Monday, February 24, 2014

Luxembourg: magic fairy unicorn land (Katie-Lux)

Hey fam!

WOW. Daniel, oh my goodness!!! Are you freaking out?!?!? I am. The first thing I though was, "He's going to be in The Other Side of Heaven!!" The Marshall Islands. That's going to be a completely different WORLD than France. So, props. And it sounds like the rest of you had a pretty crazy week always. We had a pretty great week. Yes, it's true, President did call us last Monday to tell us that we might be leaving, but nothing is for sure! The Elders' apt lease is up and they can't find another apt for a decent price that will let 4 people live in it. So maybe. But we don't really know when (maybe Wednesday or Thursday) or where. But we have interviews on Tuesday so we'll find out then. :) We're freaking out, but that doesn't mean the rest of the world needs to freak out. Whatever happens, the Lord's plan is better than mine :)

But let me just rave about Luxembourg for a second. Sr. Henson and I always talk about how we could literally say ANYTHING about Lux and people would believe us because almost nobody knows where it is or what it is. For example, when our toilet was broken. We blamed it on the basilisk. Because Luxembourg is a magical land of fairytales--like unicorns and basilisks and fairies. And it's true!! It's so incredibly beautiful here. We also decided that if there was one word that describes Luxembourg, it's posh. So so so posh. Most people are incredibly wealthy. The apartment prices are up the walls. It is the center for Microsoft, Amazon, Skype and many other huge companies. There are so many different languages spoken that we walk around and hear different british accents, irish accents, american accents, portuguese, spanish, luxembourgish, french, german, and more. A lot more.

Last pday, we explored all of lower lux (called old city) and it is INCREDILBE. See pics. We went up into broken parts of old castles and walked around the streets. We found this timeline where the very beginning of Luxembourg started and you can see the entire city from it. It's the picture of me standing on it. It was so funny...there were some other tourists who were german I think, and as soon as Sr. Henson took a picture on top of the thing, and then me, he just started cracking up! He thought it was so funny that we STOOD on the timeline! Hahaha he was so old and adorable. It was super cool. Kind of ironic that Sr. Henson and I were going off about how much we absolutely ADORE Luxembourg...and then President called and told us we might have to leave before the end of the transfer. So sad. But it'll be okay. Heavenly Father is very good at teaching us patience and trust, that's for sure.

We also have a baptism this next Sunday! President did promise that we would be able to come back to it if we left Lux before. Jennifer is getting baptized! We're SO excited!! I don't have a picture with her yet, but it will come. She is absolutely adorable and SO ready to be baptized! She has had 3 other dates before this one, but this time she is so excited and keeps telling us not to forget about it. Haha silly Jennifer. You would all like her a lot :)

We've been hestitantly saying goodbye to everyone...cramming in lessons and visits and passbys because we just DON'T know. We had a lesson on Saturday with this awesome dutch couple where one speaks English and one speaks only German. They are GOLDEN. They had so many questions and so many things to say and afterwards, Yvonne (the wife) told us that she had learned so much. YES. That means she agreed with the things we taught her :) AH the missionaries better take good care of her and Willy. It was cool because they actually live in Troisvierges, which is allllll the way up at the top of Luxembourg, about an hour train ride away. So we took it there and then she picked us up and took us back to her house. After that it was just question after question after question and so much explaining and translating and the spirit was SO strong. Such a neat lesson :) Plus the train ride was beautiful.

The picture I attached of me and another girl is me and Diana. Diana is this incredible Lithuanian woman who is married to a chinese man named Du Wei (doo-way) and they have this little baby girl named Sophia. She hasn't set a date with us yet, but she has told us that she is SO excited to be baptized. She is absolutely adorable and so funny and fun. We love her a lot :) She has SO much faith and trust, such a good example for me right now. Love her :)

Also, this last thursday was Sr. Henson's YEAR MARK. She's such an old lady. Bah. It was so much fun surprising her and teasing her and telling EVERYONE that it has been a year. We had a couple of awesome lessons that day, ate chocolate croissants, and celebrated!! Because if y'ou don't laugh, you cry. So we laughed :) It's pretty funny because I am almost at 6 months and she just hit a year. We're backwards!! Goodtimes. Being a missionary is so crazy and stressful and rewarding and FUN. And I absolutely love it. Another random fact that I learned this week from French and Sr. Henson: voldemort = vol de mort = stolen from death. Cool, huh. So many cool french things that BLOW my mind!

