Monday, December 20, 2010

Partir la-bas!

I found a two disc set of disney songs in french for fifteen euros.  you better believe I bought it.  Partir la-bas is the name of "part of your world" in french.  I listen to them during language study.  I must say, I never knew disney translated so directly sometimes.  Teeheee.
First off: Package.  Received.  No underclothing that I ordered however was found within.  does that mean they are still sitting in california, or did someone break into my box and steal my undies?  jerks.  They aren't that cute.  I'm kind bummed though... I was looking forward to those things. Sooo, if they are still sitting at home, after Christmas, could you send them to me?  I really do need them.
so it snows here.  A LOT. and I am SOOOOOOOOOOOO over it already.  This place gets darker earlier than even REXBURG.  I may need to take some vitamin d pills or something to stop from going crazy.
I'd love to say that I am already in love with this ville, but the truth is that I am seriously overwhelmed.  We do serious finding every day, and SOMETIMES have RDV's.  The ward is SUPER spread out, and the weather is horrible, thus no one can come to anything.  the ward party got cancelled because of snow, and then... okay, I could find a million things to complain about.  I'm just.... new.  I am so new at this.  And my companion doesn't really speak french, so she deosn't know anyone, where anyone lives, how to use the transport, or... sheesh, she's just a newbie.  So I feel like we just whitewashed this ville in the middle of winter.  I have had some serious prayers about needing some help, because I know I will be here at least two transfers, and I'd love not to hate life.  Thus, Soeur Edgerly and I are doing an experiment.  WWe are taking 24 hours to pray and ponder about what the LORD wants done with this area this transfer.  If He wants us to go door to door six hours a day, then we'll do it.  if He wants us to hunt down every inactive member in the tri city area, then we'll do it.  If He wants us to stand in the road and flag cars down to give them the messge of the gospel... I'll do it.  But we are tired of doing what all the other missionaries here did.  We want to know that whatever we're doing is the Lord's will, and not us running out of ideas.  Because we've been trying, folks.  I don't think I've ever had a harder fourd days on my mission, the first four included.  All I could see was a bleak bleak winter with no one who will talk to us and a ward that can't support us because they live in the literal middle of nowhere.  Soooo, I knoiw that the Lord prepares a way for all things which He commands to be accomplished.  thus, we want to know what His command is for Valenciennes.  We, as His servants, are entitled to that.
Funny stories of the week: my package got to melun two hours after I left.L  Thankfully, because there was this four hour block of no trains to Valenciennes, my old companion was able to take the metro up to the gare and give it to me.  It was there that we discovered that something was missing.  Everything else though is very cute and christmasy.  My new apartment is void of all christmas stuff, which is different than melun because we went christmas deco crazy.  But, thanks to terrible traffic and elders who don't know what they are doing on the streets of paris (yet... they're new), I actually got it!  Then, we went and had a RDV with this lady that my new comp, Soeur Edgerly, ported into.  She said "She told us that she was a jehova's Witness, but she would read the Boo of Mormon anyway."  Excellent!  Well, we got to her house and, shocker, no one was there.  We knocked again.  And we stood and waited.  Then Sr Edgerly looked over and into the window and said "... I don't know if this lady is jehova's Witness...."  "Oh no?  Why not?"  "Come look...."  In her window was a giant christmas tree and santas and other such christmas things.  Hmmm... this is fishy.  I told Sr Edgerly that she must have caught the woman in the act of robbing this house, and she thought that if she said she was JW, then we would leave her alone.  Little did she know that we do not get discouraged easily, seeing as one of our recent baptisms up here used to be JW.  Soeur Edgerly just looked at me and said "She was like 90 years old!"  I replied "Crime doesn't discriminate, why should I?  Don't be an ageist, soeur..."  We had a good laugh over that.
BTW- TORI do you remember our religion class with brother Palmer?  Guess who sat in front of us the whole semester?  SOEUR EDGERLY!!!  She started telling me some of the classes she took and she said that one and it clicked. "YOU are the one who sat by that other girl and talked the whole time!"  hahaha, I replied "that would be my sister.  We apologize, but most of our discussions were about the New Testament."  and then she said, "Do you remember bryan barrow?  he was so cute..." and then my mind just filled with memories of that class with you.  Sooo, just so you know, I did apologize to her for our joviality.  If that's a word.
okay, I love you all.  Christmas is going to be.... slightly bleak here.  but I'll let you know how it goes down.
Soeur Barros

Monday, December 13, 2010

do you believe in miracles?

Or santa? I don't believe in Santa, but I'd love to right now.

I HAVE BEEN TRANSFERRED.  SO, stop sending mail to my melun address.  my new address is

Soeur Kacey Barros
Les Missionnaires
19, ave Albert 1er
59300 Velienciennes

Et Voila quoi. 

Another item of business:  because I have been transferred, i cannot make my call at the member's house that I was going to.  So, I can either: byu a phone card, or... if you have skype, Mom and Dad, I believe you can call my cell phone.  Other missionaries have had their parents call them, but I don't know if they used skype.  But, if you have skype and can make free international phone calls, like Dustin did when he was in europe, I'll give you my phone number and you can just call me and we'll chat the day away.  Sound good?  Tell me which option works for you.

here was my last week:
Blaise had his baptismal reccomend interview.  Blew the district leader away.  BLAISE IS SOOOOOO AWESOME AND ROKIN'!!!!!  Also, we went to the jewish quarter again and bought gifts for the Mission Conference Christmas gift exchange.  my comp bought a dreidle (the limit was 5€), and I bought a small book of psalms in French and Hebrew, as well as English and hebrew.  I kept the english one because french is a for sure langauge that everyone would know at the party.  Also, we found a "12 tribes of isreal" card game.  Sr Flood bought it and we played it.  I totally rock.

