Monday, October 21, 2013

My life: Croissants and the Tour Eiffel (Katie Mulhouse)

Salut ma belle famille (Hi my beautifull family)!

How goes it? I think I might have said this in the letter I just wrote to Mom, but I still think it's so weird that life back home still just goes on without me...I feel like time should have stopped while I'm here in this strange place with people who DON'T speak the same language as me. But it doesn't. It just goes on...but it sounds like you had quite the week! Time flies as a missionary. These weeks have gone by faster even than college, and I wasn't sure that was even possible. But here's my little random fact for the week: People (not sure who) have apparently done the calculations, and every six weeks an équipe spends together is equivalent to 7 months for a newly wed couple. So let's just say that we get to know each other very well, very fast :) 

Let's start with the super awesome stuff this week! WE WENT TO PARIS. I had legality (appointment to become legal living in France) with all of the other bleus (new missionaries) on Tuesday at 9:30, so we went up Monday because the train ride was too long to make it on time on Tuesday. Yes, we saw the Tour Eiffel. A little funny story though: It's Monday. We've had a great p-day, done some contacting, feeling good. We rush home to pack and grab some yummy pretzel bread (a specialty here) pb and j sandwiches and a apple and head out the door. We take the tram to the gare (train station) (a good 15 minute ride), feeling good! We have like 15 minutes to spare! Sœur Hafen looks through her bag for the ticket and...oh no...where's the ticket?? We cannot find it. We think back to where it would be, but she KNOWS that she put it in her bag. We say a prayer. Then we remember: we were contacting this nice lady with 3 crazy girls, 2 of them were in a stroller. One of the little girls, maybe 3 years old, was playing with Sr. Hafen's bag, unzipping it and zipping it. A vague memory of a baby folding and unfolding a train ticket comes to our minds. The baby stole it. We call the mom--it's not with her. We look for an hour and half around trams and stations and whatnot--it's not anywhere. Thankfully (TENDER MERCY) the Elders from Belfort were coming in for exchanges with our Elders in under an hour and they just happen to have a bluecard (mission credit card). So we caught a late train and didn't get into Paris until like 10:15 that night. Everything worked out, and now we just laugh: we got our ticket stolen by a baby! Oh the danger of Mulhouse ; )

Us being bummed because we got our tickets 'stolen'

Then we went and saw the Tour Eiffel...and it is absolutely beautiful. (We saw it the next morning as you'll notice in the picture.) It's HUUUUUGE and very...metal. Haha :) Then, before legality, we went to this amazing pâtisserie shop and got these crêpes aux nutella--absolutely heavenly! And we shared an escargot (that just means it's in the shape of a snail) chocolat pistache. Oh my goodness. I love France :)

Eiffel Tower!
Nutella crepes
Escargot chocolat pistache

Legality was...good. Talked to this lady who told me my French was incredible! So that was fun! And later that night we had a French Panini and Nutella Crêpe for dinner and then...a little miracle happened. But let me tell you about our amis first!

Our amis...Xhoana and her family came to church again yesterday! What a humble, spiritually-prepared family. Everything we tell them they accept without blinking. And it's not because they'll just believe everything we tell them, it's because it makes sense to them! Like duh God called another prophet. Why wouldn't He? I love them so much! They are going to be baptized I just know it. They love this gospel already and are reading the LdM every night and praying together and everything. Mirjana and Nijas...I had my heart broken for the first time as a missionary yesterday. We joke all the time that being a missionary is like being in a relationship with a bunch of different people--we wait anxiously for their texts, cry when they hurt, jump for joy when they're happy. And yesterday, Mirjana told us she can't do it. She doesn't want it. Her husband is not changing. He has the desire, but not enough motivation. She wants to take a break for one week to try to figure everything out, and then she's going to call us again. I fall in love with every single one of these people, and when she told me on the phone that she doesn't want it, when I heard the pain of her giving up in her heart shattered. It was hard, but we brought a member who speaks English and German with us to her house and we ended everything on a good note. She even said she isn't going to stop reading the LdM or praying, she just needs to clear her head. And I'm glad that she isn't taking a break from God, just us :) You remember Elodie and Giovanni?? They like totally dropped off of the face of the planet for 2 weeks. Didn't show up for our rendezvous and wouldn't answer our calls or text us back. But (TENDER MERCY) we ran into them in the street on Saturday! And they said we could have a Soirée Familiale (Family Home Evening) with them this next week. And we're bringing a member. I am so happy!!

In Paris on Tuesday night (we missed our train again because all of the metros were backed up because someone committed suicide on the tracks and so we had to stay another night), there is a piano in the middle of the gare, and so we started singing cantiques (hymns)! Sr. Hafen played, and me and Elders Toledo and Lewis sang. People came and listened! And one girl, her name is Céline, listened for a long time. She asked who we were...we of course told her...and then we asked her if she likes to sing. So she sang cantiques with us for like 30 minutes! The Elders left, so by then it was just me and her singing! And after one of the songs she turned to me and said, "I feel SO happy right now. What is that?" So I told her it's the Spirit of God telling her that God loves her. How cool is that? After we were done singing she asked if she could give us her address and phone number and wanted to meet our friends who are in Paris and it was incredible! She told us several times that God meant for us to meet tonight. Just a little miracle :) (Here is a youtube video that shows someone playing the piano in one of the train stations in Paris.)

It's getting COOOOLDERRRR. This is the coldest part of France, I don't know if I told you that or not. And people keep telling us (along with "faites attention" [pay attention] at night) that this is going to be the coldest winter Mulhouse has had in 100 years. Just for me :) We're doing okay now, but later today we're having a member take us to find some nice warm coats. So that'll be good. Another thing I've noticed is sometimes I forget I'm in a 1st world country. This week alone, I have met 3 FAMILIES who have no where to live right now; people who's husbands or children have died; 10 people who can't find a job who have families; a girl who can't have children and cries every night because of it. Can I just tell you--I am so thankful to have two parents who love each other, a warm house to live in, a dad with a good job, and a healthy body. Being a missionary really puts life into perspective. Always remember to "cry thanks unto God always." 

Je vous aime beaucoup! Je sais que cet évangile est l'évangile de Jésus-Christ. Ma famille est la meilleure! Bon courage avec les jeux au foot et au basket, les enfants! Et n'oubliez jamais que vous avez un père célèste que vous aime sans fin. (I love you a lot! I know that this Gospel is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  My family is the best! Good luck with soccer and basketball games, children! And never forget that you have a Heavenly Father who loves you without end.)

à la prochaine (until next time),
Sœur Pettingill
Us being SO TIRED at 6 in the morning on the train

Elder Lewis with the glasses (he came in with me), Elder Toledo, Sr. Hafen, et moi. 

A picture I took of the view from where we were porting.  This is noot actually in Mulhouse but right outside of it in a little ville called Brunstatt. 

No comments: