Monday, March 25, 2013


Bonjour Ma Famille,

It has been another great week here.  I can't believe that I'm getting to the end of my first transfer in the field.  While last week we taught a ton of lessons, this week was definitely more of a finding week.  We spent tons of our time contacting and porting.  We basically only port apartment buildings, which is nice because there are tons of doors to knock at.  The problem... all apartment buildings are locked by one or two codes.  Every day we come to building upon building that we cannot get into.  But, time and time again we are let in.  God gives us these mini miracles and testimony-builders every day.  Out of probably 80 different buildings we have tried to get into this transfer, there has only been one that we have not miraculously been let into.  We'll come to a locked door, pray that we can get in, and someone is always there (sometimes even opening the door in the middle of the prayer...that's always fun).  It's just awesome, God knows how to get us in to His people.

We had a really cool experience on Wednesday.  It was President Roney's birthday, we wanted to do something cool for him.  So, we decided to skip our lunch hour and spend that time trying to bring as many people unto Christ as we could.  We had a goal to place an entire box of Book of Mormons (22 copies) during that hour.  It took us four weeks to go through the last box, so this was definitely a lofty task.  Plus, we woke up and it was pouring rain.  When the hour came, the sun came up and we got to work (it rained the rest of the day afterwards).  This was probably one of the most insane hours of my life, we were absolutely exhausted by the end.  We placed 15 copies of the Book of Mormon and contacted 176 people in 60 minutes.  It was so amazing what we were able to do in that concecrated hour.  God was definitely the means of all of that success.  We were put in the way of so many that desired to learn more.  Two of the copies that I gave away were from people that literally contacted me!  It was incredible to see how God can bless us when we are setting righteous goals, giving it our all, and having faith in Him.  We ended up placing the rest of the books throughout the day, but it took the entire day to finish it up.  I guess it just goes to show how magical that hour was.  

We made a card that explained what we had done for President Roney, he loved it.  The Roneys are the absolute greatest.  In fact, because we are in Lyon near the mission house, our companionaship gets to spend the rest of our P-Day today with Sister Roney.  Ahh, I'm so excited!  I get to work with so many incredible people here!

This week I have finished up my studies of the four Gospels.  Oh my gosh, it has been incredible.  Studying, analyzing, and comparing those books have been an English major's dream.  Those pages in my scriptures are now completely embellished with colorful markings, cross references, personal insights and inspiration, historical information, etc.  I love it and have learned so much.  I'm at this weird place where I just want to know everything.  I think I might just come home and put Deseret Book out of business.  It is so cool to study the gospel so much, I absolutely love it and am trying to take advantage of it.  But now, more than having beautiful, extremely useful scriptures, I am very grateful for everything that I have learned about the Savior.  I am truly coming to know Him here on my mission.  I think this growth has been a combination of my studies, prayers, constant need of His help, etc.--but I think most of it has to do with the fact that I am doing His work.  I am striving to act as He would and I am in the constant service of others.  Ah, it's the greatest.  I think about my mission scripture often (Helaman 5:12) and am constantly so glad that that is the one that I chose to represent my mission.  Christ truly is our foundation. 

J'ai pense, parce que c'est la période du Paque cette semaine et c'est la dernière semaine de me première mutation en France, de partager mon témoignage sample de Jésus Christ.  Je sais que Jésus Christ est mon Sauver et Rédempteur   Je suis reconnaissant pour son amour que il me donne.  Je sais que il nous donne son sacrifice afin qu'il puisse nous aider avec tout les soucis, les douleurs, et les défis de chaque personne sur le terre.  Grace a lui et l'expiation, je peux recevoir la paix et le bonheur dans ma vie ici et devenir comme Dieu un jour.  Il est le seule chemin.  Avec lui, je peux faire tout choses,  Il est mon ami et je l'aime.

I hope that you all have a wonderful week.  Happy Easter!  Haha, have fun eating coconut cake and funeral potatoes and watching The Ten Commandments.  I love you all, thanks for everything that you do for me!

