Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Elder Fitch: November 28, 2011

Wow what a week!

Thanksgiving was super! We went to Toulouse for lunch and ate with all the missionaries down there. The couple that is from Richmond cooked us a very nice American dinner. It was super good, and it was fun to see the mississionaries the old and the new ones. 
That night we went to the Van Tonder`s house where Jeanpierre made us a super legit Thanksgiving dinner. It was even more delicious than What the Americans made. Auguste came as well and we just had an awesome evening, I missed you all a lot though.
We`ve been able to continue seeing our slovakian family. There seriously are great. They came to all three meetings on sunday and they loved it. The mother was even getting emotional. The spirit was strong. 
Sacrament was awesome anyway because it was the primary program. Man those kids were SO cute! I could not stop laughing! Their spirit was inspiring and even touched the Slepcik family. I loved it! 
France is great, I love Montauban, what a wonderful place to be. I love you all and pray for you everyday. 

Sister Fitch: November 28, 2011

hello all!
Well, we got our first snow on Tuesday.  No...Wednesday?  Sometime early last week.  It was a pretty good snowfall, but was mostly gone by the next day and has been replaced with drizzly, dreary rain ever since.  The wind can be biting here, and makes it feel colder than it is.  Fortunately it only blows now and then.  The week was good!  One of those that went by pretty quickly, felt really busy, but I'm not sure what all actually got accomplished.  Members here have been VERY generous this week.  I was given a skirt, some earrings, and shoes!  Just the boost my wardrobe needed.  Those things aren't all that important, and I was surviving just fine before, but little things boost the mood.  So, Pauline is doing really well.  Her baptism is this weekend, but she's been super busy so hopefully everything will go through.  If not, it'll be the next week.  Sigh.  Lots of opposition just before baptisms, seems like.  We've got a lot on the schedule this week, so it'll probably go by fast as well!  This month seems like it's going to fly by...I feel like it'll be January tomorrow.  I'm learning a lot being with my companion; we're quite different, so lots of times to recognize weaknesses and strengths and opportunities to learn come up.  It's awesome.  I love you all!!!!
Thanks for the emails, they are the best way to start the week. 
Much love,

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Elder Fitch: November 21, 2011

So I will be joining the very exclusive club of missionaries that spend 4 transfers in tiny Montauban. Which for some it is rough, and I'm not going to lie, after my first transfer here the thought of staying for 4 was not a good one. Now that I'm here I've really grown to love Montauban. I'm very excited to be here for the holidays, the members here are seriously my french family. I thought, logically, that I would be leaving, and I was actually really bummed. No worries though! I'll be here at least till the end of the year. What's more too is I didn't feel like I had done everything I needed to here. I'm really super stoked for this next transfer! We're finally starting to see some results come from all our hard work.
We started teaching a family this week. They are from Slovakia and comunicating with them is a little hard sometimes. They have a son that is 14 and daughter that is 18 and they both speak french really well, so we do a lot of translating back and forth. It's so funny sometimes to realize that I'm comunicating in languages far from my own, translating things into french so that I understand, and not into english. English just kinda gets stuck in the corner. IT'S SWEET! I love speaking french. Anyway, this whole family, Slepcik is their name, came to church yesterday. They didn't understand everything, but they really liked it. They are just awesome and they very open to the spirit. They crack me up too, SO funny.
Well it's Thanksgiving this week, WOW. We will be going down to Toulouse for a turkey bowl with the other missionaries and then eating american stuff. THEN we will be going to the Van Tonders who will also be making us american stuff, cause they are the most american of the members. Sweet! I'm going to gain like 50 kilos! I want you all to know how thankful I am for each and everyone of you. You are everything to me. I love you even more then cereal.
love Mark

