Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Having fun with the African culture they teach so often

Challenging week-

My week!
Well this week was unexpectedly hard. Haha you win some and loose
some, but I realize I'm getting to the last 6 weeks and with that, yep
things are going to get a bit harder.
It's vacations here so for this week and next week everyone is out of
town, which makes missionary work a little hard. But it's ok we've
found things to still keep us busy. We've been contacting a lot of
people, which is alway hilarious and interesting.
But nearing the end of the week on Friday we had district meeting and
our DL gave us an awesome formation. It was all about "do not shrink
but be brave and of good cheer" so we read that and talked about how
we can reach our goals and such, and in the end read:
16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they
might not suffer if they would repent;
17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;
18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to
tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer
both body and spirit--and would that I might not drink the bitter cup,
and shrink--
19 Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my
preparations unto the children of men.
Do not shrink, but be brave and
of good cheer
Sometimes there are moments in our life that we may feel utterly
alone, and want to give up. We have to remember that Christ has felt
that too, did he not ask while in the garden if there wasn't an easier
way? And though there wasn't He loved us so much he "did not shrink"
but continued and atoned for all humanity. He didn't shrink, so why
should we. Not only do we know He is with us, but it gives us all the
more reason to be brave and of good cheer, because of Him.
Then we watched the Mormon message "climbing mountains" which makes me
cry everytime. Haha then he testified about how we are never alone,
and that he, the DL, loved us, and if there was ever anything we
needed we could call him, I love my district were pretty tight. Then
he ended with a quote by Holland,
"In the gospel of Jesus Christ we have help from both sides of the
veil. When disappointment and discouragement strike- and they will-
you must remember and never forget that if your eyes were open you
would see horses and chariots of fire as far as the eye can see riding
at reckless speed coming to our protection" TRUTH.
Ah it was a really good reunion for everyone.
It's amazing to see, that though the week is hard at the end of it, on
Sunday's, I can still look back and smile, and I literally can't stop
being so happy. I've realized where my foundation lies, and with that
you can go through daily trials with hope and happiness.
What else happened this week... We had some pretty epic RDVs with our
Amis. Some a little intense too lol, but totally worth it. In French
we say, "ça veut le peine" "it wants the effort" or "its worth it"
haha I learned some other little sayings and stuff which was really
cool. We hung out at a refugee camp and learned how to make African
food lol. Also got African clothes haha those are sick, and learned
how to do the head wraps hehe. Tyler will love Madagascar. It's close
to Africa and they speak a lot of French there, and they are just
awesome people. Really super nice, and loving.
So yep, not a ton happened, also trying to organize my stuff and see
what all I'm going to take with me and not take with me. I will be
fine with no packages honestly haha.
That's super cool I got some scholarships...I have no idea what kind,
but like cool! That's a huge blessing and relief. Every week I just
see so many blessings that have come from serving this mission. It's
pretty dang awesome.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Bowling fun, district togetherness, etc...

Another week

We went to Blois for district meeting and I love our DL! He was like I've been thinking about the formation and I think what we all need is some comp unity haha. So he's like I have a challenge for you all with will test your skills. He made each of us think of a team name all week, so our team name was the BlueTrunks. Lol a little explanation, in the mission if you are a new missionary you are called a "blue" and when you are an older missionary you are "trunky" meaning you are going to pack your trunk soon to head off. So, the BLUETRUNKS. First is trust, then knowledge, then unity with the spirit. So the first challenge and all of them were a competition against the other equipes, was an obstacle course and one comp was blind folded and the other led them through by telling them what to do, but only in French! The second was a quiz to see how much you knew about your companion, and the last was a three legged race, you, your companion, and the Holy Ghost which ties you together lol. It was super fun, and though we struggled at the three legged race, Soeur Tilby and I still won lol. Then we went and did a day of finding in Blois. 

Well since we opened up a new companionship here we didn't really have a lot of Amis, so we decided to go contacting for ourselves and find some people. Well, it turned into an awesome day and we found people, and miracles! It is just so awesome to see, when we are working together with he Lord we are blessed and miracles happen! 