Je t'aime,
Soeur Hulme

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


First Zone Conference
Bonjour Ma Famille,

This has definitely been a crazy, great week.  It has been a super productive week, which is nice after the slower one that we just had.  I've decided that the weather here is bipolar, just like in Utah.  We had a hot day where we didn't where jackets, snow, crazy winds storms, and pouring rain.  France is great.  The only complaint about the food is that the salsa tastes like ketchup and there is no such thing as peanut butter.  Oh well, that should have been expected.  Other than that, the French is coming.  It's fun, we actually get to teach an English class every week.  It makes me laugh as I realize how ridiculous I look while learning another language.  We had our first Zone Conference this week.  It was great to get to know the other missionaries better and to get to be taught by our leaders.  They are all so inspirational to me.

First miracle story... So we were street contacting on the way to a rendez-vous and ran into this girl.  She seemed really interested and when we asked if there was another time that we could meet with her, she said that she had time right then.  That never happens.  Ever.  We're lucky if two people stop and talk for 5 minutes in an hour of contacting.  Even better, we were right across the street from the institute.  We went over there, did a companion split, and taught her and our other lesson at the same time.  We ended up teaching her a 45 minute lesson on the Restoration.  She was awesome, is reading the Book of Mormon, and we are meeting with her again later this week.  Cool backstory... So apparently about 30 feet away from where we stopped this girl, there were two companionships of elders.  Both of their rendez-vous were canceled and they were both really frustrated.  So they stopped and prayed there on the street, only to turn around two seconds later to find us talking to that girl.  Haha, I guess you could kind of say that we stole their miracle.

We are continually working with several investigators.  Ibrahima worked everything out with his family a little bit ago but still had reservations about baptism.  We kind of had to take a step back and figure this whole thing out instead of just trying to convince him to be baptized.  We don't want people to join the church because they want to please the missionaries or because the missionaries are good at debating with them and using logic.  We need people who are truly converted to Christ and who will remain strong members because of that.  That has been our focus with Ibrahima.  It has been crazy how just one person can totally consume the thoughts and prayers of our entire companionship.  After lots discussion, we felt like the best thing for him would be to be taught more about repentance.  He knew all of the stuff, he had been taught all of the lessons, he just lacked the desire.  He needed to feel the power of the Atonement in his life to truly appreciate the Savior and want to follow Him through baptism.  We taught him a lesson about repentance and told him to make a list of things that he needed to repent for.  After giving him a few days, it was amazing the changes that we saw in the next lesson.  He just seemed to get it, there was a different spirit about him.  He said that he was working on his repentance list and every time he wrote more it made him cry, he's understanding the Atonement because now it applies to him and it's not just some nice concept.  It was an incredible lesson.  Every question that we asked he gave an amazing answer to and he's getting more and more ready for this next step in his life.  It is really cool as a missionary to see the changes that people make in their lives.  We get so invested in them and I feel like we get a glimpse of the Savior's love for the people that we work with.  Christ truly feels our sorrows, but he also rejoices with us in all of our acheivements.  It has been the same with our investigators.  I swear that I could not wipe the smile off of my face that entire lesson with Ibrahima this week.  A mission is hard, but there really is so much joy also.

I'm also very excited because two of the kids that we have been teaching are going to be baptized on the 30th of this month, the last weekend of the transfer.  The Campaner family is a part-member family that we have been working with to get reactivated.  Their two oldest kids, Diane (11) and Paul (9), have been taught all of the lessons now and are ready for baptism.  It's also very cool because their Dad has become active again and is worthy to perform the baptisms.  They are the cutest family and I am so excited for them.  I feel blessed to have been able to teach them.

Sometimes I feel like just telling God to stop blessing me so much.  I am so blessed to be able to associate with all of these people-- my companions, my mission president, the other missionaries here, the ward members, our amis, and all of the people that I talk to every day.  Plus, I have an incredible family and friends supporting me at home.  I am so grateful for everything and am trying to work as hard as I can so that I can give a little bit back to Him.  I hope that you all have an amazing week and I love you tons!

