Monday, August 30, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
First off... I have a NEW ADRESS. Yes, praise to the Lord the Almighty the King of creation. I am going to the PARIS area, to a town called MELUN. This is my new address (which I will probably have for three months, so keep it safe)
Soeur Kacey Barros
So yeah. Totally transferred, which is what I was praying for, for a variety of unpublished reasons, so I'm happy. Also a little sad. There are a few people here that I will miss, and I will tell you why.
First off: My District Leader and his companion. Elder Clawson and Elder Ingram have been serious Godsends in my life here à Caen. Elder Clawson is super duper thoughtful and puts effort and prayer into everything about being a District Leader. Elder Ingram is HILARIOUS and we know a lot of the same people from the MTC, so we always have some kind of inside joke together. His laugh lights up the room, and I can't count how many times I've cried at a District meeting because of him... and I mean the laughing till you cry kind of crying. There is a supreme example of why I love these Elders from this week.
You know How I said they were power rangers? I asked Elder Clawson to show us some of his blackbelt skills before the end of the transfer. Well, he took it to heart, and knowing that I call him and Elder Ingram Powerrangers, he coordinated this HUGE District meeting for me. He has been focusing the DM's around the Christlike attributes you find in Preach My gospel. This past DM, we discussed who Christ really is, and used Scriptures to define different characteristics of Christ. Near the end, he told us he planned an activity (which he always does) to show us how all the attributes work together, and that you can't really have one withouth the others. He then hands me a small photo of the Pink Ranger (whom I always want to be), and a Pink Power Ranger wristband that he made, and a script. He gave EVERYONE a wristband and a photo of the ranger they were, along with a script. He ran out with Elder Ingram (who didn't get to be a power ranger because he had to be the bad guy) and they came back in 5 minutes later in a completely blue outfit (E. Clawson was the blue ranger) and the UGLIEST African outfit ever. They said a few lines and then did a SEVEN MINUTE FIGHT that they had CHOREOGRAPHED THEMSELVES. Elder freaking Clawson and Elder freaking Ingram rock my socks. It was amazing. It was amazing. It was amazing.
When I called to talk about the next district meeting, Elder Clawson "threw a fit". He is pretty bummed that I'm leaving. I'm sad to be leaving him too. I mean, how many sisters are you going to find that still love the Power rangers and Weird Al? There are not too many of us.
Second: Yvonne Gayet. she is my French grandmother. I love her to pieces. She's the ami who is catholic and will never be anything else... well that's what she says. She gives us gross bisous (gross means really big in french) everytime she sees us. When Jean had his health problems, only the soeur checked in on them, and I lean us. We had no idea. We just started stopping by because I don't care who you are, two heart attacks in two weeks earns missionaries coming over to try and help. It turns out, she really just needed someone to come by and talk, because she can't leave Jean home alone, so she's practically homebound. But her daughter, Nichole (whom I will also miss dearly) comes over when she can to help out and let Yvonne out of the house. Their other daughter, Marie-Yvonne, dealt with it by saying "I already have plans to go on vacation; I'll send you a postcard from Bretegne." So we had no idea, but we were the only people calling to check up on them and coming over to visit with them. Jean, who has never opened up to the missionaries, is now really chummy with us. he teases us about being Californian's without tans; and he teases Soeur Woyak and grabbing her fist when she goes in to "pound it". Oh it's too cool to see him open up to us, and pray with us after our spiritual thoughts. Yvonne nearly cried when she found out I was transferred. And she told me that I have been Nichole's favorit, so I should try to see her before I go (which I will). Nichole likes me because I LOVE geneology (she's a historian and does Genology all the time) and because I have strong opinions without forcing them on others. I told Nichole once that I might study law after my mission and she asked me if I agreed with the death penalty. Holy crap. I didn't know how to explain my opinion in French, and I didn't know what I was allowed to say as a missionary. But I handled it well enough, and with some ease. Later she told her Mom that I would be a good lawyer because I said what I thought without offending her. I don't know what she means. But I love her. We're seeing them tomorrow before I leave.
Third: My branch president. He is so motivated when it comes to missionary work. He is getting the ward moving on helping with their fair share of missionary work (which hasn't happened yet, but he"s only been president for 2 months). I have such empathy for him because the last president was super loved, but is moving, so they got a new one (sound familiar?). A lot of people are fighting him on stuff, especially that he relased the Relief Society president who has been president for SEVEN YEARS. I'm not exaggerating. It's true. But he is so kind, has such amazing respect for sister missionaries and includes us in everything. I love his family and I will miss them all.
We had another baptism this weekend. His name is Rachkaël. he is practically a child of record, but he's 9, so we had to teach him. We invited Yvonne to come, so Nichole moved her schedule around so Yvonne could see a "Latter-day saints" baptism. She really really wanted to come and she got to! yay!! An ami at a baptism!!! She loved it, and was very touched by the ceremony, which was just as simple as they come, so I know it was the spirit. This woman comes to church ONCE IN A WHILE (she goes to mass all the time), but everytime she does, she cries because she "feels jesus here." She tells us that she can tell we are truly Christ's church... but she's catholic, and always will be. Gee.
Yvonne also talked the ear off of the old branch president, who preformed the baptism, for seriously, 30 minutes straight. It ried to save him when she started talking about the pedophiliac Catholic priests, but it was Soeur Woyak who finally pried him out of her grasp. It was pretty funny. I love Yvonne.
