Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Soeur Russell and Soeur Bowman

9 Months

Dear Family and Friends,
Last pday was a little wierd which is why I'm writing on a wednesday instead of a monday. Nothing bad or too strange happened so no worries, just a lot of busy stuff and then we had an exchange right after that in Nice.
Last friday was the halfway mark of my mission. It doesn't make sense in my brain, but its true. 9 months have passed. Time flies and it goes slowly at the same time. (I'm sure everyone can understand that feeling) 
So this last week was pretty cool in that way. there was new years and my 9 month mark. 
On tuesday, we spent a large part of the day helping members prepare for the new years eve party that night. We cut a lot of stuff, rolled a lot of stuff, spread a lot of stuff, taped a lot stuff, set some tables, cleaned, etc..... And the arty ended up being a huge hit, everyone, including Jacqueline(who came too) had so much fun. We left right after dinner(which was yummy) but the rest of the members danced, played games, dressed up in costumes, and covered the entire church in confetti. We visited jacqueline the next day at her house and in the stairwell of her apartment building, there is confetti everywhere leading right up to her door. So all her neighbors know exactly who was the one who made the halls so messy and festive. She is doing great though. She has really progressed in the past week and we have found a very good way of teaching her. That day we also had lunch with a member who has the most gorgeous veiw of the Saint Victoire (a mountain) from her window. It was almost distracting, it was so beautiful. Its very unique from most mountains I've seen. These past two weeks, I have eaten an absurd amount of fois gras. Its not bad, especially when you get the really high quality kind ( the Atoine's had fois gras that their friend made personally which was the best one I have ever eaten), but eating it almost every other day for two weeks is a little scary.  We also got to eat Gallette des Rois twice  last week, which was really yummy. It has a almond tasting center and a flaky outside. And the tradition is that there is little figurine baked in the cake and everyone gets a slice and whoever gets the slice of cake with the figurine in it is the King for a day. The second time we ate it, I got the figurine, so I have a fun little plastic crown in our apartment now :) 
We also had district meeting with only 6 missionaries ( I have never had a district meeting so small before)  and sandwhiches. And, because of our curfew, we weren't able to eat dessert at the new years eve party, but they promised to save some. And later we found an entire giant bowl of millefueilles sitting in the church fridge. We weren't sure if they were ours, so we didn't eat them then. We talked to a member later who said that they were meant for us. We returned to the church to find them gone. I will admit I was very heart broken. So we did some investigating with the other missionaries to find out where they had gone to. But We really had no idea who would do that. Then on sunday we were sitting in Relief Society, when a sister starts talking about some charity that she got to do during the week by giving out food that she had found in the church to homeless people. Our mystery was solved then. Me and Soeur Bowman looked at each other and almost started laughing. Our millefueilles were stolen for charity. That's a good cause.
And then after church, all the missionaries went to a members house for lunch. It is about the coolest house ever. It is almost completely made of glass ( it literally like a glass box) and all the walls open up and close) and we had lots of food and laughed and talked. That was lots of fun. The member couple are both so cool. Funny, nice. And both of them speak english, so it was all easy to understand. Then an FHE at a members house, where we had to hide from her cat ( long story and I dont have time sorry) and the exchange in sunny warm Nice.
I gotta run, but I love you all!!!!!!
à la prochain!!!!
Soeur Russell

