March 29, 2016
Where to begin on this lovely spring day?? I'm so happy today.... the sun is shining, and it feels like spring is finally coming :) Driving to the Library I kept talking about how sunny it was, how much I loved it, how lovely spring was... and Sister Prince patiently would just respond, ''yes yes, I know'' each time ;) haha.... Sunshine just makes me happy :)
But it's been another wonderful week... so much has happened.
First off... noone will believe who got baptized this week. Because I hardly believe it. Victor and Jakeline Rivas from Mascouche!!! And to make it even better I got to go to the baptism :) Sister Beaumont (who just got transfered to my area in French :)) and I got to go on a mini exchange with one of the other sisters who began teaching their family, and the three of us headed up to Mascouchenight. . All 9 months that Sister Beaumont was in Mascouche was spent trying to set baptismal dates, trying to help them read in the Book of Mormon, trying to help them prepare. And they finally felt that it was right :) And even sweeter, they chose to be baptized on their wedding anniversary :)
I think what made it the most special was seeing the effect it had on Jakeline. She's been baptized before.(in a different church) She loves the Bible and always had a really hard time with the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. It was amazing to see her at the baptism, though. We got there a few minutes late during the opening song, but I still had to go and give her and the girls a big hug. She looked so BEAUITFUL. Really like an angel, dressed in her beautiful white dress waiting for her baptism ;) She was so touched that Sister Beaumont, Perdue, and I were all there :) There was such a change in her face. She was so touched by the spirit during the entire evening. We were able to sing ''Je sais qu'il vie, mon Redempteur'', and she and Victor both had tears streaming down their faces the entire time. The spirit was so powerful, as we could see the testimony and desire they both had. Victor bore his testimony after the baptism, and shared the whole (long ;) ) story of their conversion... from the first sisters bugging him about helping wash is car ;) and his frustration when Jakeline invited them back for a lesson. It was amazing to hear him bear testimony of Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and his Savior Jesus Christ. Such a powerful, MIRACLE night :)
( ***Insert by Heather's mom:
News of the Rivas family's baptism caused me to reflect back on an email we received from Heather on December 21, 2015 regarding the Rivas family.A short time before they had told the sister missionaries they didnt want to be taught anymore, Heather had recieved news that she was being transferred to a new area and she wanted to say goodbye to the Rivas family.The following is an excerpt from Heather's email of December 21:
"Well first off... I'm actually still in MASCOUCHE!!! Probably the best news of my life :) I get to spend Christmas with my wonderful Sister Beaumont!!!! I couldn't be happier :)
The highlight of this week would have to be Monday night.... After P-Day we had a couple appointments set up for me to say goodbye to people before I left. We ended at the Rivas, and had the most AMAZING rendez-vous with them.... We hadn't really discussed anything to share. Because we had really planned on just stopping in really quick, getting a photo, and then I wanted to bear my testimony to them. I had looked at a few scriptures that morning, but we hadn't discussed ANYTHING. (not what I'd recommend... but in this instance it was exactly what needed to happen). Are you ready for a miracle???
