Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Bonjour Ma Famille,

This week has been amazing! It's crazy to think, but in less than three weeks I will be halfway across the world in France. It's an exciting and scary thought. I thought I'd start by telling you a little more about my district. It is very small, with only the three of us and a companionship of elders. Elder Hatch and Elder Clarke are the two elders in our district. They are both freshman at BYU. Elder Hatch is headed to the Congo and is absolutely hilarious. Elder Clarke is going to Paris with Sister Anderson and is an amazing people-person. Our district is very dynamic and I am learning so much from each of them. It's very nice to have such a small district too. There is a lot more individual attention when it comes to the language, which is much needed and appreciated. We were actually chosen as one of the new groups to be the testers of the program they are planning on instituting througout the whole MTC in a matter of weeks. It's a different format in teaching languages in a shorter amount of time. They actually have had one of the heads of the language department coming in all week and teaching us lessons while they film the whole thing. Crazy stuff being the start of the big changes! Just to give you a perspective of the changes being made... Just in our zone, my district of 5 missionaries came in 3 weeks ago, the next week no one came, then five, and next week we will be getting 45 missionaries followed by another 48 in the following two weeks. It's absolutely insane. They are adding an extra set of bunkbeds to all of the rooms tomorrow. They are also considering moving all of the weekly devotionals to the Marriot Center by the summer because there will be so many missionaries. It's such an incredible time to serve!

A couple funny stories from this week...

One morning as we were sitting at breakfast, someone asked me what random things that I missed the most while being here. I said something like, "Wearing jeans, the clicking sound of wearing heels, and my long blonde hair. Oh, and I really would just love grilled chicken and steamed vegetables." Yeah, I know. It was very random. I was so excited when I walked into the cafeteria that night to realize that they were serving grilled chicken and steamed vegetables. They hadn't had anything like that since we arrived. What a wonderful little tender mercy. It was delicious!

Next story...On Saturday night we were all back in our rooms getting ready for bed when the fire alarm went off. Usually that's a false alarm, but we walked out into the hall to a ton of smoke. So basically everyone freaked out and ran out of the building. We all gathered in the central building--girls were standing around in pajamas, with shampoo in their hair, with face cleansing foam on their faces, barefoot, etc. It was absolutely hilarious. Obviously the building did not burn to the ground, otherwise this would not be under the funny story section. Someone had burnt popcorn. I have no idea how there was that much smoke, but we had firemen in the building and fans going all night to clear it out. It was all worth it though, just for the story!

It was fun to hear that you guys were able to go and see Les Miserables again this week. What an incredible story (and not just because it's French). I actually have had a phrase from one of those songs in my head quite a bit since I've been here. In the song, "Who Am I?", he proclaims, "My soul belongs to God, I know. I made that bargain long ago. He gave me hope when hope was gone. He gave me strength to journey on." What an amazing message. As members of the church, we have made a commitment to God. He is always there for us, keeping up His side of the bargain. What are we doing? It reminds me of one of the devotionals that we went to this week. The speaker was talking about how we often look up to the pioneers and others who have given so much for the Gospel. While we should honor them, it is more important to emulate them. They're amazing for what they've done, but what are we doing?

I have loved my time here at the MTC. I am learning so much and the language is gradually coming. My companions are great and I can truly feel the Spirit here. It has also been fun to see so many familiar faces from Alta, Murray, and BYU. I have loved running every day, it definitely has been a great stress reliever. I'm just so happy, life is great. Thank you all for everything that you've all done for me. I can feel your love and prayers. Because I missed Ben's birthday and didn't get to say why I love him around the dinner table, I thought I'd do it here... Ben, I love how dedicated you are. When you really put your mind to something, such as football or school, you give it 100% effort and are never satisfied with anything less than your best. I think that's awesome. I miss the fun chats that we have and how we just seem to get each other. I hope you had a great birthday! I love you all so much and hope that you have a great week!

Je t'aime,
Soeur Alisa Hulme

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Bonjour Ma Famille!

This week has been absolutely amazing, I am loving my time here in the MTC!

