Monday, August 29, 2011

Letter from the Editor

Ahem. Here I am again, posting several updates all at once. So sorry to keep you all waiting!

So I haven't mentioned this before, but I just thought I'd let you know that I'm leaving all the spelling and punctuation as Hannah and Mark emailed it to me, and, I've also never told you this before, but I laugh a lot about this thing.

K. Peace and Love. And sorry!

Sister Fitch: August 29, 2011

Hello all!
So, this was the last week of the transfer.  It was...crazy.  Crazy good!  We committed our friend Anna to be baptized, and she set her OWN date.  "It'd be cool if I was baptized on my birthday!" She's awesome.  She's the one who has read ALL of Preach my Gospel. 

So, we were giving a lesson to our Chinese investigators in the park near campus downtown...and this man comes up to us and stands there staring at us for about fifteen, twenty seconds before speaking.  "So...." another loooooong pause. "There's been talk about communist activity on campus.  Are, communists?"  no, sir, we're just talking about God.  "About God? Well, uh.......the Chinese don't believe in God."  Our chinese member scowls at him and says, um, yes actually we do.  it's a different time, you know.  "well......well......what's that book???" Its scriptures.  "Scriptures, huh?  Its in Chinese!"  yeah, look, here are our English scriptures.  We speak english, they speak chinese, so ours are english and theirs are chinese.  "I see......well........I'll have my eye on you." and he leaves, giving us the dirtiest look I think I've ever had in my whole life.  Then, in the middle of our member's testimony about her own baptism, he comes back over and says "so, still talking about God?"  Yep, sure are.  "Huh........well, let me let you in on a little secret.  God was made up by cavemen who had nothing better to do with their lives.  Yep.  In caves."  Thank you. "You can find out for yourself in the caves under Ottowa U.  That's true."  Okay, thank you sir.  "believing in God is more ridiculous than believing in the Easter Bunny."  THANK YOU SATAN.  and then he left and started yelling at a couple trying to have a tender moment, and then to a nice guy playing with his little dog.  Crazy, I tell you.  And completely devoid of the spirit.  Sad. 

Oh my gosh, and Blair texted us and said he was finding "epic verses in Alma" oh my gosh.  So great.  He came home from his vacation early because they got evacuated because of the hurricane.  So, he called and said "when can I meet with you??" We get to see him tomorrow!  Hooray!!!  So happy. 

William, our Chinese investigator, is really moving along.  He brings friends to church, he calls us to ask for more reading assignments because he finishes what we give him so soon, and he even wanted to move his baptism up.  Bless him.  He's great. 

We're teaching several people in French now, its so great.  I have a LONG way to go  before I understand everything and can communicate as clearly as I would like, but the practice is great and I love the challenge. 

Sometimes I look very, very silly.  But, no worries.  I really am starting to embrace the fact that the mission is just one big long, awkward embarrassing moment.  Like how I almost got stuck on the bus the other day because I was talking to this girl and didn't realize til it was too late that my companion had gotten off the bus, so had to yell to the front of the bus to please let me off.  woops.

Thursday we volunteer at the Ottowa Mission and this week they had Picnic in the Park in the morning, so we got to go and help out there.  It was fun.  We were in charge of games.  Elder Taylor and Elder Aubin were there too--we see them the most out of everyone, since we volunteer together.  They're awesome, we get along well.  Elder Aubin is the one Mark knows.  It was a good week--we had SEVEN investigators at church, plus several less actives. It was so great.  And SO CRAZY!!! We were running around like crazy people. 

So, with transfers, we are both staying, but they are putting another set of sisters into our family ward, so we are JUST working with ysa now.  We'll miss lots of people in the family ward, but I'm glad they get their own missionaries and we can focus on the YSA.  They are awesome--they are SO good at helping us with with the work.  They come to lessons, give investigators rides to work, they are stellar.  Love them.  And I'm glad to stay with sister Palmer!  She's awesome.  We're really good at working through any issues that come up between us, so life is good.

Well, I have to run, but I love you all!! Thanks for everything you do, I pray for you always, you are so so wonderful.  I miss you, but I'm too busy and am loving the work too much to be homesick, so all is well :) can you keep my investigators in your prayers?  Especially Blair.  I love love love love love you all!!!!