Teusday: All of our RDV's fell through.  All of them.  And I was experiencing a change of heart that day, so I was liek "hey, soeur flood... want to go knock on some doors for a while?" and she's like "yeah, let's do it!"  so we knock doors for an hour and only one person would talk to us, and she didn't have time then, so we fixed a RDV (that she didn't show up to).  So, at the end of our hour, sr flood and I were walking in front of these teenagers who had been folowing us for 15 minutes.  I was like "this is dumb" and turned around, heading back towards the church.  We passed em, and then spotted this little corner store.  my first thought was "I hope they have sugar, cause I want some," but I shot the idea down because I didn't actually need sugar.  Then my companion was like "Dude.  I wonder if they have Dr. Pepper.  In Belgium, the most RANDOM stores had Dr. Pepper."  For your knoledge, DR. Pepper is hard to find here, because it is imported, and my companion has a ridiculous affintity for it, thus we look for it everywhere.  So we end up going inside the store anyway.  The first thing they say after Bonjour is "Oh, it's the mormons."  Ah.  Awesome.  The man was kind of hostile towards us, but the woman was super nice and said "yes, they do believe in Jesus!  It's on their name tag!"  yes, it is.  Apparently she had met some elders in a different ville.  Then he started saying that we don't read the bibel.  ha.  I pulled my Bible out of my purse.  That put an end to his critisms.  Then he just asked questions.  She asked questions too.  And when we had established that Christ is the center of our religion, they pulled us into the back room and asked us to teach them about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith.  I am NOT joking, ladies and gents.  It was amazing.  They took the Book of Mormon and told us to pass by again, because they're going to read it and they want to know they can ask us questions.  We said, of course!  And they were so impressed by our knowledge of the Bible!  Well, that's because we believe the Bible to be the word of God as well!  We're going back soon.

Wednesday: Mission Christmas Conference.  It was AMAZING.  I got to see ALL of my MTC friends, half of which I had made cards for.  Then Elder Draleau gave me the funniest/ sweetest card I have gotten in a long time.  I read it later in the eveing when I was dealing with the less smart group of missionaries in the SNOW in Versailles.  Let me tell you that Versailles is NOT a town that knows how to deal with snow.  We were lucky to catch a train, because people in cars had to sleep in theaters and stuff because all the roads were blocked.  Anyway, attached is a photo that E.  Draleau and I took in the snow at the versailles chapel.  i think he was actually TRYING to look normal, so i figured it was family worthy. 

Thursday:  Exchanges.  We were hosting the Liège Soeurs, and it was quite the experience.  We had a good time, but a lot of things went wrong, as they usually do on exchanges.  I got to show Soeur nielson her first chateau (Fontainbleau), and then we headed off to our final RDV with Blaise.  It was the RDV where we passed him to the Torcy Elders.  It was sad and exciting at the same time.  I started crying, duh, and told him how happy I was for him.  Blaise has seriously been my little project, and it makes me so happy to see him making covenants with the Lord.  Then we went to a membver's house to do service, and she told us that going home from a mission is like HELL.  my comp, who is going home on Feb 2, had a breakdown.  Thank you members.

Friday.  I get a phone call from President saying that not only am I being transferred, but I am leaving a week EARLY.  yup, the sister I am replacing is going home this transfer, and the church has decided to send all our missionaries home a week early due to travling issues the week of christmas.  WHAT?!!!!  I had to run around and say goodbye all weekend, a week earlier than I thought I would have to!  PLUS, I STILL haven't gotten the package from home yet, so I might have to forward it, and I don't know how that will work.  On the off chance that it is sitting in Dad's truck and hasn't actually been sent yet, could you send it to Valienciennes?  merci!!  When did you send it, if you did already?

Saturday: Blaise's baptism.  NO ONE from the Torcy ward would come.  NO ONE.  I don't remember why, and I don't care.  And NO ONE from our ward had said they could come.  I must say I was pretty angry at the ward here.  I was so scared that Blaise would have no one but missionaries at his baptism.  Soooooooo I started to cry.  Nothing had gotten done, no one was coming, and it was partly my fault.  All my human weaknesses had ruined Blaise's baptism.  So I prayed, and told the Lord that I was going to have faith.  I did my best, and now He needed to make up the rest.  Blaise needed to know that SOMEONE besides half the missionaries in Paris cared about him.  And guess what?  people that I didn't even know knew about the baptism showed up.  Fernando, our DMP, even showed up.  There was a nice little group of 20 people showed up.  Funny thing is, I asked for twenty.
Maybe that doesn't sound like a miracle to you, but it was.  Not a person who showed up actually live in Melun.  They all travelled a distance to come.  And I know that it was by the Lord's power that it happened.

Well, that's all for now.  I gotta go.  Enjoy the photos!!

And that's our mennorah that we made.  yay us!!

Soeur Barros

Monday, November 29, 2010

THe sun'll come out...

Who knows when.

Life could be easier, that's for sure.  But it isn't killer.  Not yet.   HAhahaha, give it time.

KIT/  You didn't reply.  Thus, I am picking out your christmas present.  Tant pire, ma soeur, parce j'en ai marre d'attendre.  Vraiment.

So, on a positive note!  The zone activity/ turkeybowl went really really well.  We started off by christmas caroling in a large square in paris.  We looked pretty legit in our dark winter coats and sunday dress, and we didn't sound terrible.  Although one man told us that we sounded like we were singing for a funural v(stinkin elders can't keep a good tempo to save their lives).  Most of us sang while four of us contacted.  It went very very well, and a otn of people stopped and listened and even more people took photos and clapped.  A homeless man gave us two paintings he'd made to accompany us because he liked it so much, and then he stood on the other side of the square and echoed our "gloria's" from "angels we have heard on high"  Haha, I loved it.  We'd be like "Glooooooooooooooooooooria."  and he's sing "GLORIA!!!" on the other side.  Teehee.  It was awesome.
Turkey bowl rocked.  I only got thrown the ball one time, but I managaed to catch it.  I was so surprised that my companion, who was on the other team, had time to come up and tag me out.  And then i got the other team's quarterback like three times.  It was awesome because he's one of the more...mmm... proud elders in the zone.  It was nice to get him out, especially because i was the least coordinated sister on the field.  ahahahahaha!!!

