Ok, so I am not the greatest at updating, immediately, but I just wanted to let you folks that read this know that I WILL update what they send eventually.
And also, I'm an unpaid editor.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
WELLL I walked into another baptism.... i got here and found out that that saturday would be a baptism. it was way awesome, it was a man named Auguste from Martanique. He is super awesome!! so because of that i had to do an exchange in Albi. Cause thats where the District leader is and he is the one who has to do the interview. so that was fun, specially cause it was with an elder I already knew who was in Montpellier the last transfer i was in Nimes and i did an exchange with him there. the district leader is awesome too he is from south africa and has a super sick accent. Super funny too, i already have funny stories with him. Albi is beautiful too. Montauban also actually. It is this super little ville(city). one of the smallest in the whole mission. I really like it. It's old, but old alot different from Nimes. It's all red brick buildings. pretty cool. It makes me feel like im alot more north than i am. plus it's been raining and cold so that could be it too. it feels like the fall. it's been a really abnormally rainy season over here too. not near as hot as normal. which im totally fine with, i personally can't wait till winter, but whatevs.
So yesterday i went to south america for a while too that was pretty cool. ok not really. but we went to an amis birthday party and she is latino and almost everyone at the party was from south america. there was even a legit lamanite there too, i kid you not. it was awesome. it was outside and a ways out of town so it totally felt like we had litterally left france. we couldn't understand a word being said, it was all in spanish. it felt like i was starting my mission over in south america. super crazy, but really fun. they tried to get us to drink some tekila. which if you didn't know it's like beer. all in all it was a great sunday activity!
So today actually not that long ago we finished working for the day, but we had an interesting experience. We were all walking along in town when Elder Kirkpatrick notices this guy staring at us. he doesn't think anything of it and we continue along. about 15 or 20 minutes later we get to where we were going. we were standing on the sidewalk waiting for the person to answer the door when we look back the way we came and theres this guy about 30 yards back just chillin looking at us. this is when Elder KP tells me that he saw this guy in town starring at us. We get suspicious and so we're like ok well lets keep going to our next place and just see if he keeps following us. we start going. he starts going. we keep going 15 or 20 minutes later he's still behind us. so we go Jason Borne on him. the next street we came to we turned and stopped not to far away. along comes mr creepy. he sees us hesitates, and pulls out his phone and keeps going down the street we turned on on the other side. so then we start going back and go the way we origanally were going but we watched him. just before we got out of site stopped and turned around, saw us still looking at him so he pretended he was doing something else. hmmm. a little further down we see that he is indeed still following us. so we stop again when we're out of site again. he comes, sees us and stops dead in his tracks. ah ha!! got him. so totally obviously following us. it actually kinda took the fun out of it cause it was so easy, so not like jason Borne. oh well so we keep going so we can trap him again. we get to another corner and same thing happens again, but this time we were ready to pounce!! we did what missionaries do best..., we beat the snot out of him and smashed his walky talky!!!,,,wait thats Jason still, ok so we offered him the Gospel of Jesus Christ!!! voila! bet he didn't see that coming!! right so we contacted him. he was a very weird person who was way too interested. he ACTUALLY said im interested, that is the first time i have EVER heard a french person say that. we explained the Book of Mormon and let him hold it and he just clung right to it haha so we jsut left him with it. He also was a little too anxious to meet again too. so bizarre! the first name he gave us was Jimmy. then it was Dimitri. I don't know but we named him creepy Jimmy. after that we left and did what we were planning to do and then we came back the same way and he was just sitting there still and when he saw us he like pulled out his phone real quick and barely acknowledged us. oh creepy Jimmy, so creepy. then we were pretty paranoid after that and made sure he wasn't still following us when we went home. so there you go that was today.
the ward here is not a ward, it is a tiny branch, but there pretty cool so far. I got here wednesday and found out i was giving a talk in sacrament the coming sunday. haha so that was interesting i was ready but it turned out that the stake pres was there and so he got my time. oh well. but i have to do it still next week.