Elder Fitch: August 29, 2011

GOOD DAY! thats Bonjour in english. ha. ha. ha.
WOW what a weak! Tuesday was pretty chill, ya know, the usual. tuesday night we started the most intense exchange i've had! It was an exchange with our zone leaders in Toulouse. Elder Kirkpatrick went to Toulouse with our super chill zone leader that came from the Geneva mission. ME, well I stayed in Montauban with.....ELDER BROWN. Elder Brown is kinda like Chuck Noris. So he gets to Montauban at about 730 tuesday night. Normally we are supposed to go in at 8 eat until 9 and then do planning. the latest we can be out is 930 But only if we are in a RDV. So i was kinda thinkin ya we might do a little contacting until 8 or so. Nope i was wrong. we contacted for an hour and a half. NEXT he wanted to go running, which i haven't steadily done since the MTC and only a few times with my trainer but other than that my companions haven't wanted to run for our exercises. so the point is i am way out of shape for running. en plus he runs at a very good pace. so that was super hard and i about died! then we only had one RDV that worked out and it was only a half hour long. so we contacted ALL DAY LONG! and i'll say this again, he is a VERY intense missionary! We were seriously all over the place! plus it was a little frustrating sometimes because he would do the contacts himself and not stop talking so i never would get the chance to support what he said like i'm supposed to, thats called double testifying. In short it was a very long day. and im am STILL sore all over. that night was kinda fun though cause i got to ride shotgun in the car on the way back to toulouse, which is the first time i've been able to since coming on my mission. that evening in toulouse we got to eat with all the institute young adults and then we stayed in toulouse because thursday morning we had District meeting. which was like normal. that night we got a special treat when we ate over at a members. real legit DR PEPPER. they don't make that in france it's imported from England, but almost no one carries it, so that was a nice taste of home, even though i was never really a dr pepper drinker before.
The rest of the weekend was pretty chill, except i was still physically sore from my exchange. But there were fruits of those labors of the exchange, we found several potential amis. we were able to meet with a few, but we will see in the weeks to come.
Speaking of weeks to come today is the first day of the transfer and Elder Kirkpatrick and i will be staying together another transfer.....yay. that means i will most likely be here in Montauban at least another 3 months. Which really is fine, but for as small as Montauban is i'm pretty sure i will go crazy! I already know Montauban like I know Nimes....ok not quite as well, but Nimes is alot bigger. No for realzies though it will be really good and i'm looking forward to it. Plus the transfer after that, hopefully ill be in my next city, will be thanksgiving and christmas, and right after christmas is my year mark. WOW ya thats a little crazy.
Coooooooolll. well i love you all and hope and pray for your success and happiness in all your endevors this week!

peace. ciao. bisou.

