Sunday, July 22, 2012

July 18, 2012 - Pau, France

Editing is getting very time consuming, and with the start of grad school for me in a few weeks, I've decided to post Devan's emails verbatim, except for definite spaces between paragraphs for easier reading. I believe they will add a new level of enjoyment at times :).

hola famille!

first off..HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MON PERE!!!!!!!!!!!! if i were at home, I would have been a part of that surprise party. and decorated the halls tomorrow morning with the number that your turning and made chocolate chip pancakes with that number also(29, right? no..thats definitely too young. you had the boys at 1yr old?! no. thats messed up. bad joke. continue..). anyway, happy birthday!! I want to send you a package so be ready for some mula coming out of my account. like around 30-45 euro or something extreme like that. 

So last week, we had lots of things happen, such as..

-soeur bertolios asian birthday!! (22) we celebrated all week long. literally. no, not literally, cause Im a missionary!! but every evening. yes.
-exchanges! and those wouldnt be any fun unless people didnt understand one another and the blue comp was in charge! (blue is like greeny in europe. weird)
-zone conference!!!!!!!!!!! this is where I met the wonderful Roney famille and got to see Elder Gruber from my mtc district!!!
-our activity and the efy kids from our ward
-tour de france with my district here in ol pau
-african food.
-famille de barbaroux!

so first off, soeur bertolio!! she is 22! an old lady!!! haha. she kept saying shes old now, and im like, seriously? youre 7 months older than me! haha. weirdo. but i love her. we had a lesson and one of us had to use the bathroom and she didnt know the word for bladder and called it a "pee-pee bag". i was grossed out. hahaha. then later in the week she was trying to remember the word for feminine and held the f for a really long time like "ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffeminine". It was great. So we celebrated monday, found out exchanges would be wed and not thurs (her real bday and this is why we celebrated monday), so tues we go to a chinese buffet with this really nice old lady soeur arrieus (supposedly she takes us every month!), then right after this we go to this partially inactive woman, cecille`s house, and she made a round cake for us coming and literally cut us each a quarter of the cake to eat. HALF OF THE CAKE. Luckily it was only one layer with no icing!!! phew! but STILL!!!!! I looked at S Bertolio to see what she would say or do since we just got finished eating, and she just looked at the cake, picked up her fork and began eating. Ehhh. It was terrible. And what is funny is soeur bertolio said on sunday as we were walking home from church that she wished that a member would just stop and give us a cake to eat because we were super hungry. So we got that cake. just a few days late. Beghh. I dont even know if thats a real sound but if you can imagine the can imagine that sound. So that evening we left for Toulouse for exchanges; next chapter! (not a reference to t swift. lol. btw, new album? we were in a clothing store cause soeur bertolio wanted a new skirt for her birthday and a t swift song  came on that i didnt know at all!)

exchanges! so we had exchanges with toulouse! soeur bertolio stayed in toulouse on wed night (were they surprised us with a birthday cake..haha) and i got back on a train the next morning with soeur tinoure (she`s tahitian!) who only speaks french. and Tahitian. she understands about 60 percent of what I would say in english and could reply in english about 15 percent of the time. yeah. Sooo that stretched me a lot! haha. and we were going back to pau so I was in charge..oh man. But she was really nice and fun; you know pacific islanders, always so fun and laughing a lot. But it was pretty hard, especially when I know the bus routes we take and she asked the bus driver and he said he closer to the street and he couldnt and she couldnt explain what he had said to me and so I was on the bus in a part of pau I hadnt been before. It was weird and reallllllllly hard. She kept repeating the same thing in french and I was like, I dont know what youre saying. Im sorry. I just dont understand. But eventually we got back thanks to a new convert, Jeffrey who was with us and showed us another bus that went to our street from this random stop we were at. phew. But she was really nice and we had a great time together other then that time! we had a train that left at 6 for Toulouse the same day, so we got on that train and got back to Toulouse by 9pm. The next morning S bertolio and I got back on the train and headed back to Pau. Lots of trains, and theres more!

Zone Conference!!!! SOOOOOOO goood. It was so great to meet the Roneys and see all the missionaries in the zone!!!! It was awesome being with other missionaries who are here for the same reason and having the same difficulties and all that. and President Roney!!!!! Oh man he is sooooooooo awesome!!!! I dont even know if that`s an appropriate term to use for a mission president but I just did. He is soo nice and when he spoke to us you could just feel the Spirit so strong!! He told us that he knows that what we need to do is to love and serve everyone; especially the members and the people of France! Just to show our love and breaking it down to the basics, the first and second most important commandments, to love they God with all thine heart, and to love your neighbor like thyself. Then everything else will fall into place! if youre serving with love, the members will feel that and want to help and the investigators will feel loved by not just you but by Heavenly Father!! ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE!!! That was our message of zone conference. not with that specific title. In our one-on-one interviews, pres roney told me I was one of his favorites because his daughter, Soeur Roney (bunkmate in the mtc!!) told him a lot about me.! He shined our shoes!! He is an amazing president and we will have miracles!!!! who was it that said, "you either believe that nothing is a miracle or everything is a miracle"? please tell me! Its like Einstein or something..