Sister Fitch: November 21, 2011

So, transfer calls came and Sister Rodriguez and I are both staying put!  There were a lot of surprises this transfer.  Okay, only one really--that is that there were almost NO changes in the whole mission.  In the entire mission, only six (maybe it was eight...) teams changed.  Hardly anything!  I'm happy to stay.  This area is pushing me way, way, WAY out of my comfort zone, and it's....amazing.  Exactly what I need. 
It's been a good week--I felt like there was no time for anything, but at the same time, I'm not sure a lot got of those funky things.  But we watched the Joseph Smith movie with Pauline, our investigator who is getting baptized next week, and when it was over, she just...cried.  She was amazed at how much the early saints went through to make sure that the restored church became everything God promised them it would become.  She was very, very touched.  I've been thinking a lot about the early saints lately.  Maybe because sometimes I feel a little like them--out numbered, often made fun of or looked down on.  I've even been kicked out of places for what I'm doing.  Not like them, but by their example I'm learning what it means to have resilient faith, no matter the circumstances.  Anyway, Pauline is incredible, and I'm super excited for her baptism.  Another miracle this week was that I got a letter from Pasquale.  I think I told you about him--he's the less active return missionary we found in Ottawa while we were sitting on a random street corner being smurfed.  He moved back home to Thunderbay just before we left Ottawa.  Well.  In his letter, he said he's planning a temple trip with his bishop.  The turn-around in that boy is incredible.  I knew he'd come back to the church eventually, but I didn't think it would be so soon!  He even sent pictures--combed hair and a tie!!  No holey jeans and a messy mop of hair!  The gospel heals souls.  It CHANGES people, it helps them become the person God created themto be in the first place. 
So, yes.  Life is good.  I'm wearing jeans right now, and that makes me SO SO SO happy.  It doesn't happen often, especially since they've been telling us to wear our missionary clothes on p-day.  But today I'm wearing jeans!! Hooray!! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sister Fitch: November 14, 2011

Hi all!
Good news is, I got to do emails at the mission office today, so I'm not SO short on time.  Bad news is, I'm still pretty short on time.  Gah.  Things are going well here in Montreal, crazy as ever.  We are working with a really cute girl from Alberta (a Canadian!  That's rare!) and she is progressing really well.  She came to Stake Conference and really loved it.  This week I got to go on splits with my trainer, sister Palmer!  It was an emergency split, companion had a really rough week and needed something to help her get out of the funk of it all.  So, we did splits and it was a lot of fun.  I think we're back on track now, so all is looking up.  It was still pretty hard, but we can recover in this very last week of the transfer.  I can't believe how fast it came!  I'm guessing I will stay right here with Sister Rodriguez, but anything could happen, so I'll let you know!  The weather has yet to turn nasty here.  You all got snow before we did!  I'm sure it's just around the corner, though. 
I love you oh, so much.  Be safe.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Elder Fitch: November 14, 2011

Hey All,
So funny story, you know our really grumpy neighbor who lives under us and likes to yell at us and bang on the ceiling and leave us mean notes? Well this morning we were in the middle of our studies and all of the sudden our bell goes off. The bell you ring down on the ground level. So it starts going off like crazy for about 15 or 20 seconds. We look at each other and then Elder Ormond went to go look out the door, I had a sneaky suspicion that it was our neighbor because a similar thing happened another time. So I looked out the window and low and behold our neighbor came walking out the door. I was looking at her and she looked straight up at our window with death and hate in her eyes, but she saw me so she turned back around. She was just being spiteful, and we just thought it was hilarious. We laughed about it and then about 20 minutes later as we were leaving I thought I'd be funny and jump on the floor and try and sound like a horse trotting cause that's what she called us. I HONESTLY thought she was still out. I NEVER would have done that had I known she was back. Unfortunately....she had returned and when we walked out and headed down the stairs to leave she came out and gave us an ear full of portuguese. oops.
Saturday was SO SWEET! Rugby is awesome! We went with our recent convert Auguste and it was sweet! I didn't understand everything, but it was cool anyway. We just cheered when everyone else cheered. They won too and against the team from Nice, apparently they are really good. Kiri the samoan guy we went to see is just cool. He is a big guy and he's got these big ol dread lock things and just looks like he could break you in two, but he is such a chill and nice guy. that was cool.
This week went by really quick, we had lots of service and a few really good RDVs. Unfortunately we were not able to see Elvis again. We are trying to get back in contact with him.
We had a problem with our contract for our new apartment. They tryed to add a bunch of things after it had been finalized and the guys on our side refused to sign it. So in stead of a final walk through with the missionary couple in toulouse that was planned for last wednesday, they came up and we visited some other places. It ended up that it worked out. We found a better apartment for cheaper and our first try. The only down side was that our move got pushed back a week. All around it was better because the day we had planned to be unavailable we ended up finding some awesome people. I really think things will go good with them. I'm really looking forward to that.
This next week is the last one of the transfer. Holy cow. I can't believe how fast this transfer has gone. I will find out friday if I will be staying or going. If I'm leaving then you probably wont be hearning from me on monday. Either way I'm looking forward to it. I love Montauban and I'm sure I will love anywhere else I go.
I love you all! Have a great week! 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Elder Fitch: November 7, 2011

