Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bonjour ma famille

Bonjour mes petites pallies!!!

So I want to start off by saying we only get 30 minutes on email.  In fact, there is a little timer in the corner, and it shuts off after 30 minutes.  I feel like I'm on a game show....

AH le MTC.  It's a different place, that's for sure, and I mean that in a good way.  But my first day was literally a headache.  I got there earlier than I should have, so they took me to the "early arrivals" room.  I was the only sister, and it was kinda weird because I'm used to being around boys and talking to them.  They were not so sure what to do with ME, however, so I was placed in a corner by myself.  After a while a Samoan sister showed up, and I was no longer alone.  MAIS-- there was ONE elder that I had a class with at BYUI!!  How chouette is that???  Class that first day was a tough monkey too because I was running on about two hours of sleep, and all I wanted to do was crawl into my bed and sleep.  No such luck.  I met ma tres cher collegue (my dear companion) at class, and the rest of my district.  Our district is composed of 9 missionaires, which is apparently a large district.  Tous les missionaires vont aller (are going) a France-- there are four, including me, going to Paris, and five going to toulouse.  The elders going to my mission... well, let me start with ma favorite (not.).

Il y a (there is) an elder who thinks he is la Shiz.  No joke.  Took a giant semester full of French and now thinks he is AWESOME!!!!  Yeah, maybe he is.  But I have a hard time getting past his giant ego to really get to know him.  Actually, he must be a decent man because he is now (joy) my District leader.  But I've decided I will never criticize his leading skills.  We're all inexperienced, and he was called to that position.  He corrects to prove he is right, but not out of love.  And he's wrong half the time.  Honest.  He made this big deal out of our pronunciation of our purpose.  For those who speak french (Comme Scott) you will get this.  He says "EEnveetay" pour "inviter" and "SANE" pour "Saint" et "FEEEN" pour "fin".  Honest?  Got on our cases for not saying those words that way.  Well, I leaned over to my companion and said (because I was still at a point where I wanted to just let him be the teacher and I'll be the humble student) and said, quietly "I'm not sure that's how you say those words.  I think you say it "anveetay" and "sannn"  and "fan"."  She said "I don't know."  So I said, "me either."  Well, our real teacher came back after our personal study and heard us using this elder's pronunciation.  He swiftly corrected us.  Guess I was right.  Huh.  BUT-- and this is for Mom-- I did not say "HA!" or "I TOLD YOU SO!".  I just turned to an elder next to me and said, "did you catch that?  Is that how we pronounce that?"  So I'm pretty sure this elder is going to keep me on my toes.  I no longer worry about being the know-it-all, because all I have to do is observe this elder and NOT do what he's doing.

There's another elder that has taken it upon himself to be chums avec les soeurs.  Why?  His companion is a lot less mature than him.  The first day of class, all he could do was look shocked at what his companion had to say.  But I've noticed, now that they sit next to les soeurs, all is well.  Je pense it's because we encourage his companion to be less of the world and a little more mature.  He treats us with such respect, and we weren't even trying to help him.  I guess that's just how our district works.  BUT-- I must say this "worldly" companion has serious strong points.  When he focuses, he makes the most amazing comments, and can lead any conversation with an "investigator" to the gospel.  What a skill!!  I think I admire it so much because I do not posses it.  Which leads me to my next topic:

I always thought I was a people person, but I've found it tres difficult to speak with investigators, and not just en francais.  I am so very humbled by this inability to take conversations from the person to the gospel.  I also seem to have lost the ability to truly talk about a person.  This skill has been in my prayers lately.

Everyone talks about the spirit being here, but it took me a few days to notice the specific way in which I've been blessed here.  I realized yesterday that my mind hasn't wandered one bit, and I mean not one bit.  When it does go from the topic at hand, it strays to other missionary topics.  To some, it may seem like "duh."  But pour moi-- c'est merveilleux.  I have NEVER been able to focus like this.  Ever.  What a BLESSING it has been!  THere are so many things I've done that I've never been able to do.  Like stay completely awake during class, and loving roommates that are especially grating on my nerves.  Thank heavens, and I mean that in the most literal sense.

TORI-  thanks for the letter.  You are getting one from me this week.

Mere et Pere: you also are getting letters.

BETH: don't worry, I won't let the elders push me around.  I also won't let myself push them around.  and I see BREE every SINGLE NIGHT!!!  I lovvvee it!!

My time is up.

Au revoir.

Je vous aime.

Soeur Barros

PS-- I'll have photos next week, but I forgot my camera today.

We are 4-Square champions.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Signing off...

It's here.  It really is here.  Scared?  Sorta.  Excited? Not yet (for France, I mean.  It's another two months until I'm there...).  In denial?


BUT- I am packed.

I think I shall leave my blog with this message:

I know the church is true.  I know it.  It's no longer belief for me, because it is knowledge.  I know that Christ is my redeemer and lives today.  I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and has restored the true church on the earth in these latter days.  And I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the Book of Mormon is true.  And I love it.

