Sister Michelle Hoar

Serving in the France Lyon Mission Nov 2012 – April 2014

Moving on to Geneva

“Bonjour

So the transfer news: a little bit more exciting than last transfer, I actually had to pack my bags this time (everyone really surprised that I only have one suitcase and a rucksack) anyway, I’m now in Geneva and not only that but I’m in the English ward! I thought I was all calm on the phone because we were actually in a lesson with Juan at the time but Soeur Buonanotte said that I said to President ‘are you kidding me!?’ so I guess it came as a bit of a shock. My companion Soeur Ziane is French [see last week’s letter, final paragraph…] so hopefully I can continue to learn French…hopefully. It’s funny because I’m going to be replacing Soeur Hooker again but this is the only ward in the mission that will appreciate how funny that is. I’ve been debating how inappropriate it would be to make a joke in my first testimony…pretty inappropriate.

Anyway, it’s going to be super weird doing everything in English but I had a bit of practice at least with Juan. Also, we went to eat at an American family’s house yesterday and they asked me to give the prayer and it was so hard in English, I was so slow and slipping in the occasional French word. I don’t want to give the wrong impression, in conversation I hardly have any problems with English but anything to do with the gospel is hard. I’ve not taught in English much and contacting people is hard too but it’ll be a good experience, I mean, the rest of my life will be in English so I better learn. I remember all the times when I thought of all the things I would do if I could speak English and now I have to prove myself but to be honest although I’m not fluent, there isn’t really anything I can do in English that I can’t do in French.

Anyway, I’ll give you my new address:
Les Missionaires
17 chemin de l’ecu
1219 chatelaine
Genève
Suisse

Happy writing! 🙂

I just found out some shocking information the other day. They gave us a transfer calendar that also has the dying transfer of each missionary (when we finish) and I only have four more transfers left! What the heck! I got gypped. [Michelle comes home 14th April 2014] It gave me another boost to step up the level. I’m so ready to work hard here. It was really hard to give it my all in the last transfer when your companion’s idea of working hard is different to your own but I’ve heard that Soeur Ziane is a hard worker so I’m excited to hit the pavement.

Our apartment is going to be really fun. I’m going to be living with Soeur Crowley (from Sheffield) and Soeur Sovaleni (she was in Renens when I was in Lausanne) So we’re gonna have a great time, they’re really lovely sisters and we’ll hopefully be speaking French in the apartment since Soeur Sovaleni doesn’t speak English and I really need to be speaking as much French as I can if I’m in English ward. Can you tell I’m a bit worried about not learning French. But really I know it will all work out because the Lord wouldn’t send me to an area to fail. That’s one thing I love about the mission, how you can be so sure that you are always exactly where the Lord wants you, with the right people doing the right thing because it’s not you who decides. You put yourself into the hands of the Lord and let him do the hard work. Our part is really simple in life actually, I don’t know why it’s so hard to execute but the principle is so easy. Just obey, do what you’re supposed to and then you’re safe, you’ve done it. God designed this plan, worked out all the details, created it all and put it into effect, we just have to choose to follow.

This week we had district meeting and afterwards we always eat as a zone and this week Elder Taua decided to prepare a Tahitian dish…raw fish. I kid you not. raw fish. I was so scared, I’ve only jut learnt how to eat cooked fish on my mission. But this is a big demonstration of how much I’ve changed. Not only did I eat it all but I actually liked it and would’ve gone back for seconds if it wasn’t all gone. I remember how scared I was for dinner appointments on my mission and now it doesn’t phase me. Although aparantly the English ward is full of Mongolians and I don’t know how much their kind of food will ‘not phase me’.

Well, love you all. Have a wonderful week.

Love Soeur Hoar”

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A crumpet sandwich with egg and ham

“Bonjour

Thank you so much for the crumpets, everyone loved them and can now stop hassling me about what a crumpet is. I didn’t expect you to send so many too which was great and the chocolate too was lovely surprise. I gave some crumpets that were left over to the zone leaders to take home and then I get a text the next day saying that one of the elders had been eating a crumpet sandwich with egg and ham and is this allowed?…I didn’t reply.