My Comp is really cool. so i'm likin it so far.
yup thats it. ciao bisou bisou.
what a week! man this one just blew by!! theres is lots more cool stuff to talk about.
First off. pagan highlight of the week. Thursday was the 14 of July. that is their 4th of July. However they party the 13 so they can have a day off on the 14. The French seriously look for any and every excuse to not work. anyway so there was a parade we didn't see. It was really a pretty normal day. UNTIL.........1025pm we're all getting ready for bed right? Then BOOM!! BOOM!! what's this? what this? it's high up in the air whats this? whats this? I really have to stare! ya i sang that. any way fire works started going off from the coloseum which is just down the street. You couldn't really see anything from our window, BUT lucky for us we were also house sitting for our landlord, who is awesome but thats another story, anyway so we are the 2nd floor, she is the 3rd and 4th floor. so we run up there. Also luckily ealier that evening as we were feeding the bird and watering plants i discovered a closet that goes up yet another level to a tiny room she use for storage, but theres more......it has a window that puts you on the roof! ya theres no way i could resist that. So i climbed out on the roof and WOW!!! Best front row seats you could get!!!!! wow man i can't even adequately describe how cool it was to be sitting on top of the french rooftops of Nimes watching a sick awesome firework shop that was like RIGHT THERE! ah! sweet. plus! the full moon was right dead in the middle of it all, sammy, it looked so cool! PLUS i saw some stars!! including the big dipper and north star!! first time in 6 months. man that seriously was so cool. ya we didn't get to bed till 1100 but felt like it was more of a blessing the Lord gave us than a rule we were breaking, plus i adequately justified myself by telling me that hey, Hannah got to stay out late and see fireworks. so theres that story.
One technique our new mission president has asked us to try in finding new amis is street boarding, which is we have a tripod with a big poster board with pictures and stuff on it and we contact people from there. I was'nt really very excited to try this. for one it's a TJ thing. except they don't talk to people they wait for people to talk to them. for two there's not any good places in Nimes to do that. So i wasn't looking forward to that. Well we gave it a go. AND i'll just say we didn't have flocks of people running to see what we were doing. it really wasn't all that great, but it was partly our fault, bad day and bad time of day. BUT i have come to believe it is inspired and we just need to place it better, but even still i did meet this one guy. this guys name is Pierre. he is about 70. he stopped and i had an awesome conversation with him, and he agreed to meet again. which is actually where i was just before i came to do emails, but more about that in a sec. anyway so there was still success.
ALES DAY! Ales day was really awesome this week and I'll tell you why. First we have dropped all of our investigators in Nimes. We have none here. Even Emeline, cause of her dumb mom who is dumb. ya i'm a little bitter. anyway so tht is a bummer cause it's not even emelines fault, she is awesome. Some however might be picked up in a few weeks again but for right now c'est pas le peine. On the other hand we now have 2 amis who live in Ales!! whoo whoo!! so that is cool. we met with them both on friday and they are both awesome on I believe will both progress. it will still be slow, cause we're not there alot, but still. I'm glad we started going up there, the ball is rolling again. So the Nimes Elders only have investigators in Ales. go figure.
OH ya we got spit at the other day haha yeah.
Oh ya another strange thing, so it has rained here in Nimes almost exactly every 6 weeks. It rained right before and as i got here, it rained at the end of transfer 1 and 2 and now it rained again, a really lot. It's fine with me cause it's less hot that way.
The other day a Kitten was following us everywhere....we named him Little Simba....we had to ditch him in trixy ways....taht was the last i saw him.... oh im over it.