We also found out that our baptismal date actually lives in another ward, but because of timing, we're doing a giant switching circus.  Haha.  And then we had a crazy lady tell us last sunday that she never actually believed in the church (btw... she's a member), and that she's still Muslim, so she believes that Jesus was only a prophet.  But she prays to the virgin mary.  But christianity is dumb.  But she also belives in the pope because "he prays a lot".  Ahh, gotcha.  But she believes the Book of Mormon is true.  Yesss, now we have got a whole spectrum of contradicting beliefs.  I thought it was..; ehh, a typical visit.  Then yesterday our ami told us that she now hates the church because there was a family that was her friend but they don't ever reach out to her anymore.  Let me tell you, the audience, that she has done NOTHING to contact them either.  But "that's not her responsablilty".  Then she said she found the bishopric to be like the phariseans in the bible because they wore suits and ties and had their eyes closed and praying, even after the sacrament.  Personally, I think they were sleeping.  And I, me, Soeur Barros, did NOT say hello to her.  She came the same day we had the four baptisms, so whe had ten non members and five lmess actives there, plus I have to be the ward pianist for EVERYTHING, so I was busy with that.  And even with all those people to greet, my companion still managed to come and talk to her for a while.  But taht was not enough.  Then she blew rasberries and told us that after twenty years of studfying with the church, she can hardly believe the first vision.

Great.  Let's start over, shall we?

Then, last night, there was an anti mormon broadcast sent out all over france, saying that we are polygamists (which we aren't) and that we are a rich and powerful "organization" (they refuse to call us a church here).  yes.  This is my life.

Sooo, I just want to end by saying, No.  Christ wasn't just a prophet.  He is the Son of God.  He atoned for our sins.  And it is only through Him that we can ever find joy.  This I know.  I don't just believe it, folks.  I KNOW IT.  And yes, Joseph Smith truly was a prophet.  he was called just like all the other porphets in the bible.  Funny how God doesn't change.  WE are the ones who change!!  That's why we STILL have a prophet on the earth!  Not to control us, but because GOD LOVES US.  I wish I could shout that to the whole world!! GOD LOVES US!!!  And it makes me sad... it makes me sad that my beliefs are mocked, and yet few come to defend us.  i'm sad that people tease me and my comopanion because they think we're blind followers and paid by the church to be here.  The church is NOT paying for missionaries.  We are volunteers.

I know it's true, family and friends.  I know it is.  And that's why I'm here.  I'm not here in France to eat baguettes and pastries, and to see cool museaums.  Sure, I get to do that.  But... I'm here because I know God lives.  I know that His Son is my Savior.  And I want to help others find that comfort as well.

That's why I'm here.

That's why.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

et voila quoi...

This week.  Wow, I don't know where to...oh actually I took notes, hold on.

OH YEAH!  PARENTS and or MICHAYLA!!  I had a BRILLIANT thought.  So I want to talk to Michayla during this christmasy phone call, and I don't actually know how that would happen.  But I could get permission to make my phone call on New Years eve or new Years day, then I could talk to alllll of you!  I would still have to call in the morning your time because of the time difference, but if that's too soon after kayla gets home, then i'mm just call on Christmas.  Let me know ASAP what the best for you would be.

Tori: tell me more about animal handling.  I sometimes feel like that is what living in France can be like; at least on public transportation.

KIT: I have your name for Christmas, but i do NOT know what you want.  reply ASAP because next week is my last P day before I hope to send off the christmas package.

I am glad Harry Potter is good.  There are posters ALLLLLL over the place.  I found a free newspapeer on a train last night, with a good picture of the trio, and I took it home.  I call Elder Draleau Elder Ron as in Ron Weasely.  So for his christmas card (I'm going to see the WHOLE mission at christmas zone conference!!!  Everyone from the MTC is getting a card from me!!!) I am going to cut his face out of a picture and glue it onto Ron's body.  Hahahahahahaha!!!!  I'm sorry, you probably don't care, but I just think it's BRILLIANT!

I had Thanksgiving last night at our local American family's house.  They ordered the turkey a week ago, but when it arrived at the butcher shop, it wasn't frozen.  So they moved thanksgiving up two days.  Which is perfect for us because we have rendez vous on thursday.  It was super yum with sweet potatoes and rolls (american rolls, yumm!!) and turkey and cranberries.  Very very nice.

I'm sorry I don't have much to say again, but I had a lot of emails to read this week and we are pretty booked today.  We have to go hunt down some people in the boonies of our area.  It takes 45 minutes on bus to get there.  And we are getting the table that a member gave us (because ours is junk) when she moved away, today, and then we are cleaning someone's apartment before they move in, and then we are passing by a few other homes, and then we have ward council.  yes, a very booked day.

Well, I love you, and I'm excited to send home the christmas package.  Oohoooohhh it is soooo good.  And tasty, yummmmmmmm!!!

I want you to know, though, that I know He's there.  Even in the worst parts of life, He's still there.  And you don't have to be hard on yourself.  One thing I am learning this transfer is being super hard on yourself only makes life suck and others not want to be around you.  

Well, home again home again, jiggity jig.

Sr Barros

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

il est né le divin enfant

Yesterday, my companion and I went to the Jewish quarter of Paris and visited the museum of jewish history and art.  It is actually super close to the chapel in Paris ,and was VERY cool.  Then we went dreidle and mannorah shopping, but the mannorah's are expensive.  I may save little by little to buy one, because I really really want one.  Really really.  But then we had an early RDV last evening, thus we had to do emails today.  Et voila quoi!

Before I forget: DAD.  You still owe me your conversion story.  Just start with how you met don and then the missionaries, and I will accept that for now.  But the best christmas present you could give me would be to type up and email me your convcersion story.  Thank you!!!

JANET ANDSERSON:  I wrote you a letter like two weeks ago and realized that I don't have your address.  Could you send that to me?  Merci!  Oh and Ryan speaks Dutch, right?  my new companion is from the Belgium/ Netherlands mission, and has a long CD of Dutch Christmas songs.  It is probably one of the most bizarre things I've ever listend to.  And yet, I ask her to play it frequently...

