This week in Bayonne

What exactly happened this week? A lot of things, actually. It was eventful and sad and hilarious all at the same time. It rained every day, I’m pretty sure. And I think Soeur Hall, my collegue, has already broken a couple of umbrellas. 🙂 You have to be careful here when it rains because the wind is also really strong. It was hilarious, though. Sister Hall and I laugh a lot. I think laughing is what keeps the miracles coming and the heart light.

 
We also spent a lot of time with the members, trying to strengthen them. Sometimes, life is hard, but it helps when you have the missionaries to come and cheer you up. 🙂 I sincerely love the people here. They are such a part of my family. And we feel like they need to be strengthened and unified. 
 
That’s what Christ does. He comes, grows people’s faith, strengthens them, and leaves them more unified. I’ve been pondering and searching the scriptures for some really great ways to inspire people to be unified, and, so far, we have found this really great chapter in the Book of Mormon: Mosiah 4. I particularly loved this scripture in the chapter:  
19 For behold, are we not all abeggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?

 20 And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a aremission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay; he has poured out hisbSpirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with cjoy, and has caused that your mouths should be stopped that ye could not find utterance, so exceedingly great was your joy.

 21 And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to aimpart of the substance that ye have one to another.

 
Basically, we all just need to realize that literally no one is perfect a part from Christ, and that we all need him just as much as those around us. And once we look outside of ourselves and realize that others need help, I think we love them more and begin to understand them more. And then we strengthen one another, and we all grow.
 
Another thing: Eva, who is preparing for her baptism, is such an amazing person who has seen so many things in life and learned from them. She really understands what it means to be a disciple of Christ
 
Another thing: in addition to helping humans, we help animals. It was a sad experience, but we sort of saved a cat from dying. I love all animals, but I’m pretty sure we are some of the only people who would have taken a broken cat out of a road and waited for the firemen to come and take it to the vet. Heavenly Father loves the animals which He created as well as his children. I know this is true. 🙂
 
I love you all!
 
Love,
Sister Smith
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Six Weeks in Bayonne!

Hello everyone!

 
We got the calls from President Roney (our mission President (but he isn’t elected)) this week, and it turns out that I’m staying in Bayonne for another transfer! But Soeur Rose, my collegue, has moved to a different ville. I was definitely sad to leave her, because she’s so sweet. But I know that she’s needed there in the east of France where she is. My new collegue is Sister Hall from Utah! 
 
It was actually a really great week here in Bayonne. Despite the rain, the Lord’s work is advancing. 🙂 One of our friends, Eva, who is from Latvia, decided that she wants to get baptised! She has been coming to the church for over a year-and-a-half, and she really loves how she feels there. It was such a spiritual experience with her when we were talking about it. I really felt the love that the Lord had for her, and I think she really felt it, too! She’s so excited. Her friend from Latvia is coming all the way down here to see her baptism in a month. 🙂 
 
And we had a wonderful Sunday, too. We went to a member’s home, and talked about many things. One of the things I loved the most that the wife said was about being positive. She really liked a talk given by Gordon B. Hinckley (the prophet of the church before the current Thomas S. Monson) a couple of years ago about it, and her and her family have really tried to apply it. 
 
The thing that I loved the most, though, was that she said that our outlook on life determines what things come to us. If we look at things positively and really have faith that good things will happen, they really will happen. I find it an amazing principle to think about. Because light is attracted to light, and good things are attracted to good things, and bad things to bad things. “While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be children of light” (John 12:36) I think a positive thought can make a huge difference in our day, year, life, etc. It is through us that God creates miracles (and positive experiences) when we have the faith that they can happen. 
 
I love you all. I really do. 
 
Love,
Sister Smith

And a Bonne Annee

My family! (All of you are) I love you so much! My heart is bursting with joy and love!

It’s one of the greatest feelings in the world. I learned so so many things this past week; I wish I could recount all of them to you, but I think it might be overwhelming. 🙂 So I will just share with you one or two of the things that I have learned that have changed me.

I finished the Book of Mormon on Christmas day for the 3rd time in my life. And, now, there is really this tangible feeling that has been added to my heart. It’s a mix of love and joy and peace.. And it’s constantly there. It’s something that I have never before experienced in my life, and it brought me such happiness.. The scriptures (the Bible and the Book of Mormon) have changed my life forever.

And I was talking to a missionary this past week, and we were talking about what we have learned from President Blake Roney. He has such a light about him and radiates the love of Christ, and he has been successful in life in so many ways. And he told her that the reason why is because he prays before every person he talks to. It inspired me when she told me that. It takes a grand humility and love and diligence to remember to pray so often, but you can visibly see the difference that it makes in the light and love of Christ you show to others. I’m going to apply it in my life.

Also, yesterday, the ward pianist wasn’t here (it was prevued to happen like that), and she had asked me to play piano. I told her I would be able to play the first line of the cantiques, but I wanted to help, so I said yes. It is very hard to play when people sing and someone is directing the music while you are playing. I made a ton of mistakes, and was a little stressed, but I was happy I could help.

Afterwards, one of the ward members came up and talked to me, and I apologized for how bad it was. And he said it was better than the others could do, and thanked me for my efforts. Then he said something really sweet. He said “You have a beautiful soul.” It touched me. And I kind of teared up a bit. It was another good Sunday. Sundays are my favorite days.

I love you all!

Love,

Sister Smith

Here is a picture of our Christmas Eve!