And I'd really appreciate hearing from people. "Air boxes" more than once a week sort of suck when we're studying all day and get our mail at 9:25pm (air boxes=when no one gets any mail all day). As Sister Harris says, ANY mail is like gold. I guess it makes it easier writing people back when you have a min amount of people to write. I'm kind of cranky, I just woke up from a nap and had to change computers three times to get one to work, then it shut me off! So. Here we go.
So tomorrow we go to San Fransisco!!!!!!! We plan on wearing flowers in our hair (*bud-um CHING*!) They gave us ten whole dollars to travel with and buy ourselves three meals! haha. At the airport.. that would get you a sandwich. Luckily I have money (thanks to mom and her letter! :-) ) We're leaving at 5am and will be back around 8-9pm the same day, so quick trip! Yep, dad, the same day! I wonder how that'll be. Pretty crazy, I'd assume. So lately I've been doing well. Very roller coaster-y. We teach my teachers, Frère Lapretre and Frère Wilcox. Frère Wilcox plays the part of an investigator he had who agreed to baptism the first lesson; his name is "Jean-Paul". We have him committed to baptism and we're teaching him about the commandments. Frère lapretre plays himself 6 years ago (we call him by his first name, Eric, while teaching), before he joined the church. Mind you, he's the hardest investigator because he asks questions about EVERYTHING. He investigated the church for 2 years! So in one lesson we were talking about the atonement and I began telling him about Eric and how losing a cousin was really hard and how I know that Heavenly Father had His son die for us and how I couldn't imagine doing that and I just started sobbing! It was so out of control. I felt embarrassed because we were teaching a lesson and I got super emotional over Eric and couldn't stop for a few minutes! Frère LaPretre broke from his character and was like, "Do you want to talk about it?" and I was like, "Désolé! Non! Non!" (sorry! no! no!) Oh man. But yeah. I felt that it wasn't inappropriate...but it kind of was. Anyway, we didn't get everything accomplished at all during that lesson in my mind because everything else that I was planning on saying just slipped out of my mind and I was focusing on pulling myself together. So afterward he gave us feedback and I was trying to talk to him and was just not doing well controlling myself and he was like, "Are you okay?' and almost gave me a hug, like had his arms out and was walking toward me and I just stood there, then he remembered I was a missionary and just rubbed my arm sympathetically for a little bit. haha. Geez the MTC can do all sorts of things to you. So that was a lesson ago, and we had another lesson yesterday with him and it went SO WELL!! We had an object lesson regarding the Fall and Adam and Eve. We had him lay on his back and do the motions you do for a pushup, and asked him how many he would have to do to become strong, then had him do real pushups and asked him why they were different and he said because there's resistance and we were like, exactly! With the Fall of Adam and Eve we have opposition in all things! After the lesson during our feedback he said that we did really well and that he enjoyed the object lesson. The next lesson on Thursday we're going to have him wear a backpack full of rocks during the whole lesson. Our lesson with him are becoming his exercise time also. haha. We collected rocks today and had a pretty good time doing so.
When we taught at the TRC this last week, Sœur Harris and I had to teach this guy who was like a grammar freak. Seriously. He would fix everything that was said if it wasn't correct, and for me it wasn't correct. So every time I said something, he corrected me. Eventually after he would correct me I was just like, "Oui" and continue instead of re-stating my sentence. That was annoying. I cut half of what I was going to say because I was so annoyed. I need to practice patience.
I have a friend, Elder Wilson who is taught by my friend from before the mission, Pat! He teaches Fijian, and I have become friends with Elder Wilson because we were partners in a workshop together a week or two ago and because I visit with him in the hall when my comp is in the bathroom (his classroom is across from the bathroom). He's leaving Thursday, and it's the first person to leave the MTC (other then people I already knew like Alison and Alex) that I'm actually sad about leaving!
