Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Our electricity is back on!

Dear family and friends,
This last week, we have been going between our apartment and the other sister's apartment a lot, and this very morning we got electricity turned on. So we did a lot of shopping today and got a bunch of stuff to cook and to put in the fridge.  yummy :)
The reason I'm writing on tuesday and not monday is because yesterday we had zone conference (which was awesome) and interveiws with president. So our p-day was moved to today. This week, we have found a few potentials to start working on, one of which called us from a card we handed out (I've never had somebody call from a pass a long card) and another one that a member at church towed over to us for us to get her address. This week we also have been working on hyping up the ward and people we meet about musical night we will be having this thursday. Some elders this transfer have been assigned to do a tour of the mission, doing a music night so members and nonmembers can come. Apparently, these elders are supposed to be really good (like concert pianist level good) at music, so I am really excited to go. We got to teach some less actives and recent converts as well. One Less active is an old asian lady who isn't able to come to church because of her health. She is so cute because she will randomly launch into prayers in the middle of the lesson and says amen after every sentence so the only way you she is finished is if she says in the name of jesus christ of latter day saints amen. But she does it so calmly that it never interuptes the lesson. Those lessons always feel so calm, at time we will be sitting there saying nothing for like two minutes, but it feels really natural. And she doesn't talk a lot so the lessons never drag. She is great. I also had an exchange with the sister training leaders this week in Montpellier. They are great. I don't know how they work so hard all the time. In our ward we have this one member, who is amazing, we were stuck waiting at the church for a while, so this old lady stayed with us and told me to stop cracking my knuckles or she would write my mom and investigated the creepy sounds coming from the elevator with us and even did a little dance for us in order to emphasize something. We were laughing the whole time. I'm so glad that my french is at the point that I could understand all the funny things she said. Right now the elders are ussually teaching the english classes because mostly men come to them. Its a bit cold here, especially when there is wind (it can get really windy here) but it not like the north for sure) This week during zone conference, the stake president said something I really liked. It sounds cooler in French especially with his really low and dramatic voice but it means, carry the thoughts in your heart that will pick up your spirit. We are not perfect, but that does not mean we should degrade ourselves. God is on our side. With him, we are the strongest. No man on this earth is stronger, more powerful than the one that walks with God. 
I love you all
Je vous aime Beaucoup!!!!!
Soeur Russell

gypsy clans, tasteless fish deaths, and ripping up cardboard

Dear family and friends,
 this week, I got inivited to join a gypsy clan!!!!!!!! The story goes like this. Soeur Bowman and I were just finishing up our nutella crepes (that we were having for dinner, we don't do that every day, I promise) on a bench in front of the gorgeous aix fountain, and while I was telling a really exciting story about whitewater rafting, a man walked past, remarked that we spoke english, and asked to speak some english with us in a heavy accent. We find out that he is from greece and I dont remember his name (soeur Bowman and I have nicknamed him esmeraldo) but he started off by asking us about the missionary program and how it works, We explain a bit and try to steer the conversation in a missionary direction with some religous questions. That worked for like 2 minutes and then next thing you know he is telling us about how he lives at a tent down by the river, he doesn't work, he doesn't have any money, but he wants to start a community of gypsies here in aix. He then tried to convince us that we would save more money by becoming gypsies as well. He told us that every two days, he can make a phone call to a certain number, requesting food and telling them where he is and fifteen minutes later, a bus will appear and give him enough food for two days. He didn't go into any detail into who does this or why, but he called that number right there and then a started ordering food for both him and us.  So we excused ourselves and got away, even though we were really curious as to whether a bus really does come. Sounds like secret combinations to me. As missionaries, we really go through some of the strangest situations. This one was really a first for me.
This week we got to see a bunch of members and less actives and new converts. One of the new converts we saw is named Andre. He is an older french man, who loves the church. he loves it more than elvis, which is a lot( he has elvis pictures all over his apartment) He gives all the sister missionaries that teach him nicknames ( the last two sisters were his blonde and pitbull) He hasn't picked a nickname for Soeur Bowman yet but he picked one for me. I actually don't know what it is he said but it started with a B or C and it has something to do with singing. Him and the other recent convert that we are teaching are great. They love the gospel. The other is named Suzanne. She got baptized just a few weeks ago even though she is  afraid of water and she got to go to the temple to do baptisms just a after her baptism.  We had laguage study the other day with a sister over hot chocolate and we were trying to practice teaching The gospel  and one moment we were talking about the holy ghost and next thing I know  the member starts talking about food in asia. And apparently there is a pool somewhere in china or japan that has more fish than water and for some reason they don't have a taste so they add lots of tomato sauce to add flovor to their products and lots of people die. Either I didn't understand part of the conversation or what she was saying made no sense.
We have been able to meet a lot of really cool people lately while contacting. Not all of them were interested but we had some really quality contacts. We have few potentials that we are really excited about. Also this week, we got to teach two diferent amis. Stephen and Abdoulaye. Stephen is interesting, I dont know what to think of him yet. Abdoulaye is muslim, but he is really interested in learning more about the gospel, he has already done some reading out of the book of mormon which is awesome.
We still haven't gotten any electricity, but everything else is going fine. We have finally started ripping up the huge mound of cardboard in the corner of our living room that was left over from unpacking stuff. We have to rip it all up to take to the recycling so we spend a good amount of time every night ripping up cardboard.  Its pretty fun though. I like the thin cardboard because I can rip through it really fast and I feel really strong. Our neighbors must think we are really wierd with the ripping sound going on every night. :)
Je vous aime tous!
Et n'oubliez pas que Dieu vous aime aussi!
Il est la pour nous et Il veut que nous avons la joie dans cette vie!
à bientot!
Soeur Russell

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Canned beans and corn and green beans and lots of contacting and an amazing ward

Dear family and friends,
 It is so exciting to hear about people's new mission calls and that amazing family getting baptized in powell. The Lord is pouring out miracles. It so exciting to be a part of it.
 Aix is gorgeous and the ward here is spectacular. We have eight missionaries in total in the ward and all of the members, especially the bishop, have a huge desire to be a part of missionary work. We so far have only had a lesson with a less active, and a lot a lot of contacting, but this next week, we already have a lot of lessons planned with less actives, recent converts, and non members. So we are really excited for that. 
My companion, Soeur Bowman, is a little trooper, this last week took a lot of energy. What with the large amounts of straight contacting each day, lack of electricity and only canned food, she just keeps moving forward. She has awesome french, which helps me because I have a lot to work on, especially grammer wise. And she is really funny. So this will be a great transfer. :)  I haven't gotten to try much food here yet besides a burrito and a crepe and absurd amounts of canned food, but I looking forward for when I will be able to eat some of the food here. It is supposed to be pretty famous.
Well gotta go. (sorry for the short letter)
God loves you!!!!!!!
Je vous aime tous!!!!!
Soeur Russell