Monday, August 29, 2016

Week 10 Sheep wool and cool people 🐑🐑🐑

Bonjour ma famille et mes Amis!
We started this week off doing something I had never expected to do.
So Frere Herr is the CDP (ward mission leader) for Annemasse and is
awesome- he served a mission in Las Vegas and has a cute little
family. On Tuesday for service he drove us and the elders up to his
house. So him and his wife bought this really old house that they are
renovating, so they live in a camping trailer just outside. Frere herr
works on a farm, so he was able to get a lot of sheep wool to use as
insulation. The sheep wool has been sitting out getting cleaned by the
rain. The elders would construct these wood lean-two's to hang the
wool on to dry, and me and Sr. Smith would cut the poop off of the
wool (if it was dirty) and then carry the wool over to the wood. Ha it
was very interesting but it was fun because we could all just laugh
with each other and frere, (and I am now very thankful for the
invention of rubber gloves :) ) After a few hours of this and a break
for lunch we helped him clean out an ancient wine cellar. Well me and
Sr. Smith carried old glass bottles out while the boys went on rat
hunts! It was cool to be able to some service and a change of
schedule, plus the house was up in the mountains and it was beautiful!
The rest of the week was full of lots of lessons, we do a lot of with
recent converts and less actives, and some contacting! I have had
people asking me about what the wards and members are like, and how
different France is. SO the families here are awesome, we have a lot
of older people in our wards who we love to go visit and talk with.
This week we got to have a short pensée with Sr. Gallopan and then we
heart attacked her door. She called us that night telling her how much
that meant to her, I'm glad we could show her how loved she was. The
families are great because they love to be involved with missionaries!
They invite us over to dinner a lot, and in France meal appointments
are very different. They usually last for about 2.5 -3 hours (rules
are different here) because meals have a lot of courses. When you get
there you have some drinks and talk for a while, as the food is
finishing cooking. Then you have a salad and some sides, and then they
bring out meat and more food, then *because france* they always have
bread and cheese, and it ends with dessert! Ha the food here is
wonderful, and it's fun because meals are so long, you really get to
know people!
We have had some other really great lessons this week, on Thursday we
taught Francois about the temple and it was fantastic. So François is
our awesome African less active, who was baptized in Spain like 20
years ago, and is now totally interested in the church again. The
problem is he went less-active very quickly after his baptism; and we
can't find his baptismal record. We are in the process of waiting out
three months for the church to search for his record. What's amazing
though is seeing him rediscover why he was baptized in the first
place. In the lesson he was super excited about going to the temple
and taking some of his family names. He is so awesome, usually we have
a lesson with him before English class and if we finish early he just
sits and studies the Book of Mormon. His faith is so strong, I just
can't wait for his certificate.
Here in Annemasse when we don't have a lesson, usually we will go
contacting. It's difficult because a lot of people here are Muslim,
and for their safety we are not allowed to teach them ( However, this
week especially, we have been able to talk to some people that I know
we helped. We didn't get any new Amis from contacting, but you could
tell some of them felt the spirit testify of the love of God. One man
we talked to, told us that he could feel the spirit as we taught him
and he felt that happiness! The other miracle this week has been
Severine, so her baptism is coming up and because she works so much we
can only meet her once maybe twice a week. Last Sunday in church we
had talked about the law of the fast and she had some problems with
it. Our next lesson was on the commandments, so we were both pretty
nervous to teach her. When we started the lesson she told us that she
had prayed about fasting and was totally at peace with it; as we
taught her she told us she will keep all of the commandments! Ahh I'm
so excited for her, and I love seeing her change as she prepares for
this covenant with Heavenly Father!
The lesson that I have been taught this week is Patience. We have
been sharing a video during our 15 mins (meeting with members) about
having patience and trusting in the promises and timing of the lord. I
have had a few times during lessons when I get frustrated with myself.
I am understanding a lot, but there is still so much that I don't
understand when people are talking. I felt like I should be at a level
of comprehension by now, but as we showed that video again, I had the
thought that you have to believe what you are teaching. You need to
trust and be patient in the lord's timing, the language is going to
come! It's so true the lord is always ready to bless us, but he knows
when we need to receive specific blessings. I would much rather trust
in the timing of my Heavenly Father who know everything, because that
is how I am going to become my best! So your frenchie's challenge this
week, is keep an eternal perspective and trust in your loving Heavenly
You are all amazing, thank you so much for your support and love!
Je t'aime!
Sœur Soffe