Hey so we had kind of a cool RDV the other day. it was almost time to go in and we are walking along and we come across the young girl about 24ish years old. i say hello how are you? , she says not very good and almost walks away but we stopped her told her how our message was one that could help her and bring happiness so she said ok and so we found a bench and we talked about our message a little but we talked more about the support and blessing the Atonement of Christ can be in our lives for every aspect not just spiritually but for EVERYTHING! It was really awesome and she cried and stuff but it went awesome! She didn't really want to know more about the church but we left her a BOM and a good chapter and we left. the very NEXT day i tell you, we SUPER RANDOMILY ran into her again, and that just doesn't happen, the circumstances were seriously the hand of God. I mean it was litterally timed to the second! if we or her had been not even one second different we would not have even noticed each other, we litterally ran into each other in a huge crowd of people. anyway, we didn't really get to talk to her BUT she was happy! and she gave a really great thank you for everything. heck ya, thats what its about, not the numbers, it's about helping people!! and i tell you the Lord is in it.
What else.... what else..... OH YA TRANSFERS!! So........................................................................I am..................................................................LEAVING NIMES!!!!! I am going to serve in the city of......................MONTAUBAN!!! with Elder Kirkpatric. Montauban is just north of toulouse so Im still in the old mission boudaries, which is different because most that got transfered went up to the old geneva mission. I've actually even already met my new companion he is pretty cool. also i met the branch pres from there too cause he came to Nimes one time. SO ya. I"M STOKED!!! i so need a change. Love Nimes. But i gotta get out of here!!!!! hahah it's really not that bad. cool so more on that next week.
oh and ps you all can still send stuff to the old address, it would actually be alot quicker than sending it to the new one so faite comme ca. oui? bien.
alright thats all for now, thanks for tuning in to..... MME, THATS MARKS MISSION EMAIL! ciao bisou bisou.
So this week....man this week just seems EXTRA blurred! Last monday, the 4, was pretty fun. Since it was PDay and the 4th we went a little pagan. (to be pagan is a missionary word for anything to do with something that has nothing to do with the mission, ie home, girls, schools, etc.) anyway so we visited the maison carre, which is litterally a roman pagan temple, then we got slushies in honor of america, we visited the only other american we knew, we dressed in pday clothes, we looked around a few stores for some needed supplies, and then we wrote letters, kinda., then for dinner we were going to make burgers but we ended up just making pasta, like always. So that is how i spent the 4th.
The week was yet difficult, we are still having a really hard time finding people. It makes days hard to plan when all you have to do is contacting, which makes for a really long day. but it is still awesome! slimy yet satisfying. but really being a missionary is the most satisfying work i've ever done.
Oh ya so this is probably my last week in Nimes. the transfer ends this week. The rumor is that the two new areas are going to be heavily integrated, with changes to almost every campanionship. So if i leave i will probably go to an area more north. but i have no idea and could even stay i donno. and i wont know until not tomarrow but the next tuesday and then transfers happen on the wednesday. half way through the first week of the next transfer.....ya i don't find that very effective, but whatev. it's not up to me. On verra.
oh ya also. so tomarrow is my 6 month mark. thats crazy! i can't believe it. 1/4 of my mission is over. i now only have as much left as hannah started with ha. thats kinda funny.
oh oh ya ya. So this week is going to rock and there'll be some sick awesome crazy story. so stay tuned
I love you all! Mission is sick! The church is true! ciao bisou bisou.
Hurray for no stupid timer in the corner of the screen threatening to shut me down every moment. Stupid timer. Ok, sooo much to write!!
I have been assigned to Ottowa. Must admit, I was...devastated. Ha. It's an English speaking area, and not only do I have NO CLUE how to teach in English, I so so so desperately wanted to be French speaking. This is the only English area for sisters in the mission. Sigh. After just one week, my French is seriously suffering. But, I was called to speak French, so I know I WILL be using it sometime. My trainer is Sister Palmer, and she's really great. She's spunky and fun and hiccups randomly throughout the day. She's really patient and encouraging, and is nice to be but pushes me too. Gosh, this is HARD! Street contacting is the hardest for me. I never know what to say. There's a lot that's hard, but I will learn. My trainer is great, so I have no worries--it will all come with time. Getting to a new area is kind of overwhelming anyway, I think, but being Green...yeesh. Mark, I'm sure you can relate.
