I'm FINALLY here! And wow what a journey!
We left the MTC a little after 6 Monday morning, where we were dropped off at the front liner in Provo. We took that all the way to the Salt Lake Airport. After getting everything together (and paying $100 for luggage :( ) we sat down and got to call our families. Also we saw Mitt Romney! We were walking to find Cafe Rio, and he walks out of a terminal right in front of us! So cool! I really wanted to say something but I'm pretty sure I just gaped at him and watched him walk by. Needless to say we freaked out a little bit. Also Cafe Rio was divine.
So that flight to Chicago was great. Soeur Castagno and I left presents on each other's cameras. Those are some treasures there. So we landed in Chicago and I saw another famous person! Unless you watch the show Graceland, you probs won't know who it is, but it's this one chick who's in it. I can't remember the character's name but she's the hot one with the eyebrows. She just walked past us looking all hip with a bowler hat, leather pants and a big ugly dog walking beside her. So that was cool.
Anyways our flight to London got delayed by an hour and a half, so by the time we finally made it to London, we had missed our last flight to Lyon. Because the next flight to Lyon wasn't until 9 pm that night, we had the wonderful opportunity to hang out at the airport for TWELVE WHOLE HOURS. What did we do, you ask? NOTHING. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. We weren't able to take advantage of 12 hours in London and go see all the sights :(. C'été très triste. Fortunately, the airlines gave us all vouchers for lunch and dinner. And they actually had a decent amount on them, so we were able to treat ourselves. We tried to sit down and eat for as long as possible to pass the time. But really all I did was eat and sit and watch every other missionary sleep. Of course I wasn't tired at all. But we had fun. We talked to some people. There were a couple ladies from Utah who recognized us, and we were able to give a way a pass along card to this other guy.
We FINALLY arrived in Lyon around midnight, but didn't leave the airport til 1ish because some missionaries had some luggage lost. All of my things arrived safely, though. President and Sister Roney were there to greet us. They were so sweet. It was so nice to get a good hug. They insisted on getting pictures, even though we all looked like poo. My hair was a greaseball. Oh well.
They drove us to the apartment we were staying at in Lyon. There were SO many sisters stuffed into that tiny apartment. There were more than 20. We all slept on triple bunk beds and it reminded me of growing up with our triple. With all the things going on we weren't able to go to bed til around 3. The next day we made our way over to the chapel in Lyon where we had interviews and did some legality things. It was fun to meet all the trainers and practice some more contacting. Later we drove over to the Roney's house, which is beautiful. They have the best yard. A pool, basketball court, volleyball net, swings, and some other fun things. It was just so nice to be able to sit and relax. They had this one swing that was this disk made out of some fabric matieral. I curled up in that and took a little nap. It was DIVINE. Probably the best nap I've ever had.
The next day we found out where we'd be serving! They had us go up to the front and read the letter that had our assignment. I got Perpignan! It's located just right about Spain, so it's nice and warm. It has a lot of Spanish influence, and is SO beautiful. My companion is Soeur Kotecka-Mino. She's Polish and Ecuadorian (idk if that's right but whateva). This is her last transfer! She's SO great. Super sweet and knows what she's doing. I love her so much.
We arrived in Perpignan a little after 9 pm on thursday. Friday we dived into it all. So one thing I've learned is that I can't speak a lick of French at all. NOTHING. I KNOW NOTHING. It's horrible. Fridaymorning we met with the Ward Mission Leader for an hour and a half. And it was all in French. I WANTED TO DIE. I really did. I had NO idea what anybody was saying and I was just utterly exhausted and I really wanted to die. It was miserable. To missionaries who are serving in their native language, count your blessings. Seriously. But it's all okay because I'm learning! Bit by bit I've started to understand a little bit more of what people are saying.
The members here are AMAZING! They really are. They LOVE the missionaries. Mostly just Soeur Koteck-Mino, but they still love us. They're always servings us and are just too sweet. We have a recent convert whom we believe is a third Nephite. He is so great. He just already knows and believes everything and is ALWAYS serving. He actually picked us up from the train station. But he's just the cutest. Even though we can't really understand each other that much he tries to talk to me and get to know me. So presh. He's also always available to come teach with us, which is great.
So our amis. We have a double baptism this Saturday! We're excited. We have Sebastian and Amandine. Both really sweet. Sebastian is about in his 30s and they met him just on the street. He's ready. Over the past few days we've talked a lot about covenants and the temple and fun things like that. He's ready. And he's already good friends with ward members, so that's great. Amandine is really sweet too. I haven't had the opportunity to teach her yet, but she has come to general conference. Whenever we sing she always dances and it's the cutest thing.
Oh! Another great thing we get to do is teach English! IT IS MY FAVORITE THING. Every Friday night we teach. There's supposed to be a beginners and advanced class, but there weren't that many people this week so we just did it all combined. We read an article from the Liahona in English, and helped them with the words they didn't know. There's really nothing cuter than hearing English be spoken in a strong French accent. It makes me so happy. I can't wait for next week.
Contacting on the street has definitely been interesting. Especially since I can't speak French. The mission has been doing a questionnaire about family history, so that's what we've started with. For some reason, every time I say ancestors in french, no one can understand me. Yesterday while contacting, I asked "Have you ever talked with your family about your ancestors?" The man answered no, not really. And then started talking about these things, but of course I didn't understand him. Apparently the man thought I said, "Have you ever talked with your family about incest?" Soeur Kotecka-Mino had to correct him quickly, and then proceed with the questionnaire. Of course, I didn't know about any of this until we walked away and Soeur Kotecka-Mino just burst out laughing about it all. I'm actually really thankful I had no idea what was going on because I probably would have just died of embarrassment. But now I can just laugh about it with no problem.
Oh good news! Right before we came to write our emails, we contacted a man on the street, and he agreed to have a RDV with us! Yayyy!! We're so excited.
General Conference was great! Sister Roney calls it Christmas and she's so right. We were able to watch it in English on the computer which was a blessing! We were also finally able to watch the Women's Conference which was great. Saturday night we watched the Saturday morning session, and yesterday we watched the Saturday afternoon, and sunday morning session. Unfortunately, we're unable to watch the last session, so we'll have to wait til the Liahona comes out to read all the talks. But I loved it all. I felt like I was able to apply all the talks to being a missionary. It was fantastic. A lot of the talks are perfect for some of our amis which is great. I just loved it all!
Ok so more about Perpignan. There's this really cool fortress thing here that we walk by to go to church. I really really wanna go see it. There's also this little castle in the center of town that I'd like to tour, but unfortunately, it's closed on mondays :(. Every morning we go running. Yes. That's right, I run. But mostly just slightly jog whilst trying to breathe and not die. I've been so sore these past few days because I really haven't run since my sophomore year in high school. But it's good for me! I'm slowly progressing and soon I'll be able to spend the entire 30 minutes running without having to stop. But right now it's a struggle. Our apartment is BEAUTIFUL. Apparently it's the best one in the mission. I love it so much. We have these cute little balconies with cute little shutters. And our kitchen is gorgeous too. I'm in love. Today we're making cookies and I'm SO excited.
Oh one more thing. I miss my MTC family. A lot. They really were the best and I hope they're all doing well in their new villes! Soeur Monson is in Valence, Soeur Stapley in St. Etienne, and Soeur Castagno is in Lyon! I have no idea where any of the elders are, but I wish them luck.
Anyways, I love you all and can't wait to fill you in more on all our amis!
Je vous aime!
ps. sorry for grammatical errors. I can't speak french or english. Also typing is still hard.
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