Monday, June 24, 2013

 don't know what I disbelieve more, that their was a fire next door, or that you guys went to the knew Superman movie without me. But really that is crazy. I hope nobody got hurt or anything. Was it like huge? Are their pictures of the reckage? Crazy buisness.
We had some cool experiences this week. Mirjana, the gypsy who has been taught by missionaries for like 9 years and told us in our first meeting that she would never ever be baptised. We gave her some chapters to read, left her with a prayer, came back a few days later and decided to give her a baptismal calender. Just in case she changed her mind. And guess what? She did, before we even said it she asked if she would be able to be baptised on one of those days. It was pretty awesome, neither of us knew what to say we were so surprised. So now its just seeing if she decides to keep this committment, because she's really awesome. Her big issue is she wants to be baptised with her husband, not without him, and he isn't at all interested. So...we'll find a way around that little problem....

This week has been an interesting week, somehow it became a complete rule breaking week, but not on purpose I promise. One night we were way way way late past curfew, but in our defense we were with the bishops family and had to wait for them to drive us home because their were no busses. Then I had a child climb on my lap and sit, oddly enough still with the bishops family, I got bisous by a 16 year old boy..awkward... And probably the most shameful, and worst one. Somebody, maybe your daughter, bought a dessert with alcohol in it, and didn't find out until after the fact. I think I was in shock for like 30 minutes when I found out. So like I said an interesting week. Also this weekend was the fete de Musique in Mulhouse. Which is just a huge party for the whole city Friday and Saturday night. Music being played throughout the whole city, and outside our apartment their is this little fountain area that kids go play in, they set up a boxing ring. So as we were trying to sleep their was loud music, and a very loud boxing match going on right outside. It was kind of cool i'm not going to lie to you.
We had another cool experience with the 'Jackson' name. So like always people stop us and know that we are American because of my name. But this time we were getting on a bus, they stopped us asked if I was american, I said yes. They all started freaking out saying they love America, and they asked me to smile. Which I very awkwardly did, and all of them go 'OH! So American', so apparently not only my name, but also my smile is all American. And then they gave us some cake, it was really nice. People from Algeria, and Morroco, and the sorts just love us. It's cute.
And! I actually got told I was progressing on my French, so whew! Apparently it is happening, because no lie, it really doesn't feel like i'm progressing a whole lot of the time.

Another random thing, I will be in Paris on the 12th! The same time as grandma, its like a slap in the face, I have to go to do OFII. Life is sometimes very unfair.
And finally, but certainly most importantly, I will be remaining in Mulhouse!!! I think I could cry i'm so happy. I would be quite content to spend the majority of my mission here. I love the members too much to leave, they are my family here.
Oh, and yeah mom they are changing it, starting this transfer we are beginning to use computers during the less busy hours of our day. We are a little excited. Although since you can use Facebook we are thinking a whole lot of new new rules will also be coming along.
That's about it. Love you all. :)