Je t'aime,

Soeur Alisa Hulme
I think they are trying to say that the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion,
but it wouldn't stay right in the middle.

Monday, March 11, 2013


Bonjour Ma Famille,

It has been another great week here in Lyon.  I guess I will start by answering some of your many questions...  My apartment is pretty nice, it looks, hmm... like you'd expect a French apartment to look.  Haha, it's definitely nicer than my dorm at BYU was.  The French food is very good.  For the most part, I don't feel like I have eaten a lot of  things that have been truly authentic.  We've gone to several members houses for dinner, though, and those meals have been phenomenal.  It is all about the bread, cheese, and chocolate.  And yes, those three things are just as good as people say.  Learning the language by being thrown into it is definitely an interesting experience, but it's coming.  I absolutely love my companions, the other missionaries in the area, and President Roney.  They all truly become your family out here.  Everything is going well.  I'm liking the city more and more the longer I am here.  Today we actually went to Old Lyon, that is my favorite place that I have seen yet.  It was so cute, exactly what you'd picture France looking like.  We walked down narrow, cobblestone streets lined with cute little shops and bakeries.  There were big cathedrals, statues, and little courtyards.  Oh my gosh, it was so quaint and cool!  We also went and saw some ancient Roman ruins.  It was actually a lot warmer today and the sun has come up two days in a row now!  I feel like we only see the sun once or twice a week, so this is big.  I am so happy for a beautiful day!  It has been a very productive P-Day and it has been great to see more of the sites here.  We're so focused on the work all week that I feel like I forget where I am sometimes...that is, until someone talks to me.

This last week was a little different because Soeur Hyrkas got really sick and was down for two days.  We did not leave the apartment for two days, I thought I was going to die.  I really love being productive and getting things done, so to not be able to work at full capacity drives me crazy.  And, on a mission, it's way worse.  Oh well, we did get things done.  I actually got to do a very fun project.  While we were thinking of things to do, Soeur Pfost mentioned that they needed to create this big bulletin board with all of the names of our amis, members in the ward, different people we work with, etc.  She said that the other sisters left this huge pile of scrapbooking stuff but that they had put off making it for three tranfers because they hate crafty stuff like that...we now have the absolute cutest bulletin board in our apartment!  That was fun.  We got a lot of organizing done, went through member books, made phone calls, etc.  It felt good to get things done, but I'm excited to be back to full capacity now.

Other than that, our week was full of a lot of contacting, porting (I'm not sure what that's called in English...going door to door?), and tracking down less actives.  It's funny, the majority of the time that we spend doing these things, the people don't want to talk to us, we have the wrong address for the people we're tracking down, or no one is home.  But, those really are my favorite things to do.  I feel like we're actually working.  It feels awesome coming back from a long day walking the streets.  It's basically the stereotypical missionary work, and while it's not everything that we do, it makes me happy.

I found a cool scripture this week in my studies.  It's crazy, right now I study the scriptures/Preach My Gospel for at least four hours a day.  They cut back the time when you're not new, but I am loving it right now.  In 1Peter 4:12-13 it says, "...think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you...but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings."  Sometimes we face hard things in life.  Part of that is just because we are human and it's natural to have difficulties.  But, we should also not be surprised when we face trials because we are at war right now.  We are on Christ's team and we will win in the end.  But, there will be adversity.  Satan knows that we are his strongest opposers and he puts forth extra efforts to try and get us to fall.  This isn't "some strange thing," it should be expected.  While we will face adversity, we can count on the Lord countering that with extra strength and blessings for our valientness.  It reminds me a little of a talk that I studied by Elder Holland.  He talked about how all of the prophets of old knew that, despite all of their efforts, the time period that they lived in would eventually end in an apostasy.  Today, however, God will never take His church from the earth again.  We have this hope and motivation.  How cool is that?  We know that we are on the winning team and that we will win, we just have to remain strong and on the team.

