Monday, July 28, 2014


I'm sorry because I have like 8 minutes to write my e-mail this week... good thing nothing super spectacular happened and I don't need to take lots of time telling you about it :) 

The ward is going really well and we are starting to feel like more of a part of it. Especially as we are making big efforts to work with the members and really just... love them. They are incredible! We were able to do a family home evening with us and some members at the chapel and it was SO FUN and the members liked it... and asked us to do another this week so. We'll do that :)

I have like... two minutes now. We did a lot of contacting in the burning heat but it wasn't so bad. We have met a lot of really cool people and prayed with them. Our amis are progressing like champions and we had zone conference this week! We had interviews and President thought I was hilarious and direct and told me to tell people I love them more. So... I love you all okay? I hope you know that :) 

Sr Bridg and I also performed a nice song called Gethsemane. It was an acapella arrangement of a supposedly new primary song and now our zone is obsessed with it and they have been singing it all week :) It was wonderful. Really really good week but I think this one is looking even better! Look forward to it. 

:) Sr Loder

Ps really sorry about the worst weekly e-mail ever! 

Monday, July 21, 2014


This week got kind of crazy but it was easily one of the best and most inspired weeks of my mission. First, the fireworks last week were super cool :) We went with a family to an outer city and it had a movie theme. Super cool. I loved it :) 

The next day we got up and jumped on a train to Nice... and then got there eight hours later whoo! It felt like home walking off the train and outside of the gare. I had been worried that maybe it would be unfamiliar after a year but it wasn't at all. We walked over to the apartment and started planning for the day. The sister I was working with had only been in the area for about a week so she didn't know too much about the members and everything. So... I started calling lots of members to say hi and to see if we could visit them! Of course, the first people I call are... the Brias! The senior couple in Nice haha because I love them so much. It was actually a huge blessing to see them this week because Saturday they left to Corsica.

From the members I learned that my recent convert from last year, Xavier, was no longer active and not only that... had asked the members to stop visiting him. I was so so so sad to hear that and my secret hopes of passing him were dashed. However, I called one of the young adults that I was good friends with and he was like SISTER LODER YOU ARE IN NICE? And I didn't understand his absolute excitement until he explained that his brother and wife had invited Xavier over to have dinner with them the next day. He was like, you have to be there. I had actually already talked to his brother and they said it probably wouldn't be possible for me to visit them because they had friends coming over (they just hadn't mentioned that it was Xavier!). He was like, no. You have to be there. I will call him right now. They were worried that since he had said he didn't want to talk about the church anymore that me coming would have been too much and would have upset him. But they ultimately decided that I should go. 

We went about our exchange (yes, Nice is just as hot as I remember...) and visited some members that insisted they see me. On the way to one I spotted a floral shop... back in the day Sr Bentley and I had made good friends with the florist there, Thierry, and he always gave us discounts on flowers. I decided we should stop in and he remembered me and Sr Bentley and was so touched that even after a year I would think to come and say hello. Isn't missionary work the best thing? I went through the day kind of worried about the rdv with Xavier... I didn't really know what to expect. But when we showed up he was really happy to see me and touched that I remembered so much of his life and plans. He showed me that he still had the picture from his baptism and remembered the song that I sang as well. It was nothing extraordinary. He didn't resolved to be active or come back to church, but he was happy. 

On the way home I was amazed at what God is willing to do to help His children. When I first found out we were going to Nice I really thought that was ridiculous. The tickets are expensive and it will take three days to get there and back. But as soon as I finished that exchange I realized that it doesn't matter... God will send us wherever He needs even if it is complicated and doesn't make sense. He loves us individually and perfectly. I hope Xavier was blessed by that miracle that I was in Nice on the one day he had decided to see some members. I'm also thankful for the sweet members who have not given up on him. 

We got home Thursday night and then Friday morning took yet another train out to a small village called Ax-les-Thermes. There is a picture of it below OH MY it is so beautiful there! It is a tiny village in a mountain valley and I love it so much that I cannot wait to go back :) We taught our amie there and she is wonderful. She has known the church for two years but it was for someone else... so that all didn't work out and he is no longer active. But she still comes. She really wants to know the truth and she is great. The hard thing is that she knows A LOT so it is hard for her to focus on the simple truths. We think she has received her answer but she hasn't seen yet. I love her so so so much. I can't wait to see what is in store for her :) 

THEN we had a dinner and family home evening with our favorite member family and their non-member friends :) IT WAS AWESOME. That family is an incredible missionary family. Their two less-active children were also there so it was just a super cool night of missionary work all over. It went really well. At the end of the night the mom asked me if she could give us their phone number and we could come by soon :) This is what missionary work should be, everyone! Trust the missionaries. They love you and they love your friends too :) 

It has been a great week and we have a lot of really cool stuff coming up this transfer. I love the work :) 


Monday, July 14, 2014

Bastille Day!

Hello everyone and HAPPY BASTILLE DAY. That is French independance day and it should be fun! President gave all the missionaries permission to be out until midnight to watch the fireworks as long as we are with members the whole time. So tonight we will go down by the river in downtown Toulouse and watch fireworks until midnight... am I a missionary? Haha. 

We finally found some people to start teaching again but they aren't very solid so... we are getting there. We have started traveling out to the surrounding villes to do porting rather than street contacting in the same place I have been street contacting for 6 months. We have a lot of hope for it :) 

This week we were out and there were lots of kids running around and playing as we were knocking on doors. As we came up to one of the doors one of the little boys was like, that's my house! Hold on, I'll get my grandma. So he goes inside and she comes out and we learn... she is Portuguese and does not speak ANY French. She didn't really want to talk to us at first but her grandson was like, Grandma it's for JESUS! You have to! So she did talk to us and we found out she believes in God and loves the Savior and she prayed with us :) Jesus transcends all language barriers. Also, Jesus knew what He was talking about when He said that we needed to be like little children. 

I feel we have finally started to make some progress with our amis who have been really slow progressing. Especially our Indian friend :) He had been on a trip for the last week but came home and we got to talk with him in the park for a while. He is still caught up on science and everything and we explained where our testimonies came from and the many, many experiences we have had... where by some chance it could have been a coincidence but part of faith is believing that those blessings came from God. All of a sudden he was like, HOW CAN I HAVE MORE FAITH? That is probably one of the hardest questions to answer but he is getting there. He has such a desire he just needs to keep going. He opened up a lot about his life experiences and how hard they were for him. Sr Bridg and I just had the most overwhelming feeling of love for him as he told us that he didn't feel like God loved him. I know he is loved by our Heavenly Father. We just have to help him feel that too. Missionary work is the most heart-warming work there is. 

This week will be really good! Haha, we found out that we are doing an exchange with some sisters... in Nice. Yeah, that is a solid 8 hours on a train. So we will leave tomorrow morning and stay for Wednesday and then come back to Toulouse on Thursday night. I will be working with the companionship that has my BLUE in it! Sr Patrick :) Should be fun. Plus I get to see the Brias again. Fun news, they are finishing up their time in Nice but they extended their mission and will be going down to Corsica next week to be the branch president. Man of miracles. I'm really happy I get to see them before I go! 

I love you all very much. I've been studying the recent talks from General Conference and as I have pondered the things taught to us by the apostles and the prophet I have been gaining such a love for certain things. Like the Priesthood and the wonderful elders and men that are worthy of it and are doing their best to serve the Lord. For God's love and the power it has to change hearts and lives. This Gospel is beautiful. Have a wonderful week!