How ya doin'?! Reading your emails today was so great. thank you so much!! I'm glad that Matthew Cunger's baptism was so good! Tell grandpa he should send me his talk! I'll admit that being out here gives me a little different perspective on baptisms of the kids in our family. It just seems so "easy!!" I mean sure it's like a lifetime of teaching and instructing, but just in comparison it's a whole different ballpark! So I have decided that the whole multiply and replenish the earth deal is really the best missionary tactic we could employ; we don't need more effective missionaries, we just need to be more effective reproducers!! Just sayin.
I don't really know where to start today, because so many things have happened. But I will start with transfer news (transfer is this Wednesday). Sister England is moving to Anderres, but we will still have 4 of us in the Paris Apartment. Sister Thompson & Sister Gifford will be companions and me & Sister Smart will be companions. But, just because I'm too excited about this, i am going to blurt out that our district now has 6 baptismal dates! Fasting and praying and working works I tell ya! haha. We have four and each set of elders has one (ok, so i guess not 6 in our district, but 6 in our area). So yeah, surprise!!! We set two more baptismal dates this week. December 11th was what we had planned, but we found out that that is stake conference weekend, so it looks like we'll have to do some juggling. Their names are Suzie and Valerie Roberts. They are 18 and 20 year old sisters from Madagascar. We were finally able to see them again this week and they are totally awesome! Their cousin is a member in the nogent ward, so that's how they were introduced to the church. And it's seriously interesting how the people who are elect and ready are so easy to teach and really we do nothing! I am way excited to keep working with them.
This experience, on the other hand, was rather less than amusing. I learned quickly that I don't really like talking to behavioral scientist/psychologist dudes. Long story short, this Algerian man and I are talking at a bus stop and he's telling me what he does and we are just casually conversing when all of a sudden, he interrupts me and says, "you see, by the way you are sitting, i can tell that you are open and willing to talk." and then he turns to my companion and goes, "and you aren't. You are very closed off." And then he sees a book in my bag and asks if i like to read. I say yes and pull out the book of mormon, and he asks if he can see it. I was more than happy to hand over a book of mormon to this muslim man! hehe. And then he asks me why i like the book, so i basically start bearing my testimony about it and answering, what i thought, was his question. But then he stops me abruptly again and says like, "no, no. That's the problem! In the world these days, people try to put themselves into it, and don't talk about what the book, itselt, actually talks about, etc, etc" and just goes on and on.
So, now I'm thinking, "wow i didn't realize my opinion could be wrong, combined with a wow, this dude is annoying." So I start trying to appease him by starting to relay the history of the book, and then he interrupts again and is like, "Now that's interesting. Look at your hands and how you are sitting now. Now you are getting defensive, where before you were very open." And that's about when i just wanted to yank that book back and give him a good thump with it. Defensive my butt!!! ha. I may have made some strides in the whole patience-is-a-virtue thing, but i was so done with the behavior dude!
Hiccups while making phone calls is not the best combination. Faman got a good kick out of this huge hiccup that came out of nowhere when i was talking to him this week. Initially I am like horrified, but then he's laughing, and Sister Gifford and Sister England won't stop laughing, so then I can't stop laughing, and it was a little hard to regain composure and the whole "dignity of my calling" deal during that call. But, we did manage to fix a rendezvous for the next day after english class. And that rendezvous was hilarious as well. He starts out by saying "k we're only going to talk a little, because I don't want a headache." okay, faman. And then we finish talking about God and prayer and he just blurts out, "okay. That's enough for tonight." Okay, faman! And really, it's refreshing to know exactly where he's at! No unnecessary guessing games with him, that is for sure.
So, sunday afternoon, Becky taught us how to make Thai food, and it was definitely an adventure. I am now practically a professional shrimp de-pooper. yup, that's right. I was definitely glad i didn't bother to ask what i was actually doing until i was almost done removing all the "poopings" (as she called them)! We also learned how to make and roll spring rolls and coconut rice. And we didn't burn anything down, so i figure it was a success! (just cuz it was too funny--when we told the paris soeurs about it, sister gifford was like, "man i bet that was a crappy job" and then just cuz she can't help herself, added a "I bet that stunk!" Felt slightly like kib had come for a visit! just saying.)
Ok, and yeah......this wednesday is November 10th. Do you realize what that means? That means that I get to open up my fourth missionary toothbrush!! (side note, i sure hope i am still up to date that the guideline is that you should change your toothbrush every 3 months.) Back when i was on my first toothbrush, I just never thought this day would come. I was talking to this neuroradiologist the other day and he explained what the term "telescoping" means. Basically the idea is that when you get into a new situation, your neurons start firing and creating new neuronal pathways with the new memories. But, then as things start getting more familiar, time starts appearing to speed up (or to seem less like molasses, whichever is more applicable), because you have already created those pathways. So that is why the longer you have been out on a mission, the quicker time seems to go. I thanked him for giving us a better term and sparing us from forever having to use the toilet paper analogy! After all, telescoping does much more sophisticated than toilet paper! But yeah, I am excited for my new pink toothbrush. (In case you didnt catch on, that was, in fact, my round about way of trying to acknowledge that yes, we have made it half way!)
Anyway, I love you guys lots and lots!!!! I'm glad things are going well and hope you know how wonderful I think you are.
pS did i mention the blind couple brought us back rosaries from italy, so "that the virgin mary will protect us and guide our paths?" I think that nice little flare plays in well to your theory dad!
pSS I also did exchanges up in Valenciennes with Sister Pobst and it went really well (until our companions missed their train coming back up, of course, haha). That city is so charming (like mom you would be in heaven) and we talked to a lot of really cool people!
oh and BOYS!!! great job on your grades this semester!!! Im impressed! (and john--you must be completely devoid of any kind of human feeling or emotion if you didnt think the haunted forest was at least a little creepy! i mean really!)