Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"It has been incredible to see this miracle unfold." 5/28/2013

Our "Chateau"
We love contacting in the rain.
Bonjour Ma Famille,

So this week has been wonderful.  I love being a missionary.  Honestly, it is unlike any other experience that you can ever have.  You learn so much and are pushed in many different ways.  I have such a strong testimony that my mission is being perfectly catered to me.  I have had to exercise my faith so much more than I ever have in my life.

It's really interesting, a lot of missionaries talk about their transfers as a "bleue" as being the ones that require the most faith.  You're brand new, don't understand anything that people are saying, you're learning how to do missionary work, you're still getting used to being away from home, etc.  That always made sense to me...until I started this transfer.  Being a trainer is absolutely incredible.  I have prayed harder and put more trust in the Lord in the last two weeks than I ever have before.  Literally, as a trainer, He is the only one that I have to fall back on.  There is more responsibility when it comes to...everything and everything that I do is setting Soeur Luthi up for the rest of her mission.  I have been helped so much the last two weeks I cannot even explain it.  Everything that I have been able to do has been all God.  For example, my language skills have shot up insanely.  Before I became a trainer, I had made one phone call in French.  Well, now I man the phone and call people all of the time.  I'm taking over substantial parts of lessons, working a lot more with different people in the ward, etc.  I don't know how to explain in, it is different when you are the only one in the companionship that knows what is going on in any conversation or has a way to respond.  I feel like I was totally sheltered while I was being trained, especially last transfer when we honestly spent a lot of time in the apartment without opportunities to utilize my French.  But now, it is just coming.  God is giving what I need to accomplish the things that He wants.  It has seriously been amazing.  Haha, our bishop is super confused how I can suddenly speak French over night.  It's incredible.

While it has been cool to see the changes in myself, it has been even more incredible to see the changes in our ward.  We had a wonderful meeting with our évêque and DMP this week.  I feel like, unlike other meetings that we have had with this ward in the past, there was an overwhelming feeling of hope and an excitement for what we have recently seen.  Honestly, this ward is doing a 180.  For example, when we first came to Carcassonne, it was a struggle to get into the houses of any of the members.  This week, already, we have planned to see five different families between the two équipes (companionships).  The lessons are good in classes.  The talks are good in sacrament.  The members are just happy.  Most of all, the Spirit is here.  I don't know that I've ever experienced what I did here before.  When I first got here, literally, you did not feel the Spirit at church.  It was not here at all.  The past couple Sundays, Soeur Fairchild and I just look at each other after church with a look of amazement and ask, "What just happened here?"  During this meeting, the évêque looked at us and explained that in his eight years of being a bishop, he has never felt a Spirit like this in his ward.   He told us that, the transfer before I was sent here, he had called President Roney and pleaded for him to send sister missionaries to the ward.  I don't know what we have done, but we have tried to do everything through inspiration.  When President sent sister here, all that he said was, "Carcassonne needs a miracle."  It has been incredible to see this miracle unfold.

Another cool follow-up to a miracle last week...  Remember that random lady that we found while contacting?  The one who just moved here and we helped get to church?  She was called as a ward missionary this Sunday.  How awesome is that?!

Right now, Soeur Luthi and I are focusing not only on strengthening the ward, but finding new people to teach.  I feel like there is a reason the missionaries for the last little while have had struggles finding people to teach here--it's because the ward wasn't ready to accept them.  Now that the ward is starting to look up, we are bound to find more miracle converts.

I hope that you all have a great week.  A mission is the greatest thing ever.  It seriously hurts my heart to think that I have been out here for almost 5 months, I never want to leave.  The church is true.  I love you all, thank you so much for your prayers!

Je vous aime,
Soeur Alisa Hulme

Welcome to our district.  Sister missionaries are taking over the mission.  I'm pretty sure
the only reason there is a companionship of elders is because we needed a district leader.

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