Monday, August 27, 2012

 one time I was so hungry I actually ate McDonalds. My body was really mad at me later. I'm so grateful for Papaya Enzymes:)

Saw this outside of the Pentecostal church. I just thought it was too good to be true:)

Rainy days in Montreal. This is my THIRD umbrella. And it broke that same day. I really don't know why I have problems.

Hello Family and Friends! 

How is everyone?! Can you believe we're almost into SEPTEMBER! How is this happening?! I can't keep up with the calendar pages.  However, I'm pretty excited to experience my very first Canadian Autumn! I've heard it's absolutely gorgeous. I. Can't. Wait. 

This week was pretty usual. So, I guess it was normal?:) It was a great week. Let's see....we've been working with this amazing family that we met at English class and it's been incredible! It's a single mom and her three kids. The oldest is 20, Chloe and the two younger ones are 16, Cassandra and 15, Chad. On Friday we had this really spiritual lesson about prophets and how we taught them about President Monson. They loved it:) Then on Saturday Chole pretty much spent the whole day with us. We went to a baptism on the west side of IDM. It's about an hour on metro so we had a lot of time to talk. Then at the baptism, she kept asking things about it and if she could have a baptism just like the one we were at. That night their family invited us to a party at their church. This was my first experience at a Pentecostal church. It was pretty interesting to say the least. We kept crossing our fingers for a healing or something legitly Pentecostal. No dice. But it was quite interesting. Everyone avoided us like the plague. The name tag scares so many people:) 

On Saturday we knocked into this Muslim woman. Muslims are either really kind and want to convert you or really grouchy and want you to leave. This particular woman was neither. She actually just wanted to ask questions about our culture. She showed us her prayer mat and robe and explained things like arranged marriages and the way they view woman in their culture. It was a really incredible conversation.It made me really wish that we could always be that open. There was this mutual desire to really understand each other. It was a beautiful thing and maybe it really helped me get over some old grudges:) 

This area has really been interesting we've been able to work with a lot of really cool less active families. I love these families! Sometimes on the mission you worry that perhaps you'll never be able to love your last peeps as much as your new ones and then this funny thing happens and your heart expands in crazy ways. I love this area a lot. There is something about these families. I met this amazing sister who is battling cancer. We are like kindred friends. She loves almond butter and yoga as much as I do. Every time I see her I just feel like I'm with an old friend. There is another family that is very, very less active, but they love us. They know they need what we have, because they've had it before. Last night we spent some time with the Elders quorum president and his family. They thought I was like a celebrity because I was from Utah. It was pretty funny! They wanted to see ma ville so they google earthed everything in STG. They thought it looked so amazing! It made me smile. 

This week I've done a lot of praying. Praying to speak French. Praying to understand. Praying to feel the strength to give my all. I feel like I've spent a lot of my life trying to get to a destination, not really enjoying the journey. Bad, bad, bad. So I was thinking about this process of learning. I love to learn. I forget that a lot. But what I've really learned is that the Lord gives us what we need when we need it. My French is improving. I know that. Every now in then I get these little glimpses where I just speak. It's pretty crazy. And sometimes I understand those really thick Quebecoise accents and my heart leaps for joy. And those days where I'm too exhausted to stand the Lord gives me strength to knock on one more door. This quote from President Uchtdorf better sums up what I'm trying to say, "Guided by the Holy Spirit, we will learn from our mistakes. If we stumble, we will rise. If we falter, we will go on. We will never waver, we will never give up." I have a testimony of this. We have this amazing gift to have a third member of Diety with us at all times. We can never truly be lost if we are living worthy of that companionship.

This was a beautiful week: I had fish tacos, knocked into a woman with my same name!, received the most gorgeous letter in the mail from someone in Paris, ate my first Timbit, hallelujahed at a pentecostal church and otherwise was just happy to be here. Have a beautiful week! Enjoy! Read your scriptures! Say your prayers! Remember I love you!

Bisous Bisous!
Sister Perkins

Monday, August 20, 2012

 The break-up picture:)

He said he would wait for me. I'm considering it:)

 Baby Noella, Congrats Jaclyn & Cort and Abuelo y Abuela
What a cute little bundle, Miracles while I'm in the Mission!!

Hello everyone...including baby Noella!!!!!! 
Yay! New baby! So exciting! I hope everyone is happy and healthy. I'm happy and healthy and working up a storm here in Hochelaga. Crazy, crazy. But oh so good. This week has been weird and crazy and as always I feel like the Lord helped me grow in ways I didn't know were possible. 

