Monday, October 14, 2013

A week filled with butterflies and candy (Katie Mulhouse)

Hey Dad and Mom and Famille!

Can I just say...I love you all so. much. Everyday I'm here, meeting new families and teaching old ones, I feel so appreciative of my family. Of our warm home, of my dad's good job, of the food in our refrigerator, of the warm beds we have to sleep on...just all of it. So grateful.

Okay, now about my week. I'll start with our amis. Thank you thank you thank you for all of your prayers for Mirjana and her husband!! A miracle happened in his heart. We went and met with them a few days ago, and he came home in the middle of our lesson and told us (through translation since he doesn't speak French or English) that he wants to be a better person and become closer to God. We invited them to be baptized and they said absolutely! Their son, Leon, is 9 and so he is going to be baptized as well. November 9th. And we're seeing them 3 times a week starting tomorrow until then! So keep praying for them! Their names are Mirjana, Nijas (nee-yuss), Leon, and Tommy. I love them so much.

We also met this beautiful family this week on the bus! They're Albanian, and the mom speaks just a little bit of English. Her name is Xhoana (Joanna) and her husband's name is Ardian and they have his sister with them who is Angela, and their little 2 year old son is name Yaanel (yah-nail). Their story is kind of sad...we're not sure why they left Albania, but when we met them we talked to them about the LdM and said we could give it to them in their language. We met up a different day and taught Xhoana on the street about this beautiful book. We asked where they live and she said they don't have a house right now, and so they sleep in the park. Malheureusement (Unfortunately), as missionaries we aren't allowed to help them at all (like give them money and stuff). But that's when we invited her to church to learn more about Christ. AND THEY CAME. They were our only investigators at church (Mirjana and her family couldn't come because they were taking Nijas's sister to the train station or something) and it was very...interesting. It was perfect. But it was funny because Elder Johnson led the lesson (here we have a class taught just for investigators) and it was all in English but we had to stop every now and then and wait for Xhoana to translate to her family. We taught them about how much God and Jesus love them, and the dad told us (through translation of course) that we are a miracle for them. I like started crying, no joke (big surprise, am I right?). Pray for them!

I also had my first exchanges this week! Mom, you remember all of the blogs you love reading? Remember Sœur Johns (who was in the MTC with Sr. Hafen)? I had an exchange (they came here because it's like a 3 hour train ride, so we switch off villes instead of actually exchanging) with Sr. Garrett! I'll send a picture. It was awesome. I love exchanges. I absolutely love Sr. Hafen, but it's fun to see how different each missionary is and I learned a lot from her. She's super cute and funny and can speak French! I'm always amazed when the missionaries here can actually speak French. Like, that's going to be me someday. Crazy, right? We taught a lesson to one of our amis--Lavinia. She has two kids, a little baby named Ricardo and a little daughter named Roxanna (they're Romanian). We're not sure if she's actually going to keep progressing since she didn't come to church on Sunday, but pray that she'll realize the importance of this gospel. I love her. And I didn't even get lost on the way! You know how awful I am about finding my way around places, and I had to lead since we stayed in Mulhouse. BUT the Lord was with me, as He always is. So great. We also talked to a couple of Témoins Jehovahs (Jehovah Witnesses) (not missionaries, but actual members) which was interesting! Everyone always thinks that's who we are. And we're like, no. We're not. It's a great life :)

At District Meeting this week, we always have lunch afterwards, and we were in charge of bringing the main course. So, we made this mexican type thing that goes over rice (it was kind of like the taco soup that you make, Mom) and it was SO GOOD. But also, for dessert the Elders made this banana pudding pie thing with a speculos crumble crust! Speculos is huge here. Everyone's like, have you tried speculos yet?? And I'm like, nope. But I have now! And it's super good. It basically tastes like crushed up cinnamon teddy grahams. It's super good. That meal was heavenly...and the STLs got to be there for it! We had 4 extra people at that meeting. I still haven't had a normal district meeting. Ah well, next week peut-être? :)

 A picture of our district, plus the STLs and the Zls

Also, Sr. Hafen's friend from St. Quentin, Marie, sent her a package for her birthday with so much candy!!! And then we got the package from much candy!! It's been the best. En faite, we checked the mail right after we started our fast on Saturday, so we didn't get to eat any of it until after church on Sunday. We fast for 24 full hours, starting it right after lunch on Saturday until the Ward Repas on Sunday. Which was amazing, by the way. We had like 4 different kinds of tartes (the French replacement of pie and I love it) and I kind of ate 5 pieces...I was just so hungry!! Like seriously I'm hungry 100% of the time right now! Sr. Hafen makes fun of me all the time for it. But that's okay...I definitely have Mom's genes, that's for sure! (I was always starving on my mission from riding bikes everywhere.)

Okay, I have one last funny story for you all. You'd be surprised by how many times people think we're offering to give them massages. Here we are, contacting random people on the street, and they think we're offering massages! You might ask, why on earth would they think that? This is what we sometimes say, "Bonjour! Je m'appelle Sœur Pettingill et moi et ma collègue venons des Etats-Unis et nous avons un message pour vous de Dieu."  (Hello! My name is Sister Pettigill and me and my collegue come from the United States and we have a message for you from God. Message and massage are just slightly different sounds, like in English.) Wait, like what? A massage? From God? What? Yeah, it's a little awkward. But usually the conversation ends well! Except one time this lady just kept saying, " No, my doctor massages my feet. It's okay!" And she wouldn't listen to what we were saying. She just stormed off! We laughed all the way home.

Well, my time is up. I love see pictures of everyone! Keep 'em coming. And remember Ether 3:5 - "Voici, Oh Seigneur, tu peux le faire. Nous savons que tu es capable de montrer une grande puissance." (Behold, O Lord, thou canst do this. We know that thou are able to show forth great power.) J'ai un temoignage de cet Evangile. Et j'aime être missionaire. (I have a testimony of this Gospel.  And I love being a missionary.)

A la prochaine!

Sœur Pettingill

 One of the Halloween things received in this week's package
 Soeur Hafen's birthday mille feuilles, regular and Napoleon. They were both amazing!
 The creperie place we ate at for the birthday last week. Isn't it cute?  Super yummy!
Super cute little house we found while porting.  I HAD to take a picture of it!

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