Sunday, July 24, 2016

Week 5 MTC July 23rd

Bonjour ma famille et mes Amis! 
Or as the cool frenchies in the MTC say Qoui de neuf mec! (Which means what's up dawg in French, or if you are really awesome you way "Qoui de neuf coco" which means what's up bro!) haha I hope you can all imagine me walking around the MTC saying "Heyyyy Qoui de neuf mec??" Haha the poor new missionaries are very confused. 
This week started off so so awesome, then it got really hard; so let's start with the awesome weekend. So this past Sunday was one of my favorites. Me and ma collegue taught Relief Society, and we taught about faith and the atonement! It was such a great lesson, people gave so many good insights and the spirit was really strong. I don't know why but this week I have had so many doubts running through my head, but I have realized I could never ever do this alone. I am so lucky that I don't have to, because I really do feel the savior holding me hand and guiding me every day! I promise you the enabling power of the atonement is so real, and I promise you if you just ask and seek it you feel the savior's overwhelming love for you!! So after our really good Sunday meetings the MTC gathered for a devotional. You would not believe how full the MTC is, there is over 2,500 missionaries here so the auditorium is full and some missionaries have to watch devotionals in the full overflow. We are all in the choir, so we lucky always get a set in the auditorium. So instead of having someone come and speak, as mission we watched Elder Bednar's character of Christ! This is such a good devotional video and I loved being able to watch it again. BUT THEN when it was over Elder Bednar walked into the auditorium, and completely surprised all of us!! It was so cool, and I felt such a strong spirit that he is an apostle of the lord! He came and for an hour did a Q and A session with all of us, and it was incredible. It was amazing to learn from the way he taught us, and even though we were the ones asking questions he asked us more than we asked him. I learned a lot about how I want to teach my future investigators. We need to let the spirit guide us, so they can be guided by the spirit! The sprit really is the true teacher! My district was able to talk with President Burtasso (MTC 1st counselor) the other day and after we had an amazing discussion about Temples and the priesthood. He told us that Elder Bednar was really impressed by the questions that were asked but also the spirit in the MTC! 
The church is so true everyone, but was so awesome is that it isn't the people who run the church that make it true. It was amazing to see elder Bednar but that's not who I have a testimony of. One thing that he said is that it would be tragic if one of the apostles were to fall away, but it wouldn't change his testimony at all. This is because he is truly converted to the savior not the people of the church. This is how true conversion and testimony come, by having a testimony in the principle of the gospel and our savior. So for this week your frenchie's challenge is to ponder and pray about where your testimony and conversion is, please keep trying to develop Christ's character and be converted to your loving savior!! 
So know on to why this week has been hard for me. So me and my district have gotten so close, ahh I love them like family. So one of our Elders actually had to go home this week. It was Elder Thorneloe because he has been having GI issues, and the doctors said he can't go out. It absolutely broke my heart, he was our district leader and such an amazing missionary. It was really really hard on Thursday to say goodbye to him, but I am so grateful for the way he has influenced me. I am so so thankful that I have this opportunity to go on a mission, and yet I have no doubt that he is going to influence so many people's lives; because he helped all of us become better missionaries. 
Life is crazy,and sometimes it is so hard to understand why the lord does what he does. I know though that he has a plan for each of us, and I trust him with everything I have. I can't believe that today marks one month for me being on a mission, and I leave for France in 11 days. AHHH I am so excited but terrified at the same time. I have learned more than I ever thought I could about my savior, French, and my self in the MTC. I still don't feel like I know much of the language, but I  am putting my trust into my savior! 
I love you all, and I am so thankful for your support!!
Je t'aime tout ma coeur 
Sœur Soffe

This is our zone (which is all of the French speaking missionaries ) 

J'taime ma Soeurs 

Thugging waiting for laundry

So my AMAZING family sent yet another awesome package this week, and you better believe we had a lot of fun playing with PLAY-DOUGH!