Let's see on Wednesday we had Zone Conference and we were lucky enough to merge with the same zone as Sister Chadburn and Elder Leon. I was so excited to see them...I may have jumped up and down when I saw them. It was soooooo good. I felt like we were having a Alma the younger and sons of Mosiah moment. I just love them so much. Elder Leon is the best mission brother a Sista could ever ask for. And as for Sister C, oh man could anyone be more of my twin? I miss them both a lot, but it's always good to know that I still have family here in the CMM especially since the past few months I lost a lot of my family. It's not fair that people just up and leave us. Not cool. Zone Conference was good! President taught us about listening to the spirit and being sensitive to the needs of our investigators. It was a pretty epic training! 

On Wednesday evening I got a phone call from the bishop because he wanted me (just me) to give a talk in sacrament. This normally wouldn't feel like a crisis, but it did in this moment because I can't really speak French. So I prayed really hard that night. The next morning I started my talk and I was surprised to find that I could write it pretty easily. But once I finished it I wondered if maybe I just thought it sounded good, because I wrote it:) So I made my companion read it and correct it for me. She only had to correct a couple of grammatical errors, but for the most part she said it was good. Then Sunday came and I was soooooo nervous! I was actually trembling all through sacrament and then suddenly they said my name. And before I knew it I was sitting down again. From the feedback I got it was good. I'm telling you this not to brag about my fluency...still not fluent. But to tell you that the gift of tongues is REAL!  There is no other way that I would've been able to give a ten minute talk in French, but the Lord helped me. 

Thursday we had our infamous cours d'anglais. I love English class. It's pretty much my favorite time of the day on Thursdays. It's like a comedy every week. This week we were learning about words that sound similar. So we asked the class to tell us words that sounds similar and people kept saying things like "Feel and Feet". I guess they sound similar but whateves. The cool thing that happened from English class this week was that we actually found an investigator and her two daughters! We had a really cool lesson with them on Friday and they certainly felt the spirit! It was really cool. 

So, sometimes our investigators are confused as to why we are coming to visit them.....we learned that lesson again this week. Sister Sandoval and I found this investigator named Abdilal about two weeks ago. He's from Egypt and has only been living here in Canada for only about a month.We found out he was actually Muslim around our second visit and he swore up and down that he wasn't practicing.....but then he committed us to find out if Islam was the true religion. And we were like "HEY! Hold the phone!!! WE are the missionaries." So yesterday we decided it was time to "Frank" him (translation: figure out if he really wants to learn or not). Well, before we could even "Frank" him, he "Franked" us. Talk about taking the wind out of our sails. He was like, "If we're going to be friends we can't just talk about religion all of the time. Let's go somewhere." My companion and I looked at each other like "huh?" He saw the concern and said, "I thought we were friends." We tried to explain our purpose, but he wasn't buying it. Finally, we told him we can't be friends in the traditional sense, but we're friends in the gospel. He didn't like that either. He acted like we were breaking up. It was weird. And then we gave him our "facebook emails" and he was like, "Well I don't have time to look people up on Facebook. I'm too busy." So I said, "Whoa! You don't even have time for your friends." I couldn't resist. He was giving us so much grief for not being able to be friends but he couldn't even try to find us on facebook....okay so maybe I gave him a fake email anyway, but still. Okay, maybe I'm a little bitter that he kept taking the missionary role. That's MY role. 

This week I studied a lot about faith. Faith in general. Our faith. Developing faith. Preserving faith. Just faith. It was really neat and made me realize that faith isn't something we have and then never need to work on again, but it's daily, hourly, minute by minute. And it really made me yearn to be more faithful. To my friends, To my family. To my beliefs. But one quote that really hit me that I found by C.S. Lewis says, "Christianity if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important." It's true right? This is either true or it's not. Which means we cannot be moderately dedicated, we have to be  completely dedicated. If you don't know if this is true, I would exhort you to try. Try it out. Either is true or not. But the only way to find out is through study and prayer. Try, try, try:)

I hope your week is amazing! I hope that you are healthy and happy! Remember that I love you! 

Sister Perkins

P.s. sorry this is scattered there are five million people around me talking really loud:)

Monday, August 13, 2012

True love=Law of Chastity. So many people stopped to try and figure out what we were doing when we took this picture.

Tulips, from the lovely Ottawa Tulip Festival. 

Hello everyone! 
This week was a rainy one here in Montreal. It rained and rained and rained. I loved it! There's nothing quite like rain in Montreal. Beautiful! this week was really incredible! We had some really drastic lows and highs but overall it was amazing! I think that's the crazy thing about being on a mission you experience all sorts of extremes in one day. It's weird, but so normal at the same time. 

