Monday, June 30, 2014


So do you know that song Happy by Pharell Willims or something like that? Well they play it everywhere here and even though I have never really just sat down to listen to the song I think I know all the words... it has been super stuck in my head all week! It helps though. It's a song all about being happy, haha. It doesn't get better than that! 

... and yeah, it has just been a week of normal missionary work. Nothing too special just a lot of work. It has been really hot again (as usual) so we are trying to stay cool. We do a lot of contacting on the three bridges that cross between our sector and the other because they are super windy and help us to not melt even though we are in the constant sun. Good thing we have been teaching a lot so we don't have any extended time in the sun just trying to find people! I remember this time in Nice we had NOBODY to teach so we were just outside all the day long trying to find members and everything. So miserable! It's better now :) 

Oh yeah. Transfer calls this week. Get ready! I have no idea what is coming for my last two transfers... 

The fun part of this week is our new best friend from India who is really cool :) He has a Hindu background and is so sweet. He is absolutely blazing through the Book of Mormon and... is horrified by it. There are a lot of wars and descriptions of the destruction and the things the wicked people do and he freaked out and thought those were our beliefs and said if we teach those things "the world will set on fire" and it took us several hours to explain to him that he is RIGHT! Those things are really bad and we are not teaching them. We are teaching people to keep the commandments and follow Jesus and then we can all be happy, but also trying to help him realize the reality of the things around us. It has been fun... we saw him the next day and he had calmed down and said he will keep reading. He's so sweet. I've never had an ami that is scared of the Book of Mormon though! First time for everything. 

We have seen wonderful changes in the ward. They think of us a lot more and are serving us a lot... yesterday a member brought us homemade bread and another member brought us a pasta dinner with chocolate cake and we have like, three dinner rdvs with members this week... it only took me 5 months but they finally love us! Haha, wonderful. I love this ward a lot. I'd be happy to spend my last two here. Easily. 

Anyway, should be a good week. Keep looking for those miracles in your life. I love you all so much! 

Sr Loder

Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer Heat.

... we got hit hard this week with the heat. Summer is definitely here. I've been praying for clouds and rain and we got a huge storm today so I'm pleased :) President gave us permission to use hats as long as they are tasteful and classy. I'm definitely jumping on that one... my face is so burned. 

Besides the heat, this week was a good one. We made a goal this week to set a specific hour for a miracle every day and... every day it happened. Every. Day. It was too cool! Most days we put it during our contacting time and one day during our miracle hour we had three lessons on the street and found two new amis. Has God ceased to be a God of miracles, NO! Moroni 7:29. We've been putting Elder Andersen's promises to the test and they have not let us down yet :) I actually gave a talk at church yesterday on faith and miracles. It went really well. Sometimes our ward has the tendancy to... not listen during the talks but I was so happy and almost emotional to see them listening intently to my stories of faith and miracles since I have joined the church. It is wonderful to see change in people! 

I'm also happy to tell you that I'm finally legal in the country! I had my rdv with the préfecture this week and they accepted everything and it is all good. They take all my stuff in order to prepare a card, which is like a visa pretty much. But that takes about two months to prepare so during this time I have a temporary legality paper. So... just a few weeks before I go home I'll have to come back to Toulouse (assuming I leave, of course) ... and get my legality. Haha. Okay! 

One of the young adults in the ward got his mission call this week :) He opened it around 9 pm so he called and had us on speaker when he opened it. We had been talking about it forever (it takes a little longer than 10 days for mission calls over here...) and he wanted SO badly to go to America, or at least anywhere not speaking French. Well... he is going to TAHITI! Speaking Tahitian. And it is cool because his mom served there. He's super excited because he gets to go to Provo for language training (Tahitian and English) and he spent a solid 10 minutes asking me about what kind of food they have at the MTC. He's going to be such a cool missionary. He will go to the MTC just ONE WEEK after I get home. Cool. He was writing his acceptance letter yesterday and I was helping him translate it from French. Missions are so cool! 

Unfortunately we had an anti-miracle this week... our friend with a baptismal date decided he didn't want to meet anymore. We realized that it was probably for the better. He just wouldn't accept the spiritual side of what we were teaching him. The lesson was pretty interesting. We were teaching tithing and he understood and when we asked him to live this commandment he said he couldn't because it was impossible until he was making more money. We explained 10 times over that it didn't matter how much you made but that you give of whatever you have... and that it as an act of faith. He said he understood but still said no. Then he went off on his random tangents (we have been teaching him for almost three months and he is... a talker) and we stopped him to explain that he was missing the point. We explained that we aren't just teaching our opinions or good principles, but the truth that comes from God and does not change. He said he would think about it. Late that night he texted us, said he thought about it, and decided it was not possible to pay tithing and thus would prefer not to meet anymore. And then it was over like that. We are hoping he comes to feel the difference in his life without the Gospel... he was meeting with us three times a week, going to family home evening and institute and church and all the activities. We'll see what happens. It is always sad to have someone make the choice to discontinue, but they have the choice. And it happens. 

