Monday, June 28, 2010

Get down with the sickness

Which is how I feel.  This week has been bizarre, but good none the less.  But still bizarre.  And I'm glad it's over.

Well, who knows where to start.  I can start with the sickness, which, of course, I was again.  It really started with the fact that two saturdays ago I sprained my foot.  Yup, I limped around Caen for a week.  And then exchanges were this week, so I got really nervous that I would be dead weight in St Quentin with my foot; alas, I decided to call the senior missionary here who is a doctor and ask him what's what.  Well yes, I did sprain my foot.  And yes, I need to take lots of ibuprofin and ice my foot two or three times a day.  Super.  I'm so accident prone here.  WELL it gets better.  That night, during a lesson (that ended with me saying if she wasnt going to read thhe book of mormon after meeting with missionaries for several years, we were wasting each other's time), I realized that I was getting a fever.  Then during District meeting, I became certain.  We drug ourselves home from the church, my companion sick with a cold that I so generously gave her, and realized that we still had to clean our old apartment before giving the propriator the keys on wednesday, I almost cried.  I got changed quickly and we wandered over to "oldy" and started cleaning.  The elders came over to help us clean and get rid of some old things, and one of them told us that we were going to get a mini missionary next transfer.  That's when I cried for reals.  I was cleaning that STUPID toilet and realized that we would have another person sleeing on the floor (who knows where because i"m not exaggerating when I say there is no space), and another blue.  I am not ready for that.  Ugh.  We later figured out that that was his idea of a joke, and we are not getting a mini missionary (super bad timing on his part).  So i'm seriously dead here, and it's almost 9 and I still havent packed for exchanges, and I ask Sr Gappmaier when we're going to leave for the night.  And she says "when we're done."  I cried again, because there was no way we were going to finish at her pace (shes a ridiculous perfectionsist) and with me being sick.  She said fine lets go.  the rest of my night was worse.  I went to bed at 915 and woke up at 1045 with such a high fever my bed felt like it was on fire, even 20 minutes after I woke up and sat in the living room.  I woke up every hour and tried to drink some water, but everything i drank went right throughme.  It was really bad.  I had some fun feeverish hallucinations, and realized I was going to see Elder Draleau the next day, so there was no way I was calling the elder doctor twice in one day, especially if he was going to tell me that i had to stay in Caen.  So I sucked it up, cleaned for two hours the next day, went to a RDV, and took the train to Paris, where I saw (while waiting for the St Quentin Seours to show up for the switch) over HALF of my MTC GROUP!!!!  They were all there just getting back from Brussels and getting their Belge legality.  Oh I nearly died.  THey were doing SOOOO well!! I love how well they all treat me.  I saw Elder Gull and Elder Terry and said "oh I'm so happy to see You!!" and then I hear somone say "what about me?" and there was Elder Portwood standing there.  And behind Him, Elder Smith.  And behind him, Elder Burnside.  Oh it was better than Christmas.   And then, I got on a train to go see my BFF from the MTC.  It was awesome.
My whole trip to St Quentin was amazing.  I saw Elder Draleau mt first night.  I of course looked like DEATH, because on the train I started overheatin again and had no water to drink at all.  Then the busses stop running at 7 pm in ST Q (its a very very small town), so then we had to walk to this member's house to do service with the elders.  I was nearly dead when Elder D welcomed me into the house and I think I might have scared everyone when I practically collapsed on the couch.  But they got me water and, for some reason, cherries.  Then I spent the evening talking psychology with this member who used to be a counselor, and talking about missionary life/ work with elder draleau.  I'm really not a huge fan of his companion, but that's okay because my temporary companion is good buddies with him.  Then I got to see the elders again several more times the next day because we had to exchange materials, and then we saw each other on the street and took most of our dinner hour talking.  It was sooo amazing.  It was even better aith the work: all of our appointments were there, we had a boyfriend of one of our inactives listen to a lesson from the other room (cool beans) and found someone interested in the gospel while doing some contacting.  It was just a good misionary day.

