Monday, November 11, 2013

Just a normal week in good, 'ole Mulhouse : ) (Katie)

Salut famille (Hi family)!

Dad, I loved your email this week! I mean, I always love them. I love favorite part is getting on my email and seeing what Dad has to say (and sometimes even Mom!) about the fam! I just love you all so much. I mean I loved you before, but I love you ESPECIALLY a lot now. 

Okay, my subject line is totally inaccurate. This week was CRAZY. The Elders in Mulhouse had a baptism on Friday for their ami Maurice (this was super exciting for our ward because it was the first baptism they've had all year). Maurice is amazing. They met him 24 days before his baptismal date. I have gained such a strong testimony that the LdM (Book of Mormon) changes lives; it changed his life. The light in his eyes says it every time I see him. He's such an example to me of a Christ-like, genuinely good person who has learned from the trials in his life. He has lost 3 children. He has dealt with illnesses and rejection from his family. He was in an awful place. Until he starting reading the Book of Mormon. He read the entire thing in 3 weeks and told me he's going to keep reading it until the day he dies. I never see him without a smile on his face, and after the baptism he was absolutely radiating with glowing happiness. He described the feeling as God's hand grabbing his heart. :)

Baptism with Maurice and the Mulhouse Elders

And guess who all came?! Lisa and Marc, who dropped off of the face of the planet came! And they loved it! Xhoana, Ardian and their little boy came. Xhoana's face was glowing afterwards and she wants it so bad for her family. I know because she told me. Ahhhh they have such strong faith! And their trial is coming already...they still have no place to live. They were supposed to get something on the 7th of November, but they just gave them another rendezvous for the 21st. Pray for them! Mirjana brought her two little boys too! She even told me that she received an answer in her heart that she is supposed to be baptized, she just doesn't know WHEN yet. I love this family. We're working with her on stopping smoking right now, and she's doing so good! Actually, she recently got this really bad stomach/back pain and it's making her too sick to be able to smoke...blessing in disguise? She had gotten down to only 1 cigarette a day. Pray that she can stop! She has a ton of faith, that's for sure. 

We also got to got to NANCY this weekend!! It was time for Conference de Pieu (Stake Conference), and usually the missionaries don't get to go for Saturday, but apparently the First Presidency wrote President Poznanski and told him to make sure his missionaries were there. The entire thing was about missionary work :) It was awesome! And the cool thing is that I can actually understand everything now! It's super cool/weird. The only bummer is that it took up almost out entire weekend...which is the best for lessons...but that's okay. Well worth it. It's about a 2 and a half hour train ride to Nancy, and all of the missionaries in the Stake got to go! Which means...WE SAW OTHER SISTERS!! We're the only sisters in our zone, so this was super exciting. We had a little sleepover with the Luxembourg soeurs and the Nancy soeurs. The Nancy soeurs are Soeur Lai (she's francophone [French speaking] tahitian and AWESOME) and Soeur Barton. Sr. Barton is fresh out of the MTC (even fresher than me!) and is basically me from a different life. She's 5'10", fast-tracked, ran hurdles in high school, has brown hair and brown eyes, and is from Granite Bay. Weird, right? But she only has one older sister, and speaks French waaaay better than I did when I got here. She studied in Paris for 3 months. We probably speak about the same right now, actually. And we got to go on splits together! My first bleu split. And it was actually kind of cool because I got to lead it because even though her French is awesome, she still has that awful fear of talking to French people about the gospel (yes, I had it too). And I could do it. Gift of tongues is real, people.
 The other Soeurs!
5000g thing of Nutella that Sr. Lai had!!!! I just about died.

Okay, two more things. Sorry this is so long! A man tried to bisous (kiss) me this week...probably the scariest moment of my life. He just got closer and closer and closer...and I just stood there for the longest 10 seconds I've ever been through until Sr. Hafen was like, "En faite, on ne peut pas faire les bisous comme missionaires." ("Actually, we can't kiss as missionaries.") Thank goodness for a trainer, am I right?! So yeah, that was exciting. He was an older man we had met and gave a brochure to a few weeks ago, so he didn't mean any harm! But now Sr. Hafen has to tell the story to everyone of course...silly silly awkward me. Haha :) 

Okay, I'm sorry but I gotta spend at least a little bit of time talking about food! We had 4 mangezvous (dinner appointments) this week! I just about died. They were delicious, but soooo filling! I got to try lots of different desserts, though, so that was fun ;) One thing that I think is kinda weird but super yummy is chocolate and pear put together. It's really popular here but so random! We had ice cream and half a canned pear with chocolate sauce at one member's home. It was tasty :) And today we of course had to have a patisserie! I had a tartelette au citron (lemon tarte) and Sr. Hafen had an eclair pistache (pistachio eclair). Both were delicieux (delicious), let me tell you. You can see in the picture :) 

Love you all! I love being a missionary! It's definitely the best ever :)

Grosses bises,
Sœur Pettingill

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