First off I need to make a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge and her husband Will for expecting a baby boy!!!! Can't wait until July!!!
Second WHY WHY WHY did no one tell me she is having a boy????? I may be a missionary but I am still Emily and my love for Kate Middleton and ALL THINGS royal will never die. As a missionary I don't get a whole lot of contact with what is going on in the world and by not a whole lot I mean NONE. The only reason I know this great news about Kate is because I was running to catch a train on Tuesday morning when a beautiful image of Kate and Will at a newsstand caught my eye! I had to really force myself not to beg my companion to stop and read it but I was able to read IT'S A BOY!!! And that my friends, is the high-light of my week. I wish I was kidding and this obviously shows that I have not quite become the missionary I should be but hey I need to be true to myself RIGHT????
So backin’ it up a bit to last Monday. After having a repeat experience of every AP essay I ever wrote in high school where I would write out the whole thing and then lose it all, my day did improve. I had to force myself to not have my first cry as a missionary be over an email so I am glad I got through that! After that traumatizing experience we headed to the Louvre. Now I can't remember if I was able to include this story in my rushed email last week so if this is a repeat then oh well. About ten years ago my Mom took us 5 daughters to Paris for our first time. We won't talk about the conditions she made us stay in or bring up the poop again BUT I will share what I did in the Louvre many years ago. So there is this big hoopla about the Mona Lisa. I have still not figured out what is special about it because I found many other more beautiful pieces of art while there. Anyway so I was like 10ish and I nominated myself to squirm between all the tourists and get up close to take the picture of the picture. That is a pretty big thing for such a young girl to do. Proud moment in my life. WELL if you take a look at my Book of Remembrance Volume 2 you will see NOT the picture that I took of the Mona Lisa but a sticker. Where is the great photo that I took you may ask??? IN Michelle’s Book of Remembrance!!!! I have asked myself WHY for many years. So just last week I trekked back to the Louvre and squirmed my way between all the tourists (probably not as cute as before) and got my picture!!! I was feeling adventurous so I even got a picture WITH me and Mona! Enjoy seeing the photo because I promise that after my mission it will be in MY book and no one else’s. I guess since Michelle is doing this blog she can keep the picture in her book. I have moved on.... I hope!
I love Asians. I love Asian tourists even more! In America they ask to take pictures with us whities SOOO my companion and I decided to turn the tables on them. At the Louvre there were quite a few Asian tourists but most were in big groups with headphones and too serious about seeing art, so we found these two nice girls and asked if we can have a picture with them and they said YES!!!! Meet my two friends from Japan. I can't remember their names and if I could I wouldn't be able to pronounce or spell them and I don't think calling them Ying and Yang would be appropriate. They had the CUTEST giggle ever and just giggled the whole time. They spoke no English or French but they sure can take photos!
In the Mary-Kate and Ashley movie where they are in Paris they get to see the Louvre. In the film they just had them walking FOREVER and that was the Louvre experience. I don't base most MK&A movies as factual but that one is the truth!! I walked forever and saw a million paintings of ugly men, lots of naked statues but we were determined to find an artist that no one knows about and seem all artsy and talk about him. So I invite you to all find out who Cammile Corrot. I don't even know if that is his name but I am going to act like I do. I really wish I knew more about art and really appreciated it because I am sure that the Louvre really is a great place. So a big apology goes out to my art history teachers at BYU and my girl Kate Middleton who majored in Art History!
If you already don't think I am the least serious missionary ever then you will after this. It isn't my proudest moment but supposed a girl just needs to laugh so laugh I did. On Thursday we had a lesson with a recent convert. It was a great lesson and we open and close lessons with singing from the Cantique. We had her choose which song to end with and she chose number 6 in French which is Israel Our God is Calling... It says to sing the song with vigor and so we definitely did. She sang it VERY loudly and really shook up the notes and tune. I was able to get through the first verse but half way into the second I let one little giggle out and COMPLETELY lost it!! I was about to cry because I was laughing so hard. I tried to cover it up with the whole I am choking thing but it didn't work. My companion then lost it and even the member laughed. It was probably the WORST singing I have ever heard. I cannot sing at all so I don't have too much room to speak but it was bad. I am terrible to be laughing so hard and we tried to continue with the song and I offered not to sing but it was too late. Spirit gone and my reputation with it! My companion and I decided we are going to try to make each other laugh in songs and learn to hold it in. Practice makes perfect right??? THE best part of the day and the Miracle that I think I am going to share tomorrow at our ward missionary meeting is that JUST before that lesson we finished our jar of Nutella which we really love and the miracle is that the member that I laughed at gave us a brand new jar of Nutella!!! I don't know if sharing that will be the best thing to gain the trust of the ward missionaries so maybe sharing it with you is enough!
Now to prove that I am an actual missionary.... We have three amis (that is what Emily wrote. Ami’s according to google translate means friends) with baptismal dates!!! They are all so solid and I can't wait for them to receive the blessings from being baptized and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost! They are all amazing and will definitely make the church stronger with their membership! Elder Ballard is coming next week. I have no more information than that but I am hoping that we all get to hear from him and I am so grateful to have living Prophets and Apostles today! I will keep you posted on that!
My French is improving. Not as fast as I would like it to but as long as it is improving I am happy! I am not as frustrated as I was in the beginning and just keep reminding myself how short of a time I have been here. I know that it will come and that I will be able to be myself with French someday soon! It really is a beautiful language and I am so blessed to be here and learning it! IN FACT on the train this lady came and sat by us and was asking about our tags and I just talked and she was like oh your French is so great and I was really happy. But then she asked if I was religious and I was like YES (DUH) but then my companion was like no no. I guess being religious here means a nun. So I hurry and took back my answer but other than that little mistake I spoke okay with her!
I love being a missionary! It really is the best and I am having the best time of my life. It is definitely hard and I can get discouraged at times but it really is worth it. I know it may not seem like I have changed and become this spiritual missionary and I know I have a long way to go to become that but I really have seen a change in myself. I know the blessings that this gospel brings people because I see all the blessings in my life through having the gospel and being a missionary I can see the blessings it brings to others. This really is The Church of Jesus Christ and I know that I am doing exactly what Heavenly Father wants and needs me to be doing right now.
I have only received ONE letter since being here... Thanks mom! But supposedly you others have sent some, including more from my mom. My comp and I think someone is taking our mail because there isn't a key on our box and we don't know why we haven't gotten letters. So if you have an extra dollar and some time, WRITE me!!! OR email but letters rock too!
I love you all!!
Soeur Emily Johns