Sister Bentley has been sick all weekend and Sister Anderson is starting to come down with it too. I'm just praying that I don't get sick and am trying my best to pound Vitamin C. While I feel really bad for them, them being sick led to me getting to have an amazing Sunday. I was only able to go to relief society and the devotional. The rest of the day was spent in our room. While that would normally drive me crazy, not being able to do anything, I got to spend the entire day studying. During the weekdays, we generally only have one hour a day to study the Gospel in English. The rest of the time, we do it while struggling through it in French. It's still really neat and I learn a lot, but it's always a little harder to focus when there is a language barrier. This Sunday I literally spent about 12 hours studying the Gospel. It was incredible! I read through endless conference talks, studied the scriptures for hours, and got through tons of chapters of Preach My Gospel. Wow, I learned so much. I'm not sure that I have ever spent that much consecutive time sitting at a desk and learning about the Gospel. I felt the Spirit so strong and felt totally boosted for the upcoming week. It's amazing to be serving a mission because your life has one focus. Everything that I do is for the sole purpose of bringing others the joy that I have. There is nothing like having this experience!

Speaking of studying, I've been trying to think of the most meaningful studying that I could be doing while here in the MTC. There are so many topics that I want to learn about that will help me in sharing the Gospel. I really just want to get the most out of the time I have here. After about a week of trial and error (if you can call studying anything in the Gospel "error"...), I decided that the most important thing that I can do in preparation to serve the people in France is to develop a strong relationship with Christ. As a missionary, I have been set apart for the next 1 1/2 years as His partner in this great work. If I am to be able to work well with Him, I thought that it would be important to be as close with Him as possible. On top of relying on Him, using the Atonement, serving others, etc., I figured that the more that I know of Him, whether it be about his life, character, mission, etc., the better partner I can be to Him. I have been focusing all of my personal study on Christ this last week. I'm reading the New Testament, sections of the Book of Mormon, Preach My Gospel, conference talks, etc. It has been incredible how much I've been able to learn. The amazing thing is, while it has definitely strengthened my testimony, the important thing to remember is that everything that I do as a missionary is not for myself, but the people that I will be serving. By becoming closer to Christ myself, I will be better able to bring others unto Him. There is an increased sense of urgency to share this gift that I have as I increase my own conversion to the Gospel of Christ. I cannot wait to be able to help bring the people of France to their Savior. One thing that I learned, when studying a talk by Elder Bednar, "The Character of Christ," is that Christ is all about serving others. Haha, what a novel thought, right? He gave us multiple examples of how the natural man automatically turns inward when something is hard. They automatically think of themselves and want the help end pity of others. On the other hand, Christ, even at His moments of greatest strife, thought of nothing but the welfare of others. I definitely need to work on being more selfless.

I absolutely love being a missionary. There is nowhere else that I would rather be and nothing else that I would rather be doing. Is it hard at times? Yes. Is it a lot of work? Absolutely. But, it is so worth it. This is an incredible time when missionary work is exploding and I'm so blessed to be a part of it. Thank you all for the strength that you give me. I have loved receiving the letters and packages, they mean so much! I can feel the strength from your prayers in my behalf. Know that you're in my prayers too. I hope you all have a great week! Love you all!

Je t'aime,
Soeur Alisa Hulme

Thursday, January 17, 2013

1/17/2013 A Hand Written Letter Came!!!

Alisa must have had time to write a hand written letter, because one arrived today!  She has asked me to type it and add it to the blog.

Bonjour Ma Famillle-

Wow, the first week is already done.  In a way I'm excited to hit this mark, but I'm also sad that part of my mission is already over.  I have so little time and just want to make the most of it.  I don't want to waste any of God's time.

Some cool information...We are here in the MTC until February 18th.  That's only 5 1/2 weeks!  We are the first group of missionaries to have the new MTC times applied.  The crazy part is, we'll be leaving the same day as a group of elders who have already been here for a month!  I hope that I can be ready in time, but I'm sure there's a reason for the change and that we won't be sent out unprepared.  Another interesting fact, I'm the 7th youngest sister missionary to ever be at the MTC.  They interviewed me for some article and everything.  Cool, right?!

Just a little bit about my companions.  Yes, I'm in a tri-companionship.  It's interesting, but I really enjoy it.  Sister Anderson is from Washington and is headed to the Paris France Mission.  She's 21, is a student at BYU, and is planning on going to law school.  She actually did an internship in Washington DC this last semester.  Sister Anderson has had a lot of schooling in French so she has definitely been able to help me with the language.  My other companion is Sister Bentley.  She's almost 20 and surprisingly had her mission papers in before I did.  She's from Aline, Ut and is going to BYU, planning on going to dental school.  I love it because she's always so happy and laughs at anything I say that's even the least bit witty!  It's great, and she's going to Lyon too!

