Sister Michelle Hoar

Serving in the France Lyon Mission Nov 2012 – April 2014

Au Revoir

“Au Revoir

Firstly a few items of business. Next week I won’t be doing emails so if you didn’t send something this week then sorry you missed your chance, you can just tell me personally next week. Ok, so I guess it’s just one item of business.

Conference was brilliant, I know you all know that but I just want to sustain that vote. I saw Noémie’s sister at Conference, that was really cool. What was even better was Marlène and Monique came and loved it, we’re teaching them both tonight and can’t wait to chat more about it, especially as we have this dream that Marlène will have received her answer about baptism and that we can baptise her this Friday with Monique. But I guess you’ll never know how this miracle story ends since I’m not writing next week. This week I actually had a combination of the worst and best moment of my mission when on Monday Monique was going to let it all go because of one of the commandments we taught, she wanted to follow it but didn’t think it was possible for her and for the fist time in my mission I just sat there and cried in the lesson. I didn’t think that 4 weeks was long enough to care about someone so much but it felt like my heart had been ripped out and I learnt really what it means to have a prayer always in your heart. I don’t think I stopped praying for 24hrs in between the rdvs, I didn’t really sleep that night and it was no better in the morning. That then turned into the best experience when she showed huge faith and said that she would keep the commandment. I felt inspired to ask her in between these lessons to read Mosiah 4 but I didn’t know why and when we followed up she said that she felt she would be condemned if she didn’t obey the commandments. She got a pretty quick strong answer and it was funny because as soon as she said what she read I was like ‘just so you know, that chapter didn’t come from me’. I mean, I’m bold, but not that bold. Anyway, she’s fantastic and has such a great desire to follow the Savior and serve him and I can’t wait for Friday!!!!!

It’s crazy how attached I’ve got to people here, yesterday Marlène asked me ‘are you really leaving?’ she welled up and told me that it’s going to be too hard to say goodbye. The Lord really blesses you with an irrational love for these people. I just say irrational because of the time in which you are able to love with all your heart. France and Switzerland and all the people that I’ve served mean more to me than I realised they could do.

The Lord really knows what he’s doing with missionary work, it’s the lost fantastic experience. He knows the joy of it so He gives this opportunity and privilege to His children so that they can share in the joy of His work. It is only thanks to Christ that we are saved but yet he mercifully gives us a part to play so that in the eternities our joy can be full like his. I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ.

I didn’t mean for this to be a goodbye email, my plan was just to write a little note because I’ll see you all next week, but there you go, a bit of my testimony.

I’m spending p-day in Bordeaux today since we were her for conference we thought we’d take advantage of the situation.

Love you all so much,
Soeur Hoar”

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Post-Mothers Day Email

“Bonjour,

It was wonderful to talk to everyone yesterday and you’re right for some strange reason, it was harder this time. It was great though, it’s so funny how nuts the family is, I’ve seen other companions families who are all sat there in the screen calmly taking their turns talking…I’m glad we’re cooler than that. I don’t know how much I really told you on Skype so I’ll just give you a bit of an update anyway.

So Monique is progressing very well, we were going to do the baptism in Montauban but after I did an exchange there this week and saw the ‘font’ (a big blue paddling pool in a classroom) we decided it’ll be best in Bordeaux. Oh, when I was in Montauban I met Brother Van Tonder’s parents. Small world.

Mohamed, our new ami, is set to be baptised for the 26th April after he called us up after one lesson saying that he’d had a dream where he was in a building with lots of people and he was going to be baptised. He was like ‘what does that mean and how do you baptise?’ Now I’m no Joseph of Egypt but we had a pretty good idea of what that meant.

Having four amis at church was brilliant even if it did mean that for half of church it was just us and the High Counsellor who was visiting. Reactivation work is going well too. There’s a ton of potential in Agen it’s crazy.

Not really sure what to write sorry, I guess I did get a lot out yesterday.

Love you tons, sorry it’s short.

Have a wonderful week,

Loev Soeur Hoar”

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“She has faith, she’s acting and she’s getting blessed”

“Bonjour,

First off an apology, this week I found out there were a few people who’ve written to me during the mission and I never replied, really sorry, in my head I was sure I’d replied and I’m super grateful for all the mail/post that I get, it’s a huge support. I’ve overcome many weaknesses during the mission but writing is not one of them. It’s always nice to have room to grow hey?

Second off, sorry for not writing yesterday, we had a tri-zone conference so today becomes p-day.

I don’t think I have anything left to apologise for and sorry there’s no suggestion box attached to this email, I’m a bit scared you’d abuse the privilege.

