Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Joyeux Noël! week 27

Bonjour a tous!
   Merry Christmas and a Joyeux Noël! I hope you all had a wonderful christmas day yesterday, we had so much fun and it was so wonderful to see and talk with my amazing family:) We have a had such a fun week with our wonderful ward.
   On Monday we helped soeur Morel with her groceries and then had a fun dinner with her celebrating one of the elders birthdays! 
   Tuesday we had an interesting but good lesson with an ami of a member who is
from India! And it ended with a fun christmas themed english class!
   Wednesday we had zone training in Genève which was really good! Then that night our DMP picked us and the elders up and we went up into the mountains by his house and went caroling! It's fun because caroling isn't something people in france do, and it was fun to see people so surprised to have us sing outside their door! I loved when we would sing douce nuit, santé nuit (silent night) and a lot of people would actually cry! What else was awesome was being up the mountains I actually got to see all the stars ( I have missed them, and guys it was like the star's down in boulder and it was gorgeous!)
   Thursday was my six months on my mission, holy cow time is flying!! We had a really fun lunch with the family theodoloz, and then went with the elders to the Gaud's house. We went caroling with them again, and it was way fun. Soeur Gaud gave all of us santa hats and we were all very jolly;) There was one point when we were in the street and all of us started doing the hakka, so funny we are so weird:)
   Friday we hurried out early in the morning to go and see Jo, she is going through a lot of really hard things right now. However she is so amazing and has this amazingly strong faith. Then we had fun soiree's with the members.
   Saturday was a wonderful Christmas Eve! We went out the Phonon with the family Boileau and had lunch then went out caroling by the lake. After we went to the Family Amico's. Christmas Eve meal is an event here, and they had invited some nonmemebers as well which was awesome. For christmas french people eat a lot of sea food and fancy horderves. It is all so good though! Their friend played the piano and I got to sing a little and it was awesome.
    Christmas day! It started with waking up and opening our presents, thank you so so much everyone! All of the little things really meant a lot! Then before sacrament Jo actually came and the elders were able to give her a wonderful blessing! We had an awesome sacrament meeting. Then off with the family Connault, first we went and gave a woman who is sick the sacrament (well not me elders!) Then we went back to their house and had an awesome lunch of raclette and played lots of fun board games:) We skyped our awesome families (love you guys!) Then that night we went to the volet's house for dinner, they are always so fun and my favorites:)
    I hope you all had a wonderful christmas, and I am to thankful for this time we have to remember our savior's birth. The birth of christ is the most important birth because of what christ did for us. I know that he suffered his atonement for all of us, so that we might follow his example and return to live with him and our father in heaven again. I love my savior and heavenly father with all my heart and I know without a doubt they live and love us! This is truly christ's gospel restored through his prophet, and I know it brings true Eternal joy! I love you all so much, thank you for your love, support, and examples!

Je t'aime avec tout ma coeur!
Soeur Soffe

This is from zone training, and the joke is that the other three missionaries are Mary and baby Jesus and Joseph. We found out my Chinese year is a cow, so our joke now is that I am a cow. I mean look at my amazing impression😂

