been okay. We keep working :)

I love you all and I hope you have a super week!

Sœur Loder

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Je suis Mormon, et vous?

There was a member in Nice that had a shirt that says that... he wore it all the time and he is kind of eccentric so I found it really funny :) Kind of random but I'm not feeling super creative this week. Or ever.

So guess what? I love Gex! I forgot that I should tell you how to say it because it is easy to say not correct and then nobody knows what you are talking about. So it is like Jex, but the J makes the sound like in pleaSUre. It's really French, I know. Good luck!

Right, so the weather here is kind of really nice. It's summer but not really that hot and it actually rains and gets cooler! It rains pretty often, which I like. I actually sleep in a long sleeved shirt and use a blanket at night! Which is a lot nicer than I remember :) It's also really fun to go contacting here because there aren't so many people you can't handle it. We go out for several hours and maybe see 30 or 40 people but we get to talk to ALL of them and take the time to do a good job. I LOVE it. Plus the people are generally nicer and speak slower since we are right next to Switzerland.

There are stables everywhere and I have seen several dressage letters and jumps. I'm going to study up on some horse vocabulary and we're going to go make friends with stable people and teach them/love their horses and maybe do some service! We have to get creative around here since there aren't tons of people. I'm not too upset about it :)

Our leaders here are really cool. Our district leader calls every night to see how we are, how our day went, if we have questions or need help with anything. He is incredible! He also gives us challenges every couple of days. Fun things like making people laugh and contacting ladies in red dresses. It has been so much fun and we have had a great time making people laugh even if they say NO to us. It makes us feel better too.

This week we worked with members a lot to help set up a wedding! We set up tables and chairs and decorated cupcakes and cleaned. It was actually really fun to do some real service. Members are sometimes too nice to let you help them, but I'm telling you. The missionaries want to help you! Let them! Okay thanks. We sadly had to miss the wedding because we went to Lyon for Blue's Conference again but it was great. I got to see some people I love and be uplifted and take a train ride :) Really good.

Yesterday was rough. Two members fed us... lasagna. Lunch was with our upstairs members. They are Italian. Legitimately Italian and I have never had better lasagna in my life and I'm sure I never will. They fed me so much and I just took it because it was so amazing. Well, dinner was also lasagna from a family from Argentina. It was also incredible, but I struggled. This was the biggest piece of lasagna I had ever seen. Somehow I did it. Sœur Roberts helped me out... I'm not sure how because she is a tiny little thing. Too much food. It's been a day and I don't want to eat ever again.

The wonderful Italian family is thrilled that I studied Italian and still remember quite a bit. They have been reviewing with me and it seems a lot easier now that I have studied another language. Plus we actually need Italian a lot more than I expected. They told me I have a really good Italian accent and coming from Italians... I was flattered. Ha.

Anyway. I love you all. The church is so true. I love the work and Gex and my companion :) Have a good week!

Sœur Loder

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Bonjour de GEX!

Yes. Transfer calls got me this time! Everybody in Nice was convinced I was staying but the call said otherwise.

"Hello Sister Loder. How are you?"
"... good..."
"Well you're leaving. To Gex. Where you'll be senior companion to Sister Roberts. Are you ready to train?"
"Yes, President!" ... was all I could say even though really I was freaking out a little bit. There were a lot different feelings. It felt so right, but I love Nice so much! Thankfully we had Niçoise food just before I left so I had that experience. I'm not even sure what it was but it was pretty good :)

Plus we were able to teach Sacha a few times and he is doing so well. He is SO cool so he'll probably be baptized eventually. There are some good sisters working with him in Nice so I'm not worried! But here's what I won't miss... creepy kids on the street telling us we're pretty. It's not as much as a confidence boost as you might think. Ha.

But yes. Our weekend was full of packing... I didn't even try. I just dumped eveything into my luggage and called it good :) Some of the elders in Nice have served around Gex so they told me it was super great! So I was excited and not feeling too sad until I had to get up in front of the ward and give my farewell testimony. Then I cried. I love those sweet members so much and they took such great care of me as a little missionary. Saying goodbye is the worst!

Come Monday morning I hopped on my train and took the 7 hours to Geneva. Yes, Gex is that close to Switzerland! We live in the basement of a member's home (it's wonderful too) and I love it. This place is heaven! We live on the side of a mountain and we can see the Alps and there are horses everywhere. I can't even believe how I love this place already. Look up some pictures!

