July 7, 2014
REBECCA! Wow. I am so sorry to hear about your car accident! Yikes. That is so scary! I am so so relieved you are okay though. Congratulations on Zupas. AND your patriarchal blessing! Oh my word! That is so so so wonderful! My blessing has literally been one of the single most beautiful thing in my life. I am so excited for you. Read it all the time! Every time you are feeling down.
Okay famille! Get ready because I actually have a lot of time today! (Sorry, I hate to be one of those missionaries that send forever long emails; you are under obligation to read all of it.)
Gatineau is AMAZING! I have decided that it is the miracle area. I have also decided that CMM is the miracle mission. I keep hearing stories about general authorities coming and saying that our mission president is not like other mission presidents. He is special. Apparently they have also been saying that they have sent some of the very best missionaries the Church has ever seen to this mission! Oh my goodness, this place is full of special miracles for these special little Canadians!
Bonne fete Canada! July 1st was Canada Day. Apparently it was a party. I don't really know. The missionaries don't really get to see a lot of party action. But everybody kept saying what a big deal it was and nobody wanted to see us, so I believe it! We are just outside of Ottawa, the capitol, so I would imagine it would be like being in Washington DC for the 4th of July. Despite not really having anybody to teach we were actually still really busy. The Quebecois have this beef with the Canadians. They don't want to be a part of Canada. So instead, just to spite the country (Quebecois are so funny), they made the Canada day the day when all the leases expire. So for the Quebecois, Canada day is moving day! The streets are just packed full of moving vans. People here are constantly moving. It sounds like most people move every year or so. They just circulate around the same area. It is odd and really inconvenient. So we spent a lot of the day moving members out of their apartments and into new ones 15 minutes away.
Between moving and missionary work, we were really tired! But this week has been absolutely amazing! When we were first driving to the area, Sr. Wright was telling me about the amazing Amis de l'Eglise we had. She was talking about this wonderful, strong, miraculous teaching pool. Well, I don't know what I did wrong, but since I arrived our teaching pool has disappeared. We have had no one to teach! Even our recent converts (CRs) were skipping out on appointments with us and Sr. Wright kept saying how she really feels like we just need to go out and find people. She says she has never felt this strongly about there being people we need to find in her whole mission. Apparently in all the 9 months that she has been here she has really only gone tracking (porte a porte) once. How exciting is that! I love it! So we spent a lot of time this week going through formers (former amis). It was so cool! We actually haven't intentionally found any of our formers, but it has led to finding multiple other people to teach. By the end of the week, we had 5 new investigators after street tracking/knocking only about 20 doors! We had a sit down lesson with an opening and closing prayer and set up a return appointment. I guess that never happens! So I am excited about it. Sr. Wright says that's the second most she has ever had on her mission. I love tracking! I feel like such a little missionary! Walking down the street with my French speaking companion: Bonjour! Ca va bien? Nous sommes missionaires pour l'Eglise de Jesus-Christ des Saint des Derniers Jours.... and then they usually respond, at which point Sr. Wright has to take over because I cannot understand a word these people are saying. Everybody hear sounds different. These Quebecois--they are killing me! You have never heard such a thick accent anywhere in the world! I can hardly make bonjour a je m'appelle. Some people have really just nasty sounding Quebecois and others have really cute, twangy Quebecois. It's sick. I am already starting to incorporate it into the way that I speak. I want to be a little Quebecois so badly! One of the best things about Quebecois is that they have so much English incorporated into their language. So occasionally they will just spout out phrases that are one hundred percent perfect English. They don't even realize that they are doing it. It is the funniest thing in the world. They will just be speaking heavy, indiscernible French and then throw out, “That's it, that's all”, like they are an Anglophone. So funny.
Okay so I don't have time to go through all of our amis, mais there are a few that I have to tell you about! Okay so first there is Denis and Ines. They are a father and a 14 year old daughter from Cote d'Ivoire. They are wonderful. Sr. Wright has been working with them for 10 months here in Gatineau and they are so converted. They understand everything so beautifully and they are so converted. They don't feel like they are ready enough to be baptized though yet. But they fasted this last Sunday, and they set up the day to be baptized on July 26! We are soooo excited! Apparently they have fallen through before but Sr. Wright says it is different this time. Second, while tracking this week we had the coolest experience. We were in what we now call our golden building. We ended up setting four appointments in that building but on our way out the first day, I asked Sr. Wright if she wanted to stay and knock or if she was ready to go. She said she felt we really needed to knock the top floor. So we went up and I picked a door. A woman opened and before I could even finish my little French schpill she opened the door and beckoned us in. She came back, and after talking to her for a little while we found out that she had already been taught by one of Sr. Wright's companions just before Sr. Wright had arrived in Gatineau. She left the room and came back with a BoM (LdM) in French and English and with a word of wisdom and tithes and fast offerings pamphlet. What?! Apparently she had gone on vacation almost a year ago to the states for a month, but the missionaries never got back in contact with her. She thought we were finally just back to teach her. No way! We had just been through all of our former records the day before and she wasn't in there. Somehow she got lost. We would have had no way to find her. It was such a miracle. She says she already knows that the LdM and J.S. are true. Her thing is that she doesn't believe it is the only truth and she also has a hard time with the fact that she needs to be baptized again. She is stellar and her name is Mary. We are going back to teach her tomorrow and I am so excited!
Okay that is actually all the people I have time for I guess. But needless to say we had a miracle week. And Sr. Wright said that the reason she thinks we need to track right now is because of me. She says she feels like there are people here that have been prepared for me and we need to find them now while she is still here so she can teach me how to do it and then hand them off. So cool! I love her so much. She is so funny and good to me! She is too nice to make me do anything scary. But I have been trying to put myself out there anyway!
Love you so much! Have a wonderful week. By the way, this next week is Baptism Week. (Sr. Wright and I decided). So pray that we will have miracles! (And I could still use help with the language too.)
The first two pictures are the last ones from the MTC
I miss our little family! Aren't we so cute? And the one labeled the Pistorii, I am now serving in his area! It is so fun! He was my "French coach" kinda at the MTC, and now I am here and the members talk about him and we are looking up some of his formers. It's so fun!
These last two are from Canada!
From last week! Sorry we couldn't make pictures work. Look how cute our little house is! We are living below an English speaking member family! I think we have the nicest place in the whole mission maybe. We enter in through the backyard, and it is a little house all to our selves! Isn't sister Wright so cute? We have the same hair!