I love you all so much! I have no idea what's going to happen this week. I have fallen in love with Luxembourg and the people here, which makes me nervous that we'll probably leave this week, but it'll all go well I just know it. Sr. Henson is the best and Lux is the best and our ward is the BEST. But I do know that the Lord knows what He's doing, thank goodness. Pray that everything will go well this week and this weekend with the baptism. I know that it will, but extra prayers never hurt ;) I guess we'll see! Have a great week. :)

Sœur Pettingill

Time to finish strong (Jacob-Brive)

Well another week gone by so fast. I have decided to stop talking about it because it is going to go by fast either way so might as well make the best of it while I still am under my year mark. This week was beautifully crazy. We had up and down weather that came from nowhere and was up and down throughout the day like last week. We had a competition this week in our Zone that went along with the olympics and had to do with contacting and teaching. So the whole zone pushed extra hard this week to contact strollers and also to have FHE's with members and non-members. The results were that every stroller in Brive now knows who we are. The winners also happened to be Brive taking Gold and Silver and the the Bordeaux Zone leaders coming in from behind with the Bronze. It was very fun and pushed Brive to work really hard throughout the week. Both companionships now have new amis with a date. That story was super cool!

So we were having our English class and it was great but then we got finished so we decided to go see one of the members the lives close to us. They were there so we taught them just before having to come home. So we walked home and we passed a bar that is on the way. After walking a while past, a man jumped out and yelled after us asking us to come back for 10 minutes. We were a little nervous because it was a bar but went anyway. So it ended up being this awesome guy that we had met a long time ago and he wanted to know why we hadn't called! So we got his number again and then after having fixed a rdv went home. Then we got to teach him later and invited him to be baptized if he found out it was true and he said YES! So awesome!

Another cool experience was that we made a trip up to Uzerche, a ville that is pretty far up in our sector, but we have a couple there that really wants to do missionary work and is building their house.
member's house

Uzerche, France
So we went up and helped him do some service at his house that they are building and then ate lunch and after lunch we shared a spiritual thought.  At the end, he had a thought about someone that he had met a while ago and said that we were going to meet them. It was a weird thought because we were going to finish up a little more of the house and there was finally some good sun at the moment but we left that, changed and headed over to see this person. Well this man owns a washer place and he wasn't there when we got there so the members called him and he said he would be on his way over. So we decided that while we waited we could do contacting in this little village we were in. So we started walking and met this man that, in the end, took a Book of Mormon and said he would read it. That was so cool! But then we got to meet the actual man we came to see and it turns out that he has read the Book of Mormon several times in both French and in Polynesian and has been to Salt Lake City and been in the temple. The first thing he did when he got here was to search for the LDS church and he is going to come to the ward repas  (meal) the 30 of March! So awesome!! It was a testimony for me that as we follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost we will be blessed, It just takes us showing our faith to follow these thoughts no matter how hard it is sometimes.

Yesterday at church was great there were a total of 5 non-members!! So awesome! I love the Gospel!!! It is so crazy to be a missionary! I have no idea how to describe it.

We had another experience where we were porting (tracting) and this lady answered and so basically like 20 years ago the missionaries hung out with her family and taught her English! (They never taught about the Gospel so that makes me wonder but whatever.) So she said she would love us to come do the same with her kid. So we did and brought a member and had a great little English class with her son. But then at the end we asked if we could leave them with a prayer and she said she didn't really want to do the religieuse (religious) thing.. But then her son was like YES let's say a prayer!!! He even said that he would do it! So that was awesome and then after the mom started telling us all about her religious background and how she struggled to believe in God but that she still hung up prayers sometimes!! We're going back Wednesday!!

With lots of Love,

Elder Pettingill
trading ties

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tender mercies in Brive (Jacob-Brive la Gaillarde)

Well you can imagine my horror when we get to the internet cafe  on Monday and find out the internet isn't working and we would have to come the next day. What a testimony that the Lord loves us and that He is there in our lives helping us to be happy. Who would have guessed that the first time in 10 weeks the internet cafe in Brive would be closed all of Monday on the same day that the brother of a missionary would be driving home and would therefore not be able to open his call and so the missionary would not have known for a whole week? Obviously Heavenly Father knew that Sister Pettingill needed to learn more patience..  

Well that is SOOO AWESOME an island in the middle of nowhere!!!! What are his thoughts? And what language is that?? So awesome! It was super awesome getting like 10 emails letting me know that people had mission calls!! That is so crazy that none of them are going to Brazil! I guess the Lord supercharged it and so in two years it will start again (good luck Josh). 