Love Mark

Sister Fitch: August 22, 2011


hi everyone! 
This was a strange week, but if I had to sum it up, I would say MIRACLES HAPPEN!!! 
I'll get to the rest of the week, but Mark, your birthday was amazing.  Maybe Grandpa was helping out too or something, but it was amazing.  First of all, our Chinese investigator committed to baptism!  (He also called my companion and asked if I was single.  She said I'm on a mission so I can't date. he said he'd wait.  oh dear.)  Then we just had lots of good things happen, just "random" happy things.  We ate Etheopian food.  it was...strange.  Then, that night, BLAIR CALLED US!!!!  Blair, our xbox boy who got anti-ed by his friends!  We were so worried about him.  I thought for sure we'd never see him again.  I figured we were just freaking him out more with our calls and our texts.  But, we just couldn't seem to let him drop.  So, we sent him another text, told him we were worried about him, and sent  him a scripture that we hoped would help him remember how he felt the spirit.  He CALLED US!  not two minutes later.  He said he was sorry, he just needed some time to think.  He'd realized suddenly how much of a change he would be making in his life, and it sort of freaked him out.  He said he'd been ignoring us, and he was sorry.  OH MY GOODNESS!  He's out of town til the end of the month now, but he said he wants to see us AS SOON as he gets back.  I think we have our Blair back.  The relief and gratitude was...too much.  I went in the bathroom and cried, and cried, and CRIED.  Lots of thank you prayers.  He's just a little younger than Mark, and I'd got that big-sister attachment to him.  Getting him back was...oh so good.  God loves us. God loves him.  Heck, God loves everyone, and he SHOWS it.  So, that was by far the highlight of the week.
In other news, we spent Tuesday in Montreal.  Bleh.  The Island of Montreal is SO busy!  I felt like I was running the whole day.  The sister I spent the day with is going home next transfer, so she has got this missionary thing down pat.  And she is soaking up every moment she has left on the mission.  She's a hard worker, and is so sweet.  mark, she's from Geneva!  sister Tschumi.  anyway, we were on the metro and on foot.  I did some metro contacting, which had me totally freaked out, but wasn't so bad after all.  Actually, I like it better than bus contacting.  I don't like bus contacting at all.  I know, I know, if I don't like something I should probably do more of it so I'm better at it so I don't not like it so much.  yeah...make sense of that.  Anyway, it was good.  i got to use my french, and the crazy thing was, I actually spoke French!  and even on the noisy metro, I understood the french.  That was the gift of tongues, for sure.  It was really amazing.  I felt like I was speaking English.  But it was French. 
So, the other day we got lost on the bus system again.  I hate buses.  Rrrg.  Sometimes they are super convenient, and sometimes they are aweful.  And confusing.  We got lost for like two hours.  Rrrg.  Lame!  haaaa and then when we finally decided to just walk and not mess with them any more, we got caught in the rain.  It was...funny.  It was good.  it was a just reward--we had an appointment cancel that morning, and we didn't do a very good job filling the time with productive activities.  God is just, eh? 
Things are good here.  I love being on a mission.  I love Ottowa.  After being in Montreal especially, Ottowa feels clean and beautiful, and has a much more manageable pace.  Coming back in on the bus, I felt like I was coming home.  Ottowa is home for now. 
Transfers are this week, as you know from Mark--I am guessing I'll be here still with my trainer, but crazier things have happened, so...who knows!  Okay, gotta run.  I love you all, thanks for keeping me posted on life! 
oh wait!!  Remember Pasquale, the inactive rm who we ran into at the Mary festival?  He called us!!  AND, he got a place to live.  It's in Vanier.  WE live in Vanier!!  Crazy!!  So, we're going to go to lunch some time.  not in vanier, though.  Vanier is sketch.  Okay, i love you!!!!!!!!

Elder Fitch: August 22, 2011

WELL What up?
So today is the start of week six, that seems totally crazy! This transfer seemed to go by really quick. It doesn't always feel like it, but then all the sudden i'm emailing again...what the heck? crazy sauce.
Tuesday and Wednesday were pretty chill. It's been VERY hot. But it's not really the heat, the air is just dead and stuffy. At home it gets hotter but it's dry usually. Here after sweating a little youre just dirty and gross, it's like the air just isn't clean in the city. Thursday was fun we spent a couple hours doing service at the local Red Cross center giving out food to people. That is pretty fun the other volunteers are very nice and always say hi when we see them in town.

Friday was a good day. We have weekly planning on fridays, and that did not take very long because there is not alot to plan for right now. So we used our time we had left over and our lunch to go get pizza and pastries and then we went to the church and watched Joseph Smith the Prophet of the Restoration in french to celebrate my birthday. YAY! Then we worked. it was good. Saturday was more of a party anyway. There was a branch activity at this park out in the country that we were at pretty much the whole day. It was really nice to spend sometime with the members. There were little lakes, more like ponds, that you could go swimming. obviously not us missionaries, but it sure looked fun! I played alot of the French national sport, Petanque. or Boules they call it too. Man i OWNED! even the french were surprised how well i played being an american and all. that's right, i represent. On the way back we got to seem some of the country so that was really nice. Sunday was good, normal. HOT. no body around. comme d'habitude.

Heck today was SO sick. Guess what i did today? Ok i'll just say. So a member here, named Jeanpierre, who is super awesome, he's just started coming back to church after being inactive for 11 years, completely. But he's just awesome, amoung the five languages he knows english is one of them. His dad is south african so he grew up with it, plus he lived in the US. so his english is perfect, you seriously would never know that he is french. anyway he took us out to a bunch of really old mideval towns out in the country, so cool. We also went to a couple old castles. really beautiful. The French country side is SO incredible! It is so beautiful and peaceful! that is the real reason anyone should come to France. The cities are cool and all and theres plenty of history, but it seriously doesn't compare. If i were to live in France that is where i would be.
So we've still been teaching Dimiti aka creepy Jimmy. he actually even came to the activity saturday and to church on sunday. He is very interesting. Very much like a goldfish. it's taken 3 rendez vous to get through the plan of salvation, and even still i don't know how much stuck. we have to teach using the chalk board and going back and repeating everything every minute or so. REAL DIOLOGUE> "alright Dimitri so its because of the atonement of Christ that we can overcome Physical death AND Spiritual death. How can we over come Physical death and spiritual death?"  " um...i don't really know....prayer?"
That is legit and it's like that for the whole rendez vous with very little progress. so we're just going super slow with him. But he is very nice and child of God.
Other than Dimitri we don't have alot of Amis. there's a couple of less actives we visit, and couple people wwe meet and have one rendez vous, but other than that, it's really slow. We spend ALOT of time walking around looking for people. The problem is too that it's still vacation and alot of people are out of town and the ones in town are often tourists. so voila.

But it's great i love being here and i love being a missionary! I love you all with all my heart and miss you with all my liver. Also i want you to know that the members pray for you guys. In just about every prayer i hear from members they pray for you. I as well pray for you every single day.
I'll Leave you for this week, but i want you all to know that i have a testimony of this work. It is the Lord's. I see miricles everyday. Miricles i can't even explain to you. But i know the Lord is at the head of this work as well as in the thick everyday, he is guiding it. I KNOW it.
Thank you all so much for the happy birthdays! makes me feel so special. Again i love you all and i wish you an awesome week with SCHOOL, haha sammy, and work, and family. Peace out hommies.


Big 20.

Yes, it was Mark's birthday on the 19th and he turned the big 20!

Elder Fitch: August 15, 2011

HOLY COW! man can the french just talk and talk and talk. We went over to a members today to eat lunch. we got there at one....didn't leave till 630 or so! and it's always like that. totally just ate up our Pday, plus when we got here our lovely little internet cafe was closed and we ended up walking around looking for another place that was luck. so we came back and waited some more, finally got two places. i'm currently shoved into a little corner surrounded by sweaty people. who am i kidding we're all sweaty in here cause it's about 700 degrees with absolutely no airflow! whatev it's cool. super?
So. i'm started to rack up the encounters with the police over here. way too familiar. So We're all chillin at the little church here waiting for someone to show up for a Rendez vous that we had fixed. I'm sitting in the little front entry area just chillaxin and elder Kirkpatrick is just in the next room playing the piano right? you seenin it? cool. i'm sittin on this chair with my head back against the wall and my eyes are closed and i'm kinda driffting in and out of snoozin. the door is wide open to the outside. all the sudden there is a man standing over me, with water dripping all over him and it was a sunny day. what the heck? i jump up and into missionary mode, Hello hows it goin? can i help you? are you looking for something or someone?  what can i do for you?  he says "you can give me money, i want money" he was obviously a little bit not all there if you catch what im puttin down. Well bro im sorry but i can't give you any money, i don't have any money to give you. (ok i didn't say bro). mais si! which was his favorite phrase cause he said it over and over and it means "but yes" as in but you do. "but you do". No sorry we're actually volunteers, we're not paid. we don't have any money. MAIS SI! No we really don't im sorry. by this time my comp had come out and we were both there. "I just want one "bill" it's not alot, you're rich you have plenty, i just want one 100 dollar bill" sorry we don't have any at all actually. If you need to you can go to the red cross which isn't far. "no i just want money! you're american, ask your boss, can you call your boss in the united states, he'll give me money ill talk to him." "Actually dude he's not paid either" MAIS SI!! MAIS SI!! "well we're sorry but we can't give you any money" we obviously we'ren't getting anywhere so we said we needed to go and my comp went to go get the keys, so we could leave. at this point crazy man follows him into the church and starts searching rooms for "our boss", not good. "we are leaving so you're going to have to leave too ok?" MAIS NON! yes you need to leave, MAIS NON. finally we got him back out to the entry where he sat down on the floor and started yelling like a kid. JE VEUX CENT DOLLARS! over and over again like a chant. I WANT A HUNDRED DOLLARS! we couldn't do anything after that. ever answer was either mais si or mais non. or he would start chanting again. so we told him we were gong to call the police, and he got scarred but still wouldn't leave. we didn't even know the number but luckily there was some ticket police just outside so we got them, they couldn't get him out so they called the real police who came after ten or so minutes and tried getting him out. same old same old. even when they told him that he was asking for the wrong currency that we're on the euro here, didn't change anything, still wanted a hundred dollars. Finally they had to physically pick him up and drag him out of the church. once out we closed and locked the door as quick as possible. then they let him go and he came over to me still wnating a hundred dollars and he like got on his hands and knees and grabbed my leg! JE VEUX CENT DOLLARS! then cops grabbed him and put his arms behind his back and told us to leave and they'd take care of him. so that was that. then the next day we got yelled at by some cops for setting up a board and talking to people. i was very polite. dumb cops. that also happened once in Nimes. But the thing is is we are not doing anything illegal, they just don't like happiness and puppies and birthday parties. welp.
We had yet another district meeting on thursday in toulouse, which is always fun. it totally just ate up our day cause we ended up having to wait for a train to take us back for about 3 hours. dumb.
so the members here feed us fairly often. we have ATLEAST two a week. which is fun. last week we actually only ate dinner one time at our appartment. so one family we eat with everyweek, who we actually ate with today, is super cool. they've lived in the united states for about 15 years, the wife actually speaks and acts american, she's funny. the point i was going to share was that her son who is living in utah right now is dating elizabeth smart, and i guess they're kinda serious, crazy huh? and she has a daughter going to school over there too who apperently is friends with David Archileta so she spent the weekend with them or something. cool story hansel. THANKS Ohlof.
what else? i can't think of anything i'm so skatter brained right now, cause i've been anxious about getting to do emails so i'm all over the place, see i even just wrote that, what the heck? oh well.

Well I love and miss you all! i wish you all a wonderful week with lots of happyness and laughter and puppies and flowers and such.

Ciao ciao bisou!
Love \markkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

Sister Fitch: August 15, 2011

bonjour! Hola! Nihao (sp??)! Hello!‏

Yes, this week I had lessons in all four languages.  Whew!  And, I remembered my list, so I remember everything I wanted to tell you about! 
Okay, so an Elder in another zone SWALLOWED a NEEDLE.  Yes.  Get Smart style.  He was cleaning his harmonica with it, and was working on a spring mechanism thing, and it slipped and launched into his mouth, and he swallowed it.  Yeah.  He passed it (gross) the next day, with absolutely no damage done.  Go figure. 
I went on splits with the Elders and contacted inside a catholic church.
We met this guy named Paul the other day, and he is half chinese, half cameroonian.  He is awesome--he has tons of really good questions and says he's REALLY interested.  He had a crazy week this week, so hopefully we will get a chance to talk to him again.  He really had amazing questions, things that lead right into the Plan of Salvation and such.  he also was VERY surprised when we told him we were only here for 18 months, then we go back to school, dating, etc.  He asked us "really?" like four times. 
We were waiting for a lesson, and she smurfed us, but while we were sitting there, right by the Ottowa University campus, TWO inactive return missionaries came up to us and talked to us for a while.  The second one, from Tanzania, asked us to teach his friend about the book of Mormon, then coached us the whole time we were doing it.  it was awesome.  The first one, Pasquali, said he was pretty much homeless, just got to Ottowa, was waiting to start a random job he had found, and wasn't interested in coming to church.  he was really nice though, and we talked for a few minutes before he had to leave.  We gave him our number, he said he'd call us when he got a cell phone.  Never heard from him.  Then, this week, we decided we would go to a Virgin Mary Festival that was up the street from our house.  Guess who we ran into?? Pasquali!!  It was awesome.  He still didn't have a cell phone, and was so happy to see us.  We talked to him for a while, he said he would still call us when he has a phone.  Who knows what will come of it! 
So, maybe I should explain my splits with Elders and contacting in a catholic church, eh?  Heheh.  So, one of Elder Taylor and Elder Aubin's investigators is the director of a cathedral downtown and invited them to come by for a tour.  They invited us along.  So, as we are about to start this tour, two chinese students tag onto our little group.  Elder Aubin, being his helpful, friendly self, hangs back with them to make sure they understand what the guy is telling us all, and, of course, to be a missionary...INSIDE a Catholic, after the tour, we were all talking and these two students hung around, so I talked to them about China, told them about Les teaching there and me visiting.  Elder Aubin asked them if they wanted to meet with us, so we set up an appointment!  They were kind of sad a few days later when it was just me and Soeur Palmer--they liked Elder aubin. 
On Sunday, I spoke in church.  Then we taught sunday school.  Then we taught relief society.  And we gave a presentation in primary in the family ward.  It was a long day. 
Did I tell you I am learning Spanish?  I only have a few phrases under my belt so far, but its fun.  our family from El Salvador calls me "Cotorrita," which means little parrot because they teach me spanish and I repeat it.  they are great. 
Our landlords had a baby this week; sometimes we hear her at night.  She is so so so sweet and perfect. LOTS of babies in our family ward recently. 
So, sometimes I really hate free agency.  It gets in the way of a lot of things.  I have to remember that without agency, the whole plan would sort of fall apart, but still...rrrr.  Our xbox boy, golden investigator, got anti-ed by his friends.  They showed him a verse in the bible that talks about anyone teaching a different gospel will be cursed.  He texted us the scripture, so we called him and said we didn't get what he meant.  He said the book of mormon has more in it than the bible, so its a different gospel.  RRR.  NO!  it's the COMPLETE gospel, thank you.  And he said he read some things online about Joseph Smith that made him nervous.  sigh.  He said he wasn't really doubting, he just had some questions, and that he'd be in church and we could talk then. Well, he didn't show up, and when we called him to tell him we missed seeing him, he hung up on us.  Twice.  I don't know if I've ever been quite so broken hearted.  We might be able to pull it back together if he'll still meet with us on Wednesday, but I don't know if he will.  So, that was really, REALLY hard this week.  The last time we saw him, he was talking about going on a mission. 
Then last night we had a lesson with a lady who thinks the world is going to end in six years and we are all going to be implanted with microchips with the number 666 on them. yeah...i think we are dropping her. 
We are headed off to the Museum of Civilization now, so I will write you all later! I love you all so much, and I LOVE being a missionary. LOVE. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Elder Fitch: August 8, 2011

MINCE!! it's P-day again!! (mince is what they say for dang! or bummer! but it really means skinny. funny huh? Elder Aubin in Hannahs district taught me that)
Seriously though it's hard to believe how fast time goes, it's seems like just yesterday i was sitting in this little teeny tiny muslim cybercafe with only arab being spoken around me. But it is Ramadan so they are supposed to be EXTRA nice. ha.
Ok this week was good. we had a zone conference which was good, we got to visit with our new president a little, he is a very nice man, but he is SUPER chill. which is good, but not good. Im really grateful for president Carter and what he was doing and how he ran the mission. I'm going to bet ten dollars that he is called to be a 70 this next conference, so look out for Michael J Carter. with pres Carter everything was in french. now the geneva missionaries get confused when we talk to them in french on the phone haha. even one of my zone leaders from that mission doesn't speak very well. I don't know it's just kinda interesting. But it will be good and i know President Murdock is the man for the job right now.
Yesterday we ordained Auguste to the Aaronic priesthood. that was a really cool experience for me. to realize agian what exactly the priesthood is. We talk about it all the time but when you really think about it kinda blows my mind, The power of God Himself given to man to accomplish His will here on earth. thats incredible! what a blessing that is. i can not deny the undescribable feeling of the spirit of God in that little room as Auguste recieved the Holy priesthood. How amazed and grateful i am for that in my life. Nothing will ever be able to convince me otherwise of how i know of its authenticity. It could not be something made up. the priesthood is real and so is the restoration. what up thats all i have to say about that.
So guess what i did today, you'll never guess.
ok i'll just say it. i went to this super awesome museum. this is a museum dedicated to the famous artist born here named Ingres. i mean i learned about this guy in my art history class. he is sweet. but there was lots of other cool stuff in there too. INCREDIBLE! we were there for over two hours! i can now say that i looked at every piece of art in the whole place! at least thats being displayed right now.
So we were still teaching Creepy Jimmy, but he kind of disapeared and we don't know what happened.....on vera.
Other stuff i don't know i can't think of anything, i'm still liken the branch here, they are pretty great....most of them ha. and Elder Kirkpatrick and me are still gettin along....most of the time. it's funny what happens when you live with someone constantly all the time with absolutely no breaks inbetween except when you go to the bathroom so you purposefully take a long time peeing cause it's the only time you have to be alone BUT it's all good! just interesting.

well love you all! and have a nice day!