The MTC is a crazy place.  In less than 48 hours of being here, we were teaching a 30 minute lesson to an investigator (a teacher acting like one)...and we had to do it completely in French!  Let's just say, it was not the smoothest and there's definitely room for improvement.  Our days consist of studying in a classroom from 7am to 9pm with breaks for meals and gym.  I don't think I've ever worked this hard in my entire life.  There is so much to learn in so little time.  It's incredible how quickly I'm able to pick things up, though.  It's amazing to see how God works through his missionaries - you can see progress almost hourly.  It's such a testimony that this is His work, I'm so grateful to be a part of it.

The Spirit here is absolutely amazing.  Everyone just shines and is filled with so much joy.  The Lord is definitely with those who He calls.  One of the coolest things that I've experienced is being able to feel the Spirit in French.  It's harder at times when you're  reading responses or feel like you are only rattling off a memorized phrase.  At one point, we were learning how to bear testimony. 
After the lesson, we each got the opportunity to share ours in French.  While I'm sure that many of my words were not conjugated right or put in the correct order, I was able to recall so much and the Spirit was very strong.  It's humbling to not be able to speak well and be elaborate in speaking, but I think there's a certain power that comes with simplicity, especially when you have the Spirit.

Overall, this has been a great week.  I wouldn't say it has been the easiest, but that's not what I signed up for.  I have so much to improve on regarding teaching, the language, my testimony, and knowledge of the Gospel, and tons of personal shortcomings.  I'm trying to put all of my efforts and energy into this work so that I can become the missionary that God desires and knows that I can be.

Without a doubt, I know that this Gospel is true.  Honestly, I don't think anyone would be crazy enough to do this if it weren't.  I know that God is with me and can strengthen me and make up the difference when I fall short.  It's incredible to be His partner in this work.

I miss and love you all so much.  Thank you for all of the letters, you have no idea the strength they've given me.  Thanks for all of the support and have a great week!

Je t'aime,
Soeur Alisa Hulme
("Hulme" is pronounced "oom" - now the "H", "L", & "E" are silent...as though our name couldn't be more confusing)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

1/15/2013 - No Letter On Her First P-Day

Alisa's First P - Day!

Alisa's p-days are on Tuesdays, but today we have no email to post.  I know many of you have been checking to see when it would arrive, so I thought I would give a quick explaination.  Loyal and I received a quick hand written letter on Saturday in which Alisa explained that she would be spending her first p-day traveling to San Francisco to get her visa.  How nice, leaving this miserable cold for a few hours.  The down side, she doesn't get computer time.  So, we will have a letter to post next week.

In her letter she said she is enjoying the MTC and adjusting well.  She is so glad to FINALLY be there after so much preparation, and loves the constant spirit. She has two companions instead of one, and said they are all learning a lot from each other.  One of them, a Sister Bentley, thinks Alisa is funny and laughs at all of her jokes.  Alisa thinks that's the greatest.  She said she will get very little computer time and so we need to either hand write her letters or send her letters by way of "Dear Elder," a service you can sign up for online, which prints off letters daily and delivers them to her room at the MTC.

Thanks for following her progress.  I know her biggest fear in leaving was having me, her techono-illiterate mother take over her blog.  Honestly, it was one of my biggest fears in her leaving as well.  Let's not tell her that it took me 5 1/2 hours to post her first pictures, that is stress she doesn't need while on a mission.

Let's hope there is a letter to post next week.  Here's to following a great missionary...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

January 9, 2013 - MTC

Saying Our Last Goodbyes...

The first of five kids.  What a great example.
Before the tears, for Jen that is (Alisa never had any).
Olivia may be too big to hold when Alisa gets home.
Ben is 13 and too cool for this.
Mary is smiling now, but give her an hour.
Maddy will be following in her footsteps.
A hug after her father's blessing.  



FINALLY HERE! And like Alisa, 5 minutes early.

We were supposed to be quick, but the missionaries were nice enough to give us all enough time for hugs. Olivia didn't want to let go.