Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Soeur Aleeeeeesaaaa Sssshhhhard

Dear FamDamily and Friends,

1.  The first week was sooooooo long.  It was good but it seemed like every day was like an eternity.  Everyone said to just "make it until Sunday" and they were right.  Sunday night was the first MTC devotional and it was amazing.  Since then I have loved it so much more.  It just keeps getting better and better.  My companion and I are opposites in a lot of ways.  Example:  She loves movies so some days when we're having normal conversations like 20% of conversation consists of movie quotes.  Which is hilarious because I don't watch that many movies.  I usually just guess it's from Finding Nemo or Nacho LIbre and I'm right.  We also have opposite eating habits.  She loves like hostess and I like salads for example.  It was an adjustment getting used to being with someone 24/7 but now I think we both just embrace our differences and I honestly love being her companion.  She's a hardworker, focused, really good at french and I absolutely love teaching lessons with her, she's really good at teaching.  So it's fun.

2.  My other roommate is Brazilian and a whole different culture.  I honestly really like her because she brings a whole new dynamic.  She's also going to Paris. She leaves onMonday!  Her dad is in the quorum of the 70... elder Soares.

3.  My district is wild.  It's living with a bunch of boys.  They're funny and the things they do are wild... in a good way... usually.  Our fake investigator just turned into our new teacher and she is AMAZING.  She pushes us so hard and makes us feel like every single moment we have in that class needs to be used so productively.  It has made our district have so much focus.  love love lvoe her.  **good mission prep idea:  she had us go through lesson one (takes 15 minutes) and had us write down only two sentence summaries for every heading.  Then we contacted someone (each other) on the street.  The person on the street had a random question they thought up (eg does God answer prayer today?)  Whatever their question was, the missionary started answering it and then wrapped around to entire lesson.  It was so cool because it taught us you don't necessarily need to start with the first heading of lesson 1, (God loves his children) you can start with (the spirit answers prayers) and circle your way around.  It helped us understand the material so much better.

4.  That's another thing, PMG is so cool because before I went into the MTC it was cool, but day one when we started studying it it's like everything takes on so much meaning and every single sentence is the most profound thing in the world.  It's cool, because our new instructor was telling us yesterday that's exactly how it was for her when she went on her mission. (Brussels).

5.  The food.... a lot bit gross.  (except the wraps and salads) the paris pounds are probably already coming on!  We think gaining weight here is inevitable. :)  The pillows and beds? (danielle asked) not comfortable at all.  But aside from those things it's great!  Yes, we went to San Fransisco last Thursday because we have to sign our visas, so I think that means I should get to go to Paris right on time!  (Nov. 21st).  We left at 5:45 AM.  There were 10 of us from the French zone who went last week (they send us in waves.)

We got to the visa place in san fran. and I decided I should probably change my personality for France.  My experience:
French visa man: "Aleeeeesaaa Shaaahhhrd?" (alyssa chard with the heaviest frnech accent ever.)
Me: Walk up to the window kind of smiling/laughing
man: "Why are you laughing at me?"
me: "I was just smiling"
man: "is it because of my accent?"
me: "ummm"
man: "how do you say it?" "SShhhard?"
me: "yes." That's right
man: "aleesa, aluussa,"
me: alyssa
man: 2 minutes later. "Now you're scared.  I like that." Says something quickly in french.  So I go put my fingers up for a fingertip scan.
man: "very good, you understand." (really it was like a whole different language.  they talk way faster than they do in the MTC.  You feel like that missionary in the best 2 years you has a southern accent and get's to holland and says, 'it ain't what they taught me in the MTC.'

Anyways, we spent the rest of the day touring around San Fran.  One of the elders is from there so he took us around.  It was my frist time in public with a badge on .  Everyone really does stare at you!  It was fun, ghiradellis, clam chowder, walking around, crooked street, etc.  but I was happy to get back to the MTC that night again.

Loved conference, some of my favorites, PARIS GETTING A TEMPLE!! And Provo too!  that makes me so thrilled! Elder Eyrings, Sister Dalton's and I loved Elder Yamashita about the missionary knocking on his door in Japan.  The spirit was incredibly strong as all the missionaries watched that talk together.  Missionary work is so cool and I haven't even started for real yet!  It's amazing to be here with 2500 other missionaries all preparing to go all over the world to be missionaries.  One devotional we had a couple of weeks ago was really good and one thing he said was, "you missionaries don't have time to get discouraged."  That really stuck with me, my comp and I decided we no longer complain about anything whatever it is and we refuse to get discouraged.  It's great.  Instead of focusing on how much we still have to learn we focus on what we have learned and just keep moving forward.  When I ask our mock investigators questions in french and they answer something completely different because I said it wrong, I laugh instead of cry and life is so much better that way.

Alyssa (aka soeur ssshhhhaaard)

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