So for this week we had another exchange and I was with Soeur Jones who said to me ‘I hope that this doesn’t sound creepy but I read your blog before I came on my mission’. It was a bit strange but there we go. We had a good exchange though and had a wonderful lesson with a new amie. It’s a really cool story actually. So Tuesday, we were contacting around the gare and we see a Chinese girl who’s really struggling with some bags and when we offer to help she gladly accepts. As we’re walking she is really excited to find out that we’re Christian and that we’re missionaries. She told us that she’s been going to bible study classes here in Switzerland (she moved from China a couple of months ago) because she likes the Bible and is Christian but doesn’t know much about it and wants to learn more. Well…I was just bursting to tell her what we do. She was so happy and we quickly exchanged numbers. She then got all emotional and said that she has been going through a hard time recently and she had been praying that someone would come and help her and then we came along. It was such a wonderful feeling to have been an instrument in the Lord’s hands and what’s really cool is that it was her faith that brought us there. We taught her on Friday during the exchange and she is so humble and receptive. After we shared the first vision we asked her how she was feeling and she said ‘I feel powerful, really good and warm’ the spirit was so strong and she really opened up to us and shared some things that I can’t write in an email but we were able to testify that the Atonement can heal her and a bit about the Plan of Salvation that I can’t wait to teach her this week. You know how we’re taught to be humble as little children? This is Juan, she is the perfect example of teachable and being childlike. I love her so much already.

We had district meeting too this week and it was all about planning and using the area book. From what Elder Marson (district leader from Manchester) was saying, it made me really grateful to be a sister because the Elders area books sound like horror stories. He was like, I only found out that there was a ‘potential investigators’ section in my last transfer. He’s only one transfer younger than me. In conference the other week they told us that we needed to sort out our area books because everyone is getting white washed next transfer, although I know that’s not true me and Soeur Buonanotte said that we wouldn’t be surprised if it happened to Renens. I always thought that you got white washed if you were doing a really bad job but I think here President just likes to have a bit of fun and change things up a bit.

So transfers are next week already and I have no idea what’s going to happen, whether Renens will be another Nice and I just get the one transfer or whether I’m here for the long run. I’ll be happy as long as I’m not sister trainer leader. I really just want to be training again but just one blue. You never know I could be training Rachel Bridgewater!

Tonight we will be teaching the husband of a member (Cedric). We’re doing a FHE with them and they’re such a lovely family with two young children. Their eldest is the same age as Emily and they actually really remind me of Anneka and Michael and their family, honestly I get a bit homesick when we go over. This family needs to be eternal! So please pray for us tonight that Cedric will feel the spirit and want to follow Christ and His teachings.

Another email question I forgot to answer, my companion and I do speak English together. Our French is at about the same level even though she’s three transfers younger than me but she’s really got a talent for languages. We often fix the goal to just speak in French but it’s harder than it seems. You just forget. I’m hoping at some point to get a French speaking companion because me French really isn’t where I want it to be. I guess that’s my own fault but I am trying.

So, have a wonderful week. I love you all tonnes!

Love Soeur Hoar”

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“Let’s not worry about the dinosaurs”

“Bonjour,

Ok, what happened this week? (pause as I look into my planner which doesn’t help at all because we never end up doing what we planned).

We had zone conference this week so there should be some photos on the mission blog although if I don’t look too happy on the picture it’s because we just rushed in late and then were made to stand up because they couldn’t see us properly and so I wasn’t that happy. I f I do look happy then it’s because I love missionary work and I’m never unhappy…

Conference (both general and zone) was great though and I’m really excited to apply what I learnt. President talked about how he used to do ‘monster weeks’ during his mission which basically means you work out how to work more hours than normal and work so hard that you couldn’t possibly do it full time or you’d kill yourself. So that’s what we’re going to do this week 🙂 If you don’t get an email next week then you’ll know why.

Adriana is progressing well, I think we’ll need to push her date a bit forward but it’s not a bad thing, I think we were just a bit too enthusiastic when we first set the date.

Unfortunately we won’t be seeing Nathalie anymore, we passed by again the other day and she made it clear she didn’t want us to come back. I can’t dwell on it otherwise I’ll just cry. I don’t understand what happened of why it had to happen but I do know that these experiences will help me. I don’t know how if at the least to understand just the slightest idea of how Christ feels when He is rejected. We all have our choice and it needs to be that way even if it breaks our hearts when you know someone is losing out on so much by the way they are using it. I’m not giving up on her though. She knows it’s true and some missionaries are going to pass by her house in the future and  she’ll remember what she learnt and accept it.

On to a brighter note. We had a miracle Sunday. We have been working a lot more with part member families and inactives the last little while because we have like 2 amis and it turns out that that was exactly what we were supposed to be doing because every sister and her dog brought her non member husband to church yesterday. (I tried explaining the phrase every man and his dog to soeur Buonanotte…she just gave me an odd look… ‘dog?’)

So we fasted with about three sisters this week and it’s already showing the fruits. Plus, that sister that stopped us at the gare because she’s actually a member and was never able to find the church for two years came with her two sisters, mum and her mum’s non member friend. We had the highest sacrament meeting attendance in ages, it was great. This ward is so on top of things with fellowship and such that it just makes it a pleasure to be here.

