[Note: No pictures! Jordan’s camera was stolen, and she feels SO badly about it. I’m going to have to work on getting a camera to Lyon STAT!]
This week was absolutely crazy! I know many of you are wondering about transfers, so I’ll just tell you now… I’m staying in LYON! I’m really happy to get another transfer to work here. écully is the best ward and the best area EVER!!!! Soeur Hills left Soeur Stevens and I to be a sister training leader in Aix en Provence. Soeur Stevens is going to finish training me and we’re going to try our best to get along even though we’re both so young and practically know NOTHING! So that’ll be an adventure!
So last Monday was great! All the missionaries from Lyon went to the Roney’s house and we had hamburgers and root beer floats WITH REAL AW ROOT BEER. It was the greatest. Soeur Roney got the root beer shipped from an American store in Switzerland. Then we played sports and games and mafia and it was just so much fun! It was a fantastic p-day! After p-day was over, we met with a lady that we contacted on the street for her first lesson! Her name is Nathalie and she’s pretty religious and seems pretty interested. We taught her a leçon 0, which is the beginning lesson where we explain who we are and what we do and give a mini retab (restoration). She seemed pretty receptive, so we have another rendez vous with her tonight! Pray that it all goes well and we might have a new ami!
On Tuesday I had legality which pretty much took up the whole day. Legality is when you have to go to a government office and get checked out by like four different French doctors so they can affirm that you aren’t bringing any strange diseases into the country. Don’t worry everyone, I’m good. So I’m legal now! Whoo hoo. On Tuesday night, we had dinner with Soeur Theroomy, a less active member. (The one who used to own the Malaysian restaurant). So we had more really really really good Malaysian curries. It was fantastic. She is an amazing cook.
On Wednesday, we had a lesson with François. He’s doing pretty well! He’s progressing very quickly! I really think he’ll be baptized on his August 25th date! But…. anyways… this lesson we taught the Law of Chastity. It was really awkward. Like three little white American girls trying to teach this older man about the law of chastity. And what made it more awkward was that he kept giving us these “hypothetical” situations and asking us what we would do in that situation. I luckily didn’t really know what was going on because those words aren’t in my French vocabulary. LOL.
Then we met with a less active member named Soeur Chaptal. She’s really cool! She’s an artist and she paints murals in homes and schools all over Lyon. We were teaching her a short lesson about the restoration and all of a sudden Soeur Hills started talking about paying our tithing. Soeur Stevens and I were so confused about what was going on. Then all of a sudden, Soeur Chaptal burst into tears and said that tithing was one of her major soucis (worries) about the church and that she was so glad that we had come and talked about that. It was a really cool experience. It’s amazing to see how the spirit works through us to help people.
We had another dinner appointment Wednesday night (which is weird, we almost never have dinner appointments). This time it was with an ami named Nicole who is scheduled to be baptized by the Elders in our ward later this month. She is from the Reunion ( a small island near Madagascar), and she made us food from the Reunion and it was SO GOOD. She made us these giant porkchops with all these different herbs on it and this special kind of rice. Then we finished the meal like real french people with a course of bread and stinky cheeses and a course of fromage blanc. Fromage blanc is the weirdest thing. It’s like yogurt, but really runny and aged for a long time. It has a really strong taste, so I always have to put like 78328 spoonfuls of sugar on it to even down it. I’m getting used to it now, because french people ALWAYS eat it in between courses to cleanse their palates. Here’s another weird French thing. I shouldn’t say it’s weird. It’s not weird, it’s just different. In between courses, you always wash your plate. Your salad juices cannot touch your main course and so on. So you either have to go wash it in the sink, or use a piece of bread to clean your plate off. It’s a little stressful.
On Thursday, we had district meeting in the morning. I made a Texas sheet cake and the Elders and Soeurs were scarfing it down like it was their day job. They loved it! We had another lesson with Ludmilia. She is just really the greatest. She reads 5 chapters of the Livre de Mormon a day and every morning she texts us her favorite verse from her reading. It’s the greatest.
We had exchanges on Thursday! Soeur Hills went to Grenoble and Soeur Smith came to écully to work with Soeur Stevens and I. The only hitch was, during a rendez vous with a member, Soeur Smith realized that she had the keys to the Grenoble apartment in her bag. Oops. So Soeur Hills and Soeur Keating had already taken a two hour train ride back to Grenoble to find that they couldn’t enter the apartment. So then they had to take the two hour train ride back and all five of us had to sleep in our tiny apartment. It was definitely an adventure.
Friday was like Christmas because I GOT MY FIRST PACKAGE FROM HOME!!!! It was seriously the most exciting thing of my whole entire entire life. Every single thing I pulled out was like the best present ever and my companions and I oohed and ahhed over every box of crayons and ranch packet and little monsters inc man. It was the best. Thanks mom! You’re the best! It seriously made my whole week skyrocket up. I can’t wait to make ranch! French people don’t even know what ranch is. It’s really sad for them.
On Friday we saw François again and things went a little better this time. We talked a lot about the Book of Mormon and prophets. We brought him a picture of the first presidency to show him and a talk by president Uchtdorf and he LOVED it. The second half of Friday wasn’t so good. Most of our rendez vous cancelled. Which is the worst. So we did a lot of street contacting. Soeur Hills makes me take every couple street contacts now. So my french is getting much better because I have to talk a LOT more now. Soeur Hills is a fantastic trainer. She really pushes me to be my best without being too overbearing.
Friday was also the day that Président Roney called each equipe and told them what their fate was for the next transfer. It’s customary for the youngest missionary to answer the phone and find out first, so I had the phone sitting on my desk all morning. When it rang I just about fell out of my chair. For whatever reason, I was so nervous. But he told me that I would be staying in écully with Soeur Stevens and we would have another sister staying with us for a short time. Her name is Soeur Lewis and she’s from Utah and very very nice. We don’t know how long she’ll be staying with us, so we’ll see!
Saturday, we had dinner with Joy, our less active friend from Canada. She and her husband Yves are so fun to be with! We had dinner and we played Boggle. In french. Needless to say, Yves (as the only native french speaker) won. But it was so fun! And it helped my french skills! I should tell President that we should add french boggle to daily language study. Joy finally told us why she left the church, so now I really think we’re going to be able to help her! I think Soeur Stevens and I are going to start the missionary lessons with her from the beginnng, so I’m really excited for that. Joy and Yves are so great, I really hope we can help them!
On Sunday we had dinner with these two younger couples in the ward. (I told you we had a lot of dinner appointments this week) They all speak english because the two Frères both served missions in england and the two soeurs have worked in the us and Australia. It was a nice break, to get to speak english. They are really cool and are planning a small get togehter to invite Joy and Yves to so that they can meet some english speakers in the ward. The members of the écully paroisse are amazing. They do so much missionary work and that’s the reason that écully is the biggest ward in France!
Love and miss you all!