hello hello gang!!!
How are ya doin?!!! I can't believe how many different places you have been this summer. The amount of packing and unpacking and laundry and re-packing alone sounds kind of exhausting! But that is absolutely HILARIOUS about zack and keaton in michigan!!!!!! laughed out loud for like 5 straight minutes, not joking. I'm SOOO glad Dad capitalized on that opportunity. And yup next week is transfer week, so you probably shouldn't send anything else here. Unless something totally surprising happens, I should be the one transferred.) I love hearing what's going on at home!!
Anyway, the other day Sister Bellini and I were walking somewhere and I saw a super cute family or something and I said, "oh it's just like laundry!" That was, apparently, the first thing that came into my head that adequately illustrated how seeing that adorable family made me happy. Sister Bellini just laughed, because she was already well acquainted with my love, or weakness i guess, for the smell of laundry. I know that whenever we pass roses or a restaurant cooking chicken, she has to pause for 5 seconds to take savor the moment. And she knows that whenever we pass a laundromat, I have to take advantage of the moment! (We are seriously a well-oiled machine these days. Like I said, four and a half months together will do that to you!) She insists that I'll be one of those pregnant people who craves detergent or something, but I don't care--I am a firm believer that "dryer sheet" is the best scent in the world! (closely followed by a newly bleach-cleaned bathroom, of course) So, for me, passing a laundromat is just like one of those simple pleasures that make life so GREAT!! With that said, I thought I would catch you up on some of the things that have happened the last couple weeks that have been "Just Like Laundry."
1. Tina asking if we could serve non-alcoholic beer at her baptism. I'm not gonna lie, I usually try to maintain some semblance of the whole "dignity of your calling" thing, but when she said that, I just about ended up on the floor laughing!
2. One evening, Sister Bellini and I are looking up addresses for the next day in our banlieu, and she goes, "Hey how close do we live to Avenue Georges Clemenceau?" To which I tried to respond with a straight face, "Well....we live on Avenue Georges Clemenceau...so....pretty close." Considering we have lived on Avenue Georges Clemenceau for about the last 3 months, it's probably a good thing I'm usually the one who navigates!! Can't help but love her
3. Having an investigator with three children, whose names are (and i am not joking) as follows: Precious, Happiness, and Blessing. Precious is the boy, in case you were wondering.
4. another laundry moment was having a woman contact US on a bus because she is our fellow "sister in christ" and wanted to exchange cards (which means that she did in fact have a card). Gotta love african evangelists! But hey, this one said she'd be interested in hearing our message at least, so you never know!
5. Managing to hold my own in District Around-the-World-Ping-Pong. J&M are you proud?! Nyloned-feet add an extra slippage element to running around the table, let me tell ya, but hey, just makes it more fun!
6. Seeing the primary answers work a miracle in someone's life is definitely like laundry. We had been working with Yrina (young adult less-active) for a while, but can I just say how great it feels not to be needed anymore?! From that first rendezvous, she almost seems like a completely different person. She has let go of a lot of hate and heavy stuff and let the Atonement work on her, and she just seems so much lighter and happier. It was a testimony to me that the we learn the "primary answers" for a reason! Scriptures, prayer, coming to church, and studying the simple doctrines are powerful tools that we have!
This last week we had kind of an enduring to the end lesson and then talked about Moroni's Title of Liberty and the things in our own lives that are worth fighting for. One of the things she said she wanted to fight for was the right to be married in the temple. She says she knows it'll take time and work and preparation, but now she knows that she doesn't want to settle for anything less. My heart was absolutely full!!! I am so happy for her and so impressed with how hard she has worked and how far she has come. (I just feel so spoiled to get to know such great people!)
7. Having Tina show up to church not scantily clad!! (k, i had a chat with her about it before, but still with her you just NEVER know!!) And on top of that, fast and testimony meeting was amazing! The spirit was so strong and it was one of those moments when you sit back and are just so proud to be a member of the Church and surrounded by such stalwart saints! That was like a double dryer sheet day.
