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!!!
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.