Monday, September 27, 2010

Good News Goose

Well I have officially finished my first transfer in France. I can't believe that I have been here for over a month now.

And next transfer...... I'M STAYING IN EVRY.....WITH SOEUR BROUGH!!!! We are thrilled to be staying here and to be staying together. (This is Soeur Brough's LAST transfer and her 5th transfer in Evry- so I guess it's kind of a big deal that we are staying together.)

Last week we continued to witness tons of miracles. We were contacted my several people, including families, who are truly searching for the truth and excited to invite us into their homes. Also, many of our amis are progressing wonderfully and we are helping them prepare for baptism. I know that Soeur Brough and I will have an incredible transfer together.

Well last Monday we went to Paris with Elder Coburn and Elder Riley (who is going home this week). It was SOOO much fun!!! We went all around Paris and basically saw everything. I will be sure to send pictures. We have a great district and have a lot of fun together.

Tuesday and Wednesday Soeur Brough and I were in Paris for a Leadership Training. (We were the only sisters there.) It was incredible and I learned so much. Some of the highlights of the training was- going to mass at Notre Dame (all 60 of us missionaries at the training- that was a sight), contacting in Paris, and seeing some of my MTC friends (before and after the training). It was great!!! And like I said it was blessing to be there. Soeur Brough and I are already putting into practice the things that we learned and we are already seeing a lot of improvement in our teaching and finding.

One of the things that we talked about was the difference between giving and getting. A lot of the time we focus on all of the things that we will get from doing something, but really it should be the other way around. As missionaries we should wake up every morning and get right to work- doing everything we can so that we can help others and most of all help Heavenly Father. The same goes for callings and church membership. Everything we have has been given to us by our Heavenly Father and we truly owe everything to Him. We show our love to Him by giving back. Having a "giving" mindset is helping me fulfill my purpose as a missionary, and I am already happier knowing that I have something to give. We all have something to give.

As I said before, we have had so many incredible RDVs this week. When we were teaching Wen-Lei (who I absolutely ADORE) the Plan of Salvation, Soeur Brough told her that we want to meet her in the Celestial Kingdom one day. It is a simple statement but it hit me SO strongly. I REALLY DO want to meet her in the Celestial Kingdom one day. I want her to be with Heavenly Father forever. I was deeply touched by how serious this work really is. When love is the base of the work here, it becomes much more than work.

Another tender mercy that I experienced was with our ami Nicholène. She is ready to be baptized but she has a few tiny concerns that we were talking about. She is concerned that tithing money is spent on temples, and that temples are a little too showy. We tried to explain to her that we make temples the best we can out of respect for God and Jesus Christ. She still had a hard time so we figured it would be best to just bear testimony and hope that the spirit will help her feel peace. I told her that if I were asked to, I would give all of my money to the building of temples. I told her that I wouldn't care what the temple looks like only of anything except the work that is done inside. I love the temple with all of me heart! The promises I have made in the temple have blessed my life more than I could ever say. To me, temples are the greatest proof that God really loves us and wants to be with us again, and for that I truly would give everything I have.

It is a blessing to teach the gospel all day, everyday. It is by teaching that I continue to learn, and it is by bearing testimony that my own testimony is strengthened. I love being a missionary!!!! There is nothing else I would rather be doing with my life right now.

On a lighter note- it is FREEZING in France already. I don't know what happened but the leaves are colorful and the air is cold.

Alright well I hope you are all happy at home! I love you all!

Soeur Andrea

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Hello Family!!

First of all I want you to know that I am feeling SOOO much better today. I was really really sick all last week, but today it seems as if I woke up healthy. Don't ask me how that happened, I have to give all credit to Priesthood blessings, prayers from all of you, and miracles. As I woke up healthy, Soeur Brough has developed a sinus infection. Poor thing! I am doing everything I can to take care of her, like she did for me the entire last week.

Well, this last week was definitely the most uneventful week of my mission. I literally slept all day and all night for the last week and a half. Soeur Brough would wake me up for meals and hospital visits, and sometimes just because she was lonely and wanted to talk. Poor Soeur Brough was going insane all week. She did lots of calls to our amis, area book work, reading, writing letters etc. Finally on Saturday our Zone leaders brought us a portable DVD player and since then we have been watching church movies a lot. It is amazing how a movie really does help distract from pain.

