Monday, August 2, 2010
ô vaillants guerriers d'Israël, espoir de notre salut
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.