Monday, December 16, 2013

The joy of Mulhouse at Christmas time... (Katie-Mulhouse)

Bonjour famille!

Ah! I don't even know where to start. I feel like I'm writing in my journal or something...haha. :) What. A. Week!! The last two days before Sr. Hafen left were craaaaaaazyyyyy! We had 3 mangezvous (dinner appointments) and lots of stress! Well, she did. I was mostly just freaking out nervous because I didn't know what to expect and I was being left alone (sort of..) and I am terrible with knowing where to go and what to do and AH. So yeah...I guess I was stressed too. We decided that serving a mission is really like serving 4 or 5 mini missions. Except that unlike with a real mission call, you find out where you're going 2-3 days before you leave. And then you're GONE! Let me tell you about Wednesday. That was a fun day....

Basically, Elder Johnson found out he was being called as ZL in Tours and Sr. Hafen was leaving to become STL in Nantes and me and Elder Allen were staying. But both of our new comps were coming from Belgium and Luxembourg straight to Mulhouse. So we found out that we were allowed to be on the same train alone, but we had to have a member waiting for us. Our train left for Paris (all 4 of us) at 5:51 in the morning and got us there at 9:07. Mine and Elder Allen's next train left at 10:23 and got us back to Mulhouse by 1:04. Our companions' train (they were on the same train too hahaha) got to Mulhouse at 1:47. Everything was SO fast. Saying goodbye...meeting random other Soeurs and Elders in Paris...the train rides...and then we got there and Patrick and Marjan were waiting for us. All is good. Until our companions' train is delayed for 4 HOURS. And it was too late to find a sister from the ward to hang out with me so that we could at least do missionary work, so basically me, Elder Allen, Patrick and Marjan hung out all day long doing NOTHING. I almost went crazy. Like literally. It was a close one. But then Sr. Gordon and Elder Saffell got there at 5:15! So that was a good day.

But seriously, it only went up from there. I love Sr. Gordon! She is so cute and a hard worker. We contact pretty well together, too. ;) And she laughs at my stupid jokes. So yeah, I like her :) No, but we get along super well! And I can already tell that we're going to see a lot of miracles together. We've had the chance to do a lot of contacting lately, and we've met a lot of awesome people! There was this one girl, Anna, who is probably 17. We talked to her and just testified simply that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us very much and that we are all His children. She started to cry and the spirit was so strong. It was freezing and it was already like 8:45, but it was beautiful and I wasn't even cold.

We also had our ward Veillée (evening get-together) last night where we had a little musical presentation by the ward and then the First Presidency message and then we got to eat lots of delicious french food. It was super tasty. And it was cool to meet all of the friends of the ward members that were there.

As far as amis go, pray for Ardian. He's having kind of a hard time right now. We're not exactly sure what's wrong, but please pray for him. Also, I'm not sure if I've ever told you all about Muriel. She is this adorable French mom that had a couple of lessons from the Elders a couple of years ago, and we found her again porting (tracting). She actually has a baptismal date, but pray that we'll be able to see her enough times during the week because she's pretty busy. That beautiful French family we found...we haven't been able to have a rendezvous with them yet because we've cancelled twice...once on Monday and once because of the trains. Ah. Pray that they will still want to see us...:)

Sorry I don't have any pictures this week!! I haven't had a camera. But no worries, I will make up for it next week, I promise! Right now I'm reading about Christ in Matthew so that I can read the Christmas story in Luke on Christmas Eve. It is so neat to read all about the amazing miracles He performed and the love that He felt for the people. Jesus is such an incredible example (of course). The mercy and love that He has...even in His time of mourning for His cousin John, He still felt compassion and loved them enough to heal hundreds even thousands of people. It's absolutely amazing. I love being a missionary so much. The scariest thing is that it is going by too fast. Yes, it's true that the food is amazing. The language is beautiful. But this work is what makes me want to stay here forever. I love it. I love it with all my heart. And what a wonderful time it is to remember the Savior and the sacrifice He made for us. With all of the Muslims here who do not celebrate Christmas, I just feel so sad. We are surrounded by people who do not accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. These people are so CLOSE, but they're missing one key point. Christ. It just makes me so sad.

I love you all so much. Je sais que cette église est la sienne. (I know that this church is His.) Je sais que c'est grâce à Jésus-Christ qu'on peut vivre avec nos familles à jamais. (I know that it is thanks to Jesus Christ we can live with our families forever.) Et je sais, avec tout mon cœur, que le moyen de trouver le vrai bonheur est à travers l'Evangile de Jésus-Christ. (And I know, with all my heart, that the way to find true happiness is through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.)

Avec beaucoup d'amour (with much love),

Sœur Pettingill

P.S.!! Sorry, I just remembered that this week I tried my first escargots! Honestly, I thought they were super good. I ate four of them. :) This picture was one sent to me by Sr. Hafen. It's not super good of me, but hey, it's all we got! :)

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