Caen has been having some opposition.  There is opposition in all things, I know.  Well, we've been feeling it here in Caen.  The elders are acting weird again, and our ami with a baptism date had a melt down during our lesson (which she rescheduled three times-- that's really unlike her).  We were trying to teach the loi de chastité, which she has been taught like 5 times, and she was being ORNERY.  I didn't get it.  She kept saying things like "yeah, but..."  But what????  Well, she finally said what she thought about the law of chastity-- that it's okay to sleep with someone but not sleep around like a hooker.  I didn't know what to say.  SHe's supposed to get baptised in a month, and she still hasn't kicked her live in boyfriend out.  I testified that the law of chastity is for everyone, not just slutty women, and that if heavenly Father says it's what we need to do, then it's what we need to do.  Then she had a break down and told us that God abandoned her this week, and she didnt do anything wrong.  Why are there these trials in her life if she's doing what's right??  If her family is happy, then she'll be happy, she tells us, and that's all she wants out of life.  Oh man, I do NOT know what to do.  SO I sat there and cried with her (I cried a lot this week), and told her that the lesson to learn now is patience.  She said "I've done nothing wrong!  I've been praying for God to be with me, but He's not!"  We told her that Joseph Smith felt the same way.  We read the scriptures where Jospeh asks the Lord "Oh God, where art thou?".  I think it helpd, but only time will tell.  Satan has been working very hard on this poor woman.
On the other hand, the happy side of opposition, Yan is still progressing! We taught her the Word of Wisdom, and she accepted it!  I love how she accepts truth.  She said it would be hard, but she can tell it will be worth it.  Yes, Yan.  it will be.  And she came to church!!  She sat through all 3 hours and said she really really liked it, even though it got a little long at the end (we had the first speaker take like 40 minutes-- punk-- so we went past time).  She cant wait to come back.  She says she is converting and it makes me soo happy.

A funny side note: my SNCF (the french version of amtrak) reduction card has me named Kathleen Kacey.  when the woman read my driveer's license, I guess Kacey is never used as a name here, so she thought it was my last name.  Funny.  Kathleen Kacey.  Teehee.

Well the time is far spent.  there are other things to do.  Like go to the H&M down the street from my house.  I love you all.  Transfers are next week.  I'm probably staying in Caen, but who knows... maybe I'll get to move.

Okay... I love You SOOOOOOOOO much.

Love Kacey

PS-- MARK- I love your emails, but you better not think that will suffice.  I'm expecting a real live letter one of these days.  I just sent you one this last week, so now you really owe me.

MOM AND DAD- I sent a letter last week, and Im sending a small package with prezzies in it today, so look for them.  I have ZERO idea how long it will take

Monday, June 14, 2010

And the rain comes tumbling down

So first things first: we have a pregnant less active (non active is actually more accurate) that weve decided to buy little things for and leave notes because she hangs up on us all the time.  Dear pregnant sister in laws: what does a pregnant woman want?  thank you much for your aide.

Wow that was uber french.  Uber is actually german.  My comp told me.

So yeah, we do a lot of less/ non active work.  One lady is named marina.  She has a son named moïse (moses in french).  Moïse cant sit still to save his life.  So he would do something and she would tell him to go stand against the wall, look at the wall and "refleche de quoi tu as faites!" think about what you have done.  Hahaha.  Hes seriously three years old.  So the first time, he decided licking the wall would be the best thing to do while "thinking about what he had done".  Hahahaha!!!!  I totally didnt pay attention to what was going on.  So Marina saqw him licking the wall.  Yelled at him again.  Teehee.  Then he started sliding up and down the wall.  Oh yeah, that had my attention for a while (man i am such a bad missionary sometimes).  So she caught him.  He behaved for a while, and I decided to start participating and paying attention to the lesson.  Well, I saw out of the corner of my eye that Moïse was suddenly behind the speakers of the TV.  Oh boy, I couldnt resist a peak.  HAAHAHAHAHAHA.  He had the wires from the speakers in his mouth and was chewing on them like a rat.  Oh man, I looked him in th eye and shook my head like "your mom is going to kill you."  But, for the first time, Marina didnt notice.  Soeur Gappmaier did.  So we both sat and looked at Moïse chewing on wires while marina told us the same story she tells us every time.  Finally, as I started shaking my head again she noticed.  OH BOY HE WAS IN TROUBLE.  After we left the apartment complex, soeur Gapp and i laughed so hard I thought I was going to wet myself.  It was sooooo nfunny.  We would calm down, and be okay for a second.  But then Sr Gappmaier would point at me and say "Now think about what you have done!!" and wed be off again.  Teeheeee.