Okay so I don't know how this picture even happened but I look absolutely terrifying, haha laughed a lot at this.... Enjoy Smiling face with open mouth and cold sweat

Since we are on a roll of weird pictures of Sœur Soffe enjoy this throwback to the fireworksGrinning face with smiling eyes

I promise you we have fun here!!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Week 4-MTC July 16

Bonjour mon famille et mes Amis!!
It's super crazy that I have been here for more than three weeks! I
have officially made it past the Hump Day of the MTC! Here it feels
like the days are long, the weeks fly, but overall I feel like I have
been here for forever. It really is great though I realize how much I
am learning! We had a really great weekend, Sunday's are the absolute
best in the MTC, it's kind of a spiritual overload... But in a really
good way:) Me and ma collegue taught our district lesson after
sacrament, and it was about recognizing the spirit and its promptings.
I seriously love my district we have defiantly all become like family
and have the best discussions! It's awesome how much we all help each
other, and ha we laugh ALL of the time! So four of the elders are
going to my mission (Thornlow, Mason, Graff, and Tuescher) and the
other two are going with my three soeurs to Paris (Marrion, and
Eyring) I seriously love them like my brothers. And whenever I think
it'll be hard for me, I just think about Elder Thornlow who is
allergic to Gluten and Dairy... I seriously cry a little when I think
about his poor soul! Because I think we all know how excited I am for
the French Bread, seriously I am so excited to get to France!
This week has been pretty standard Lots of learning lots of
teaching! We have had some really great lessons. We had a really good
lesson with Pamela (our teacher acting as an ami de l'eglise) we had
planned to teach her about baptism and repentance and commit her to be
baptized but when we asked about our follow up commitment we learned
that she didn't understand prayer. So our lesson completely changed
and we taught her how to pray and after some convincing she prayed
during our lesson. The spirit was so strong and helped me so much, I
hardly used notes at all and we were simply able to teach her what she
needed! Le don des langues is real people and I know that if we have
faith in Christ he will provide the rest! We have had other lessons
and TRC's this week, and I have learned that as I focus on people and
the spirit I can understand them and communicate what they need! When
I think about it in retrospect I realize how much I have learned and
how much I have progressed! And I know our lesson could have defiantly
been worse, because when Elder Eyring and Marrion were teaching
Rachelle, they were trying to teach her to pray so one of them prayed
first to show her and she got up and tried to leave the room! Ha we
laughed a lot at that:) On Monday as a district we did an English fast
and only spoke French until dinner at night. It was hard, but we did
it and as we continue to speak French I know we will be able to Parle
Francais! I really feel that I have grown so close to my Frenchies
here, I feel like I have three companions sometimes because me and my
Soeurs are always together, but it is the best because I feel like
they are my sisters! One of the best moments of the week was when the
four of us walked outside and as a group of Elders passed us they said
to each other "You can literally smell the spirit coming of them!"
That's right France you can literally smell the spirit, we are coming
for ya! :)
I have learned a lot of great lessons this week. On Monday me and
ma collegue were chosen to be part of a focus group with one of the
men who oversees missionaries in the field. We were able to be part of
great discussion and I realized that missionary work is so important
because we have the authority to bring the Atonement of Christ into
people's lives! The atonement is so amazing, because as it enables us
to become the divine sons and daughters of God we are meant to be, it
literally heals us and makes us pure. I know that the atonement has so
much power and if we let that power into our lives we will change and
feel the love of God!! So your little frenchie's challenge for this
week is to search and ponder about the atonement, and think about how
you can apply it in your lives.
So on Thursday the 14 it was Bastille Day, which is the French
National Holiday! My AMAZING family sent us the funniest package and
you will see in the pictures how us Soeurs celebrate! I don't know if
all of you have heard but actually on the 14 there was an terrorist
attack in Nice, France. I haven't heard much but what I think happened
is there was a parade and a semi came through and a lot of people were
killed or hurt. This is absolutely tragic and it broke my heart;
Please please keep the people of France in your prayers! I want you
all to know that I feel a lot of peace and I am not worried at all
about going because I know I am going exactly where I need to go. I
just want to go help the people of France and teach them that they are
not alone and that they have a loving Heavenly Father. We had a really
great devotional Tuesday night, and one of the quotes I wrote down in
extremely applicable to what is happening.
"We go through trials in this life to come to KNOW God, and it is a privilege."
I loved this quote, because it is so true! Our Heavenly Father is
going to give us all trials so we can grow and ultimately come to know
him. I know that during my hardest moments that is when I really feel
my savior, and just understand a small taste of what he experienced
through the atonement for us! I feel very privileged to be able to
represent him, and I will gladly endure anything; because he truly has
endured all. I know with out a doubt that my Savior lives and loves
each of you so much! Turn to him and he will give you true joy and
I love you all so much, thank you so much for your support and prayers
I feel them lift me everyday!
J'taime tout ma coeur!
Soeur Soffe

Me and ma Colleague!

