Bonjour ma famille!
This week was so crazy. I don’t think I’ve ever been so tired in my life. If I don’t get used to this working/sleep schedule, I’m going to come home a crazy in 17 months. Yep! Only 17 months left now! My one month missionary birthday was on Friday. Apparently mission birthdays are a big deal. So we had cake. I made Texas Sheet Cake for Soeur Hills and Soeur Stevens and they LOVED IT. Soeur Stevens says it’s the best cake she’s ever had. Score one for Soeur Jones.
To answer your question mom, yes, we do run every morning. We run along the Saone River in the mornings (about a mile), which is an easy distance, but my companions are in REALLY good shape. They run SOOO fast. It’s a struggle for now being a fattie missionary…
It is HOT HOT HOT here. It’s been in the high 90’s almost every day since I’ve arrived. I was not prepared for that. Thanks for getting my mild summer hopes up Southern France. The weather’s about like Texas, except there is NO AIR CONDITIONING ANYWHERE!!! It’s so hot and we spend most of the day in the sun, so I am developing the foot tan of all foot tans. I think by the end of 17 months, it may even rival dad’s tiger stripes.
This is it’s progress so far. Sorry to those of you who are grossed out by feet. This tan is just too good to not share. (Fisherwoman shoe tan).
So, we do SO much contacting. We contact on the bus, on the metro, walking on the street, streetboarding. I’m still not really over the awkwardness of it all. Our goal is to contact and talk about the gospel with 350 per week, but this week we talked to 570 people. Being in a threesome does have it’s advantages. (Though I’m not super helpful yet as I can barely understand anyone I talk to). Streetboarding is my favorite way to contact. We go to one of the squares or plazas in our area with this giant board that has a google map on it of Lyon and it says “You are here….. WHY??” mahahaha I think it’s soooo funny. (Oh no. I’m already weird and I’ve only been a missionary for one month…) But then we just talk to every single person that walks on that sidewalk. Sometimes people say really funny things when we try to contact them like..
“Hi, we’re missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
Random man: “Me too.”
We were caught so off guard that he just ran away.
“Hi, we’re missionaries and we’re here to share a message centered on Jesus Christ.”
Random man: “Oh great. I’m having him over for dinner tonight. I’ll tell him I saw you.”
“Hi, we’re the missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ- What are your thoughts on God?”
Random old man turns to me and says, “Vous avez les yeux d’une Spaniard.” (You have the eyes of a Spaniard.)
The other Soeurs think it’s kind of exasperating. I think it’s hilarious.
People also always say really funny things when I tell them I’m from Texas. Texas is pretty much the only state you can just say without saying that it is in the US, cause everyone knows about Texas. Like this one guy in the ward asked me where I was from, and I said Texas, and he said (in a really thick french accent) : Howdy y’all! And I just started laughing. Or one of the ward missionaires, after finding out I was from Texas, proceeds to explain to me (for like 15 minutes) that he watches french reruns of Spongebob Squarepants, and Sandy the squirrel on Spongebob is from Texas, so he knows all about Texas. LOL. French people are great.
We had our first dinner appointment this week! We teach a less active member named Soeur Theroomy who is from Malaysia. She used to own a Malaysian restaurant in Grenoble. So, she came to a member’s home to make us some Malaysian curry for dinner. We invited a few of the Sisters from the ward to come: Soeur Anderson (She’s from the US, and her husband is working here), Soeur Cuche (the Bishop’s wife), and Comfort (a young law student who is my favorite). Anyways, she made a few kinds of curry and rices and it was SOOO GOOOD. But the best part was this: Soeur Cuche brought her daughter who just turned eight to the dinner appointment. Soeur Anderson had made a strawberry shortcake with cream cheese frosting for dessert (very American and with tons of sugar.) French cake is more like bread…. so this cake was strange to all the Frenchies. Anyways, Soeur Anderson gives the little Cuche girl a piece of her cake. This little girl takes a bite and promptly spits it back out on her plate and yells “EWW Sucré!!” (ewww too sweet). It was so funny to me. French people have such different palates than us. Then, her poor mother was mortified and so she eats her daughter’s piece too (even though she was struggling to choke down the first one). Mehe. I enjoyed this spectacle a little too much. You don’t get this kind of excitement too much on the mish.
This is Comfort and I at the dinner appointment. She is the best. She’s going to law school right now, and is also pregnant with her first baby. She speaks perfect french and english, so she helps me with my french a lot. She also says that I’m too skinny, so she gives me chocolate whenever she sees me.
WE HAD A BAPTISM YESTERDAY!!!!!!
It was Ludimilia’s baptism yesterday after church. She’s a golden ami. When she came to church yesterday morning, she said she didn’t sleep at all the night before because she was so excited to get baptized.
Here’s the companions and I with Ludmilia right before her baptism! She’s the cutest ever. She was so afraid of the water. But it was so great and she was so happy!
Then, we had a big goute afterwards. Many of the members in Lyon are from Africa, so there was soooo much African food (basically fried chicken and fried bread). It was great! The ward members really took Ludmilia under their wing and showed her how much they cared about her, which is so important for amis. The missionaries come and go, but the members are there for that new convert even over missionary mutations. (They call transfers mutations here… weird huh?)
But it was SOOO cool. Ludmilia’s greatest dream in this world was to have a Livre de Mormon with the gold leafed pages. So we got her one for her baptism and she totally freaked out. It was the funniest thing. She went on and on about how beautiful the pages d’orée are.
Sunday night, we had ice cream with this adorable couple in the ward. Their names are Pierre and Pierette. (I know right??!!??) They met when they were in their late 50’s and got married. She was a member, but he wasn’t. He got baptized when he was 87 years old and they went to the temple when he was 88. Now he’s 92, and they are the most adorable thing you will ever see.
We are teaching a man named François who came to church for the first time yesterday. There was a lesson on tithing in Priesthood, and he came to us afterwards and asked when he could pay his tithing. He loved the baptism and told us that that was why he was meeting with us, he wants to get baptized. So we may have another baptism coming up in the next month or two!!
There’s another baptism in our ward next Sunday. The Elders are baptizing this really cool ami named Paul. The work is moving so quickly in écully! They just announced that they will have to split the écully ward soon because it is getting to be so big!! They’re also going to be building a new stake center here, because the old one isn’t big enough! The Lord is truly preparing this country for a temple. It’s amazing!
My companions and I are getting along so well! We have a lot of fun, and we are dreading mutation day (in just three weeks) because Président has already said that the trio won’t be together for two transfers… YIKES! So this means one or more of us are getting moved in three weeks… but I guess we’ll just have to wait until then to find out. I hate waiting.
I miss and love you all a lot!