Bonjour Ma Famille,
It has been another great week here in Lyon. I guess I will start by answering some of your many questions... My apartment is pretty nice, it looks, hmm... like you'd expect a French apartment to look. Haha, it's definitely nicer than my dorm at BYU was. The French food is very good. For the most part, I don't feel like I have eaten a lot of things that have been truly authentic. We've gone to several members houses for dinner, though, and those meals have been phenomenal. It is all about the bread, cheese, and chocolate. And yes, those three things are just as good as people say. Learning the language by being thrown into it is definitely an interesting experience, but it's coming. I absolutely love my companions, the other missionaries in the area, and President Roney. They all truly become your family out here. Everything is going well. I'm liking the city more and more the longer I am here. Today we actually went to Old Lyon, that is my favorite place that I have seen yet. It was so cute, exactly what you'd picture France looking like. We walked down narrow, cobblestone streets lined with cute little shops and bakeries. There were big cathedrals, statues, and little courtyards. Oh my gosh, it was so quaint and cool! We also went and saw some ancient Roman ruins. It was actually a lot warmer today and the sun has come up two days in a row now! I feel like we only see the sun once or twice a week, so this is big. I am so happy for a beautiful day! It has been a very productive P-Day and it has been great to see more of the sites here. We're so focused on the work all week that I feel like I forget where I am sometimes...that is, until someone talks to me.
This last week was a little different because Soeur Hyrkas got really sick and was down for two days. We did not leave the apartment for two days, I thought I was going to die. I really love being productive and getting things done, so to not be able to work at full capacity drives me crazy. And, on a mission, it's way worse. Oh well, we did get things done. I actually got to do a very fun project. While we were thinking of things to do, Soeur Pfost mentioned that they needed to create this big bulletin board with all of the names of our amis, members in the ward, different people we work with, etc. She said that the other sisters left this huge pile of scrapbooking stuff but that they had put off making it for three tranfers because they hate crafty stuff like that...we now have the absolute cutest bulletin board in our apartment! That was fun. We got a lot of organizing done, went through member books, made phone calls, etc. It felt good to get things done, but I'm excited to be back to full capacity now.
Other than that, our week was full of a lot of contacting, porting (I'm not sure what that's called in English...going door to door?), and tracking down less actives. It's funny, the majority of the time that we spend doing these things, the people don't want to talk to us, we have the wrong address for the people we're tracking down, or no one is home. But, those really are my favorite things to do. I feel like we're actually working. It feels awesome coming back from a long day walking the streets. It's basically the stereotypical missionary work, and while it's not everything that we do, it makes me happy.
I found a cool scripture this week in my studies. It's crazy, right now I study the scriptures/Preach My Gospel for at least four hours a day. They cut back the time when you're not new, but I am loving it right now. In 1Peter 4:12-13 it says, "...think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you...but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings." Sometimes we face hard things in life. Part of that is just because we are human and it's natural to have difficulties. But, we should also not be surprised when we face trials because we are at war right now. We are on Christ's team and we will win in the end. But, there will be adversity. Satan knows that we are his strongest opposers and he puts forth extra efforts to try and get us to fall. This isn't "some strange thing," it should be expected. While we will face adversity, we can count on the Lord countering that with extra strength and blessings for our valientness. It reminds me a little of a talk that I studied by Elder Holland. He talked about how all of the prophets of old knew that, despite all of their efforts, the time period that they lived in would eventually end in an apostasy. Today, however, God will never take His church from the earth again. We have this hope and motivation. How cool is that? We know that we are on the winning team and that we will win, we just have to remain strong and on the team.
I hope that everything is going well at home. I feel so blessed to have the best family and friends in the world. You are all so amazing and I am grateful for all of your love and support. This week is Maddy's brithday, so here's what I would have said around the dinner table... "Maddy, you are amazing! You are very accepting and loving of others, I really admire that about you. You also are so much fun to be around and are always there for a good laugh or to watch a sports game with me. I can't wait to see what this exciting year will bring you." I hope that you have a great 17th birthday! Thanks for everything, I love you all!
Soeur Alisa Hulme