Hola!! Me and Soeur Nielson have really been blessed with the gift of tongues on our missions but not necessarily with French... These Spanish friends of Slauco just don’t understand that when I say... “iglesia... Bueno?'' that I am not really trying to have a conversation with them. They then go off and speak super super fast and I just smile which may convince them that I understand! So to all my Spanish speaking people out there, JENNIFER, be prepared to speak Spanish with me when I get home. It is actually cool because I can read Spanish and understand a pretty good amount just through knowing French and then also I do pray for the gift of tongues every day but I have specified and said French so maybe I should try that!
This week was the ''most successful” of my mission and boy am I TIRED! It is so weird because I get 8 hours of sleep every night here but am DYING of tiredness where as in college I would get like 4 and had loads of energy. It just doesn’t make sense! We went from RDV to RDV and only took the full meal time break one day this week and that was last night for dinner. I didn’t fully fall asleep in any RDVs but let’s just say that watching Finding Faith in Christ in the dark was not a good idea. Me and Soeur Nielson both dozed off a bit but then realized how embarrassing it would be when our ami had to wake us up and so we just forced our eyes open. So we will be sticking to just talking in RDVs which forces us to stay awake. We continue to see miracles every day and that is the best part!
On Tuesday we moved Mouna and Moon into their new home. They will be living next to the Backs aka my grandparents here! I am soo happy that they are their neighbors so that we have more of an excuses to see the Backs! And we sure did profit from that! A bunch of the branch members gave them things for their home. Like a washer, TV, oven, microwave and lots of furniture and food! It has been sooo incredible to see how generous and selfless people are. They take the whole ''giving a shirt off your back'' to the literal extent and serve until they die! I have really been blessed to serve around such extraordinary people! Now that they live only 30 minutes away and not 2 hours we were able to see them several times this week and they are fully ready to be baptized this coming Sunday! It is still such a blessing to work with them even though it was been really frustrating and tiring with all of the temporal problems but spiritually they are set!
Our boyfriend Lee let us down this week and wanted us to go on a street that didn’t exist! Luckily his Australian accent is there to guide us when we are off the road! I don’t know if the mission car is the best car to use off roading but we had to! It was made better by the fact that we were able to just drive through beautiful wine country in the east of France! I am still amazed at what a beautiful life I live!
Wednesday we were back in Strasbourg! Taking 5 trains in less than 10 hours is actually something that I am going to miss! There is a relaxation about being on a train touring across France; EXCEPT when it is reeeeally hot and you are in a harry potter cabin with a strange man with you! But we were able to entertain ourselves by taking photos!
Both Soeur Nielson and I are SUPER close with our grandparents at home and since the Back’s have become that for us here... lots of meals are to follow! Mouna and Moon joined us for one lovely lunch this week and I almost cried from laughing so hard! Actually I did cry. They are vegetarian and ULTIMATE animal lovers. Like we caught Mouna catching flies out of the pool to save them. Well the Back’s are meat lovers and so that meal was interesting. Mouna spent a lot of time just trying to convince us how bad meat is and all of that. Then she went back and took our scraps of meat to go feed it to the stray cats which I don’t really understand because why can cats eat meat but we can’t? Just little things like this is what makes her sooo quirky!
On Saturday it was my companion’s birthday. The BIG 20!!! So I took her to get crepes at the ONLY creperie in all of Toul and it was pretty good! I was mostly impressed that we could order all on our own! It was my first time going to a restaurant without a member or an ami that is French so pressure was on! We had fun and took waaay too many pictures with our mustache fingers! The creperie sang to her and it was sooo funny! Then that night we went to the Mazarek’s who surprised us both with a birthday cake for her! I hope that she had a good birthday. It is HARD to surprise your companion that you are with 24/7!!
Slauco..... Our little boy is growing up sooo fast! Yesterday he passed the sacrament and how what I proud mom I was! I had to remember not to laugh when he got confused and had to go up to ask the branch president where to go with his tray of bread! He is doing great and still providing us with lots of eastern Europeans to keep life entertaining! He is probably one of the best story tellers and stays 100% serious telling about how he could have died when he sat in a chair that wasn’t there. I have had him tell it 3 times now and literally have tears rolling down my cheek as he tells it but it doesn’t phase him. Don’t worry... I secretly got it on camera!
We are being blessed and seeing many incredible things! I love being a missionary and know that this is where I am needed to be right now! Thank you ALL for your love and support!
I love and miss you all!
Soeur Emily Johns