So zone conference was great and I got all juiced up ready to serve and show all my love and its so great!!!!! soeur bertolio and i have been wanting to have an activity for the youth in our district with the other elders to show how important sharing the gospel is with your friends and it was just confirmed like nobodies business at zc. and this last week all the youth (almost all) in our ward had efy and they all bore their testimonies on sunday and were saying the SAME THING, how important it is and how they havent and how now they will, etc etc and soeur bertolio and i looked at each other and were just like, "miracle." 

monday! tour de france!!! so the elders asked us to make them lunch, italian style (lasagna) so we committed them to making cheesecake and bringing drinks. haha. and we slaved over the lasagna during our dinner time! and personal time after planning!!! and it was a lot of fun making since I havent ever made lasagna and it was cool: I love cooking!! and we made chocolate chip cookie dough (sooo american! ha) so we could bake it throughout the week for members and investigators! LOVE!! So Tour de France!! the elders came in on the train and we ate at a park, then watched the bikes go by after waiting for almost three hours!!!! but after 1 or 2 hours there were cars and stuff driving by throwing out free things and selling stuff. after this fun time with the elders, we went and taught a less active member, soeur toumaso. She is super nice, she just has a bf who she goes on vacation with. and she found out this week that she has cancer!!! soooo sad. I dont know what kind, but she finds out how bad it is this week. we are going to take her cookies. 

Sunday this african woman, soeur mwamba invited us over to celebrate her late-husbands birthday (he only died 3 years ago or so), and it was really touching how they cared enough to invite us for something so personal. But the food...was african. oh. my. gosh. rice, chicken, then some stuff that I dont even know what it was. Holy moley. SO GROSS. the first stuff was tan and had peppers in it and was kind of spongey, and was super spicy. It wasnt that bad until the second bite. by the last bite I had to contain myself from gagging. Eghhh. The other stuff looked like turnip greens and I was thinking, oh this stuff isnt bad! then took a bite. gagggg. It was.. I dont even KNOW what is was!!! It tasted like fish and grass and grosss and grossss. I was trying to mix it in with the rice and it was just so bad!!! I told soeur bertolio "I cant eat this." so she took some of mine. So kind. So very, very kind. before I was done finishing mine, I found a little fish skull on the plate. yeah. It DID have fish in it. eghhhh!!! we were burping fish taste the rest of the day and it bad. luckily we dont have many dinners with africans. knock on wood.

last thing! the famille barbaroux!! I love this family. they have 2 boys and 2 girls in their family; the oldest son is married with a kid and is our bishop! cray cray!! but yeah, the family had us over for dinner last night and they have a house wayyyy out in the country and it is beautiful out there!! and they have a pool! and a cute little greyhound! anyway, their family made s bertolio and I homesick because they were so fun and laughing and loud during dinner. the mother is so sweet and made us some homemade herbal mint (mint from her garden!) tea after dinner! It was sooo good. and their dinner was great! their oldest daughter; jessica was at the mwambas for dinner on sunday so she was teasing me about the food because she gave us a ride home from there. haha. But theyre great and really nice.

Well, I better get off! I love yall so much and I know this gospel is true!! we have had so many miracles already and Ive been out for what, 1 month? Keep praying for the gift of tongues for me and for miracles!! funny thing about me and the language: I cant understand but I can express myself 90 percent of the time. everyone else Ive talked to is the opposite, and theyre like, one day youll just open your mouth and be able to make sentences! and im like, I can make sentences!! Its the understanding that I dont get! haha. then theyre like, ohhh..thats weird. Yeah. 

Love yall and I love letters also!!!!!!

Love always,
-soeur gardner-

forgot this! yesterday we were on a bus to the barbaroux home which is wayyy outside of Pau, and we were standing at the back of the bus with these two weird girls in front of us, with their chairs facing us so they were seriously staring for a long time. wtw?? and there was this couple sitting on the other side of the bus with the chairs facing us all over each other!!! and sitting next to soeur bertolio who was standing was a gay guy, which all of it just made for a good joke. haha. So Soeur bertolio said, "we`re between two crazy girls and two crazy people in love on a bus. And we`re in the middle of nowhere." and i said, "AND a gay guy!!" and she said, "best bus ride EVER!" lol. Good times. the end.

No comments:

Post a Comment