Monday, June 17, 2013

So officially a week from now i will no longer be the newest missionary in France, weird. I'm just praying i dont get transfered from Mulhouse. Because i have officially spent time in Paris, and i am telling you, i hit the jackpot with Mulhouse, and I don't know that I ever want to serve in Paris area. Seriously, Mulhouse is way better. And you know what I know its like a huge drug place and what not, and people are way mean to the Elders, but we're just little girls in dresses, little nuns if you will, nobody is really mean to us.If anything the men are really really interested in us.
The Elder Ballard conference was nice, he was really funny, I got to shake the hand of an apostle, no big deal. And apparently Elder Oaks and some other apostles are coming in September. So i'm thinking I found the mission where you get to meet all the apostles. WOO HOO. But he was really good, he's been really involved in missionary things since he became an apostle, and he said that he picked some of us to go here, so that was sweet. He told a story too about Wilfred Woodruff that I had never heard. It's from his journals, you might already know this, but I will still share it. One night he was dreaming and he saw Joseph Smith (after he had died obviously). And he was running around, and then he saw Hyrum, and Joseph Smith Sr. all of them running around. And he finally stopped Joseph and asked him why they were in such a hurry, they're dead, don't they just get to rest? And Joseph said "Willfred every other dispensation has had ample time to prepare for the Lord, we don't, we have work to do". It was really good. He gave a bunch of instruction, and it was pretty motivating to say the least.
Then we had exchanged, and Lindsay I met you!! Seriously, it was Sister McGhie who i did exchanged with, and it was Lindsay. I just kept saying that the whole time we were on exchanges, and I might have cried a little bit when I said goodbye. Seriously, everything she said and did, it was Lindsay. The one difference that I found, her favorite color is a dark red. It was AWESOME!!!! Paris was disgusting, but she was so awesome. She only has 2 transfers left so she's almost done, and she is a pro, so great.
Then finally we came back to Mulhouse, and it is hotter than Utah, we hit 100. It's been nice, but we get really gross. And we just spent the day at the Mulhouse Zoo today!! And we're pretty disgusting, I feel bad that we have to go teach a lesson with the bishop tonight like this, but c'est la vie.
Down side to the week, that maybe I cried a bit about. Technically Brenda is in our district but not our area. So some other elders called the zone leaders and told on us and they stole her. Like seriously, they stole our ami. It is the most ridiculous thing ever.
Bright side to the week. Yesterday we had the ward repas, or in america linger-longer. And it was pretty awesome. I mean of course the food was great. But now we actually know ward members, it was so much fun just sitting and chatting with everyone.
So that's about it. It was a low number week because we were gone for so many days, but it was a good, very hard working week. We are pretty exhausted, and fell asleep during diner yesterday. So I can't decide if that's a good sign or a bad sign. My French is slightly better, I taught a lesson in Church yesterday and i was understood, so that's a very large miracle. I think that's it, well i'll leave it at that, because this is getting really really long. Sorry. Love you all, miss you. :)

Monday, June 10, 2013

 You want to hear a cute story? So we had a lot of meals with members this week. And one of them was with this widow Soeur Jillet. She's really nice. She joined the church after her husband died. And when she joined it her whole family disowned her, her mother, and all her children, everyone. She isn't allowed to see her grandchildren. She literally lost her family for this faith, not just wordly possessions, but her family. And she just kept saying, I found the kingdom, and I wont give it up. Isn't that incredible? That's how many of the members stories are. Incredible things like that. She lives all alone with lots of cats and a dog, I just thought she was amazing. Sorry, that was random.

The sun comes out, and so do the women! Its a miracle. Since we can't contact men or muslims, I seriously though we would never contact anyone, because we NEVER saw females just walking along. But suddenly it became hot, and they are everywhere! Shopping season has begun, and with it opportunities for us to find.