When I was awake I felt exhausted still, extremely nauseous, and my head was killing me. It was not fun and by far unlike anything I have ever had before. The doctors took blood tests and couldn't find anything wrong. So President Staheli had a German LDS doctor call me. I sent him my lab results and he said that he thinks it is just a really bad virus. When he calls me again today I can hand over the phone to Soeur Brough. She could even take my doctors appointment tomorrow too. Haha

Although our week was extremely unproductive, a lot of good things came from it. We didn't get to teach any lessons, but our amis grew to miss us more than before. They called a lot to tell us how much they miss us. It will be great to meet with them again soon. Also, Soeur Brough and I are definitely closer than ever. We were already extremely close, but then add in 1. Being in a TINY apartment together all day every day for an entire week 2. Serving each other with a genuine love, care and concern (food, reading me scriptures, making each others beds etc.) and 3. STORY TIMES- when ever I was awake we would just scratch each others back or play with each others hair and talk. We basically know everything about each others lives now. Haha It is an incredible blessing to be companions with Soeur Brough right now!

Some random fun facts about this week:

I am officially legal in France now. Elder Coburn and I had our medical and legal visits this Thursday. Everything was fine. While we were in line for the appointment we all played "Would you rather?" We were all laughing so hard we cried. They took and X-Ray of my lungs and I got to keep it. For some reason I thought it was really cool so I taped it up in our window. Haha

Also, whenever Soeur Brough and I would leave the apartment for a hospital visit or emails or anything we would pray to have a missionary experience. As always, the Lord grants us missionary experiences, even when we are sick. It seems as if we were contacted more than ever this week. My favorite experience was a man who came up to us when we were walking off the train. He was right in my face, speaking very loud about our name tags and Jesus Christ. It is hard for me to recognize when people are saying good things or bad things when they are in my face and loud, so I smiled and pretended to know what he was saying. Luckily Soeur Brough saved me and started talking to him. I guess that he said how happy he was that we have Jesus Christ on our shoulders. He then told us a little of his very spiritual conversion story and agreed to meet with the elders. I love being a missionary!

Most of the other people who "contacted" us this week were perhaps more interested in US then the gospel. (which is funny because we sure did NOT look our best- especially me!) One man stopped us and he was very friendly. He talked to us for a little bit then invited us to his house for cakes. We politely declined. He asked where we live, for our number, and how he can see us again. We explained that as missionaries we don't meet with men. He told us that he wants to learn English so we gave him a flier for our English classes. I obviously didn't go to English class this week but the elders came over that night and told us how the man came to English class and I guess he kept saying "Where is Soeur MacClaine? Soeur Maclaine!" over and over. The elders laughed and told him that I couldn't come this week and I guess he said " Oh well I think I will start English classes next week then. Can you giver her these cakes?" So that night the elders brought me the "cakes" he made me. We all got a really good laugh at that one.

I'm grateful that here in Evry Soeur Brough and I only teach women!

Yesterday Elder Paya from the 70 was at our ward. He spoke to us about missionary work. It was incredible! He told us that although China is not open to missionaries yet, it is really close and that it won't be too long before that happens. He said that once that happens most of the missionaries will be sent there and that means that church members will be responsible for the missionary work here in France. It was a treat to have him at church.

Our ward us actually really excited about missionary work. The 1st counselor in the bishopric pulled the missionaries aside yesterday and told us about the new ward mission plan to have 80 new members in the next 6 months. It is possible and I can't wait to be a part of all of it.

One last thing that I forgot to mention a long time ago is that they have officially changed the dress code for sister missionaries. I was in the big meeting in the MTC when they made the announcement. Sister missionaries do not have to wear nylons anymore and their skirts only have to go to the knee now. (That would have been nice to know a few months ago huh?!?! Haha) I will continue to wear nylons though because I am weird and love them. Haha

Actually it is already starting to get colder here. Today Soeur Brough and I are going to go shopping and buy winter coats and boots.

Well that is my week in a nutshell. I'm sorry I don't have a ton of fun news but at least I am well now. Thank you all for your prayers and love. I can feel them all the way from Little Africa.

Also, I really wasn't thinking and before I left the MTC I sent home a big box of all the mail I received in the MTC... so by doing that I lost all of the addresses that I had. So that is why I haven't been very good at sending letters.

Well, Please pray for Soeur Broughers (my new nickname for her) and hopefully we can get out and back to work very soon!

Love Eternally,
Soeur Andrea MAC-Claine :)


Hello family!!!

This week was a little crazy.

For starters, we knew that it wasn't going to be a normal week because we had zone conference on Wednesday then the sisters meeting on Friday, so we had a lot less time then usual for teaching. I'll just tell you about the week:

MONDAY after emails Soeur Brough and I went to Fontainebleau, a really old chateau not far from us. It was absolutely breath-taking!!! I love going and seeing castles. They are so beautiful and full of history. I will send you some pictures. It was a gorgeous day and it was a really fun adventure.