As far as things that happened this week. I set the goal to have 7 good mornings. Mornings are one of the key points of missionary life and I really wanted to start creating these mornings that would set the mood for the day. Well I was successful and it was amazing how much of a difference it made. I found that as I pushed to have a really good 30 minutes of excercise I had more energy and I was more ready for studies. I found that I wasted less time and was able to better accomplish other goals. It was so great. 

Another thing that I have come to realize is that everything we is placed on a scale of Logic selon Dieu (according to God) and Logic according to us. And that our goal to create habits and make our logic corresponde with the logic God has (or that faith becomes logic). But what really hit me was that EVERY moment is important while as we push to live the gospel. Every choice we make in the right direction pushes forward. I have been trying to make more of these little choices to help push me toward my goals. And the best part is that because we aren't perfect, Christ makes up the rest. 

On Sunday we talked about being fathers and how we can best raise children and I like a phrase that was shared. "When we are young we learn, when we are older we understand" I have just felt so much of that as I looked back on every rule that was set in our family and every counsel that is given by the prophets. I am starting to understand. 
I love the Gospel. I know that this church has been re-established on the earth and that EVERY thing we do, sacrifice and live in this church are there to make us happy. I know that Christ lives. I know that he loves me and you. I know that we can all continue thanks to and only through Him. I love Him. I love being a missionary.
Elder Pettingill

Monday, February 17, 2014

Rain, Rain, Go away... (Katie-Lux)

Hey wonderful people that I just LOVE:

WHAAAAAAAAT!!! I can't believe it. So. Funny story...Sr. Henson and I were making guesses about where Daniel is going on his mission and we each did a stateside and a foreign guess. My guesses were New York, NY and Chile. Sr. Henson guessed Mesa, AZ and Mexico. HAHA! Do you see the connections yet? Austin is going to NY, Kevin is going to Mexico and Jessica is going to Chile. I guess Daniel gets to go to Mesa!! :) But seriously that's way cool. I've been dying ALL week waiting to know!! And then it's not opened yet. Lame. But if there's one thing I'm learning on my mission it's patience. So I think I'll be okay waiting a little while longer.

So this was good. It was a good, good week. There were no incredible miracles, no off-the-chart numbers, no brand-new families to start teaching....but it was so good. So many tender mercies, and so many wonderful, spiritual moments. Our bathroom is officially FIXED. It took the guy several giant equipment changes and lots of sweat and hours, but he FIXED it. And he was French. Which means his French was beautiful. Tender mercy in of itself :) Seriously though, we learned a valuable lesson on Monday. So many people had told us that no, they are probably going to come and check it out then set up another rdv for the next week because that is how it goes here. EVERYONE said that. So, of course, we were a little skeptical that he would come and fix it right then. We weren't doubtful--we had faith that he could fix it, but we were a little skeptical.

Lesson learned: We need to have faith to override our skepticism.

It also rained a LOT this week. At one point during the week, we had to go to Metz (yep, across the border!) to check out some stuff for Sr. Henson's year legality, and it just rained and rained and rained and we were SOAKED. But it's all good. We both managed to have colds last week, but we are good and healthy now! I never really liked the rain...and I still don't. So I haven't changed at all when it comes to that. 

Here's a little tender mercy experience for you all: It's the end of the day. We're tired. We're in the middle of planning when we have to check the times for a train that we're taking for a rdv that we have the next day. There are tons of this little train times sheets, each one is for a different destination and we needed a specific one for where we were going. We COULD NOT find it. We looked everywhere. We got frustrated and just gave up. As we kneeled down to pray, I noticed something poking out from under Sr Henson's chair--the train times!! We then just sat there, amazed at the analogy with what had just happened. It really wasn't that big of a deal, they were just times. It was an inconvenience, that's all. But there are other times in life that we're just tired. Things just aren't working out, and sometimes we just CAN'T do it by ourselves. And it isn't until we humble ourselves and kneel in prayer to our Heavenly Father that everything becomes clear. We find our answer. We find the solution to our problem. And we more clearly see the hand of God in our lives.

I love being a missionary :)

Just something I really want to add because I think it is SO funny has to do with French. There is a word in french, "ouais" (pronounced "way"), that means "yeah". It's just a casual, conversational word that I LOVE. And so does Sr. Henson. And a habit that we have is, when a french person is talking and says something we agree with, we say "ouais". Except for NOW, Sr. Henson has gotten into this habit a leeeetle too much, and often during the week she responded to something I said--in english, mind you--with "ouais". Each time I would DIE laughing!! It's such a funny habit...poor girl. It's probably just for my entertainment :)

Love you all with all my heart!

