Monday, March 31, 2014


I affectionately named this e-mail duck because a member fed us duck... which I have never had. It was... okay! Hahaha but I think in my head I couldn't stop thinking about what I was eating. And it was kind of bloody so that didn't help. STILL better than the traditional blood sausage! 

The questionnaire is working miracles in Toulouse. We went out to a city and knocked on doors with these questions all the day long and found SO many people and taught SO many people! One of them was a man (so we couldn't go inside) and we explained we could come back with a woman on Saturday. He agreed, and when we came he had invited his friend so that we could come teach both of them :) They also both came to church yesterday and LOVED it. After finding him we found the sweetest family from Bulgaria. The 15 year old daughter had to translate for the family (French to... Bulgarian) and as we testified of the family and how important it is they became emotional. It was one of those moments that every missionary would die for. So we're going back tomorrow with all the supplies we could find... in Bulgarian. 

The questionnaire has been very interesting. Here is what I have learned from asking people these questions: One, most people think it would be AWESOME to have a prophet today (a testimony that people really are looking for truth). Two, a lot of people would love to know what God would say to us if He were speaking today. Three, even though people want to hear from a living prophet and know what God has to say... they do not want to hear it from us! Haha, it's always so interesting. They say YES of course I want to know what God has to say! And then we are like, perfect well we have a message for you about how God IS speaking to us today and they are like... I'm not really interested. Okay. Anyway, it has been fun :) 

It really has been a great week but things got a little funny last night. Story is, we have some downstairs neighbors that are maybe a little... crazy. In the time that I have been in Toulouse they have called the other sisters and told them that we are too loud in the morning. Not walking or moving around... but they can hear us going to the bathroom and said it is so loud in their apartment that it keeps them awake. Well, after all these calls (and clearly this is extreme... we have never heard one peep from our upstairs neighbors, let alone their bathroom use) we filed a complaint with the building manager and the guy didn't say anything else. Last night though he came with his wife and child to complain to us about how we have not changed anything. I guess the sisters before us rearranged their whole schedule to keep them happy (SUPER not allowed) and they said we are allowed to change our rules. I told him that wasn't true and he was being really... obnoxious and rude about it. I told him he should talk to the manager if it was causing him that much of a problem but that we were not going to NOT use our bathroom. He wouldn't have it. So I left the blue that doesn't speak French at the door and called the office and am talking to E Kunz about what is going on while the neighbor is going off on the poor blue and E Kunz is pretty sure they are just going to find us a new apartment. WHAT IS LIFE. People are really weird sometimes. I still used the bathroom this morning. I didn't feel too bad. 

... so yeah it has been a fun week. Ha. We had a freaky windy couple of days. Our doors and windows were rattling like crazy and we opened them to try and close the shutters and the doors slammed open and it was a mess. We could barely be on the streets because we couldn't hardly stand up without being blown away! So we ported all day and miraculously we were let into every building :) What a work we are doing here. 

I love you all. Have a great week! 

Sr Loder

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Not of this world.

I think my entire week revolves around the zone conference we had yesterday (the reason we didn't e-mail) because it was one of those days where you realize... Heavenly Father does answer prayers. 

On a happy note, I was reunited with Sr MAG who I love with all my heart. She did give me some really devastating news though. The miracle we had in Limoges (Nathalie) is turning out not so great. I guess she had a really big trail in her life and no longer believes that God loves her and doesn't want anything to do with us anymore. The ward has complete faith that she will come back though. I do too. But it still broke my heart. 

Anyway, I want to focus on what President taught at conference because literally... okay. He started with a scripture in the Book of Mormon. It is when Christ comes and everybody is praying. He tells them to stop praying (he is going to teach them) but tells them to NEVER stop praying in their heart. President asked us to do that during this conference and promised we would receive the answers we were seeking. He did not lie. 

He talked about wind being something we cannot see yet we see the effects of it, and how that is very much like the Gospel. He then explained (using the story of the disciples in the ship trying to cross the sea of Galilee, when Jesus walks on water) that sometimes... the wind is contrary. Whether that be the wind of the adversary or even the will of the Lord. Sometimes it isn't helping us too much. 

Sometimes we have a crisis... where we doubt our faith. Where we tell ourselves based on logic that these things cannot happen and that what we believe cannot be possible. He described that the biggest crisis of faith must have been the Atonement. When Christ was on the cross, surely at least some of his followers were doubting that he was all-powerful and that he really was the Christ. 

The Lord gives us opportunities to build our faith... by giving us opportunities to test this faith. These are the times when we can show Him that we trust Him and what we are willing to do for Him. Worldly experiences and worldly logic tries to break out faith by telling us that there is no possible way that any of this works. But these are the times we must follow Him the most! After all... Christ says, I am not of this world. Neither are His ways. And we have to accept that sometimes heavenly logic doesn't make sense in worldly ways. That is what FAITH is. 

In the Book of Mormon, in the Americas, there is a group of believers watching for the sign of Christ's birth. The non-believers end up telling them that they have a deadline. If the sign doesn't appear before THIS day, then they will kill them. It says there that these people began to doubt and fear... that maybe their faith was in vain. NEVERTHELESS they did watch steadfastly for that new star. And it came. 

President told us that literally the only way to be happy is to trust in the Lord no matter what. And although I have never seen that man shed a tear, he became emotional... and told us that although he cannot speak of the experiences he has had, he knows without a doubt that Christ lives and loves us more than we can imagine. 

As you can imagine, it was a powerful conference and without a doubt I got on the train back to Toulouse with a lot to learn and think about. I love President. Mostly I love the Lord who answers our prayers in his own way and time. 

