How you doin?! Thanks for the e-mails!! I gotta admit, I don't blame josh and halle for thinkin you cramp their style! haha. That was hilarious!! (I also thought the way Halle spelled gmaka (Jamaica – in case you didn’t read it) was probably the cutest thing I've ever seen.) And thanks for the details sister! J&M i am so impressed with how well you're doing!! Seriously cool. But, John--you wanna know what's not so cool?? The fact that I have yet to receive a very long, very detailed letter describing every word that was said on your first date and how you asked to Homecoming???!! SERIOUSLY! what is up that dude? Sounds like good things are goin on and that school craziness (even if you didn't even make it through a whole week of attendance) has officially begun. Love it! Wouldn't so much love the first week assignment of reading Beowulf and writing a paper on it, but ya know.....maybe it'll put some hair on your chest or something!
Things are going really well here, and the first good news is that my eye twitch is starting to go away! That said, I am still at a complete loss where to even begin with the adventures, miracles, and just plain chaos of the week, so you're just gonna have to bare with me through a total cop-out bulleted list of happenings! I promise I do love you, even if I am a super lame writer!
1. We taught a lesson in an Irish pub. And ya know, I think that's probably enough said.
2. I gained a new appreciation for the skill of garbage men in Paris. Watching the garbage truck go down the street, causing a complete halt to all traffic I might add, is a surprisingly fascinating experience! Those guys are good at what they do! Skill and precision like the marines I tell you. (It's also interesting to note the kind of things you will stoop to when your companion is sick. I mean there are only so many scriptures you can read, carpets to vacuum, dishes to wash, and closets to organize! Thank goodness we live in a world with seriously entertaining people outside every window! Some of my favorite ones lately have been the ridiculously drunk people swaying down the street, laughing at like 645 am!)
3. One evening we had a rendezvous set up to teach with a member, but we got fruijed (stood up), so we did a consecrated hour of contacting with the member instead. I will admit that I didn't quite know how to respond when she offered a little bit of advice--that being that I shouldn't bear testimony to people because it was like I was imposing beliefs. huh. Some head scratching definitely went on with that little nugget of wisdom!!
4. I also realized that I am a terrible person! And you will only protest that until you hear what I did. This blind couple (ya, like husband and wife both totally blind) called us to help them do their grocery shopping with them. We were happy to do it because we didn't have any appointments scheduled for that morning. Long story short--the blind leading the blind really isn't the best way to go after all. Sister England starts walking down the hall leading Jacqueline, so I am getting the caddy and trying to grab Roger's arm to lead him, but somehow in the shuffle he managed to run into the wall. And not just a little foot bump or something, we're talking full on forehead smack with an echo, followed by some choice words! After I stifled back the quick giggle because of the fact that I just let this poor blind man run into a wall, I felt terrible! I kept thinking about that Parent Trap scene when Meredith goes, "sure you'll help me....right over a cliff you'll help me." So much for my attempt to be all selfless by helping the lame and afflicted or whatever!
5. I think I told you already that the current state of our work allows for many contacting opportunities! hehe. Which is great, except that a peculiar phenomenon has started to manifest itself. It seems that the number of consecrated hours/wk is directly related to the number of times you will be bisoux'd by old men on the street. And ya know what--for older men with canes, they maneuver the bise pretty dang swiftly!! I'm usually pretty good at sliding the handshake in there, but it happened TWICE this week!
6. Our ward has a new baby! We have been working with this less active sister who had her baby, Sariah, this week! She was in the NICU because whe was born a little early, but everything seems to be fine, she just needed to gain some weight. She is absolutely precious, and it was a lot of fun to be back in a hospital! (Though between you and me, she was a pretty dang white lookin' baby to have come from two African parents....just sayin!)
