Bonjour mes tendres amours!!!!
I just love being companions with another sister from France!! Sister Calves is my third companion that speaks french :) She is always talking about her home in Bretagne, France. She lives by the ocean in a picturesque little village and has great things to say about all the people there. When we're in the VC I always see her praying for a french bus to come! One time she told me that she was having a rough week and was really just missing the people at home as well as her culture and everything. She said that she prayed to Heavenly Father and asked him to send a bus full of french from her town - and he sure did. A bus load of french from Bretagne! The french people that come in just adore her. As does everyone else! She has the thickest most beautiful french accent I've ever heard!! I love being her companion and her enthusiasm for just about everything she does. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard and so often with a companion as I do with her! We have some great times together. She leaves to go home at the end of this transfer so I'm praying that time doesn't fly like it usually does!
Washington Fields is amazing. We cover the whole Washington Fields stake - 11 wards. It's quite opposite from Washington, where I was before. Washington is a pretty humble area. Washington Fields is filled with doctors and more doctors. The two stakes are right next to each other so we pass through my old area in Washington a lot. Which is a little difficult and heart breaking at times because as we pass the homes I remember the miracles, the things I learned, the people who we were really close with and it's hard to not be able to visit them and continue teaching their families! BUT - in a sense it's good because it helps remind me of all the things I learned there and how I need to continue applying those things in Washington Fields.
For conference we watched the Saturday morning session at a less-actives home (and the talks then were exactly what we wanted them to hear...it's great how that works!) and then we were going to watch the afternoon session in our Live At Home Senior Couple's house with one of our investigators but he never showed up... so we just watched with the sweet couple that we work with in the stake! For Sunday morning we watched it in one of our ward mission leaders homes and had one of our investigators, Danielle, come. Our ward mission leader and his family made us quiche, homemade cinnamon rolls, and tons of fruit. I was in heaven. And last night we had a family home evening with the same family and Danielle and they made us homemade Cafe Rio and Sister Calves made her famous french crepes and they provided all the toppings. It was...amazing. And to top it off we spent the whole lesson talking about the Holy Ghost and how we recognize it and Danielle was SUPER open in talking about how much she felt the spirit during conference and how much the gospel has already blessed her life. The spirit was strong there as we all shared different experiences we've had with the influence of the Holy Ghost in our lives.
General Conference for a missionary is the equivalent of Christmas morning!! I loved how the conference ended with the talk of Elder Bednar about basically WHY we share the gospel. I think it was not only great for those whom we are teaching to hear that message but also for missionaries and members to be reminded of WHY they are doing this great work.
It reminded me that I am not a missionary just because I want to preach the gospel, just because I want to baptize people, just because I want to serve, and DEFINITELY not because I want to earn brownie points in heaven!
I am a missionary because I have felt for myself of the miraculous healing and strengthening power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ in my very own life. I have felt of Christ's redeeming love and have witnessed the change His sacrifice has made in my life.
And my little heart can't stand to think that there are others out there just like me who are in great need of this healing balm.
That is simply why we are here as missionaries. Not to hand out Books of Mormon and increase the numbers of the church, but to help those around us come to the knowledge of the change, the relief, and the peace that comes through obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are to help others come to a knowledge that they are never too far, never to distant, never too lost to feel of the redeeming love that comes from our dear Savior.
With much love, Sister Martin