Just so you know Elvis is NOT dead. Yesterday we met a young man who is a legit Assyrian. He said that their country is technically what is Iraq. He grew up in Russia though. Long story short he is catholic orthodox and his name is Elvis, and he was interested to talk again so we will be seeing him again next sunday. coool huh.
This week we also went back to South America. The ladys birthday party we went to last time who is peruvian has a son and it was his birthday and we were invited and it was like the last time with only spanish speaking people, it was crazy, but fun.
This week I was a little lick as well. It started wednesday night, and I didn't feel good thursday. That was fun cause then we went to our islander less actives house that night and I thouhgt I was going to die of eating and sick. I'm alot better now, just a few lingering side affects. BUT I'm super stoked because we got permission from our president to go to one of his rugby games! so i'll be going to that this weekend.
OH don't forget that this friday is 11/11/11. That is pretty cool.
We had a really fun service activity cutting and hauling wood and I got to teach them how to use a chain saw. That was pretty cool.
We don't have a lot of people to teach right now, but I still see miracles everyday. It's really amazing!
I love YOU GUYS!!

Sister Fitch: November 7, 2011

Sorry fam, this one will be tres brief.  I have to go, my computer was slow  and everyone else is done.  This week was....kind of crazy.  lets just say I grew a lot, had some really awesome experiences in the scriptures, and learned a lot about myself and my companion.  I wish I could tell you more about it, but it'll have to wait til later!  We are teaching some awesome people.  The mission president is changing things a bit--he's going to leave people in their areas for AT LEAST six months, probably closer to a year.  Hoping it'll help retention.  Anyway, life is good and I'm happy to be here.  Be safe, know that I love you, and that on my lowest days, its from you that I get my strength.  I love you all. 

Elder Fitch: October 31, 2011

One half of the transfer done already!
I've just love being here. I see so many great things so many miracles everyday.
So this last week I made the trip to toulouse three times. I went thursday for a district meeting and then I stayed there for an exchange. The exchange went really well and in follow something Elder Causee wanted us to do that I didn't want to do I really learned how inspired our leaders are and that if we follow their directions with faith we will become the instrument for the Lord that he knows we can be. There was just things that worked out and people we met  that we never would have otherwise. Toulouse is awesome. I highly recomend a visit there.
Saturday we went back for a zone formation and interviews with the mission president. That was super awesome. President Murdock is an awesome man and very helpful and loving. Then sunday was just an awesome day. It was stake conference for the stake of Toulouse. Nimes is apart of the district so I got to see some of the members from there. The one person I really miss there is named Gautier. He is definitely a friend that I will keep for the rest of my life. I was so happy to see him again. Made my day. I also got to see Jeanpierre who has been in Paris for over a month and I wasn't expecting him to be back so that was an awesome surprise. and then also if you all remember sister Echols who was in my MTC district she is now servng in the stake as well. So I got to see her as well which was really good, I haven't seen her since the day I left Utah. plus she went to the Geneva Mission. It was good, Plus all the many other missionaries. It was super awesome.
Funny ish  story. K so I got one of my suits cleaned and yesterday was the first time I wore it since having it cleaned. We got back from Toulouse and I took off my jacket and hung it by my desk. I was hungry and I wanted a wrap, so I made myself a wrap. The last thing I put on it was dressing. I went the fridge to get it out and grabbed it. Now i've developed this habbit of shaking any bottle I grab, ya know to mix it up. I grab it and go for this big ol shake. and in just two simple motions there was an explosion of dressing! It was EVERYWHERE! I didn't realize at first because it was all in my eyes and stinging like crazy. I busted out laughing because it was hilarious, but as soon as I could see I realized that it was all over one half of my spanking and BRAN CLEAN suit jacket! terror and rage filled my heart and a wailing and gnashing of teeth came to pass. I seriously couldn't believe it. This story would end sad like that but it was fine. I cleaned it off and now you can't even tell. I then sat down and ate my delicious wrap. and this words are true for I have spoken them. amen.
Its goin good here. I pray for you all everyday. Have fun! I love you!

Sister Fitch: October 31, 2011

I am dressed as a civilian today.  But still with a nametag :)
This week was great.  Sisters up in Quebec came down to split us.  They spent two nights here, it was lots of fun.  I don't know either of them very well, but we really did have a good time.  I met lots of people from lots of different countries and lots of different religious backgrounds this week--my count on the number of countries I've come in contact with here is nearing fifty.  That's in only six months--I have a whole year to find the rest of the world!  I know they're here somewhere...I had a really challenging lesson with a really nice Muslim man who tried very, very hard to explain to me that I will be going to hell if I don't accept the qu'aran (sp?) and if I keep calling God my father.  Sigh.  I am learning to love Montreal, and am keeping an optomistic view on things--time is short!!  When I think about everything I have learned in the last six months, and how much I still want and need to learn, another year doesn't seem like quite enough.  Yeesh, time is SO strange.  I narrowly escaped donating blood this week, too.  That is a fear I know I need to conquer, but not right now.  That can wait.  There were lots of chance meetings with awesome people this week--good reminders of whose work this really is.  I met a less active member on the metro, contacting on a day that I really, really did not want to contact.  That was an important lesson--work, and Heavenly Father WILL provide.  We can't afford not to work.  The people here can't afford for us not to work.  Anyway, getting along well here in Montreal.  I love you all, and miss you muchly.  When I don't want to work, or don't think I have it in me, I think of you and get to work.  I love you.  Thanks for being you.  Sorry my letters are short these days--its very different writing in an internet cafe than in the church family history center.  sigh.  Anyway, keep safe!  Happy Halloween!

