Tuesday, June 26, 2012

June 25, 2012 - Pau, France

     Oh my goshhhh this keyboard is throwing me off so much. For ex: § µ £  Yeah. Bizarre. Anyway, yeah! France! I have been so jet lagged since the flight, but its all good. My trainer is awesome!! She is from very southern Suisse (Switzerland), like 10 min from Italy, and she grew up speaking Italian but has been learning French since she was 8. She speaks super fast French!!! Not to me usually cause I would have no idea what she's saying, but when we are contacting, I ask the first question then she goes, because I can't keep up. haha. It has an Italian touch to it, so she is worried my French will sound Italian since she has been helping me. haha. When we first met she was like, my English isn't very good, and I was like, well my French isn't good! haha.
Let me pull myself together and start from the beginning. Okay. The first two days were seriously a blur. We had two connecting flights and I barely got any sleep, then when we landed, we were met by the APs and the mission pres and his wife (they're both very nice people. I think Sis Murdoch looks like Debbie Reynolds!). After they met us all, we literally ran to the train with all of our luggage, got on the train, had other Elders take our things then walk to the new mission office that doesn't have air conditioning yet. btw its pretty humid in southern France: about Fort Worth humid, I would say. Okay; this is about to get very sloppy typing. This keyboard is slowing me down like CRAZY so I'm about to look like I don't speak English or can't type or whatever so here we go...
     so ze get to the mission office; we are told what ze qre suppose to be doing zith our time qnd zhqtnot; and we are all literally falling asleep as the mission pres and the APs are talking to us. Frere Wilcox and Frere LePretre, Elder Gruber and elder call were in and out the entire time and it was soooo hard not to laugh!! especially when we basically didnt sleep the night before. anyway, they take us to dinner, then let us go to the hotel to sleep at about 9:30. the next morning we met our companions! I am really happy that I got the companion that I got; soeur bornieoteello. HA Im the worst person ever! i dont remember her name!! oooh man. thats embarrassing. 
     Yes, we are serving in Pau (pronounced poe). It's beautiful!! I really like it here. Lyon was kind of trashy; literally. But then again, we were mainly on the metro and near the mission office. So me, my comp that I forgot the name of, Elder Gruber and his new comp and I took a train to Bordeaux. J`aime Bordeaux!! It is sooo beautiful!! So we stayed there for a night with some other sisters who were very nice! And we met the Zone Leaders! They took Elder Gruber and his comp to stay with them. Bordeaux, to me, was like a smaller Paris because everything was so beautiful! The architecture, the bridges, etc. I would love to serve there. 
     So the train from Lyon to Bordeaux was almost 6 hours, then the train from Bordeaux to Pau was around two and a half; I slept most of the way. 
     We have a nice apartment!! and we have a pool!!... haha.
     So in the past week I have come to the conclusion that French people are not rude, contrary to popular belief: they're just reserved. I have been rejected by them plenty of times since I've been here, but 98% of the time they were very nice about it. You just have to ask them questions and they warm up to you very easily! 
     Story time. So we were contacting for my first time in Lyon, and I walked up to a woman who was sitting down and said, Bonjour! Comment çava? and put out my hand. Bad idea. She looked at me, at my hand, then back at me, replied, and ignored my hand. Awkward. lol. Frere LePretre, I dont remember if you taught us not to shake hands, but if you did, I did not remember. haha. Second embarrassing contact: yesterday I walked up to a man on the street and said hello and asked him what makes him smile and he was like, euh? and I repeated it and he looked at my nametag, stuck his hand in my face as he walked away saying, uh uh!! non! non! I got the hand. And the first time I went contacting a guy wagged his finger at us, just like you would do, Frere LePretre! So I just laughed. What else can you do?
     When we were doing port à port, a guy told us to come back in case his dad was interested, so yesterday after church we went back to the house and the guy wasn't interested, so my colleague was like, man we came all the way back (30 min by bus) for nothing. And me being the new missionary I am was like, let's do more port à port! We haven't done this side yet! (Certain side of the street). So we did and we found this family that has 7 kids in it and they told us to come back because their parents weren't there. But they were really nice and seemed interested! There was this cute little girl who ran to the gate when we rang and she only had her underwear on cause she must have been playing in the water, then her older brother came out who looked maybe 16 or 17 and we told them we had a message about families and how we cqn be zith them forever and it was really cool!!!! I don't know if anything will happen, but we are praying that something will!!
     Yesterday evening a family invited us for dinner and the husband is American and the wife is from Alberta! I love them! They're such a nice family and they made me feel a lot better about everything because they speak English and I felt at home. They have 4 kids who are adorable and they live out in the country. Such a cute home. Court, you would have died. I'll send you photos next time. I forgot the cord that connects my camera to the comp.
     I love you all and email me! Friends can email also! But letters only take six to nine days to get here, so that works also. And I only get an hour to email.
     The church is true! The members here are so nice and the new converts also! They've been so helpful to me. Two new converts, Jeffrey and Vincent (pronounced van sont, I thought my comp was saying 600 in French for like 5 min. lol), was helping me practice contacting while we waited for someone. Being a missionary is hard; really hard. But there are so many benefits to it!!! I'm already loving the people of Pau and I have only been here, what, five days?

love always,
(Sœur Gardner)

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