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 :)

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