Quand au ciel l'orage grande, viens et calme mon esprit...
Hello. It's been a wonderful week here in France. I have had my ups and my downs out here in Caen. This week started kind of funny. Monday night we got a call from our Mission President's wife asking us if we would like to go to a creperie for dinner with her and President. Uh, yes. I personally knew they would call, but Soeur Woyak doubted me. Ha. Doubt no more. It was a little bizarre because I know my mission president reads my letter to him every week and gets reports from my leaders and such, but I don't ever talk to him. So I talked to Soeur Staheli instead. She's very nice and sociable. We got home late that night after eating yummy gallettes and crêpes (oh, my comp can eat galettes! they use a different kind of flour!) and did a little planning. The next day was interviews, my first ever. It was nerve wracking. I went into the office right after Soeur Woyak, and did a little prayer in my head. The interview went just fine. President asked me how everything was going. I said fine. He asked if I wanted to do another transfer with Soeur Woyak. I hesitated. Well, a more accurate way to put it is "it took me 30 seconds to respond." I eventually said "yeah. I could." President raised his eyebrows and said "really? are you sure?" I thought again, for the other half of a minute, and said "yeah. But I would really love to get out of Caen." NOW LET ME EXPLAIN. I love Caen. It's beautiful out here. There are lots of people and tons of farms and countryside areas to go tracting in. I really do. But I might kill myself if I have to stay in this branch. This is my "bleue-ville", which means I started here. So everyone continues to treat me like I speak no French, like I don't know what I'm doing, and like I'm not a missionary. I thought it was all in my head, but Soeur Woyak said she has noticed it too, and that it's a common problem in Bleuevilles. I didn't tell president ALL of that, but I did mention some. Soeur Woyak says I need to call my president and tell him what I told her, because it may not make him transfer me (I'm convinced that the only person President listens to when it comes to transfers is the Lord), but it will be good for him to know when thinking about transfers. Which is what he's doing this week. By this Wednesday he knows who's going where. So, who knows... maybe I'll get transferred. Before I talked to Soeur Woyak about it, we were both convinced that we were gettinga nother transfer here together in caen. But she has this worry that Heavenly Father is going to throw her a curveball, while giving me a break and getting me into a ville where the branch and investigators will treat me like a missionary and not a novice. Did exchanges this week. I got to go to PARIS. I was super fun, and I got to see Notre Dame. I took pictures, but I haven't gotten them from my temporary companion yet (my camera died before I had a chance to take any). I bought some birthday pressies, (well, just one) and got to spend a few nights in a fourman apartment. I saw soeur smart (the sister that did my first in-field contacting activity with me) and we had a lovely chat. She's a very nice, very upperclass woman. So, if anyone has anything mean to say about Elizabeth Smart, they can take it up with me. She was very kind and interested in my life, especially the men in my life (of which i have none), which makes me think she's got a man in her life too. I meahn, I always want to hear about my girlfriends' guys when I want to talk about my own. I didn't talk to her companion a lot- mostly because she fell asleep and wasn't really interested in talking to me. My temporary companion was AWESOME. She's going to BYUI and so we know a TON of the same people. It was super nice having her around for a day. It was Soeur woyaks birthday this friday. I love birthadays! I already know, however, that I do NOT want to have a birthday like hers. I mean, it was great. We went out to our Branch President's home and weeded in his garden and pruned his apple tree for service, then ate a gluten free lunch (his wife has the same disease as Soeur Woyak) and played with adorable french children. Then, that afternoon/evening, we drove out into the countryside to drop off a WWII thing for an american and had a lovely, however unproductive, RDV. it was very nice. I wanted to bang my head against a wall several times. So, here's how I am going to spedn my birthday: I am going to schedule many many RDV's, and if no one wants to have RDV's, I'm going to knock on doors all day and tell no one it is my birthday. I'm not going to talk about the expensive things my mother sent me (or didn't), and I'm not going to let myself forget why I'm here. As my family knows, my brithday is never ever celebrated on my brithday. It is usually spread out over several days, because, for some unknown reason, October 6 is a very busy and alwys overscheduled day. It really doesn't bother me. I hate doing big things for my birthday. They always blow up in my face. And this way, I get to have little pieces of birthday for like a week. Less pressure on one day. So yes, that is how I am doing my birthday. I'm working hard. Sorry this is such a lame email. It's been a long hard week.
Blessings from the week: -Paris was crazy hard, but I'm not scared of it anymore. If I ever serve there, I'll know that I can do it. -My final legality visit went without a hiccup. I am now a completely legal resident of france -Jean, the husband of one of our amis, survived his second heart attack (kind of) in two weeks.
Nichole, Jean, Yvonne, Sr Woyak
-I got to garden and have a 4 year old teach me some french -Two of my favorite people in the world still thank Heavenly Father for all their blessings while one of them, Jean, is in and out of the hospital. -We made some goals!! - Sandrine is reading her book of Mormon again! -My family loves me. -My companion wants me to stay so badly she's scared that I'll get transferred (htat whole if you want it really bad it's bound to not happen. But she's always telling me she usually gets what she wants and that she's spoiled. Maybe that principle still applies in transfers?) -France is beautiful -I ate Kraft Mac and Cheese in Paris -I screamed in frustration for the first time in nearly 5 months (my family knows that's a miracle). -Heavenly Father loves us all individually, and does all he can to help us -We have a Savior, whom we could not progress without -Mail systems suck, but it means every day I get to have more hope -I still want to be a missionary
I love you all. I miss you terribly. It sometimes breaks my heart to have such good experiences here and know that you can't have them with me. I'll take more pictures.