Sheep wool for days

Heart attack Sr Gallopan

Monday, August 22, 2016

Week 9 Still Crushing it in Annemasse‏

Bonjour ma famille et mes Amis!
It's crazy but today, I have been on a mission for two months! It's
crazy how fast time has been going! This week has been good, but it
was definitely hard in the beginning. A Seleve elder, (who was
actually a bleu with me and I knew in the MTC) ending up going home
this week. It was really sad to say goodbye, but I'm really proud of
him for doing what he needs to do. Me and Sr. Smith ending up
re-writing a song for him; and which made a few elders have something
in their eyes;) It was really great to say goodbye to him and send him
off with our love! So the other Seleve elder got moved to Lyon, so we
now have a district of four! We already spend a lot of time together
(lots of trains and dinner appointments) but now it'll just be the
four of us! I'm glad I have such a great district though, we all get a
long really well and work well together.
We have had some really great lessons this week, it's been so great
to see our Ami's progressing! My favorite was with our Engage (our Ami
who has a baptismal date.) Her name is Severine, ha she is crazy
(super energetic and LOVES to talk) I love her so much! We had two
lessons with her this week, on Saturday we covered the gospel and it
was awesome. Severine always has lots of questions so our lessons are
about two hours! It used to be that the first hour would be helping
her with English and the next would be the gospel; however now she
just want's to learn about the gospel and prepare for her baptism in
September. She is so ready, at our last lesson she was so excited
about taking her Grandma's name to the temple and is preparing herself
to live all of the commandments! This is what I love about missionary
work; I have seen her change so much and develop a personal
relationship with her Savior and Father in Heaven!
When we don't have lessons, we do lots of contacting which has been
good this week. No new Amis have come but it's awesome to see people
interested in what the church is about. I just love the French people,
ha as I stumble through French trying to talk to them they are always
so kind and help me with the language. It's awesome because if I ever
don't know how to say something I just turn to my 'mom' and she helps
me:) I'm seriously so blessed with my trainer, not only do work really
hard but we also have so much fun and laugh all the time! Here is a
funny of the week, so in the second wards sacrament meeting about
halfway through a member of the bishopric comes up to me and asks if
after the speak is done if I would bear my testimony! Ha Sr. Smith
looks at me "welcome to France!" Ha I have born my testimony every
sacrament and in almost every lesson they ask if I will say the
prayer. Ha I think it's good because the ward knows the two things I
can do in French- pray and testify!
This week I have been studying about Faith and I have realized how
faith is just a trust in God. I wasn't sure what my mission would be
like, or how I was going to speak French. I had to take a first blind
step and trust in the lord, and I promise you that if you exercise
that faith in Christ he will be with you every step of the way!
You all are the meilleur! Thanks for your support and love!
Je t'aime beaucoup!
Sour Soffe

I'm in love with French parks, this is our new favorite place to contact

After contacting for hours in the HEAT, we need an ice cream! Also be thankful for air conditioners people, because the French haven't discovered that amazing gift:)

THE ALPES THOUGH, I'm seriously in love

Trains and buses all the time, or walking lots and lots of walking:)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Week 8 Waterfalls and dinners and Switzerland oh my!‏

Bonjour ma famille et mes amis!!
This week has literally flown by, but it has been so great I am in
love with Annemasse and Seleve! These villes are very interesting
because we have so much member work to do! The members are fantastic,
and love to meet with the missionaries so we have a lot of dinner
appointments both with members/ recent converts/ less actives. I love
getting to know and work with them, and they are the nicest. In our
mission we have a thing called feux de joie which is French for
bonfire. When we meet with members we have a short spiritual thought
and then ask them what feux de joie experiences they have had. What
these are is when they have felt the spirit either strengthen them,
they have done some kind of missionary work, or they have done family
history work. It's awesome because after we talk with them, we ask who
else they know that could benefit from having these kind of
experiences. It's awesome because the members are the ones who are
really going to help us find new Amis!
The beginning of the week was full of lots of appointments with
members, and filling in the rest of the time with finding. It's of
course still difficult with the French but it is coming really fast
when I look at in perspective. I realize that I am adding much more to
the lessons then I even could last week! Then on Thursday we had Zone
Training in Geneva. I loved being able to travel to Swiss and we even
got to go and see the lake which was beautiful! Zone training was
really good, they really stressed being 100% obedient and putting all
your confidence in the lord. That is exactly what I am going to work
on this week, is giving all of my time and trust to the Savior. Me and
Sœur Smith are really going to work hard to try to have more lessons
this week! I have realized that if we set and make inspired goals the
lord will be there to help us fulfill them; but only after we do
everything we can do! I know that the lord cares about all of the
little aspects in each of our lives and will help us when we put our
trust in him!
Saturday was really awesome and a very different day. So every
Saturday us and the Seleve Elders travel to Cluses to see the
Baccauvan family. One of the little girls was just baptized so we go
and meet with her to give her the after baptism lessons, and talk with
her mom who is less active. The family situation is really hard,
because the father is just a really bad man and the family is working
to get away with him. To help Nina (the little girl) try to progress
we decided to take all of the kids on a walk and teach her a lesson
out of the house. It was so great, they took us up a little trail to
go see a waterfall, and not only was I loving being in not just the
mountains, but the French alps; the kids had a lot of fun! Nina
actually prayed for us and she started progressing again which made me
so excited! I can't wait to keep helping this family and praying that
they will be able to be moved to a better situation!
It's been a great week, super busy, but I am loving every second! I
have the best trainer, the best wards, the best Amis, and of course
amazing food ( I love dinner appointments:) ) I am really excited to
keep working hard and learning all that I can!
Thank you so much for your prayers and support
J'taime beaucoup!
Sœur Soffe
P.S. Funny of the week: on Thursday we had a lesson/ dinner
appointment with a recent convert, who I love! She has us over every
week because we are doing her after baptism lessons. This week she
invited the Seleve Elders to come over and we played a prank on Elder
wright(who is the other blue here with me.) The members name is
Jocelyn and she gave us this ginger drink with non-alcoholic champagne
and we convinced Elder wright that it was alcoholic. He got super
confused because when he drank, it was super strong; and then he looks
over at me and Sr. Smith and because we were laughing so hard he
thought we were drunk! Ha he figured it out really fast and we all
laughed a lot about it