Soeur Pettingill

Also, from a separate email:

Me and Soeur Henson decided (because neither of us really like Valentine's Day) to over-celebrate vday!! So we sent valentines to every sister in our mission. Handwritten, homemade valentines. And also to our pres :) It came out to be 66 valentines that we sent!! It was a lot but we did it while the plumber was fixing our toilet. So it was a good use of our time! :) So now I love Valentine,s Day. Also, 1 John 4 and 3 Nephi 17. BEST CHAPTERS on Valentine's day! I encourage you to go and read them :)

pics: this week we found this can of veal dumplings (except it was in luxembourgish, so we didn't know what they were until we opened it) and they seriously smelled like dog food! So gross! So we just cut up a bunch of other veggies and added more seasoning and voila! Luxembourgish food :)
the other one is this storm coming was so cool looking. So i took a picture, naturally :)

Monday, February 10, 2014

De Lux. Yep, it's a word. (Katie-Luxembourg)


First of all, here's an update. It's no longer funny. BATHROOM = BROKEN. Oh well...I mean, it's not like we're missionaries in the second richest country in the world in the richest neighborhood in the country with a broken toilet and shower. Bummer. BUT no worries! There is a plumber coming over today to have a looksee (we called like 4 other ones and nobody said they could fix it...thank goodness for heater companies am I right?). So I guess we'll see!

Now for some really awesome things that happened this week.

CHURCH THIS SUNDAY WAS AWESOME. And I'm not just saying that because we had 4 amis there. Nope, we also had this 25-year-old man-who-speaks-4-languages-perfectly-and-served-a-mission-and-is-married-with-a-little-daughter speak. Totally going to be a general authority someday. Probably apostle. NBD. It was seriously incredible. So amis that came--Diana and her in-active member husband Duwei came! With their little daughter Sofia and her Chinese mother in law. ADORABLE. She wants to get baptized too! I'm hoping that Duwei will be able to baptize her! That would be too great. Also, Jennifer came. She is adorable. She is this tiny Portuguese lady who has a date for the 2nd of March! Everytime she sees us she says, hey don't forget! We're just like, no worries, Jennifer. We won't forget. :) Anne, our adorable Luxembourgish amie who has a boyfriend going to BYU right now, also came. She told us last night that she wants to be baptized, but she wants her boyfriend to do it in the states. STILL COUNTS! And Carmen came as well. She speaks nothing but Portuguese, so we can't actually communicate with her...but she still came! Seriously so cool. I also got to play piano in primary...I love primary. So. Much. And Relief Society was super cool too because the teacher was teaching in Spanish (which I can actually kind of understand...weird) and there was a lady translating from Spanish to French and then another lady translating from French to English so that everybody could understand. It was so cool to see how well this ward functions even with so many language barriers. The church is true!

We also had a miracle day this week. Sr. Henson and I were just feeling so TIRED and down and our bathroom was broken and yeah. We were having a pity party. But we had a couple of rdvs, so we had to go out of the house. Besides to use the bathroom. The first one was with Manuella, but she we just sat on this wall by her house and ate the lemon bar we brought for her. And said a prayer. And after that it was so cool! We had a rdv with Jennifer and we set a date! Then a rdv with this HILARIOUS lady named Valerie. So posh. So luxembourg. We literally had tea (tisane) and cakes and she has a pug. Like what? Then we had dinner at the Turner's house. They're British and I felt like I was Harry Potter. And they just fed us and loved us and it was so great. Heavenly Father LOVES His children :)

Something funny we found out this week: the word for fancy in French is delux. Literally translated as From Lux. That is where the word deluxe in english comes from. FROM LUXEMBOURG. Hahaha Lux is so fancy and so it just makes sense. We also had the little boy, Giovanni, of a less-active who I LOVE named Katia start randomly singing Gangnam Style to us. Probably one of the funniest things I've ever experienced. He's like 6. Hahaha :)

I LOVE YOU ALL! I love being a missionary! I see so many miracles every day! Even if they are little ones. Also it's getting cold. But that's okay, it's snowed like 3 times but hasn't stuck. Mild winter :)

Happy Valentine's Day!