The sister I'm training is Sister Roberts! She is from California and I'm finishing her training. Intimidating? A little :) But she is SO sweet and I'm really excited to work with her in this ward. Here's the fun part, our sector is several different small cities so we have a car. So I get to REALLY learn how to drive that stick, and in France, even better. :) I'm so happy to be here though.

Here's the new address:

Sœur Carson Loder
18 Impasse des Quatre Saisons
F-01170 Crozet

Hope to hear from you soon :) I love you all and I love being a missionary!

Sœur Carson Loder

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Monday, July 29, 2013


That's right, I can still speak English! Barely. I mix it up all the time and it's horrible. Most of the people in my ward speak English so they do it too. I'm sure to anyone listening from the outside it sounds ridiculous. 

Also, transfer calls are this week. I'm banking on one more transfer in Nice but send letters to the mission home just in case :)

So this week... nobody had cleaned our dead neighbor's apartment. It was terrible. Our guardian gave us some stuff to cover up the smell but it got to the point that they started smelling the same and all the chemical and body smell was making us sick. Elder Bria made some calls and we got direction from President Roney to pack our bags! They moved us into a four star hotel. WITH AIR CONDITIONING. It was heaven, and they gave us chocolate every day. And it smelled like fruit :) 

Also, they made us throw away all our food. So the bishop exhorted the ward to feed us each day and treat us like daughters. Yes, lunch and dinner appointments for a week! The ward was immediately in action and our schedule filled up the first night. I have had so much good food this week... really and truly. But I'm excited because I have eaten so much. I can't remember what it feels like to be hungry... we need a break. But what a ward! They love the missionaries here. I love them :) 

Honestly, the last couple of weeks had been terrible. Mean people and little success, then Friday happened. I met tons of really sweet people on the street (which never happens). I was pleading to Heavenly Father to just give me one person that would be nice to me... and walked up to a lady who put her hand in my face. I was like, what?! I just prayed for a nice person! I talked to several more people... but finally found my nice people. They are real! I love it. There was my little lesson for the week. He's just trying to let me know that I have to be patient. 

Friday we went to the Bria's home for dinner and they asked us to invite an ami. Awkwardly enough... we didn't have any. But we thought of an inactive member of our ward at the same time. We invited him over and over until he finally called and said he couldn't come. Bummer! But a member talked him into it and told him to take his friend... and he did. Elder Bria opens the elevator and says, good news... he wants to learn more! We had an amazing dinner and taught him a lot. He prayed. He is incredible. He is probably elect. He was at church and despite our members deciding to be crazy this week, he liked it and wants to come back :) Expect miracles! 

This week we have obviously spent a lot of time with members... and most of them are converts. All week I have listened to miraculous conversion stories from our best members and I was in awe. I want to be just like them! I love the members here and admire their strength so much. Some of them travel long distances just for church and hold down multiple callings. They are incredible people. Hard to find, but when you do, they stay faithful! I love it so much. Nice is miracle ville! 

We just moved back into our apartment... it's pretty hot. Someone finally cleaned it so it smells clean again! But I sure miss that air conditioning and chocolate :) Haha, it was a fun little vacation of sorts. 

I love you all!
Sœur Loder 

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Monday, July 15, 2013

Bonjour Bonjour

Hello dear friends and happy birthday to Paul :) 

We had quite the week. It's been so incredibly exhausting because of the heat but that's okay. Somehow July is half over! Time flies when you're preaching the Gospel. 

Lyon has seen miracles. Each week we receive the list of people with a baptismal date and these last few weeks, the size of the list has doubled. DOUBLED! It's incredible to see how many people are prepared to meet the missionaries. 

We had a lot of lessons fall through this week and we barely taught at all! It was still good. We have been able to organize the apartment and talk to tons and tons of people. We meet lots of mean people, but the nice ones make up for it :) Even though nothing big happened, I still felt like it was a really good week. Jared's e-mail talked about looking for the little things because out here, there aren't really tons of baptisms or anything. It's so true. My eyes have been opened to how many good things happen here in France despite the work being a little slow :) 

This week we had an interesting experience. A guy we had seen around was spotted again in the cute little alleys of Nice. Was it creepy or is he an elect trying to tell us he wants to be baptized? Well, probably creepy. We talked with him for a bit before excusing ourselves for a "rendez-vous" but he showed up at church. No good! The elders helped us out because he clearly wasn't there for Jesus... and turns out he considers his mission to be the opposite of ours. Going and destroying the faith of Christians. Yeah... I hope we don't see him around anymore. 

Other than that, we have worked with the members a lot and I just love them more and more. I have a talk this Sunday and they have been helping me translate into French. Most of them are converts so I've gotten to hear lots of great and inspiring stories! I love it. Being able to speak French really helps too. 

I love all of you! I like hearing all the random details of your lives. Send pictures, send anything :) 

The church is true. We have a Savior and He loves us. Don't forget that!

Sœur Loder 

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Monday, July 8, 2013


Hello again. Just a warning, I forgot my card reader so no pictures this week. I'm pretty disappointed in myself because this week I had pictures of Xavier's baptism and Tour de France! Bummer. But now you can all look forward to next week! 

RACHEL HAS A MISSION CALL! Oh I'm so pleased :) Denver is a cool place. Lucky girl! 

So yes. We had the opportunity to attend the Tour de France! They had a huge festival type thing going on down by the coast. It was super fun and crazy but I loved it. We saw two or three teams come by so that was awesome! I just cannot believe I was in Nice for the Tour de France. 

Crazy week! President Roney called our phone and asked to talk to Sœur Bentley to tell her her new missionary finally had her visa so we were excited! Then President tells her that she is moving somewhere by Toulouse and will be taking her bleu with her... so now Sœur Witt and I have Sœur Young! Really, I wonder how things could get any stranger in the mission field but I'm not going to tempt President. 

Here in France, instead of having sales whenever... everyone does a huge sale for 4 or 5 weeks called Soldes. Pretty much everything goes on crazy sale and keeps getting better and better! Why doesn't America do that? I'd like it a lot better! But Nice is crazy with tourists because of it... really hard to talk to people. It's always an adventure though. You have to love it. 

I should explain my subject line. President knows we're a bunch of miracle workers here so he has high goals for us. At a conference he explained that he wants our mission to have 50 baptisms in the month of July... a goal that has not been accomplished in many years. Is it impossible, he asked us? Then he quoted Mark Twain, "They didn't know it was impossible, so they did it anyway." :) Our zone is really close and we're all hardworkers! The zone leaders (they are in Nice too) have come up with our little reminder. #baptize50 ... and we will! Speaking of which... 

XAVIER IS BAPTIZED! I cannot describe the smallest part of how I feel! The service was incredible. The talks were spiritual, the baptism even better! Tahiana and I sang an arrangement of Abide With Me in English. He and I rocked it! I've received compliments several days later thanking me for having the voice of an angel. Our ward is too kind! Xavier's dad was able to come and he was such a nice man. Yesterday Xavier was confirmed and I cried. I'm not ashamed either. The change in him is incredible. You can just feel his spirit. The bishop gave him some scriptures and he told me after church how excited he is to share his old Book of Mormon with others who want to learn about the church. Isn't he super? :) I think the Bria's uploaded some pictures so look out for those! 

I'm excited to work. There is so much to be done here and every day I feel an urgency like no other! There are people to find and teach, who need the Gospel more than ever. We have to find them and show them the way! I just love being here on a mission and I am astounded at how fast the time goes. There is just too much to do! But that isn't a bad thing :) We love the work. 

I love all of you!
Sœur Loder 

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Hello bonjour!

I was going to include Italien but I can't remember how to spell it... but I did contact someone this week and he spoke Italien. It wasn't a great contact but he was happy I could at least say the Church's name. He took the card. I'm sure he'll get baptized someday :) 

Hello again from beautiful Nice! My companion is Sœur Witt from Salt Lake City, Utah :) She's a gem and I love her! We get along like best friends already and we both are just passionate about the work so we're for sure expecting MIRACLES this transfer. It's going to be good. 

This week has been insane with transfers and then going to Lyon for Bleu's Conference. Basically they bring all the new missionaries back after their first transfer for a huge reunion. It was the absolute best to see everyone again! The crazy part is that Lyon public transport went crazy so long story short... everyone missed their trains to go home. And by everyone I mean like, 30 or more missionaries. So they were in a panic to get us new tickets and we had to stay another night... it was a long weekend. So crazy but I loved it. There's never a boring day as a missionary!

Since this week was mostly travel, not much has happened. So I'll keep it short and tell you some things I think are funny and awesome about France:

Right now they have tons and tons of fresh produce. There are markets everywhere and I'm just loving it! I pretty much live off cherries and nectarines and apples and also Freeze Pops. Yes France has those and they are perfect for those long, hot missionary days. 

