Bonjour tout le monde!
Well this week has certainly been interesting! I hate to say this but it kind of felt like spring break! I'll key you in why soon. But first off—Thank you so much for all of the letters and love! I was surprised to find a few extra letters from friends and family! (But still no JDawgs sauce....... The promise still rests in vigor!) I'm desperately trying to find the time today to write all of you back! And second off—I just got these weird pictures of my family in Oregon from my dear sweet mother!
Austin is fresh out of the mission field, single and ready to mingle (by the way...)
So! As for me and my h... as for this week!
Monday! We woke up in the morning to the weirdest thing that I can't believe I didn't write about last week. There was someone tapping on our window and Elder Ruby was super freaked out. I got out of bed and opened the window to talk to him and he asked if he could come inside and talk. I immediately thought that it would be a wonderful missionary experience and that we could share the gospel with him. (He really looked like he could use it.) Anyways, we invited him in and we all sat around the table and talked for a bit. He explained that he was in a tough situation and thought that we could help him. I invited him to play chess while Elder Ruby made us all pancakes. We started talking about his youth and childhood and what had lead him down the path that he was now stuck on. He was such a nice guy. Just as Elder Ruby was about to hand him his first pancake he pulled out a knife and grabbed him. Right then there was a loud bang on the door and shouting. I was so scared and had no idea what to do! I ducked under the bookshelf and hid behind all four volumes of the Encyclopedia of Mormonism. The door broke open and two stocky police officers rushed in and yelled...
"APRIL FOOLS!" Okay sorry about that. It's just that I didn't really get the chance to play any April Fools jokes on Elder Ruby on Monday so I figured I may as well in retrospect... Sorry if I scared you, Mom! I love you! So for reals though. Monday was great! We did our normal missionary stuff—laundry, emails, shopping, cleaning, studying. Something funny did happen though. While we were eating lunch in the apartment and playing chess we started scatting and I was "playing the trumpet" with my mouth. I heard someone outside of our window try to imitate the trumpet sound. We both got quiet and waited for them to do it again. When they did I trumpeted back the same notes and added a little bit. The person outside started laughing. It was a little girl who we saw crying earlier outside on the sidewalk. Her laugh was priceless! She played another few notes and I sang back again. This went on for about 2 minutes when her dad came outside. He was yelling and saying (in French) "Who are you talking to?" She replied, "Check this out." She played a few notes and I played back my best trumpet solo I could muster. She laughed and I could see him smile. They couldn't see us inside of the apartment but we could see their smiles bright and clear. She went again and I followed. Then the father gave it a try. I played back a sad little melody and the daughter bursted out laughing. He looked pretty frustrated. She went again and played the trumpet line from Nat King Cole's L-O-V-E. Just then a car pulled up and waved to them. They ran off to the car, obviously in a rush, but not before I poked my head out from behind the curtains and waved goodbye to the little girl. She sounded off one final note and climbed into the open door. That is missionary work in it's purest. This Gospel is to comfort those that stand in need of comfort and mourn with those that mourn. In doing so we will brighten someone's day and in turn find meaning in ours.
Tuesday! I'm not sure how much I've told you about Mathieu and his family's situation. Suffice it to say that they were living in a dump and had to move out. This week we dedicated quite a bit of time to helping them. Tuesday morning we went over to the new apartment and finished helping him paint and wash the floors. My knees hurt so badly after washing the floors Cinderella style— but hey, now my "prayer's knees" are much more defined! Something that I didn't mention last week about this week. We had such a busy week planned. Tuesday the Elders from Chicoutimi were arriving to "blitz" our area. Thursday we were planning on driving down to Québec City for Zone Study on Friday and driving back that night. Back up to speed—we got a few things ready for the Chicoutimi Elders to arrive. (Setting up last minute appointments and getting the apartment arranged to accommodate two extra people.) They were running a little late and it was throwing off all of our plans so we had to do quite a bit of rearranging and calls. We had an appointment and Soirée Familiale planned (we hadn't done it the night before and some of the members asked if we could still do it) which involved picking up a few people. Our appointment was supposed to be with Marielle and Jacques (our Témoin Jéhovah friends.) They actually ended up having a last minute thing come up and left us a note inviting us back the next night which turned out to be a blessing and solved the whole problem! So we went to Soirée Familiale, the Chicoutimi Elders showed up and things went perfectly! That's not too often that that happens. We had a lesson about "Why do the righteous suffer?", then played hangman in French, and got hot chocolate at Tim Hortons. It was so nice to finally see other missionaries after 6 or so weeks. Elder Messinger (our District Leader) and his companion Elder Wright (who was in my MTC District) came. They are awesome! We were happy to play "house" and have guests over.