Soeur Pettingill
Luxembourgish sign thing. IN Luxembourgish

our shower :)

Cathedral in Lux called Notre Dame with the Lux crest on the gate

A beautiful cemetery we found by a church in a little village outside of Luxville

Crazy awesome (Jacob-Brive la Gaillarde)

Dear Family,

Wow it sounds like you really are staying busy even with 3 kids gone! I can't wait to hear where Daniel is going on his mission! Tell him to wait until Monday so I can be on the LIVE email. But seriously that is so exciting that it is on it's way!! Thanks so much for the talk insert! I downloaded it onto my USB drive so that I can listen to it later. I love talks so much!!

This week was so awesome!!! The weather here has literally been so crazy that i am not sure what season I am in. It has been going from SUPER sunny, windy RAINIER than imaginable, then back to super sunny. And it did that cycle about 5 times this week... so today it is back to the super rainy part of the cycle but yesterday was so nice! We had an awesome Sunday! I loved the topic of Sunday school which was on Noah's ark and the personal applications that are in that story. Basically it comes down to the fact that we first need to prepare now. Then we prepare by following the direction of the prophets. We made a huge lists of things we do in the church to help us and I loved it because it basically came back down to Preach my Gospel. Preach my Gospel is literally the "recipe" that we have from the Lord to become DISCIPLES of CHRIST (I loved a point made that disciple has the same root as discipline). 

Saturday night we had a huge music night at the church that was for members and investigators to be able to mix and meet a little bit! It was so awesome and after lots of planning and a little incident of a lost phone (yes it's still a problem ;) ) we had a SUPER nice night put on by the members. We 4 elders put on a nice ending number of "Les Anges dans Nos Compagnes" (Angels We Have Heard on High) accompanied by Elder Tihopu on the guitar (Elder Adamson bought a 25 dollar guitar because he wanted to learn so we took advantage of that.) It was great! It was funny because after a couple members said "Wow that was a great activity! We should do this again because I was talking to a couple of members and we have tons of friends that are very musical... I guess we didn't emphasize enough the fact that members should INVITE friends to ACTIVITIES! I guess we will just do another and we will be more clear :). But in any case we had 4 of our amis and the members were soo nice by talking to them and making them feel welcome!

Elder Adamson, MC
This week I had a huge super intense study on the Atonement! I basically tried to study it from the point of view of how the Atonement can become the source of all our energy. This life is so hard and we are so imperfect that I really wanted to apply all the energy that is available when the ATONEMENT becomes our driving force. It was amazing how as I studied the scriptures and tried super hard to "always remember HIM" during the day I felt a huge increase of LOVE, a desire to repent, a realization that literally every time we are tired, it is a feeling that Christ suffered for and felt so he can push us, and a greater capacity to work. Something that really hit this week as I was studying in the scripture was that Christ died for us, SO THAT we would have the capacity to do the same in our own way. He expects of every one of us as his disciples (disciplined) to live at a higher level than the world and he died so we could do that. I am so Grateful for him and the love he showed for us in this huge sacrifice FOR us. 

Thanks so much for everything and Happy Valentines Day?

With lots of LOVE and a couple small bisous (kisses),

Elder Pettingill

Elder Pettingill and Elder Adamson

Tulle, a town they visited this week

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Sorry this is going to be short (Jacob-Brive)

Well basically I am in the middle of teaching a man that is sitting next to me so I am losing time quickly...But this week was really good! We basically had 2 zone conferences.. One on thursday and then yesteday we had interviews/zone conference! It was so cool!! I felt like it was everything I needed to hear! We talked a lot about love and how to teach better! It was so awesome! I love the gospel and all the opportunities it gives us to grow. This week I am going to try to study the atonement every day and really concentrate Christ every day.

Photo bomb!
So one little miracle that we had this week. On Wednesday we taught Mathieu and then after we had some extra time that we had planned to pass this less-active. And we did but she wasn't there. So basically we decided to just walk and we did and then we looked to the left down this one road and both just turned and went down. So we ported a couple houses and then the 3rd house a man opened the door and let us in and he has a family of 2 kids and 1 wife and 1 nephew!! It was such a good experience!! They have cousins that are Mormon and a Bishop and a missionary! They are so nice and come from Madagascar! They speak Malagash. We are going pass them and try and teach them how to have an FHE/bring them cookies!!

I am so grateful for this mission.

Love Elder Pettingill

They have knocked on almost every door in centreville

Eating breakfast and exercising to save time?