Sister Fitch: August 8, 2011


This week was wild--such a time warp.  I feel like it was SUCH a long week, but like Mark said, I also feel like I was JUST here writing to you.  We are teaching lots of people, but not everyone is progressing very well.  We had a couple of really awesome lessons--one girl met one of our members, Jordan, because he accidentally texted her, thinking he was texting his friend.  They started talking, and somehow the subject of God came up.  This girl, Ashley, told him how she was searching for truth, how she couldn't seem to find a religion that had everything, how she just wanted to have a better relationship with, he set up an appointment with us and with her.  It was the first time they had met in person, so it took a lot of faith for her to come!  He could have been some crazy creeper.  She loved the lesson, and at the end when we asked her to be baptized, she said, "...well why wouldn't I be baptized??"  so yeah, she is awesome.  She has a crazy schedule though, so I don't know when we can meet with her next.  We also randomly ran into two inactive return missionaries.  Don't know how much will come from it, but at the very least we were a good reminder to them.  Other crazy things happened, but since I don't have my list, I can't remember!!  

I had a dream the other night that I was on campus (I think the U but who knows) and George W. Bush was there and everyone was bugging him and swarming him.  I gave him a little head nod and a "hello" and for some reason he was so appreciative that I didn't go crazy over him that he followed me around the rest of the day and WOULD NOT go away!  interpretations, anyone?  I also had a dream that I was some kind of Avatar creature and a bunch of humans were trying to capture me.  

One thing that this week has showed me is that as missionaries, we really are on the FRONT LINES.  Satan is real, folks, and he is HARD at work.  It's really tough to see the opposition in the lives of the people we are teaching--they are trying to do good things, they are seeing truth and wanting to follow it, and there are a lot of challenges coming up in their lives.  Some bigger than others--some are downright scary.  But, it's nice to know that through it all, Heavenly Father has given us every single tool, every single weapon, we could ever need to beat Satan.  No contest.  We are trying to teach people how to use those things--scriptures, prayer, church attendance, tithing, the words of the prophet, etc--and some of them are doing it, and some of them don't believe us that they work.  Arg.  We had a dinner appointment every night this week--last week the relief society president made everyone feel bad, so lots of people scheduled with us.  Not quite so many this week, but that's okay.  We have been doing a lot of less-active work lately.  It's pretty amazing, actually, to see people remember how they felt when they were doing all of these things we are teaching them.  I wish I could remember more of the things I was going to tell you.  I'll remember my list next week.  Things are going really well with Sister Palmer.  She's super.  We have fun and work hard.  Every day is a roller coaster--miracle, tragedy, miracle, tragedy.  Fortunately the miracles outweigh the tragedies.  

Yesterday, we were supposed to have at LEAST four investigators at church.  Not ONE showed.  We were pretty sad.  But then this guy got up in Testimony meeting and started "bearing his testimony" only it was NOT a testimony.  I have NEVER been in a chapel so devoid of the spirit before.  The guy was just reading off of a paper the whole time and it got to the point that I couldn't even understand what he was saying.  Not like it wasn't making sense, it just sounded like a totally different language even though it was English.  It was super bad.  He came off the stand smirking, and the first counselor asked him to come outside to talk for a minute.  They left,and like a minute later, the guy started yelling at the top of his lungs.  In the church.  I couldn't understand him, but it sounded bad.  Then he started tearing around the church, trampling primary children, running into walls, yelling screaming, banging on the chapel door...super crazy.  It was a blessing in disguise that no investigators were there.  We have a cool YSA ward, and they bore some awesome testimonies after that helped make the chapel feel like a chapel again.  Sheesh.  

Anyway, I am out of time.  So sorry.  next week I'll have a better organized letter because I will know which stories I wanted to tell!  I love you all, so so so so much!!  thanks for everything.  Be safe, I love you!!

Sister Fitch: August 1, 2011

Oh boy, what a week.  I was looking over my journal entries, and I think most of them start out with that.  "Ohhhh boy."  So, this week was super...super.  and interesting!  We helped harvest garlic at this farm on monday.  the church helps with the whole process--planting, weeding, harvesting, the whole bit.  The farm sells them to fund a home for folks that live in a home, I think that have mental disabilities.  Anyway, it was way fun.  