I hope that everything is going well at home.  I feel so blessed to have the best family and friends in the world.  You are all so amazing and I am grateful for all of your love and support.  This week is Maddy's brithday, so here's what I would have said around the dinner table... "Maddy, you are amazing!  You are very accepting and loving of others, I really admire that about you.  You also are so much fun to be around and are always there for a good laugh or to watch a sports game with me.  I can't wait to see what this exciting year will bring you."  I hope that you have a great 17th birthday!  Thanks for everything, I love you all!

Je t'aime,
Soeur Alisa Hulme

Monday, March 4, 2013


Bonjour Ma Famille,

Preface for this letter, it is going to be shorter.  This week the place where we are doing emails won't let us switch the languages on the keyboards.  So basically it's extremely hard to type because tons of the letters and symbols are in the wrong spots.  For example, "A" is "Q", what's up with that?  I guess it's just another culture thing to get used to here.  Speaking of culture... random stereotype confirmed, everyone really does walk around France with bagettes.  When I realized that wasn't just in movies I definitely had a good laugh.

This week has been great, tons of work.  We taught a really cool lesson this week to a guy named Guislain.  He overheard one of the lessons that my companions gave several months ago when they were teaching his friend.  He left them with his contact information, but they hadn't been able to get a hold of him since.  Finally this Sunday, after having him cancel on us twice during the week, we were able to have a rendez-vous (a "rendez-vous" is a lesson/appointment, I figured I would explain that before it slips into other emails) with him.  We went over and had a great first lesson with him.  He was very interested and had a lot of questions about the church.  He has studied a lot of different religions and was very receptive to what we had to teach him.  At the end of the lesson, he started talking about how he just felt like he should be baptized...that was even before we had mentioned baptism.  So, we set a date for next month.  Unfortunately, he doesn't live within our sector so we have to pass him on to a set of elders to finish the lessons.  But, we are very excited for him.  He has a cute young family that would be blessed so much by the Gospel and would be such a strength to the wards here.  He has a lot to learn and a ways to progress before the actual date, but he is definitely a chosen one who God has prepared to receive the Gospel at this time.  I feel so blessed to have gotten to be a part of that lesson.

One thing that I have really been working on this week is my ability to feel, recognize, and act on the promptings of the Spirit.  I feel like this is something that can constantly be improved on and is definitely one of the most important things that you can learn in life.  The Spirit is how God communicates with us, so it's pivotal for us to be receptive to it, especially as missionaries.  I have been trying to act on all of the promptings that I have gotten this week and it has been amazing to see how God has been able to work through me.  One example of this was during a lesson that we had with one of our amis (investigators), Ibrahima.  He is 19 years old and is from Senegal.  I have been a part of maybe 6 to 7 lessons with him, but he has been taught for about two months now.  He has been taught all of the lessons and has a very strong testimony.  He is so ready to be baptized and really has a desire to be.  But, his only holdback is that his parents don't approve.  I was able to tell him about Grandma Chandler's conversion and the things that she went through.  I also was able to explain all of the blessings that she and the next generations of her family have been received because of her faith.  Even though it was difficult for her family at the time, she did what she knew was right and joined the church.  The Spirit came into the room so strongly when I was sharing that story and it definitely touched him.  I was slightly hesitant to share the story because I wasn't positive about all of the vocab, but God helped me get through it and it all worked out.  I'm grateful that I acted on that prompting.  We are still working with Ibrahima and have a tentative baptisimal date for later this month, but we're not sure.  We're praying that it all works out.   I want to strive my hardest to act on what the Spirit is telling me so that I can continue to receive such inspiration.  I want to be someone who God can trust.  When He needs something done, I want to be a person that He can rely on.

I love you all and feel so blessed to be serving a mission.  Thank you for your love and support.  If it would be easier, feel free to email me rather than sending letters.  I probably won't have time to read them and reply each week, but I can print them and write back when I find the time.  I hope that you all have a great week!

Je t'aime,
Soeur Alisa Hulme