Today we taught french to an indian woman.  One of our elders who is from France came to help us because he was the one who introduced us to the lady.  He taught us a very romantic phrase they say in french, but you ONLY say it if you REALLY like the person.  It is: J'irai décrocher la lune pour toi.  It means, I will go get the moon for you.  Sweet, right?

Well, new companion.  And life is... different.  I bawled when I had to send Sr Lee back to the states.  AAhhhhh, I love her.  SOOO much.  But the new comp will be good too, I can tell.  I LOVE teaching with her, and that is ALWAYS a good thing.

So, my stupidity for the week:  On wednesday I had what we call "naked time", meaning, waiting around by yourself for the new companion.  Well, I dropped the phone, and knocked out the batterie.  Then I accidentally put in the wrong PIN code three times (I was ALMOST right the last time) and then I was completely blocked.  The office elders were driving people from city to city all day, so by the time I got to call them it was late, and they didn't have the code (I called from the church).  Thus, until thursday morning I didn't have a phone, and I only had three appointments that day, and the three we had were miracles;  God still loves me, even when I do stupid things with the phone.

Well, hopefully more next time.  Nothing super eventful I'm afraid.

Keep praying for my investigators here.  They are my life and my light.  Blaise, Solo, and now Solo's son Antonio.  he's Joe's age, which makes me even more excited for him to meet the gospel.

I love the Lord, and I know He loves me.  I know He's there.

I love you.

Soeur Barros

Monday, November 8, 2010

We can be heros...

forever and ever!!!!  We can be heros!!!!!!

Ahh, life.  I am going to try very hard to remember interesting things that happened this week, but I just started the new planner, thus all my notes are in the other one.  Ummmm... VERSAILLES IS AMAZING!!!  We only had a couple of hours, so we decided to go to just the gardens last week.  What a gooooood choice!  The gardens are freaking gorgeous in the fall, and the fall is my favorite and life was just... good.  The first photo is the one SSoeur Lee and I love the most.  Sorry it's not all the gardens.

THURSDAY we set a BAPTISMAL DATE with BLAISE!!!  Oh this kid is on FIRE!  On decembre 11 he'll be getting baptised.  WOwee!  I was so greatful to see that I'm staying in Melun for that.  Also, on Thursday, Solo introduced us to his brother.  He asked us to explain the base of our church to his brother.  We started, and then he interrupted us.  "Who pays for you to be here?"  Ah, I love this question.  "We do.  We're volunteer."  "I know, but who pays?  The church?"  "Nope.  Us and our family.  And if we can't afford it, the church members help."  We then explained how our church leadership is ALL volunteer and that no one is paid for their work in the church.  So he asked"Why are you here?"  "To teach about Jesus Christ and invite others to come unto Him."  "Hmm...." he said.  "So, what you are are His disciples," he told us.  "You're doing what He told His disciples to do."  Exactly!  That's exactly why we do it!  But he got called to work and left in the middle.  After he left, solo confided in us that he is hoping to lead his brother to this church too, because his brother followed him from catholosism to being a protistant.  Oh Solo.  he also told us that the wife is coming home before Christmas, and when she gets home they are going to have a serious discussion about his decision to be baptized.  What a golden man he is.  When Sr lee told him that it was her last RDV with him, he got very excited for her.  "This is not goodbye!!  There is no such thing as accidents or mistakes, and I KNOW that God sent you to me!"  Then he looked at both of us and said "When we all stand before Jesus, I'm going to point to you both and say 'THESE are MY missionaries!  These are the ones you sent to ME!'"  I've never been claimed like that before.  It made us both want to cry.  But we said our goodbyes and moved on.

Friday was pretty uneventful.  So was Saturday.  Well, I had a super cool spiritual insight on saturday, but it is very specific to me, thus makes very little sense to anyone else.  But I know that Heavenly Father really listens to my heart and my fears and my prayers.  Sunday was a tough one, saying goodbye to everyone with Soeur Lee.  We had some amazing final RDV's and she only cried three times (don't be fooled; three times is a lot for soeur lee.  seriously).

I attached another photo.  It's of me and soeur lee and blaise.  Oh he's amazing.  He came to church and asked if my next companion will be as nice as me.  I told him not only that, but shes shorter and funnier than me.  he doesn't believe me.  Ahh, he'll see...

And then TODAY.  We went to L'Oréal Paris today to be hair models.  We were twenty minutes late because they changed locations, but that worked out just fine.  What happened is that it's this three day internship type deal for professional hairstylists, and they sign up and pay to do this thing with the "Mozart of Hair".  Well, soeur lee and I got to be the models for it.  There were about 15 people seated in a little room, and two of l'oréal's people there to do us over.  The hair mozart man was there too.  He's super cool.  The female stylist pciekd sr lee because she has thinner hair, and I'm glad because she was the less experienced one.  BUT she died Sr Lee's hair red again, and I really wanted to go red.  I also got my hair dyed, but the man who did mine was the teacher for the morning session.  He washed my hair, trotted me out to the group and started cutting.  Sr lee's haircut was explained, and then they went to the back and did her's in the back room the whole time.  So, in front of this group of people, hair starts FLYING off my head.  Oh man, he took off a bunch of my hair.  I don't actually care about that though, because I'm not super attached to it.  And then he started describing my bangs.  he's already told me about it in the back, but he finished his description to the group with "It's very rock and roll what I"m going to do."  Uhh.... what??  Sister missionary here!!  I'm like a nun!!!  But he did a super good and super cool job.  It's way edgier than I thought it would be, but why the heck not?  How often does Loréal cut your hair... for free?  Then he colored my hair in front of the group.  He was doing it to teach technique,k so my color is almost exactly the same.  But he kept saying 'platinum...platinum...  I'm putting in platinum now..."  UHHHHH WHAT????  Later I discovered that platinum was the glaze, not the color.  So, for all of you to see, this is my new hair.  And he stained my shirt.  Jerk.  Ehh, it cost six euros.  And I definitely got the super cute haircut.  plus, it looks very european in a ponytail.