Zone conference
The BEST district 
Cluses, France is so pretty!
The Town is located in the Arve Valley, in the region Faucigny. 
Situated between Geneva and Chamonix
The waterfall

Monday, August 8, 2016

Week 7... I'm in Annemmasse! And it's the BEST

Bonjour ma famille et mes amis!
I AM IN FRANCE! I can't believe I am finally here, and it was kind of
a roller coaster of a journey but I am so happy and so excited. Travel
started last Monday after a plane to Seattle and then a very long over
night flight we landed in Paris. We were supposed to have a plane to
Lyon but because the workers of air France have been striking, our
flight was canceled. The Paris office elders meet us in the airport,
and had our train tickets. They split us up into two groups and after
the first group was off we waited in the airport for three hours
before our train. Since we had so much time me and another Sœur tried
to contact a little. Then when we get on the train I learned that my
seat was in a different train car then everyone else's-which was
scary. So picture me getting on the train with my three huge bags and
discovering that my seat is actually on the top floor. So I try to lug
my huge bags up the stairs and this nice French man helps me carry
them. Then of course I'm confused about where bags go, and try to take
them to my seats, some more really nice people then helped me figure
out where they went. Mini miracle one of the men I had tried to talk
to at the airport actually helped me with my bags on the train. I
just love love the French they are so kind and super patient with me.
We got off the train and the Lyon APs were right there to pick us up.
Ahh it was so awesome and we got to walk around Lyon a little bit, I
already know I have the best mission with the absolute best
missionaries. That night we went to President and sister Browns house
and I love them so much. They are the absolute sweetest mission
parents and are so kind. I had a great interview with president Brown
and he is the best, he actually knew our family through the mortuary.
The next day I meet my trainer!!! Her name is Sœur Smith and she is
fantastic. She is from sandy and has already trained a blue and been
out seven transfers. We get a long so well and she is helping me so
much, I'm so glad she is my mom and I am her baby blue (in France we
aren't greenies new missionaries are blues because it's the hottest
part of the flame:) )
After legality we grabbed all of my stuff and headed on a train to
....drum roll.... Annemasse and Saléve! They are two fantastic villes
right on the border of Geneva Switzerland, so we are in the Geneva zone. I am
in love, it is so pretty and when we go into Saléve the alps are right
there. We kind of jumped in head first because first day we had a few
lessons and some finding time. Sœur Smith basically teaches but I'm
adding whenever I can, and it really is more than I thought. We taught
françois and this cute older lady named Rose the first day. Again I
love French people so much, they are super patient with me and my
terrible French. I think Sœur smith was really surprised, because at
the end of the day we had been contacting a little with no luck. She
had given me one pass along card to give out. When we got on the bus,
I got the courage and just sat by a women and started talking with
her. Conversation was difficult but I ended up giving her the card,
and when we got off the bus Sœur Smith looked at me and said you are
fearless! Not even close, but I'm just trying to let people feel the
spirit through me. Ha especially because I'm not sure how much of my
French people can actually understand:) we have had a few other
lessons and a few dinner appointments (mangez-vous.) The food is so so
good here, I am in heaven. It has really been an awesome week and I'm
trying as hard as I can!
So because we cover two areas, we have two wards on Sunday. No-one can
complain about church ever, ever again. So we got to church around 8
ish and because of meetings we had 9 hours of Church. So I hope you
can all imagine trying to comprehend French for that long WHILE you
are fasting. And that wasn't even the hardest part, I bore my
testimony in both wards, me and mostly Sœur smith taught the youth
Sunday school, and then in the last Relief Society they kept asking me
questions. Ha it was kind of hard but it was awesome. We have the
absolute best members, they are really kind and super strong. It
was kind of crazy in the second testimony meeting a man got up and
started talking about how he wasn't sure if he knew God was there for
20 minutes. The bishop had to get up and make him leave because he
wouldn't stop! One of our elders turned around to me and said "
bienvenue à France!" I really do love it so so much and know without
any doubt this is the lords work and his spirit is so strong if we
just seek him! Any opposition just proves that this is Christ's true
gospel and we just need to be strong and valiant!
Love you all so much thank you for all your support!
J'taime beacoup!
Sour Soffe

