Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Where to begin...‏

The field is white and ready to harvest. Haha

Me and Valèrie! 

Hello my darling family!
I really don't even know where to begin with this one. SO much has happened in just a short week.

First off, I am on the exact opposite side of France than the last time I talked to you.
I am in a ville close to Switzerland. I finally made it out of the Bordeaux Zone! Haha. I am excited to be here. But honestly, it was a bit hard as well. It was just kind of crazy and a bit scary to just get sent to a whole new side of the mission where I have never been and where I really don't know anyone..and I was SO sad to leave Tarbes. I just was not expecting AT ALL that I was going to leave, and so I hadn't prepared myself mentally..or physically.

I was really heart broken to leave those members. I had worked like crazy over the last 6 weeks to love them as much as I possibly could, and then I had to leave them. But, I don't regret it at all. It was such a wonderful 6 weeks that I go to spend in Tarbes.

We saw some really cool miracles last week! We got two engagés, each with the date of July 5th!! One of them is M-- that I talked about last week. And the other one is named Jean-Marc. Super huge miracle with him, actually. He has been taught and retaught all of the lessons. And we were getting worried he was going to become an eternal ami and never get baptized because he just wouldn't accept any of the dates we tried to give him. So, we had a rdv with him and we told him that by Sunday, he HAD to have a date. And we told him to really pray super hard about it.  Soo yeah, he showed up on Sunday, and what date had he picked? July 5th! It was crazy, and a super super cool miracle.

So yeah, it was hard to leave Tarbes after seeing all those cool miracles, but it is alright. Because I know I am exactly where the Lord wants me to be.
I actually know for a fact that I am supposed to be in this ville. Because actually, I was supposed to come here a while ago. When I left Pau. President assigned me here, buuut then there was someone in the Geneva Zone that I wasn't allowed to see. So, I got sent to Limoges instead. And I had learned that through the sister that got sent there in instead of me, because apparently when the Zone Leaders called they were super surprised to find out that it was Soeur Beeny instead of Soeur Magleby there...

So. For some reason....I am supposed to be here. And I am determined to find out what it is!
I feel really exhausted to start this transfer off..BUT, I also feel super motivated. I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for me here. My companion is Soeur R. She is German. My first non-American companion! We haven't even been together 24 hours yet...but she seems pretty great, actually. She is super super sweet. She is also the first companion I have ever had who is younger than I am..so that is a change. But she isn't super young, she is going on her 5th transfer.

Voilà. My crazy week. I promise I will have more to tell you all next week after figuring out this ville a bit more!

For now..I just wanted to leave you with one of the most comforting lines from Elder Uchdorf in his talk this last conference.

This is what he said:

In light of what we know about our eternal destiny, is it any wonder that whenever we face the bitter endings of life, they seem unacceptable to us? There seems to be something inside of us that resists endings.
Why is this? Because we are made of the stuff of eternity. We are eternal beings, children of the Almighty God, whose name is Endless and who promises eternal blessings without number. Endings are not our destiny.
The more we learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more we realize that endings here in mortality are not endings at all. They are merely interruptions—temporary pauses that one day will seem small compared to the eternal joy awaiting the faithful.

How grateful I am to my Heavenly Father that in His plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings.

That is a really huge comfort to me right now. Endings our not our destiny. We go through this life losing a lot of our loved ones..and going through a lot of trials.

But we have the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And we can know that we are Eternal Beings with an Eternal plan. And that endings are not a part of this plan. Only pauses. But we will see all those we love again someday.

I love you all! Thank you for all your love. I will talk to you next week.

