Monday, November 28, 2011

Week 10: Oh Canada




(Note: There was no week 9 letter because that was her travel day to Canada and since she called home there was no time for e-mails.)

Hello!
How is everyone doing? First off, Happy Birthday to little Miss Gabrielle! I hope you got my card:) Also, I hope everyone had a really happy Thanksgiving. Mine was actually really good, more on that later.
So, first of all I'm serving in the Gatineau area of Ottowa French speaking which is about 3 hours away from Montreal. The first night we were here my trainer drove past the parliment building in Ottowa and I almost cried. It was insanely beautiful! I wish I had pictures to show you,but we have a car which doesn't allow for many photo ops. My trainer's name is Sister Pace, she is from Texas and she is a total nut case. In a good way. I really love her. She is a really good missionary and I hope one day I can be more like her. In language skillz and also in proselyting skillz:) We've already shared a lot of laughs and we're getting increasingly better at singing opera in the car to our appointments. Monica you should be so proud.
On Thanksgiving we had a service opportunity it was really incredible! Potentially one of the best Thanksgiving's of my life. We were able to serve in the Ottowa mission, which is a hospice/shelter for men in the Ottowa area. I'm not going to lie I was a little nervous about serving in a shelter for men, but they were all so kind. And not in a creepy way, but I knew they were genuinely greatful. We were able to help prepare and serve dinner. Everyone who came through was so grateful and I actually teared up a couple of times because I could feel the sincerity. I was so grateful for the entire experience.
Later that night we met a family from our ward. They reminded me so much of your old fashioned Italian family except for they were French. But they were great! They made us feel right at home and they kept asking over and over "You come to our house for Christmas?" They REALLY want us to come:) Let it be known that our entire ward is amazing! I really lucked out. The Relief Society president is from Brazil and she has already been so great at helping us out. The ward is thrilled to have us because they haven't had sisters in Gatineau in 10 years! It's kind of a lot of pressure, but I'm excited to see what will happen.
We have a lot of investigators in this area....and a lot of crazies. Last night Sister Pace and I had a lesson with this investigator the Elder's left named Jasky. He. Was. Crazy. He was from Haiti(most of our investigators are from Haiti). We walked in and he was super nice, his wife was nutty and pretended like we weren't there. Anywho we started talking about the BOM and the priesthood and that's when all hell broke loose. Literally. He started to tell us that we were being led by a false prophet yadda yadda yadda. After a while I just stopped listening and concentrated on not laughing, which was hard. But finally Sister P told him we had somewhere to be and we left. While we were leaving he said he hoped we could be freed from our evil prophet or something nutty and gave us back our BOM. Needless to say it was a success...oh wait. It wasn't. But in his prayer he prayed that I would be saved, but not Sister Pace. Hahaha, hooray!:)
We have a not crazy investigator, named Daphney. She is also from Haiti and she is married to a member. They are really great. We're just a little nervous she's getting baptized because of her husband and not because she actually wants to. They have a little baby named Jaden and I'm pretty sure I'm going to kidnap him. Jaden is like a little haitian cabbage patch baby. I love him so much.
The other night after our lesson with Daphney we were getting in our car and sister p saw this lady walking by at like 200km (I'm so french canadian) and she starts booking it after her. The lady was like "I'm late for work, but if you want to walk with me I would love to listen to your message. So we did. And I was trying so hard not to laugh, because we looked ridiculous. But she did give us her number and said she would like to know more. Well see:)
I miss you. A lot. But today and at least for the moment I know that I am where I'm supposed to be:) I have my moments, but for the most part I am doing really well. Thank you for your prayers. I need them. Don't worry I pray for you every day. I am so certain that the Lord answers our prayers. Read the talk from this last conference about the Power of Prayer. It's amazing! I know there is so much I could say, but I'll just leave it at that. Thank you for allowing me to have this once in a life time opportunity. I know it's the best thing for me. Sorry this email is weird and don't worry I'm going to get the hang of this communicating through emails and letters thing soon. Also, anyone who wrote me last week, I will be writing you this week! I love you! Can't wait to talk in 3 weeks!!!
Je vous aime!
Soeur Perkins
P.s. could you make sure J gets my emails when I send them, he said he hasn't been getting them. Thanks!
Pictures:
1849- My favorite Elders. Really. Love their guts. (Picture at the beginning)
1866- The district that does their laundry together stays together.
1870-Elder Corbett, Frere Corbett's little Brother, who is pretty much my best friend:)
1907- President Zimbleman my branch president who was incredible!
1913- I don't think we could get any better looking:) Love Elder Bequette and Adams!!!
1918- Sister Pace and I eating some Poutin it's a traditional Quebec meal:) It was so salty!!!












