Ma famille et mes amis,
Bonjour! This week was so packed full of fun things! It was great!:)
To start off my week, I actually got to go to Paris!!!! to finish up some paper work and exams for my legality here in France, and that meant that I got to see all of the other missionaries that were in the MTC with me!!!:) Oh man it was the best feeling in the world to HUG someone!!!! French people never hug! haha. French people (actually this is kinda funny haha) greet and say goodbye by touching both sides of their cheeks while making a kissing sound. It's called bisous (haha yes like the French soccer player from the Pink Panther). As sisters we can only do bisous with other women, but EVERYONE does it here!!! Even young college guys with their buddies. Yeah...it is kinda wierd. It's funny...but definitly good to have a hug every once in a while.:) haha.
Anyways. I went to Paris and finally got to do a little bit of finding around Notre Dame. It was incredible! Wow! And there were so many people! I loved it. :) I spent nearly every minute of that day with Sister Johns, my MTC companion, laughing and joking and telling stories. I had so much fun with her that I cried when I had to say goodbye to her again haha. Oh I was given so many tender mercies that day.:)
I also had exchanges for the first time this week!!!!! And oh my I loved it!!! (I am so so so jealous of all the Elders who get to do exchanges so often). We did exchanges with the other Sisters in our district, and I was lucky enough to be able to go to a little town called Cholet and work with Soeur Stahly. We taught three lessons on the day that I was there, and the contacting activities that we did there taught me so much! I also got to meet the newest convert in Cholet who actually got baptized last week. His name is Philippe, and I love him so much! His testimony is so strong already, and he is so trusting in what the Lord asks of him. And the craziest part is that he was baptized on the 28th of last month...and they Sisters had only found him on the 13th!!!!!!!!! Yeah...that's pretty cool.:) It was such a miracle for me to see. Truly there are those who are ready to hear the Gospel - we just need to find them!
The coolest story from this past week happened on Friday... I had just gotten back from exchanges, and we were rushing to get to a rendez-vous that we had set up earlier in the week with a lady that lived about 45 minutes away by bus. We were a little behind schedule...haha...so we were running to catch the bus! but ended up missing it...by that much! We were a little discouraged...and we really didnt know what to do cause there wasnt going to be another bus going out there for another half hour and that had been our only lesson scheduled the entire day. We took a seat down on the bench, said a little prayer together, and decided to wait there for the next bus. After a few minutes, a lady named Sam sat down next to us, and we stroke up conversation. She was in the city looking for a job and wasnt too interested in talking about God, but was actually really curious about what we do as missionaries. After some fun explanations of our...lifestyle...haha we were able to teach and testify about the Plan of Salvation and a living prophet. She was truly touched, and even though she was initially disinterested, she left wanting to learn more, so we fixed a rendez-vous with her for this coming Tuesday.:) It was an incredible experience, and one that I will never forget. I was so filled with love and compassion for Sam during our entire conversation, and I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost that I knew was with us. What a blessing.
Anyways, I hope that y'all are able to feel some of the joy that I feel as you read about special experiences I have here in France serving a mission. Is it hard? You bet it is! But it is so worth it. I testify that the word I teach is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is true, and I know it. Jesus Christ is at the head of this church, and He is at the head of missionary work. I see the hand of the Lord in my endeavors and efforts. There are miracles every day, and it is such a joy to see the Lord pushing this work forward.
I love you with all of my heart. Thank you so much for your love and prayers of support. I am so grateful for your faith.
Remember that you can make a difference, wherever you are, even if it's just through a smile.:)
I love you, Soeur Laura Lee Judd