 P.S. I almost forgot the HIGHLIGHT of the week. So last night we had a
dinner appointment with the Poulet family. It was such a good dinner
and then at the end they bring out bread and cheese, (because French
people.) I was leaning trying to talk with someone and my chair
slipped and I FELL ON THE FLOOR, ahh it was so funny I just sat there
laughing while everyone else laughed at us. It was the Poulet's, their
nephew, and the Saléve elders and we all just laughed a lot. Ahh
Bienvenue à France Sœur Soffe:)

Sorry I forgot to transfer all my pictures from my camera so I don't
have many but I'll send a lot next week!

Me and my trainer! (My mom!)

My District

This is rose one of our Ami's she loves to sing. Isn't she so cute!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Au revoir MTC!‏ Aug 2nd...Week 6

Bonjour ma famille et mes Amis!!
   Wait, what?!? IT'S MY LAST WEEK IN THE MTC! I leave for France in t-minus 3 days (Parents note...McKenna left the MTC on Aug 1st and is safely in France) and I am so so excited and scared out of my mind! It is really so so bittersweet because I have grown to love my family of frenchie's here! It's killer because half my district is going to Paris, but I adore the sisters that are going to my mission so I can't wait to be with them. It's going to be so hard to leave my Sœurs who are now my actual sisters. 
   So this week has kind of been crazy, but in the best way! We have still had lots of studying and teaching everyday and our teachers have been talking to us about what the mission field is like! So last Sunday we had an awesome devotional, the Nashville Tribute Band (which is like a Mormon country Christian Rock band) came and played for us! I am in the choir, ha with literally the entire MTC, so we got to sing with them to a few of their songs. It was so much fun to actually hear music again, and sing something different than a hymn! I miss music, but I really loved their songs and it was so fun for the 24. Skipping ahead to Tuesday we had our last TRC appointment (which is where we get to teach a member.) This one was actually skype so we got to talk to this sweet member in France! It was super cool, but she was sitting so far away from the her computer me and my collègue couldn't hear her! It was really amazing though because I felt totally prompted about what she needed to hear. I am not really sure what it was like for her, but it was a great experience for me to practice my teaching. On Wednesday all the new missionaries come in, and my district was chosen to help them with a workshop they do called People and your Purpose. It's basically where a big group of the new missionaries get the chance to teach actual investigators and help them as best they can. What me and ma collègue did was begin the lesson, so the investigator let us in and we got to know them and started teaching them. It was kind of nerve racking being in front of people, but it went really well. Ha it was kind of weird teaching in English, ha but I guess that is a good thing! 
   Thursday we had in-field orientation, which was awesome. They taught us that we have set high expectations for our missions, and truly believe that their are people waiting for this message. Which I know is true I really do feel people waiting for me in France. The other major part of the day was working with members. I had never realized what a big part members can play in missionary work, it's huge they help so much and missionary work is everyone's responsibility! So my challenge for you this week is to pray about a missionary opportunity and follow the promptings that I know you will receive! This morning we were able to go do a session in the temple, and it might be last one I am able to do for a while! I love the temple everyone, it really is the house of the lord and where I feel his spirit strongest! That is my goal for all of my future investigators!
You all are so wonderful, thank you so much for your support and prayers! Ha I think I really will need them for this next week. I can't believe the bubble of the MTC is about to pop, but I am so so excited to head out to France. I am terrified because Je ne parle Français. However what I have really learned in the MTC is that I could never do this alone, my savior is right beside me the whole time and all I have to do is put my faith in him. I promise you that when you do the lord's will he will send angels to help lift you up, I have felt them around me every day! 
Merci, et J t'aime Beaucoup!
Thank you all so much! Love you!!
Sœur Soffe

Désolé for the overload of pictures, We took a lot realizing it was our last week all together!!

                                                                     J'aime Soeur Wilde!!!

The Soeur's in my zone

                                           I can't even explain how much J'ADORE my district! 

                                                                  AHHH I don't want to leave them! 

This is what happens when me and Soeur Wilde try to take a picture and the camera falls on us! 

AND I saved the absolute best picture for last.... This is me and Soeur Schnider, I put my hair up in a t-shirt for it to dry overnight and she was really cold in our room. Haha we are both hoping at some point we will be companions... Because I think it would be HILARIOUS!