Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Semaine Deux

Bonjour ma famille,

Wow. What a week. It´s been great. Definitely a difficult one compared to the first, but all good things, all good things. Thank you for your love and support. I received the packages, letters, and love. You´d be surprised at how happy I was to get a blow dryer, curling iron, and my white brush. Oh and my debit card. That was super stressful not knowing where it was. Thanks.

This week was a glimpse into how difficult this is going to be at times. I've been told a mission is hard more than I can count, but thought it wouldn't apply to me. Well I was wrong.
It is definitely a wonderful place to be, and I do love it, but it is continuous study, for 16 hours a day. Studying, sitting, eating, studying, sitting, studying, eating and more sitting. Gym time is SO amazing. I could probably run the whole Rivalry Relay by myself at the end of each day. It is so nice to move! I've been playing volleyball almost every night, which is a blast. I'm not completely terrible, so it's quite enjoyable. Although, I've dove a few times (successfully I might add) and earned a "tres nast" bruise (language courtesy of Soeur King).

Tuesday: After emailing you last week, reality started to set in. We didn't have time to prepare for our lesson we were going to teach the next morning, I was tired, feeling inadequate, and oh la la. I was being dramatic. So it's fine. The Devotional that night helped fix that. After wards, in class, Soeur King and I were stuck in planning. We just weren't getting what we thought we should, and so I asked to say a prayer to help us.
Within a few minutes, we just decided to go by the spirit once again, pray really hard to know what Hospice needed, and I also had a brilliant idea... A prayer rock for Hospice because he forgets to pray because he's too tired. #genius. It turned out to be a good day in the end, as it usually does.

Wednesday: NEW MISSIONARIES! Sister Camille Zent,
Welcome Sis. Zent!!
roommate from DC, arrived! She is so adorable. I was able to run into her during the day, gave her a welcome card, a hug, and a bonne chance! We had our lesson, and Hospice died laughing from our "Roche de Priere", He even said in french, "You mormons are SO bizarre!" He thought he was supposed to hit himself with it... Oh heavens.

Thursday: We taught Hospice again, and he committed to baptism. It was a good lesson. I can basically understand everything our teacher and investigators say in French. I've become the class translator, which I hope is not hurting others because the teachers look to me when everyone else is not getting it. Our teachers only speak in French to us. Sometimes I just really want them to speak in english, but I know it's helping us. So there is a "Cream Soda" tree here at the MTC.
It smells like cream soda. We took a district break field trip to go smell it. Good times. We also came into the classrooms when the Elders were making up a beat/chant/song of lines from the First Vision to "I'll make a man out of you" from Mulan... I love our elders. They kill me. I've discovered being here is like being in High school again, perhaps even junior high. Being here with freshly graduated boys all day long seems to make us all a bit loopy. I'd say I've let my hair down a bit, and we may have too much fun, but you've got to make this experience fun, right? Wise words of Cody Simpson, "If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." haha Although, my proper-ness and such still sticks out... Elder Gunn told me I dress and act like a proper Queen... As much as that is a compliment, I'm not a huge fan. I just like to be proper, use an elevated vocabulary, and write in cursive, what is Queen-ish about that?! haha It's all good. At least I know I'm me no matter the circumstance.

Friday: New teacher! Well sort of. Hospice is really Frere Ritchie. It's weird for him to be teaching us. He served in the same mission as my friend Garrett Robison, in Togo and Benin, West Africa. He's only been home for 2 months and you can definitely tell. haha But he's great. A little different than Soeur Kellett, but he's good. We did a role play, of Frere Ritchie and Elder Carson teaching me (pretending to be a first time investigator, given a role from these people's stories from NY Times "One in 8 Million") Frere Ritchie blazed through the lesson and I followed the whole thing. It was awesome. My brain kind of hurt afterward, but it was so cool.