Our investigator Chloe has had tons of things happen in her life lately that are either going to make or break her faith.  I hope she takes solace in the Book of Mormon--she's been reading it like a crazy person.  She was already to Alma by our third lesson.  Sheesh!  She always has tons of questions, so sometimes its hard to get to our actual lesson.  One of our other investigators smurfed us, then we saw her on the street and she just about ran into oncoming traffic trying to dodge us.  Woops.  So we had a pretty awkward conversation before heading to our next appointment.  She came to church though, so all's well.  I think she's on track and gaining a testimony.  We've done lots of street contacting and door knocking this week...oh boy.  That'!!  It really is, in a kind of twisted way.  So many different ways to be rejected.  The only time I get annoyed is when people are flat out rude, or when they don't even give us a chance to talk before saying they aren't interested.  how do you know you aren't interested?? You don't even know what I'm going to say!  one woman told us we were ridiculous for believing in something imaginery that some guy wrote up one day.  Lots of people are just super cold and rude.  Lots of people are super sweet and kind and listen to us and take our card and sometimes even a book of mormon.  We spent forty five minutes the other day sitting on a bench downtown next to a busy intersection talking to Monica/Mark, a gender variant (that is, neither male nor female) he/she had lots of interesting questions for us, but mostly just needed someone to listen to him/her.  Our lesson had smurfed us, so we had the time.  

Oh gee, suddenly everyone wants to leave RIGHT NOW so I should wrap this up.  We HAD a dinner appointment last night, for sunday, but they smurfed us.  Weren't home.  Sigh.  We saved up our "klick" (kilometre limit) all week to be able to go, and...they weren't home.  Sigh.  I spoke in church too, Mark!  Sweet!  The first thing the bishop said to me when i got here was "Hi, you're speaking next week."  So, there you go.  We had three investigators at church, did I say that?  yeah, it was awesome.  I was feeling REALLY overwhelmed the other day, like there was just too much work to do and not enough people listening to us, and how on earth are we supposed to do this??  Then all of the sudden I remembered the verse in 2 kings (6:16 I think) about "fear not, for they that are with us are more than they that are with them," or something like that.  Point is, there are plenty more working here than just us.  Just because we can't see them, doesn't mean there aren't LEGIONS of angels out and about in ottowa.  Then I read Luke ch. 12; don't worry, God takes care of birds and flowers, he's not going to forget any of us.  So, there was lots more I wanted to write.  Too much happens every week.  I better go though.  I love you all, and I love this work.  nothing's ever been harder, nothing's ever been better.  

much love to you all,

Elder Fitch: August 1, 2011

This week in Montauban.....pas grande chose. I love it here though! it's so nice to be in a different city! and i really like the little branch of members here. they are very awesome.
I gave a talk in sacrament yesterday on searching diligently to learn of Christ, it was based off of Elder Utchdorfs talk last conference called Waiting on the Road to Damascas, it is super good i recomend it. it was a little intimidating doing a talk in french, but i went for a good 20 minutes and i was understood, i think haha. but if nothing else i learned alot in preparing it.
Our recent convert Auguste is doing awesome! he is SO cool. There are not alot of people that are like him.
 So i forgot to mention what our appartment is like....well it's Very small. we have an evil portugese lady that lives under us that always beats on her cieling if we step too hard, oh and we have a lovely infestation of cockroachs! what we do for fun in montauban is we hunt them. they're mostly in our kitchen. it is very gross, but be of good cheer i've killed about 10000 so far, unfortunately i probably haven't made a dent. it's very very gross....and thats all i have to say about that.
so what else, oh so we've had a few rdvs with creepy jimmy, he is definitley very special, we're not quite sure what to do with him. other than that not a lot of investigators, BUT it is alot more than we had in NImes. Rdvs work a lot more often, not as many Smirfs, haha im Canadian eh?
the weather was very rainy but it's starting to get hot again, and i'd also just like everyone to know that 45 degrees is well over a hundred, so poor hanny.
Again we are the only missionaries in the city but my district is awesome! its us, Albi and Toulouse which makes about 14 missionaries which is normally a zone, actually the zone and the district are the same right now. im in the same district as Elder Turley from the MTC i saw him last week too it was awesome.
whoo!! i LOVE being a missionary! Hurrah for Israel!! LOVE YOU ALL