The reality of missionary life--getting caught in the rain
Monday, August 26, 2013
Sunday, August 25, 2013
|Cheesy missionary time.|
|Bordeaux! We went for a Zone Meeting and are going again for a Zone Conference this week. It is so pretty there!|
|My two favorite cheeses so far|
Bonjour! Vous me manquez!
Bonjour my wonderful family! I miss you so much! I hope you are all doing well. Thank you for your letters! It is so nice to hear from you.
Well. Where to begin with this week. I can't believe it has only been a week. I have only been in Pau for 9 days now. That blows my mind, it feels like I have been here for at least a month! Things are still going great for me. To be honest, this week was a lot harder than the last. I think I was just so happy to be in France it was like nothing else mattered, haha. But now that I am settled in, it definitely got a lot harder. I am just starting to be super frustrated with the language. I can't even tell you how frustrating it is when I just simply want to have a REAL conversation with someone but I can't understand what they are saying. I am just really starting to feel stupid like everyone told me I would. But I am working so hard. And I am going to keep trying and working harder. Honestly the most frustrating thing is how much English I have been speaking!! Me and my companion never speak French. And I am definitely not letting that go on for much longer. I set goals with her this week that like sorry, you can talk to me in English; but I am definitely going to be responding in French. I know I need to be patient with myself but it just gets really frustrating at times.
You all are going to be absolutely amazed at how patient I am when I get home. I can’t even tell you how much I am having to work on it every day. Haha probably you just won't even know who I am anymore I am going to be so patient. Every day it is something I have to work on...patient with myself, patient in God's timing, patient with my sweet companion...who literally makes us late to everything we go to..haha. It is so good for me though to be working on this quality of Christ. Blessings in disguise!
Alright. There is my rant for the week. French is really frustrating. NOW on to the miracles and fun things of the week that really make up most of my mission, so the other things don't matter..
First of, Y--. Wow has this been a week of miracles for him. I meant to take a picture of him this week but I forgot, but you guys have to see him. I will try to send one soon! We had three lessons with him this week. They all were amazing!! When we taught the rétablissment (sorry, restoration) when I recited the first vision he had the biggest smile on his face. Reciting the first vision is the coolest thing EVER. I have done it twice in lessons now, once today and one with our other progressing ami Madame L--, and both times, when I got to the end of it they literally both had the biggest smiles on their faces. It is just the coolest thing ever, such an amazing spirit. that it brings every single time. Jospeh Smith is the best. K sorry, back to Y--!
We had a lesson with him on Friday, and we watched The Testemants. It was so great. Except I cried. It was really embarrassing. But we could tell he loved it. And THEN we were talking to him on the phone Saturday night, and he told us that after that lesson he had a dream...I got excited right when he said those words. Because I knew what he meant. He had a dream, that he was baptized. And that Jesus baptized him. I don't know if that means a lot to you, but to us missionaries...aw man, you should have seen us when we hung up the phone. We were bouncing off the walls. SUCH a miracles. He is sooo close. SO close. We are commiting him to a date next lesson. I know he is ready. I just hope he begins to realize that!! So, I am hoping next week I will have some great things to tell you.
Other miracles (I cannot even begin to name them all), we got a new ami this week! Soeur D-- had met him contacting like two weeks earlier; but he never showed up to their rendez-vous, and then out of the blue he called us. And we set up a rendez-vous! And it went so well! He had sooo many questions about the book of Mormon. Also he is a ballet dancer. Haha he is so great. I hope that he contintues to progress! He is a really fun guy to teach.
Our other ami is Madame L--. She is a sweet sweet old lady, and she has such a sweet heart. Our only obstacle is that she can't see well at all, so she can’t read the Book of Mormon. So we are working on that, but I hope we get to keep seeing her more.
We have a few other potential amis; like this guy named David. Haha he was a fun experience because it was my first experience I have had where literally all we said was "hey we are missionaries of the church of Jesus Christ, we teach about Jesus. Do you want to learn more?" And he was seriously just like "Yeah, sure!" soo we set up a rendez-vous for the next day! And he actually showed up! Stuff like that is just so fun. Like to anyone who ever told me it would be hard to baptize here...of course it isn't easy, but I meet SO many people every day who are so ready to hear this gospel it is crazy.
Another fun thing of this week is we went to this sweet lady's house for dinner. She is in our ward, her name is Soeur Ca--. I almost died she is just the cutest old lady ever. She reminds me a lot of Grandma Magleby! Because she just lived in this adorable humble little apartment. But wow can that lady talk. And talk. Annnd talk. Haha it was so fun though. It is just moments like that that I feel so purely happy to be here. It is all about the little things. Also she fed us chicken liver. Soo there's that. It was terrifying. But she made it up and served us some super amazing cheese after. Haha.