This week should be good. We have some other wonderful amis and we are excited to work with them :) We are seeing miracles but also praying for more and more each day :) I love you all. Keep an eye our for those tender mercies of the Lord! 

Sr Loder

Monday, June 16, 2014

Back to Nice

Words don't exactly describe what last week was. I'll do my best, but just know I probably won't talk too much about what was said in the conference. It isn't a secret but... literally I won't do it justice! I'll start from the beginning :) 

Our bus left Toulouse at 12 pm on Monday and we drove to Montpellier and picked up some more missionaries (it filled up the bus) and then we went to Toulon, I think. And actually arrived in Nice around 7 pm. Our bus driver was quick! He also loved when we sang him hymns :) I was pretty motion sick at first but it got better as we went along. As we came into Nice I started recognizing the cities around us and then... the sea :) They put us in our hotel room, gave us pizza and then I stared out the window at the streets I used to work on. It was kind of weird but also good! Haha, I love Nice. 

Tuesday they took us to a big conference center down by the coast where we had our conference. We practiced our singing with the special choir and then... Elder Andersen came in and immediately the Spirit dropped on all of us. He is so funny too... he came in and smiled at us and looked around the conference room and was like, this is fancy. Look at these flowers, it's like our funeral! 

President and his wife spoke, as well as Elder Kearon and his wife, then the Andersens! I can't sum up what they said... it was a lot. Elder Andersen spoke specifically about France and the concerns and troubles we find as missionaries here (he was mission president in Bordeaux back in the day) and the coolest part is that it wasn't anything new. He talked about faith and how we need to raise the bar and invite miracles into our lives. How? By filling our hearts with the scriptures and being diligent. Simple as that. The spirit was strong and testified to us all of the reality of the Savior and His teachings and we all left touched in a way we can't really describe.The music really touched me, especially as we all sang as a mission. President was emotional, as were the others. I imagine that if the angels in heaven were singing it probably was something like that!

Immediately we were back on the bus and went to Montpellier for the night. Only our zone was there and we had a little dinner all together and jumped back on the bus for Wednesday and... back to Toulouse. Our bus driver loved us a lot and actually came to our activity we had this week and the elders will be visiting him and his family this week :) Missionary work is cool.

We started working right away and saw miracles. I don't have a lot of time but I'll tell you about one :) Our new friend. We were out contacting to finish the night and literally... I have never felt so hated by the French people. But we kept going and I contacted this guy who was like, uh I don't speak French? So we talked to him in English and he is from India and has practiced Hinduism his whole life... he talked to us some about it and the contact got confusing and complicated then his phone rang and he had to go to a rdv and left. Disappointing. A catholic woman started talking to us and about 15 minutes later our friend comes back and is like, I finished my rdv and I actually have some questions. We talked to him about God's love, and how we can be healed from our past with the help of Jesus Christ. He said he saw a light in us he had never seen before and "I don't know why, but I think I need to come to your church." We taught him the next morning and he said he has had a lot of difficulties in his life and he feels that even after one meeting, he can feel the healing. He came to church with us yesterday and the elders and us translated all the meetings for him and they just love him... he's hilarious and cool so we're good friends. His knowledge is very basic but it is perfect. He said he is a "blank slate" when it comes to Christianity and that he thinks that is a good thing :) I've literally never been so excited to teach someone. I love him a lot. 

Those were the highlights of our week. The ward music night was super good... we had 15 non-members there and tons of members and the numbers were great and we were all happy! The funny part of that day was that... my companion and I got separated on the metro. I showed up at the main cross of the two lines and... she was gone. I had the phone so I called the zone leaders and they laughed and told me to go check another metro stop and then go back to the change and if she wasn't there, call back. So I traveled alone on the metro and around Toulouse a bit... kind of weird. I got back and couldn't find her and she hadn't called so I started calling all the Toulouse missionaries and NOBODY answered. So I was instructed to go back to the apartment... alone. Haha. I got about an hour of not having a companion wandering around Toulouse. It's a good thing we are both really calm people... we didn't freak out we just both eventually found our way back to the apartment and it worked out. Hahaha. Too good. 

Anyway, lots you all lots! Have the best week! 

Sr Loder

Here are some photos of our bus ride and finally arriving in Nice! That sister is Sr Henretty, who I was with in St Etienne :)

Saturday, June 7, 2014


The zone leaders texted us at 10h15 last night and told us we have to do our e-mails today. So here we are! 

