What's up gang?!!!! Actually I think you are all probably sleeping at Lake Powell as I write this.....so I sure hope you have some good boy scout adventures planned for the week!!
So, I'll just be straight up about it--the numbers were not doing so great last week.... BUT, some great things happened and next week is looking great!!! So, all in all, life is just great. (And now I promise I'm done with that word...)
A couple GREAT things of the week:
1. Tina set a baptismal date!!! September 14th. yeah, we found out that it's a Tuesday, so not exactly the ideal--don't worry about it. haha. (It's kinda a long story why that date is important.) Was not something we expected to do with her that night, because she had canceled on us a couple times, but you don't say shhhhh to the spirit! First of all, we show up to her apartment and walk in and I swear it was a completely different place from the last time. Like before, you kinda had to clamber around piles of "stuff" (really the word "crap" is much more descriptive, but much less becoming), could hardly find a place to sit, and I don't know the last time she had thrown out anything. She had apparently spent the last 4 days cleaning and organizing and the place looked awesome!! So, it might not be a key indicator that we report, but in my opinion, the scriptures don't say that a "house of order is a house of God" for no reason!!
And this was an indicator to me that she is ready and willing to make changes in her life--that she is ready to get things in order. So, hopefully now that her apartment is much more conducive to the spirit, she can start making some good spiritual changes as well. Anyway, so I think I explained how Tina has a very unique personality--she is one of a kind and you can't help but love her. She is very, very bright, makes connections very quickly (like right after we talked about the First Vision, she was like, "so they gave Joseph the priesthood and called him to be a prophet?".....haha yup. my heart just about burst with pride!), she asks questions if she doesn't understand, is super blunt and honest, does this hilarious lip biting thing, and is tough, but also very sweet, and the most adorably quirky person ever. Example that kinda illustrates Tina--we followed up on her Book of Mormon reading and praying, and asked her what she thought and felt, and she goes "I think it's another Testament of Jesus Christ. Like it says." The end. Super matter of fact. That's just how it is. We kinda chuckled and were like well, yup!!! You're right! So, enough rambling. Gist of the story is that we love Tina and are excited for her to progress!! (We will also be tackling the Word of Wisdom this week with promised blessings, a trash bag, and the stop-smoking program essentials (juice, vitamin C, etc) in hand. Should be fun!!) (side note: she came to a baptism with us the other day (8 year-old in ward) @ church wearing these pink booty shorts & a white tube top! Haha)
2. Public buses are very well-equipped with super heavy-duty windshield wipers. It really is a great thing; I for one certainly feel safer knowing that our safety on transport will not be compromised because of congregated water on the bus windshield. However, it is also a different kind of a great experience when it is like practically a monsoon outside, so you are skillfully maneuvering and timing your movement from the cover of the bus stop to the bus, but meanwhile forget that the bus is equipped with these heavy-duty-safety-promoting windshield wipers that have like a 5 ft splash (and an ability to fling off an incredible amount of water at a time). I'm sure you already put it together, that yes, I did make the mistake of standing in direct shot of this 5 ft splash. It is one, though, I plan on never making again, as I'm fairly certain I looked like I had tripped and fallen INTO a fountain afterwards. So yup.....that was great.
3. So for our last rendezvous with that family from Haiti, we wanted to help them really get into the Book of Mormon. So, we took turns reading verses from a chapter, and when 8-yr-old Andrew started reading, the spirit just filled the room. He was so proud to get to take his turn and was trying so hard to say everything just right (he really does read very well, but it's still super cute to hear like the french version of hooked on phonics). It was adorable and such a good way to start the lesson!! Of course, shortly later a little mayhem and havoc followed in spurts (giggling girls and little boys pretending to be preachers.....). But hey, you roll with it, and I thought it was great!
4. I was also greatly humbled this week. I need to take back my complaining attitude about France in last week's e-mail (that said I didn't always like living here), because let me just paint a quick pic of our P-day. (because of some circumstances we had to do most of it last Saturday, and are just doing e-mails today.) K, well started with groceries, and that's somewhat less than exciting (but always somewhat amusing that despite the fact that we go to the same place every week, they still struggle at first with our foreign credit cards). But, then we went to the musee Marmottan Monet. Saw some water lilies, impression: sunrise, and then randomly a temp exhibit with modern art and lots of Jackson Pollock--always cool. So, we saw some good stuff. And then we sat down on a bench in this park just outside the museum to finish letters for a few minutes. So, we are sitting on a bench in the shade of a tree. There are greek goddess marble statues placed around the park, little boys playing soccer a little ways off, little girls playing with sand toys, people taking naps in the sun on the grass, pony rides going on on the other side, a carousel with little kids squealing nearby, and a marionette stage a little ways down the path that winds through the park. I exaggerate not. So yeah.....I have no right to complain. Paris is awesome!! hehe.
5. We saw our favorite line L dancing fiddler again. Yeah, I really wish I had time to give a detailed account of his public transportation performances, because they are priceless. Really, more than just a great experience!! French people usually do the whole stoic think pretty well, but I love looking around about 3/4 of the way through this dude's "thing", because there are so many hilarious expressions and people attempting to stifle laughter. And least it’s a great bonding experience for us fellow passengers to share together.
Well, I had some other stories I was going to share, but we gotta run. Sorry I'm such a rambler!! Being a missionary is awesome. I love you guys!! I want to hear all about Lake Powell! catch a lizard for me! sure hope you didnt forget the boat registrations, granted that would be breaking tradition! hehe
ps by the way, I was fine last week when you left. I was glad that we went straight to a rendezvous right after we said goodbye, so I didn’t have any time to let things get emotional. It might not be the healthiest way to deal with things, but I realized I have like boxes (or bubbles if that computes better for you). I have my “mission-life box” and my “home & real life box.” And normally they don’t really cross. Anyway, point is when I turned and walked away from you guys, I took a deep breath, brushed back the welling tears, shoved you guys all back into the other box & headed to the rendezvous; so I think I handled it fine. Maybe not super healthy, but hey – whatever gets the job done! So, no – I haven’t been distracted or anything over the visit!
Pss good news, apparently French is sinking in along the way, because I guess when I hear Sister Bellini up puttering around in the middle of the night, I speak to her in French. Mind you, I am not conscious of any of these conversations even taking place.
Halle – I loved the fireworks you drew!
Joshy man – That was a pretty impressive Ferris wheel you drew! Hope you have your lizard scampering feet ready for Powell.
Matthew – I thought your tennis sock tan line was pretty impressive, even if mom didn’t think it was important enough to talk about in person, haha
John – Promise you’ll follow the don’t do stupid things rule! They talk about that rule a lot in the MTC (I’m serious ha), but I think it really applies to life in general…a good moral code
Tara – yeah, kinda stinks you weren’t here last week! But hang in there with your life of servitude.