This week the biggest thing I have learned is just how necessary prayer is in our lives. We emphasize it SO much to our amis. But I have learned it for myself too. There were a few moments this week where I just felt so overwhelmed, alone, scared, frustrated; and all these other annoying feelings. And there was literally nothing I could do but get on my knees. It is the only place I have left to turn. But it brings so, so much power to us when we do this simple act of communicating with our Father in Heaven. Haha you would probably think I was crazy if you knew how much I pray every day. But it really has made me realize how silly I was before to not utilize this tool we have before my mission. So that is my challenge to you for the week! Don't ever forget this amazing opportunity we have to talk with our Heavenly Father. He wants to hear from you.
I love you all so much. I am trying not to miss you so much because it is really hard at times. I am praying for you and I feel your prayers! I hope you all have an amazing week. Sorry if I didn't answer your questions..it is hard for me to fit so much stuff in my brain.
Je vous aime beaucoup!!
OH P.S I forgot something I guess kind of important...I talked in Sacrament meeting yesterday. For 10 minutes. Ummm yeah SCARIEST thing ever. To talk in front of French people!! When my French is so sketchy! But it went well. I honestly don't even know what I said. But everyone was complimenting after saying they could understand the whole thing. Despite my accent. Haha soo that is my next thing to work on.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
MIRACLES, MIRACLES AND MORE MIRACLES!
Okay, first off. THESE COMPUTERS ARE CRAZY. All the letters are totally not where they are supposed to be...I feel five years old again learning how to type. So sorry I wish this letter could be longer! We have an hour and a half each week to write, but today it is going to have to be a bit shorter because we got to the computers a bit late and we have to run to a rendez-vous with an ami in just a little bit. But we just went and toured a Chateu! it was so fun. HELLO EVERYONE THAT I LOVE, I AM IN FRANCE!!! Oh my goodness. I cannot even explain to you how happy I am to be here. This week has been absolutely crazy, but man am I happy. So as you know, I am in Pau!! I love it here so much. Its a pretty small town but that is why I love it so much. The people here are so nice. Seriously. I find that everyone likes to tell me how crazy they think I am in a very kind and loving way. Haha.
I am going to send you pictures. hopefully, but it is so beautiful here! There are obviously so many great places in France, but I just love our apartment so much.
We have a balcony and our apartment overlooks the entire city. We pretty much just leave the doors and windows open all the time, and it is soo great. I sleep on the top of the bunkbed, and we have a huge window that we leave open when we sleep, so I fall asleep every night and wake up every morning overlooking the cute little ville of Pau. I feel like this is a dream. Never has any other missionary been so happy to be in France, I can tell you that.
Miracles are happening like crazy. It is amazing. Soeur D-- and I have decided that I have bleu magic. It is the craziest thing ever. This is literally only my third day in Pau and I cannot even begin to tell you how many miracles I have already seen. I've grown up my whole life hearing all these cool missionary stories, but you have no idea what it is really like until you are in the middle of one. Just a few examples of the miracles this week: talking to a man on the train here for 2 hours straight and taught him the entire first lesson. A random guy walked into the church yesterday and just said "I know the book of Mormon is true.I want to meet with you." Yesterday while we were porting (door to door) we found a man named Ol-- who is the most prepared person I have ever met. God has been preparing him to hear the Gospel for a long time. It is just absolutely crazy how much I can see God's hand in this week. It is right in front of my face every single day.
And then there is Y--. He is seriously the best. He is our progressing ami right now. I so wish you could meet him, or just see him. He is the coolest guy ever. The only way I have to describe him is he is pretty much Bob Marley. He is just so hilarious, I love him so much. He came to church yesterday for his third time! He is so close to baptism it is crazy. But he is just questioning himself. But I have faith he is going to get there. We are going to work hard. He calls us "his angels" haha it is so great. We have two other amis but I have not met either of them yet, but we are hoping to have rendez-vous really soon!
The only struggle I am having right now is how much this work is hard physically. My health just tanked after we got here because all that travel sucked so bad (two layovers, almost missed a plane, didn't sleep on the plane so practically was awake for two days straight, annnd it is an 8 hour train ride from Lyon to Pau) soo that was hard. But for me right now, that is the only hard thing about this work. I keep saying to Soeur D-- "Am I in the right place? I thought this was going to be super hard...but I am having the time of my life." So please keep praying for me because this physically sucks, this really is ridiculously hard work. But I am beyond happy. The miracles I get to see everyday are astounding. I have a front row seat to watching people come to know their Savior Jesus Christ, and there is no greater feeling in the world. Plus no matter what grows wrong that day, I get to come home, make a cup of tea, and go to bed overlooking France. Could it get any better? I really don't think so.
The food is amazing, of course. Even though we have to shop at Carrefour which is pretty much like french walmart, it is still so good. It is embarrassing how much cheese I have had in the past three days alone... The language is hard. I don't understand anyone. Okay, I usually understand like the gist of what is going on, but I don't understand a lot. But I am not frustrated yet. It is fine, because I know it will come! And a couple people have told me I have a good accent. So as soon as I can understand, and I learn 1000 more vocab words, I am set! haha Alsooo contacting is terrifying and especially porting. Haha porting is fun, some people are so crazy. But it is so worth it to find the people who will listen!