We have several lessons every day. When we have a rattez-vous here, Mark, we call it getting Smurfed. No idea why. We got smurfed ALL day on Saturday. Hooray! Its so....fun!! We have three (kind of four) amis with baptism dates. We are teaching several others, but some have a ways to go. Last night we had an appointment with a less active family. They are awesome. They were a little cold at first, but by the end they were saying "our home is your home. We are your family while you are here." They are from El Salvador. I'm excited to keep working with them. So, I had two weeks of emails to read through, so even though I get a whole hour, I still don't have much time to write. Sigh. I have a hard time keeping up with my journal too!
So, I could go into each of my investigators, but there is too much to say about all of them! One of them, Blair, was a referral from X-Box...yeah. He played x-box live and asked one of the guys he played with why he never played on sunday. He told him he was mormon, Blair asked lots of questions, his friend referred him, we've been teaching him and he's getting baptized september 3! Anyway, lots of crazy things like that.
Today for p-day we went to Parliament. It was neat, but the tour was in French, and the girl was REALLY hard to understand, so I mostly just looked around and enjoyed the architecture. Then we went and got Poutine, which is...different. but i really like it. It's french fries with cheese curds and gravy on it...weird, I know. But tasty!! And...hearty. I could feel myself expanding.
What else? The President and his wife are great. We got to spend the night and morning we arrived at their house, and they fed us, and it was divine. My hair is going CRAZY in the humidity. It got up to 45 degrees the other day. NO idea what that is in ferenheit. All I know is it was HOT HOT HOT. Headache, kind of lethargic, not fun. Yesterday was nice, and today is cloudy and nice too. Looking forward to fall. Oh boy, what else. Hmm. I haven't really been myself since getting here; just so much to adjust to and learn that I feel very small and very...small. It's coming, though. It's been really good to spend so much time serving others. It's easy to forget how overwhelmed, tired, frustrated, exhausted, and inadequate I can feel when I am serving others!! And then those feelings just sort of go away. The harder I work the happier I am. I am meeting some really amazing people, who are making HUGE changes to have the gospel in their lives. I have been humbled by their faith. Anyway, must go, can't believe its already been an hour. Arg!
Much love to you all. I LOVE being a missionary. I'm learning what people meant when they said the mission is hard. I can't believe how emotionally attached I already am to so many people. Alright, I was going to write things down so I would remember to write them in my email, but too much happened this week to write about it all anyway. THANK YOU all for your emails. It's nice to hear from you. if you send real mail (which is AWESOME...) send it to the mission home. I get it any time anyone comes to Ottowa from the Island (Montreal is on an island). Which is usually at least once or twice a month. okay, I LOVE you all very much.
Hi everyone! Just a quick note to let you know I got here safe, made it to the mission home in one piece (got accosted at customs--stole my pepper spray. sigh.), and had a FABULOUS dinner with the APs, the Mission President and his wife, and the other new missionaries. There are seven of us. Tomorrow we do some training then get assigned our area and our companions! Sounds like p-day is monday, so I won't be able to read or respond to emails til then. Its been a lovely evening here, kicking off the mission in a really great way with really great people. Much love to you all,
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Bonjour tout le monde :) Je vous aime.
I am grateful for a fantastic family that supports me. I'm grateful for every piece of mail I get from you--thank you thank you thank you!!!
I am grateful to be serving a mission "with" my brother. Nothing compares.
I am grateful for the priesthood.
I am grateful for a wonderful district that helps me grow and learn.
I am grateful for the spotlight that being on a mission puts on my weaknesses; what better place or time to turn them into strengths?
I am grateful for the Restoration of the Gospel. It doesn't get much more miraculous or merciful than that.