Well, I'm about to start another transfer with a very different companion.  Pray for me.  Pray for Blaise.  Pray for Solo.  And pray for Gaetan.  Oh!  He got confirmed on Sunday!!  It was very touching!  He went and bought a sports jacket and a shirt and tye so that he could look his best.  What a sweet man!

I love you.  Keep swimming!  

Love, Soeur Barros

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

And should we die...

before our journey's through, happy day!  all is well!

Don't worry, I'm not dead nor near dying.  The strikes are totally dead though.  It was a pretty weak finish, I must say.  But the week did finish well...

Friday we did Pday and went to the Catacombs (super creepy, and two days before halloween!  it was perfect!) and Musée D'Orsey.  Personally, I preferr the musee d'orsay to the louvre, but the louvre has less nudity and bizarre sculptures, so that's probably the one i'll visit with my family.  I saw Monet's, Manet's, Van Gogh, and Degas, Seurat, oh my gosh sooooo much!  Then we went and ate vietnamese food at an inactive member's house.

The next day we went to synagogue in the morning, just in time for the prayers and the lecture by our jewish friend.  They made us stay afterwards, and I immediately got nervous, because the elders told me when I was in Caen that they got offered alcohol several times and they had to keep saying no.  I didn't want to offend our new friends.  One of the men told us that they start the sabbath by drinking a glass of wine and then a small meal of kosher food.  Then I saw a dark bottle pour wine looking stuff in the glasses.  I leaned to Soeur Lee and said "I thought this might happen.  Just say no!"  So they passed us to cups and we politley said "Nous buvons pas l'alcool."  We don't drink alcohol.  The man pouring drinks looked at us like we were crazy and said, "C'est pas d'alcool.  C'est que jus du rasin."  It's not alcoholic.  it's just grape juice.  Oh.  Really?  Then he smiled and said "But, if you'd like, afterwards we drink the alcohol," and waved his hand over the table, where there were several bottles of vodka, whisky and schnapps.  Ahh, no thanks.  We said (listened to) the prayer in hebrew and started eating kosher crackers and snacks.  Sr lee made me take some cocacola because one man kept asking us if we wanted whisky.  Hahaha, no thanks.  We had some good RDV's after that.  We tried to see Gaetan (apparently, you spell his name that way), because it's a rule in the mission that your ami shouldn't be alone the night before their baptism.  Gaetan lives in a seriously sketchy ville, super close to paris itself.  The first time I was there, some guy started harrassing me (which is totally normal), but then he pulled my poneytail and told me to do somethings in my cult.  Ah, thanks, but I hate gaetan's ville at night.  So we left with cookies and got to his ville about 7h45.  We walked around in the gare for a few minutes, but I was totally dreading getting outside.  Soeur lee looked at her map and said "Hmmm, this is quite a walk to his house."  I raised my eyebrows and prayed that God would protect me.  He did.  "how about we give him the cookies tomorrow?" she said.  I agreed and we got on a train back to Melun.

The next day Gaetan was there, told us he had spent the evening at his sister's home and wasn't at his house until much later in the evening.  Blaise showed up, and so did a recent convert from CAEN!!  Ahhh, Caen, I miss you!!!  Anyway, then another lady walked in from off the street and attended church like she was a member.  But she wasn't.  And she wasn't there for the baptisms that day either (there were three kids and gaetan getting baptized).  She just wanted to come.  We found out later that she met missionaries in torsey, that's why.  Anyway, Blaise and this new convert became like super best friends.  Gaetan's baptism itself was sooo amazing.  I love seeing someone go into the water and immerge a new person.  I love it.  Soeur Lee talked to blaise afterwards and he said he LOVED seeing people get baptized like Jesus, and that he's going to be the next baptism.  Apparently, he talked to the missionaries that taught him first up in strausburg and asked them how he could get baptized.  The elders called us last night and said "Dude.  Sisters.  You need to call him before your RDV and suggest a date.  He wants to be baptized."  So we're calling blaise today with the hope of setting his baptismal date for next saturday.  It's CRAZY how all this is going down!! 
After the baptisms, one of the families whose daughter got baptized invited us over for lunch and to talk to their families who aren't members, so that they know we're not crazy people.  We went, and the meal was held at their boulangerie, and we ate a 13 COURSE MEAL.  WOW!  And after that, another one of the families of a child that got baptised invited us over for dessert.  The father isn't a member, he's italian, and loves the missionaries.  Soeur Lee told me that he plays guitar and everyone sings and stuff, and that is exactly what happened.  There were three families there, and they all sang in Spanish and a little bit of french (half of the people were from southern america; in fact, the mom speaks nothing but spanish, her daughter translates for her during church).  The mom saw that I wasn't singing (i didn't know the words) so she had her italian husband play some english songs for me to sing.  She kept saying (in spanish) "I want to hear Barros sing!  I want to hear barros sing!"  So I ended up singing "Hey Jude", "Yesterday", and "Zombie".  Who knew??

Yesterday was exchanges, and my temporary companion met the family that her father baptised thirty years ago.  Everyone cried, they were all so happy.  Heck, I cried.  We spent the whole day with them, and they took us to this Castle called Vaux le Vicomte.  I can't describe how beautiful and amazing that was, so just google it and go to their website.  It's AMAZING.  SERIOUSLY.

Then today we switched back.  We're going to the palace of versailles, and then home for english class and more less active member passy bys.

NOW, let me tell you about the Miracle of 2010.
This was organized around this time last year.  Prayerfully, the mission presidency decided to se the goal of 300 baptisms in our mission by the end of 2010.  This was before they merged the two missions, and it was before anyone could even imagine 300 baptisms in the France Paris mission.  our numbers started going up, but they didn't jump super high when we merged.  People tried to blame our success on that, but it's not true.  Belgium has produced less baptisms than usual, so the work is truly from the ENTIRE mission, and not just because of the merger.  In July of last year we had 75 baptisms total.  From January to July of this year we had 175.  The last zone conference we found out that we are at 278.  President says that if every companionship baptises at least one more person, plus a few companionships baptising a coulpe more, we will pass our goal.  But this requires prayer.  And faith.  Because baptisms depend on the Lord and the people he prepares.  So please, I'm begging you to pray for us here in the France Paris Mission, because we need the miracle.  it's already on it's way, but I feel deeply impressed to ask for your prayers.  Blaise?  Came out of nowhere.  The assistants to the president haven't baptised in Three years, and they just had a baptism on Saturday.  Chartres, a ville in my district, hasn't had a baptism in who knows how long, and they have TWO baptismal dates set.  Pray, and you can be a part of the Miracle of 2010.  I love you, and I need your prayers.