So Jakeline asked if we wanted to share something, so I opened up my Book of Mormon and had her read 2 Nephi 31:19-20. Victor ALWAYS talks about how he knows he's on the right path, but since his little "break up" with us, we haven't been able to have any real lessons yet. So I shared this scripture and bore my testimony that I knew they were on the right path and that they needed to keep pressing forward, that they needed to keep on the path, and that by so doing they'd be able to achieve that eternal life the scripture talks about. I turned to Sister Beaumont to add her own testimony... we ended up having the most amazing discussion. She asked them what blessings they've seen since starting to come to church and meeting with us. They clearly have seen SO MANY blessings come to their family. Love, unity, happiness... to which we testified that those blessings become even greater as we are able to be sealed to our families in the temple. (after going to the temple open-house they've been learned quite a bit about temples and sealing). We talked a while about that, and it was so clear that this is what they wanted. They LOVE EACH OTHER SOOO MUCH. They couldn't deny that sincere desire to be together forever. So we asked them what they felt the next step was... sweet Valentina and Victoria said "give each other hugs more" and "say we love each other"... definitely on the right track :) But then Victor said that he knows they have to keep coming to church and be baptized. YES you do!!! Amazing because up to this point he's been pretty hestitant about baptism, he hasn't wanted to be baptized for fear of his family feeling like they have to follow him without having their own testimony. Jacqueline has pushed Victor to be baptized but hasn't realized the importance of doing so herself. But it was amazing this night as both Victor and Jacqueline were SO on board for baptism. JACQUELINE is the one who said that they are for sure going to be baptized... And then she continued to say they were going to MAKE time to meet with us during the craziness of the holidays. And.... Victor said for the first time "Je sais que l'eglise est vrai"..... I know that the church is true..... AMAZING!!! Such a miracle. It was amazing because that felt like exactly what they needed. But the Lord really did know exactly what needed to happen... it had been so hard to get a time to meet with them. But knowing I was leaving they had been sure to make time to let us come over that night. And then I really don't think we would have planned the same scripture and discussion if I hadn't been planning on leaving either. So it all happened exactly as it needed to to get them back on board for baptism. I said as we were driving home that night that if I had to leave Mascouche only for the sake of them having that discussion with us, I was so willing to go. Because I know that night was sooo important.
But then we get miracle number two.... 10:25 p.m. we got a call from President Patrick. Not the norm at any time of the day... but especially not right before bed. He basically said that Sister Beaumont's trainee is held up at the MTC... sooo....... there wasn't any more need for a trio and there wasn't any need for me to leave. So.... he said I'd be STAYING IN MASCOUCHE!!! We were beyond excited. Sooooo soooo happy. Like bursting. We were already so excited about the Rivas... But then to make it even better I actually get to stay :)
Amazing though, because weird as it was for President to call that late, had he called even 3 hours earlier we wouldn't have had the same perfect discussion with the Rivas. ALL things happen for a reason. All things have been done of the wisdom of he who created all things. This is his work and it is guided by his spirit :) I definitely received a much greater testimony of that this week."
The rest of our week has been full and wonderful. We had such a nice easter with the Thériault family... An older couple in our ward, and some of their friends. It was such a nice night. And we just felt so happy and blessed to be there with them, celebrating the resurrection of our Savior :)
Also... the women's broadcastnight was AMAZING. ... There was such an intense spirit in the room as we set beside Sandra to Watch it. We were surrounded in the chapel by all our wonderful sisters, and there was so much love. There were so many things that touched me. But I especially loved President Eyring's words, and I've thought a lot about them since the broadcast. When we are in the service of our brothers and sisters, we are LITERALLY in the service of our God. Lightening the loads of those around us--Neighbors, family, friends, enemies... whoever it may be... when we are serving them, bearing their burdens, and comforting them when they need comfort, we are lightening the load that our Savior bore when in the garden of Gethsemane. We're comforting our Savior in his darkest moment. As we answer the prayers of others, it's as if we were the angel sent to answer the prayer of the Savior when he was in need of comfort.
I've thought so much about that these last couple of days, and how much I want to love and serve those around me. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is so much greater when we have that love for others and do all we can to share that love, joy, and comfort that the Savior brings.... So my challenge to everyone this week is to really pray about who and how you can serve. Pray on your own, and pray as a family, to know who you can serve together. I know there are so many blessings that come from service, and I'm just Learning how much JOY really does come from serving. There really is power that comes from loving and serving our brothers and sisters. When we understand our role as Heavenly Father's children, and realize that we are ALL part of that eternal family, we'll naturally turn outward and want to love with all our heart, might, mind, and strength :)
So please, lets all ask the Lord how we personally can better turn outward and serve those around us, and to help us know WHO is in need.
I love you all and hope you're enjoying wonderful spring weather as well.
Moi je vous aime, mais le Seigneur encore plus!! :) :) :)
sœur Heather Shelley
The Rivas got baptized!!! Such a happy, beautiful day :) Really... doesn't Jakeline look like an angel in all her white? :)
Sister Beaumont and I on our way to the Rivas family baptism.!! :D Couldnt be happier...:D
Sister Prince and me