I am grateful for my Patriarchal blessing and the amazing, wonderful grandpa that gave it to me.
I am grateful for the scriptures and how individually tailored they can be to my needs and questions.
I am grateful to be faced with challenges and trials--no other way to grow.
I am grateful for two beautiful nephews who brighten every day of my life.
I am grateful for my health.
I am grateful for a bed, for food, for warmth, for clothes on my back and shoes on my feet.
I am grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the enabling power of His grace.
I am grateful for America, for freedom, for security, for liberty.
The list could go on and on. I really am grateful for my family, and for my friends. One of the absolute greatest blessings of my life has been the people in it. People who I will have forever, and people who briefly come into my life, help me learn something I needed to learn, let me use the gifts I have been blessed with to help them, and then are gone, maybe never to be seen again til Heaven.
I was oh so sick this week. Cold from Hell, I tell you. Sorry...can missionaries say that...?? You can edit that out if you want...eh hem. Anyway, it was quite miserable. Couldn't breath, couldn't focus, couldn't function. Wasn't much fun. To top it off, I had a bit of a melt down. Little by little, concerns and insecurities creep their way into my mind and heart and then the smallest thing can blow me over. I had my first priesthood blessing that was a blessing just for the sake of a blessing (as in, not a setting apart, patriarchal, etc.). The priesthood is real, my friends. It was such a beautiful thing. Nothing in my circumstances changed, but suddenly the burden was lighter. Suddenly that horrible dark cloud around my head was gone, and I could face my problems and struggles with a clear mind.
This week was really awesome in the way of devotionals. We had an awesome 4th of July celebration on Saturday, complete with a flag ceremony and bagpipes. Then we got to stay out late and watch the fireworks from Stadium of fire!! Woot. My favorite holiday. Family, start planning now for 4th of July 2013--it's gonna be big. I plan on being in the country for once. We also had Jenny Oaks Baker come play for us. She is a world-renowned violinist, as well as the daughter of Elder Dallin H. Oaks. She was incredible. Look her up--you will be astounded. Her three daughters played for us too--cello, violin, and piano (ages 6, 9, and 8 [?] respectively). So great. Holy moly, two minutes left. Curse that timer.
Can't believe its already pday again and that i only have one more here. Canada, look out (and get over that dang postal service strike, please) because I'm on my way. Can't wait. Only I can. Because the MTC is awesome. Except when you have to wait in line for dinner for an HOUR on fast sunday...not fun.
Et Bien.......HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!!
It's a funny feeling having it not be a big deal all over the place. No body cares. Oh well, i care. I'm stinkin proud to be an American, where at least i know im free. and you know I won't forget the men who died who gave that right to me, and I'll proudly stand up next to you and defend our rights today cause there ain't no doubt i love that land. God bless the USA. ya i totally just sang that in my head. but all seriously I really am proud to be American. more than i EVER have in my life. It was always just one of those things i took for granted. I was always told it was different other places, but i guess i had to see to believe. (which is dumb cause i hate that excuse. je croire ce que je vois. blah! people tell us that all the time.) Anyway go les etats unis!!!
This week was...well lets put it this way. we know that after much tribulation comes the blessings. right? exactly. I am a firm believer, and it all made sense this week. this is what we came up with... OUR tribulation BLESSES south america!! it's so simple! haha. Ok it doesn't work like that, but this week was really rough. actually this whole transfer really. This last week we only had 5 lessons. Emeline's baptism fell through. Angela the italian lady stopped wanting to see us about 3 weeks or so ago. so we no longer have anyone engaged to be baptized. Emeline fell through because of her mom. Betty is her name. we gave her a new name, Betty Brickwall. She has been our biggest obstacle in teaching Emeline. we come for RDVs and she's just not there or she's asleep tah tah tah she seriously has a Mary Poppins EXCUSE bag. Seriously frustrating. and its not because she doesn't want to be baptized either. just dumb. Emeline has an awesome testimony, more so than her recent convert brickwall i mean mother. But she's scared and doesn't have a lot of support from anyone but the missionaries. so a bit frustrating. i've developed a twitch when i hear the name Betty. ope there it goes again. It'll happen though.
