How ya doing gang? i loved the emails this week. whats funny is that i think you guys have like phd's in reading between the lines. I dont know how you do it, but i am most impressed. its great knowing that you actually "get" what im saying without me having to always come out and say it!
k, so my list of things to tell you is getting ridiculously long and so im just going to send you a super unorganized "handwritten" type email this week.
Did i mention that when elder spicer (the district leader for the st. ouen area) did antoine's baptismal interview, he apparently came out and later went over to the sisters and was like "thank you so so much. like thank you!! he is amazing!" sister bellini said he just went on and on and couldn't stop talking about how great antoine is. And a detail i forgot to mention about the baptism--Kiki (the member of the ward who called me Fifi, which is like a french pet name, and who taught us how to african dance) gave the talk about the holy ghost and definitely might have given him a very strongly worded warning to make sure to block out the devil voice that would try to talk to him!! Just summed up the perfect baptism for the St Ouen ward in my book!! Hehe I'll be honest--I sometimes feel homesick for the st ouen ward. It was fun to see a lot of the people again, especially cuz you would have thought i was like a queen coming to visit them or something with how warmly they welcomed me.
So, i dont think i told you last week, but there was a huge political manifestation and strike a couple weeks ago(like we found out the news had reported the day before that they expected two million people to be there), and of course, the Bastille (tearing down the prison during the revolution, etc) is the ideal location, which also happens to be like OUR STREET! it was out of control. people climbing up and sitting on the bastille itself, smoke, communist party protests, retirement protests, all traffic in the huge bastille roundabout and surrounding streets totally shut down, and their was a huge protesting parade with people yelling and chanting that went straight down our street. we had a great view from our window!!
oh we also ate horse. remember the blind couple? yeah, well when we took her to the butcher shop, she insisted on buying us some horse. so we've figured why not grill it up and give it a try? only live once right? not my fav, but pretty similar to beef. however, what is so amusing to me is I dont get this preoccupation that people have to feed missionaries. she's not even a member of the church and she insists! I swear i have never been force fed so many times in my entire life as i have been the last couple weeks alone. Like and if we cant stay for dinner, they insist on sending us home with a chicken or with pasta noodles and eggs (like for real--a bag of uncooked pasta). very sweet, very nice, we appreciate it.
speaking of the horse looking like beef....our stairwell has smelled suspiciously like cadaver lately. (somehow looking at meat patties still always reminds me of taking dad to the cadaver lab, so thats why that connection does actually make sense.) i havent wanted to investigate, but its a little sketchy! and hey, speaking of sketchy--we saw a dead homeless person in the metro the other day. That was super super sad.
But, one thing we did see on the metro that was pretty funny, even if not super politically correct, was this group of 9 yr old boys laughing together and pretending to be homeless. like one of them would stand up and start pretending to do "the speech" (ya know how like at least every five minutes or so, a homeless person gets on and asks for money because of the terrible situation they are in, blah blah blah......not to make you think that im becoming jaded to it at all....). he'd start, "bonjour messieurs et mesdames. je suis actuellement dans une situation tres grave....." I was laughing pretty hard. First of all, because i thought they were pretty witty, precocious, observative little boys. Second, i just think the cultural difference is amusing. Those are the kinds of things that parisien kids see every day and grow up with. just an interesting difference in childhood experiences. (sorry dont know if that makes sense at all)
Did I mention that in order to reach our mission goal of 300 baptisms by the end of the year (to remind you--last year total baptisms was 122 ish), we had to have most of the september baptisms go through (which would put us just over 200) and then president committed every companionship to baptize one person in the months of oct, nov, or dec. and then about 25 extra spread throughout the mission for good measure (we have 75 companionships right now). So, definitely still living the miracle of 2010, but we've gotta keep doin the things we know we need to do. President Staheli is working right along with us, and in a way he has kinda put himself on the line--he has come out and said, k I had this revelation and this is what will happen......and then we have all committed to work together. In the paris sisters' zone conference he actually said that he would weep for us if we didnt let the miracle happen. ("let it happen" meaning if we let disobedience and mischief keep us from it).
