Saturday, May 22, 2010

Halle--I am totle totle grate too!!!!

My dearest family!!!

It's hard to believe it has only been a week since I talked to you. Time warp for sure out here! I was glad to hear that some things have not changed and it was great imagining you all cuddled up in the family room (with josh being stubborn in the other room of course)!! I figured that Halle said it right in her letter to me last week--life is totle totle grate-- and talking to you just kept me smilin all week! Unfortunately since I didn't get to e-mail you last weekend, I don't even know where to start with the adventures over here on this side of the Atlantic. So to simplify, I am bulleting this baby and titling it 'happenings.' Cheating? maybe....but there are just too many great things to share!!!


1. One day I left my planner at an investigators house. you can only imagine! (reference: bridesmaid dress January 2010)

2. Mohammed the carrefour jumper, has earned a special place in my heart. We pass him almost every day and he always walks out and shakes our hands and says to each of us individually, "oh there you are!! the most beautiful!!!" His name doesn't leave much to ask, but he is hilarious and he takes good care of the carrefour (in his black suit and with all 6'5" of his towering form!).

3. I have seen my fair share of gross things in clinicals, but I gotta tell ya, even I squirmed a little bit when an investigator was holding his newborn baby and she spit up. Evidently there was some leftover in either her mouth or nose and he was not okay with it, so he proceeded to suck it out of her nose. Not joking. It was not a pleasant experience.

4. I extended my first baptismal commitment! He said yes!!! phewf. But, we passed him to the elders cuz his wife isn't showing as much interest anymore.

5. I realized that our companionship works really well together because we all bring something different to the table. Sister Bellini snorts every time she laughs really hard. Sister Gifford makes happy noises whenever we see something cute or when she's on the phone (like only a girl can). And I have taken up the habit of tripping on a very regular basis. Like it's a hazard! (I have since been banish-ED to the inside of the sidewalk and the inside of the train quais.) We are quite the force to be reckoned with I tell you what!! But really, even when we get frugi'd four out of five rendez-vous in one day, it's still fun working together! (side note: the term frugi means that the investigator doesn't show up, and it evidently comes from this African drink that looks and smells great, but tastes terrible.) We're hoping that Heavenly Father is patient with us, because occasionally prayers in our apartment end up with lots of giggling. Or like I imagine it would be fairly amusing hearing us trying to sing a hymn that has sections that are only for the men!! (somewhere along the lines of Dad singing next to Bishop Schow!)

6. Best phone call of the week: "I am praying. Call me back later." click. Okay....will do!

7. Best movie quote of the week: we are out running one morning and it's a super foggy/hazy sunrise, so the sun just looks like this big orange ball, and Sister Gifford goes "A red sun rises, blood has been spilt this night." so great!!! (family, so help me if you can't name the person. I kept strict rules during that marathon so I hope you got your head in the game!)

8. Worst French mistake of the week: (ok, let's be real. There are probably way too many of these to adequately account for them) This Haitian man comes up and asks me for my number, but he tu-toyed me and somehow I thought he had asked me if I knew someone named Stipley (instead of him saying s'il te plait). So he asked me for my number and I responded, "oh i'm sorry I dont know him, but have a good day!" My companions got a nice chuckle out of it.

9. Worst blonde moment of the week: we are at the mission home to have cake and ice cream for President Staheli's birthday. It's also mother's day, so we're all sitting around talking and I asked how Sister Staheli's mother's day was going, and she says that it's been great, and President Staheli says, "Well tell them what you got." So she says that she got a MacPro. I wanted to be excited for her, so was all like "ooooh! so cool!" pause, pause, pause. wait, I have no idea what that is, and then out loud I say, "Wait. Like the make-up?" Again, one of those moments I should have just kept my mouth shut! First asking President how old he was (I tell you, it just slipped out), and then pulling out a serious Elle Woods. I was on a roll.