Six moi à Annemasse

Caroling with the family Gaud

Family connault

Family Boileau and lac Laman 

Family volet 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

When you are a Tahitian for Christmas Week 26

Bonjour a tous!
I can't believe how fast this week flew by and that it's almost christmas!! We had a really great beginning of the week with some family nights and awesome lessons! Then on Wednesday after seeing one of our ami's Christmas gospel concerts (haha super fun to watch these french woman sing gospel songs mostly in English:) We hurried and met the Saléve sœurs and drove to Lyon for our Christmas conference!! 
Elder and Sister Sabin of the seventy came and it was so good! It was way fun because almost all of the mission was there so before the conference started it was so fun to see all the missionaries I haven't seen in forever. The conference was so good; Sister Sabin talked a lot about how we won't always have big spiritual experiences but small little things will happen everyday that will change us into someone amazing by the end of our mission. They both talked a lot about having faith in miracles, and just working hard (because that's really what a mission is; work!) Elder Sabin talked a lot about how we have the amazing knowledge of who God is and where we are going after this life, and how blessed I feel that I get to help people have that knowledge everyday. There is a quote that I have had with me my whole mission and its "we are all just walking each other home." We are all blessed with the knowledge of where our real home is, and our goal here is to help others come to their heavenly home with us. It's difficult to be away from my amazing family especially during the holidays, but because I know about eternity, I can be away from them know to bring others to their heavenly father:) 
We had a good rest of the week, but Saturday everybody was so awesome! We had such an incredible miracle. As we were walking from the train to go see the baccavin's I get this text from Jo (our ami from Taiwan) and all she says is "soffe, I have decided I'm am ready and I want to be baptized!! I started freaking out, I was so excited. I hurried and called her and she told me that she had been praying to know how she could have a new start to her life and she received the answer to be baptized! I was worried because she hasn't really talked to her husband about meeting us, and they have been having some problems. BUT she said she doesn't feel scared anymore, and she feels like she can talk to him! She told me that she knows she can pray to heavenly father and he will help her know how she can talk with him. Honestly she is so amazing, and her example of faith is incredible, she is golden:) 
After that miracle, we hurried back to Annemasse for the double ward christmas party (Annemasse and Saléve) So our Relief Society president asked us to dance a Tahitian dance for the party, it was all six of us missionaries and soeur Autai has been teaching it to us all week! Saturday morning we actually went and bought flowers and us sisters all made real flower crowns (be proud mom I made it by myself;) ) The ward party started with a buffet dinner, and it was so fun to see everyone. It was wonderful because we had a lot of amis and non members there! (And as a missionary you are just running around and making sure everyone is happy and with a friend!) After we ate it was the show and they told some cute christmas stories (for example the candy bomber) and then we did our dance. Ha our ward loved it so much, and it was so much fun. After everyone was taking pictures with us and the flower crowns we had. I give all the credit to Sr. Autai, and it was so fun to be Tahitian for a night:) 
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday week, and have a joyeux Noël!
Je vous aime beaucoup! 
Soeur Soffe 

Tahitian dance, do you spot the photo bomber 

Monday, December 12, 2016

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas Week 25

Bonjour a tous! (Hello Everyone!)
It's pretty crazy how fast this week has flown by, Christmas is coming soon and I am so excited:) 

So monday night we definitely got into the Holiday spirit, with what sr. Gaud called the first soirée of noel! (evening of Christmas!) Sr. Gaud is one of our awesome members and had a super fun fancy dinner soirée (evening) with a lot of her friends who aren't members! It was awesome to be and just talk with them:)
Tuesday we had a miracle lesson with our less active Sr. Mouzo, which was awesome! And then a fun night teaching Francois and english class!
Wednesday we went out to Phonon and got to teach Mathis! He is the grandson of one of our members and one of my favorite amis (investigators), he is 9 and awesome! We had a good lesson with him and then headed out to Evian to contact.
Thursday we spent most of the day getting ready for our relief society Christmas party, which was that night. We helped our relief society president set everything up and then had a really fun night! We also had a great lesson with Frere secchi before the soirée (evening) started, I am so excited to keep helping him prepare for baptism! We had some very traditional french dishes. So because I am in the Haute Savoie (Haute-Savoie is a department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of eastern France), we have a lot of cheese (and its so good). So i thought I knew traditional french food, but this week because it's the holidays I have had a lot of new things:) I have had œufs de caille (quille eggs), paupeuts (some kind of meat ball thing), purée de marrons (a purée of chestnuts which was amazing), and finally Foie gras (which is duck liver, and guess what its actually way good!) Ha it's been a lot of fun:) What I really loved about the soirée (evening) was just getting to be with all the members, they are so cute and love the missionaries! That is what is most important about the holidays is getting to be with people and share the love of Christ. So my frenchie challenge this week is still to éclairez le monde (light up the World) and share the love that you receive from christ and the gospel with the people around you:)
Friday we got to see Jo and Faye! I love her and its amazing to see how well she is progressing in the gospel and how it is changing her life:) Then we went over and helped out Sœur morel with getting her groceries.
Saturday comme dab (as usual) we went to Cluses, and we had a pretty good lesson with Nina. We had an adventure getting home though! We were with the elders and accidentally got on the wrong train! We only went one stop to far, but it took us into the annecy sector. It was a saturday so the train times were all different, so we ended up having 2 hours! Haha, some long strolls through the country side, and then we finally made it home to hurry over to soeur (sister) Morel's for some cake to celebrate Elder Hekkings birthday!
Sunday was awesome as usual! The other fun thing that has been happening is that right outside our apartment their is a Christmas marche (market) and they have started doing little parades during the day and have all these people dressed in costumes! Ha Annemasse gets a little excited for Noel (Christmas) :)
I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!
Je t'aime
Soeur Soffe