In our conference he asked us why we thought he wanted it for us so badly. people gave lots of good answers, which all played a part in it. But then he explained that he wants us in 40 years to be able to tell our grandchildren the story. He wants us to be able to tell them: "I was there in the france paris mission. I was there for the miracle of 2010. I was part of that." And he wants us to be able to see first hand how miracles are possible. He keeps saying how 300 baptisms for paris is absolutely unheard of.....and he has related it to the movie Miracle. "What was the difference between those young americans and the experienced russians? They believed!!!!" (and this is a side note, but we have to believe but of course, real belief leads us to action and working for it, not just a complacent belief and lack of obedience. I lately have been using "just do it" a lot. I mean cuz it’s so easy to sit down on a metro and not talk to people. It's awkward sometimes and you get shut down hard core sometimes, but we've just gotta do it! On that note, I have decided King Benjamin was a couple thousand years ahead of Nike, because I love the part when he is giving his great temple speech and says, (basically) "now that ye believe all these things, SEE THAT YE DO THEM!!" I think the Nike founder must have been a king benjamin fan! ok, i digress.....and im starting to sound like a total nerd now so im going to stop!)
Wow. That was some serious rambling.
We belted Les Miserables running down the champs elysees the other day. "do you hear the people sing????!!!!!" it was great fun, especially since there are so many different people in paris, we didn’t really even stand out! (it was also like 7 am, so we had the place to ourselves. Except, of course, the teenagers getting arrested for breaking into some construction site and sleeping over.)
Speaking of singing in Paris.....for some reason I am getting way excited for Christmas!! The lights and the caroling and the bundling up because its blustering cold!! (i also hear they turn the big square in front of hotel de ville--the place by st merri--into a big ice skating rink, so im hoping im still here!!! i mean how cool would that be?!
Tara--loved the email details. im gonna try to write you a letter though today. oh and i have no idea what commercial you are talking about.....i couldnt decipher the handwriting in that part of the letter, so youll have to fill me in on what you and john have been having a good laugh over.
halle--i hear you can play a song all by yourself on the piano already????? that is so cool!!! when i talk to you at christmas, youll have to play it for me k?!
josh--i cant believe youre at a 5th grade reading level. that is pretty dang impressive dude! and thanks for the postcards from new york! totally cool!!
johnny--thanks for the dets. shared it with all the roommies and they loved the boy attempt at girl details (did you come up with champagne colored dress all by yoourself?)
dad--flowers sent to the courts in vegas?! that was pretty slick!
oh and we finally got to watch those lake powell videos!!!! SO FUNNY!!!!! like seriously, i cant believe you guys just whipped those out?!!
K tell grandpa that he's lucky i can spell anything right these days!!! you should hear me speak.....serious franglais goin down. but also tell him thanks for the email. oh and he'll get a kick out of this. Was sitting next to this man the other day on the metro, and it was when we were headed to the arc de triomphe to run at 645 am, so we didnt even have nametags on or anything (so he had no idea we were missionaries), and we had hardly said "hey how you doin?" when he just went off about EVERYTHING. Mostly boring, but he's also had a hilarious theory that september 11th, and basically all the evil of the world for that matter, can actually be traced back to the jews. Ok, crucifying christ maybe, but definitely a first I'd heard september 11th being blamed on the jews!!
I can't believe no one bothered to tell me that the penny has changed!!!!! i mean wouldn't that have been e-mail worthy information?????? (sister england got a package from mike, this week and it happened to include pennies.....)
I learned a new trick this week!! i can now jump onto my bed successfully! (im on the top bunk) but for the first few attempts picture Tara. Mexico. Rope Swing. and you've pretty much got the idea (except direction reversed of course).
Least favorite French phrase--faire peepee. yup....to make peepee is how you fairly often hear people express the need to use the restroom. It just makes me cringe!
ok, well we have been here way too long and have got to go, but I love you guys!!!! Weird that the transfer e-mail comes out on Saturday already. I have no idea what will happen but I am fine with whatever.
Well, LOVE YOU GUYS LOTS AND LOTS!!!! i seriously have the coolest family ever!!
love, Jordo xoxoxo