Don't cry for me, friends and family.  The truth is I'll never leave you.  All through my wild days, my mad existence.... I'll keep my promise to serve well and worthily.  Don't keep your distance.

Mailing addresses:

Sister Kacey Kathleen Barros

MTC Mailbox # 85
FRA-PAR 0525
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

I'm pretty sure I'll be there for eight or nine weeks.

When I get to France, this will be my mailing address:

Soeur Kacey Barros
France Paris Mission

23, Rue du Onze Novembre
F-78110 Le Vesinet

Have I said too much?

There's nothing more I can think of to say to you.
But all you have to do is look at me to know
That every word is true


(PS- ten points to whomever can name which musical I've been quoting....)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

How can there be any sin in sincere?

How do i leave my family for 18 months? It hits me every day now. I want to serve a mission with all my heart. But i already miss my mom, my dad, my sisters, and my brothers. How do i do it? I don't know. 

I must have faith.  They'll be fine-- they've sent out missionaries before!  And it's not like I'm gallavanting through europe-- no.  I'm serving the Lord.  He will help me get past this little tiff.

Okay.  I feel better now.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I married a God....

Not really.  But kind of...  I promise to explain later....

My long time bishop of the Valentine ward was released last week at Stake Conference.  This bishop kicked me out of the ward (I was 17), then asked me to come back (they needed an organist), told me I was too young to get married (when I was 18 and just starting to date Ben-- he told me to wait untill at least 18 1/2), congradulated me when I got engaged and endorsed it with his personal approval (the wedding date was just past my 18 1/2 mark), defended me to my fiance when he wanted to call it off, and cried with me when it all fell to pieces.  He helped me go to the temple, loved me, and supported me in everything.  And now, his life moves on.  I'm sad, yes, but I'm also glad.  Life cannot stay the same, or it's not life.  But that's just my opinion.  He's now in the Stake Presidency.  President Perkins will be amazing, I'm sure.

Today he was officially released in our ward.  We had a huge turnout, and I'm pretty sure our ward clerk hoped today was a counting day.  People who weren't in the ward anymore for whatever reason showed up.  I didn't see him first.  Tori did.

"Kacey.  Ben's here."
"Ben...?  Oh.  Ben Ben?"
"I don't see him... oh wait.  I do."

The entire Pitman clan was there, along with my beautiful almost-nephew Mitchell and his new(ish) little brother.  Oh he is SOOO grown up!  I saw the people I once loved as my own, sitting there without me.  I didn't get immediately sad, but the more I watched them, the more I remembered the good times I had with them.  How amazingly sweet David and Hillari are.  Early in the engagement, Dave called me, teased me about the last name I was going to take on, and then told me how happy his brother was.  And if I could make Ben that happy, then Dave welcomes me into the family.  How Hillari told me stories about Ben, and how much she loved this family, inviting us over for dinner.  How Mary was sweet and inviting, paying for me to fly to Boston for Mark's wedding.  How she and Grandma Mary cried at my Bridal Shower because they were so happy for Ben. 

The Pitmans may have their faults, and some of them are more apparent than others.  But nothing can be said to disuade me from their amazing qualities.  I still love them.

So that made me sad.  And remembering them reminded me of Ben.  And the good things about him.
He's a good man.  He's the only relationship I've had with a man that made me improve my standards, and actually live up to them.  He held me accountable for my actions, though sometimes it went too far (which is one of the reasons I'm glad we never married).  He loved to laugh, and was never afraid to laugh loud.  He stood up for what he believed in, even to his Mormon peers, which is something I always find hard.  He loved me.  He planned an extensive proposal, but wanted to be engaged so much that he just asked me.  Three weeks before he was going to.  He included me in many decisions.  He was a good man, and would have been a good husband.

Of course he had his faults, but that's not the point of this post.  If we dated again, we would never make it.  I'm a different person now and wouldn't stand for half of what he would say to me.  No one could make me feel ashamed for my concern anymore.  Now I would never allow my fiance to hide things about his health from me, two weeks before the wedding.  And now I would... no.  I'd still fight for him.  If I loved a man enough to say yes to his proposal, and I knew it was approved by God, then I would fight him like I did Ben.  I did NOT go out without a fight.  And you know what?  I like that about me. 

He was a good man.  I would highly reccomend him to anyone.  But not to date-- he's still got committment issues, and it's far to easy to fall in love with this man.

But that's not the God I was talking about.  Last night I dreamt that I married a God.  Greek-God type God.  We even had our own versioun of hades.  I thought it rocked.  But I had very little power.  I mean, being a God-in-law was pretty limiting.  I loved it, though.  Something about this dream made me think about the post-mortal existence.  I got very excited.  I mean, have you ever thought what your role as a Heavenly Mother will be?  (If you're women that is; don't you men worry about being Heavenly Mother's).  I don't mean to wax philosphical or go into dangerous doctrine territory.  But sometimes you wonder... ya know?

Okay.  Well.  C'est tout- for now.