I know this church is true. I'm sorr my emails haven't been as spiritually uplifting as they used to be. The title of my email gives you a little taste of how my transfer has been. I'll have much more spiritually filled emails this next transfer, I promise. But know that the Church is true. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. The Priesthood is on the earth. Joseph Smith was a prophet called by God. And if all ov that means nothing to you... know that God is there. He's always there for you. No matter what you haven done, or how you feel. KNow that an amazing and perfect being loves you. And He loves you perfectly. Know that. I do.
okay. I'm going to send a picture email. LOVE YOU!!
Monday, August 9, 2010
Monday, August 2, 2010
Poo. I get here and can think of nothing to say. I guess I can start with some pictures.
Number one is le cathedral Saint-Pierre. It's the BIG one here in Caen. It's funny because it's getting "restored" (I have been watching this thing for 2 months had have NEVER seen anyone working on it. EVER) and making the outside stones a white color. It's going to be beautiful... if people actually work on it. I mean it, zero progress. BUT, the other reason I took the photo was because it looked fake. I walk through he castle to get home from church, and I always get this view of Saint Pierre, and it looks amazing every night. Especially with the evening clouds behind it.
Next is Elder Clason and his birthday present from the soeurs. We asked him what he wanted us to make for food tache at District meeting (it was our turn). He said he loved cookie dough--NOT COOKIES, but cookie dough. So Soeur Woyak made him cookie dough. It was his 21st birthday the day after district meeting, and so we HAD to do something for it. He, unfortunately, couldn't wait until after lunch to eat it. He ate half of it before, and later, while holding his stomach, loaned and said "after 21 years you think I'd learn to listen to my mom and not spoil my lunch." Teehee. he's such a good guy. He's ALSO a PowerRanger. He's 6'3" (I asked. Short people like me are allowed to do that), has a stinking BLACKBELT in karate, and plays piano. Sounds like a power ranger to me. (he also met TOMMY the old White Ranger , whom I used to be in love with. I nearly died when Elder CLawson told me that Tommy came to his Karate Studio to do a demonstration back in the 90's). THEN, I was telling Elder Ingram, his companion, while Elder Clawson was giving Patricia her baptismal interview, that he has a powerranger for a senior companion. I told him it's because he has a black belt. Then elder ingram, who is still very much a short teenaged kid, tells me "so do I. Do I get to be a powerranger?" I laughed. Then realized he was serious. I almost died again. So now I know that there are two Power Rangers in my district. It's amazing.
Next is more Normandie clouds. THey look painted into the sky most of the time.
Next is Patricia at her BAPTISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh man, it was awesome. She was super nervous about her interview, but Elder Clawson apparently did a wonderful job. She kept raving about him. Both of them were nervous, in fact, because this was Elder Clawson's first baptismal interview. But he got her to say the opening prayer, which is phenomenal because she'll never pray in front of anyone. But we told her this might happen. So she was ready and said her prayer. Elder Clawson told us later that it was the prayer that has brought him closest to tears, it was so full of faith and hope. We finally got to experience that at our next RDV with her, and I know I felt the same way. I did cry. But I cry a lot, so it's no big. But that day, right after her interview, we asked her to try on some jumpsuits to see which one would fit. She came out of the bathroom in her white jumpsuit and Soeur Woyak and I nearly cried. We knew right then that she was getting baptized. She was ready. There was no more room for doubts because the Spirit just filled our hearts. Patricia was so happy all week. We got to see her nearly every day, which was really good for her morale and for ours. When the day actually came, wow. It sucked. The day, I mean. Samedei sports got cancelled, but no one told the soeurs (uggggggggg), the ami we wanted to come to church was out of town, the programs hadn't gotten printed, and my companion had a panic attack over stressing about it. I was really chill (i'm not lying), and knew things would work out. I mean, I spent four hours writing a talk in French about the Gift of the Holy Ghost, so I knew my part would be fine. And guess what? It was. She got to the church early, got dressed, and and we started recieving everyone. A huge group came, which was great because Patricia never goes to all 3 hours of church. She has serious social anxiety issues, so Relief Society scares her. But she smiled and talked to everyone who came to congratulate her. Sam, our Branch President's 6 year old son, RAAAAAANNNNNN up to Patricia, grabbed her hand and said "It's my Dad that's baptizing you." She looked at me, having no idea who this small loud and incredibly adorable child was, and I nodded, so she said "Oui." Sam nodded and said "Je sais!" (I know!) and ran off. I think that's when she started relaxing. But I still had to stay by her side, she said. The first talk went just fine, but it was really weird. Okay, not fine, but okay. SO I got super nervous. But I don't remember my talk at all. I just know that SOeur Woyak said it was really good, which is great because she's not a shallow e compliment giver, and the Branch Pres told me he was suprised that that was my first talk in France. "Now, I'll ask my counselors to have you give another one". Great.
Tha actual Baptism was so amazing. When she started walking into the font I could feel the Spirit so strongly. And when she came out of the water, I started to cry. One of my favorite members, Elisabeth Desterbois (i love her because she is a lot like Michayla) gave me a big hug. We went and met her at the top of the stairs of the font and she gave me and Soeur Woyak these giant, soaking wet hugs. It was amazing. She stood there and thanked us over and over, and all we could say was "it wasn't us. It was you and the Lord." It was amazing. The church is true. She got the Gift of the Holy Ghost the next day and it was amazing.
It's worth it, you know. If she's the only baptism I got to help prepare, then I'm okay. Because seeing her change, seeing her glow. Wow wow woww; It was worth it.
I love you all. Write to me. Pray for me and my companion.