It’s been a miracle filled week. Yesterday at conference I got to see and talk with Soeur Beeny and she filled me in on everything in Angoulême and the best things are happening. Steve, who we met in my last week and started teaching is getting baptised in a few weeks and things are apparently just going perfectly with him. He said he’s been thinking about real intent and that if he needs to have real intent about baptism then he needs to know everything that would include so they gave him a quick 15 min run down of the word of wisdom, chastity, tithing etc; and at the end he was like, oh ok, I can do all that! Then I find out that Audrey has finally set a date to be married and will be baptised probably the beginning of May!!!!! I wonder how quick I can save up for a flight back for that?

Meanwhile Agen is having it’s own miracles and looks like I’m going to have a baptism just before coming home. Her name is Monique and we taught her for the first time on Monday but she’d already been to church twice thanks to the Murers. She’s our neighbour so we just pop by all the time and she’s fast become our best friend. She is so sincere and full of faith. From the beginning she’s been ready to act and has kept every engagement we’ve given her. She even goes the extra mile, we ask her to read a chapter, she reads 3 and makes notes and personal applications. We set a date the third lesson for the 12th April and then a day later she says she can’t because she’s doing a service project but it would be fine for the 11th. She’s about 60 and looks like she’s been smoking most of her life so we were getting ready to teach the word of wisdom, worrying whether three weeks would be enough for her to stop smoking and then she comes out saying that she heard we don’t smoke so she made a promise with God to stop and since then she hasn’t touched a cigarette. What?! We were ecstatic and when we told her how happy she was she was just like ‘well, yeah, I made a promise with God,I’m gonna keep it, I need to stop’. Then she announces that she has good news for us: her son who hasn’t spoken to her in ages called her up yesterday to invite her to come stay a week with him the beginning of may. We were about ready to explode with joy. It’s simple though, she has faith, she’s acting and she’s getting blessed.

Other miracle, we started working with a less active called Anita, might have mentioned her? Anyway, she says that she’s going to talk with her work so that she can come church on Sundays! She’s a carer for old people and said she thinks she could switch around her days so that she can come at least every other week.

We went out in the boonies to find some inactives with the Murers the other day and we drive up to one and Soeur Nuutinen is like ‘hey, look at all their cars, they’re GB’. Then I saw a national trust sticker one one of them and we decided it would be best if I spoke first to this sister…good call. She opens the door and we have a lovely conversation, she couldn’t have us over then but we’re going back soon. She’s lived here for 12 years but was baptised in Essex, her name’s Gillian Nurding.

Also, we got to teach our landlord and his wife and guess where they used to live? Émey, where they have the evening market! We had a good chat about that, sadly wasn’t too interested in the rest of our mission but it was a good spark.

So conference was fantastic yesterday, maybe the best that I’ve been to. Also, I gave, what they call, my ‘dying testimony’. It was the weirdest thing because for your whole mission you see all these old missionaries getting up, bearing their testimony and then you never see them again and you think it will never happen to you and so thinking that I’m now one of those old missionaries is really weird. It was harder bearing my testimony there than it was when I did it in French for the first time in Annecy. There were a few others there that were dying with me, one of them being Elder Gruber and he was like, hey, you remember in Bergerac? I can’t believe how fast everything goes. Although it’s going to kill me to leave I am very hopeful, there seem to be a lot of missionaries who see this as the end of everything and it’s the worst thing that could ever happen and I just think, you’ve been teaching faith and hope for 18months to 2 years, come on!

So have a wonderful week, I love you all.

Love Soeur Hoar”

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“It’s not so fun when things come to the end, unless it’s sickness or Westlife”

Bonjour…comme dab.

Dad, your task was really fun this week, we did the one where me and my companion are supposed to do three special, different things for each other during the day. Soeur Nuutinen was really funny and stuck post-it notes everywhere with our inside jokes and wrote a letter because yours didn’t come this week so I assume I’ll get it today. I had baked biscuits for our neighbour who had  her birthday and then made special ones for Soeur Nuutinen in the shape of her initials. Just a few of the very cheesy, sister missionary-like things we did. I’ve changed. Sometimes it’s a good thing, sometimes it just scares me.

So we got to go to church for the first time this week. It’s smaller than Angoulême. It’s really small. No really, it’s very small. All that said, I like it. They treat me like a king because I can play the piano, before me one of the elders practiced playing one note simple hymns. You’ve gotta hand it to him though, that’s dedication.

There’s a family in the branch with only the three kids who are baptised and come to church, two of them gave the talks this Sunday which left a nice 15 mins for me to ‘bear my testimony’. I was impressed though with their faith and diligence to the church being so young, their talks were great…short, but great. This family is our focus for the transfer. We’re going to teach the parents and then they’re gonna get baptised. The parents aren’t fully aware of the plan yet but I’m hoping that this week they’ll jump on board.