Also Monday night we had our first mangez-vous. I was really excited at first until we got there and then all of the sudden I was scared. Haha Although the French were absolutely GENIUS about some things like chocolates, breads, and patisseries some of their meals are not so fantastic. For some reason they eat a lot of raw meats and other weird arrangements. This mangez-vous however wasn't bad at all. We ate pork and green beans... and of course baguettes and cheese. Not bad at all.

TUESDAY was just hilarious for some reason. Soeur Brough and I were running ALL DAY after trains and buses and it seemed like just everything feel into pieces. But we were laughing NON-STOP through it all. I seriously LOVE Soeur Brough; we have such a good time together. One extra funny thing that happened that you might appreciate hearing about is that we were at one of the train stations trying to catch our next train. The train was already there so we were running FAST all the way across the gare. So when we were running up the stairs to get to the train Soeur Brough tripped and fell down the stairs. I immediately started laughing and then I tripped and fell down the stairs right next to her. It was SO funny. We were laughing about that one for a really long time. Both of us were fine, I just got an ugly bruise on my knee. And two little side notes about that one- there were tons of people around who saw and laughed AND we still missed our train. HAHA It might sound silly but I think that times like that make me love the mission even more- I am making some pretty good memories.

Later that day, we were walking home and a stick got stuck to the bottom of Soeur Brough's skirt and it dragged on the ground for a really long time. For some reason that too was hilarious to us. I guess that being a missionary we are just really easily amused.

WEDNESDAY we went to Paris for my first Zone Conference. Downtown Paris was especially busy and exciting. (I love being able to go there so frequently.) I LOVE ZONE CONFERENCE! It was like being in the MTC again- you get this spiritual boost that gets you so excited for the work and so grateful for the opportunity we have to be the Lord's missionaries. We talked a lot about miracles and faith. I absolutely know that I was called to be a part of the Paris France Mission for many specific reasons (President Staheli, the culture, the people here, the other missionaries I am serving with...). I love being here!

THURSDAY we had a busy day planned out, full of rendez-vous but that didn't exactly end up happening.

Let me fill you in on some of our Paris France Mission lingo- there is a drink called a Frugi and when you drink it, it is sweet at first but then it gets bitter. Every time that an ami doesn't show up to a rendez-vous we call it a "Frugi" or "getting Frujed". Well, we were frujed A LOT this week.

Well, Soeur Brough and I made some really good goals to teach more lessons with members there so on Sunday we talked to a bunch of members and set up tons of lessons for them to join us in. And I am not really sure how it happened but every single one canceled on us. It was frustrating at first but then we realized that it was out of our control so there is no use in stressing about it. We are doing everything we can to make it work, and if it still doesn't, it's okay. I think that is when it becomes funny. Like a "Are you for real?!?!" kind of funny.

FRIDAY was a special day. We went up to Paris to the mission home and had a special Sister's Meeting with President and Sister Staheli. All of the sisters from the mission were there. There are 27 of us right now. I guess that President hasn't done this before but felt really inspired to have this sister meeting. He and Sister Staheli talked to us about the different between DOING and BEING. They are both really important but that often times BEING is a lot more important. For example- we can DO missionary work or we can BE missionaries (true disciples of Christ). They talked to us about not comparing ourselves to others and the importance of our own personal worth. It was a perfect meeting.

SATURDAY was a lot like Thursday. Lots of Frugies. But it ended up being a GREAT blessing.

On Wednesday I started feeling REALLY nauseous and getting strong head aches, but I thought it was just because of all of the public transportation. Then starting Friday I started being insanely exhausted! So every time we got fruged I would sleep and I would sleep all day and never not be tired. Then my throat started feeling swollen and then my ears started hurting.Now I'm really achy. Long story short, I don't know what is wrong but whatever I have it is NOT fun! Don't worry about me though!!!! The Lord looks after His missionaries. I called President and spoke with him and Sister Staheli. They both told me to sleep as much as I can- which is literally all day (I'm always exhausted-WAY more than normal). Sister Staheli also had a doctor from Germany call me. They told me to go to the doctor today so Soeur Brough and I went this morning. We have to go back tomorrow for some blood tests, then back to meet with the doctor again on Friday. I also have a medical visit this Thursday for my legality. But really, don't worry about me! I will be fine!

It was hard yesterday though- I just wished that I had mom to hold me and take care of me and dad to give me a blessing. I might sound like a little baby when I say that but I guess that is just part of growing up.

One of my MTC friends, Elder Coburn is serving in Evry too and that has been a blessing. It is nice to have someone to really understand about being a little homesick once in a while and missing family and not being able to communicate.