Monday, February 3, 2014

No worries, "Our external circumstances do NOT determine our happiness!!" (Katie-Lux)

Hey fam!!

Sooo...I have kind of a lot to tell you. But sorry if there are tons of mistakes, the keyboard I'm using isn't French, but it isn't American either. So it's kind of hard to type on because everything is in the wrong spot. Bummer, right?

It's all good, though. So. This week...started out great! I got to go to Auchan last pday. It's basically a super walmart but super-er. It was really a great time.

Then Tuesday rolled around. That was a good day. Nothing toooo weird happened, well until we got ready for bed. The toilet and shower were GURGLING at us. But like, no big deal, am I right? So we went to bed. The next day went alright...keep in mind that we have a rendezvous at 3 and a train to take us to Versailles for our conference at 4:30...until we tried to go to the bathroom that morning. The toilet filled. And then the shower filled. And then a pipe under the water heater started streaming water. WELP. So we tried calling some people, but all of the people we wanted to call were at the conference (because half the mission had their conference on Wednesday). So we figured out that by going down to this creepy cave that felt like we were literally walking into a dungeon, we could turn off the water! So we did. Then we left. We are missionaries of faith!

So Versailles was fun. We got to see lots of Sisters and Elders that we hadn't seen in a long time and that was so fun!! Unfortunately, I didn't get to see Sr. Hafen. That was kind of a bummer, but it's okay. I survived. And Elder Kearon is incredible!! It was funny because he is from England, so he has this funny British accent...not gonna lie, I kind of thought I was in Harry Potter for a day...but it was seriously SO GOOD. And of course we always love hearing from Pres Poz and the femme (the wife). And the best part is Sr. Henson had to give the opening prayer...IN ENGLISH. Hah. It's like asking us to teach the retab (the Restoration) in English. Not super possible. No but she did a great job, of course (we practiced A LOT, so it sounded at least a little normal). And Versailles is amazing. SO French and SO beautiful! So that was a good time :)

Then we got home. We kind of forgot about the whole water thing...but we remembered just before we boarded our train to go back to Lux, thank goodness, so we borrowed a French phone (our phone doesn't work in France) and called the greffier (clerk) who was no help. Then we went home. We got home late and were too tired to turn the water back on that night (the cave is SCARY), so the next morning at 6.30 we took a little fieldtrip to turn the water back on. We were praying the whole time that, because of our exceeding faith, the shower and toilet would magically be working again. Apparently we were too little of faith because we went back upstairs and it still wasn't working. Elder Prince, the greffier, told us to call the Bishopric, so we asked the first counselor to come over and see if he could do anything (he knows plumbing). So he did. He tried all sorts of things for a couple of hours...stuck a snake down the pipes (no, not a REAL snake) and plunged at the drain for forever. End result?

Our shower was now filled half-way with sewer water. Yes, that means we had a broken toilet and poop in our shower.

This was Friday. It is now Monday. A lovely mission couple from Nancy came and cleaned out the shower and stuff but couldn't do anything to fix it. It is currently still slowly filling with yucky water again. They're coming again today. A kind American family from our ward let us come over last night to shower (for the first time in 4 days) and we have our bathroom routine down to a science. We got to the church, once in the morning at around 11:30 and once at night around 8:30. Let's just say we don't drink a lot! Luckily we have exchanges on Tuesday, so we can shower at the Nancy Soeurs apartment then, and hopefully it will be fixed soon!

So here is my spiritual missionary moment for the week: I read this talk by Bishop Causse called ''Architects of Your Own Happiness'' (INCREDIBLE, by the way) and in it he quotes Elder Uchtdorf (I think) saying, ''Just remember, our external circumstances do not determine whether or not we are happy...we can CHOOSE to be happy.'' (Probably not a direct quote but it's something like that.) So everytime we would feel like complaining that we were dirty or had to pee or our cake turned our wrong or we couldn't wash our clothes, one of us would say, ''Our external circumstances do NOT determine our happiness! We are happy missionaries for the Lord!'' So whenever you feel like complaining about something in life, just remember, YOU are the architect of your own happiness. And at least your shower isn't filled with poop.

I love you all so much and hope you got a little laugh out of this story....we certainly did!

Soeur Pettingill

More pictures from the Versailles Missionary Conference
Katie's companion is the cute Soeur to her left with glasses
Reading a letter delivered by the office staff

The redhead on the far right is Sr. Bennion, Julie Murdock's sister, and was in the MTC with Elder Pettingill