Saturday, June 21, 2014

June 18, 2014

June 18, 2014

Okay today is crazy! Literally none of the computers in the whole campus are working so we have been running around frantically looking for computers. Finally found two! Miracle of the day.

Last week in the MTC! I am so so sad to leave behind "ma petite famille". But I cannot wait for Canada. Sometimes I get really nervous when I think about it, but then I remember that the Lord called me to speak French to the people in Quebec and therefore he is going to enable me to be able to speak French to the people in Quebec. I cannot wait. I just want to work as hard as I can and make absolutely every second count!

Joyeux fete des lunettes! Yesterday we made everybody, including our more than hesitant teachers, wear their glasses and our district had a "glasses party". It was sick.

Our Tahitian district left yesterday. No! It is so sad for us. We love them and miss them so much. We haven't played four square since they left. Elder Abbatt-- from France-- was the best part of four square; it is not the same without him. He was hilarious! He could not win for the life of him, but he wanted to so badly! Apparently they don't have four square in France. He finally won the second to last night though--kinda-- so we were all thrilled. And I finally recorded one of his French Frozen songs. I will see if I can send it.

What is really sad is that two of the Tahitian visas didn't come in, so Elder Olsen (also from Orem) and Sister Afasene had to stay while the rest of their district left. It is so sad. This will be their twelfth week in the MTC (because they are learning french and tahitian) and they don't know when they will be able to leave.

Sister Kimber, she came with the new district a couple of weeks ago, went home today for anxiety. We are very, very sad. It is really hard for us. But hopefully she can get the help she needs and come back.

Congratulations to Eve! She is getting baptized this Saturday! I couldn't be more excited for her; if per chance you run into her Liz you will have to give her the biggest hug for me please! I just love and miss her and all of my roommates so much and I am so grateful for their wonderful examples to me!

Frere Davis, my favorite teacher, is leaving for Washington tomorrow! My heart is broken. He is the very best, but he had an unexpected family reunion come up so our last day with him will be tomorrow. I am so so so sad. He says that he might might might be back by Monday and he'll run by and see us then, but it sounds really doubtful. Our African Elders are leaving Monday too so we'll be so sad to have them leave us. It just makes me sick to think that our little family will be split up indefinitely in just a week!

**SUPER IMPORTANT** My flight leaves from SLC at 7:25 AM. I think I can call. Hopefully you can send me a phone, but if not, hopefully we can figure something out. Do you know how this works? Okay. Then I land in Detroit at 12:54 PM. I don't know if there is a time difference so you'll have to figure that out, sorry! Then my plane takes off again at 1:55 PM. Super short layover but hopefully I'll be able to talk to you then again for a little bit! I arrive in Canada at 3:49 PM.

Okay everyone! I love you so so so much! I don't know if I will have time to write you this week! Thanks for all the letters and the packages! Keep them coming.

I love you all to the moon and back!

This was the last pday when we said goodbye to our Canadian sisters that left for Vancouver. They were the best. I hate saying goodbye to everybody. Worst part of the MTC!

Fete des lunette. Our teacher with the light gray suit is Frere Davis. Darker suit is Frere Rodriguez. Elder Navarette with the sun glasses is the only one that doesn't have real glasses. The picture with just the girl is Sister Kimber who went home today. And then there are the pictures of us and the Tahitian district. And then us and all of our sister in the zone. One of the them, dark with dark short hair is Sister Falesii, she left with the Tahitians yesterday and we miss her!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

P day again already!

Okay!  P day again already!

Crazy week.  We totally gold tagged it! (I know missionaries aren't supposed to use slang, but you are just my family so it is okay.)  Sister Smith and I decided that we were going to find a gold tag to talk to even if it killed us. Finally we were walking and I thought I saw one up ahead.  He was this big scary looking Hispanic guy and there was no way in the world I was going to talk to him. But then I remembered I was working on being brave so we did!  I went up and started talking to him. Then pretty soon his other friend came up.  (So they have a picture catalog of all the gold tags in the MTC and get this: the friend that came up was the one that I had dubbed the scariest gold tag just a few days earlier.  Careful with the goals you set because you may be forced to accomplish them.)  There names are Theo and Lome. They are actually really wonderful. We got to know a little bit about each of them. They were real people! It was so fun talking to real people! They are both nonmembers.  And apparently nobody ever really talks to them. Theo has been working here since February and he told us that he didn't know why the missionaries never talked to him.  He said that he had heard that we had a message to share with the world, and so he figured we would want to share it with him to. It was awesome!  We asked him what questions he had. It was soo nice to be able to teach in English.  We were able to simply communicate and testify and it was so cool! They were both engaged in the conversation, but especially Theo.  He has no idea what we are about, and he was so curious, and kept saying how grateful he was that we actually talked to him. It was a real life contacting and teaching experience. Our follow up was really pathetic though. We asked if there was another time we could talk to them, and they said yeah definitely we are always in this area. And we said is there a specific time, and they said no we are always just here, you'll see us.  So we left it at that. Shame on you Sister Olsen and Sister Smith.  We still haven't had time to look for them during their shifts because we have class. We are definitely going to find them again this week.

D'accord. The French. Soo hard. So hard. And it didn't help the Frere Davis abandoned us for part of the week last week for his sister's wedding. Frere Laguan subbed in his place though, which is really fun. He knows Kelly Gonzalez. We went to Oak and Timp together and she was one of the best friends in French for those four years. Haha, they ran into each other the other day and she totally ratted me out and told Frere Laguan how bad my French was. But he "says" that I am doing really well so that makes me feel better. But it is really fun to see him every day because we met before the MTC once. And he goes to the U!