Monday, November 21, 2011

New address!

Sabrina's new address is:

Sister Sabrina Perkins
470 Rue Gilford
Ste 300
Montreal, QC H2J1N3
CANADA


Write her, send her packages or e-mail her at sabrina.perkins@myldsmail.net!

Week 8: Last week at the MTC!

The night she was set apart with her cutie niece Sofia.

Bonjour!
Can you believe that this is my 8th week in the MTC??? I can't! It's gone by so quickly! First off, sorry to everyone who read my Debbie-Downer email last week. So not cool on my part. Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my Fia! I love you, Pookie! Keep an eye on your mailbox for a little birthday fun:)
Last thursday a very happy thing happened called we finally got our travel plans!!!! I will be flying out of the SLC airport on Tuesday November 22 at 7:30 a.m. Which means I have to be at the MTC travel office by 4 a.m. No big deal:) I literally jumped up and down when I got my travel plans. It was quite a happy day. Mom and Pop that means I will be calling you sometime before 7:30. I'm thinking around 6? I guess just be prepared to be surprised. To everyone else, I wish I could call each one of you to tell you that I love you and that you are the best, but I've been asked to only call my parents home. However, if you happen to be there at 6 am (eh-hem Monica) I would love to say "Bonjour!".
Also, I think some of you have not been getting my letters on time. Boo! I think there has been a letter monster going around the past couple of weeks. Hopefully, you have recieved your letters by now. If not know that whoever writes me usually will get a response the next week. So I really hope your letters aren't getting lost in the mail. Booo!
Last week, as you may recall, I was having the pity party of all pity parties. But don't worry about me, I'm over it. I talked to Frere Corbett and he said this "Hermana your Spanish is really good. I knew a sister when I was serving in Montreal and her Spanish was worse than yours when she got there. But now she has perfect Spanish. If you see her tell he I said "Hi", but don't tell her I told you her Spanish was bad." It was a really good reminder for me it made me think of Exodus 4 when Moses is talking to God about how he can't go gather the Israelites because he is slow of speech, and then God rebukes him and says, "Hey Moses! I promised you that I would help you! Now go gather the Israelites!" I know it will all be okay. Or as the French say "Tout ira bien."
In the MTC you prepare a talk each week, without knowing if you will really be called on to speak or not. It's kind of like the Price is Right. Well this week they called on me. I was really happy that I was so prepared because when I heard "Sister Perkins, come on down!" (dramatic rendering) my heart really started pounding. I actually felt pretty good about my talk. I know it wasn't perfect, but I know it was my best. One thing I wish I could've changed was this weird habit I have to say "N'est pas?"(Is that not right?) frequently when I speak in French. The branch presidency said it was endearing I think that's a nice way of saying "It was strangely adorable." Oh well, n'est pas?:)
This is the part where I share my irreverent moments....okay some of them. So every Saturday night we have workshops, this week our workshop teacher must've forgotten or something, because our workshop was to look up scriptures on random topics. He was walking around and he came to our group who was already slap happy and he said "So, God sent prophets to restore the gospel in every dispensation. Adam, Noses...." Guess who couldn't not keep it together. Guilty. I proceeded to laugh for the next 3-5 minutes. He just kind of ignored me and kept talking. I'm sorry, but he said "Noses".
This week I was studying in Alma 48-49 about the Moroni and the Lamanite invasions. I really love these chapters. I really love Moroni. Through this chapter the Lamanites continue to be "exceedingly astonished" because of the preparations that Moroni and his army took to fortify their city. And in verse 23 in 48 it says "And in their weakest fortifications he did place the greater number of men; and thus he did fortify and strengthen the land which was possessed by the Nephites.' I know that the Lord is sending angels to fortify His children in their weaknesses. I also know that through sincere prayer we can overcome so many of life's challenges. Even Spanish and French.
I hope you are all well and so happy. This is a gospel of JOY! Make sure you remember that "Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy!" This is a beautiful season of Thanksgiving and rejoicing because the Savior promised us he would come and he did. He promised us He would suffer our pains and afflictions and He did. J'aime mon Sauveur et Redempteaur, Jesus-Christ. Have a beautiful week! Smile! The next time you get an email from me I will be in Montreal!
Je vous aime!!!!
Soeur Sabrina Perkins

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Week 7: 2 Weeks to Go!