Monday, January 6, 2014


Dear Family and Friends,
What a great week! But of course its always great at christmas time. All worries seem so distant and small when we focus on the life of christ. For Noel, we spent christmas eve at our bishop's house with one whole side of his family. The entire family is awesome so they made us feel right at home. We played games, ate a lot of food ( caviar, cheese, chicken, potatoes, fois gras, shrimp, salmon, a buche de noel , rasberry mousse, date paste, salade, sparkling grape and apple juice, more drinks,etc) and watched Home Alone (with president's permission of course). We got to sleep in a little christmas morning and then we opened presents. That was lots of fun and thank you to all the family and friends that sent me something. Our ami jacqueline also gave us presents, (I got a bag and an expresso tea set with cats all over it :)) Later we went caroling to homeless people with Soeur Zassor (a member)  and handed our little sachets of food for them. And then we ate Lunch at her apartment and afterwards, went back to the bishop's house to skype our families. It's so amazing how we can just open our computers these days and see our families faces and talk with them. It was great to see them, and I miss them lots. As well as all my other friends and family. :) But I'm so happy I have the chance to be here working for the Lord.
On friday, we had zone Training, and after we ate domino's pizza and Cookies ( a very american meal) and later that day, we met up with a potential ami named YunLin. She is really cute. She says she is not interested in religion, but she still asks us lots of questions about the missionaries and the church, so we are hoping that will change soon. She is really darling and just a fun person.  After church on Sunday, we taught  Jacqueline, who is doing well, but I can tell she is not always grasping the significance of what we tell her. But she is progressing and reading the Book of Mormon, so she is doing great. :)
Today, we got to do service for some members and ate way to many french desserts.( the member bought us croissants and pain au chocolates and beignets and the elders brought a gallette des rois to our RCM meeting). This time of year is not good if one is trying to be healthy. But it is good for everything else. :)
How blessed we are to have the gospel in our lives. To know that we have a savior who has made everything possible for us creates such hope. The gospel is such a comfort and a blessing.
Je vous aime tous!!!! Beaucoup!!!!!!
à la semaine prochain,
Soeur Russell

Merry Christmas!!!

Dear Family and Friends,
Merry Christmas!!!!!! This week, we had a great lesson with Jacqueline and she even got présents for us! She is so sweet. She loves us so much and we met like a few weeks ago. We are hoping to set a baptismal date with her soon. This week, we also sang in sacrament meeting, Sœur Bowman and I were in the choir and at the end I was supposed to sing a solo. During the choir part though, I was feeling a little Dizzy. I hadn't eaten well for breakfast and it was absurdly hot in the room and We were standing and blowing out large amounts of oxygen. At one point I just started mouthing the words and praying that I could at least get through my solo without fainting. And I have no idea how I sounded because I was trying so hard to not fall flat on my face or worse falling back and hitting my head and causing the entire Sacrament meeting to stop and make a big scene  and ruin the Christmas program and maybe go to the ER. But I didn't faint! yea! So I hope it sounded ok. Nobody has told I was bad so that's good. Aix is so gorgeous during Christmas, they had lights all over in centreville and Christmas markets and people selling little trinkets and candy and nuts and dried fruit. We are still walking and taking buses everywhere so we get to see all the pretty sights a lot. They have an entire market devoted to nativity sets (I think of you Mommy whenever I see it) rides for all the kids and all sorts of fun stuff. We saw Kéjain on sunday and he is doing great. We actually passed Kéjain to the elders to teach because it is a little easier to do it that way but he is so great and wants to learn so much. We also found a lot of cool potentials this week like a guy that we contacted that the night before he had a dream he should stop smoking and come to Christ and a lady who let us in while porting and told us to come back whenever. Sœur Bowman is doing great as well, she is so funny and Darling. She is really shy and this a really dry sense of humor that you wouldn't expect from her at first. We also had exchanges with the sister training leaders this week, one of which is Sœur Mod. Yeah, she is a sister training leader already, that is how awesome she is. I haven't seen her for awhile and I was so happy to see her. She is doing a great job and I loved working with her for a full day, we both have grown so much from that transfer together. For one, I can actually understand French now. :) We also had An amazing Zone conference where I got a whole lot of packages (thank you everyone!!!!!!!!) This week, we will be eating Christmas dinner at the bishop's house and doing calls Christmas day at the bishop's house again. And We are allowed to Watch Disney movies too, so I am excited for that :) I will be calling at 7 (French time) in the evening on Christmas day. Expect a Skype call then! I gotta go! But I love you lots! Keep the Savoir in your hearts this Christmas season! He is truly the source of all happiness. He was born for us and He lives still!
Merry Christmas!!!! Joyeux Noel!!!!
Je vous aime!
Sœur Russell