Frere Davis finally came back yesterday. He is so funny. He has a super low voice when he speaks French, but then when we speaks English his voice shoots up like a whole octave. It's so adorable. And I finally guessed his name. It's Dee. --What does that remind you of?--

We have really stepped it up; we are speaking en francais way more often now. We know a lot. I have a lot of the language in my head. But it always takes me three tries to apply it correctly in conversation. We had to take an oral exam last week. Aaaaaaaaaaah! It was so stressful! My teachers said I did really really well, but then they gave me a 3.22 out of 7! Ce quoi ca? I'm so ticked. So I'm really going to step it up this week. No way I'm taking their back stabbing lying down.

You will never guess what happened this week! Frere Rodriguez, my other teacher, taught Shannon in the Spain MTC! Can you believe that? This is his first district in Provo but it turns out he taught in Spain for a few years--Spanish-- and so I asked him if he knew a Hermana Tuttle and he was like yeah, Shannon! She was in his district. "They are actually friends on facebook!" --I'm not sure what that really means but he seemed to think that that was super important. So that's really really fun. So Shannon and I had the same investigator, William Toro! Isn't that so fun? I couldn't even believe it. I am so excited about it. Same teacher, two different continents, two different languages. How crazy. (Oh no, crazy again. Who do I sound like? That's right. Sarah Jenson. Must be a sister missionary thing. I'll try not to use it again.)

Okay so Frere Rodriguez's investigator right now is Jean-Claude. Oh my goodness he is so difficult. He is an extremely active Evangelist. We think we are going to lessait tombe him. Drop him. Our resource teacher-- or helper-- told us that we need to, and Frere Rodriguez basically told us the same thing yesterday. So.. we don't really know what to do. We feel like that is cheating. But Jean-Luc is doing better. Our lessons have been kind of rough lately, but yesterdays was really really good. We also teach two real people each week. Real people meaning, they are members that speak French and we just teach them as themselves.  Those lessons are really cool.  But stressful!  It turns out that there is a video camera that everyone else was aware and our teachers sit and watch us in another room. There is no privacy in the MTC.

Announcement of the week: Sister Smith and I were the kings of four square on Thursday.  Nous l'avons tue.

Okay well I am out of time! I hope that was everything. I loved all your letters!  I sent pictures in another email. The one of me and Mandy is from today!  And then there is one with us and all the Elders in our district. And I don't remember the other ones I sent.  Love you all to death! Keep sending me letters, pictures, and food!


Soeur Olsen

(Catherine and her cousin Mandy!)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Oh my goodness, let's see how much I can get in!‏

Bonjour ma famille!

I just love French so much.  I am so unbelievably bad at it, but it is so fun!  I didn't learn as much last week as I feel like I should have though so I am going to try to be better this week.

Okay so we have two new French districts!  It is soo fun.  However it has made email day kind of crazy today, everyone needs our help.  But it is great to serve other people!  The new soeurs are so cute, they feel like little sisters.  A few of them are really struggling right now, so we are doing everything we can to help them.  It has been a great opportunity to be the Sister Training Leaders for these new girls.  One of them is having a particularly hard time, and she really wants to go home.  At the worst point in the day though, President Barker showed up and gave her a priesthood blessing, so that really helped her out. We are keeping an eye on her and trying our hardest to do everything we can.  It has made me realize what a difference a mission makes.  I know that as we are here doing what the Lord wants us to do, he will really help everything fall into place, and we can become the people he needs us to be for later in our lives.  So I hope she stays, it just breaks my heart to think about!

Rough French week.  REALLY rough French week.  We had the worse lesson of our lives yesterday!  It was so discouraging because it was so inspired, and Soeur Smith and I were so excited to finally teach Jean-Luc as an actual person.  But we got in there... and didn't have any words.  Yikes.  A couple days before that we had a similar experience with Jean-Claude.  Frere Pistorius--one of our Resource teachers that help us with any questions-- said we should drop him.  Haha we actually think we might try it.  Maybe that way Jean-Claude (or our teacher Frere Rodriguez) would easy up on us.  But Frere Pistorius said something to us this week that really made me realize how important a mission is.  He was talking about people he met on his mission, who he had the strongest impression that they would never accept.  I have no idea how that works, but I do know that the Lord never gives up on us.  But he said that in the end there will be people who will see their Savior, kneel, know Him and what He has done for them and then just turn and walk away.  And I  was so overcome by that.  I just started crying-- well I guess that's not a surprise-- but I realized that this is so important that I am here.  I need to help prepare people for that day, so that when they do meet the Savior, they are humbled and prepared to fully accept Him.  I don't know.  I still don't fully understand it. But I haven't been the same since then, and I never want to take this work lightly.

I had to take an oral exam in French yesterday. Yikes. We took it on the computers and our teachers are going to review it tomorrow.  I tried to throw in some of my new material to distract them from my poor language skills. We'll see if that worked. Frere Davis and Frere Rodriguez are awesome. They are so funny. Apparently, Spaniards that speak french don't use their h's when they "shhh". It is pretty amusing.

Okay, I don't know what else to say.  I can never stay awake.  I am exhausted all the time.  So hopefully that gets better!  I miss and love you all tons.  I am glad Rebecca didn't get killed by a black widow.  I LOVE all the pictures.  And the food.  And the letters.  Keep sending them!  

Oh and I did see Mandy! Totally made my whole stay here.  She is doing really well.  I never see her though because we don't have the same meal times.  But hopefully I will see her at devotionals. Here are some pictures.  The girls are the new girls that just arrived, and the group is the Tahitian district.  They are the  best.  Four square with them is so fun.  I am a master at four square.