Première soirée de Noël (First Christmas Party)

Me and Mathis

Decorating for the relief society party

Town of Annemasse goes all out 

I love Christmas!! The Market is just outside our apartment.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Transfer calls and Rendez-vous! Week 24

Coucou a tous!!
        It has been a really good week, and it is so crazy to think we are
already at the start of another transfer (time has flown by!) So
Friday we got our transfer calls and.... I am staying in Annemasse
with Sr. Autai!! I thought for sure I would be leaving because no-one
stays here for three and I am staying for a fourth transfer! This ward
has become my family and I am so excited to be with them for Christmas
(that's what makes up for being away from my family.) I am also really
happy to be staying with Sr. Autai again, we are so excited to keep
crushing it together here in Annemasse.
        We had a lot of really great lessons and soirées with all of our
families because it was the end of the week. Wednesday we were out in
Thonon porting by the lac, and we weren't having much success. Then
the very last house we ported the cute girl actually let us in! I have
taught lessons from porting before but never been let in a house. It
was a little sad because she is moving back to germany, but she is
totally interested so we happily get to pass her to the missionaries
there! What we have been sharing with everyone is the Christmas video
and message from the church! I hope you all have seen the video and
have started doing the campaign! I really love it so much, and I know
that by doing these little acts of service everyday we can actually
give the savior the gift he would want to receive for christmas! My
frenchie challenge for you is to Éclairez le monde (light the world!)
It's honestly been really incredible to see the way that people are
responding to the campaign and how people are interested. So start
sharing it everyone:)
        The end of week we were super busy running from rendez-vous and
lessons. It was so great though to get to see a lot of people.
Thursday we tried something a little different with all of the
missionaries and tried to do street board contacting. We had made a
board with the question Qui sont les mormons? (Who are the mormons).
It was interesting to say the least, we thought people would be
curious but I think they just thought we were TJ's (jehovah's
witnesses) 😂 It was still fun though, and we got some good
conversations:) On Saturday we had a really great lesson with a family
who is less-active, it started with one of the daughters questions
about why church is important and that lead to a really great lesson
that was completely by the spirit (we had planned something else
entirely); those however are always the best kind of lessons.
We really got into the holiday spirit today, and us and Saléve went
and found a 15 euro christmas tree! It's not the prettiest but we are
very excited about it:)
I hope you all have had a wonderful week, thanks for you support and love!
Je t'aime
Soeur Soffe

Contacting in Evian!

Oh Christmas tree 

Attempted street boarding 

Staying in Annemasse!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Miracles and lots and lots of mountains! Week 23

