Bonjour tout le monde!
Quelle semaine fantastique! Lots of changes, lots of new experiences, and lots of missionary work! Here's what I've been up to this week:
On Monday Elder Ruby and I worked hard to clean up the apartment as much as possible to get things nice for my new companion. We did our normal preparation day activities and then later that night we had Soirée Familiale. We had invited Louis to come with us the day before and we arranged a ride for him with Frère Lévesque. And since we no longer have any kliks on our truck we got a ride with him. Everyone came over to the Lévesque's house—we had a great turnout! I was so happy that Louis was so warmly welcomed there. We had a nice spiritual thought from Annie Leblond about the voice of the Spirit. She had a great object lesson using a penny, a jar, and some cotton balls. When the jar was empty with only the penny inside, it was easy to hear the penny clinking against the glass walls. But as you add the cotton balls the sound becomes more and more faint until it is completely muffled. In life, we should be eliminating the distractions that muffle the voice of the Spirit. After all, its message is of dire importance if headed. I thought it was a great lesson and Louis did as well. He lead the discussion for about 15 minutes explaining his relationship with God through the Spirit. I was so proud of him! It was the last time Elder Ruby would get to see a few of the members so he said goodbye afterwards and we all took a group photo.
(Back) Soeur Dupont, Julie, Annie, Elder Ruby, Me, Frère Hébert, Louis, (Front) Soeur Lévesque, Frère Lévesque
Later that night we had our "last supper" together. I made my mom's famous spaghetti casserole and it came out perfectly! It felt like a little taste of home!
Tuesday morning I finished Le Livre de Mormon! It felt so good to read the Book of Mormon in French. When you're reading in another language you notice things that would otherwise go undetected. Plus, it helps reading in the most beautiful language known to man!
We had a few things left to get done before the trip down to Québec for the exchange. We went to visit the Bujold family and thank them for everything that they did for us. Did I tell you about the violin that Dora lent to Elder Ruby for as long as he was in Rimouski? Well, if not, I just did. Well, I've been practicing the violin every morning and I'm getting pretty good at it! I can play all of the hymns now! I was a bit sad that we were going to return it, I've really fallen in love with the violin. But when we went to return it no one came to the door! Blessing in disguise! I'll tell you what happens with the violin later. So anyways, after the failed attempt to return the violin we went to get poutine one last time. We had some serious difficulties maneuvering the truck in the drive through but pulled through the other side victorious and with hands full of fries and squeaky cheese smothered in a deep brown gravy sauce. After stuffing our faces we packed the truck and got on the road for Québec. On the way there we reminisced of the good ol' times in Rimouski. We had a great time here. (You know you're a missionary when the most common proper pronoun you use is we.) Upon our arrival we did something we've wanted to do since the beginning—timmytimtamslams.
Wednesday morning I dropped Elder Ruby off at the bus station in Québec and, for the first time in over nine months, I drove back to the apartment we were staying at... alone. That was weird. But I stayed on the phone with some of the other missionaries who had to do the same thing and we formed a digital caravan as we drove back. I spent the afternoon with Elder Ireland working and waiting for our new companions to arrive from Montréal. At around three in the afternoon I picked up Elder Bangerter from the bus station and we went with all of the missionaries to get poutine at l'Intuitions. After stuffing ourselves once again with the magical substance that is poutine, we got on the road and headed to Rimouski. On the way we stopped at the St-Jacques and had milk and cookies. I got a first hand taste in the first few moments at just how difficult a time the Québecois are going to have with Elder Bangerter's name. They cannot for the love of all things bright and beautiful pronounce his name. It's funny. Then we swung by Chantale and Yvan's to introduce Elder Bangerter to them and headed home to go to bed. It was pretty late when we finally got home. Sidenote: Wednesday marked 6 months since Caitlin Hardy was baptized! Congratulations, Caitlin!
(I'm short on time...)
Thursday we went around to meet more of the members and went on foot for the majority of the time. We had district study in the morning (Elder Wright, from my MTC district, is my new district leader—he's great!) and then read with Eric. He gave us some fish that he caught that morning and we went home to cook it up for lunch. Graphic image ahead....
Elder Bangerter... and a fish backbone...
JFish! JDawgs sauce goes great with everything. Thanks again!
I also got some sad news today—Louis is moving to Québec (in fact, he already has by now.) We passed him off to the Ste-Foy Elders. It was sad to see him leave so suddenly. He was our only real investigator so we have a lot of work to do to rebuild our teaching pool!
Friday morning we went to the Friperie for service and then did our weekly planning. We went to see André Soucy, the Provencher's, the Lévesques, and the Ouellet's. I beat Israel at chess again! Two for two!
Saturday I took Elder Bangerter to Dora and Ruud's for his Rimouski Marble and to sort out the violin situation. I played a mini concert for them and they loved it! I had prepared a few hymns and a classical piece that Elder Ruby had taught me. She immediately told me that I would have to play on her $4,000 violin which was a bit of a shock. I cannot tell you how nice it was! Ahhhhhhh.... I love the violin! She told me to keep the student violin until I leave and to keep practicing. After Elder Bangerter received his marble and had been initiated into the "Frozen Chosen" I presented Dora and Ruud with a present that I've been working on for some time:
The Rimouski Genealogy (yes I realize that I spelled it wrong on the paper...) since March 1993. Over the past few weeks I've been putting together the names and dates in the Area Books and compiled it all into one document:
Dora and Ruud have known almost every one of the missionaries who have served here so I thought they would really appreciate it. I also put a copy in the Rimouski Area Book with a few extra pages so that it can be signed as time goes on.
We finished out the day with a lesson with Denis, Roger, Yvan, and André.
Sunday was great! Happy Father's Day, Dad! Church was wonderful! 35 people! We had a luncheon afterwards and then spent the rest of the day contacting less-actives and called Sister Hedge. We also finished a 3D puzzle of Notre Dame that we've been working on during meal times.
A few extra pictures...
Last full day together!
Haha... blue screen of death... in French! Mac rules!
The Mona Lisa is in Québec! I was packing the violin around to play as we contacted people… kidding. I just played a song for Sister Hedge.
That's it, that's all!