7. So we had been teaching Dibson, this Buddhist man we met contacting, but after he told us to pack our bags because we were going to Cameroon together for Christmas, we opted to give the elders a shot with him! It was definitely a new experience explaining that we do, in fact, have to stay in the country for the holidays! ,
8. We've had our fair share of blonde moments this week, including, but not limited to, getting lost running in the morning on three different days. Well not "lost" so much as "just not exactly found," because we did eventually make it home. They just turned into slightly more extensive workouts than we had anticipated! But the great thing about being lost in Paris is that you turn the corner and you're like, "oh look, there's another huge gothic cathedral," or "oh, huh, wonder what centuries-old national monument that is!?" (Did I mention that Sister England has permission to run for an hour every morning because of a knee problem? So we're seein some cool stuff with the extra time we have!)
9. Ok I also learned that I don't handle African heat very well. We had dinner with this family from Ghana and they made some awesome food!! But then there was this peper (im not sure how to spell it) sauce that you could put on the side, and i swear steam had to be issuing from my ears after a few drops!! They, of course, thought it was hilarious. I was just bugged I was such a wimp about it--I certainly wouldn't have held my own in the "spicy boys club," but Dad, you would have loved it!
10. The best Public Transportation moment of the week had to have been seeing a woman sit down on the metro, rummage in her purse a little, and whip out a piece of corn on the cob to start eating. Talk about being boy scout prepared!
11. We also saw many little miracles. We went to teach Pamela (a less active young adult) and had in mind to commit her to praying for the courage to ask her boss for Sundays off, so she can come to church. Well, when we got there she told us how a couple weeks earlier she had been praying for help finding someone to replace her at work, and she was able to find someone! We were like, hey you took the words right out of our mouths!
Another one was when we taught Fabiola (an investigator). We asked how things were going with the Book of Mormon. She explained that she had a hard time understanding what she was reading, but then added, "But what's strange and hard to describe is that I still feel really good when I read it." Hullo!! It was awesome talking about what that meant great to be able to talk about the spirit and why she can feel that way! She's asking all the right questions and has committed to be baptized when she feels it's true, so she's got a good start. Now she just needs to start putting her faith into action. She said she would come to church next week, so I'm excited to see how things go!
12. And then.... there was church. K, "three ring circus" doesn't even begin to describe the mayhem and havoc that was this week's 7 hour church adventure!! I'm not going to even try to describe it, but we walked out of the building afterwards and I just burst out laughing. Honestly there was nothing else to do (except maybe go home and eat some nutella hehe)! I love that as a missionary as much as you might like to think you have things figured out, you really never know what is going to happen next!
13. We also had zone conference and a sisters exchange this week. I don't have much time to tell about them, but they were AWESOME!! We have 27 sisters right now and Sister Staheli wanted us to get to know each other and feel a strength in numbers, so she and president organized a day at the mission home for all of us to get together. They spoke to us, we had a question and answer session (better believe someone asked about President Staheli proposing to Sister Staheli), and we finished up at consecration hill. (I will admit to feeling slightly like a walking advertisement for a cult with like 28 women traveling through the city with 3 men, but it was still great!) And Zone Conference is always such a nice boost. I don't know how the Staheli's do it, but they somehow manage to inspire you while basically hammering obedience!
Among other things, President talked about the children of Israel and how it was "mischief" that kept them from being allowed to enter the promised land. And then he talked about how we can't let mischief get in the way of realizing the miracle of 2010. It is so close and it would be so sad if we didn't take advantage of this incredible experience the Lord has offered us. And then he shared a quote from President Lee that said something like, "A testimony is as illusive as a moonbeam and it's as fragile as an orchid. You have to recapture it every single morning of your life. If you don't do something about it, that which is yours today won't be yours tomorrow." He talked about how we can't get distracted, but need to be searching steadfastly and obedient in order to recapture our testimonies every day, because we really do have moonbeams to share!
Anyway, a whole bunch of rambling!!! All in all, life is great. I feel so lucky to be here, but right now, we gotta run. Sure love you guys! I'm prayin for ya!
Love you lots and lots,