Soeur Mag

May 19

Salut my loved ones! Well. I really don't even know where to begin with this week. So, I thought I would tell you a story in pictures :)
As you see, this is a picture of me and a bunch of missionaries and McDonald's. Haha. I didn't get a good picture with everyone looking so...this will have to do. Wednesday we went to have an exchange in Bordeaux with the sister training leaders. It was a good day despite the fact that we had to wake up at 4:30 in the morning to get on the train. Bleh. But, I always like working in Bordeaux, so it was fun! And then Thursday morning we woke up. And had to wake up at 5 in the morning...not much better. But we had to wake up to go to our District Meeting which was supposed to be in Pau. Well. Long story short...we were apparently supposed to get off in a city called Dax and switch trains to go to Pau. but no one told us and our tickets didn't say. Sooo we didn't get off. And then all of a sudden I see two elders on the train I know, Elder Heck and Elder Withers. And then realized that they were headed to Bayonne...and all of a sudden the train annoucned that we were on our way to Bayonne. Which is definitely NOT where Pau is. Haha. But, not way too far, it wasn't too big of a deal. So, we ended up having to go to the district meeting in Bayonne. Which actually ended up being WONDERFUL because I love all the missionaries in this district :) So, it ended up being a good day but actually super, super exhausting. Oh and we ended up eating at McDonald's because Elder Heck left 5 kilos of Shephard's Pie on the bus. Hahha it was literally the worst. We had no food. But hey, all works out because we got to go to McDonald's :) So, then we headed back to Tarbes. This is us SUPER tired on the train ride home...

 ​I don't know why my hair looks so red....
So, we went home and finally got to sleep in our own beds :) and then we woke up the next morning and got to go to a WEDDING! for two members in our branch who are literally like our best friends.They are pretty much the only members that teach with us and they are litereally incredible. And I love them so, so much. It was so fun to be able to spend pretty much the entire day at their wedding! And we got to decorate for their reception! It was a blast. So we spent like all morning decorating and then we went to the wedding :)

It actually ended up being a really awesome day with a ton of miracles because there were SO many inactives at the wedding. And also 4 of our amis came!! It was like a ward activity..haha. But it was so fun. Except for the part where we had to go home at 9:30 while the party was still going on...but, it was a wonderful day. One of the funnest days I have had on my mission. I didn't get any really wonderful pictures...but my companion did and I will have to steal them from her later.

Voilà, wedding photos!
This is what a French wedding looks like! In France you have to get legally married before going to the temple.

The Bride and Groom with two of our amis! (the two on the end)
​With one of my favorite jeune filles Maily who made ALL the cupcakes for the wedding. So great.

​We look a lot less tired in this one :)

So, there is a little rundown for you of my week. And to end of the week, we saw a really cool miracle on Saturday! The office called us and gave us a referral of someone who had put their information in on the website. So, we called him and he said that yes he was interested and so we went to go see him Saturday morning! He is a wonderful little miracle. His name is M--. Honestly...I can't even explain it but a lot of the big miracles I have seen on my mission have just fallen into my lap. People who are elect. I feel like when we are being diligent and working hard, Heavenly Father just gives them to us. It is so crazy. And that is what he did with M--! It was SUCH an amazing lesson. He even brought up baptism at the end without us even saying anything...the Spirit was so, so strong. He is such an adorable and humble guy and I definitely see him getting baptized. It was really cool. I just love seeing people that are literally prepared.

And I am so so grateful that Heavenly Father trusts us enough to work with His children to bring them back to Him :) I have been doing a lot of asking my Heavenly Father this week of helping me to feel of His love for me, and He really has answered my prayers. I just feel so grateful this week to know that I am a daughter of God. And that He really does love me. I can see how much He loves me just through all the blessings I have in my life. I just feel like I am showered with them. I feel so, so grateful to be able to be His servent. And He doesn't seem to stop blessing me. I am just so happy. I love every second of this work, even the really difficult times. Because I know the difficult times just make the wonderful times even better :)

Sorry it was just kind of a random email this week. But, just know I am happy and doing well! Also, transfer calls this week....I am praying to be able to stay here. I feel like I will, but we will see what happens!

Je vous aime!! Bisous!!

Love, Soeur Magleby

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Gospel=Change

A crappy picture of Bayonne, but there you go.