Okay, well, I'm off!!!  Got a call from L'Oreal Paris confirming our appointment for next week (yay haircuts!!).  Sooo... be expecting photos!!!

i LOVE you!!

Soeur Barros

Friday, October 29, 2010

This is my life

I heard that song, the Billy Joel one, at a train station this week.  It made my day.

Sorry for the delay this week, but we found out on Saturday night at like 9 PM that we were getting a mini missionary for three days and that our PDAY had to be moved.  Oh.  Okay.  We got one on Sunday night, and then they gave us another one.  Uhhhh..... okay?  It was actually super fun, but I was more than ready to have them gone by the end of the three days.  I spoke nothing but french (mostly) all day from Sunday evening to Wednesday night.  My brain hurt a lot and I took more advil those few days than I have my whole mission.  French isn't as hard to slip into anymore.  Last night we had three RDV's right in a row and so I spoke nothing but french from 4 pm to 7h30 pm, and i didn't even think about it.  I have found that I don't really think about it now when I have to speak french.  I have dreamt in French, but it's still not super natural.  Alas, my life here is moving on.

BEFORE I FORGET: Melun might be getting whitewashed.  There are 6 sisters going home this transfer, and Soeur Smart is going home for a little while for some trial and legality stuff, so there are Four sister cities getting shut down and there will be one trio.  Our apartment is big enough, and has been used before, for three people.  Melun also used to be an elders only ville.  Soooo... president told me to get the area book in order, becuase he might close melun down to sisters and send elders in.  It breaks my heart to think of that because my mind was already set on staying here until christmas.  But I may get shipped out of here.  Yikes!  So, if you are thinking of sending mail, be aware that my address might be changing in a week and a half.

Part of the reason I'd be sad to leave is really rooted in last night/ yesterday.

I've written about Solo, our golden ami.  He's the one who's malagash and believes everything and kept all his church books from TEN YEARS AGO.  Well, a couple lessons ago, I invited him to baptism.  He said he'd think azbout it.  But if he does it, he wants his whole family to do it, and we hadn't met his family yet.  He's trying to wean them off their old church so that we can meet them and start teaching them.  SO the next lesson we talked about Authority, and he told us that he has decided to be BAPTIZED!!!  He says that he prays about it and thinks about it, and when he lays in bed at night he feels like it's the right thing to do.  WHAT??!!!  THIS IS FRANCE!!!!  PEOPLE DON'T DO THIS!!!  AND THEN he said that he wants his whole family to be baptized "the way Christ was baptized, so we can be sealed together forever." Oh my goodness!  But here's the catch, and this is why I haven't mentioned this before: he wants to wait until his wife and youngest daughter are back in France.  Right now they are in Madagascar, overliooking the building of their home.  He said she "should be back before the end of the year."  Sad.  Neither of us will be here, with my luck.  But it was super exciting.  THen this Monday, having a little bit of time because all of a sudden we were two companionships and not just one, me and my mini went to his house to just pop by.  Two of his kids were there.  He let us in and asked us to explain what we do and who we are to his children.  Then we prayed and he asked for more books that his kids can read about the church.  And that it's school vacation, so all of his children will be at our rdv on thursday.  Okay!  We went yesterday, and they were all there!  Two lovely young adult women, a twelve year old boy, and a four year old girl came in and greeted us all, and sat down.  He asked us to explain where our church comes from and our basic beliefs.  We did, and answered some of their questions.  They all want book of mormons in french now, and they are going to move their schedule around to come to the baptisma on Sunday (we have Three eight year old getting baptised on sunday, as well as our ami, Gaütan).  And then Solo announced to his family that he has decided to get baptised in our church, and that he wants all of them baptised together, once they have heard the lessons.  Everyone was like "Uhhh, okay."  It was amazing!  So, at the end of the year we may have a new family in the church!

That afternoon we had a RDV with Blaise, an african young man who had just moved here from Strousburg (that's the geneva mission).  He's not always easy to get ahold of, and he is ALWAYS at least an hour late (except for churc; he was nearly an hour early), but he finally got there.  We read through Mosiah 18: 8-11, and he declared that he needed to be baptized.  He wanted to make sure that his parents wouldn't hate him for doing it (because he doesn't want to break to commandement "honor thy father and thy mother"; seriously), but then he wants to be baptized "the way Jesus was".  He said he loves being active in the church (which is amazing because he's not even a member yet) and that this is what he wants.  We gave him a "Principles of the Gospel" manuel on Sunday, and by yesterday he had read all of it except the part about marriage (because "that doesn't interest" him yet.  Teehee).  He read through the law of chastity (which he hasn't been taught) and the law of tithing (which he hasn't been taught) and said that he accepted them.  I believe next week we will be setting a date for his baptism.  And he's coming to the baptisms on Sunday.  Ohhhh!!!

Then we had Joseph, who gives me the creeps, but soeur lee keeps setting appointments with him.  I will NOT be doing that if I stay here after she leaves.  He got a smack down from our member who knows his bible SUPER well, which I personally believe was good for joseph  because he's always saying that he is like Jesus because he does nothing but goo and gets nothing but trials.  Oh give me a break.  SO did Job, and he didn't complaina as much as you do.

