Monday, July 1, 2013

"Yeah, Contacting for six hours at a time can get frustrating, but it's moments like that that make an entire day worth it." 7/1/2013

Bonjour Ma Famille,
Wow, what a crazy, wonderful week!  I absolutely love Aix, I don't even know where to start.  I guess we'll start with my companion.  My new bleue is Soeur Brimhall.  She is awesome, we get along really well.  I'm pretty sure that God only sends me the best missionaries to train (pressure).  A little bit about her... Soeur Brimhall is 19 too (I love being in a companionship with two young missionaries, I feel like we are just bursting with energy for the work). She grew up in Ukraine and lived in an orphanage for most of her life until she was adopted and brought to the States at age 12.  She was adopted into an LDS family and that is where she found the gospel.  Haha, she's funny, loves cleaning and is perfectly fine that I have two huge fans going at all times in the appartment (and strategically place them on chairs, with extension cords, about two feet away from me every is so hot)--- those three things alone will ensure a happy companionship.  But really, she is amazing.  We are different in many ways, which is to be expected with such different backgrounds, but I think we compliment each other really well.  I know that this companionship is inspired and have already learned so much from her. 
A little clarification from last week, we are actually not "whitewashing" in Aix.  As it turns out, we are opening a new companionship.  Basically everything that I described before applies, but we also start with an empty area book, no potentials, and we didn't even have a ward list until Sunday.  Luckily, we did have a map.  Although, I'm pretty sure that reading maps is going to be one of those skills that I acquire this transfer.  I never thought of myself as being bad at directions.  But, I've come to the conclusion that this is because I have lived in Utah my entire life.  French streets are confusing, but I'm starting to get it down.  Let's just say, we've had a couple...adventures the last few days.  On another note, I think I am destined to contact.  Training and opening up new companionships two transfers in a row, bring it on.  So, we're starting from square one again.  It's so exciting!  This week was full of getting organized, filling another empty phone, and yes, contacting.  Good thing I love it so much.  We had some really incredible, powerful discussions on the road this week.  I love the look on someone's face when you know something clicked or that they felt the Spirit.  It is the coolest thing ever, every time we speak we are just restoring truth that they already know.  One contact this week was particularly cool.  We stopped this guy and talked to him for almost an hour.  He was very into theology and spent a good portion of the conversation trying to, well, make us look dumb.  He asked a lot of difficult questions trying to trip us up, using all of this logic to prove that God doesn't exist.  It was tempting to let my "debater side" take over...but I didn't, luckily (If I didn't spell "debater" right, please don't laugh.  I literally tried it 5-6 times different ways.  That's terrible, oh how French can ruin an English major.).  But, all that we could do was testify to him of truths.  It was so cool.  By the end, he was astonished.  He went off for about five minutes about how he wasn't sure that there was a God, but if there was, he was sure that we were His servants.  He talked about the divine power that he felt in our words and went on and on about the light in our eyes.  Yeah, contacting for six hours at a time can get frustrating, but it's moments like that that make an entire day worth it.  That is why I love contacting.  I know that we are going to find people here who are prepared here.
On another note, the ward in Aix is so incredible!  It is large, strong, and everyone is stoked for missionary work.  As much as I love Carcassonne, it is cool to see the opposite end of the spectrum.  I feel like God is rewarding me.  After one day at church I'm totally in love with all of the members.  It's seriously unreal to me.  I cannot wait to start working with them more.  Because of how great the ward is, they have been blessed to actually have 3 companionships of missionaries (we are with the zone leaders and the sister training pressure).  We are going to see so many miracles here.  What a perfect situation to put into to practice all of the guidance just given to us by our leaders.  We watched the broadcast yesterday, wasn't it amazing (and not just because I understood all of the French this time, as opposed to General Conference)?  The lines from one of my favorite primary songs have been ringing in my head during my mission, "We hear the words our prophets declare, let each who's worthy go forth and share."  I always felt like that was very applicable to this generation of missionaries.  We were a generation that was brought up in a way that made us worthy to serve when called upon by the prophets of God (quite literally out of the blue).  My mission, as I'm sure it is for many missionaries, has served as a wake-up call, if you will.  It has given me perspective on this life and more of a vision of our purpose.  It's amazing to me that the whole world is getting this "wake-up call" the same time that I am.
I hope that you're all doing great, thanks for all of the love and support.  I love you so much and pray for you often.  I love being a missionary!
Je vous aime,
Soeur Alisa Hulme

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