Send your prayers.
Ales Day fell through so no news there for this week.
Oh ya im now in the mission of Lyon. what up. I met President Murdock on tuesday and he is very nice. It was strange, the conference was all in english. it felt wierd. i didn't like it. whats more is the APs from Geneva talked on the phone in english. those are both AGAINST the rules!! ok so there not anymore but it was super wierd not to have everything in french. I like it better in french. Also the APs from Geneva stayed at our appartment on thursday night but they didn't get there till about 130 in the morning! we had to wait up for them. Thats the latest ive been up in over 6 months! plus we had to go look for them so we were not only up but out of the appartment....so awesome...i was so hyper. biggest thrill ever!
Lets see oh we do have a muslim amis we're teaching which is cool. He's the one who cut my hair. but it's more like a trade of beliefs. he sang to us today from the Coran. sounded cool, but still not converted.
Things with Elder Winslow are good, he's awesome.
ok so that's really all the big news. oh wait Akon is coming to sing in the coloseum. not thats all. ciao bisou bisou
Ales Day this week went really well, we were able to meet with a less active and her boyfriend. the boyfriend is super cool. he comes from a cotholic background. After coming to church once he said he wants to be baptized, he hadn't even met with us yet! Hope that goes well. Ales is pretty little but oddly enough we still managed to get turned around a little. Ales, like all of France, has very interesting people. The same attitude, most look at us like we're some wierd creature, and all the sudden are in a hurry and can't talk. Some are ridiculously rude. but there are still the precious few who are less ridiculous and talk to us like normal people. then even less do we get numbers from. but we do have a couple RDVs for this next friday so that will be sweet! I really like Ales cause its up in the hills a little more, and NOT flat. Nimes is flat. I hate flat. i lived in or next to mountains my whole life. I Love em. Heres to les montagnes.
We went to Toulouse wednesday for a special zone conference and to say goodbye to President Carter. It was sad, we sang them Ve ne crain pas and then they left. We got to give sister Carter a big hug and faire les bisous, a little awkward cause elders don't really do that. (haha cept i have had some really random people just bisoue me) but i was really happy to get to see them one last time. So as of july first i will be in the Lyon france mission. and actually tomarrow im going to Toulouse again for another conference and President Murdock will be there, he is the new Chief. I like going to Toulouse cause we get to see tons of other missionaries the truc with Toulouse is it litterally takes out the whole day for us. we are the farthest away elders who go to toulouse for conference, which means we get up at 4 o'clock in the morning to be able to catch our train which is about 3 hours long. makes for a long day. but it will be fun.
ya so about the Feria, Southern France has alot of similar culture to that of Spain and raising bulls and killing them slowly just happens to be one of them.
oh and guess what wednesday was also my 100th day in France. just fyi.
Peace. Love you all
Bonjour tout le monde!
Well, besides the serious dip in contact from the outside world...the week was GREAT!! Kidding, I did get a couple dear elders, an awesome card from a friend, and pictures from my LeafGuard family, and one real letter, and an email from my bro. And pictures of the boys (nephews)!!!! which I know is nothing to complain about. Anyway, the good news is that means I have a full twenty minutes to write this email!