What we did today for P day. Hung out in a beautiful park and drank Limonade. It was wonderful.

Annd then there was this one time we got stuck in Lourdes. Haha

Hello my darling family!

Yesterday was SO wonderful. Honestly it kind of freaks me out a bit to see you. I just usually try to block out of my mind how much I really miss all of you, but then seeing all of your adorable faces just really reminds me of how much I miss you! But, it's all right :) I have been blessed to have never been too homesick on my mission and really I just am so grateful to have such a wonderful family I miss so much. Honestly, thank you all for being so wonderful. You all have such a light about you and I feel so strengthened and encouraged everytime I get to talk to you. So, thank you for that :) 

I have had a really, really great week. It was just one of those weeks where I really felt carried by the prayers of all the people that are praying for me. I know there are a lot, and I feel like there are times where Heavenly Father really grants me with the opportunity to really FEEL of those prayers, and use them to help carry me and help me with my work. And I am really grateful for those moments :)

As you have noticed there are a lot of weeks where I tend to see a theme...and this week there definitely was one.  About how much the Gospel changes people. How it changes us. And how you can literally SEE this change.

I got the opportunity this week to go on exchange with an awesome sister Soeur Eschbach in a beautiful ville called Bayonne! It was a really just wonderful day spent in a beautiful place. And we had this really cool experience with a lady on the bus. We had a longish bus ride, about 30 minutes. So we got on and sat across from this about 40 year old lady. I was planning on contacting her but before I could even say anything she started talking to us and asking us about HOW in the WORLD we could believe in God if we can't see Him. That is one of my favorite questions. There are SO many people who tell me they don't believe because they can't see. I will honestly never be able to understand that. I don't have to SEE Him to know He is there. Because I can FEEL that He is there. And that to me, is a lot more important than seeing.

Anyway, so we get into this whole conversation. And she is a super nice lady so it wasn't like we were straight up arguing with each other, but she was pretty blunt with her opinions. And then she learned we were Mormon and she started saying straight up to us that we are a sect. And I told her nicely, that no, we actually are not a sect. But she was like "Nope, I know you are. You just don't know it yet because you are young. But you will see in a few years and you will realize you are a sect and you will think back to this conversation." And I just kindly said "Madame..I invite you to do the same thing. You will think back to this conversation again in a few years, if not sooner. And you will want to know what our message was. And when that moment comes, I invite you to find us and to ask." Haha. Anyway, so we had a pretty intense conversation for about 25 minutes and she was super stubborn. But then the craziest thing happened...and all of a sudden the look in her eyes was different. And she looked at me and said "Alright, I will admit. You have convinced me. I believe you. So if I were to go with your church what would I have to do?"

It was so amazing. In almost an instant...she changed. Completely. And she even told us she loved us as she got off the bus. But we sadly didn't get her number, but I know she will meet missionaries again some day :)

Second example. We have an ami named Gen--. He has been taught for a while, and we are on about our 7th lesson with him. But we have had to reteach a lot because he really wasn't grasping everything we were saying. And he is 22 and even though I know he has a sincere desire he has been trying to play off the too cool to care 22 year old card. But I know he cares, but he just hasn't been acting like it. But we kept our faith in him. And then he showed up to our rdv Saturday. And he was a different person. He ACTUALLY brought his Book of Mormon with him this time. And the way he even listened was different. And his answers to our questions were amazing. And then he prayed at the end. And even though it was in Spanish and I didn't really understand...the Spirit was SO strong. And then we set a baptism date with him. He was changed.

The Gospel changes lives. That is something I hear often and I think we all hear. But I just feel so, so grateful to have a front row seat to see this change in peoples lives.

The power of the Atonement is beyond our comprehension. He can literally CHANGE us. In as little as an instant. As long as we let Him. We are all here to change. To become better. And all we have to do is let Him change us. And He will mold us into everything He wants us to be :)

I am so grateful for my Savior in my life. I would be nothing without Him.
I love you all so much. Have a wonderful week.
I will see you soon!