Then we had gautan.  Hahah, I forgot to explain something.  We had NO members for these RDV's the night before, which is bad because we can only teach a man if there are at leat three girls or three boys; we can't be two and two in a building or room alone.  So we both prayed really hard and found some last minute additions.  Soeur Monga came for blaise, but then we found that our second member for Joseph didn't show, so we asked her if she'd stay, and she said yes.  Then it was gautan's lesson and we told her she could leave because our other member showed but she said "Is it okay if I stay?"  Yes!!!  It was alazing with gautan because we're all so excited for his baptism which was postponed and the spirit was trong and all I can say is this/

I am so lukcy to be here.

God lives.

He loves us.

And he watches out for us.

I love you all!!!  Please pray for the work here in the France Paris mission!!  We are trying to have a miracle here, but I am out of time so I will explaiun it next week (which also will be a wednesday or thursday but not monday).


Soeur Kacey Barros

Monday, October 18, 2010

You're still you

Hey, first off. Send this to Kit.  I don't know how but her email has dissappeared from my list, and I can't remember it.  SOOOO tell her I love her and that I will add her as soon as I can.  

SECONDLY:  Welcome Claire!!!!  The 12th?  Vraiment?  How did you all manage that?  And sadly, she has mine and dustin's chin.  Actually, i don't hate it.  But how do you congratulate someone on their chin?  Someday I will learn the art.

Oh.  My.  Gosh.  It is WINTER here in FRANCE.  Two weeks ago I bought winter boots for €60 (which is apparently a super good price).  Then today I was forced to buy a winter coat for the same price (which is also a good price because it is long and thick and warm; photos will be sent).  This week it got super duper duper cold and I was wearing a jacket and a sweater and socks and tights and boots.  I had been mercilessly mocking Soeur Lee the day before for pulling out her winter coat in october.  The next day she smiled at me and said "Are you ready to give in and buy a winter coat?"  I sighed (and shivered) and said yes.  So after going to the Louvre today, we went and did some quick winter coat shopping.  I hope this is the last of my winter clothing shopping.  

This week has been a bit of hell, I must say.  We spent our Pday in town just in Melun last week, and ti was nice.  We spent a couple hours visitng Fontainbleau, but nothing huge.  Tuesday we managed to fill up with RDV's, and Wednesday I had district meeting.  Of course, we moved district meeting from Tuesday to Wednesday because there was a public transportation strike, and the greve, or strike, was still going on on wednesday.  Guess what.  It's still going on now.  And guess what else because of that?  You can't buy gas for your car any more because THEY ARE OUT!! (some of our elders are stuck in paris because they can't buy gas).  I HATE SNCF greves!!  SNCF has a stinking MONOPOLY on all the public transpo, except the metro.  But we don't use the metro out in Melun.  We use SNCF.  SHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTTTTTT!!!  Our goal was to teach 20 lessons this week, which is usually pretty manageable.  our actualy number: Ten.  I hate greves.  Plus it's been freezing, so we have been walking everywhere, and I didn't have a winter coat until now.

BBut I have little to no time left, so I'll just sum up my week as follows:

Met a rabbi in traning.  he answered all our suestions.  Such an interesting religion it is...

Went to mass because all of our transportation is down.

An old man with 7 teeth hit on me and so i explained what missionaries are and that we are all single.  A woman sitting next to us asked us about our church after he left.

I love Melun.  I'm glad  get to stay for a while.

Vive France!!!

love, Kacey

Monday, October 4, 2010

I often go walking...

Life is like a river.

Oh heck, I have no idea.  That's just what I'm saying today.  Conference was AHHHMAZING.  I loved President Packard's talk.  But, I just describe how conference went down.  Don't worry; I have visuals.

Conference for us is broadcasted differently because of the huge time difference.  We watched the RS broadcast at 4 PM this past saturday.  Sadly, it hadn't been recorded in English.  So we suffered through french.  Which is a shame, because, if you look at photo ONE, that is what the room looked like.  Yup, completely empty except for us.

Then, the saturday morning session was live, at 600 pm here.  BUT, after I fretted for two hours, we got to watch THAT in English!!
Photo two illustrates our snacky private "english room".  I got homesick watching something in English and knowing that half of you were watching the same thing at the same time.  Ahhh...

The next morning we attended the RS broadcast again (in french again) while the men watched the recorded priesthood session.  Then, at 2, we watched the saturday afternoon session.  And at 6 pm, we watched the Sunday morning session, which I watched the last half in french because we had an investigator show up.  And I don't get to watch sunday afternooon because it's at 1000 here.

I loved it though.  SO many answers to prayers.  Sorry my letter is short again.  I'll attach more photos of me jumping last p day.


Soeur Kacey Barros

Monday, September 27, 2010

monday monday

Behold, the afear of the Lord, that is bwisdom; and to depart from evil is cunderstanding.

That's Job 28:28

Tori, Léo told me that you added him on facebook.  He's a funny guy.  I love him and his whole family.

Not much to say this week.  My MTC chum is being transferred to be with my other MTC chum.  Soeur lee and I are together for another transfer and I'm super stoked about that.  I think we're getting our hair done by THE Loréal Paris people-- one of the members hooked SOeur Lee up six months ago, and she's hooking us up again this time.  It's next weekend.  It's free.  Yay Paris!

Learned a lot about myself this week.  Learned I have a lot of pride.  Also learned that I have a lot of potential.  One lesson that I have really really learned this week is that you can never really know why someone is the way they are until you talk to them; and even then you can't judge.  We found out that this inactive woman we've been trying to reactivate is actually trying to marry her mom's current husband.  Ha.  Wow.  We thought she was gold.  Then the Relief Society president that stresses us alllllllll out like crazy (because she's always stressed about something) actually has a family that doesn't talk to her, and all her in laws say that she is the blame for everything bad in their son's life.  She lives a hard road.  But she has a beautiful family.  We're comeing to help her iron this week before her in laws show up, and it kills her pride to let us come.  But she's too busy to do it alone, so we're going to help.  