So we got a picture back from when the ambassador and his son came and I'm standing next to the ambassador and am in my grey suit jacket and everyone else is wearing black and my elders (my district elders) were saying like I look like his young beautiful wife. Eghhh. lol. So gross. I think I'll send it to y'all but I may just keep it in my journal cause I had the district sign it. Nah. I think I'll send it to y'all. Just keep it in safe keeping, cause it's a good photo of us (minus me looking like an old guys young wife) and our teacher Frère Lapretre is in it also!
Court, I got your letter!! Sounds like having two kids is twice as hard as having one. Haha. Go figure. I called it! I knew Asa would be jealous of Tyler. Poor Tyler!! He's only four weeks and already getting beat up by his older brother?? Sad day. I don't mind you sending me shorter letters; better than nothing! Court, you're so hardcore. I hope I'm as good of a mom as you are when I have babies. (IF I have babies after all the gross stuff you've told me about pregnancies and giving birth..lol.)
Ant-I'm just lovin your weather reports and updates on the baby (Isaac? What name??) and poor Angie. I'm sorry for your discomfort, Angie!!! Hopefully that baby comes out soon so you can be feeling better!
Ben- your letter was so great. I loved it. In fact, I have it in my bag and have read it probably three times. And I read parts of it out loud to my roommates cause I thought it was funny. In fact, I read parts of everyones letters out loud! Not the personal stuff, just the funny stuff. It's great. I loooove it.
Shelby- Why haven't I heard from you?? There's a sister who's one of my roommates, Sœur Lucas, who is Guatamalan and reminds me so much of you because she's a little reserved and is your height and your hair and skin color and looks sort of like you..so I have a soft spot for her. haha. Write me. This is an order, not a suggestion. Thanks, shelbywoo.
dad- I got your letter and I love it also. And I could totally read it! AND that thing that you always say, "Expect the worst and hope for the best and take whatever comes" or something like that, I have said that like 4 times already being out here. Everytime we're preparing a lesson (daily) I think this. Crazy how it helps me prepare, having this mindset.
mom- I'm sorry I couldn't call, but I hope you enjoyed the photos!! And the jacket thing! I really appreciated the three little cards and laughed so hard at the man/woman that Monet painted and how you were like, geez, at least Monet could have put a hat on her to make her look more like a woman! lol. So Good.
Nancy- You are such a sweetheart for sending me all of those cute postcards!!! I love them!
The Jones'- Thanks for the lovely card!!! And I'm keeping you in my prayers, Susan!
Well, this week has been so long/gone by so fast. The days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days, as people here say. And it's so true.
I've been playing sand volleyball during "sport" (what aussies call athletic/exercise time) and it's been so fun! I've become closer with a lot of Elders in the zone, which is important to me because a lot of them are going to Lyon also and they might end up being a leader over me! ha
In two weeks we're having 49 new missionaries coming in to our zone! HOLY MOLEY! This is a ridiculous amount. When I came in, there were maybe 25. So we're preparing for a bunch of new missionaries.
This is my fourth week here! On Wednesday I think it's the beginning of my fifth week? I don't even know. ahhh. Time flies. I was sort of slacking last week because I just got sooo tired!! But this week I gave myself a pep talk and know that I need to work harder to reach my goals. (Frère Lapretre is rubbing off on me!! He's a goals-freak. haha) But seriously!! I'm studyin studyin studyin and I'm praying that it will come up in my mind when I teach lessons! I love this gospel and I am so grateful to be serving a mission!!!! I get so happy thinking that in a month I get to go out and preach the gospel to everyone!!! I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that He has a plan for us to be happy; happier than we could ever be without it. I love this gospel and I love you guys. I love this country, I love France, I love Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ for dying so that I can return to live with Him again. The Atonement is real. We can be clean and pure even if we've done bad things.
I love you, family, and I pray for you in all of my prayers..which are a LOT.
Thank you to everyone who has written me! I love the letters!!
I love you all,
Sœur Devan Gardner