Bonjour toute le monde!
How is everyone doing? We're surviving here at the MTC. I can't believe that we have less than to weeks to go here. I'm supposed to be getting my travel plans this Thursday! So, I'll let you know next week when I'm supposed to fly out. This has been an absolutely crazy experience, with plenty of highs and lows. But as the hymn says, "All is well."
Last week we had 25 new arrivals in our zone and 8 of them were sisters! This is the largest the French zone has been in a long time. It's been really fun watching all the little guys come in and seeing them go through the exact same struggles and trials I had when I got here. We just keep reminding them that the MTC goes by in the blink of an eye. Hahaha, sidenote one day one of our Elders was talking about how the weeks feel like days and the days feel like weeks and Frere Corbett said "and two years go by like a dream." Then the room got really quiet because no one was quite sure if he was being serious. This is probably not even funny, but it was just so poetic that nobody knew he had it in him.
I know I've told you all about my wonderful and goofy district. We've started a new tradition it's called "Four Square Friday!" And basically it's the best thing that's ever happend to us. Sometimes we ask our teachers if they think we're nuts, because honestly sometimes it feels that way. They always say, "No!" But I'm pretty sure they don't mean it. But anywho, you should all know I'm terrible at four square and basically the only reason I ever move up is because someone else gets out. Last week I told my district that it was okay because four square is a game of hope and you're not permanetly a loser:) Also it should be documented that while walking back to the MTC my companion Sister Waldron had an epic face plant. You may think that I'm being insensitive but she literally falls EVERYday! We have rules as far as what she can and can't do.
Dad, this week I was talking to Elder Leon, who is also heading to Montreal with me, and he was telling me that before he left on his mission he was talking to a brother in his ward who told him he had a mission companion who's daughter would be serving in the Montreal mission. Elder Leon forgot until he got to the MTC and saw my name on my desk. And then he forgot again. But yesterday we were studying and he looked up and said "Hermana! I have to tell you a story!" He told me that the Brother's name was Bill Arnold and that he was companion's with an Elder Perkins in the Buenos Aires, Argentina mission. I thought that was a pretty neat coincidence. Elder Leon is a really great missionary! He's been helping me a lot with my Spanish.
Speaking of Spanish....yesterday I started my spanish lessons with Frere Corbett. I'm not going to lie it was pretty terrible. I said everything in French. I felt really discouraged afterward. And I'm not going to lie I still do. I went the good portion of the day feeling less than adequate to the challenge. It's much more difficult than I ever thought it could be to switch between three languages. Last night we had coaching missionary study with Frere Starita, he asked me how I was doing and I poured out my soul to him telling him I was beyond frustrated because I can't speak Spanish, French and now even my English is suffering. Lucky for me, Frere Starita is one of the kindest souls I have ever met(he even started to tear up), in that moment he knew exactly what to say to help ease my worries. He pulled out his scriptures and read to me the story of Christ walking on the water. He said Peter wanted to badly to be like the Savior he tried to walk out to him just as the Savior was walking towards Peter. But Peter lost his focus and tried to do it on his own. Frere Starita reminded me that I'm not supposed to be doing this on my own. And I know that's true. I know that I'm not expected to speak these three languages with perfect clarity and grammar. After our Oprah moment I apologized for being such a baby and Frere Starita said "Oh it's fine. I have a fiancee." Haha, he is such a silly little guy.
Sorry if this email is a little scatterbrained I'm trying to sift through my French and I'm not sure everything even makes sense, but oh well c'est la vie. I miss you all, a lot. Remember that I love you, remember that the Savior is aware of you. And as my favorite hymn says "And we hear the desert singing, Carry on, Carry on, Carry on." Promise me you will. Because everytime we are faced with a trial that is just the Lord drawing us nearer to Him. Have a beautiful day! Eat some pumpkin treats for me!
Je vous aime!
Soeur Perkins
p.s. There is a beautiful French lullaby in the the French hymn book called "Souvienes-toi". If by some miracle you find a recording of it you should listen to it. I've already decided that I will be singing that song to my children someday.
p.p.s. I love you!:)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Week 6: This weekend had it's ups and downs....






