Monday, January 6, 2014

2014...c'est quoi, ça?!? (Katie-Mulhouse)

Salut famille!!

So first of all, OH MY GOODNESS. Daniel is at BYU, Beth looks like she took my place in the family pics, and Anna got lost. How is it that life is still allowed to keep going while I'm serving a mission in France?! You guys are beautiful, by the way. Also, I'm going to apologize in advance for the lack of pictures AGAIN, the Elders got to the café before us and stole the computers with picture sending capabilities...;) And that's so fun about seeing the Hafens! Man, like I'm having fun here, but you guys are having fun too! It's not fair I can't be a part of both...:\ It's still fun with all of the pictures. I love you, family.

Okay, about the subject line. Sr. Gordon has been making fun of me lately because I can't seem say 2014 without a "C'est quoi ça??" ("What is this?!?") right afterwards. So there ya go.

Anyways, this week has been fabulous. It rained...a lot! The members have been informing us that the winter here has been so warm it's so strange...I think it's cold, but like whatever. Cold and wet. Yuck. But that's okay, I still absolutely love being a missionary! I finally was sort of feeling better at the beginning of this week after being sick, but apparently I started work again too early because my body decided that a cold would be good to have now. Better than the stomach flu, though!! New Years in France. So we started out with the ward truc (thing) at the church, but unfortunately we didn't get to stay out late...but it was still way fun!! They had lots of food, Just Dance on the Wii on a HUGE screen (videos will be coming eventually in the mail), and other fun games. Mulhouse Paroisse (Ward)=really cool. :) And it was us and the Elders and all of the ward members plus some ward friends that came as well. So fun. It was hard to leave...but we did anyways. Then, because the next day we could sleep in, me and Sr. Gordon decided to bring out mattresses out in the living room and just hang out and do coloring books and listen to music until the new year. I fell asleep for like a half hour (I have been SO tired since being sick for some reason...) but then woke up. We had pots and pans all ready, but decided to leave them on the ground and take videos instead because we were in FRANCE and it was New Years! Yes, and by the way, in France, we (and by we, I mean everyone BUT us) are allowed to launch air feu d'artifice (aerial fireworks). Meaning, like, normally we have to go to a fair or something to see some incredible air fireworks, but we just stepped out onto our balcony. They were doing them right in our front yard, which is actually a huge parking lot. :) PLUS fireworks were being launched all over the was probably the best firework show I have ever seen. EVER. Video to come :)

Then we went to bed. The next day was a jour de repos pour les missionnaires (day off for the missionaries), so we got to sleep in and catch up in our journals, have s'mores over the stove with Pétit Écolier cookies and shamallows (what french people call marshmellows) while watching the Testaments in French, and make our very own, fully FRENCH dinner. We had endives, a greenbean and tomato vinagrette salade, baguette and cheese, soup, and peach cobler (not french but still!) for dessert. It was so good. Someday you'll get a picture probably :) By the end of the day we were ready to start missionary work again. Mostly because I was sick last week and Christmas was last week and then pday and then New Years...tooooooo much repos ;)

Pétit Écolier s'mores

We did a lot of finding this week, and one lady we had a first lesson with on Saturday is Adelaïde (pronounced ah-deh-lie-eed). She is African and has the most faith I have ever seen in anybody ever. She did lots of not so good things in life, taking after her mom, but then she found Christ and found forgiveness and true peace. Unfortunately, her mom is still leading a sad, depressing lifestyle and it's really hard on our new friend. She no longer talks to her mom because of how opposite lives they lead. Here's my request: Pray for Adelaïde's mother, that she can find Christ and find forgiveness as well so that their relationship can heal. I love this woman so much. She also has three little kids and a husband. And we have another rendezvous (appointment) with her this week :)

One other miracle: ARDIAN. Came to church. He missed church two weeks in a row and my heart has been aching for him, but let me just tell you--prayer works. In amis (investigator) class, Fr. Sebirot, our DMP (Ward Mission Leader), taught the lesson on libre arbitre (free agency). And he asked Ardian of a good choice he has recently made. This was his response (translated through Xhoana): "We all know that we need to eat in order to live. If we don't eat, we will die. (we all agreed) Yesterday morning one of our friends called me and said he had some food for us and we could come get it at 9:00 this morning. I said okay. But this morning, Xhoana asked me if I wanted to come to church with her. I thought about letting her go to church and I would go to the rendezvous, but then something told me that I should go to church today. So I cancelled the rendezvous and came here instead."

I love Mulhouse, and I love the members here. They are also a miracle. The love that they have shown us with the heater problem (we had like 10 different members ask us about our heaters on idea how they all know about it...and then they got us a space heater as well), sign up to feed us this month, offer to do soirée familiales (family home evenings), and so much more. I love them. I wish I could bring Mulhouse home with me so you could meet all of these wonderful people!! Our scripture theme this week has been Alma 58:10-11. It is through Christ that we find peace, and the ward members in Mulhouse prove this to me every single day here.

I also really love John 15:13. Especially since we call our investigators "ami" which means "friend." So I try to ask myself each morning: How can I lay down my life for my friends today like the Savior did? It's so thought-provoking and it helps me be a better missionary. I hope you all know that I have such a strong testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love you all!!

Sœur Pettingill

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