Soeur Magleby

Happy Cinco de Mayo!‏

Hello my dearest loved ones! Well, another wonderful week here!

To be honest I felt quite a bit of opposition this week. I had a couple days that were a bit hard to get through. We have just randomly had a few amis that have fallen off the face of the planet this week! People that we can't seem to get in contact with no matter how hard we try. BUT we had an amazing day on Sunday, saw tons of miracles, and got back into contact with a lot of our amis who were lost!

I told you about Ka-- last week. Well, we had a really really awesome rdv with her last Monday but after that she has completely dissappeared. We can't seem to get a hold of her. So that has been a little hard, but I really have faith that we will be able to see her again. She is too amazing to get lost.

Honestly we found a lot of awesome miracle potential amis this week. We had a day where we went porting for a couple hours and literally every one who answered the door and let us talk to them. We had so many amazing conversations through the questionnaire! It was really such a cool experience. I really felt the spirit with us strongly. That is something I have really loved about this transfer so far. I really feel like Soeur S and I are good at working together and it is probably the most obedient and diligent I have been on my entire mission and it has really made all the difference. I just been able to see so many miracles that it has been absolutely incredible. I feel like Heavenly Father is really watching over our equipe here right now. And I know that He always is, but it just feels nice to be able to feel it :)

The best part of my week was by far Zone Conference. I can't even tell you how excited I am every other transfer that I get to have my interview with President Roney. I can't even put into words how much he inspires me. I really try to go into those interviews super prepared so that I can make the most out of the time, and I felt like I really did that this time and I really learned SO much. I had some really awesome answers to questions I had. I just feel so so blessed to have such an amazing mission president. We also have some awesome changes happening in the mission that I feel like are really going to make a difference. I love that it feels like we are always trying to change the way we do things to really be the best we can and to really get baptisms!

We have made a goal to double our baptisms and also...that we are all going to have a baptism on July 5th at 6. Every equipe in the mission. How cool is that? Haha. I am so stoked. I know that we can do it.
I have made a personal goal that I want to baptize a family of 4 on July 5. Pretty huge goal...but I know that if I work hard it really can happen. And now I am accountable to you so, there ya go.

Also some exciting news from the week, I talked to Soeur C and Co-- is doing amazing!! Apparently they went shopping today and bought him a suit (he had no dress clothes before) and he is going to get the Priesthood in a couple weeks, AND he has been teaching a ton with them. And appartently he is the one that keeps asking them if he can teach. AH!! :) Sorry, I am just SO excited. It is so so cool to see where he is going. I am so excited for him.

Sorry this is a super short letter this week. But honestly, things are going super well. Also I got to see all of your faces next Sunday so I am super stoked about that. You should all prepare a list of questions for me because I know it is super hard to answer all the questions you always have. but if you have anything you would like to know, that would be the perfect time!

I love you al SO SO much.
I know the Savior lives. I know this is His work.
I don't know how I am still going on everyday. I feel so emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausted.  but somehow, I still do it.  And somehow...I am still happy doing it )

I think that is the true power of the Atonement. Not only does He gives us the opporuntiy to repent. To change. To become more like him.   but because of Him...this life is a HAPPY and beautiful experience :)

Love you!

The simple things

I ate my first kebab this week.....my companion promised me it would be good and I finally gave in.

...it was good.

Pit stop in Bayonne this week!!

Soeur S, me, and our adorable member Val

Wow. You are all so wonderful. I just so much LOVE today after reading all of your emails. Thank you all so much! Thank you for taking that time to just write me even just a short little email. It really means so much to me and it really helps push me throughout the week. I feel super loved today and that is the best feeling ever!

Well, this week. Was super busy and crazy. I feel like last Monday was SO long ago and it has been forever since I have talked to you! I really think that is because I have just been so busy and I feel like we have done so much in just a weeks time. I am still loving it here! I feel so so blessed. I just feel like my entire mission I have been blessed with awesome villes and awesome companions. I really don't know what I did to deserve it.