We had our exchanges which went well, I got to be with a sister who was in my mtc group and we got to catch up, and then both realized how old we were in the mission, and we both kinda got wierded out about the fact it has been over a year since we were in the mtc, then she looked at me and was like, Soeur, you have 9 weeks left in France... Wow... 

We went to PARIS! My stoping ground of the mission and had a blast seeing the Eiffel tour and sacre cœur with Soeur Erickson and her blue. It was the best day ever, really I just love my life right now! 

We found more people, and more miracles! And we got to see Vanessa and then watched the Saturday morning session of conference! 

Busy day but conference! I love conference so much! I was sad because we didn't get to see any of the Sunday sessions and came in late durning the women's and priesthood conference and we didn't know where anyone was so we sat down when Anderson was speaking or Christofferson I can't remember and just kept listening it wasn't until uchtdorf was speaking and kept saying "my brethren" I was like wow this session is really focused towards the men haha, then I immediately thought, wait 11h was when they show priesthood and women's at the same time, we walked in on the priesthood and thought it was a normal session. Lol so needless to say anyone can learn something from the priesthood session. Then because we are a smaller ward everyone went home to watch the Sunday sessions, so I didn't get to see them, but I'm super excited to read them and especially the talks of the new apostles! We also had a couple rev in between the sessions so it was a packed day busy week, but as the French say, "plein des miracles". 

Something I learned this week: 
Sometimes we I'll have good days and bad days in life. The goal is to learn from them both, the good wouldn't be so wonderful if we hadn't tasted a little "goûter" of the bad. I guess as a "dying missionary" there are lot of mixed emotions we go through as we prepare to leave the mission field. It's a huge change once again. And through out the week Soeur Tilby will randomly ask me deep questions, like, "what was the hardest point in your mission?" "Was there ever a prayer that changed you?" I'm like wow.  Ok. Haha well, ahh. Then think about it for a minute, but this week I guess I've just thought a lot about my mission in general. What I've been through, and how I've changed, people I've been with, etc. I feel like sometimes when she asks me these questions I recognize how much has happened in this last year. It's crazy to think of everything that I've done. On Sunday we were eating a picnic with one of the member families, and the young adults came in and we were all just joking and laughing around in between the sessions, and just in the middle of this moment Soeur Tilby looks at me and says, "in two months, 9 weeks, this is all gone." I just about wanted to die! NO! I love too much here, and I just am trying to soak up every last moment. But at the same time I know what I did was enough, and my mission is coming to an end, sometimes it's just hard to face it, and I'm sure the shorter the time gets the more I will refuse to believe it's over, so we made goals this week to help each other accept where we are, and where we're going. Lol. In all it was another awesome week, but a week of realizations as well. 

Funny story's:
"Vous pouvez utiliser le sucré consacré" haha Soeur welter said that one as she was describing how to make fudge to a member. hahahhaha she was trying to say that she used sweetened condensed milk, but instead said consecrated sugar! We were on the floor laughing. And like, that's the key ingredient that's what makes hers so good lol the consecrated sugar lol. 
So, we were walking home with our British recent convert and just talking about how we were speaking franglais pretty bad, well he's been in France for 2 years straight, and speaks perfect French, so just super bilingual right, well this last summer he got to go home for a little bit and so he said he was going to marks and Spencer's to get some carrots right, but in France we call organic "bio" it stands for biologic which is organic, so he was like, oh I'll go the extra mile and get organic carrots, but He had completely for got the word organic. So he went up to the store clerk and asked "do you know where I could find the biological carrots?" Hahahahaha he said after she finished laughing she had him explain what that was, so he said, you know the carrots without chemicals" she was like oh, you mean organic! Haha 

Love you all!
Soeur Stevens 

Sent from my iPad

Never give up...


Nous avons fêté le jour de préparation, et nous faisions rien haha. On faisait des blagues et tout ça. Et ce soir la nous avons enseigné notre nouvelle amie Nadège. C'était très bien passé. 

Nous avons rendre visite à beaucoup des amies et membres, mais spécialement les converti récent et non pratiquants. 