Seriously, though, this week was amazing. It was the New Mission Presidents' Seminar, so there were General Authorites ALL over. Okay, not all over, but we ran into a couple members of the Seventy (Elder Cook and Elder Sybrowsky--Elder Sybrowsky's son is in Montreal on his mission, so I got to chat with him and his wife for a minute, then she hugged us and told me to say hi to her son, because he will probably be the one picking me up from the airport) and saw Elder Eyring get into his car. The highlight of the week for me, though, was Friday evening. They had a special devotional for us, and everyone knew it was going to be something awesome. I sang in the choir, so I was assured a seat, but SO many people had to sit in the overflow because so many seats were taken by all the new mission presidents (128 of them, and their wives) plus we got SIX hundred new missionaries, which is tons. Usually its around 400, if I remember right. Anyway, it was a bit of a madhouse and there were some people being really lame about it. Pushing, shoving, cheating the system--not really representing themselves the way they should, anyhow. I was grateful for my seat. SEVEN apostles were in attendance to this particular devotional. Elders Bednar, Holland, Nelson, Ballard, Nelson, Anderson, and Oaks. Elder Bednar spoke, and it was AMAZING. He talked about how to become a Preach My Gospel missionary, and it was so encouraging and energizing and inspiring...ah, words cannot describe the spirit of that man and his message. When they all came in, we all stood up, of course. It was so amazing to watch them file in with their wives and sit down on the stand while we sang "The Lord is my Light." Loved it. LOVED it. The gospel really is Good News. Such a happy message we have.
Anyway, we had an awesome fireside on Sunday too. The Managing Director of the Missionary Department spoke. He has a ton of responsibilities, and was involved with the creation of Preach My Gospel. He was such a wonderful mix of funny and spiritual. He talked about not letting Satan push our buttons. Fortifying the chinks in our Armour of God, so to speak. It also was great. It was good to laugh--the level of laughter in the district has leveled out a bit. We still have fun, but I think emotions are touchy and patience is thinner, so its not quite so lighthearted as it was at the beginning. We still are all getting along famously, though. Everyone is watching out for everyone else, and it is really neat to see the growth in everyone. Hope that growth is happening with me too. I'm pretty sure it is, I just hope its at the rate that I need it to be.
Someone told me Canada's postal service is on strike...not okay. Soeur Fitch loves mail. Hopefully they will get that resolved before I get there.
I'm already planning out my menus for when I can cook again. Tomatos and Eggs will be first. I printed some pictures, so those will be in the mail today. Hmm what else, what else. The basic outline of life here is pretty routine, so its a bit of a struggle trying to remember what happened when. Maybe I'll start writing down key words to help me out. Things are going well with my collège--we are learning lots together :) I'm learning how to get over the little, unimportant things that bother me or are annoying, and how to be with someone, and get along with them, 24/7. We're doing exchanges this week, just with our lessons, and it's been interesting working with the other soeurs. they are great, and the change is really nice, but my collège is MY collège. Anyway, life is good, lessons are being learned, I'm learning to appreciate things about myself I never noticed before, as well as learning to overcome things about myself that I don't like. A mission really is a refining time in life, and as long as I can remember that this work is NOT about me, I'll be fine. Elder Bednar used the analogy of a fiber optic cable. I am the conduit, the channel, for the light, but I am NOT the light. I just want to be the best conduit I can be, because I know what that light can bring to people's lives. I know what it's bringing to MY life, anyway. Once I get in the field I think I'll have more actual events and happenings to fill my email with, but this is all I got right now. I LOVE being here--the MTC is awesome. Even if I'm not getting physically nourished like I'd like to be, I certainly am being spiritually nourished.
Bonjour! So, there's this really cute new sister who tries so hard to get the French accent but....not quite, love. She says "Bownjoooeeeewwwwrrraaahhh!!" which = Bonjour. It's...precious. Anyway, on with the week!
Three packages in three days...a missionary's DREAM!!! Thank you so so so much!! You are da best. (keep 'em comin...heh heh) Life is good here at the MTC, but we all are definately starting to get a little stir crazy. We break out in the song "Cabin Fever" from Muppet Treasure Island on a regular basis. The food is still making me crazy. Mark, I am VERY nearly ready for cold cereal every meal. As one of the Soeurs, Soeur Carter, so eloquently put it "if things don't improve gastronomically speaking, I'm gonna have to just eat All Bran and bananas for the next four weeks." Mais, tout est bien.