Soeur S and I have been working hard this week! We have taught more lessons this week than I almost taught my entire last transfer...haha. I love it though. I love actually TEACHING as a missionary. Because that is what I am here to do! I have seen so many miracles this week I couldn't even describe them all. And also we currently have 9 amis so I also couldn't even begin to tell you about all of them even though I wish I could because they all are so wonderful.

We have one engagé right now, and he has been taught a while and is super ready for baptism except for the fact that he can't seem to stop smoking...we have had like 4 lessons in a row just trying to encourage him to stop smoking, but it is super hard for him right now.  He has a date for around the end of May, so we are really hoping that as we pray like crazy that he will be able to quit by then! He is really wonderful though and I am hoping we get to see him baptized this transfer! Other than that all of our amis are really quite wonderful but they each just have small worries that we are trying to overcome.

One of the biggest miracles I saw this week was Ka--! She is so wonderful. She was one of those who I almost let pass me as I was walking but I really felt the spirit tell me to talk to her. So I did, and it was literally like a 15 second contact because she was in a hurry but in that time she gave me her number and told me her sister is a member! Which is crazy. So, we had our first rdv this week and apparently her sister was baptized 3 years ago in a different ville in France, and Karine got taught by the elders quite a bit around the same time, but she never got baptized because they then ended up going back up to Guadeloupe, and they just barely came back to France. And she said she isn't really even sure why she gave us her number but just did and now she wants to start all the lessons over from the beginning, and she has a HUGE desire to learn.  She is truly one of those miracle people. She even offered to say the prayer at the end because she was so excited to start praying again...and she has a little boy who is adorable. So yeah, very cool miracle we saw this week. I can't wait to see her progress. We are actually are headed over to her house as soon as we are done emailing today, so I will update you next week! 

Also this branch is just amazing. I have been praying like crazy to love them with all that I have, and I really felt like my prayers getting answered this week. I already feel like I would be sad to leave them. Not gonna lie, some of them are a little crazy. But that is what makes me love them even more! Haha. And they are great at helping us teach, it is wonderful.

Speaking of prayers getting answered. I feel like I just have a huge list of moments where my prayers got answered this week. One very specific one..we had Zone Training this week in Bordeaux. And we have to get on a train at 6 in the morning to get there. And turns out there was a strike going on that day (super common in France) so the trains weren't running right. Long story short..we had left Bordeaux at 2.30 and it was 8:00 and we still weren't home, when it should have taken 3 hours...We ended up having to take like a 3 hours bus ride. And by this point I just felt so sick. It happens often on days where we have to travel like that...but I was feeling extra terrible. And then I got on the bus and got SUPER bus sick. this sounds like a really silly story, but honestly it just really built my faith this week. I pretty much just felt like I wanted to die I felt so crappy. And I still had 3 hours on a bus, and I just almost couldn't even take it. So I prayed. And nothing. And prayed really hard again. Nothing. And then I got frustrated and I was just begging Heavenly Father to help me because I didn't know if I was going to make it home. And I prayed for a third time, with all the energy of my heart. And almost as soon as it came I didn't feel sick anymore. And I was able to make it home that night without a problem.

I know this doesn't sound like a  big deal..but it honestly built my faith this week. Even if it just was the simpiliest silly little thing. I know with all of my heart that Heavenly Father does answer our prayers. Even the simple ones. He is simply our Father and really just wants to hear from us. the Spirit will always invite us to pray to Him, no matter how unworthy we feel. If we don't feel like praying or we feel to unworthy to pray to Him..we can know it is not coming from the Spirit.

Talk to your Heavenly Father. As often as you can. He is waiting to hear from you. He loves you.

And I love you all so so much! Thank you for all you do for me, I can never thank you enough.
Soeur Magleby