Hello Dearest Family!!!!
Ok first things first--Dad how did you manage to get attacked by another man-o-war?! Like seriously, how does that happen? No wonder why mom used to text me changes to your will before every trip you guys take together! Evidently you're just askin for it these days.
And heck yes "Soeur Pearce will have an investigator at that fireside" on the 4th of July!! What's funny is nothing stays a secret. I happened to randomly call Elder Stover for a question about institute and he was like "so I hear your dad is coming to town." haha. And he mentioned that President was talking to you guys about doing a fireside. And President kinda tested the waters (it felt like it at least) during our interview again this week. I told him we weren't planning on seeing each other (this was before I found out about the fireside), but that I didn’t think it would bother me. I was just more worried about my mom....but now I figure you can be tough!! hehe. Loving daughter I am. And Sister Bellini says she'd be fine because she only has a couple more months after that anyway. What is the fireside going to be on anyway? Is it the whole team doing it? (and dad so help me if you offer me to translate. I refuse. just sayin!)
Anyway, we had another great week. Started out by going to the Rodin museum for P-day and having these super American tourists ask to take a picture OF us. No they were not members of the church, and no they weren't in the picture with us. They actually just took a picture of us. So random! And that day we actually looked relatively normal (ok let's be real sister missionary attire doesn't usually make blending in super easy....). Today, on the other hand, we went into Paris to do a boat tour on the Seine with our district. And guess what all six of the Elders showed up in? Boo-boos. Yes, that's right African boo-boos. (I will have to send you a pic sometime.) We turned a lot of heads today that is for sure!! And all the Africans selling those little Eiffel tower keychains at Trocadero were going crazy. I felt like the elders were getting hit on by African men! It was kinda refreshing to be honest, but also SO entertaining!
Then we had interviews. The Zone leaders did a great training and had us "go back to the MTC" (we even had to hand over our plaques and everything) and then learned about finding, teaching, and baptizing, and even had gym time (aka ping pong and 3-legged-companionship-unity-building races) and role-played. Then they finished with us all sitting in front of the baptismal font for the big finale. They said they had been jealous of normandie having their "get on the wagon" thing, so they came up with one for us and gave a little talk to introduce it....bum buh da bum...."Dreaming of White." They talked about how this is not the time for planting seeds. This is the time for baptizing!!! Maybe slightly “Remember the Titans” pep talkish, but hey it worked!
It was powerful and we now have a zone goal that every equipe will have a baptismal date by June 21st. And then the next morning we woke up to a great voice mail from them singing "I’m dreaming of a white mission" (to the tune of White christmas of course), and it was hilarious! And then as soon as their training was over, Sister Bellini and I had to stand up and walk into the other room to role-play with President and Sister Staheli. Can you say pressure?! haha. jk it went great and wasn't too stressful. They wanted to make sure that their missionaries knew how to teach people to pray, because I guess when Elder Hinckley was here he said that nothing happens until you get people on their knees. So, we better be able to teach people to pray!! And I definitely learned something from the training president Staheli gave after about teaching prayer.
So side note: ya know how the Versailles zone had kinda been falling behind? Well, Bretagne is up to like >80% of the new standards of excellence! Like Bretagne was the area that had the biggest reputation for being totally dead & impossible to baptize in. So I guess President Staheli (he shared this @ mission council – so I heard it second hand) asked Elder Collins what they did to change it so drastically, and I guess E. Collins said something like, “President, we just believed.” Elder Collins is also the person, as I understand it, who started the phrase, “get on the wagon” – which is now like the mission wide slogan for the miracle of 2010.