I love inactives.  There is always something fun gonig on in their homes.  And theyh feed us.  I had this giant four course meal at a nonpracts home (non practicing member/ inactive) on wednesday night.  But it was really late, and she wouldnt let us leave, and i had to eat it all.  So guess who was sick during zone conference?  Moi.  Encore.  Yup.  But we went anyway because we really really wanted to.  PLUS there was going to be three other elders that were in the MTC with me at the conference.  SO we HAD to go, I NEEDED to go.  It of course, was raining when we got to paris, and our train was 25 minutes late, so we were late.  I got really nervouse that wed walk in and everyone would stare at us, but that didnt happen.  In fact, I was really more sad that there wouldnt be talking time before it started now, and I really rreally wanted to talk to my elders.  THough I did see elder smith/  know it all (remember him?) at the train station.  His face lit up like a lightbulb when he saw me, ripping his hand out of his pocketo shake mine.  That calmed me down a l:ittle bit, and made me feel much more at home.  we were walking up the courtyard to the church building, we saw through the windows that the place was just full of socializing missionaries, waiting for all of the late trains to arrive.  I whispered to soeur gappmaier "i'm nervouse that they wont be as excited to see me as i am to see them".  As I said that, I saw a tall red head inside waving at me like his life dpended on it.  I about jumped in the air it made me so happy to see Elder Draleau waving at me.  If any of you look back at the emails Ive sent, elder draleua was one of my closest chums in the MTC.  He was the one I was most nervouse about forgetting me, mostly because I apparently doubt how much people like me.  But yes, he saw me through the window and wavzed like crazy.  It was all uphill from there.  I got to see three missionaries from my MTC group, and I loved each of them for different reasons.  And yes, I almost threw up, but we did sing.  All my elders came up afterward and told me how luch they loved it.  At the end of the day when we rode home, Sr gappmaier said "i dont think you should worry anymore; its obvious they love you.  A lot."

AH love.  I love love.

Okay, a couple of spiritual thoughts from this very loved missionary:

We had a RDV with this really religious girl my comp and her old comp ffound on the street.  She gave them her version of a pass along card and So they gave her a pamphlet.  We finally met on Saturday night.  She had previously told the soeur missionaries that she knew about joseph smith and believed hed had a vision.  So the first thing we did was ask her how much she knew about joseph smith.  BAD IDEA.  She then went off for 45 minutes about the bible and promising a restoration and all kinds of weird half truths.  It was ridicxulous; not what she believed, but how she treatd us.  She said things like "that is wrong.  Do you know why?  No you dont, so this is why..."   Seriously.  And when we found a scripture to try and start teaching, she ignored us, and said we really didnt know our stuff.  In fact, at one point, as we searched our scriptures, she said "if you are going to talk about the Word, you should come prepared."  HAHAHAHA.  But oh man, when she started telling us that the first vision of Joseph Smith was actually a vision from the Devil, thats when I knew that we were wasting our time.  It was so interesting, because I had nothing in my head.  Nothing.  And I realized that it was the Spirit telling me that she isnt going to listen, so dont waste your words or engery.  So I told her our time was up (because it really really was) and asked if I could finish by bearing my testimony.  I then bore a strong and solemn witness that Joseph Smith did see God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.  I KNOW that through Joseph Smith Christ restored HIS gospel upon the earth.  And I KNOW that Christ is my Saviour, Redeemer and the Son of God.  The spirit just radiated from me as I said that (which doesnt happen all that often).  Then she went off telling me that I can have my prophet and she'll take hers.  So my companion bore second witness.  QWe cut her off from further lecturing us and ended with a prayer.  Instead of taking the tram, we took 40 minutes to walk home we were so frustrated.  Sr Gappmaier felt so dumb,; she told me, becuase she didnt know half those scriptures this woman had used.  I said I did, but she was using them completely out of context.  SO then my comp felt even stupider because the new girl knew more than her.  And thats whe I realized something: I'm not here to bible bash.  I'm not here to prove people wrong. I'm here to give them the opportunity to learn about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and come unto Him.  I'm here to testify.  And thats what I did.

I know this really is the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I KNOW it.  I KNOW Joseph Smith was a prophet called by God, and that we have a living prophet today.  I Know it.  I feel it.  I live It.

I know it.  Thats why I am out here.

TImes up.  I love you all.  SOOOOOOOO much.  Please write to me.  Please.  It gets lonely being a stranger in a strange land.

Je vous aime.

Soeur Kacey Barros

Monday, June 7, 2010

Fils d'israel en avant

veillons prions en tout temps.....

Hope of isreal.  in french.  im sure it is spelled differently, but I really really don't care.  Im sorry about the emails not coming last week, i didnt know the photos were too big.  im going to try and figure out how to take smaller photos, but honestly, i dont understand my camera.  i swear it speaks a different language than me.  In fact, if i had to choose between 789674587876 MPGs language and french, id understand the french much better.  On the plus side i forgot my camera cord this week so no photos.  But extra next week, I promise.  Okay, on to some of the less interesting parts of my letter...

