Monday, June 30, 2014

Soeur Rose and Soeur Russell

Ruins, Bars and the World Cup

Dear Family and friends,
Time to write about two weeks worth of crazy mission life. So, two mondays ago, Soeur Röse and I went with the elders to castle Crussol, these ruins on the top of a hill next to Valence. They were huge and really fun. One of the elders went on forever about how much fun it would be to paintball in the castle. I have to admit, I have never been paintballing, but it would be really cool to have a paintball battle in this castle. Then we had an exchange in Lyon with the sister training leaders. I was with Soeur Richardson, who came in at the same time as me and it was interesting looking back on our missions together. I have a lot more to do and learn, but I have already done and learned so much. My testimony has really grown and I know more that God wants us to be happy. It is up to us to choose to be happy and if we put of being happy until we are in the best shape or we have the perfect job or until we are rich or until we are the perfect missionary or until we have thousands of friends, we will never be happy. What is the point of working towards being perfect if we don't allow ourselves to be happy along the way?
The rest of last week, we ate a lot of food ( comme habitude) and went to grenoble for a music night and taught a whole bunch of african men ( and one indian man) and taught one of these african men on chairs in front of the Black City Afro Ethnik bar ( an african bar, our ami de l'eglise works there) ( we got some wierd looks as people walked past and heard us teaching the first vision(most of them were probably wondering why nuns were talking to an african guy in front of a african bar)). We even helped recycle two days worth of beer bottles from the bar ( when I volunteered, I didn't know they were beer bottles). We also taught Alexandre and Sylvia and Estelle. Alexandre and Sylvia are halfway through Alma and We just taught the law of tithing ( that one was a little hard for them), but they love the Book of Mormon. Estelle is fabulous. She lives so far away so we can only see her once a week, but we taught the plan of Salvation last week and Word of Wisdom this week. Both times she said that these came from God and she knows it is true. She will have a hard time quitting smoking, but she is already making plans to do it. She is so intelligent and loving and so open to the spirit.
This last Monday, We had lunch with members and played games and threw rocks by a river. During last week, we got a marriage prep class by one of the members, (she always does that) and, with permission of our mission president, watched the Germany vs America World Cup game at a less actives place. Soeur Röse was very glad that Germany won, but I wasn't too excited about the game, it takes so long for anything to happen. And we also had a barbeque with a tongan rugby player family. ( it was awesome, but they made enough food to feed all of corsica ( exaggeration, but it was a lot, and there are not to many people in Corsica)
Ok, on doit y aller. Mais Sachez que Dieu vous aime et Je vous aime.
Soeur Russell

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Conference, miracles and hobos

Hi peoples!!!!!
I feel horrible, because each week, I think that I will write a super long email and then I get distracted by something and then I remember that people want to hear from me. Sometimes I am so excited to hear from people that I forget that I should respond ( You would think it would be the other way around). 
This last week, We had the Elder Andersen conference. It was spiritually mind-blowing. The spirit that was there was simply overwhelming. All of the mission did a really good job preparing for it and making it the most spiritual and sacred event ever. You know how when Christ visits the Americas, there is that part towards the end where the Lord's countenance shone upon them? I think I understand a little bit what that means now after looking at the faces of Elder Andersen, Elder Kearon, President Roney and their wives at the end of the conference. We learned a lot that we have started working on. One of the best parts of the conference was the singing. We sang a special musical number which was a mixture of bring him home from les mis and be still me soul and angels we have heard on high ( trust me, it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard.) and we sang the Spirit of God/ Hosanah piece that is always sung a temple dedications( we left out a verse that is reserved for the dedication). When we started singing the first line of the song, Elder Kearon had tears running down his cheeks. The spirit was incredible there. 

This week, we taught Estelle, our member's neighbor and she had a really cool miracle this last week. She prayed about her current situation ( she is going through a difficult divorce) and asked God to help her receive the financial help she needs for her children and just a few moments later, she got a call that did just that! And as she was reading the Book of Mormon, she prayed to know if it was true and she got an answer. She knows it is true. She started crying when she was telling us this and the spirit was so strong. 
Fun thing this week: Soeur Röse was talking about Johnny Depp and she said that in real life (and I quote) " he looks like the last hobo from next door". I died when I heard her say that ( I promise that we do not have hobos living next door)
Je vous aime!!!!
Dieu aussi!!!
Soeur Russell

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Garlic, Dotty thingies, bapteme

Dear family and friends,
I can't beleive this week is already over, I feel like we just barely got back from Lyon. This week, for some reason, I have felt absurdly tired. I always feel tired, but this week was over the top. If I stay in one position for more than 20 seconds ( doesn't matter if I'm lying down, standing, sitting, streching) I wake up to my companion checking to see if I am awake. Even now, I'm feeling the yawns and tired eyes coming on. So, I don't feel like I was concious for the most part of the week (of course I was but I didn't really remember it) This wednesday, we ate with some mebers, who fed us fish that wasn't really fish and covered it with an aoili that was basically mayo blended with all the garlic that they could find in the grocery store. It was garlic with a little bit of mayo added in. Afterwards we ate this cherry cake thing that I have eaten 6 times ( not kidding) already. But we ate with some other members this week and had a yummy barbeque and salad. That was fun. :) Soeur Röse has been having stomach problems the last few days, so she is on a mostly bread and water diet. (orders from the mission nurse ( Soeur Röse ate the burritos I made late night, don't tell the nurse :)). Change of subject because if not I will probably list off everything I have eaten this last week, and it wasn't too exciting ( except for the olives we bought, they are super). 
I just checked out some of my older emails and I would like to apologize for the huge amounts of grammer mistakes that I've noticed. I promise I don't do them on purpose, it just gets worse the more I speak french. But I'm getting really talented with the two döts thingy on the key board, before I was companions with Soeur Röse, I had no idea how to do the dots. 
Dear daddy, there has only been one place in the mission where I have heard of bikes, but they have changed to a car recently. 
People in DC need to stop opening car doors without looking and almost injuring family members. Who knew that car doors were so dangerous? (Usually only if you are george of the jungle)
So, Alexandre and Sylvia are doing well. Sylvia has completely stopped drinking coffee and is doing a great job with smoking, we are so proud of her. The rest of our amis are taking their time. 
Oh, I don't think I told you, but Jean from Aix is baptized! He is apparently doing great and is introducing the church to his brother too. 
Dieu vous aime!!!!!
Soeur Russell

(Editor's note - both Daniel and Jennifer had car doors opened into them while riding bikes. Jennifer was on her way to work, Daniel was meeting a friend for lunch in DC. They are okay, but this is a good reminder to wear helmets!!)