My mission, in blue, it's so big!
Hi everyone! oops... I mean Bonjour tout le monde!
I hope everyone had a fantastic week, because I sure did! I don't even know where to begin because this week has just been so crazy busy! To start off, thank you SO MUCH for the birthday wishes! It was seriously one of the best birthdays of my life, it was full of fun and laughs, but most importantly it was full of the spirit. I didn't really know what to expect when I realized my birthday would be in the MTC, and then when I realized it would be on my first Sunday I had no idea how it would go, but alas,it really was the BIGGEST blessing to have it on a Sunday! Sundays here are pretty busy days, we had a Mission Conference in the morning with all the missionaries in the MTC that was wonderful, the speakers were from the MTC Presidency and they talked about diligence and the importance of studying the scriptures. Then we had church for 3 hours, luckily 2 of those were in English so I understood what was happening, but then we had sacrament meeting and it was all in French and I was concentrating so hard to just understand people bearing their testimonies. But no need to fear! I know the language will come, I feel like as a district we have already improved so much, we only pray in French now, sign Hymns in French, and we try to speak as much of it with each other as we can. But yeah, anyways, my birthday was really the best ever. After church we went to a devotional that night where Jenny Oaks Baker (a super talented and kind of famous Violinist, who is also the daughter of DALLIN H. OAKS OKAY YEAH I KNOW TRY TO CONTAIN YOURSELF), played some amazing songs on her violin, and she even played a few of my favorite Hymns, and I'm convinced it was because it was my birthday. Also, the Sisters in my district gave me some chocolate and a super cute card signed by all the missionaries in our district. And then when we were just hanging out in class they wrote "Happy Birthday Sister Thomas!" (obviously in French) on the board and then people just started drawing pictures of me! Soon the board was covered with everyone artistic interpretation of me and it was seriously hilarious because none of us had any lick of artistic talent. I'll send some pictures to make sure the moment will live on forever!
Look at the pretty board. I feel so loved!!
Here's Elder Dalmasi's interpretation of my face.
I can't decide what my favorite thing about it was,
either the fact that he only drew half of my face,
or the fact that he started drawing my face by drawing an eyebrow.
Oh guess what else! As of yesterday, me and my amazing companion have taught 5 lessons in French! We were teaching one of our actual class teachers who was pretending to be an investigator named Charles and it was quite the experience. We had to teach our first lesson on our 3rd full day here and man was it rough, but as the week and the lessons went on, it gradually got better and me and my companion started feeling more and more comfortable in the language. We even committed our fake investigator to be baptized! It was so cool, we taught him about the Restoration of the Gospel and the Book of Mormon and about the Atonement of Christ, and although it wasn't easy because we hardly speak French and scarcely understood what he was saying to us, it was an amazing learning experience. I learned that the real teacher in an lesson is the Holy Ghost. And that if you teach with the spirit, it doesn't matter if you're less competent in the language than a 5 year old child, because the Spirit talks to our hearts. And what a beautiful and comforting reminder that has been to me this past week.
Another thing I've learned is that pronunciation in French is literally one of the hardest things in the world for me. THE RULES JUST DON'T MAKE SENSE. You only pronounce like half the letters in the actual word and trying to remember all the different pronunciation combos IS SO HARD. I feel so bad for my companion because I'm constantly asking her how to say something (because she's seriously a French genius), and then when I try it's just a crash and burn-sad-sap-attempt. But, after realizing I have a huge weakness in it, I've been practicing it a lot so hopefully by the time I'm done with the MTC it'll be a STRENGTH! (aka Ether 12:27!)
Which is the coolest concept to think about, because with God's help, our weakness can become our strengths, and that all we need to do is humble ourselves before God and have faith in Him.
God is always looking for ways to reach out and help His children (aka US!), and the only thing getting in the way of that is, guess what... US. If we just put our trust and faith in Him, ANYTHING is possible. Even learning French in 6 weeks!
God lives and loves us to no end. I KNOW THAT TO BE TRUE!
P.S Soeur is Sister in French, and it's pronounced like "Sir," not like "sour" or "sewer" or "sower" like some of the Sisters once thought it was..
So yes, my name for the next 18 months will be "Sir Thomas," which does make me think I'm British Lord from 19th century England.
My whole district. Man we're cute!
ME AND MY CUTE COMP SOEUR BARNES! Man do I love her!
In front of the Provo Temple.