So, this week is the New Mission Presidents' seminar here. I'm told that all of the apostles are going to be here at one point or another, along with many other general authorities. We have a couple special devotionals, on top of our regular ones, so I have high homes for some wonderful, inspiring counsel this week. Every single devotional or fireside has been spectacular, so I can only imagine what these ones will be like in such an environment as this. I'll have to tell you about it next week. Not sure what else to say...life here is pretty routine-y. We're all pretty stoked this week because the seminar is changing it up a bit. Not a lot, but enough for us to get excited. After today, though, we only have 3 p-days left til we all ship out! I'm not one of those missionaries who is counting down her mission, but I do admit that sometimes I count down the MTC days. I know I will have many moments later when I will miss it, so I really am trying to enjoy every moment.
My teachers are wonderful. Well, I'm running out of time and keep staring at the screen wondering what else happened this week. I can't really distinguish the different days OR weeks anymore...its all one, big long day.
My district is still getting along well; I am recognizing the wisdom in teaching/living/existing as companionships--not only does it keep you safe, but it is a powerful lesson in patience and unconditional love. Ma college et moi get along very well, but we are definately different people. Sometimes I think we aren't all that compatible, but then I realize how AWESOME that is. If we were totally compatible, we would learn very little from each other. Alors, tout est bien.
The french is coming along wonderfully. We just started learning the Subjunctive tense yesterday and I think there was a minor explosion in my brain. But, I recovered when I changed my attitude about it--all my french teachers, and I mean ALL, have psyched me out about this tense, but its really not all that bad, and its going to make me a much more competant and understandable french speaker. So, subjunctive is a blessing in disguise! Or something. Anyway, I love speaking french and am sometimes a little resentful of people who won't/don't/can't speak it with me.
Well, I don't know what else to say...c'est tout! I love, love, love being a missionary. I am starting to catch the missionary fever, and am getting a little impatient to be in Quebec. But, I am SO grateful for the MTC. It is an amazing place and I have met so many amazing people. Lifelong friends.
Thanks for your individual emails! I'm going to attempt...AGAIN...to print them off so I can write you all back individually. Much love!!!
WELL Lets see.
So yes the Feria is finally over and with that we literally doubled our lessons this week. So it was good. Also Elder Winslow and I started something that i really wanted to do my first transfer, which is an Ales Day. cela veut dire that every friday we go to Ales to work. Ales is a little town about 45 minutes north by train from Nimes. We meet people from there all the time, we have less actives up there, just seemed like a good idea. Elder Dorton never wanted to do it, but we're a rollin with it now. it is difficult because we are basically opening the city again. (there was missionaries there a long time ago). so it's a slow ball to get going but i know it will work out good. So go Ales Day!
Ha so i got my hair cut by my new friend Driss. He is muslim. super awesome. actually his friend Muhammad cut it but he doesn't speak french. picture this, two white christian missionaries chillin in a muslim quartier or nieghborhood in a muslim salon, with only muslims around. All muslims have the same hair cut, i do too, cept its a little longer. Elder winslow said i definitley look muslim now, even though i don't have a little hat like half of them wear. I seriously love muslims. well legit muslims anyway, they are always nice and hospitable. there all still alot that don't like americans or christians. but our friend Driss is super cool. we had a rdv with him this morning. what we talk about kinda bounces off each other, cause niether of us believe what the other says but it is a really cool exchange of beliefs. Im seriously an expert on Islam, i could explain it to someone almost as good as a muslim we talk with so many.
Oh ya so also last week on pday, it was after emails. but we were able to go to a bull fight. with was in the super cool coloseum. I can tell you it's pretty narly and quite bloody. they did 6 bulls but we only stayed for 3. it's crazy how much french people love that. kind of disgusting. but i can now say that i went to a Corida (bull fight) on my mission. sick bird.
Thats it for now peace.