On a faisait un jour à Tours pour le réunion de district. Nous avons joué le bowling, j'ai du mal à le sport haha. Je n'ai pas le gagner, non plus. Mais, ma collège était très formidable donc, malgré mes imperfections nous avons gagner avec le plus points. C'était vraiment un jour de repos pour nous étant que missionnaires. On a besoins quelques fois de prendre un petit repos pour nous mêmes. Souvent les missionnaires prendre tout leur temps pour les autres, est c'est bien c'est pourquoi on est ici, mais c'est bien aussi de prendre le temps de poser des questions à nous-mêmes, et faire les choses pour nous-mêmes. Ce jour la, c'était un jour comme ça. 

Nous avions eu un RDV avec une membre et vraiment elle est comme ma grand-mère ici. Elle veut de parler anglais, donc on fait un exchange, si elle nous aide avec la langue française on va l'aide avec la langue anglais. C'était bien passé et j'ai appris beaucoup de la langue.

Nous avons rendre visite à notre nouvelle amie, et c'était adorable, elle a pris les notes pendant notre enseignement de le plan du salut. Ah je l'aime déjà. Haha. On crois qu'elle était bien prêt avant on a le rencontrer sur la rue, pour accepter l'évangile. Et quand on a fait notre leçon, Soeur Tilby était inspiré pour nous a préparé quelques versés dans la bible (pas simplement dans le livre de mormon), et quant on a l'enseigné elle nous a demandé pour les écritures dans la bible qui nous enseigne les mêmes principes. Donc, c'était super bien que Soeur Tilby a écouté à l'esprit qui disait de trouver les écritures dans la bible aussi. 

Oh samedi haha, premièrement nous sommes allées à le "tailor" pour lui à faire nos bobo africain haha. J'ai choisi mon style préfère et il a pris nos mesures, et dans quelque semaines je aurai mon propre bobo africain haha. Oh je crois que je vais mettre quelques photos de cela sur iCloud. Amors, après nous avons vu a midi le répertoire pour le mutation prochaine! Il y avait quelques suprise! Soeur erickson a déménagé à Vannes, c'est juste a côté de Rennes en Bretagne. Et Soeur Simpson va déménager à Arras, et sera une belle mère pour Soeur soileau, le bleu de Soeur erickson, donc je suis finalement une grand mère! Haha bah, je suis maman et grand-mère au même temps haha. C'est rigolo. 

Well I just realized I wrote this in French..it was obviously late last night when I did this and my mind was elsewhere... Awk hahaha wel... Ahhh I will finish in English. 
So soeur welter was super sick that day and couldn't even stand up, so I told her she was not allowed to go to church so I stayed home with her. It was nice I made a huge break the fast feast haha we had candied chicken, rice, and stuff, and I even made cinnamon rolls for dessert with an orange glaze. Call me Betty Crocker what! Haha it was actually just super relaxing, I cleaned the apt, and organized all of our shelves and closest so, got all the laundry done that has been backed up forever. Then just laid there with soeur welter and talked about mission life haha. It was so relaxing just having a couple hours to myself. I feel so good now and organized! Then when they got home I went back with Tilby to a couple RDV's so it was really good. Talked to a soeur in the ward who is from Corsica. I want to go there, so if we ever. One back to France and happen to stop by, I'd be ok with that lol. 

Something I learned this week:
Never give up. I feel right now at the beginning of my last transfer the craziness of leaving the mission and coming home is slowly starting to take effect. Ok, now let me explain something that will probably sound dorky to you all, but epicly ligit in my eyes. So in the mission the night before "répertoire" the news of who is getting transferred, we do what's called a "transfer prophecy", which means we go through a very intense process of no peeking while your companion takes a quad and has you say "stop" and then eventually a verse in the quad is chosen and it is your "prophecy" for what will happen the next transfer. Well... Most of the time you get some crazy scripture like what soeur Tilby got this transfer lol Abraham 1:23... But my last transfer God decided to bless me with an amazing prophecy lol, it turned out to be Enos
26 And I saw that I must soon go down to my grave, having been wrought upon by the power of God that I must preach and prophesy unto this people, and declare the word according to the truth which is in Christ. And I have declared it in all my days, and have rejoiced in it above that of the world. !!!! Ahh haha it was perfect I died when Kemp read it to me literally, I will soon go to my grave lol. So it did give me some motivation to go out and talk to everyone, which we did and got hard core rejected, but hey I know who wins in the end, ha can't keep my down haha, I just feel like once you find your happiness especially in mission life, the world is yours. GO US!

