Wow this week literally flew by! Oh I love every single minute with Soeur Erickson, we do so much and just have so much fun!
But...I finally made it! One year into the mission woot! We had an amazing week also which was full of miracles. Monday was fun we helped the elders find homecoming talk suits because European suits are the best. Well that's what they say but I honestly don't know! And we visited the cathedral here in Orleans. It's was a fun day that we ended with a RDV with Myrium our less active member. She is so strong. She is a refugee from Africa and she lives day by day. She lives in a very humble apartment but she never lets it affect her. She speaks English and is one of those very loud women... It's was pretty funny when I met her she bised me hard on the cheeks and then grabbed Me and said, "My little one. My little one!" Then slapped my butt about 10 times on the way into the room. It was pretty funny I didn't really know how to react I laughed pretty hard but after we shared a scripture. Mosiah 24:13
13 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.
I just love that scripture. We talked about dealing with our struggles and to bear them with patience. We talked of lifting ours heads when all we want to do is give up. Which is easier said then done but Myrium is an example to me in this area. She is grateful to be in France and to be a member of the church. I love my job, all I have to do is testify that there is hope in this world.
Then Tuesday was district meeting where we had... Sushi! Thanks elder Boyden! It was so good! I have come to really not mind sushi on my mission. Haha who would have thought I came to France and end up kind of liking sushi. But hey now when Andrew wants to eat some crazy fish, I'll actually be ok with it! Haha that's the thing about missionaries, I think after about a year you just stop asking what it is and go for it, you'll find out soon enough, but hey we're not picky anymore.
Wednesday was good we sadly got "frudged" by our investigator Mirianna but it worked out because we talked to a really cool woman on the tram. She actually lived in the states when she was younger and her friend sadly died on September 11th. She has a necklace to remember him. We weren't able to exchange numbers but she was really cool! We also had our DMP (meeting with Mission leader) and I just love Frère Chantreaux he is 80 years old and he is super funny. One of those dry humor kind of men. He is really kind and we had a good time with him. He is a convert of the old mission president! He always has good advice for us when it comes to working with our investigators. The elders rode the tram home with us because the church building is a pretty long tram ride out there. They really opened up to us. I love people and everyone of us has our own struggles. I have met some amazing people here on my mission. Some of the strongest people I know! France Paris mission is hard sometimes and that's why they send the tough ones! To keep me going!
Haha Soeur Erickson and I decided to buy McDonald's today because tomorrow is the start to our " 6 months to sexy" diet. That's what they call it here. You can gain in your first 6 months and then maintain in the next 6 but then you have to loss it all in the last 6. Woot! Looks like I need to stop buying the amazing food here. It's okay it's fun eating healthy here. They have really good fruit I have noticed. But in honor of our year mark we did get some really good Chinese food to celebrate!... And some Jeff de Bruges ice cream, which if anyone ever comes to France it's a MUST have, as the French say, Il faut.
Friday, we went visiting teaching with a member Soeur Penverne. She visits a Tahitian sister that lives about an hour out of town. Fun fact: I do a ton of visiting teaching here with the members because their companion is never able to come, so we actually get to visit s lot of sisters in the ward 🏼. Anyway, the Tahitian family was so cute! Just reminded me of Soeur Tupai, oh how I miss her!, but turns out they were Elder Utahia's cousins whom I served with in Paris so all in all it was a fun visit.
Also really great news we FIXED A DATE! With Vanessa for the September 19. She is so prepared and so excited. It was really sweet to hear her closing prayer at the end of our lesson as she thanked God for the truth that she has been waiting for. SO COOL! I just love those moments like that. I am so stoked to continue working with her, and we get to skype call our lessons now!
Guess what! Vanessa AND Marie came to church on Sunday! Like that's a record:) no joke #EuropeMission. It was fun and we got a picture with Vanessa. It was fun to tell the members that she was preparing for her baptism. I just love these investigators!
All in all the week was a success, and as one missionary was asked upon his arrival home, "How many converts did you have?" he replied, "Just me." This week I thought a lot about what I was supposed to do after the mission and I decided after my many months of wondrously pondering I would get a blessing to see what God had in mind. I found out in that blessing a lot about what the Lords plan is for me...which said everything and nothing about the future. Haha but I was called "Ashley" in the blessing, and that in itself was I think what I needed. I've been called "Soeur Stevens" for the last year, and I guess sometimes I forget that the Lord cares about "Ashley" too. Which brings me to the fact that no matter what happens, or how much we think we have fallen, there is always a way back, because He loves each of us, and has a specific plan for everyone. Trust in Him. If we are ever struggling, or in need the Lord has given us the tools necessary to feel the peace and comfort we so helplessly search for.
Love your convert,