8. Going up to greet the 100-yr-old Sister in our ward as she walked into church and having her say, "Well, I forgot my glasses and my hearing aids. So, I can't see you or hear you, but darn it I'm here," just made me grin. (K and I'm not exaggerating about the one hundred thing, this darling stubborn old lady was born in 1910!!)
9. Doing exchanges in Belgium again this week was great! Soeur Bagwell and I had a lot of fun porting this adorable street out in the suburbs of liege. Mom--you would have died!!
10. Going up to ask a blind man if he needs help and having him be like, "yeah, do you have any cigarettes?" I'll be honest--so annoying! But the irony of it was certainly deserving of a laundry moment. We had our hands full, including lugging a suitcase up a huge staircase in Saint Lazare, but we saw this blind man walking around bumping into people, so I was like, well he looks like he could use some help. So, we walk back to where he was and ask if he needs help finding a train and turns out he was going around bumping into people, on purpose, in order to ask for cigarettes. so lame!!!
11. Another laundry moment had to have been the overwhelming relief that came when i was walking to sit back down after giving my first Sacrament talk in French. You know how I feel about talks in general, so I'm sure you can imagine how pleased I was when the "little service" I readily accepted from the bishopric member was to give a talk on Sunday. ugh, so glad that is done!! But, hey I'm counting my blessings because Elder Perez was asked to do one in a couple weeks on "les Reserves"..... ie Food Storage. haha, so he may be francophone, but still!!!
12. Ok and the last laundry moment of the week was definitely showing up to Tina's apartment and having her present us with gifts from the Angel boutique that included angel incense, a copy of the page in her book describing each of our guardian angels, and an illustration of the angel talisman of power!! I promise we have been sticking to the simple lessons and she knows the first 3 lessons and the big commandments inside and out, but somehow she has still had this obsession with angels lately. She then proceeded to tell us that we could burn the incense while we prayed to invoke the power of our guardian angels.
We said thank you and that our next lesson would be a review of the doctrine of prayer (to include a clarification on who exactly it is that we pray to)!! It's just Tina. You just love her and are so frustrated by her all at the same time! Only frustrated because you get all ready to give her a "talking to" and then she pulls out a super sincere and profound testimony of Joseph Smith or something and instead you're like, "hey can i hug you?!" She is doing great though, and we are so proud of the changes she is making in her life. Honestly there are just too many laundry moments with her to even begin to illustrate how awesome she is. I am very blessed to have been able to get to know her and see her progress towards baptism!! so so lucky!
Anyway, family, life is great and full of lots of laundry!! I don't know a whole lot, but I do know that I am so lucky to get to share my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ every day, because it is truly the way to be happy. I'm sure grateful for you guys!! I don't know how you're keeping up with everything going on over there, but I love hearing about it. Hope you have a great week!!
Love you lots and lots,
p.s. you know what's ironic--as much as I love the smell of laundry, it is still definitely not my favorite chore
pss to MOM: cant believe you got shingles. what the heck? are you still in pain?!! that sounded terrible. no more stressing!!!! hilarious about kirk. And poor kate!
and side note: mom,what you said at the end of your e-mail letter last week made me think of the grey's anatomy when christina tells meredith that she is "her person" (because she had put her number as the emergency contact when she was going to the hospital). As funny as the context is, the scence is actually super cute cuz it's the first time christina ever says anything like sentimental or even close to disclosing feelings. But, I have decided that you are "my person!" So you can either be flattered that should the need for me to be in the hospital ever arise, you'd be the first on the emergency contact list, OR you can just know that I love you lots and am grateful to have the relationship that we do. Take it either way!! but, miss you mommy dearest. try not to swallow a bee in san antonio.
ps3 last week for pday we went to sacre coeur and then followed that up with a nice pop up at the moulin rouge. the irony of their close proximity is just too good.