Elder Fitch: October 24, 2011

Well I quite enjoyed this week.
Tuesday we were able to go to Bordeaux to conference with Elder Gerald Causee and his wife. That was a blast. First off, Bordeaux is really beautiful, I loved it. Second, I got to see A TON of missionaries. My trainer was there, a whole bunch of missionaries I knew while I was in Nimes, and some I knew from the MTC and highschool. Third, the conference was super awesome. I learned alot of really valuable things that already have helped me in what I'm doing.
I absolutely love the members here. They are a family to me in a way the members in Nimes never were. We had a branch activity on friday for Halloween, and it was just awesome. I realized this week and especially at this activity how confortable I am around them. Plus my french is getting better and better and making it a whole lot easier to be myself and really get to know people in general.
We STILL haven't been able to move into our new apartment or even make any real progress with it. It's a little frustrating because there really isn't anymore that we can do here. It's all up to our office in Geneva. THEY have to be the one to call and figure out all the details. The problem is there really busy and our apartment isn't really on the top of their priority list. Meanwhile the apartment people keep calling us to find out what is going on and if we are really even serious. So we keep calling Geneva. Now everyone is fed  and annoyed with everyone. Yet nothing has happened. oh well. I think I'm starting to like KILLING them! I'm so good at it too. I ain't scrrrrrd.
My companion and I are learning better everyday how to work with each other. We've made so much progress and I'm looking forward to what we'll be able to accomplish here.
I love you all and pray for you everyday. Thank you for being there and supporting me. Everytime I feel I want to stop I pull alot of strength in thinking of you all. You help me to keep going. Thanks again and I love you. Being a missionary is super stellar!

Sister Fitch: October 24, 2011

Hello All,
Being here on the Island of Montreal is so very, very different from the quiet, secluded life of Ottawa.  It was kind of like our own little world there, and I loved it.  Here I am feeling quite scattered and overwhelmed, but I am really enjoying it at the same time.  As President Cannon put it, the Island is cracking me like a nut, which is a very good thing.  Helps me overcome any and all fears and really see my priorities--am I more concerned about being safe in my comfort zone, or helping someone discover the eternal truths of the gospel that will change their lives forever?  I mean, that has been the question all along, but here, where I am on display and on duty ALL the time, I am faced with that decision dozens of times a day.  In Ottawa, there was a lot of time spent walking to and from places where there were no people to talk to.  Not so here.  People are everywhere.  It's awesome.  It's still a challenge every day, I haven't got into the swing of things in such a way that contacting an entire metro car feels natural and normal and comfortable.  I dont know if it ever will, but I am getting better and stronger as a missionary, so all is well.  My companion is really wonderful, and so is my district.  My zone leaders are learning how to work with sisters, and have been much more attentive and sensitive, recognizing that we just are not the same as elders.  Not that we can't do what elders can, but that our emotional state and whatnot are a bit different.  Our sister team, who we work with in the same ward (should I say elder team?) are really awesome too.  We try to look out for each other, and so its nice to know we aren't totally alone in this opening an area thing.  We found some really amazing people this week that we are working with.  One is from China and the other is from Columbia.  I haven't taught very many Canadians...I think these two will progress really well and I look forward to working with them.  We got smurfed ten times this week--I'm sure you feel my pain, Mark, and wish it only happened ten times a week.  Laundry has been a PAIN to deal with, but we managed to take it to the sisters' apartment in the zone next to ours--about a twenty minute metro ride--and did it at their place.  We don't have sisters in our zone, so it was nice to see some...feminine faces.  This week the sisters in Quebec will be coming down to split us.  There are only 11 sisters in the mission right now--crazy.  I'm sorry I couldn't write you all back this week, but I so very, very much appreciated your emails.  It's tough in the internet cafe now because I HAVE to be done after an hour, whereas in the Family History Center if we needed a bit longer, we could take a bit longer.  Life on the island is much more fast-paced.  It can be hard to keep up, but I am learning, growing, laughing, and missionary-ing, so life is good.  I miss you all, I love you all, I hope you are all doing well!
Much love,