I love you all. This Gospel is true. Have a wonderful week :) 

Sr Loder

Monday, March 17, 2014


Welcome to the first week of all beautiful weather :) I walked outside in parks all day without tights or a jacket, what a blessing! Now I can ditch all the winter clothes, yeah? Haha, finally! The flowers are blooming and it has just been a magical week. 

... of finding. We passed a lot of people and barely any of them lived there anymore so we just talked to anyone and everyone that moved and it was really, really good. I find I'm much happier when I talk to people :) Who would have guessed? Anyway, we started something interesting this week! And interestingly enough it is something Sr Mag and I tried a little bit in Limoges... now it is mission mandated! Questionnaire! I don't know why but if you stop a French person and tell them you are a missionary they don't like you, but if you stop them for a questionnaire they will almost always stop... so yeah! French people like their questionnaires. We now have the France Lyon Mission... questionnaire :) With four simple questions that really open people up and has allowed us to have an infinite amount of Gospel conversations with people that usually would have said no from the start. 

Quote from President about the questionnaire: I know this will work because the Lord told me.

Well, can't argue with that! We've only been using it a few days now but I just love it. It's SO fun and allows us to talk to so many more people and ACTUALLY talk to them. Not the 2 second rejection method. I'm excited about it and we've already seen miracles so no problems here :) They are just questions that start fairly neutral about serious problems in the world and move into things like, do you think it would be good to have the help of God today? Or if God spoke to us today, would you be interested to know what He said? And then we testify :) It's good. Really good. 

This week we found NEW AMIS! ... and then had to pass almost all of them. Toulouse is such a massive city that there are 16 missionaries. 8 of us have one half, and the other 8 have the other. The other ones have more of the city so usually the people we find live on the other side and we are required to pass them to the other ward. THE WORST. Pray for us to find people on our side of the river, yeah? 

We are happy. Although a man yelled at me this week. He stopped me and started preaching about how Jesus doesn't wear ties so clearly our church isn't true and he went on and on and on and I was trying to ask him questions (he was really contradictory, as you can imagine) and he got mad about that and yelled at me (translated from original French) LET THE GOOD WORD ENTER YOUR HEART and... I laughed. Sorry, maybe I'm a jerk but it was really funny. I just can't think of any missionary I know talking to people like that. But what happened after is the best. So this man is literally preaching to me and my companion on a street corner and it's kind of freaky... and some guy walks up and stands next to me and I'm like, do you know him? He looks at me and is like, no... but... it's interesting, anyway. HAHA WHAT? So weird. I love this place. Missionary life is the best. 

I love you all, have the best week, will you? 

Sr Loder :)

Monday, March 10, 2014


It has literally been the most beautiful week ever! No jacket weather :) Unfortunately that means that it is time for my body to freak out and I got a little sick but the good news is that it's almost gone.

Last Monday I knew my companion would be coming in, but she got stuck somewhere between Geneva and Lyon so I got the call that she would be coming the next day. THEN I got another call that said she would still come that night but at 10h20! I couldn't believe it. The zone leaders had to bring her... she got to the apartment around 11 at night. What a great start from the transfer, ha. 

Sr Carvalho is from Portugal. And get this... convert of 5 years. Only child. Only member. And pretty much we have the exact same story. I cannot tell you how COOL it is to tell every doubter on the street that we are converted and bear testimony. And that we did! All week. It's vacance so every member is out of town and all we had to do all week is find new people to teach :) I took my companion and hit the ground running. I'm tired of finding in every single city. I want to be teaching more so I'll do what it takes to do that I guess. 

Toulouse is wonderful. I love having a metro, makes everything really efficient and fast and they play funny music in there. All the stores and places in France don't really play new American music. It's old stuff but still the good stuff. I find it really fun :) 

We also learned some self defense from a young adult that has done martial arts his whole life... we asked him and he was like I'll show you. So I stood up and he moved his arm and I flinched. Hahaha, I was so scared! You can't just show me all the pictures of your career in martial arts and then say, "I'll show you" and expect me to not be scared... but now I can hurt people so it worked out. 

I'm a happy missionary again. I love the city and the work. Missions really are the most wonderful thing we can do. We get to work with the Lord in His greatest work: saving souls. How great is our calling! 

I love you all. Have a great and hopefully sunny week! 

Sr Loder 

Monday, March 3, 2014

La ville en rose.

Salut! I'm happy to report that things are calming down. This week was INCREDIBLE. I came in late last Monday night... then early Tuesday morning Sr Jones and I got on a train to Bordeaux for an exchange. Ha, it never ends! Good thing I love trains so much. It was good to get out and do missionary work for a change. 

We kind of healed each other this week and jumped in! There wasn't much going on here but we went out and found people and taught and found three new people. In just a few days. People are ready! If we go out and find people with the Spirit and with love for your companion (that is really important, I now have a really strong testimony of that) then you see miracles. It is as simple as that. 

The really fun part of this week is that we were literally outside all day, every day... in the rain. Toulouse has the CRAZIEST weather I have ever seen. It will be beautiful blue sky and you turn around and all of a sudden it is hailing golf balls. Haha, but it was fun anyway. We were just out to have fun and find people and that is what we did :) 

Thursday the office told me that I would be staying in Toulouse for sure (transfer calls were the next morning) but they wouldn't tell me if Sr Jones was leaving so we still had a surprise. She is leaving today, to Bordeaux, and I am receiving Sr Carvalho from Portugal! So I'm pretty much whitewashing again. Good thing I have done that my entire mission so no big deal? With this transfer... I have officially had 11 companions hahaha. This is only the start of my 8th transfer too. What a life. 

Toulouse is great. I'm doing great. No worries here. I love you! 

Sr Loder 

This is me and my companion of a week. She is from Texas and is really proud of it :) Haaa. We had a fun international activity this weekend.