Monday, June 30, 2014

When lightning strikes (Katie-Toul)

Hi everybody!

I want to start by painting a picture. It's kind of dark outside. Clouds cover the sky, from deep, black, awful ones to gray, wispy ones to lighter, pleasant looking clouds. All of them are giant, filling the entire sky. And there are tons of them, without a single spot of blue sky showing. It's windy as well. It's not that sharp cold wind you associate with winter, but a mix of warm summer winds with the cold breezes of storms. It's almost...frightening, but not terrible. Every now and then light rain starts to fall, then changes its mind, stopping only a few minutes after it starts. 

And then, flashing across the dark sky, an enormous fork of lightning strikes. And when I say enormous, I mean gigantic! Flashing across the whole sky! I have never been more amazed by nature than I was at that moment as we drove to one of our ami's house Saturday night. Of course, I couldn't help but make an analogy to the gospel. 

This week has been my lightning strike. But I don't want you to think that this is a bad thing, no, it's a beautiful, amazing, miraculous thing! No, we didn't have a French family of 9 come to us asking to be baptized. But with each day, I saw a little more clearly God's hand. Thanks to the lightning. I discovered this week what it means to see a miracle. Looking back, I'm not even sure what happened...but I know that through a string of tender mercy miracles, we taught tons of lessons, found several new amis, and really felt the power of being a missionary. Does God prepare people to accept the gospel? Yes, He does. Slauco accepted this week without even blinking the law of Tithing and the Word of Wisdom. He is feeling the effects of the Atonement, and he is teaching me in every single lesson we have. Will he be ready next week to be baptized? Bah, OUI! (Why, YES!) He is so ready, so prepared.

I learned SO MUCH this week. My head kind of hurts from it, actually. We found a cute African family this week and she, Gift, has twin one-year-olds, Destiny and Divine. Destiny is the boy, Divine is the girl (this is not a joke). She taught me about faith this week, about trust. My beautiful companion taught me about being Christ-like this week, and about what it truly means to love unconditionally. The B family taught me this week about how to have a loving relationship with each other, even in the most common of settings. One of my incredible STLs taught me about being positive, always and without fail. Gérard taught me that the Gospel of Jesus Christ touches lives in ways we could never expect. A member taught me about patience, and about working hard for others. Some old amis of the Elders, the family R, taught me about the importance of church attendance, and why it is necessary. 

Of course, I also learned some not so gospel related things as well...Loic taught me that you don't have to be a celebrity to be on a sitcom OR a soap opera. As we walked into their door this week (he now lives with his cousin and her husband), the cousin came running out of her room, hysterically explaining how she lost her cat. Then the police came. Then the animal shelter man came. Then they left. Then Loic told me his life was offically over because he might get his dogs taken away. Then, 3 HOURS LATER, we left them with a prayer. Oh! And don't worry, she found her cat :)

I also learned that just because you look and act like a TJ (Jehovah's Witness), it does not necessarily mean that you ARE one (see the last picture). Yes, we had a marché stand with our STLs from Nancy who came to help. For your information, not a single person assumed that we were TJs, who we looked like. They were mostly very nice, and some even listened. :)

Basically, what I want you know about me, is that this week changed me. It changed my perspective on missionary work, and on life. That, I'd guess, is what happens when lightning strikes.

Don't ever forget that I have a testimony of this gospel! I love it. And most especially, I love being a missionary. 

I love you all! Gros bisous!
Soeur Katie Pettingill
this is the courtyard of our cathedral...reminds me so much of Harry Potter.

we found a man we for sure the museum of the history of Toul! He's made of wax :)

TJ marché stand

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