10. Most nerdy moment of the week: We are talking as a district and Elder Mckay is telling us about a phone call that had bad connection or something and he says, "it sounded like C3PO." And before I could stop myself, I respond with a, "Actually, that would be R2D2." The other elders were like "oooh. shut down by Sister Pearce. bah dum bum sh." It was almost along the same lines as, "did you just say prime-ape?" (reference Cassidy, 2007)

11. Most frustrating thing of the week: Teaching people that feel like they already had great baptisms. "So, you know that the Book of Mormon is true?" bah oui! "And you know that Joseph Smith was the prophet of the restoration?" Bien sur. "So, you want to be baptized into the church of Jesus Christ by the power and authority of God?! "well, I was already baptized, remember?” aaargh. And so then you try to lovingly drop them by saying "you know as missionaries we are here to invite people to Christ by helping them prepare for baptism, etc, so we will be here whenever you are ready, etc" and then they stand up and say "okay same time next week?" I mean what do you do???!!! haha. I know Alma says to be bold, but not overbearing, but like really!!! I think overbearing might get through a little better sometimes! k jk (mostly).

12. So, I mentioned on the phone how I love our district. I am always thoroughly entertained. But, I'm not such a fan of role-playing in front of all of them! Elder Bednar, our district leader, prepared this awesome lesson on using the Articles of Faith more often to respond to concerns (adding another arrow to your quiver, as he put it), and it was awesome!!!.....until I had to respond to "Gladys." Apparently, she's an investigator people have been teaching for ages, who thinks that the Holy Ghost just descended on her and that she doesn't need to be baptized. John 3:5 does nothing for her, Jesus' own baptism, among many other things, is apparently not quite proof either. So I babbled something about the 4th article of faith and sat down as quick as possible! Enough of this quiver stuff!

13. I had my first nursing nightmare this week. It was like Grey's Anatomy meets the circus. Not fun. But, I have decided that nursing is helpful on a mission as well, because when your companion says, "so, what is a uterus?" I can be like, okay, we need to chat and I'm gonna draw some pictures... Unfortunately, that experience also made me realize how much I'm forgetting.....guess I’m gonna have to keep the faith for those blessings!

14. Worst wall of shame moment of the week: Ward ping-pong tournament. I lost second round. I think you would have kicked me out on the street if you had seen how I played! But, there was a heckling French mother involved, and I just did not hold up well under the pressure!!!

15. Lamest excuse of the week: So, what happened on Sunday? Why couldn't you come to church? "Oh, well it rained." That was another, 'puh-lease' moment!! Like where are we? Brazil?? But, we follow Preach My Gospel and we are devastated that they didn't keep their commitment and we love them and try again!

16. Saddest thing we saw this week: One day. Two different locations. Two different old ladies. Eat it to the ground. Like we are talking no reflexes left in these dear old things, so they hit their chins on the sidewalk. flat as a crepe, if you will. So sad!!! But, after people converged and they walked away just fine, I will admit we may have chuckled a couple times. Twice in one day, I mean come on!!!!

17. Most touching thing of the week: (or rather, one of them) We are teaching an investigator about prophets and we show her a picture of President Monson and she says something like, "oh c'est lui?" But then she was like worried that she had said something wrong because she referred to the prophet as "him." She was like "I don't know the protocol," and wanted to make sure that she was showing the right respect to the Prophet of God. It was really neat and such a testimony builder to me of really what a blessing it is to have a prophet on the earth!!! (I left out the fact that my brother had gone to the jazz game with him the other day, hehe)
Anyway, that was a whole lot of rambling about random happenings. You can try to make some sense out of it! haha sorry!!! And I realized just now that I probably didn’t talk about our investigators and stuff enough, but I promise along with all the fun we're having, we are managing to get some missionary work done! Life is totle, totle grate. I love missionary work and I am so, so happy to be a missionary. I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I am grateful for the scriptures that teach us what we have to do to gain access to the Atonement. And I am grateful for a prophet and apostles who testify of Jesus Christ and His Atonement. We read the talk "Meaning of the Atonement" by cleon scousen last night (thank you tara!) together and wow, we truly have a Heavenly Father and Savior who love us! We are so lucky and blessed to know it. I love you family and I am grateful for you too! I have some more stories to tell you, and responses to your letters, but I’ll have to put them in my hand-written letter later Have a great week!!! LOVE YOU TO ETERNITY!!!
Sister Pearce

