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.
Soeur Andrea McClaine