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From the members I learned that my recent convert from last year, Xavier, was no longer active and not only that...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 :)