Here they can't make H sounds very well. I tell people I'm from O'io. Ohio without the H sound. French people are so funny! They call me, "Sœur... Lo-DAIR." I love it. I love them. 

I often ask people how they are doing to start a conversation and most of them ask me why I want to know and I respond, why not? Generally they think it's weird and funny enough to let me talk to them :) French people are either really talkative or want nothing to do with you. 

The work is so good. I'm especially excited for our baptism this Friday! I just can't wait :) But just you wait for the rest of the miracles. They're coming! The Church is so true. I love you all! 

Sœur Loder 

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Monday, June 24, 2013


Sorry my e-mail titles aren't creative at all. Plus I say that word one million times a day. Transfers! So I'm staying here in Nice, but my companion is moving to an area in Switzerland! So I'm receiving Sœur Witt from Bayonne, but she comes tonight so I don't know anything about her :) Sœur Bentley is also staying, but her companion is leaving and she is receiving a brand new missionary! ... but that brand new missionary doesn't have a visa yet so Sœur Bentley will be a trio with us for a few weeks. Cool stuff.

Elder Bria said he posted that I was staying in Nice. He's so funny. He said, "I knew you and Bentley were staying so I could have posted it last night." :) Elder Bria is a man of miracles! Think he'll ever read this? Ha.

Here in Nice it is HOT. Really hot. Picture Ohio July and that's what we got hit with this week. I'm pretty okay with it but my poor English companion is used to overcast so she was dying. Most of the missionaries in Nice are from Utah so they are not used to humidity AT ALL. So I get a good laugh from them complaining. But our apartment boils at night. Sœur Bentley and I are on top bunks and we have fans on chairs and I still wake up hotter than hot every night. I also take cold showers... because I want to. Welcome to France :)

I also found the perfect way to describe all our bus rides in Nice. Night bus in Harry Potter. It is... perfect. Even with them squeezing through traffic. It's the only logical explanation for how those buses fit through where they do.

I'm especially excited to stay because Xavier's baptism is July 5th! We made up the program and he is so excited. Still probably not as excited as me but, close. I'm actually singing Abide With Me with a member. He speaks English :) It's going to be really good! I just can't wait!

The aquarium in Monaco was pretty cool! We pet sharks! Which I've done before, but never in Monaco :) It was just like every other aquarium but the outside looked like a castle and everything was in French.

This week was Sœur Hoar's birthday and we managed to surprise her three times. Wow we were so crafty! Fake phone calls and splits, all to get her to pizza hut and that's what she wanted in the first place! Yes they have pizza hut here. Also KFC. I know, right?

This week was full of talking to people and teaching. Just like it should be :) It's really hard this time of year because most of the people we talk to are tourists and all the French people leave... so it's been tough. But you just never know what you'll get when you walk up to someone on the street :) Just like a box of chocolates.

I just love it here. It's hard work but I expected that! It's a great feeling to know you're doing just what you're supposed to. The church is true! I love and miss you all!

Sœur Loder

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Bonjour Bonjour!

Basically every time I start an e-mail I think the same thing: what a week! It seriously has been crazy but I realise that's just mission life and I think I'm okay with it :)

So this week we had zone conference. So basically tons of missionaries all coming together and Elder Kent Richards spoke to us. Really, really good! But the trip itself was the crazy part. We took a train all the way to Manosque (an hour past where the conference was in Aix) the day before the actual conference and stayed in an apartment... with fourteen sisters. No joke. We started showering at seven pm and barely finished and then getting ready in the morning? Impossible. The ironic thing is they told us we had to look our best. So we took a train BACK to Aix and had our conference. Which I loved. Then went back to Nice. Home sweet home :)

We travel a ton here. So many train tickets! We usually have to go pretty far so we often take TGVs which are awesome! They're super fast. I remember we were standing on the deck waiting for our train and one passed full speed and I was amazed! I just love trains, especially those ones. France is hilarious though because they have train strikes all the time but they are pre-planned and they kindly inform the public of the dates it starts and ends. Thankfully the last one ended this weekend because we're going to an aquarium in Monaco for p-day.