We're moving.  its a serious pain in the butt, because i unpacked less than two weeks ago.  Not only that but it means i have to leave huebert behind, and i was getting so used to him.  Poor buddy, he'll have to make new friends.  Maybe he'll convert them... becuase we sure as heck arent.  GAHHHHHHHHHHH........ they told me this would be hard, but i really had no idea.  Can anyone?  I imagine thats how life with heavenly father was.  "yeah Ill totally do it" but then we get here to earth and are like "crap.  really?"  But then we have faith and all gets better.  Oh yeah, but moving.  We are moving into the aparetment the elders have now because its smaller than the new one (they are the zone leaders so they are often hosting other elders in their place, so i GUESS they need the bigger one).  But we are allowed to stand in the doorway and look into their place/ our future home.  Its sooo tiny, but im really okay with that because its actually quite cozy.  Im looking forward to ironing on the dryer.  BUT at least we'll still have the dryer.  Count your blessings.  OH MAN though (something funny... everyone here speaks at least a little english, but the phrase they all love to say is "of man!"  It's freaking hilarious), the stairs up to the apartment are treacherous.  Like, i could easily kill someone just by asking them to go down the stairs to get the mail.  No joke.  Hey, thats actually not a bad idea..... jk, guys, jk.  I love my co^mpanion, Soeur Gappmeir.  We get along really really well.  She has the same sense of humor as me.  Like, she made me listen to one of our investigators (we say "ami de l'église" in french, so if i say ami youll get it) answering machine.  I guess she didnt understand what was going on because when it got to the part where it says "please leave a message for" and then you say your first and last name on the message?  well she did NOT get it, so she said "Pierrette..... foquet?"  I swear its hilarious, like shes not actually sure that her last name is foquet.  I love pierrette.  Shes hard to understand, but not because of the french.  She seriously changes subjects like shell die in three minutes so she has to say everything on her mind.

France is wonderful.  Im starting to genuinely love it and not just tell myself that its france so I have to love it.  There are little things that make this place so wonderful.  Like the fact that everyone has a dog; shoot, i swear some of the dogs have dogs!!!  But it's nice.  And you know that part on Ratatouille where the girl chef tells the red head that its the sound of a baguette that shows if its good or not??  Guess what.  Its true.  Yup.  Yumm, im getting hungry just thinking about (i ate that bread for you.  Sorry you had to miss it).

Some miracles for the week: i experienced the gift of tongues.  We gave a lesson with a member present earlier this week with an african woman named Scholar.  I guess they usually have lessons in english, but our member, Rodolph, didnt know enough english to express himself, so half of it was french.  Miracle: i didnt realize he was speaking french until the lesson was almost over.  No joke.  It was like "oh.  This isnt english.  But.... i know what hes saying...." Seriousement.  It was awesome!!!!!  Other miracle:  half of our RDV (RDV = rendez vous = appointments) fruged on us (meaning they stood us up  THATS FOR YOU SOUER ROUBICEK.  IN PARIS WE SAY FRUGED) and so we went porting (door to doors).  No one cared.  No one would talk to us.  Except the people who wanted to yell at us and tell us that there cant be a god because there are so meny bad people in the world.  Seriousement?  Get over that, people have the ability to make choices and do stupid things.  So this man yells at us for fifteen minutes, my companion is getting really irritated, and I say "okay.  well thats your choice.  I know that God loves you.  Good bye." and we walked off.  We then started discussing how there are people prepared for us, and there are people who arent.  And we cant let that man get to us because he wasnt prepared for us.  As wa are walking and saying this, we see a very cute old man shutting his gate in his front yard.  We both think "cool, lets talk to him," and then he says "hello!!"   In english.  We find out he is french, teaches german and english litterature to inmates and wants to come to our english class.  We tell him what time we hold it, and he says "oh no.  I have to work.  Well, maybe another time, when you find you have some free time, we could get together and speak about religion in english."  HAHAHA.... what??  Did he just set a RDV with US to talk about religion???  "its just an exchange, mind you.  I am a very devoute catholique."  SERIOUSEMENT????  We set up a RDV and we're teaching him tonight!!!  Its crazy those tender mercies!!!

I shall end this letter by saying i have met people who are looking fo the gospel and love their lord and savior, but will not open the book of mormon to save their lives.... even though doing that would save them.  Its a sad thing to see someone who wants to be close to god but wont accept the best way to do it.  Als bt telling a story about drunks in the Courtyard:

We got angry with the elders one evening, and decided to talk to them the next day.  So that night, I hear people yelling, hollaring, and singing in the courtyard outside my window.  In my half awake state, I think its the elders.  I seriously thought the elders were mad at us too and were outside our window yelmling at us.  Nope.  Just some drunks.  Gotta love em; unless they try to sit in your lap (true story) and then they are creepy.

OH YEAH.  Happy french memorial day.  THere were a ton of veterans herer in the normandy area for DDay.  It was such an honor to see it.  DONT I HAVE A RELATIVE WHO STORMED NORMANDY ON DDAY??  TELL ME THEIR NAME PLEASE!!!!  DAD THAT MEANS YOU.

Love, avec beaucoup d'amour et esperence,

Soeur Barros

PS zone conference this week.  Guess whos singing in it?  Soeur Gapp et  moi.  Hopefully I wont get sick like last time and have to bail out.  Anyway, its the olive tree ( i did NOT chose this song....  cliche) and it remindes me of kit playing it at home.  I liss you and love you all soooo much.