MY AMERICAN PEOPLE,
Oh how I love you. Seriously. So much to fill you on. I hope my fingers can keep up.
MTC, who cares to hear about that anymore. Right, right. Moving on.
The plane ride to Paris was overnight and took about 10 hours. Thankfully I can sleep ANYWHERE like I am in the womb and slept for a whole 8 hours on the flight. So much less painful than I was expecting.
Got to the airport, went through customs...(I think, I pretty much had no idea what was going on at this point), then we met the APs and the Poznanski's. Matt Meyers, one of my friends from Freshman year is the AP. That was so weird. He says hello to all you people who know him. The Poznanski's are wonderful. Super nice and cute and happy. They gave us a Pan de chocolat (so good) and a Livre de Mormon right away, and then we were off to the Metro. I sat on the Metro by this man who was about 25 from Germany. He knew about as much French as I did, but he was SOOO nice. We talked all about Paris and Germany and the BOM of course. It was a 45 minute conversation with a real person. It was so amazing that I got that experience right off the bat. It was one of those "okay, I can do this" moments. From there we went back to the church in Paris which is right next to the modern art museum, sorry Kenzie I can't remember the name. I know you know what I'm talking about. At the Church we just filled out paperwork and ate snacks and had interviews. President is really funny. Our interview was in English, so I could understand, thank goodness. He said he could tell that I wanted to go FAST, and I was like yeah that's right I want to get to work. (spoke too soon). After this we actually went to a hotel instead of the mission home, so I haven't been there yet. Our hotel was great though and the breakfast was literally to DIE FOR. I LOVE THE FOOD HERE. See ya when I weight 200 pounds. Blague (joke). Okay then from there we went to Sacre Coeur and Consacre-ted our missions, get it. Too good. It was so beautiful and I felt the Spirit there so strong. It is amazing what people sacrificed to make these beautiful cathedrals to glorify our God. I attached a picture. Then from there we went back to the mission home and got our areas and trainers. My name came up first. I didn't even have time to comprehend it. I freaked out. Then, I got on a train, uhm like Harry Potter my life was complete, and 4 hours later I arrived. Then from there is is where my story begins:
I'm in Vannes France.
White-washing aka opening the area.
My trainer is Soeur Grewar. She is Austrailian. And a literal angel.
It is beautiful, truly. It has been half sunshine/half rain.
It is a decently large city. I really don't know what to compare it to because I don't think places like this exist in America.
Our apartment is brand spanking new. Address= 6 Rue Honore Daumier 56000 Vannes FRANCE.
We walk or take the bus everywhere which means a lot of walking. I'm really tired yeah all the time.
We are part of the Vannes (for Kenz: pronounced Vonn) Branch which has about 30 active members.
I have had one dinner appointment with the Branch Mission Leader we ate lasagna, then quiche, then yogurt, then chocolate. I love their family. They are really kind and easy to understand.
Everyone gives Bises (greeting with the kisses on both cheeks). Please imagine how awkward I am at them. Hahah. I'm getting better.
Okay that all sounds great, I know, but for the real update.
Honestly, this last week was the hardest week I have ever had in my whole entire life. Lets be real, the MTC was like a sorority. Everything was given to us, we had the most hilarious group of girls, and we didn't have to face the world. The mission is hard. Why is it hard? Well first off, the Adversary knows exactly what I'm doing and he doesn't want me to do it. The first 3 days here I cried every single day, and just wanted to come home. I starting doubting if I could even do this. Since we are opening the area we didn't have any investigators, we didn't know the branch, we didn't know the city, we didn't know where the store, or the bus stops, or the best places to find people were, we didn't have food. My companion can speak French, but not super well and she's really timid. I can't speak at all. Everything comfortable about life was taken away. I had a choice to make. Should I be miserable and quit now? Or should I realize whose work this is and get to it? It was hard to chose the right thing, but I want everyone to know that I am on my mission now.
And by that I mean, I am here to be here and I'm here to stay.
This Gospel is so true. Yes, it is harder to realize when you take yourself out of your comfortable Mormon community and are left with simply yourself and with an Austrailian. But, I can witness and testify that this is God's work. Everyone needs it.
Thankfully I was able to meet the Branch yesterday. They are wonderful, strong people. They remind me so much of the people in Alabama. I pray for the missionaries there every night. Seriously. It takes so much strength to stand for the gospel here. These people blow me away. Also, I have SO MUCH more empathy for any boy who has ever stayed on their mission till the end. I know a sliver of how hard it is. Those boys who were amazing missionaries. You are my example and quite honestly I have never been more amazed by anything in my life. That goes for you Dad!
Family, I'm sending a letter with more details. No worries. I am out of time.
I love you all. More than I have ever loved you before. Be grateful for the strength of the Gospel in the States. Be grateful for the Prophet and be obedient like he said.
Love, Soeur Johns.
P.S. Mom, We have to cook all of our own food. I would love some pancake batter, if that wouldn't be too much to send. My comp has never had pancakes. Also cake mixes and seasonings for stuff would be literally divine. We eat noodles plain right now every single day (obviously I buy pastries). It's kinda killing me. Also, American measuring spoons would be wonderful. Also, my straightener blew up. It works about 10% of the time. So I will probably buy one. If you will just watch for that to come through on my card that would be great. Until then I will look like mufassa every single day. :) I also would love the recipie for simple chocolate chip cookies. I think that is all I need for now. I will write more in the snail mail letter if I think of anything.