Saturday: Oh la la. I was SO tired all day long. It was a struggle. And we had both teachers teach back to back without any etude personnelle, equipe, ou langue! It was rough. Luckily, Soeur Kellett taught us the Stress Management section from the MTC Experience book. It was good to move. She had us run up and down stair flights, run laps around the courtyard by 19M, and then do tree sits(wall sits on a tree) while reciting the Missionary Purpose and First Vision. It helped so much. So much of stress is made up by ourselves. It's kind of ridiculous. It was a good day though, especially after diner when we had study time, and gym time.

Sunday: The best day of the week. Such an uplifting and edifying day. Oh! I began reading the New Testament this week, parce-que I have never read it all the way through and am not really familiar with it. Probably a good idea to read, right?! I LOVE IT. The words of Jesus Christ are amazing. That's kind of a dumb sentence because of course they would be, but I have grown in love for my Savior so much this week. Sacrament Meeting was cool. All of us are asked to prepare a talk every week in our language and then they just tell you who is speaking at the beginning of the meeting. Luckily, Soeur Kofford, one of our STLs and Elder Tripp (both in the Tahiti district) were called on. Tahitian is one crazy language. Oh my. It all sounds the same and it's just a bunch of vowels. Way to go Kendrick for speaking it. Oh la la! I am SO glad I'm just learning French. We had a district meeting following la Reunion Sainte-Cere. It was great. The spirit was so strong and fittingly enough, we were discussing how to recognize and use the Spirit in our lives. Check out Mosiah 4:2. SO good.
We then were privileged to go on a temple walk. We took beaucoup de photos. I love the temple.

The Sunday Night devotional was fabulous. The director of media from the church missionary department, as in the man who oversees mormon.org, #becauseof him, and all other proselyting media, gave a great talk. He showed us the Because of Him video, the It was Mom video, and even a sneak peak of the Christmas campaign they're working on. It's going to be huge. and SO good. They've bought prime spots on Times Square, and Youtube, and it's just going to be great. Go watch those videos again. They are so simple and so powerful. They also have music, which I really miss. The spirit touches me through music, and it's been really hard not being able to listen to music here. So listen to good music for me! Afterwards, Soeur King and I both felt like we should go to the Joseph Smith movie during movie time, and unfortunately it wasn't the full movie we though it was, but it was still good. I know Joseph Smith restored the true gospel of Jesus Christ through the power and authority of God. I have such a love and testimony of the Prophet Joseph, and it has only been strengthened being here. Ah! What joy the gospel brings. Before going to residence, I got a letter from Elder Jared Bovee, because Elder Edmunds forgot to give it to me on Saturday, but what perfect timing. His testimony and encouraging words brought me to tears. What a great friend.

Monday: We had a zone meeting to practice teaching the first lesson. I practiced with Soeur Tibbits. When it was my turn to be the investigator, she asked me something that hit me profoundly. "What does God look like to you?" I made up some answer of how I thought the person I was pretending to be would think. Her response was wonderful. "I see his eyes, because he is watching over me. He knows who I am and loves me. I see his ears because he listens to my prayers. He listens to my heart, my thoughts, my worries. I see his mouth, because He speaks. He answers my prayers, and sends prophets to guide us." How powerful is that? I love this gospel.
Later, Soeur Clark came into the classroom with the biggest smile on her face and held in her hand, a giant acorn. She exclaimed to our class, "THEY'RE REAL!" She's from Arizona and apparently they don't have acorns. She thought they were only in movies. SO funny. She gathered each one of us an acorn, so now we all have an acorn... haha

I'm so glad to hear Sister Meg Storey is home safe and sound. I bet she is just so great. I wish I could've talked with her, but all is well. Send her my best! I loved what you told me about Meredith Dalton's companion. I couldn't agree more. I need to make sure I call rejections, hardships, and trials "blessings" because they truly are in comparison to what Christ suffered for us.

Well y'all. I love you! I'm doing great. I love being a missionary. I am so grateful for Soeur King. We are two peas in a pod. Companionship Inventory has been a piece of cake. I love her.

Keep the letters, emails, and DearElders coming. I love hearing from you!

Have such a great week.

Be good. Do more. Look outward.

Avec amour,

Soeur Kate Simpson

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