November 1st, 2011


Bonjour ma famille et mes amies!

Comment ├ža va tout le monde? This has been, once again, a crazy week here in the MTC. I can't believe tomorrow it will be exactly six weeks since I entered the MTC! I feel like time is flying!

This weekend had it's ups and downs. Another one of the missionaries from our district went home to take care of some things. It was Sister Hinchcliff. I love that girl. oodles and oodles worth. Even though it was really sad to see her go we all felt at peace knowing that it was the Lord's will. Because Sister Hinchcliff left, her companion is now my third companion. Yes, a TRIpanionship! It's a little bit more difficult in some aspects to have two companions but really nice in others. Sister Waldron is a gem. She also went to BYU before the mission and basically she makes me laugh all day. Last night for example in our companionship prayer she blessed our petit-amies(boyfriends) instead of our amies de l'eglise(investigators). I'm sure you all know me well enough to know I laughed at that for a about five minutes.

So, like I said we're coming up on our sixth week mark, and boy is it showing. There comes a point in our day where our district gets really slap happy. Fere Corbett had to take us on a walk last week, because we could not control ourselves. We try, but I think being in the same place for six weeks has really started drivining us insane. I always ask Fere Corbett if he thinks we're crazy and he always says "no!" but I know he really means yes.

On Sunday we had the best surprise ever in Relief Society, Sister Elaine S. Dalton came and spoke. Sister Dalton has so much power! She is truly a servant of the Lord. This week I've been thinking about how uncomfortable I have been this whole MTC experience. I've had to speak in a language I really don't know, be more outgoing, teaching investigators without really having an understanding of what they're saying, there's just so many awkward things that happen that it is hard to even put it into words. But I realized that through all of these really uncomfortable experiences I have been able to grow so much. One of the first things Sister Dalton taught us was that this principle is true. If we want to become like God he will help us grow, and it will be uncomfortable. So, if you are going through a trial or feel like things are just not right remember that, that is our Heavenly Father helping you to become like Him.

Also, with being uncomfortable, I have never been so exhausted in my life. Really. Mentally, physically, spriritually. Really! But as tired as I feel I have never been quite so happy. This really is the Lord's work. And I'm beginning to understand why the Lord's servants are so happy they are in the work of saving souls, just as the Christ and just as the Father. It is a happy work! This last week I continued my study out of Alma and I was reading in Alma 17 about how the Lamanites bound Ammon and took him to king Lamoni. Lamoni asks Ammon why he is in their land and I love what Ammon says (even after being bound with cords) "Yea I desire to dwell among this people for a time; yea and perhaps until the day I die." After this experience Lamoni's heart is softened towards Ammon because he understands that Ammon has pure love for his people.This scripture is such a testimony to me that the people I teach will have to know that I love them really and truly, and once they understand that they will be able to accept the Gospel.

One of my favorite things that happened this week was, Sister Ellsworth and I were walking by the cafeteria where they have walls of pictures of missionaries from all around the world. There was a picture of two Elder's knocking on a door in Samoa and they were both wearing lava-lavas. Sister E. looked at me and said "Imagine if WE had to wear skirts everyday!?" I thought she was being sarcastic so I gave her one of those "what did you just says?" kind of looks. And then she said "No wait. Imagine if we were guys. Then imagine if we were skirts everyday." I'm still perplexed by this comment. My companions are really the greatest. We have our moments of utter chaos when we can't keep it together, but I'm so greatful for these two sisters.

Thank you everyone for your letters, packages, love, and support. Missions are hard, but they are so worth it. I know life can get really difficult but don't turn back, turn to the Savior because only He knows how to succor His people. You are His and He loves you eternally. This gospel is true. The principles are eternal. Don't forget that. Remember to be happy and find joy in the small moments because those are what gives us strength in life's trials.

You are always in my prayers.

Je t'aime toujours,

Soeur Perkins

P.s. I sent Israel a letter but it came back. I must have the wrong address:(

P.p.s. Mom I loved the skirt, but it's about three inches too short:( So I will send it home today.

p.p.p.s. I love you!



Friday, November 4, 2011

Week 5: I can't believe it's almost been five weeks!

Bonjour! Ma famille et mis amies!
Comment ca va tout le monde? Bien, j'espere. This has been a crazy week. As usual. It wouldn't be the MTC if it wasn't.
But first to answer your questions dear mother. The food: Umm let's just say I will be really happy when I'm in Canada and can eat real human food. It's not so bad. I eat a lot of salads and cereal and carbs:) I'll survive. But if you feel obliged send Iron Girl bars!:) My (estimated) Departure date is: November 21! It's scary and exciting all at the same time. Health: I've been pretty healthy thus far. I did have a cold a couple of weeks ago and that wasn't too fun. But I'm doing pretty well:)
I can't believe it's almost been five weeks! Only 17 months! That is sad. Boo! But I still have loads to learn, ie French, not laughing when someone says "Cher Peleste" instead of "Cher Pere Celeste" during a prayer. It's a strange feeling knowing I've been here for over a month. Somedays I'll be walking to class and see other groups of missionaries and think "Hey! It's the missionaries!" and then I realize "Hey! That's me!" It's a very unreal feeling.
Yesterday we had a PVL(Parle Votre Langue) day where everyone only spoke French. Man. We are practically fluent now. I'm certain that all these grammar rules we have been learning our so unnecessary, we got along just fine congugated everying in present tense first person:) Kidding! If anything I realized how terrible my French truly is, but oh well. I do have hope because everyone's English is getting worse and worse. Here are some things said in our classroom this week that is proof of this.
-"Why did you wear your hair today?"
-"We will preparate you for baptism."
-"Let's engage him to go to church."
-"Do you have any opo-shun to teaching tommorrow?
-"This will change your life dramastically."
Yes. It's true. We can't speak French or English. It seems like the longer we've been here the more slap happy everyone gets. We are very, VERY easily entertained. Like puppies in a pet shop.
Last week during P-Day we were writing letters in our classroom and the fire alarm started going off. We all shuffled outside to stand in the parking lot. I kept thinking "if this building is on fire, shouldn't we be standing as far away as possible?" Then they shuffled us to the field across the street. It was so neat! Massive chaos of Elder's and Sisters who were trying to figure out what was going on. My district met up with the rest of our zone on the field. It was epic. Do you understand how epic this was for us? We spend 16 hours a day in the same classroom. Standing in the field for no reason was like elementary field day. EPIC! Then my DL Elder Adams and I started playing a game called "What were you doing when the fire alarm went off?" We saw: an elder in a bathrobe(don't worry he totally had his tag on), a sister with a towel on her head, senior couples with towels wrapped around them(even though they were fully clothed?), elder's with no shoes, sister's with half of their make up. It was so neat! The best part was...no fire! But that didn't stop me from singing "RYAN! started the fire!". This also was EPIC!
So on a more serious note....Somedays here a more than a little discouraging. I often find myself thinking "How in heaven's name am I supposed to teach in 3 languages. I can't even speak English anymore." It's rough waters at times. But last Sunday Elder Scott was here. Yes. You heard me: Elder Richard G. Scott. Was a great spirit he has. He told us that we were not here by coincidence nor were we called to our specific missions by coincidence, but that God, our Heavenly Father had planned for us to be here. It spoke volumes of peace to my mind. For some reason, the Lord believes in my ability to speak French, Spanish, and English:) I realized that if the Lord, God Almighty believes I can do it. Chances are I can. My bishop also gave a talk this Sunday where he reminded us that it's okay if our French isn't perfect because as long as we teach with authority and the spirit we will be fine, because the spirit speaks French perfectly. I have thought a lot about that. It's so true. The spirit is fluent in all languages.
On Sunday we also watched a film about the building of the Kirtland temple. There was a line in the movie that immobilized me. The narrator said "The Lord asked us to build a temple. It was something none of us had ever done. But we knew since it was His will we could do it." I realized this, me serving a mission, is the Lord's will. I can do it. I can speak French. I can not be homesick:) I can be patient with my investigators and companion. Because the Lord is the Great I Am.
I'm so happy to be serving a mission. I've had my ups and downs but overall, I know without a doubt in my heart that the Lord needs me in Montreal Canada speaking French and Spanish and even English. I'm so grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. I'm grateful that he knows me and loves me more than I can comprehend at times. Thank you for your love and support! to a missionary it means everything. I love you all so much.
Avec tout de mon coeur,
Soeur Perkins
P.s. Mom i have no idea where the nurses station is? Is it in immunizations?
p.p.s. If you don't get a letter this week I promise to send you one next week. And don't forget: I love you! Toujour!