I can't list all the lessons I've learned because I don't know how to express them quite yet.  So instead, I will send some Sacré-Coeur photos.  me and soeur lee at sacré- coeur

me asleep again on the train

Soeur Lee listening to the woman freaking out and sobbing in the apartment hallway.  Hahaha, that's actually a good story.  So we showed up early to a RDV and the lady wasn't there, so we ended up waiting for her outside her door, when we heard this woman weeping and wailing.  Seriuosly, that's the only way to describe it.  Then this little girl walks into the hallway and to her own front door, but stops to eaves drop with us.  Wow, this girl was pro.  She said "I know the daughter here, we play basketball together," as she knocked on the door.  Then she interrogated the daughter, but got nothing useful from her.  Then she covered the peep hole with her finger and stuck her ear to the door.  After her professional eaves dropping, we finally decided that someone in the family had died.  When the little girl went into her own apartment, soeur lee smliled and said "that was soooo french."  She's right.

Well, love to you all.  Better letter next week, I promise!!

soeur barros

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The morning after nightmares...

I struggle to find the words that accurately describe my mental state.  It's somewhere between ecstatic and flatlined.  Half of me wants to call them all up and ask for the highest bidder.  The other half of me would rather just wait , and pretend like I'll have things my way.  I'll probably go with the latter.

The wind beats the volets against the window, making me feel like there is someone outside, trying to get in.  And if I think too long, they actually will.  I don't want them in.  I want them gone.

I called for angels last night.  The disturbing image ran through my head like a thief from a shop.  It is quickly and quietly pursued.  I don't know how to describe it without bringing it to mind, so I won't.  I choose to ignore it.

Who I am now is different than who I was before.  I can't describe how or why.  I just know that I feel different.  There are still very many thoughts and faults present, but... improvement has taken place.  Changes have been brought about.

The pain starts at the base of my head and works its way out.  Ouch.

Monday, September 20, 2010

ladydadydadydaaaa dadydaaa dady daaaa....

That was the minuet in G for all of you who can't read Kacey singing.  It's okay.  Very few can.
yes, go bulldogs go!!  We have a member in nour ward who learned to love american college football on his mission.  I cornered him at church and said "Est-ce que vous savez qui a gangé la semain dernier?" (do you know who won last week?)  He smiled in shame (he knows that the team has gone downhill these last five years).  "Ouais.... Fresno State."  YES!  I KNOW!  "oui! Je sais!  Nous avons gagné!"  He laughed and said that he thought of me when he found out.  Halloaaahhhh!!!

The time is far spent....  I shall start with this weeks adventure:

I want everyone here to go to google maps and find the distance between Melun France and Bois les Rois France.  Then you will see what we WALKED in the WOODS along the FREEWAY.  Yes, this is a good story.
Soeur Lee was our navigator for the day.  We had a temple sqaure referral in Bois le Roi.  Ahh, Soeur Lee.  Well, Soeur knew that we passed signs for Bois le Rois when we took the bus to Fountainbleau, so she thought that it wasn't that far.  Her plan:  Walk toward Fountainbleau and find a bus stop on the way.  Well, we had been walking for about 30 minutes (which is normal) when Soeur Lee remembered another place she saw Bois le rois: on the train schedule.  Yes.  THe train schedule.  Hahaha.  Last saturday was such a day from trnasportation Hell that we decided to just walk it and see if we could make it on our own; after all, it was the first stop from Melun.  hahahahahaah.  First we see forest people that looked like hookers.  Seriously.  Soeur lee asked me why there were hookers in the woods.  Then she realized that they were actually people who slept in the woods.  Weirrrrddddd...  Then we walked past this old man who was peeing in the woods about 100 meters in.  Later he passed us on his moped and winked and made kissing sounds.  Only two cars with creepy arab men stopped and asked if we wanted a ride.  And after two hours of driving, we made it to the stupid referral, who wasn't even home, and his wife said she was super practicing catholic and that she didn't want us to come by.  OOOOOKAY.
Soeur Lee felt super bad.  I made her buy me a patisserie.  SHe wanted to document this.  So included are photos of me being unimpressed by our morning hike, and then me stomping through the mud.

I save soeur lee twice this week.  This man kept trying to hit on her on the bus.  I walked off very quickly, but he cought her and made her shake his hand (if you had a big scary african man sticking out his hand to shake yours before you could exit, you would too!)  I didn't know this was happening, turned around, and saw him clamped onto her hand and leaning in to kiss her, and her pulling her face back.  I walked calmly up, grabbed both of their wrists and yanked their hands apart and said "No no no."  he was so confused!  We got off without further problem.  On las monday this man was taking a picture with my companion and told her to kiss him.  I started yelling from behind the camera "C'est interdit! C'est interdit!"  It's forbidden!  it's forbidden!  Ah, I save her all the time.  But she's from Vegas.  She says she's used to it.  Teehee.  Our lives.

Now for my spiritual thought.  it happened last night.  We went to this inactive member's house to visit with her and her homebound mother.  When we got there, for what wethought would be a calm evening RDV, we saw that her bother and his four children were there too.  The place was crazy loud!  Then she insisted on making dinner.  Holy cow, this was not going how we planned.  AND THEN a frere from the bishopric showed up, and this man is on high stress ALL THE TIME.  his stress spreads to those of us around him like fire in dry brush.  I can feel my forehead wrinkle just thinking about him.  So we're just standing in the corner, trying to figure out what to do, when the frere tells us that he's there to give the mother the sacrament.  Oh.  really?  We are invited to stay in the room.  We sing a hymn, and then sit in the corner as we watched her middle aged son kneel at her hospital bedside and bless the bread.  Wow.  I mean.  Wow.  I can't tell you how strongly the spirit was in that room.  I thought maybe it was just because it was her son and that was touching to me.  But then when the frere knelt down to bless the water, I felt the spirit hit me again.  I can't describe it in any other way than to say that right then and there I knew that the priesthood of God is on the earth, and that I was witnessing a very pure and christlike practice of it.  it was amazing.  We all stood silently after she finished.  She struggled to say thank you (her motor skills are shot), and all I wanted to do was say "no, thank you."  Soeur Lee and I both looked at each other and knew what the other was feeling.  We whipped out our planners and wrote down our thoughts and feelings.  it was amazing.  

I love you.  I love this Gospel.  I know we have a Prophet on the earth.

Love love love

Soeur Kacey Barros