How ya doin?! It sounds like Homecoming and the latest tournaments were all a success! Thanks so much for the updates! We don't have much time today, but I feel like I have so much to tell you, so we'll see how this works out. So, one day this week I was just kinda chuckling to myself about some of the amusing conversations, confrontations, and interesting circumstances we've found ourselves in lately. Seriously, you never know what is going to happen next, where you'll find yourself next, or what your endearing investigators will say next. One thing I will say, however, is that you meet a whole lot of different kinds of people as a missionary--the good, the bad, and the ugly! But, mostly I think I've been lucky to meet just some really amazing people! So, today I think I just want you to get to know some of the people we've met.
Antoine. (he is the guy we first met on the bus in St. Ouen) Have to start with him, though I don't think words will adequately express how great his baptism was on Saturday! He was definitely one of the elect and so ready to accept and commit to the gospel. And one thing that makes me even happier is that he isn't the kind you have to worry about becoming inactive in a year or two--he is going to be a solid, contributing member of the church! Towards the end of the program, he got up and bore his own testimony and talked about how he loved being an investigator of the church, but how he is very excited to be a member of the only true church. He bore his testimony of the restoration and the priesthood, and can you just imagine what my mascara looked like by the time he was done?! The night before, Sister Bellini had called me and was kinda freaking out because they didn't know how everything was going to turn out, and I was like--"ok listen. All that really matters about tomorrow is that they manage to say the right words, and that he gets dunked all the way. The rest is just fluff." But, even the fluff of the day was perfect!
Zulfia. So, we're walking home after dark one night, and I say hi and smile at some lady, and she smiles back, but then I keep walking. I don't know what it was, but like 25 seconds later I find myself turning around and chasing after her down the sidewalk. Yes, I know I sound like a crazy stalker, and full well realized that at the time (definitely a few "what the heck are you doing’s went through my head). Surprisingly, when I caught up to her, she didn't even skip a beat in starting up a conversation. She's Russian, but has lived in Germany for the last 3 years as a student, and now is living in France for 5 months while she is doing some sort of internship. And she's been looking all over the place for French classes, but hasn't been able to find any good information. So, she asked if we happened to have a French class?! Coincidence? I think not. Anyway, she's probably the nicest person I have ever met. Add in the fact that she speaks english with a lot of incomprehensible russian words thrown in, and you just can't help but love her! We've only actually taught her once (and I'll be honest, I think we might have to do some serious reviewing, because there was a pretty intense game of charades going on for part of that lesson. haha. It certainly doesn't help that Russian looks like absolute jibberish to me!), but she has been coming to all of the english and french classes and she is coming to FHE tonight! I'm excited to see how things go!
Sebulba. Not joking--I met the person who had to have been the voice of Sebulba. The spitting voice! Turns out, he's Romanian and eats at the Red Cross on Fridays. He also asked me for a kiss ("no thanks, but here take your chocolate") and kept telling me how pretty I was, until his friend gave him a little smack, and told him to do more eating and less flirting.
Mikey. All I can say is that anyone who has ever served around Paris knows who Mikey is. He is a homeless guy who hangs out around the chatelet area and church all the time, and he is hilarious. The other day he wandered in and stayed for the entire second session of one of the zone conferences, and he's always asking about what classes are going on. Anyway, Sister England and I were waiting for someone at St. Merri a couple days ago and were able to have a nice chat with Mikey. I think the most memorable part was probably as we are walking away, he calls after us and says, "hey! watch out. Don't get raped. You're too pretty." hahaha, we had a nice chuckle over that little tidbit of advice. Bless his dear heart lookin out for the sister missionaries!
Jessie and Kylie. We went over to dinner at the Jones' this week. Br. Jones is American, Sister Jones is Peruvian, and the girls--Jessie and Kylie--are absolutely adorable and speak English, French, and Spanish fluently. After dinner, Sister Jones informed us that the girls had prepared a special "surprise" for us. I was thinkin like a drawing, but oh boy, had I underestimated them! They went and pulled out these little magic tricks (like guess which coin is under the cup) and then the finale was them dancing for us--leaping and turning and dramatic arms were definitely involved. So, so cute!!! (It totally reminded me of when Tara and I would do those little impromtu fireplace shows to broadway songs. Though i think tara's 'second hand rose' probably still takes the cake. bahaha.) Oh thank goodness for little girls!
Side note: You know how I told you that we have 27 sister right now (because we combined with Belgium)? Well, by the end of the year they will be getting us back down to 18. That’s like 4 cities closing. And that’s where they are going to keep us from now on. I was so glad when St. Ouen didn’t close last transfer(they closed Lille instead).
Aren't I so lucky to be here and to get to meet all these great people!!? There are so many more i wanted to tell you about, but we should probably run.
Hope you know how much I love you and how grateful I am for you! Can't wait to hear all about your latest adventures!
Tara--I am so excited for that blasted application to be done. It's been stressful enough for me having to think about you having to do all those ridiculous things! and I don't know what half of them even mean!! And so I hear you were a mean babysitter? Hahahaha. I was actually relieved to hear that some things haven’t changed—josh
Math--how are those 'babes' doin?! Relieved to hear you found my ihome. Haha. Hilarious that you got kicked off the go-karts.
Johnny--speaking of hairy chests.....what's the update?
Dad--food channel eh? 44 going on 80? haha jk, Im glad you thoroughly enjoyed the finest of new york's polish pastrami
Mother dearest--HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! are you 30 yet?! hehe
halle baby—Did you love the American Girl doll store?!!!! I want to hear all about your favorite parts! And you sent me practically an entire coloring book! Thanks so much. I think your coloring has gotten even better! And a monkey is us singe in French. Has that been coming up in a lot of conversations lately?! (I laughed so hard when she wrote “I miss you. See you in a long time. by.” Too cute!!!!)
Joshy man—I’m impressed with your drawing skills, but if mom and dad had been eaten by sharks, I would not be very pleased!
oh and next time you see them, tell Jackson I’m glad he’s on the ball and taking his calling as pearce Christmas caroling pianist seriously! Hehe, I thought that was hilarious!
And tell the Rash’s congratulations!!!!!! I’m dying to see pictures! So does this mean we think they will have another one trying for a girl?
Lisa--Thank you so so so much for the package!!! that was way too nice! I laughed at first when i saw the frogs, but i gotta admit--they provided much more lively sunday night entertainment for our apartment! things may or may not have become a little competitive! haha seriously, everything was perfect.
Rebs--thanks so much for the email and your address!! sure love ya!