This is my favorite spot to study

We finally got to go to the temple this morning! It has been closed for two weeks for cleaning and we were all so excited! I love the temple so much it was exactly what I needed today!

La fete nationale

Thanks for the bible cards and ring pops mom and dad, we laughed pretty hard
You're welcome fellow missionaries for bringing Swag back to the MTC

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Week 3 - MTC - July 8

Bonjour ma famille, et mes amis!
Well, it has been one crazy week! In the MTC the days seem to be
really long, but the weeks go by way fast, I feel like it was just
P-Day! And since the temple has been closed for two weeks, we have a
lot of time on p-day so prepare for a long letter:) I hope everyone
had a super fun Fourth of July weekend! I loved hearing about the
family up at Park City I missed being with you all! We had our
celebration on Saturday the second. We got out of classes early and
went to a devotional that was called an international celebration of
freedom. It started with missionaries coming in carrying either the
Flag from their home country or the flag from where they are going to
serve. I got very excited both times I red, white and blue:) The
speakers were really good and I realized how incredibly blessed we
are to live in a time and live in a country that is free! I am so
thankful for the freedom that allowed this amazing gospel to be
established! Then we all went out in the parking lot and they let us
*gasp* stay up late! We got to watch the Stadium of Fire fireworks and
it was so fun, and mom the glow sticks definitely came in handy:)
It was fast Sunday the next day and I love Sunday's here, it is
great to have extra time to study and end the day with incredible
devotionals. This Sunday's theme was the Book of Mormon, and I am so
thankful for this amazing scripture. If any of you aren't reading my
favorite book PLEASE start, I know that even just reading a verse or
chapter a day will bless you in amazing ways. There is a reason that
we are taught to use the Book of Mormon as much as we can when we
teach because it really does teach us who Christ is and explains how
we can come unto him!
So this week we have two new teachers Soeur Erickson and Frere
Nollat! I really like them, and it's interesting because our teachers
roll play as our progressing investigators. So last week we had taught
Pamela who was Soeur Erickson, but this week she is role playing as
the much quieter and distance Rachelle. It will definitely be more of
a challenge to teach Rachelle but it is so good to understand how to
teach different people. Frere Nollat is role playing as Francois and
me and my collegue are teaching him for the first time tonight. I love
both of my teachers, all of the teachers at the MTC are returned
missionaries Soeur Erickson went to Tahiti and has only been home
three months, and Frere Nollat actually went to DC (KENNA!) but he is
actually from Belgium so it's super cool that we get a native French
speaker as our teacher. The French is really hard, but it really is
coming! During a few lessons this week I have started to have words
come more and more to my mind and am beginning to understand a lot
more! Me and a few of ma Soeurs have made a goal that whenever we have
class time we are only speaking in French, and if we speak English we
mark it on a paper on our desk! PVL (speak your language) really
really helps! On Wednesday we had our first TRC which is where French
speaking members of the church come and are themselves, and we teach
them a short lesson. (It's kind of like a member dinner appointment.)
I really like TRC, but I found that I wasn't really understanding the
stories these members were telling me. As I thought about it after I
realized it was because I was so focused on what I was going to say
next and watching the time on the clock (we only had 20 minutes). I
learned that the Holy Ghost is only going to help me if I really focus
on the person and their needs. So after I have tried to apply that in
my other lessons this week and I have noticed a huge difference, I
don't understand everything but I comprehend so much more! Le don de
langue est tres vraies! (The gift of tongues is so real!) I really do
thank my Heavenly Father everyday for all the of the help he is giving
me, I can feel him guiding me the entire way because this is his work!
