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!!!