So on Monday we decided that after living in Versailles for 4 months that it would be a good time for me to go to the Chateau. Well I did! It is pretty big and fancy and yeah. Not exactly what I will remember the most about Versailles but oh well. Then I came back and had to force myself to pack and that was not fun BUT then I got to go to the Greniers for the last time! SAD!!! They are toooo cool! They even did MORE for my birthday... like for real turning 21 lasted a LONG time to celebrate! So I got some French cake and candles and Soeur Grenier even gave me this beautiful necklace from Italy! I will miss them sooo much!
On Tuesday we had lots of RDV and I was able to teach some of my favorite people for the last time. Isabelle was the first person I saw get baptized in France and I love her! Margarite is set to be baptized this coming Sunday and then Simone and her kids are a MIRACLE!! Miracle enough that president included her story in his weekly letter to the missionaries. I am reallllllllly sad to be missing so many cool things that will be happening in Versailles and not to be able to see all of them get baptized and continue but I guess that is part of being a missionary!
So my emotions were already all over the place from trying to accept leaving Versailles but then I found out that I would have to learn how to drive that night too...SO add stress and frustration to my pool of crazy feelings. The office elders came and got us and took us to the church parking lot where I had to drive. WORST few hours of my life! I HATE driving. I guess HATE is a really strong word but I REEEEEALLY do not like driving stick and I still do not understand why anyone prefers to do it! INSANE! Plus they made me learn in Versailles and around Paris and just too stressful for me. I can’t even imagine how stressful it was for the people in the car especially because they all know how to drive stick and so being stuck with me learning would not be fun. WHY is there such a thing as stick????? WAAAY too many things to have to think about at once to drive and shouldn’t we be focused on just driving safely and not having to change gears and giving our feet so many options of things to push? I will never understand. So Tuesday was a rough day for me...
THEN Wednesday Soeur Stahly made me leave the apartment and head to Paris to meet up with the other missionaries. It is always fun to see other missionaries and to talk with them. I had met Soeur Horn around but after meeting up with her we were off! We had to take like a Harry Potter train to Angers and then another to Cholet. Cholet is the most south sister ville in the mission and literally the COMPLETE opposite of Versailles. Right off the train the car was there... waiting for me to drive it home. It was quite an experience. We are both alive and I think the population of Cholet is still the same so that is good right? We got to their apartment which I guess is mine now so I will saw OUR apartment and I was able to unpack a bit. The apartment is quite large and pretty nice. Missionaries haven’t been living in it for the past 40 years so it isn’t toooo cozy or missionary but it is good!! That night we were able to teach a less active here and do some porting!
|Emily with Soeur Stahly|
|Emily with Soeur Horn|
Cholet... I have been trying to figure out how to explain it and I think the best way is just to say it is like going from NYC to Delta Utah. The people, work and everything are sooo different here. It is a HUGE change. The actual town itself is larger than I had thought but it is pretty small and I see ALL of Cholet out of our balcony. It is crazy going from Versailles where there are 8 missionaries, senior couples and the President to being in Cholet where we are the only missionaries. Since we are the only missionaries.... WE GET MEN! Yes I am going to have to learn how to talk to men and teach them here. We don’t contact them but we do teach just with a member but still so weird. When we port I have to get used to having a conversation with a man and not just passing them to the elders. LOTS to get used to! Oh and we were porting one day and the welcome mat in front of the door said... ''gulé gulé" and so when they answered I just blurted out "YOURE TURKISH" and they were a bit creeped and ended up being Muslim but I was just really excited to meet people from Turkey! These little things make me happy! I am still sick and when I first got to Cholet I was a bit under the weather and I may have fallen in the shower and got a HUGE bruise to have as a souvenir here.... HELLO long sleeves!!
In Cholet it just became a ward. It has been a branch and so being a ward is an exciting thing! They meet in a rented space in an office building so it reminds me a bit of going to church in Turkey but rumor has it that if they can get 80 people at church they will build them a chapel of their own! The thing is that pretty much the WHOLE ward is a family. Well 2 families to be specific. They are all the kids of two families and related to each other someway and they bring a literal meaning to ward family! But they are SUCH a great ward. At church yesterday they made me feel SO welcome and maybe that is because they had me say the prayer 4 times and bare my testimony twice but I definitely feel part of the ward already! They are all so strong and so great and loving and I am excited!
My French is already improving here and I am feeling like a legit missionary now! I am soo happy and really am thankful to be here and to grow even more and learn a lot! Since I am no longer spending my Pdays in Paris I can now devote more time to writing letters... So beware!
Thank you all so much for your love and support! I love being a missionary and really am SOO happy and love everything about everything!
Soeur Emily Johns
|Emily in front of her apartment in Versailles|