Really weird situation. The elders told us the bishop wanted us to pass Xavier, our sweet sweet ami, to them because we're sisters and everything and we were heartbroken. He is wonderful and really progressing and being converted. So we spent a few days being really sad and not understanding the reason when the senior couple called and told us that they told us wrong... that the bishop suggested passing him but it was up to us and the mission president. So we called President up and he agreed that we should continue teaching him. I've never felt such great joy! We are moving his baptismal date to a week later because most of the ward will be gone in Marseille the weekend we planned. But it's okay! I'm just praying fervently that it is Heavenly Father's will that I stay in Nice for at least one more transfer :)

It has been fun as we work hard to find people. We're talking to so many people every day and you meet tons of really awesome people and kind people and weird people... but I like it. When you're going up to people you really never know what you're going to get! It might not even be French! If you're lucky, it's English :) Haha. But we've had a good time this week.

We had a rough week but it really turned around. We have seen so many miracles and if you're willing to let go of all the scary and awful things that happened and recognize the miracles, you start to see how your outlook changes. You search for miracles instead of dwelling on negative things that happened. The mean lady. The creepy man. Eventually you can just laugh :) This week really has been great though. I can't believe my first transfer is all over and suddenly I'm the one dreading the transfer calls! Friday morning is when they come. I guess we're getting a huge shipment of missionaries again so we'll see what happens!

Oh. I just love you all! I'm excited for Laura to get to the MTC and Allyson to go to Cape Verde and all the mission calls! What a time we live in. The work is really moving forward.

I love being a missionary :)

Sœur Loder

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Oui âllo?

Hello everyone. What an exciting week this has been... in that we have learned a lot of really great lessons but in the hard way.

First off, if you send letters to Nice, be sure to put my name somewhere on the envelope so if I leave the office can find me and get it to me. I would hate for any of your precious mail to go missing!

En tout ca:

So our ami is Xavier. He is incredible! He accepted a baptismal date of Juin 29 and is progressing so well! He loves church and reading and prays all the time and the ward loves him. It's quite the miracle and I'm excited for the Gospel to change his life. :)

We set a lot of finding goals this week because this is still a new companionship with no amis... but this week was rough. People didn't want to talk to us and our books were not getting placed! Then one day we barely tried because we were so bummed about the week and how many appointments had fallen through. Heavenly Father said, fine! If you won't try, I'll give them to you. Literally we had two people ask us for a Book of Mormon. As we learned how good Heavenly Father is to us even though we were being unprofitable servants (scripture joke), my English companion correctly said, "We're rubbish." We are going to work much harder this week :)

I'm learning primary songs! In French. So someday I'll come home and only know the songs in French... what a weird problem to have.

This week we went to Aix en Provence and did exchanges with some other sisters. It was fun and Aix is beautiful! France is beautiful. But we talked to so many people and taught some lessons. It was really the confidence boost I needed to start this new week. I love exchanges! We're going back to Aix this week for a conference... good thing I like train rides!

We had an Ohio style storm yesterday. It poured down rain and there was crazy lightning and the lights flickered. It's good to know France isn't too foreign. We also have KFC so somedays I feel right at home :) Ha.

Oh, the Tour de France is coming up right? There are signs everywhere and apparently it is coming through Masséna square! Where we go all the time and live right next to...look it up! It's a cool place. We might "stop by" like we did with the Grand Prix.

Well, it's about time to go again. I love you all and I love the Lord! He is so good to us. Never forget He is always there. I know that's true.

À plus!
Sœur Loder

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Pas de problème avec des anges!

What a wonderful week in so many ways. I'm just having a blast trying to learn to be a missionary in Nice. Translate that subject line. It's our motto these days because we have seen so many miracles. Nous attendons les miracles!

Where to start?

Last week we decided to go out and try to work but we had no time before we had to be home, but we decided to go anyway. Then we missed the bus we needed to we started walking to the tram. These two girls come up and are like, do you speak English?! They were trying to find the tram and nobody could help them. They were two Polish girls studying in Italy that came over to Nice for vacation. We talked to them forever! They were wonderful and were interested in what we were doing and the Book of Mormon.

I've started talking to people on my own now. Yikes! It's really hard because I still can't fully understand everyone. This one guy comes up and I'm like, monsieur! How are you? He was so confused. Turns out he is from Cape Verde and speaks mostly Portuguese so it was really awkward. He ended up walking away and wouldn't take my card, but I'm taking it as a little victory :)

One day we were out talking to people to recruit for an English class we're doing here and there is a guy on his phone forever. He finally gets off and I run over and say hello! I was actually able to talk to him forever and he really wanted to learn English! He was also really intested in learning about our church, because he has been searching. Miracle? Just wait. He comes to our rendez-vous and accepted all our commitments immediately and is just so into it. Miracle!