Sent from my iPad

French testimony

Mon 10/19/2015 6:43 AM
So for gospel doctrine class the sister who was teaching cam and asked
me if I was the one leaving soon, I said yes, and she replied good,
then you've obviously had some hard experiences, can you testify about
them and how you over came them for second hour... I said yes. So,
voila. My story

Donc, je vais raconté une histoire de ma mission,
C'était quand j'étais à Paris, et mon 4ème mois en mission. J'étais
appelée comme formatrice pour une nouvelle missionnaire. J'ai eu une
baptême, et j'étais très heureuse. Mais, après la première semaine
avec ma nouvelle collègue, tous nos amis ont tombé, donc ils n'ont pas
voulu de reprendre les enseignements. Alors, ma collègue et moi nous
avons fait le contacting et la porte à porte pour toute la semaine. Et
puis la semaine après, jusqu'à nous avons fait le contacting pour une
mois, et personne était intéressé dans notre message.
À la fin de les quatre semaines j'étais complètement perdue. Je n'ai
pas su quoi faire. J'ai fait trop des choses pour essayer à trouver
des amis, mais rien a marché.
Finalement j'ai fait une prière après mes études, et j'ai demandé à
Dieu pourquoi? Pourquoi j'étais là, et pourquoi j'avais cet appelle
quand j'étais une missionnaire horrible.
J'ai entendu rien après, mais j'étais complètement dévouée à trouver
quelqu'un ce jour là. (C'était mon attitude qui a changer) Et alors,
c'était toujours une semaine plus tard, mais nous avons trouvé grâce à
une famille dans la paroisse une fille qui avait 16 ans. Et elle était
formidable et bien prête pour notre message, elle a accepté le premier
rendez-vous notre message et elle nous a demandé comment je peux me
préparer de me faire baptiser?
Oh la joie dans nos visage. Tout le contacting et la fois ça allait la peine.
Et après tout a commencé d'être mieux. Et quand je réfléchis bien, je
me dit c'était les semaines plus difficiles dans ma mission, mais
aussi les semaines que j'ai agrandi le plus.
J'ai un témoignage que malgré les choses dans la vie peut voir mal,
Dieu a un plan pour nous tous. On doit tous traverser les épreuves
pour s'améliorer. Et il m'a permis a changer. Ça c'est le plus
important, de laisser qui nous sommes pour qui nous pouvons devenir.
Je suis sûre que nous allons tous avoir les épreuves, mais si nous
mettons notre confiance en Dieu, nous permettons Dieu a nous changer
de devenir meilleur personne qu'on pourrait être.

Sister Tilby's update

'm too lazy to write out a weekly email, but here what Soeur Tilby
has to say about our week lol.

Bonjour tout le monde!!

This week was a good one. But a cold one. The weather, let me tell
you, is like a thousand little ice warrior fairies clawing at every
inch of your uncovered skin. And it's only October.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are in for a frigid winter.

I can handle the cold, but this is like cold wind. The wind is what
gets me. It's the kind of cold that hurts, and you can wear as many
clothes as you want, but if it's hitting any part of you, it chills
your whole body. My nose is always pink now😂 but hey, I'm just trying
to be like Rudolf.

