Monday, May 20, 2013

First Week As A Trainer 5/20/2013

Bonjour Ma Famille,

Oh wow, it has been a crazy, wonderful week.  I spent the majority of it up in Lyon picking up my bleue.  It was great, I absolutely love that city.  It feels like home even though I only served there for six weeks.  There is definitely something special about the first ville that you serve in.  We were there from Wednesday to Saturday and were able to go to conferences and do tons of contacting (my favorite). 
My new companion is Soeur Luthi (like "Lucy" with a lisp).  She is incredible and I love her so much already.  She is from California, goes to school at BYU, and has four sisters.  We are so similar and get along really well.  And, she is 19 too!  We are the only companionship in the mission with two 19 year old sisters, it is seriously so exciting to see the work here explode.  Companionships like this are only going to get more and more common as time goes by.  Soeur Luthi is exactly the bleue that I have been praying for.  Right from the start she told me that her goals were to give the mission everything that she has, work extremely hard, be exactly obedient, and see miracles.  Okay, so basically she repeated back to me my goals for this mutation ("transfer"...weird translation, right?).  She has so much fire and confidence, we're going to see some serious changes here!

In our short time together, we've already seen amazing things.  Let me share with you a few miracles...

We've had a little bit of work to do because we are opening up a new équipe (companionship) here.  We're making a new area book, starting with a completely empty phone, etc.  We have spent the past couple days getting organized.  One thing that we did was go through old progress records and set aside a couple names that looked promising.  The next day we got a call right out of the blue.  Long story short, an old investigator wanted to meet with us.  He hasn't been taught for two years and is now interested in retaking the missionary lessons.  He just so happened to be one of the few progress records that we had pulled the night before.  We taught him Saturday, he was at church yesterday and we have another rendez-vous tomorrow.  New amis are literally falling out of the sky.
While we were contacting, we ran into this lady.  She was super nice and explained to us that she was actually a member of our church.  She had just moved to Carcassonne and didn't know anything about our church services here.  We were quickly able to give her the information and she was at church yesterday.  Right place.  Right time.

Soeur Luthi was telling me about one of her friends in the MTC.  He and everyone in his family are members of the church except his grandpa.  This elder will actually be serving in our mission in a few weeks and is determined to teach and baptize his grandpa (because he lives here in Carcassonne).  Although he is the only non-member in his family, his grandpa has had no desire to see missionaries and doesn't want anything to do with the church.  Unfortunately, because there are only sisters serving here, it's not really possible for this elder to work with his grandpa.  So, we decided that we wanted to find and teach him.  After debriefing Soeur Luthi on our sector, we had an "ah ha" moment.  Soeur Fairchild and I actually were invited over by the elder's grandma at the end of last transfer.  We had a great conversation with her and her husband.  And, in fact, the husband invited us to come back another time.  After connecting all of the dots, we realized that we are already set up to teach this man.  How amazing is that?
We also had a little hindsight miracle.  Last transfer we did a lot with the Mulanda family in our ward.  They are a cute young family with 7 kids, they are great and literally fill up half of the primary.  The mom lives here with all of the children and the husband works in Africa.  We had lots of lessons with them last transfer, did family nights, taught the kids primary songs, etc.  The mom was constantly thanking us for the Spirit that we brought into their home and the things we were able to teach her and her children.  Because we didn't have many amis, we had time to meet with them more frequently.  But, more than that, we just really felt like this family needed our help for some reason.  Though not necessarily logical at the time, we continued seeing them several times a week.  Come to find out, the father called for a divorse a few weeks back, he's staying in Africa, they just lost basically all source of income, and he left them with tons of debt.  All of this just barely came out and she hasn't even told the kids yet.  We are continuing to work with them this transfer and are thankful for the inspiration we received to be there to strengthen the family last transfer as well.

Everything is going great.  The ward is continually improving week by week.  It seems slow, but when we look back to see how far it has come, the progress is incredible.  The Bishop and our DMP are overjoyed to have four sister missionaries here.  The work is really just going to explode.  They're calling ward missionaries now to help us too.  God knows exactly what He is doing with this sector.  I'm so ready to work hard and see His plans unfold.

Thank you for all of your love and support.  Haha, while in Lyon I was able to pick up my mail for the last month...  Let's just say that I have the best family and friends in the world because the assistants were literally rolling their eyes as they sat there and handed me letter after letter.  Thanks so much, I feel so blessed.  I love you all, have a wonderful week!

Je vous aime,
Soeur Alisa Hulme  

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