Coucou a tous!
        Well this week has been crazy, in about every sense of the word! We
had more tombez-vous then I have ever had, BUT we also had so many
        So last monday we had a really awesome ward activity. It was a
thanksgiving family home evening, so we missionaries did the spiritual
thought and talked about being thankful and then I showed everyone how
to make thankful hand turkeys (that was really funny explaining that
yes your handprint does look like a turkey:) ) Then we all ate
together, and played a super fun live version clue! Seriously I love
my ward so much, that night especially it felt like I was just with my
big french family:)
        Tuesday and Wednesday we had our normal lessons, and did lots of fun
service helping Soeur morel wrap her Christmas presents! Then on
Thursday we had a really great district meeting, and we actually all
drove up to Mt. Saléve together! We talked about prayer and we were
able to go up there and be on our high place to talk with Heavenly
Father! It was really awesome and we have a really great district.
Driving back however was a little interesting, we were with the Saléve
sœurs in their car behind another car full of missionaries and at a
stop sign a man rear ended us- pushing our car into them! We were
blessed that no-one was hurt, only a little shaken up! That night our
rendez-vous fell through so yeah for porting:)
        Then on Friday I think our plans changed about 6 times,
(tombez-vous!) but we ended up with Soeur Morel and helping her out at
the marche! (Farmers market) She is literally the cutest and I love
getting to be with my french grandma!
        Saturday, you guessed it, our rendez-vous fell through again in the
morning. It actually worked out okay because Soeur Autai was sick, so
we ended up just staying in, and I worked for a little while on the
area book!
        Sunday was such a great day! It was the primary program and it was so
cute, but then JOE CAME TO CHURCH! This is the first time she has
come, and she loved it! She actually cried during the primary program
because she said she wanted her little daughter to be up there some
day, and I told that of course she would be! As her and faye were
together I translated all of church for them again! It was funny
during gospel principles I would translate into English for them, and
then I would say something in french to the class, and then I would
hurry and tell them what I had said! My translating wasn't very good
at all, but they were kind and patient with me:)
        Then Monday we went to my favorite place again...CHAMONIX!! It was us
and the elders and as we got there it was really cloudy and gray and I
was so worried that they wouldn't be able to see the mountains. At
11:30 we went to the family biousse and had so much fun with them, it
was really incredible to hear his conversion story because it took him
20 years and he met with missionaries three separate times! As we were
having lunch the sun suddenly came in through the window, and we ran
out on the porch and you could see all of the mountains! When we
finished it was so fun to just walk around (well mess around all
together!) The other missionaries loved chamonix too, and it was a
super fun p-day! Then that night we had an amazing miracle! So there
is a part-member family in the ward that I have never met that me and
sr. Autai have been talking with the ward council about. Well on
tuesday night our stake president calls us and told us that he had
just had a random lesson with the family and had been talking with the
dad (who is not a member) and ended up engaging him to baptism and HE
ACCEPTED!! So on monday night the Coppel's (stake president and his
wife) picked us up from the Gare and drove us to their house. The
man's name is frere Secchi and we taught him and his wife and it was
one of the most spiritual lessons I have ever had! We did a lesson 0
and talked about how he and his family can go to the temple and become
an eternal family! The spirit was so incredibly strong and he has
incredible faith, he said he wants to go to the temple with his family
and he knows this is the path God want's for him. In the lesson
literally everyone (me, frere secchi, his wife, and president and sr.
Coppel) were all crying! The spirit was so strong, and I am so excited
to see him prepare to be baptized on the 24 of December! I was so
thankful to be a missionary there with him and testify that I know the
temple is the goal that heavenly father has for him! I am so thankful
to be a missionary and spread this joy every day with people I meet!
Love you all so much and I am so thankful for all of you!
Soeur Soffe

Soeur Morel!

Mt Saléve with the District 

This is a really good explanation of us together 

Zen in my happy place 😂

Monday, November 21, 2016

Miracles in Magland Week 22

Bonjour a tous!
   I hope you have all had a wonderful week, it has been a wonderful week here in Annemasse and Genève!
   On monday we had our zone conference with President and Soeur Brown! It was awesome and we got a preview of the church's initiative for Christmas and everybody get so so excited!! I am so stoked for the Christmas season and to bring people the LIGHT of the gospel (that is my hint:) ) After a wonderful conference followed by a fantastic dinner from one of the older couples Soeur Austen, I started my exchange with Soeur Filbrandt! She is actually from germany, but speaks perfect English and is a really fantastic missionary. It was so much fun on exchange with her and it was awesome to learn from her. We had some good contacts and lessons on Monday, and some very interesting contacts on Tuesday. We started talking to a man, who ended up speaking to us in English because he was from Ukraine, and he told us it would be better for us to join a sports team then be in a religion. Ha he was very interesting; but we also had some really incredible miracle lessons and talk with some really great people. One of my favorites was a man who was actually muslim but after we explained what we do as missionaries he thanked us for being missionaries! Tuesday ended back in Annemasse and a really great lesson with Francois and then cours d'Anglais.
   Wednesday we had fun service helping Soeur Morel wrap presents, and then we took our p-day:) Thursday we had a lunch with Jocelyne and the elders and then headed out and contacted around the lac in machilly.
   Friday we had an amazing miracle! We went out to see Jo and her nanny from Taiwan actually came this week! What is so cool about her nanny is that she is actually a recent convert and the one who introduced Jo to the church. Her name is Faye and she is super cute! So we had a really great lesson with Jo and at the end I invited her to be baptized and she told us she wasn't ready YET! At the end of our rendez-vous she told me she hopes she is ready before I leave. It's so incredible to see how her faith is grown, and even though she has a lot of hard things right now, she is leaning on her heavenly father
(and she wants to be baptized!) She  is really so incredible, and we have become so close I love her so much!
        Sunday was a great but kind of crazy day. So Faye the nanny for Jo came on the train to Annemasse to go to church. She is so cute, she speaks okay English but not really any french, but she was trying so hard with the members and it was awesome! I ended up translating all of church for her, and though I didn't do a very good job, I was surprised by how much I could actually do! At the end of church, even though Faye couldn't really understand a lot she told us how much she loved it and how she felt like she had come home again! Because of train schedule's she was gone all day, just to come to church (her faith is really incredible!) So my frenchie challenge for you this week is to think about how lucky we are to have church so close to us, and how often do we take it for granted! We have a few members that
have to travel 2 hours one way to get to church! It made me so thankful that we get to renew our covenants with our ward families every week, and all grow so much together!
        Well that's all for this week, love you and I'm so thankful for all of you!
Je t'aime!
Soeur Soffe

