Sister Michelle Hoar

Serving in the France Lyon Mission Nov 2012 – April 2014

“We’ve just brought a stranger to church”

on 17 February 2014

“Bonjour

We have a Tahitian couple who’ve come back to the branch, I think I talked about them last week and I was talking to Frère Temahuki and he said that in Tahitian Hoar means ‘friend’, I said, ‘do you know what it means in English?’ he said “no” and I told him. He laughed and said “I guess it’s pretty similar to a friend then!”

We met a man in centre ville the other day who said that his dad was 124 and still living, so we were curious as to how old he was (looks about 50), he said 94 and then went on to say that when we’re old he’ll still be walking around at like 200 years old and he’ll be really healthy. He refused to share his secrets for staying so healthy but did let slip that he knows exactly when I would die, I tried to get it out of him but he wouldn’t even tell me within a five year boundary. It’s not like I wanted to know the exact day but I guess it’s a power he just can’t share with others. The moral of this story is that I really like the people in Angoulême.

I was ill this week, the first time really on my mission and it’s annoying. It didn’t stop us going out but it meant that I was not in my right mind for a few days, thus I had a few conversations like the one I wrote above. I find though that when we’re feeling weak, the Lord sends nice people to make things better so I got to meet a few nice people this week. A lot of mean people too but because I was feeling so out of it I didn’t even notice. Soeur Beeny stopped this woman who just responded with a load of abuse and questions that she didn’t actually want answers to and she shot them at me and I was feeling so ill that I just couldn’t be bothered to answer and I was just a bit numb to all the rubbish she shouted at us afterwards. So it turns out that not feeling well was a blessing. Soeur Beeny just laughed afterwards because of the expression I had on my face, mum, I’m sure you can imagine it a bit, you know when I don’t think much of someone and I don’t have the energy to hide it.

I’m working a lot on charity this week.

People are really funny here though and mum, you’re right how funny it is that things have changed so much because honestly, out of all my villes I might be the most excited to have you meet Angoulême branch in July. I love this place and I say it in the same kind of tone as I talked about Geneva. I really hope I finish here, I’ll  be gutted if I have to leave but it’s ok because I have another 2 weeks before I really need to think about it.

You know I said we were doing a miracle Sunday where for the 2nd of March everyone will bring a friend. So to help out we made a bunch of brownies and put two in each bag with a tag saying that things are better when we share them. Then during our missionary minute in sacrament meeting we told them about what you sent me and that we’re going to do it as a branch and that they each have two brownies, one to eat and one to share and with the brownie they can share an invitation to come to church. I hope it worked, to be honest I think they were just happy to get cake and they like us a bit more now but that’s ok too.

The tasks that I did this week was that we made something for a less active member. We had brownies left over so we visited a less active family in the afternon and gave them to them. Also we watched the Restoration video with Stephan this week (thus a video with a non member). It went pretty well, he’s got his baptism this Saturday in Bordeaux but then he will be a member of our branch. His best friend who lives in Bordeaux will be baptising him who is a recent convert himself and so only just received the Priesthood. It’s weird and wonderful that this baptism has just come out of ‘nowhere’. We were thinking we were working so hard and nobody was progressing and then poof! we’re going to have a baptism and a new member in Angoulême. They haven’t had a baptism in over a year. I’m so happy for them, Stephan’s really going to be a strength to this branch. He’s brilliant.

Church was funny, we had four amis there again, honestly this branch doesn’t know what’s hit them. I see that the Lord has a sense of humour here because things all work out in the end but in the strangest ways that let you know that it’s all His work because we know we had nothing to do with this one. We had a call from an unknown number Saturday night and it was someone asking about church, we didn’t know who it was but then figured it was the brother of the family we met this week. Fantastic, we thought, because he’d actually not given us the right number and now we’ve got the right one. So Sunday morning we go with Soeur Menardin to pick him up in centre-ville and I didn’t recognise him but that’s normal because I never remember how people look when I’ve only met them once. We’re chatting in the car and then when we get to church soeur Beeny leans to me and says ‘that’s not Camel’ (who we thought it was) and it took us forever to work out who it was. Turns out it’s just someone I talked to in town the other day and we’ve just brought a stranger to church. Great 🙂 Then another person we just met in the street came too and afterwards they all stayed for the munch and mingle and got to know the branch. It was funny because we had a church attendance of 14 and six of those were us and our amis.

So that’s the week. I hope it all made sense, my head’s not completely back to normal but it’s all good. Tonight we’re off to do an FHE with the famille Temahuki and Josué and Audrey. Have a wonderful week.

Love you all

Soeur Hoar”

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