Fun day of rest, emails, cleaning, and shopping! We went to Tati and
Kiabi (two French stores) and just looked around and got a couple of
things. It was just fun to shop at French stores. And I got a nice
little organizer thing for my desk so now I feel set☺️

We had another lesson with Nadege where we read 2 Nephi 31 and
discussed the Doctrine of Christ. Soeur Chantriaux came with us again
and I was so happy she did! She is a very powerful testifier and a
great addition to the lesson. She also is really wonderful with
Nadege's daughter, Leena. Let me tell you, that baby is the cutest
thing ever. This rendezvous she was playing with me like the entire
lesson, it was so hard to focus. She would hand me a toy, and I'd put
it on my head, and then she'd take it and do the same thing and just
scream and laugh and squeal and my heart would just melt.
Babies are my weakness. She kept copying everything I did too. We
played a little telephone game where I talked into one toy and said
"Allo??" And she would say "ALLOOO?" Back and then I'd say "Ca va??"
And she would repeat and it was the just the cutest little thing ever.
Also she was dancing and twirling for me the entire. If there's
anything that would make it harder to concentrate on a lesson than an
adorable little black baby girl with big brown eyes wanting to play
with you, please tell me. I can't think of anything.
I just love that girl.
Okay but I'm making it sound worse than it was. Hahaha I was actually
very engaged in the lesson as well. Multitasking people. It's a
necessary missionary skill. Leena needed attention so she wouldn't
scream and meanwhile we were talking about faith, repentance, baptism,
and enduring to the end. It was a really good discussion and we found
out that she has already been baptized twice into some other churches.
But she seems to be understanding a little more about why it must be
done under the correct authority and in the same way as Christ was
baptized. She is very eager to learn and is already developing an even
more powerful testimony than she had before.

We had our DMP (Dirigeant de mission de parroise/Ward mission leader)
meeting with the other sisters and us and the DMP and some funny stuff
went down. We report each of our Amis to him and their progress so
that he can help with coordinating members and make sure that we are
spending our time with the Amis in the most effective way possible.
So Soeur Kemp was telling him about one of their inactive members and
she said, "Et uhhhh, Elle manque une jambe." And they all just looked
mortified and were so confused😂 but anyways that's why she's inactive
now... She can't really physically make it to church.
Also, Soeur Chantriaux, the wife of the DMP, she commented on how all
of our Amis are colored... As in black, and so Soeur Welter piped up
and said, "JJ (our British recent convert) est pas noir!!" And we all
laughed pretty good at that one.

On this day of Christmas my true love family sent to me, a package
with all the best things!!🎶🎶😁🎉
My dear momma sent me a package and it was like Christmas getting it!
It had all of the things in it that just don't exist here that I've
been craving so far. Ranch packets, seasoning salt, garlic salt, corn
bread, sour patch kids, deep blue rub, throat coat tea, etc... There
was lots more and I just was so so excited!
She also sent me a picture album of my family and there were extras of
pictures so now I have them all hanging up on my wall and it's so

For our ami that just got baptized, Vanessa, we put together a picture
album with pictures of everyone that was at her baptism that I had
taken with my camera and with all of their testimonies that we had
them write on cards when she was getting ready after she was baptized.
So we went and printed out those pictures and then got that all
organized and i made a cute little cover and voila! We were finished!

Our big rendezvous with Cherline got cancelled because she said she
was sick, so we went contacting some and found a new ami! Her name is
Amandine. We got her number but she was really busy so we didn't get a
time set up with her, so we have been trying to call her, and it's for
sure the right number, but hopefully we can get something set up soon.

That night we had my first real mangez-vous with Vanessa that night!
We went over early and helped her make the food. She's Peruvian so we
made a Peruvian dish with rice and chicken and potatoes and it was
really yummy. We had a good night with her and the Penverne family
that came too! They understand English really well so it's fun for me
to get to practice my French but they can also help with words that I
don't know and I can just immediately get an answer because they know
English too! They're an awesome family,
Also their son Paul is Vanessa's age and we want them to get
together😉 we would have started an eternal family. Hahahaha they're
way cute together.