p.S. i am going to try to attach a pic of our p-day adventure today. we went to the chateau at St Germain en laye with our district and played ultimate frisbee and got gelato!! And I won't lie--we need to step up our morning workouts cuz that was some serious ultimate frisbee! But, don't worry--my team won!! (granted, I’m fairly certain it didn’t have a whole lot to do with me hehe)
ps2 I never got nanas package and still haven’t gotten yours. I think it’s best to send things to the mission home, because it’s a pain to try to track them down at the post office or at the landlord's cuz it's not like we just have a porch that they leave things on and we just have little tiny drop boxes. But, we're gonna go try to find where the landlord lives this week and see if your package is there. tell nana thanks though!!!
Ps3 sorry I think you had more questions, but I’ll have to answer later!!!!! we have two lessons to get to tonight! love you!!!! sure grateful for you!
Ps4 To Cassidy, did you try my sheets-out-the-window method this time? I did you give you quite a few methods to work with after the “Hawaii incident” ’09?!
Ps5 I haven’t gone to the chateau grounds yet since I’ve been here, but I pass by it almost every day. Like either walking, or we’ll be on a bus & I’ll turn my head & be like “oh look, there’s the chateau de Versailles.” Haha, sometimes I forget I am in France! We’re going to have a picnic in the chateau gardens one of these p-days.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The adventures of the week!!!

WHAT IS UP DEAREST FAMILY??!!! ok im just gonna tell it to ya straight--this e-mail will probably be super lame, because I am exhausted and i think it'll take much more than a miracle to string an entirely coherent sentence together.

But, its a good exhausted, because Gloria got baptized this afternoon!!! It started late, and one of the talks didn't show up, and she was wearing a black bra (oops) under a wet white dress, but it was awesome!!! Once the service itself started the Spirit was strong and, of course, we are sisters after all, so the tears were flowin freely when we saw Gloria all dressed in white and sopping wet! Gloria cried the whole way through and looked so beautiful in the dress we got her. When she was changing she said, "i just feel so new." She also forgot to take her cell phone out of her pocket, but she was so happy, she was just like, "oh well, the phone got baptized too!" It really was such a great day and I was just grateful to get to be a part of it! (side note--elder bednar just tricked me into biting into a wesabe peanut. dont ever do that.)(we are at the bureau writing our e-mails because it's a holiday and everything is closed...gotta love france and their holidays...lets just say its a good thing it's fast sunday, because we have no food and obviously cant go grocery shopping! haha.)

First things first, so I was putting some stuff down in the chapel during the zone conference lunch break (meaning not many people were in there) the other day & Pres Staheli came up & asked me how our family knew the Hinckley’s. I told him I didn’t think we did & he told me that when they were looking @ the transfer board last week, Elder Hinckley pointed to my picture & asked who I was. Pres said, “that’s Sister Pearce, she’s from Provo. Her dad is the tennis coach & BYU.” And E. Hinckley said, “oh, Brad Pearce?” so… 1. I don’t know why he pointed at my picture. 2. Do you know the Hinckley’s? I guess this Hinckley’s (Richard) wife was a big time tennis player & her brother played too, so maybe you know her from that?

So, I'm thinkin' I'll just bullet a few of the things I realized this week, because the neurons are just not firing properly at the moment!!!