I am so sorry I wish I had more time. But I will talk to you next week! and yeah even though it still takes a while, letters would be great. I love you all sooo much. I am having the time of my life here! hope all is well! Don't worry about me.
|Best food I have had so far... this is for you mom. It was like fruit salad with basil and vanilla bean ice cream.|
Thursday, August 8, 2013
Email received on Tuesday, August 6th:
I am happy to let you know your missionary arrived safely in Lyon today. President and Sister Roney met the missionaries at the airport and brought them to the Mission Office. They had an interview with President Roney and the Office Elders and Elder Clark explained missionary finances and their visas. Tonight they will have dinner at the Pizza Pino and desert at President and Sister Roney's home. Tomorrow they will meet their companion/trainer and then have training with President Roney and the Assistants to the President. After taking care of their legal residency issues on Friday morning they will board a train with their companion to travel to their first area. I will send you their address and companion's name tomorrow. I am attaching a picture of your missionary with President and Sister Roney and one of the whole group.
Thank you for sending us such a fine missionary.
|I'll be here in two days!|
|Me and my adorable teacher Soeur Echols! I don't have any with Frere Blosil yet because we will be taking those today..soo sorry. You'll have to see those probably in like 18 months. Haha.|
Just thought I would sent a quick email since I don't have much time this morning-we are just doing laundry and getting everything packed and ready to go! This honestly feels so weird. But also I'm just so excited and ready. I feel like last week I was just absolutely terrified. But now, by some miracle, I am more excited than I am scared.
I'm going to be so incredibly lost. And it's going to probably be so much harder than I can even imagine right now. But I'm just so stoked.
I'm so ready to go and serve these people of France. I just pray so hard every single night, that I will be able to be the absolute best missionary that I can, and really be able to fulfill my potential. It's so funny, I'm so stressed about like being the best I can be. But as long as I literally am just working as hard as I can I think I will be able to fulfill my potential as a missionary. I just really want to be able to make my Heavenly Father proud. And to serve these people of France withabsolutely everything I can. With all my heart, might, mind, and strength. That's my goal. Is just to do my absolute very best. And I have absolute faith that as longas I do so, He will help me with the rest.
Just please keep praying for me-I'm going to need it in the next week. But I know all of you already do. I really do feel your prayers pushing me forward everyday. Thank you so much for that!
Also...keep praying for my feet. It appears to me that Satan can't get to my head-so he is trying to get to me through my feet. Haha. I'll be fine though-I just got Athelete's Foot this week.....yay....Haha seriously, just one thing after another! The doctor said it's a super mild case though-and it's not even itchy or anything. So I'm fine. It's just really gross. But I walked over to BYU yesterday and picked up some cream that should fix it. So, that's what the 10 dollar charge is on my card if you are wondering what in the world that is...I'm not really sure what I got it from. The doctor said it might be from the shower, because before me he had seen 3 cases of it just that day. But that's weird and nasty because I wear flip flops every time I shower. But who knows. I honestly think it might be from me just wearing shoes all day long. My feet are not getting any air and just are not used to being enclosed all day long...what can I say. My feet hate me. But I keep pushing forward! It definitely could be a whole lot worse.
I honestly can't even remember what has been going on this week....I wish I had more to tell you! But nothing too exciting! Sweet Soeur Crowley almost didn't make it to France..but yesterday she found out she is going to come with us on Monday. So she is super excited. She seriously is the sweetest little English girl ever. I'm really grateful for her amazing example.
It's sad to leave this place, but I feel really grateful that me and my whole district are all leaving together! So our goodbyes won't even be that sad-because we will most likely all see each other in the field. I'm sure going to miss my two amazing teachers though. I feel so blessed to have had them. It's amazing how much I have learned in just a simple 6 weeks. There have been many ups and downs as I'm sure there will continue to be so, but I'm so ready for the challenge! I just know that no matter how many downs..the ups will always be worth it.
I just can't even describe in words how lucky I am to be here, at this age in my life. I'm learning so much everyday and becoming a whole new person. I'll have learned so many amazing life lessons at such a young age. I'm so grateful for my Heavenly Father to have entrusted me with this task. I'm going to work as hard as I can to make Him proud, and to make all of you proud. I want to be able to come home with absolutely no regrets, and know with all of my heart that I did my absolute best-no matter what the outcomes.
I love you all so much. I'm so grateful for your prayers. Things are probably going to be crazy for awhile...so forgive me if my next few letters are not as positive as all my letters from the MTC. But I'll just have to get the hang out it-and things will get better. I'm so stressed about it....but I know the language will come!
I love you all so much. Thank you for everything. Your support means everything.
Don't ever forget how much your Father in Heaven loves you, and all he desires is to have you live with Him again. I'll talk to you on Monday! I have no idea how long I'll have to talk-but let's hope I will have time! If I don't call you before my flight leaves at 11..there is a chance I could call from my layover. But I really have no idea.
Try to be patient with me, and if I end up not getting to call..I'm really sorry. But I'm going to try really hard.
I love you! Here I go-off to my biggest adventure yet!! And I couldn't be more excited!