So I think I finally figured out the tricks to this whole emailing thing and hopefully thiis email is better :)
Wow, I can't believe I'm starting my 4th week at the MTC today! Week 3 has FLOWN. Everything that everyone says about how the time works at the MTC is SO true. Days feel like weeks and weeks feel like days. I love it so much though. There really is no better place for me to be than here!
First of all- THANK YOU FOR THE PACKAGE FAMILY!!! I felt like it was christmas morning and it made my day- actually my whole week!
I also got a small care package that didn't have a name with it so to whoever sent it to me- THANK YOU!!! I got two packages in two days and I just felt like the most spoiled and loved missionary in the MTC. It made my week as well :)
I'm doing really well except for the fact that I'm STILL sick! I have never been through so many tissues in my life! It comes and goes but it seems to be slowly getting better. My voice has been in and out so that has been interesting trying to teach. Haha but nonetheless, all is wel! Thank you for all of the prayers and letters you have sent me, I feel so blessed to have such great family and friends! I LOVE getting mail, so keep writing me!! DearElder is great, but I just die everytime I get a handwritten letter. I'm usually good about replying, they just sometimes take awhile in the mail :)
We got 2 new districts in our zoneso it's fun not being the newbies anymore! Actually, after next week, we'll be the oldest district. The new districs are all going to the France Lyon mission or the France Paris mission so I have loved to tell them all that my best friend is serving in Lyon right nnow and that my brother-in-law served in Paris! I tel them to look out for Soeur Jones when they get there and they always nod and smile like yeah.... I'm not going to remember that name in like 5 minutes. lol. I know that's what they're thinking, but hey! Worth a shot, eh?
So the COOLEST thing happened this past week! 2 elders FROM Tahiti that are here at the MTC came by to see our teacher, Soeur Buswell, and they gave us all seashell leis!! I was like freaking out. They also sang in Tahitian for us which was just about the COOLEST THING EVER. We've met a few other sisters and elders from Tahiti and it is always such a blast to talk to them. I already love Tahitians so much!!
Another great thing about them coming by is that it sparked this huge culture talk and so we just talked about Tahiti again for all of class- AKA the best kind of class ever. Soeur Buswell is THE BEST. Honestly, the best teacher I think I'll EVER have. I learn SO much from here and I just hope I can even be half the missionary that she was!
Our culture talk was cool because I also learned that with this new wave of missionaries and beacuse there no longer is a quote for the number of American visas, they've opened up more islands! The Marquesas Islands are now open! They speak Marquesian, which is a different dialect of Tahitian I believe, and the islands are small and pretty far off. They wouldnt' send sisters because its too far from the Mission Home, but an Elder in my district, Elder Molinari, is like SO stoked because he wants to go there so bad. Haha but besides the Marquesas, they also have missionaries on the Tuamotu islands and the Austral Islands which I could serve on! The Tuamatus are east of the Society Islands (where Tahiti and the other main islands are) and then the Austral islands are south of the Society Islands. It's cool to learn about everywhere I could serve, but since 75% of the population of French Polynesia lives on Tahiti, I will most likely serve 75% of my mission there. Which excites me beyond words!
Soeur Buswell also told us about this mountain on Raiatea (Ray-uh-tay-uh) where there is this small, beautiful flower that can only grow there on that mountain! They've tried to replant this flower everywhere, but it won't grow! It's sad too that because these flowers are so rare, people have picked them to sell and so there aren't very many left. Soeur Buswell got to hike up and see the flowers because she had some connections and I am so jealous because I'm not sure if I'll ever get that opportunity! Nonetheless, pretty sick eh?
She told us about Teahupoo, which is the southern part of the island of Tahiti, where the biggest waves in the world are. They have like pro surfing competitions there and everything! I couldn't help but think about Cousin Nick and all of his surfing trips. Next stop- Tahiti? Haha but the waves are HUGE and pretty dangerous though so I'm not sure how many recreational surfers surf there.
So other than all of the culture talk- French is going really well! I really feel like I'm progressing and am slowly getting to where I want to be. This past week, we taught the Plan of Salvtion to Vetea and it was definitely pretty difficult because of all the vocab and trying to simplify the lesson that we could teach it in 20 minutes. It turned out really well and I really feel like everytime we teach, we progress. Our second lesson with our new investigator, Hutia, was really the greatest indicator for us that our hard work, preparation, and constant seeking of the Spirit to be with us and help us really does pay off. We were really able to connect with her and teach her based on what she needed to hear and not just what we planned to teach her. IT WAS AWESOME. I love learning and feeling like I'm progressing and becoming closer to the Lord because I know that these habits will impact me far beyond my 18 month mission. I know I've said this a lot, but I'll keep saying it- This is definitely the best decision I have EVER made and I thank Heavenly Father everyday that I'm here and that I get the privilege of being his servant as a missionary of the Lord.
Another cool experience we had this past week was in the TRC. We taught two volunteers who were members, but it was such a great experience and good practice for us. We taught and testified of Joseph Smith which was really powerful. I even recited the 1st vision in French from memory! The Spirit was incredible and I really enjoyed it. Learning and speaking French is definitely not easy, but it's worth it when you get to experience the Spirit like we did when we were teaching. I just love it so much!
Well, I think that's about it! But to end on a funnier note- one of our favorite things to laugh about in our district is how fat we're all going to be when we're in Tahiti. Like seriously, everyone I've heard of or talked to gained like 20-40 pounds on their mission. I think it'll be hilarious when we have zone conferences because it seems that weight gain is pretty inevitable and we'll all just laugh so hard when we reunite. So to warn you far in advance friends and family- don't be surprised when I send home pictures in Tahiti and I'm fat. Hahaha I say bring it on because I know that I'll love the people and French Polynesia too much to let it bother me. :)
I hope y'all had a safe flight back from Utah family! I was definitely thinking about y'all when y'all were here in Provo! Hope you had a great birthday Mom :) Love you!
Love y'all and I can't thank y'all enough for all of the prayers and letters! Keep them coming :)
P.s. Our favorite scripture in our district is D&C 90:11. It's definitely one of those scriptures when we just have to say- enough said. :) "For it shall come to pass in that day, that every man shall hear the fulness of the gospel in his own tongue, and in his own language, through those who are ordained unto this power, by the administration of the Comforter, shed forth upon them for the revelation of Jesus Christ."
Semaine trois that I had fun making with scripture crayon shavings :)
Me and my Comp with our shell necklaces! We were both looking at our own cameras and failed to look at one of them at the same time. lolz
Soeur Kimball climbing across the dresser in our room. lolz, it was late.
Our district with our leis!
Soeur Buswell's throne! She's the best. I love this picture because it describes her perfectly. She loved it but felt awkward at the same time. hahaha love her!!
Another of our shell necklaces. lolz at Elder Molinari.
Our whole zone!! Plus some more from the other french speaking zone i think haha
Floral Sunday!! We all wore our floral skirts and shirts :)