Picture that Sœur Hayes took of us on exchange 

Gorgeous Machilly 

Rainy days and waterfalls 

Jo and Faye!! (and cute baby lea)

Cute Nina and Clara from Cluses

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Rap battles and living in Swiss!🇨🇭 Week 21

Coucou a tous!
        It feels like this week I have barely even been in Annemasse, we hadlots and lots of conferences over the weekend and ended with anexchange in Genève (which is why I am emailing today, I promise we arenot apostate;) ) 
     Tuesday we went out contacting in Ville-la-grand and didn't have aton of success, we tried to see a less-active who let us in and toldshe had 20 minutes. We told her that was perfect we could just share alittle message. But she ended up talking on the phone the whole timewe were there, and just as she finished someone came to her door andwe had to leave! Too make up for that though as me and Soeur Autai arewalking we had a spontaneous (recorded) rap battle me in English andher in Tahitian, ha we have a lot of fun together:) The day ended witha really good lesson with Francois and help from Jocelyne! 
      Wednesday night we were jam packed! In the après-midi we had a goodlesson with Severine. Then we helped the primary teachers set up foran activity. Then us and the elders are starting an activity twice amonth for the young adults and we started that off with a spiritualpensée. Then ran back to the primary for me to try and explain thehistory of thanksgiving, hurried to have a meeting with the Reliefsociety president, and then hurried back to the young adults! Whew itwas crazy but lots of fun!
      Thursday we had a really awesome zone training! It's really awesomeright now because we are really focusing on part-member families andworking with the members in our wards! (Also happy birthday dad onthursday!) And is and the Saléve Sr's also sang a mash up of les angesdes nos compagnes and hark the herald angels sing. We ended the night at the Herr's house for a great dinner. 
        Friday we went out to see my favorite couple David and Sylvia and
teach him the recent convert lessons! It's so cool because they are
preparing to go to the temple together!!
        Saturday we had a little time for contacting and then headed to
Genève for stake conference! It was definitely an adventure getting there though! Severing drove us and the elders, but there was some mix ups and confusion and getting lost getting there! Severine was really stressed because she was giving a testimony, but we happily got there alive, ha only 40 minutes late, but just in time for her to give a really wonderful testimony!  Stake conference was really really good, an area 70 came named Elder Herbertson! He is from Scotland and gave some really incredible talks both on Saturday and sunday morning! It was really incredible because a lot of the conference was about missionary work! During the evening session Elder Herberston had all the missionaries come up on the stand and he told all of the stake to look at us "and behold their little ones." It was really cool and made me so thankful to be a missionary especially here in this amazing area. It made me want to live up to the expectations of these wonderful people, and always work as hard as I can! I feel so blessed every day to help people receive the joy that I have been given. What's so great is that it doesn't end or start as I am a missionary, we really are all called to the work to share the gospel! So my frenchie challenge for you this week is to pray for a missionary experience, and help the missionaries who are with you (really members are what make missionary work amazing!)  