I am just striving to be the best servant of the lord that I can be!!
I think one of my favorite moments with my district is when we all
started singing Do You Hear the People Sing? Ha it was hilarious and
we all totally got into it. We end up signing les miz quite a bit ha
they are the best.
I'm still loving my district and awesome Sœurs! We actually had a
little bit of a fiasco on Wednesday, so I really love my companion but
me and Sœur Wilde get a long really well and my companion and Soeur
Schnaus get along really well. It hasn't been any kind of a problem
because usually all four of us are together. But one day something set
off Sœur Schnaus and she was reminded of a difficult thing in her
past. Before I keep going a word on Sœur Schnaus, she is amazing! She
has been a convert for just over a year, and it was very hard for her
to get baptized because her parents were super against it. Actually
the day she got baptized her dad stopped talking to her and hasn't
said anything to her since. Her faith truly is amazing and I am so
thankful I can watch her example. So anyway Sœur Robertson went to
talk to her and they said they would meet us back in class, but when
me and SœurWilde walked in they weren't there! Ahh so it was kind of a
fiasco and we had to leave class and go find them in the room. So we
all had to talk about always staying with our companion, and even
though it was kind of hard it's amazing the way hard situations can
bring people together. After me and Sœur Robertson (ma collegue )
talked I feel so much closer to her! Ha I'm still not very good with
girls but this is very good for me to learn! And then to end the week
I got the best package ever from my wonderful family they sent me
French bread and dipping stuff! AHH I LOVE BREAD! Haha the girls in
our room and some of our other friends definitely had a feast! Thanks
Over all it really has been a good week and it has been full of
learning curves, but good learning curves! I have learned a lot how
important faith is, because there is absolutely no way I could ever do
this on my own. I am trying to give everything to my savior and have
the FAITH that he will strengthen me in all the ways that I am weak.
So your frenchie is giving all of you a challenge this week to think
and pray about one way you can strengthen your faith and better follow
Jesus Christ! I love my savior so much and I know he love's all of
Thank you so much for all of your love and support, I feel your
prayers helping me every day!
Je t'aime tout ma coeur!
Sœur Soffe
P.S. This week had some funny moments, and really any funny moment
usually involved me doing something dumb and Sœur Wilde laughing at me
till we both cry. Ha she can just look at me in class and we both
start cracking up!
1. As we passed some people they said hi and everyone responds with
Bonjour (like we always do) except me who says Merci! Haha can't you
see how much I'm learning??
2. When we were doing laundry last week someone moved me and Soeur
Wilde's load of whites into a different machine! We spent like 20
minutes trying to find our laundry. You have to be careful with those
missionaries man;)
3. Apparently for my entire life I have been saying pamphlets
wrong.... I pronounced them as pamplet without an F sound... Yeah my
whole district thought that was pretty funny. (Thanks for telling me
mom and dad;)
4. So i was showering and a bandaid fell off my heel and into the
shower next to me... AHH I felt super bad for the girl that was
showering so I *trying to be sneaky* reached my foot under the side of
the shower and grabbed the bandaid. Here is the really funny part I
was worried it was someone from my room so I slipped my foot of of my
shoe and then grabbed the bandaid. I forgot that my toes are painted
so as I get back into the room Soeur Wilde starts dying laughing and
looks at me and says "did you lose a bandaid?" She just watched the
bandaid flip into her shower and then my foot reach under and grab it.
Ha I have had a lot of funny moments, but I think that's one of the
ways you survive this place ;)
J'adore my district!!
Ashely got here this week and it was super fun to see her!!

French bread for dayzzz

We had a lot of fun with mustaches this morning too
Je t'aime Soeur Wilde!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Week 2 MTC July 2