Elder Wright and his stuffed pillow Lestor
Moi, Elder Ruby, Elder Messinger, Elder Wright
(I'm going really slow, time to pick up the pace!)
Wednesday! I made German pancakes for the first time ever! And Elder Messinger sketched me while I was in my studious pose!
We did our studies with the other Elders and then got to work! Elder Messinger and I went over to Mathieu's to help him clean up a bit and get ready for moving day while Elder Ruby and Elder Wright knocked in the area. We all went knocking along the fleuve later that day and I heard from Jean-François. He called to tell me that he gave the Book of Mormon to his friend and that she loves it! It was a great surprise! He's such a cool guy. I'm glad that we were lucky enough to meet him. The Book of Mormon has completely turned him around since the first time we met. So we're planning on hearing from him again sometime this week to see him and his friend. We quickly ate and then split up again for our appointments. Elder Ruby and Elder Wright went to see Debbie in Mont Joli and invite her back to church. Apparently it went better than they could've possibly planned for. Elder Ruby made a split second decision to make a pros and cons chart with her and show her why she needed the blessings of the Church in her life. She took it as sign that it was finally time to come back. Atta boy! Meanwhile... Elder Messinger and I went over to Marielle and Jacques and had a great time with them. They had invited Lydia over (the one who speaks English that we met in the middle of a lesson last Wednesday.) We taught the whole Plan of Salvation and discussed a few of our basic beliefs. They were very interested in proving us wrong but I played it all very carefully and avoided any debating. I've learned that the best thing to do is simply invite someone to find out for themselves by putting it to the ultimate test—live it and see the blessings. I don't have much time to talk about it more than that.
Thursday we did some service at the Friperie with the other Elders and than had to get on the road to Québec! We drove pretty much all day and all I got was one little picture.
That night Elder Ruby and I stayed at the Ste. Foy apartment. They sent us out knocking for about an hour near this big library. It was so nice to be back in a big city! But I have definitely learned that I love small towns just as much! We were able to teach more lessons in that one hour than a full two days of knocking in Rimouski! People in the city love to talk! You would think it would be the other way around! That night I learned about one of the hidden treasures of this world. I don't have to time to explain it but just Google this: Tim Tam Slam. Mmmmmmmmmm.
Friday! Zone Study! Mail! No time to write! Kidding, I'll try to squeeze in a little bit. We had a wonderful study. We focused a lot on the new rules for counting key indicators and the blessings that will come from it. We also spent a bit of time talking about the invitation to be baptized and how to get around some common obstacles. I had a great interview with President Cannon and we discussed a few ideas about how to get Rimouski a little more comfortable with us. Big news on that probably next week! I got my mail finally! Thanks for all of the letters! I really do appreciate the amount of love and support I've received my whole mission! That afternoon we drove through the city to take the Ste. Foy Elders to their appointment and then got on the road back to Rimouski!
It felt like France! Like I know what that feels like...
Finally got to see Chateau Frontenac!
The camera fell while we were trying to take a picture.
Old & New
(I'm out of time!)
Saturday was spent helping Mathieu move and watching General Conference! I wish I had more time to talk about it!
Sunday was pretty much the same!
This is for Nicole:
"The two dollar coin is my favorite Canadian currency... That is if value didn't matter!"
I loved your pictures and your letter. Congrats on the big events! Expect a letter soon!
And that's all the time I have for today! I love you all! Stay busy, stay happy, stay faithful and the Lord will bless you!