Bonjour Ma Famille,
Hello everyone, I hope that your week has been wonderful. I thought it would be good to start this letter with something amusing. Actually, this whole letter should be rather entertaining, you're welcome. Here's the first story... So, I was on another exchange in Nice. It was phenomenal, I loved it. We were able to get tons of work done and the sister I worked with was great. At the end of the day, one of the ward members offered to take the missionaries to dinner. Cool, right? We were excited and it was going to be great for the Nice missionaries to get closer to this ward member. I was even more excited when she told us that we were going to this nice Italian restaurant. Definitely was not an Italian restaurant. We walk into a room completely surrounded with fishtanks, adorned in ship decor, and with an aroma that was for sure not seasoned marina sauce. Hardcore seafood restaurant right off the coast of the Mediterranean. Let me apoligize at this point to all those who would die to have this experience. Unfortunately, I'm not one of those people. I don't eat fish. I don't like fish. And here I was sitting in an expensive, very extravagent seafood restaurant with this member paying for us. What can you do? You have to eat it. So, I went with the "safe" choice. I ordered a pasta and figured that there would maybe be fish in the meat sauce. Nope. Not the safe choice. My heart dropped when the waiter brought out my plate. To start, it was the single biggest plate that I had ever seen in my life. To make it worse, my pasta was completely covered in oysters, muscles, octapus, squid, shrimp, and other stuff that I'm kind of glad I could not identify. My plate was full of tentacles, suction cups, and lots of things that I had to shell. What can you do? You have to eat it. In all honesty, it wasn't that bad when I got over the appearance, the smell, the texture, and the thought of what I was eating. Good experience, but I definitely felt queasy for the rest of the night.
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The rest of the week went well. I thought maybe I'd give you a little insight to what it is like contacting. I'm not really sure if I'm doing it wrong, but I like having fun with people and being bold about it. Soeur Brimhall and I have been working on this all transfer. It's awesome. I figure it's more amusing for us and will leave a bigger impression on them. Here are some recent examples...
We're porting a building and talk to this lady who's not interested. About thirty minutes later she comes out to find us working on the appartment next door. She asks, "Are you really still doing this?" (haha, translated for your convenience) Response, "Um, yeah. Our message is just as true as it was thirty minutes ago when we talked to you."
Word of wisdom is fun, President Roney has told us to call people to repentance on the street. So, we do. Soeur Brimhall contacted this guy the other day and told him to dump out his can of beer. And he did. He said it was the nicest thing that anyone had ever said to him. Another day we came up to this young kid on a bench. He wasn't interested in our message, but we told him to quit smoking and drinking. His response, "Ah, that's just life." "Actually, it's totally a choice." "Yeah, you're right." "If you ever want to quit, let us know." (hand him our card)
But, I'm pretty sure athiests are my favorite people to talk to, mostly because their position on the world and life makes no sense to me. When someone tells me that they are athiest, I get a really confused "that doesn't make sense" look on my face and ask, "Does being athiest really bring you joy?"
Another example, not necessarily contacting, but during a lesson. Last week I was teaching a lesson to Suzanne on an exchange. Just before her baptismal interview, we told her we had to teach her one more commandment. Turns out they had forgotten to teach her the commandment of baptism. Of course they had taught it, but it's supposed to be a separate lesson too. Anyways, at the beginning of the lesson, I pointed to her red shirt and told her it was against the commandments to wear red. We all kind of laughed... then a few minutes later, after talking a bit more, she said, "I have another shirt with me, I can go change, the other one's not red...." We all burst out laughing and explained that it was a joke. Haha, opps. Maybe American sarcasm doesn't always translate well. On the plus side, look how devoted she was to follow Christ and the things she was taught by the missionaries. I then followed it up by explaining that the joke about wearing red was actually her baptismal interview, it was a test that she passed. Haha, that one went over a little better.
So, there you go. It's a little peak into the everyday life of Sister Hulme.
I gave you an update of some of our more serious amis last week, maybe I'll talk about a couple more. For some reason, the zone leaders feel like they can pass us all of their "joke" amis. Okay, no one is really a joke, but some people are crazy. Fact. They always give us the excuse that it's easier for us to teach them because we are sisters. I secretly (but not so secretly because I'm writing it home) think it's because they don't want the members to think that they are teaching crazy people. For example, one of our old amis, among many things, thought that light drained her of all energy and made her sick. The couple weeks that she came to church, we had to have our gospel principles class in the dark. No joke. This last week they passed us a new ami who is about 65 and believes that bombs are constantly falling from the sky. We haven't met with her yet, but wish us luck.
I'm sorry, my letter next week will be more spiritually uplifting. At least, I feel that you understand a missionary's life a little better now. The church is true, there's no doubt! I love being a missionary! I love you all, have a great week!
Je vous aime,
Soeur Alisa Hulme