Honestly nothing too exciting has happened this week. We have taught a lot. We have lost some amis and found some new ones as well. We have had some breakthroughs with some of them and some seem to be going backwards in their progression. The mission is a roller coaster and what I've found it that it always comes from others. I think on most nights I forget to pray for myself because there are so many around me that need prayers. I think that is what a mission is really about. 

It has been a weird couple of weeks as a lot of my friends have been going home from their missions and today I found my flight itinerary in my inbox. THAT wasn't a pleasant surprise but it didn't bother me too much. I recognize that there isn't much time left but it helps me move forward. Something that has really driven me this week is what I found in a talk President Uchtdorf gave to the missionaries at the MTC recently. Basically he said, every morning when you put on your tag you must decide... what kind of witness will I be? I took that to heart in all the aspects of my work. It has been a miracle worker and I've seen rapid progress in just a few days. Change starts with us :) 

Now that I have explained that not much has happened this week, I'll tell you about how we're getting ready for the visit of Elder Andersen! We will be traveling from 12 pm Monday from here in Toulouse to Nice, where we will arive at 9 pm. We're staying in hotels and it will be so cool! I'm really excited. They put together a special choir based on referrals from other missionaries (I'm in it, whoo!) and we will be singing the Hosanna Anthem that they do at temple dedications (for the Spirit of God, a hymn we have in our book) and it is incredible. Seriously so beautiful. 

We learned at our zone training that Elder Andersen's visit wasn't necessarily planned. He is speaking at a conference for all the members in France tomorrow morning (from Switzerland) and then he and his wife had a few days to travel around if they wanted and instead, they chose to come and speak to our mission. We are so blessed! 

As for spiritual preparation, there is a story in the Book of Mormon that I love a lot. In the book there is a moment when Christ appears to the Nephite people. This is right after there are incredible storms and earthquakes and mountains becoming valleys and cities being destroyed by fire, etc. All the people that survived are around the temple and they are talking about the "great changes" that had taken place when they hear a voice coming from somewhere but they don't understand. Then they hear it a second time but they still didn't understand. Then it says they opened their ears to hear and did look "steadfastly" to where the sound was coming from and finally they hear it, "Behold my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name- hear ye Him." And then they saw the Savior. Throughout the next several chapters it talks of the things He taught and the heavenly things they saw and heard, even the angels came to minister unto them. 

They could only have this kind of experience if they are prepared, and worthy, and ready to change and act in accordance with these things. Much like these people, the mission is preparing to receive the blessings of an apostle of the Lord and we are so very excited. After Christ leaves the people, they lived in righteousness for a very long time (whereas before they were prone to wars and contentions). I think our mission will be blessed for a very long time after the departure of Elder Andersen, but only if we have ears to hear. 

Well, sorry that was nice and missionary-like. Just know that I'm so excited to hear from an apostle in Nice with the entire France Lyon mission. It will be an experience I'll probably talk about forever and ever so get ready! 

I love you all :) Happy June! 

Sr Loder

Monday, June 2, 2014


This week we got trapped in the biggest downpour I have ever seen... ever. We were walking down an empty road about 30 minutes outside of Toulouse and there was nowhere to take cover or anything. So we kept walking. The only I can describe how I felt was... taking my dress out of the washer in the middle of the cycle, putting it on, then jumping in the pool. It was the worst... and we still had work to do. So we passed the last family and when the wife opened the door she gasped. I don't blame her... but yeah. We caught a bus home... and an hour later we made it home. My dress is still hanging out to dry. It hasn't quite finished. 

Missionary life. 

Oh, important. We are going to Nice next Monday around noon so we will not be able to e-mail. We will leave at noon and get there around 9 pm Monday night, have our conference and get back on the bus... stop in Montpellier for Tuesday night and then get back sometime on Wednesday. So expect to hear from me then :) 

We had a crazy miracle this week. Our rdv canceled for 15h30 and we tried calling our member that morning to cancel but she never answered. We kind of forgot and went about our day and at that time we get a call from the other missionaries that our member showed up. So we bust out of our apartment and literally sprint down the road (we live about a 15 minute walk from the institute building) and stop every person and ask if they want to learn about Christ. Most of the are saying no so we are freaking out and begging for a miracle. Finally, one of the last people we would have seen before the center said YES and we taught him with our dear member :) Crazy, and definitely not something we want to do again... but miraculous nevertheless. 

Other than that, it has been a normal week. We are preparing for our musical night and our musician member arranged this hymn before our eyes and wrote the COOLEST flute/violin part so I'm pumped to start playing again and perform it. We'll get a video, don't worry! 

Our amis are doing so well. I love them, even when they say they will come to church three times but still don't come. Haha. We'll get there :) I love you all. Keep looking for those missionary experience and remember, the missionaries love you a lot :) Help them out. They need you. 

Until next time! 

Sr Loder

Enjoy this picture. It was about 45 minutes after the downpour but... it was still terrible.