     After conference in the morning we stayed in Genève because we had interviews with president that night! We decided to go out contacting for a little bit, which was a lot of fun in Genève. Then I had a really awesome interview with president, I really just love him so much and I am so thankful we are blessed to have him as our mission president! Well that was all for this week, stayed tuned for exchanges next week! Love you all so much, and thank you so much for the love and prayers!
Ua Here Vau Ia Oe
(I love you!)
Sœur Soffe

When it gets cold for the islanders

Zone training

Contacting in Genève

Stake conference

Monday, November 7, 2016

From fall to winter real quick🍂🌨Week 20

Coucou a tous!
        I hope everyone has had a wonderful week! This week flew by and its
becoming winter here in Annemasse! Today it SNOWED for the first time,
and I was very excited, plus it was the first time my cute Tahitian
has seen snow!! We have been loving it together, I don't think I ever
said in my other emails but she is a recent convert of around a 1 year
and a half and is such a great missionary! We also just laugh a lot
together, her running joke is to say "Je m'appelle Sœur Soffe, et Je
suis soft" ha doesn't really make sense but we just have a lot of fun
and work really well together:)
        Monday started off with seeing my favorite ami Jo! She is the one
from Taiwan who speaks English and has an adorable little baby. I have
never had a lesson like the one we had with her on Monday though. She
is just going through a lot of really hard things in her life, and I
just talked and cried with her. It was really incredible though to
teach her about her savior and how he literally understands everything
she is experiencing. It has been really amazing to watch how she has
been developing a relationship with heavenly father. She told us that
she has been praying and she knows that she can talk to heavenly
father about everything and that she feels him helping her through her
life. She is just such an incredible woman with such a big heart, what
is so cool though is that she has been finding answers praying,
reading the Book of Mormon, and searching through gospel library. I
just feel really thankful to help her on her journey home to her
Heavenly Father.
        A quote that I have been thinking about a lot this week is "we are
all just walking each other home." This week I have been studying
about our divine potential and our celestial purpose. I read a really
great devotional that said we were all Celestial beings before we came
to this earth and we all had the goal to stay worthy to return to live
with our Heavenly Father again. We have been given everything we need
to receive all the father has, through the atonement of our loving
savior. So my frenchie goal for you this week is to pray and ask
Heavenly Father if you really are his son or daughter and if he has a
plan for you to receive all that he has! I know how much he loves us,
and we are all here with the same goal, to just walk each other home!
        Tuesday we went out to see the Boileau family and teach their cute
grandson. We had a good lesson with him and then go to to walk around
the Lac Laman. His name is Mathis and for the end of our lesson we
made paper airplanes (and with faith they could fly) and Mathis writes
me a little note that says Sœurs ses sont le meilleur (sisters are the
best) Ha I was so sparked! Little background Mathis is 9 and is a
little ballet dancer (I love him!) So as are walking home we start
dancing and skipping down the sidewalk! So fun, and then that night we
had a wonderful lesson with Francois!
        Wednesday was full of lots of contacting and getting a start on
area-book work. So our mission just got the area book app, so we have
had a lot of work putting in all of our old investigators fiches!
Thursday we had a really great district meeting about working with
members to find our families through the families in the ward who are
part members! I just love working with our ward here, ahh they are so
wonderful! That night we did a lot of service with Sœur Morel and then
she always makes us a cute dinner. One of my favorite moments of the
week was on Saturday night when it had been rainy all day and Sœur
Morel calls us and asks us if we have found any sunlight, and I said
no not with the rain. She then tells us we always have sunshine
because it's in my heart and we bring her sunshine and then says
goodbye! Ha I love my grandma here so much:)
        We had lots of lessons and meals with members over the weekend and it
was wonderful as always! I just love our ward so much, plus I love all
the missionaries here too! Love you all so much thank you so so much
for all your support!
Je t'aime beaucoup!
Sœur Soffe
Funny moment: We are with the Elders at the Herr's house for dinner
and I was telling them that I will being going to school for nursing
after my mission and instead of saying I like medical things, I said I
love medications. Then the rest of the night was full of lots of jokes
about the sœurs getting a little crazy with the first aid kits;)

Lac Laman in Thonon 

Autumn has finally arrived

Hello French countryside (also pretty sure this was the last semi warm day we will have, also note how France has changed my style to black, whoops🙈)

Weirdos on trains