Well, Please keep me in your prayers. I don't want to be in bed sleeping all day. I would really prefer being out and teaching. Again, don't worry about me. I will be fine.

I love you all!!

Sister Andrea McClaine

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Hello Family!!

Thanks for the emails this week! I love hearing from all of you.

Well, Soeur Brough and I have had an incredible week here in Evry. We would have taught about 20 lessons this week, but a few people had to reschedule their rendez-vous so we ended up teaching 12 rendez-vous. That is really good for us here in France. We have INCREDIBLE amis! (here in France we call our investigators amis de l'église- "friends of the church") And we continue to find new amis everyday. I love being a missionary. One of my favorite things that I have learned from Soeur Brough is to be real and just yourself and then missionary experiences seriously just come to you. I love Soeur Brough so much!

Soeur Brough and I have been talking a lot about miracles lately. Miracles are everywhere, and it seems like they are everyday as a missionary. Our mission is absolutely INCREDIBLE! I know that every missionary would say this in a heart beat, but this is the best mission in the world! I feel like the Lord sent the strongest missionaries here to France/Belgium right now, and there are truly miracles happening here!!!! In December, Pres. Stahli told the mission that one night the Spirits of deceased people came to him and told him that the the missionary work needs to go forth in France. President Stahli recognized that he has the keys to missionary work here and that he had the power to turn the key and love the work forward. He had a revelation that there was going to be a great miracle in France in 2010. The mission made a goal to have 300 baptisms this year (more than tripling the last year)... and it is happening! There is a miracle happening here RIGHT NOW! I feel so incredibly blessed to be a part of this miracle! I can't express the joy I have here serving my Savior and the people of France. Basically everyone who ever said "Aw, I'm sure that your mission will be beautiful, but you probably won't teach or baptize much..." they are VERY wrong! God is a God of miracles!

I feel like each of our amis is a miracle in and of themselves. I love every single one SO MUCH! I wish I had time to tell you all of the miracles that I experience, but I just don't have enough time.

Soeur Brough and I were talking the other day how we really do have the life right now. All we do is make TONS of friends, teach them the gospel, help them come to Christ, eat heavenly food, go to pretty places, and just have FUN! Seriously missions are a BLAST! I thought it would be a lot more work and that it would be hard, but I was wrong. I love the gospel and the people here, so it doesn't at all feel like work. Of course we're exhausted all the time but that is because we are so busy helping our friends. I have the best life right now and I am having so much fun!

We have our first "mangez-vous" (dinner appointment) tonight and I am SO excited. Several of our amis have fed us but not for a whole meal. Here in France meals are a really big deal and they feed you several courses and incredible food. I can't wait!

While I am talking about food, let me just tell you- Patisseries literally are heaven on earth! I will have to send you some pictures, but you will have to just come to France and try them yourself sometime to really understand.

Okay, another thing about France is that no one can say our last name right. They all pronounce it like "mac-klen". I don't mind, I just think it is funny. After all, I can't pronounce most of their words right. Haha

You asked about the language- well, I can understand almost everything that people say (unless they have a strong African accent-which is often) but it is still really hard for me to speak. That is probably the hardest thing about being on a mission right now- I just wish I could say more. But I made a goal before I came out that I would love every step of the mission, so I have been focusing on what good comes from not being able to communicate yet. I have less responsibility so it is a little more relaxing. People are very kind and try to help me a lot. And it is a humbling learning experience. I know that the language will come with more time, so for now I'm doing everything I can to improve and rely on the Lord for the rest.

I am glad to hear that President Stahli sent you my apartment address. If you send mail to the mission home I will only get it like once a transfer. If you send it to my apartment I should get it within about 5-10 days. BUT make sure to write it exactly like this

Les Soeurs Missionaires
Soeur Andrea McClaine
11, Allée Boissy D'Anglas
91000 Evry FRANCE

Also, I've heard that in the past some packages have been opened and things have been stolen in the mail, so be careful.

If you have sent anything to the mission home I havn't recieved it yet. I will be in Paris this Wednesday for Zone conference so I will get it then. We are also going to Paris this Friday for a special Sisters Retreat. I am VERY excited! We have an insanely busy week, but I know it will be wonderful.

Well, I think that Soeur Brough and I are going to go castle seeing today. I will try to send some pictures soon. By the way, I found out that anyone can email me, but I can only write them back by letter. Also, feel free to email photos.

I love you all. I am happy to hear that Heavenly Father is taking care of all of you at home.

Eternally Yours,
Soeur Andrea McClaine