I’m trying to think of anything funny that happened this week and it just popped into my mind how funny it is having an Italian companion because you wouldn’t believe the amount of english words that sound rude when said with an italian accent. We spent about 10 minutes going over the proper way to pronounce the word ‘sheet’. I’m also learning some Italian and by Italian I mean sign language. She would hit me if she knew I’d just said that.

So all in all, doing well. Oh, another update on how my French is going since I got asked again. I’ll reply with this little anecdote. We were talking to a man on the street for about 10 minutes, after that he found out I was english and said we can speak in english, I think it would be better. Then started in english ‘so, since how many time have you been here’. I really hope it wasn’t better in english. That was a funny contact though because he asked us if we believed in the Bible, after a bit of discussion he said ‘then tell me why Noah didn’t save the dinosaurs’. I just looked at him and said ‘hold on, the Bible teaches us that Jesus Christ, the Son of God came to earth to suffer our sins, show us the way and die for us so that we can be saved and you’re worried about the dinosaurs?’ My companion got a kick out of that. So I guess the message for this week is let’s not worry about the dinosaurs. The gospel is wonderful and true.

Love you all. Have a wonderful week.

Love Soeur Hoar”

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Short email from Michelle

“Bonjour

I’m sorry this email won’t be very interesting because I’m feeling ill today and my brain just won’t concentrate for very long. Pray for me for our lesson tonight! I know you’re always praying for me so thank you.

I’d like to do a musical item but it just means taking a bit of time out to practice and that’s really the last thing on my mind.

Ok, just really quick. We got into contact with Nathalie again! Haven’t had a lesson yet but it’s great progress! Also, we have a new investigator Adriana who is the wife of a less active member and her kids are baptised too and if all goes to plan she will be baptised on the 26th of this month. We’re hoping for an eternal family here 🙂

I love you all, wasn’t conference amazing?!

Have a wonderful week. Sorry it’s not too inspiring, I’ll think of some good stuff for next week and for your seminary class mum.

Love Soeur Hoar”

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“People eat conkers?”

“Bonjour

We went to Holy Cow today which is way to expensive on a missionary budget but it was great to go. They just do burgers and chips but it’s posh Swiss style and by that I mean I had a chicken burger with Camembert and cranberry sauce…who else does that!?

Soeur Hooker (cannot call people by their first names anymore it’s way too weird. In fact, it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to address your letters to Soeur Hoar because honestly I barely recognise my first name anymore) went to Geneva, the English speaking ward.

It’s nuts that Rachel…Soeur Bridgwater will be in the field in just a few weeks. It seems crazy because I remember Anneka telling me about it when I was in Nice and then she was like but at that point you’ll have done a year and will be coming home soon…that’s next transfer! What!?

What has happened this week? I sometimes note down things in my planner to remind me what to tell you and I just had a look and the only thing I noted was ‘conkers in migros’. Which means I just thought it was hilarious this week that when we went shopping in Migros (equivalent to Tesco) they were selling conkers in the fruit and veg section. People eat conkers? I then remembered the trouble we had a couple of transfers ago trying to explain to Soeur Hooker’s Tahitian companion how to play conkers. She thought it was odd. I thought selling them was odd and that if I’d known about that little business when I was 7 then I could’ve made a killing with Tesco carrier bags full of the things. Anyway, as you can see throughout my mission I have really matured both mentally and spiritually, aren’t you so proud Mum?

Me and Soeur Buonanotte have also just discovered what we’re going to be doing each p-day now. She has an incredible voice and so we spent an hour, me playing, her singing. Bliss.

We had some little miracles doing some porting this week. I’ve personally never had any success doing porting during the mission but as I’ve said before, Renens is miracle ville. We actually had a tombez-vous and we were with a member so we decided to go port the building next door. Miracle number 1: usually it’s nearly impossible to port in suisse because they all have codes on the doors but this one we just got straight in. Then we had two people interested. The second one was just as we were leaving and a lady was getting into the lift so Soeur Buonanotte turned back round and asked her if she wanted to know more about Jesus Christ and she said yes and gave us her number. It was really great doing it with a member too. I’ve never asked them to just come out and do contacting with us and it was a really cool experience, especially as she’d like to serve a mission too.

We don’t really have many amis right now and the one’s we do have want to drop us but right now we’re not letting them…but we’ll see how things pan out this week. To be honest, when I came in there were loads of names of people they were teaching but none of them were really progressing so all we’ve done is just transfered our efforts to finding than to calling up the people who don’t answer. Anyway, we’re expecting some miracles this week and to find some wonderfully prepared people. I’m not giving up on Nathalie just yet either.

Thank you for your prayers and letters. Especially Sister Derham this week you don’t know how much that helped me. It was really lovely all that you said and it boosted me when I was having a rough day so thank you.

Love you all heaps
Love Soeur Hoar”

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