I also realized another thing most French people don't have, A
DISHWASHER!! They just wash them all by hand. We do too, I just
thought maybe we were just poor missionaries, but no. Just people do
everything by hand. It's crazy.
Also fridges are so so small here. I don't know how people live,
hahaha actually I do. They just shop way more frequently so things are
more fresh when they use them. It's interesting and way different than

On our walk to Vanessa's house, the sky was Grey and dreary and there
was tons of moisture in the air because it was raining mist. I kid you
not. It literally just is like vapor gas falling from the sky, no
raindrops (it rains here too tons, no worries). But I looked down at
my jacket and realized that I was magically covered with Glitter! The
mist covers you from head to toe with what looks like fairy sparkle
dust! We were dazzling princesses! Haha so France mists sparkle dust.
No big.

We randomly had my second ever mangez-vous the very next day for lunch
at the Penvernes and it was delicious. She came out with the biggest
platter of meat I have ever had placed before me of all varieties
along with a big huge bowl of potatoes, sausage, and sauerkraut all
together and everything tasted divine. She is a really good cook. The
dish is called "spechroot" or something...
Oh and for dessert she fed us rasberry speculoos tiramisu. Delicious.

We had a rendezvous all set up with Nadege, but she called in sick too😭😭😭
So all we did was finish weekly planning and so that was it. It was
kinda upsetting, but hopefully she just feels better so we can get
some new rendezvous set up.

I have decided that French kids are my favorite kind of people. I love
them so much!
At the end of church, a little girl named Benedict followed me around
holding my hand and teaching me French. She even took pictures with me
and her brother and played with my hair! Hahahaha she also gave me a
paper airplane she had made that had a my little pony drawn on it. She
was pretty proud of it. Dang I love that little girl.

I've had lots of fun learning all the French members names. It's super
hard to even understand a name that would be an American name too
because of the crazy French accent. Like Katherine is pronounced
kat-reen with a French growly R.
Here's some French names:
N'Tukoso (en-too-co-zo  but we call him Entuck)
Nadege (nuh-dedge  with a softy dge)
Cherline (share-leen)
Amandine (ah-mahn-deen)
Benedict (Ben-ay-deect)
Nicanor (neec-an-oar)

It's pretty cool. Oh on that same note, we met a baby this week named
Le Prince Henry Michel (Le Pronce awnry mee-shell) 😂😂😂 and that's
only his first name!! African women and their babies. 😂😂😂

That night we had another rendezvous with Madame Simone. She was
cussing up a storm the whole time because she was mad at her friend
Richard for not calling her when he didn't show up to help her move
her new furniture that she has bought.
Well we had our lesson with her about Chastity by reading the story of
Joseph and Potiphar's wife and how he chose to keep his integrity and
keep his virtue.
Well we got done and she was showing us the furniture and talking
about how she needed men to help her move the furniture and how she
wouldn't be able to do it now for weeks and she was pissed. Well we
offered to help her and she kept saying oh no oh no... It's fine.
But she started showing it to us and it ended up with us moving it for
her into place and setting it all up even though the glass see through
table was freaking heavy and super expensive.
All together with the four white leather chairs, the dining set was
about $5000. Each chair was $400. Be still my soul.

Anyways, here's the funny part. We get done moving this super super
heavy table onto the stand, and she was like "Wow, I can't believe we
did that. We had the strength of Joseph.. He was with us." 😂😂😂 and
she just kept saying it over and over and I was like... She didn't
exactly get the point of our lesson..... Hahahahahaha

Random Stuff/Funny Quotes Time:
As soeur missionaries in France, we like to play a game where we
excitedly identify each cat we see randomly on the street. We just
yell CAT, or CHAT!! And that's a point for us😎😏 hahaha it can get
pretty intense. It's supposed to keep you alert.
"Look for clues--such as items in homes or yards, lettering on
clothing, or indications of children--to help you know how to begin
talking with people."  -PMG
So we look for clues... Like cats? Hahaha we are supposed to be always alert,
So we stay alert.

Here in France, it's pretty funny to see all the different movie
titles that we total have in America, except for they're in French.
La Reine de Neige: Frozen
Vice-Versa: Inside-Out
Nos Etoiles Contraire: The Fault in Our Stars
Agents Tres Speciaux (Code U.N.C.L.E)   Idk what it is in America...
Seul sur Mars: Alone on Mars    I think?!