Tuesday, March 18, 2014

"We climbed the biggest sand dune in Europe, and sat on top of it looking out at the Atlantic. It was basically incredible." 3/18/14

Bonjour Ma Famille,

Hey, sorry it's a little late this week.  But it's fine, I had a good excuse.  Yesterday we went to Acharcon, climbed the biggest sand dune in Europe, and sat on top of it looking out at the Atlantic.  It was basically incredible.  Even though the pictures don't give it justice, assume that it is a billion times bigger than the biggest sand dune you've ever seen and that it's a crazy good work-out to run up.

Wow, what a week.  Haha, I thought that I would maybe give you a sneak peek into my life by telling you the itinery for the first half of the week...
Monday (supposedly P-day), we did grocery shopping and emails (the regulars) and then had approximately 20 to ourselves--so we ate fresh strawberries and drank diet coke on a bench in the sun.  It was fantastic.  After our little moment of relaxation, we sprinted off to a rendez-vous with Dominique (who is doing wonderful and testified of how much she loves the Book of Mormon).  We finished the lesson and headed straight to the airport with the zone leaders to catch the plane for Jedi Council (leadership conference) in Lyon.  

It was a really great meeting, topped off by the fact that Soeur Bentley and Soeur Luthi are the newest STL's (my MTC companion and my baby bleue, couldn't be more proud).  At the council, President revealed his newest tactic for converting (if you can call it that...haha, although that makes it sound really secret and epic).  He's changing the face of contacting for the mission by turning it into a questionnaire.  At first, it seemed like a bizarre idea, like we were salesman or something.  But, it totally works (of course, because it was inspired).  A good portion of the council was spent testing it out and putting it into practice.  Way more people stopped to talk to us and it gave us time to actually teach and testify.  With us all contacting hundreds of people a week, this is really going to help the efficiency of it by creating conversations.  

The way home was the biggest adventure, as we ended up being extremely late for the plane, sprinting through the whole airport, getting momentarily stopped at security because there were about 40 bobby pins in my hair and it set of the detector (don't worry, it was fine...), and missing the plane by ten minutes (just to clarify, not caused by my hair).  As a result, we had to spend another night in Lyon, woke up at 4 AM the next morning, and by the time we got back to our apartment in Bordeaux around 8 AM, we had two sisters waiting at the door ready for an exchange.  Not a problem.  We did the exchange, everything went great.  The next morning we got up, planned our presentation for 20 minutes, and ran off to zone training to give it....and played the ultimate hosts for all of the sisters that came in for the training (running around chatting with and sparking everyone).

Cool moment of the week... We taught Alain the word of wisdom.  He totally understood it all and at the end of the lesson profusely thanked us for teaching him about it (even though he had a problem with several of the parts).  He said that this commandment was exactly the next thing that he needed to push his spirituality to the next level and make him closer to God.  Isn't that how it should be?  The more we love God and the more converted we are, the more happily and anxiously we accept His counsel.  

French culture moment of the week... So the main meal every day here is lunch.  Literally, I'm pretty sure that the whole French culture revolves around their "midi repas".  For two hours, from 12 PM to 2 PM, everything in the country closes (including most food places...that part never made sense to me), everyone goes home from work and school, and they all eat their big, coursed meal together.  It's a really great concept as far as family togetherness goes, although the pratical side of me still can't wrap my mind around it.  But, I guess it's just one of those cultural things to make me laugh, we have actually turned it into a game.  If we are out contacting during this time, we have a contest to see how many people use the excuse that they have to go eat as the reason not to talk to us.  Even if it seems ridiculous to us, it's a REALLY big deal.

Joseph has been facing a lot of opposition this week in preparation for his baptism.  It's kind of a day to day thing with him, but we are still working towards it.  It's stressful, but it's actually really cool to be working with someone that could be such an enormous miracle.  I'll keep you updated.

Other than that, my life is really great.  I absolutely love being a missionary.  I love you all, have a great week!

Je vous aime,
Soeur Alisa Hulme

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