Other amis, we have Marlene who’s progressing, still not sure why she’s holding back from baptism but we’re getting closer. We were this close (you can’t see it but ‘this’ is very small) to fixing a baptismal date with Michael but it was just technical problems like General Conference and then his girlfriend being away that we couldn’t do it. But then he didn’t come to church so something’s not right there. Monique, however, is coming to church. She’s our neighbour and the Murer’s have been working with her for a little while before we came and we’ve now been able to fix a teaching appointment with her for tonight.

It’s been beautiful nearly all week and I can’t believe in March I’m not wearing a coat.

We had an exchange in Bordeaux this week and then a zone training meeting so we weren’t in Agen much and then this coming week we’re doing another exchange in Montauban and then we have a district meeting so it’s hard not to get a bit frustrated that we’re not getting much done in the secteur. I have to remind myself every day to calm down and that things work out in the Lord’s timing. With only four weeks left – how did that happen?! I remember thinking the same when Laura and Mark were gone and I don’t know how I feel because I feel like it’s fast but also slow at the same time, can’t explain it really, it’s just weird, everything about being near the end is weird. Anyway, with only four week left I feel like there’s not enough time and I feel the pressure of the time but I just need to remind myself that the Lord didn’t call me to Agen to save the whole town and branch in six weeks, I’m just supposed to play my part and all will work out. I’m freaking out a bit though. I’m really excited to come home, the fact that I haven’t seen my family and friends for so long will never change no matter how much I love the mission. I miss you all. But at the same time, I love this so much and it’s not so fun when things come to the end, unless it’s sickness or Westlife. I’ll keep working hard and calm down. But if one more missionary comes up to me and says ‘hey, you’re dying soon aren’t you?’…then I guess I’ll politely say yes and restrain myself.

I love you all, hope you have a wonderful week.

Love Soeur Hoar

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Spot the ‘man on the bench’

“Bonjour,

I’ve been fooling you all for the last 16months that I’ve been learning and speaking French when in fact the only proof you have is that I know how to say ‘bonjour’.

Sacrament attendance is about 15 but I couldn’t be sure because Soeur Nuutinen was sick this weekend and the mission nurse banned us from going to church! With one sick day, I can cope with that, I got tonnes done in the apartment, I went through the entire old area book and took out, organised and mapped out all the people we could try see again and called all those without an address, I organised the whole apartment, did hours of studies and that was the first day but then I had nothing left to do the second day and was going insane! I was gutted to miss church but what can you do? if you’re sick, you’re sick. And she wasn’t even faking it because the first night that she got sick I heard a bang which woke me up, then another bang and I jumped out of bed to see her collapsed in the doorway without any memory of what just happened. She’s better now 🙂 Cheers Nurse Povar (mission nurse).

We have a few amis, which is a miracle for a whitewash, usually we have nothing. There’s a couple with some potential: Marlene who is progressing well but each time we talk about baptism she says that she wants to take her time and then we have Michael who is the boyfriend of a less active member and we’re going over to her house tonight to do an fhe with her and her family. She has like 6 kids but is only 28, she said she got married at 14, nuts!

The task that I did this week was to talk to an old man (over 65) on a park bench. It’s been beautiful here all week (most days I didn’t wear a coat) so it was a nice opportunity to do this task. I always expect something really good to come from each task so we go up to this man and sit down with him and just try to start up a nice friendly conversation but it soon became apparent that his French wasn’t all there and then he started acting really weird just saying no over and over. He wasn’t drunk or homeless so it was kinda strange. Anyway we walked away from that just thinking it was a bit pointless but then we saw him again and he said he wanted to be baptised…ok not really but that would’ve been a great ending. No, the ending is that now we see him all the time and it’s just become a joke between me and Soeur Nuutinen to spot the ‘man on the bench’.

I can’t remember what I told you about the senior couple here, the Murer’s? Anyway, we spent a lot of the week with them since they know the area and they have a car so they took us around to introduce us to amis and less actives which has been great, it means we waste less time. That’s one thing I don’t like about whitewashes, we seem to waste a lot of time just trying to figure things out. I trust Heavenly Father though, he knows what he’s doing by sending me here. I don’t have a clue but he’s got me covered for lack of a better phrase.

We had a lovely experience last night where Elder Murer gave us the sacrament in our apartment. We had a little sacrament meeting with each one of us bearing testimony and everything. It was a wonderful moment for a few reasons 1. It was wonderful to have the priesthood in the home, I didn’t realise how much I missed th…

…they just told us they’re closing the internet place so I got to go. Sorry”

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