Well I leave right after this to head to Paris, I will be there for the next few days, First for the Elder Ballard conference, and then to do exchanges with the sisters there. We are all really anticipating this conference, apparently its some big mission buisness, but they wont tell us exactly what it is, so it grows more intruiging. Apparently we are called the apostate mission by some, because so many apostles come visit. And its actually funny because I have just recently learning the reason behind some rules that were made right before I got here. Like they are really strict about how often we see the elders or do anything with them. Apparently because some people started dating, while on a mission, weird. AND I learned the reasons behind why we can't contact men, I already knew why we couldn't contact muslims, but not the men. This mission is hilarious.
Anywho Mulhouse is cool, the TJs are everywhere, we hit up all the same people, its like they are trying to race us. And everybody stops and asks us if we are nuns. Correction, the old people ask if we are nuns, the younger people ask straight out if we are virgins. Can you say awkward? It's like hey, instead of even saying what my church is lets just dive into the law of chastity. People here are so weird. And everybody without even talking to us is like 'your american?' And Soeur Mataalii who has a good french accent will be like how could you tell? They just point to me, and say Jackson. Pft, this name is a dead give away. Apparently no French people have the name Jackson. Ridiculous. Oh! And you guys might not find this funny, but Soeur Mataalii and I were laughing about it. So we were wondering why Mulhouse has never been opened to sisters, I mean is not the friendliest city, but its not bad. And so we were talking with some people, and Mulhouse is like huge drug dealing center, and gangs and stuff. And I mean their are some areas that you walk into and know you just need to turn out, but for the most part the boys here are like fake gansters, we always make fun of them. So that's why it was so hilarious.
We taught a lesson in English! It was beautiful, and super funny. Mirjana was taught by the elders years ago, but just didn't want to get baptised. She's a gypsy from Serbia. And so we were talking and I asked if she'd learned about the temple, and she's like 'yeah! you guys go do baptisms for your dead right?' We nod our heads, her 'yeah you take the dead body and baptise it'. Us, mouths drop open, what did the elders teach you?!? haha it was hilarious. So we talked about eternal families, and I actually got to give a lesson, it was sweet.
Oh and guess what, Soeur Mataalii tells me that I have begun grinding my teeth in my sleep. I'm pretty bummed out that i've developed that habit, now along with gaining weight i'm going to have messed up teeth.
But good news, so our bishop and his wife are like this awesome beautiful young couple, with 2 little boys. So we had lunch with the relief society president and husband, and they are the parents of the wife of the bishop. And they were talking and let it slip that she's pregnant!! You don't know her so it probably doesn't matter for you, but I am so excited. And I had said in Church that morning that I wanted to see her pregnant. Awesome. The relief society president is a good cook, but it was the longest meal i have ever had, we kept trying to leave because we are only allowed to be their a certain amount of time, and they kept bringing out courses. And I am starting to like weird things, when I come home I wont know what to eat anymore.
We are also teaching this Mulsim lady Mina, and her family. And they are the most Christian Muslims ever. They are awesome, and her teenage daughter thinks the book of mormon is awesome.
That's about it. It suddenly this week became summer in Mulhouse, and sky rocketed up to 100. Its been pretty nice. :) Miss you guys!! LOVE YOU LOTS!!!!! I'll let you know next Monday what happens at the much anticipated Elder Ballard conference.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Hello everyone,
So this week has been busy, and yesterday is stopped raining and the sun was shining, it was a fast sunday miracle. Speaking of fast sunday, slightly better here in France. They make sure that sacrament doesn't go over by ending all other meetings early and starting sacrament early, smart people.
I will begin with my funny story. So we are teaching Lavania and her baby daddy Darius, we showed up to teach them the other day and Darius walks in just in his boxers. Me and soeur Mataalii look at each other like really? And then our eyes continue down, this fool is on house arrest! We burst out laughing, I really couldn't believe it. So we taught somebody in their boxers this week, and now were just dying to know what he did.
Oh! Before I forget, so on the 11th of June Elder Ballard is coming and speaking to our mission. Since apostles dont usually visit missions every 6 months the rumors are running wild through the mission that it is going to splitm since after next month we will have over 250 missionaries. Which means in a month I could not be part of the France Paris mission anymore. Weird.
I finally had a French French meal. All our past ones have been with members not from France, like Brazil, or like with the Bishop who gave us pizza. It was good, but it was pretty long, and they did the whole several courses thing. I am going to get the recipe because dad would totally love it! It was a salmon and rice dish for the main course, it was pretty good, we had it with the stake Patriarch and his wife, and basically they are beautiful. Everytime he talked about the gospel he would get all emotional and almost cry, so adorable. And he talked about his conversion and he was all 'I didn't even have to ask, i knew it was true', and then he talked about how happy he was that a few weeks later his wife could accept it and be baptised. It was adorable, we felt dumb blessing his foyer because I totally want a blessing from him!
Oh on a ward note, our bishop is still remaining our bishop, but also serving in the stake presidency, I have never heard of that happening.
Now for my awesome story, So last week we had been out all day, and Soeur Mataalii was done and wanted to stay in the room for the rest of the night, cause it was pourring rain outside. But I insisted we go out for another half and hour at least and try contacting, and went and stood by the door until we left, she hates it when I do that. And we were standing at the tram station and a girl walked by, but kept walking, and I turned to Sr. Mataalii and said we should have talked to her, and she said she was thinking the same thing, then 5 minutes later she came back, and started a conversation with us! So we just started talking about the weather, got on the tram with her and she asked where we were from. Perfect. We told her and why we were here, and asked what religion was for her. She said she stopped going to her church because they pray to saints and Mary, but not to God, and she thought she should really be praying to God. PERFECT!!! So we told her about our prayers and had a little discussion. She said we could meet again. So we met at the Church, talked about the Book of Mormon, gave her one and she said she would start reading it that night before we even asked. And then said she couldn't come to church that week, but she can make it next week. Before we even asked her. Seriously. She's from Camerun, of course, because all the friendly people come from their or Nigeria. Her name is Brenda, and she is 19 years old. She is reading the Book of Mormon every night. Feel free to pray for her. :)
On a personal note, Sr. Mataalii has been pretty sick, so we've been a lot of time in the apartment, and i have done a tone of reading, and eating. But its all good, she's feeling a lot better now so that's good. That's about it from this end. LOVE YOU!!!!!