This next week we have rendez-vous set up with like 8 potential new investigators. So things are picking up!! And you'll never guess who one of those appointments is with.....this was like one of the hardest things I've had to do I might add.....but Madame Dard. Yes, as in the Madame that I lived with when I was on my study abroad (the one who cleaned the bathtub with the kitchen sponge!!hehe). Her name kept coming up in my head, but I kept pushing it out saying that I didn't think she was even in our area and that would just be weird and awkward. But then when Sister Bellini was sick and I had the opportunity to do like 5 hours of area book studying and calls one day, I found other fiches that were by her metro stop....so why not right? We kinda had to be creepers cuz her building is really secure, but someone let us in and then we buzzed her apartment and she was like yeah, come on up. We talked for a little and she asked why I was back and everything. But, she and her sister were on their way out to a museum exhibit VIP opening, so she gave me her number and said to call. I didn't notice it, but apparently half way through our conversation she switched from tu-toying me to vous-voying me and I have no idea what that means!! I know I'm probably just being a girl and reading too much into it, but I don't know if it's that I'm older now and speak French better, or if she's trying to establish that now that I'm a missionary, we aren't as familiar.....aaaah. I just don't know. I fully intend on being bold about why we're here and why it's so important, but we'll see how it goes with her this week I guess! (Remember she is a very devout catholic) Her apartment still smells the same as I remember it.
Which reminds me to tell you our theme for the transfer, and I know you will laugh, because it totally reminds me of an Herbal Essences commercial. But it actually came about because I was singing that song from Hairspray where she says, “big, blonde, and beautiful”—so to that same tune, our theme is “Be bold and beautiful.” Haha. Great? Oh yeah. The beautiful is referencing the scripture that says like how beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who proclaim the Gospel. So, we are determined to paint our toe-nails sometime this week as well, to help with the beautiful gospel preachin’ feet thing. And we are really “believin” in a baptism this transfer, so we are gonna be working really hard on those feet to find someone prepared! And the BOLD is because we know that there are people who are ready! So, we are gonna be BOLD & BEAUTIFUL this transfer! Haha laugh all you want, but we like it! (And, yes, sometimes I do wave my hair when we sing it; just for fun and dramatic effect!)
So I got called and asked to speak for a few minutes about the teaching process that led to Gloria’s baptism for part of the training @ interviews tomorrow and then also to do ANOTHER musical number at the Zone conference.
So can I share one of the things I love about my companion?! She takes the phrase "Stop and smell the roses" quite literally. Like I have learned that if we ever pass flower bushes (especially roses), I will have to slow down, because if I look behind me, her little behind will be sticking out as she leans over to stick her nose in the flowers. It is probably the most precious thing ever!
Ok and I have a request of you. Get up and go find a hymn book (right now!). Turn open to "In Our Lovely Deseret." Read the words. Then tell me how badly you would be squirming as you are singing that in a sacrament meeting with like 5 investigators!! And then try explaining that we're not a bunch of weirdos. Not an easy task I tell ya.
Well family, missionary life is great. I love you guys. I love hearing from you and I'm glad that things are going well at home. I'm so proud to have such awesome brothers and sisters, and I am sure grateful for ya!!
Love you more!!!!
p.S. mom I’m starting to feel selfish now, so you can give matthew permission to use my ihome--on the condition that he gives it back when I get home......eesh....matthew just does have a way doesnt he?
pss tara – thanks so much for your last few letters, I’m sorry I haven’t had time to respond adequately. Love you sister!
Psss Johnny bravo – thanks for your letter this week! Your letters are so hilarious! Love you.
Pssss Matthew, totally left me hangin w/suspense at the end of your letter! You better plan on finishing it! Oh & nice work on the grades. And yeah…even when you’re in high school—always a safer bet asking a girl to forge your mom’s signature! That was pretty hilarious though! Love you
Psssss Joshy man – that was a pretty cool line thing that you learned how to do on the computer. I don’t know how to do that! Oh & I like my name the first way better. And, even though you totally cheated, thanks for the really long note! Love you
Halle baby! So cool that you have gymnastics 3x/wk now! Those were beautiful flowers you drew, I really like the leaves. And the rainbow was sooooooo good!!
liz and callie--peace. love. temple marriage. miss you.