Monday, January 13, 2014

Ping pong, sad faces (but not really!) and a mission motto (Katie-Mulhouse)

Salut ma belle famille! (Hello my beautiful family!)

Those pictures! Such good ice skaters. I'm so proud to call you my family. And I'm also really proud of you because of all the basketball STARS!! Hello!! You are all amazing. Now, I was tempted to start my letter typing half in French half in English, but I decided to save you all the translating that would have to happen...Silly Elder Pettingill...;)

This week was AWESOME! I feel so much better. That's mostly been today. I feel like I've been sick for 3 weeks, always tired always coughing...but I feel so GOOD. Like a missionary or something. Last Monday we had a soirée familiale (family home evening) with Xhoana and Ardian and Jaanel, and Hannah and her two boys. I'm not sure I've mentioned this yet or not, but me and Sr. Gordon have decided that we are going to open an Albanian Branch. We run into Albanians every single day! And right now we have Xhoana (our precious translator, I swear her English has gotten so good!), and her family and all of their friends (and one of those families is Hannah and her two boys). Francesco and Emer are 14 and 10, and they are adorable. We actually haven't been able to have an actual lesson with Hannah yet because Xhoana has to be there too and for some reason something always comes up so they can't come. BUT Emer and Francesco came to church yesterday with Xhoana and Jaanel (Ardian is having a hard time again...) and we had a little lesson with them after church (what troopers they are!) about the LdM (Book of Mormon) and gave them one for their family. Hannah is 5 months pregnant, so she isn't always feeling up to coming all the way to the church. So anyways, on Monday we had this ping pong soirée familiale. Attached at the bottom are some of our adventures...haha :) Let's just say that my ping pong skills definitely HAVE NOT improved with time. ;)


Hard things happened this week too, but sooooo many good things, that don't worry there were actually more happy faces than sad :) One thing that I really don't like as a missionary though is when amis (investigators) tell us goodbye...we've been teaching this young family (actually related to Mirjana), Yasmina and Renato, who have 2 little children too and we have grown to love them SO much! We just see how much this gospel would be able to bless them and their family. And then Yasmina, when we stopped by one night to give them a LdM in their language that we finally found, told us that they've been studying with Témoins Jehovahs (Jehovah's Witnesses) (which we actually knew) and they told them that they couldn't "read the bible" with us and with them and they had to choose. They chose the other lady because they've been studying with them for over a year, and it made me SO SAD. Someday...someday they will realize what was different between us and the TJs, and they'll find their LdM encore, and they will be baptized. That day is just not today. :/

HOWEVER, on Thursday, we had Zone Conference! All of us went to Colmar (so it was us and the other district) to have a normal conference which was super great! Got to see Elder Nelson, he's great. :) But then we also had our beginning of year formation! Which means we got our new theme for the year for the mission! Our old one was Ether 3:5, which we used to say every morning (not too hard to memorize since it is so short in French), and our new theme is D&A 64:33-34! Much longer, so this one will take us longer to memorize, but it is seriously sooo good. I encourage you to read it. I'm not sure exactly what it says in English, but I know that it is absolutely beautiful in French (I mean they say the same thing, but sometimes scriptures just sound better in French or English, depending on the scripture)!! It was so cool. The ZLs did an analogy with a pâtisserie and two people. One was Elder Shultz, one was Elder Miller. Elder Shultz promised Elder Miller that he would give them a pâtisserie (it was an eclair ;) ). He had it and he said he would give the entire thing to Elder Miller because he just loved him so much. And then he proceeded to eat some. One bite. Then two. Then the frosting. Then he gave it to Elder Miller. Did I give you a pâtisserie? he asked. Yes.... Did I give you what you were expecting? No. That was compared to us and our missions, and I thought it was so cool! We promised to give the Lord 2 years or a year and a half of our lives because we love Him so much. Have we taken some of that time for ourselves? At the end, will it have been what the Lord was expecting? I sure hope so! It certainly encourages me to work harder :)

Dad, you shared with me and Jacob a part from your journal about when you left your what we call "bleu ville". We're all thinking I'm going to leave...I don't know for sure because it's not like a set thing. Elder Allen stayed here for 4 transfers. But that's what we are all feeling, and I'm just a little scared...these past 4 and a half months have been the best ever. I am completely in love with Mulhouse--its members, its amis, its weird smells and sketchy streets, ALL of it--and leaving it will be hard for me. But it is such a good opportunity to trust in the Lord. I am given opportunities every single day (so far ;) ) to trust in the Lord, and this one will just be a slightly bigger opportunity. It's weird because I can kind of speak French, I can kind of be a missionary--I have the instincts kind of down, and I actually kind of know what I'm doing...and I still feel like a bleu. Like I just got here, and everything is brand new. I still feel like without the Lord, it would be absolutely impossible to be the kind of missionary that I'm trying to be. But I love it.

And I love all of you!! Je sais avec tout mon âme que cette église est vraiment l'Evangile de Jésus-Christ rétabli sur la terre. (I know with all my soul that this church is truly the Gospel of Jesus Christ reestablished on the earth.) Je sais que Joseph Smith était un vrai prophète de Dieu. (I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God.) Je sais que j'ai été appelé par Dieu, de venir ici et de prêcher cet évangile. (I know that I was called of God to come here to preach this Gospel.) Et je sais que l'Eglise de Jésus-Christ des Saints des Dernier Jours est diriger par le Seigneur, et Il nous aime, sans doute. (And I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is lead by the Lord and the He loves us, without a doubt.) Merci beaucoup pour tout ce que vous faites comme ma famille et comme mon soutien. Je vous aime, vous tous! (Thank you so much for all that you do as my family and as my support.  I love all of you!)

Avec beaucoup d'amour (with lots of love),

Sœur Pettingill

 My FOUR MONTH MARK! We bought some NOT French food haha :)

 New Year's Eve Party

No comments: