Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Week 2: "Je n'ai pas parfait!"

Photo credit: Soeur Vogel
[Notice that everyone else is wearing jackets or sweaters, but not Laura!]
Sometimes learning a language is hilarious :) Soeurs Casuga and Flake were "teaching" Soeur Vogel in front of the class to practice teaching leading up to inviting to baptism. Soeur Vogel was saying that she didn't want to get baptized because she's not a perfect person and didn't know what would happen if she sinned after baptism. She said "Je n'ai pas parfait" which means that she doesn't have a parfait... She was trying to say "Je ne suis pas parfait," which means "I'm not perfect." But the other sisters were like "Je n'ai pas parfait aussi" haha! So she couldn't get baptized because she didn't have yogurt, and the sisters apparently didn't either. I was laughing during the whole lesson. I felt bad because I knew they were trying really hard, but it was impossible not to laugh. Even Frere Nollet was laughing haha :) So yeah, French is BON.
Il a neige! It snowed! Whenever it snows, our class likes to yell "Il neige!" Yesterday it was snowing pretty much all day. This morning on the way to the temple we were freeeeeeezing. The MTC has put up all of these Christmas lights on the trees and on the sides of the walkways and stuff but they haven't turned them on yet. I don't know what they're waiting for, but Elder Watkins jokes that there isn't enough funding to turn them on every night. I can't wait for them to turn them on!

This week Frere Keenan challenged us to memorize notre objectif et la premier vision en francais. He said that if we did, he'd tell us one of his funniest mission stories and also how he proposed to his girlfriend (he's getting married the day after Thanksgiving.) The sisters were definitely motivated to memorize them, and we made sure the elders did, because we wanted to hear that story! I memorized it pretty fast and ended up being the representative to say the first vision for him to check. Frere Keenan told us the stories and they were worth it, haha! 

Oh yeah, on Sundays and Wednesdays we get BYU Creamery ice cream. Last Sunday I was looking at the flavors and I wasn't really interested in any of them. (I really just wanted Graham Canyon.) Then one of the MTC Cafeteria workers came up and was like "I want Graham Canyon" and I was like "I do too! I love it so much!" and she was like "I'll go see if we have some and I'll bring you a bowl!" I was so happy!! and she was so nice! She brought me a big bowl of Graham Canyon!! Tender mercies! ;)
This week our Zone is getting 29 new missionaries: 16 sisters and 13 elders. I'm pretty sure most of them are going to France. Oh yeah, we've heard about the attacks in Paris and the amazing outpouring of love and support for France and how they've closed their borders. There's a district that's supposed to leave next week for the Paris and Lyon missions, but we'll have to see if they can actually go or not! They might have to wait somewhere in the U.S. until France opens up again. So pray for that! 

This morning at 1 am, two people bust into our room with luggage and a very bright flashlight. I woke up but wasn't comprehending what was happening... Apparently there is a new sister from Switzerland who flew in last night and who was supposed to stay in our room last night and tonight until the rest of the new missionaries come tomorrow. But nobody told us about it, and we were so confused about what was going on. But the new sister, Soeur Filbrandt, is very nice. She came to the temple with us this morning because it's P-Day and the Sister Training Leaders (who are supposed to be in charge of people like this) were already at the temple. So we did initiatories and ate breakfast at the temple, then we took Soeur Filbrandt to the travel office and helped her get her information. She's with the STLs right now, but we don't really know what schedule she's supposed to follow tonight and tomorrow morning or who her companion is... Yeah, we'll see.

Once the districts going to Paris/Lyon leave next week, my district and the other district who came in on the 4th will the "oldest" districts in the zone, which is crazy to think about because I still feel like I don't know what I'm doing hahaha. They'll have to call new Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders from our two districts. C'est bizarre!

On Sunday, our devotion was given by the head of the missionary media department. He showed us the Church's new Christmas initiative and the videos. It's going to be #asaviorisborn and the video is of a bunch of kids from around the world saying the scriptures that talk about the good news and glad tidings of the Savior. It's so great! We're all super excited. I think the coolest thing that the Church is doing is that they bought 4 of the big static boards in NY Times Square and a few of the video boards and also a ton of taxi toppers. That's a big deal! Millions of people are going to see it! God truly is hastening his work! (D&C 88:73) The speaker also told us how the numbers of people visiting for the first time has grown exponentially. I don't remember the numbers, but it was a BIG number. So amazing!

As for me, I've been great! The French is coming more easily. Soeur Vogel and I are more comfortable in our lessons and we've been weaning ourselves off our scripts. Last night we had a lesson with our new investigator Guillaume and we just had a few questions written down that we wanted to ask and we just got to know him and his story. It was cool because I can understand a lot more of spoken French than I could before. We didn't even end up teaching our actual lesson but it was a great meeting and now we know what we can talk about with him next time! 

Sundays at the MTC are really chill :) We still get up at 6:30 and eat breakfast at 7:00-7:30. Then we have a few hours of personal study time. We had a great sisters meeting this Sunday about being more converted in order to share the gospel better. That sentence doesn't do it justice, but it was a really good devotional. After that we go to Relief Society for like 50 minutes. I'm actually going to teach next Sunday! We're going to have 3 separate relief societies though so I'm not teaching all like 40+ sisters in our zone, just like 10ish haha. Then we go to lunch, and then we have Sacrament meeting. Sacrament Meeting is all in French and they pick 2 missionaries to speak for like 5 minutes in French every week but they only tell you when they announce who's speaking, so you want to have something prepared every week! So far they've been having people from the districts who are leaving speak, so I've been safe haha. But once those French districts leave, my district and the other one will be the main targets. After Sacrament we have district meetings, then temple walk, then dinner, then choir (the director is so funny and likes to tell us stories, so we only sing for like half the time) and then Sunday devotional. After that we get to watch various Church movies/talks/devotionals. This week we watched The Testaments and had a great time :) Whenever the main guy and girl would kiss we'd be like "Don't watch!!" haha a roomful of missionaries seeing people kissing for the first time in weeks is hilarious.

P-days go by waaay too fast!! I did get to take a nap already today, so I feel good! 

Please keep sending me Dear Elders and emails! Getting mail in the MTC is so great and so fun! We only get to read our mail at the end of the day and it's nice to have something to read when you get to the residence. 

I love all of you!! 
Je vous aime!
Me lovem youfella! (that's Bislama!)
Soeur Matheson
Companion stash - Laura says "Don't send me food!"

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