  • It is a little awkward calling someone, while you're on public transportation, to remind them to bring extra underwear to the baptism.
  • I, somehow, am always the person to ask the awkward questions!! Like, "so....why exactly is it that you don't you come to church?" or "so wait, you haven't actually been baptized, you just come to church every week and go on splits with the missionaries for fun and you're just waiting for the 'right moment' to get baptized; do i understand correctly?" I mean, they are always questions that have to be asked to understand where the person's at, but I must just be awkward enough (or maybe blonde enough) to get away with it. However, one of them turned out super great this week. We were at a member's house (she has health problems and has a hard time coming to church), and her daughter's friend was over. Long story short, I ask the friend if she is a member of the church, and the member responds by saying, "no she's not baptized. But, she and her twin brothers want to be baptized." Well....... we are definitely okay with that! So, we'll see what happens! (we want to teach them as a family, but the kids are at school during the day and the dad works night shifts, so that's complicated. Otherwise we need permission to teach the kids....etc) That rendez-vous was fun though. I really think i fit in with kids better. The girls were braiding my hair by the time we left and the mom and girls told us they'd teach us an African dance next time! haha, that will certainly be an adventure!
  • You know how we say "flat as a pancake?" well, they really do say, "flat as a crepe!" laughed so hard when i heard a kid say that when he was worried about his nintendo mario getting squished by some bad guy.
  • Whenever I start feeling more comfortable with French, the Lord puts me back in my rightful place by sending a Haitian my way. I tell you what, sometimes I feel like they could be speaking German for all I understand!
  • It's always comforting when young adult investigators tell you "ya know you're not ugly, nor do you appear to be crazy." And then it's always fun when they find out that we do, in fact, use electricity. Crazy mormon myths! gotta love it!
  • I started thinking that I would get away with not having to eat anything gross as a missionary. Naive. Oh...but so naive! I won't go into details, because I have spent way too much time trying to forget the details, but suffice it to say meat and gelatinous substances should not go together. But, the sweet old lady, Jeanne, was just too cute to say no to. We grinned and bore it. Rather gracefully if I do say so myself. (ie we waited until we had left her home to throw up all of the meat and gelatinous substance.)
  • We realized this week that it must be a very different experience living in an Elder apartment. From the sounds of it duct tape, super glue, and water balloons are used much more frequently! haha. I feel like we're missin out! At our apartment, it's like a game to see who can do the dishes before the other notices. Actually, during one of our planning sessions we had to set a goal to stop being so nice and "allow others the opportunity to serve you", because the "nice-war" was getting out of control! Ridiculous, I know.
  • Some things have not changed. I would be the only one dumb enough to "go check in front of the car because they're might be a 'thing.'" Which, of course, led to Elder Prunin honking as I was bending over to check for the “thing,” me jumping and screaming bloody murder, and then everyone else laughing.
  • Contacting is still always exciting. This week's most amusing experiences included one dude try to bisoux us, and another offering to move closer to where I live. ("Thanks, but no thanks, and ill give your number to the frere missionaries! have a good one!")
  • And last---you just never know what is going to happen next! Remember the lady Evelyne, who we miraculously found last week?! Well, we go back to visit her again and turns out, her friend had asked to come over for our visit with her. (oh background....we had had a rendez-vous scheduled with her earlier in the week, which she ended up not being able to come to, but while we were waiting for her, we played with all the neighbor kids on the floor of the building. They were hilarious! and before we left we sang "I am a child of God" to them, and for a SUPER rowdy bunch, we were shocked how quiet they got and how intently they listened. I'm not gonna lie, it was precious!) Anyway, so we're teaching Evelyne and her friend and one by one, all the neighborhood kids show up! Apparently, they're like all one big happy family in their building and noone believes in knocking or anything, so the more the merrier! One of the 10-yr old girls was telling us how she has been asking her mom if she can pray before they go to bed, and they were all pretty excited about Jesus being resurrected (though, the re-enactment of it by David (he's 9 i think) might not have been on quite as high of a spiritual note....ok, so closer to blasphemy, but ya know, we do the best we can)! haha. AND, they're all coming to church tomorrow with Evelyne!! Primary is going to be one big party that is for sure! I so took primary and young women's for granted growing up. There are kids in this ward who are begging to come to church (because their parents are less active) and begging to be baptized (that's another battle with a mom who feels like her child needs to be prepared before he makes that decision), and it just reminds me how spoiled I was and am! I have so many blessings!!! And I want these precious children to have them too! I want them to know that they are children of a Heavenly Father who loves them, that He listens to their prayers, and that He just wants them to be happy. We really are blessed aren't we?!

Well, those are some of my thoughts about the adventures of this week! I love being a missionary, even if some days seem like an eternity! I hope things are going well at home! I love you. And I am so grateful to have such a wonderful family. You really are the best. Hopefully I'll have time to write you at least a short letter later today. Have a great week!

love, Jordan xoxo

Tara – Finals are over!!! I can’t believe, still can’t believe it took me so long to remember “scott.” If you “happened” across the talk “the meaning of the atonement” by Cleon Skousen on the internet something & it showed up in one of your letters, that wouldn’t be the worst thing! Hehe Love you sister!

J&M – Thanks for your letters! And no, Matthew you cannot have my iHome. Nice try though!

Josh & Halle – I miss you two lots!

p.s. Did I tell you I met the Bishop & his wife when I came to this ward during my study abroad? They were like a cute younger couple, so we sat with them. Obviously he wasn’t the bishop then.
p.s.s. We totally have fiches in our area book that have Andrew’s name on them!