But there's more. He comes to church and stays all three hours, for a picnic with the young adults AND a fireside... and he loved every second. He was so excited and as he was leaving he told us in his broken English that he is going to read the Book of Mormon tonight. Yes! This morning he texted us and thanked us for bringing him closer to Heavenly Father and that he prayed that we will be blessed. This is really what missionary work is really about.

Funny part, our wonderful new ami brings a friend to church... and he caused some trouble. He was arguing first hour and then second hour he is reading in our manuel during the lesson and finds a chapter on Adam and Eve and starts taking pictures with his phone. I'm like, something is about to go down! He stands up and starts yelling at people and won't let anyone talk... and I have no idea what he was saying but he ended up storming out and slamming the door. Uh, what? Weird day at Nice ward.

We also got trapped between an entry gate and a building. We literally couldn't find a button to get out. What in the world? Eventually we used my pocket mirror to reach around and push the code in from the opposite side... call us secret agents. The weird things that happen to you as missionaries are the best. My journal would probably make a great novel someday.

But really. There have been so many miracles. The work is expanding so much here in Nice! People really are prepared to find us and I'm happy to be working to find them. The church is so true! Vraiment! Dieu nous aime beaucoup et Il a preparé les élus. Nous devons chercher et travailler, mais l'œuvre missionnaire est vrai! J'aime France et tous les gens ici. Je vous aime aussi!

Sœur Loder

Another miracle: I just love the food here and I eat it all, but I have definitely lost weight :) Hopefully I can keep that up.

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Bonjour à tous!

First off, Leah happy birthday! I didn't forget :)

What a week in France! I try to keep notes of what I could possibly say but I can't even try to tell you how beautiful it is (and in some cases how sketchy it is) but I love every second!

I'm very grateful to have two other brand new missionaries here in Nice with me so when we're in a meeting and I don't understand anything that is going on, I look at them and realize... they feel the same :) Haha, every day is an adventure but expecially when nobody around you speaks the language you speak. #bleuprobs

Hancocks! Thank you so much for the package! Oh my word I was so surprised and thankful. The candy really helps keep me awake at every second of every day. So thank you again :)

We were lucky to have lunch with a member and had my first real experience with French meals... delicious cheese included. It was heaven! But the desserts here are still my favorite part. Every store just... lures you in. Especially one in Beausoleil! They had a French Spongebob... Bob l'éponge (Bob the sponge), so I felt right at home.

So we decided early in the week to travel to Beausoleil and work there all day. It's a long travel but so worth it. Look this place up! I want to live there forever and ever. Beausoleil means "beautiful sun" and their sidewalks have suns on them and the people are so kind! And they speak slower! :) But here is the cool part... it was Thursday. And we had to walk through Monaco (yes, it only took about 10 minutes) and it was GRAND PRIX DAY. What? Oh blessed day, I could hear the cars and even see a few from the train station. I was in Monaco during the Grand Prix :)

Since this is a new companionship in Nice and both of us are brand new... we don't have much to do. Lots of getting organized and finding our way around and talking to people on the street and visiting members! There is a woman we went to visit in Vence and the bus ride was about an hour and a half. But we drove all along the coast and then up into the mountains. It was amazing. If you think Utah is nice, come to southern France.

The buses here are rough. I'm surprised I haven't taken out some random stranger as these buses are flying around turns like the grand prix (nice reference, right?). I get motion sick pretty often but I'm getting nice and toned from having a warrior stance and holding on for dear life as soon as the doors close.

The primary kids here are so sweet. We got to help out with music yesterday... but nothing makes you feel more like a convert/bleu than these bilingual kids singing primary songs. I felt like apologizing to each of them for not knowing French or how to sing the primary songs.

I'm so blessed to be here as a missionary. There is one lady we found and we were able to teach. After my companion filled me in on the entire lesson, I realized how amazing she is! We told her the family is eternal and she stopped and said, "I really hope that's true," and it felt so good to be able to say, "I know it is." She has lost two children. She recently stopped talking to us but we won't give up because we know the Gospel will bless her life in every way.

I'm so thankful for this Gospel and the opportunity I have to teach the people here. Life is good and I'm happy to be here :) I love all of you!

Sœur Loder 

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