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