Bonjour ma Famille, et mes Amis!
I can't believe that I have been here for over a week! The MTC is
seriously so awesome, and super busy, and crazy, but awesome! So last
week actually all the new mission presidents and the general
authorities (like everybody) were here. We didn't get to see anyone,
but they took over 1M so we were eating out of the gym. This week
everything was back to its normal schedule. Taylor asked about the
food and its ehh.. I miss food at home and being able to make whatever
I wanted; here I basically live off the salad and wrap bar haha:) So
everyday is different because some days we have service or a
devotional, but I wanted to tell you what a basic day is like here. We
wake up at 6:30 and then go exercise for an hour. I like to go in the
main gym and then I can run around the track upstairs and use weight
machines. Then we come back shower and change and usually grab a sack
breakfast. Then it's an hour of personal study, an hour of companion
study, and then additional or language study for another hour. And
then we might have seminar about the gift of tongues or memorizing
scriptures. Then we go to lunch for half an hour, and after we teach
our investigator. The whole district takes turns teaching for three
hours so while we are waiting we do TALL which is language study on
the computers or we just memorize and practice. Then there might be an
hour more of study until 5:15 and then we go to dinner for an hour.
Then we come back and have class till 9, then we plan for half an hour
and head back to the room, and are in bed at 10:30.
I'm still getting used to following someone else's schedule, but I
really am learning a lot. So the investigator we have been teaching
will actually become one of our teachers today! We have taught her
almost every day last week (5 lessons). She only spoke French with us,
and in the beginning I had to write down everything I was going to
say. Now though I only need to write down bullet points and use my
phrases book for a few points in the lesson. I can talk with her, and
testify, and answer her questions all on my own! Some of the lessons
have been a little hard, but usually they are so good. The gift of
tongues is so real, but it doesn't hit all at once for me it works a
lot like the way learning a language is. It comes slowly and you have
to work really hard for the spirit to help you! I know that French
will come and when I realize it's only been a week I realize how much
I have learned. I think the biggest thing that helps is SYL or speak
your language, or actually how we say it is PVL (parle votre langue).
It's hard to do, but my and my companion try to replace any words we
can with French. I love her so much, and it's great because she is
pretty good at French so I get to ask her lots and lots of questions:)
My teacher is frere Kellet and he has been so awesome teaching us
French, he went to the French Paris mission. but he is going on a
vacation for two weeks so we get a sub next week so it will be
interesting to see how that is! He told us that the French people
don't let people in very easily and they put a lot of distance between
themselves and strangers. BUT once you they understand that you care
about them, they will always be your friend and keep you close. AHH I
am so excited to go and serve the French people! I can not wait to
teach them about the love their Heavenly Father has for them, and how
much joy this gospel brings! I have surprised by myself by how much I
have been able to do I mean I am outgoing and can talk to people in
classes, and I can't wait to go and talk to people on the street, in
the metro, and of course in their homes in France! It will just be
good for me to get a little bit more French down first. I absolute
love my district, especially the soeurs in it, we laugh a lot! There
were a lot of funny moments this week, so one day me and Soeur Wilde
were getting a drink and a girl came up to us and asked us where we
were going. I told her "oh we are just going to choir practice." And
then she said "no, I meant like where are you going on your mission."
And then another great moment of mine Frere Kellet was teaching us how
to pronounce Saint-Esprit (the Holy Ghost) and he wrote the words
Santa Spree on the board and I thought that was how your were supposed
to pronounce it. So I pointed it out and said "see Soeur Wilde, I told
you." As I said that he drew a huge x through it because that is not
how it is pronounced. Haha Soeur Wilde and Schnaus and my collegue
Soeur Robinson laugh at me a lot! I love them though I call them Fou
Fou a lot (which means crazy in French!)
We have a lot of fun, and sometimes my district is not very focused
when we need to be. But if they are getting to crazy I can kind of
tune it out and study my French. It's all good though, because I am
learning the balance between fun and working hard. I have though a lot
this week about how lucky I am to be a part of this work, and I am
very thankful that Heavenly Father is allowing me to go and serve the
people of France. Every time I have a hard day I remember that this
training is not for me, it is for them so I need to work as hard as I
can. I was able to watch a devotional Sunday night called the
Character of Christ by Elder Bednar, it was so good. He said that the
character of Christ is turning out and serving others when naturally
we want to think of ourselves. This is one of the goals I have on my
mission to completely strengthen my conversion in Christ by trying to
become like him. This week I want to challenge you to think of someone
way you can emulate the character of Christ, and evaluate how deeply
you are converted to him! I love you all so much, I can feel the
strength of your prayers and it really does help! I promise I am going
to always do my best because I know I have the best rooting for me!
I love you all so much!
Je vous amie!
Soeur Soffe.
The soeurs in my district
This is my whole district!

Me and my collegue (companion)

My room mates

Obligatory map picture