This week we had another lesson with Nicole. There is a member in our ward named Frere Cantin and he is also deaf, but is really good at reading lips. But I just want to explain the process that takes place during our lessons with Frere Cantin and Nicole. So, first we teach a principle in French and then Pierre translate to Nicole and then we translate what Nicole says and then we try to make sense of it in English. Last time it got kind of confusing. It's kind of like playing charades because the other day we were teaching prayer and he ended up translating Nicole's response which was surprisingly about Hilter and WWII. Confusing, right? The cool thing about these lessons is that the spirit is always super strong because no one is actually speaking. It's pretty incredible! the crazy thing afterwards is that I feel like I can't talk to anyone because I get so used to trying to use my hands to communicate. I love sign language!

The other night we were walking to a lesson and I noticed this really cute Haitian granny gardening. So, I stopped and started talking to her. At first she seemed a little skeptical and then once we started talking about our purpose and then suddenly she was really open and warm. She invited us to come into her backyard to talk a little bit more and pray with her. I absolutely fell in love with her garden and started smelling all of the herbs. She thought I was cute so she started cutting big bunches and gave them to us to take home. I was so happy! We prayed with her and set up a time to come back and then started on our way to the next lesson. All the while I was holding the big bunch of basil and mint and I felt like a disney princess. Yes. That Anne-of-Green-Gables-whimsy is still very much a part of me. Oh it was lovely! And oh how I miss herb gardens! 

Yesterday we had the infamous ward choir! Oh my goodness. It's somehow gotten worse...or maybe it's better and I'm worse. Who knows. We started singing and after about 3 rounds of Silent Night I was pretty darn certain that I was singing like them. And then I tried just focusing on my voice, but the problem was that I couldn't hear my own voice. So then by about round 6 I gave up singing all together and just mouthed the words. I would love to record it, but I'm pretty sure they wouldn't appreciate it. Siiiiiileeeeennt NIIIIIIIIIIIIIIght. 

This week I've been thinking a lot about light. Light fascinates me. I love all kinds of light.There is something so warm and inviting about light. One time in my floral design class at BYU I learned about how light affects tulips and how they naturally gravitate towards and follow light which causes them to bend at the stem. I realized that there have been times when I'm more like a tulip and I really do gravitate towards light. I allow myself to be washed over in it and nothing seems to get me down. But there are other times when I let too much darkness into my life and it's so hard to find my light again. But light gives us peace and stability. Or like Tulips it gives us direction and life. There's a talk from this last conference Ensign by Sister Dalton and she talks about how she realized one day in the Reno temple that the Lord's light is like a chandelier: He is the giant light source and we are the tiny crystals that reflect His light. Isn't that beautiful?! We are His tiny crystals here to reflect His perfect love and light. D&C 50:24 says, " That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day." That perfect day can be everyday, we just have to draw closer to Him and in return we can be full of His light.. and that is something following.

I hope your week is lovely. Enjoy the last bits of summer, because FALL is on it's way! Oh I'm so excited! But I will try to enjoy these last few summer storms. And gathering plenty of sunshine for those dreary winter days.

Bisous Bisous!

Monday, August 6, 2012

 So I'm closing my eyes in the picture I took with Elder Meza, so I decided to put the picture of when I said bye to Ottawa. Classic of our friendship. 

Awkward Elder Dalton Sister Perkins photo.

 Don't judge us. We both started crying as soon as we saw each other. Then we thought it would be a good idea to take a picture. Elder Smedley: "So my eyes are red and blotchy." Sister Perkins: "Yeah. But it probably won't matter." After the picture looking at it on my camera. Elder Smedley: "We look depressed. No. We look we're pretending to be happy. Like a funeral picture." 

This is us trying to look way happier than we feel. So. Sad.

Howdy Ho Ranger Joe!
How is everyone doing? It's sounds like your battling colds, waiting for babies, and enjoying the last little bits of summer. Summer here has been hot, hot, hot! Except for yesterday we had Noah's Ark style rain and it cooled off about 15 degrees. Beautiful! 

Last week was crazy! I feel like the insanity never stops. It just keeps going and going. I like it sometimes, but other times by head won't stop spinning. Last Wednesday was one of the saddest days I've had on my mission. I said good-bye to some of my most favorite missionaries(Elder Meza-my best friend, Elder Smedley-my sunshine, and Elder Dalton- my Dows Lake lifesaver):( Boo! Those missionaries had a profound effect on my mission and saying good bye was so much more heartbreaking than I ever thought it could be. No one ever warned me of how easy it is to fall in love with the people you meet on your mission. The CMM will never be the same with out them. Oh boo! Now I'm sad again. 

So, the new area is great! I'm loving it. Really. I feel like this is exactly where I'm supposed to be. And my French isn't nearly as bad as I thought it was, though it's not really that great, but hey! I'm trying to be positive:) We have an investigator here named Sylvain, (he was actually found by my trainer, Sister Pace).Sylvain is really cool, he's paralyzed but has a really great outlook on life.Teaching him is really cool especially because he has a super strong Quebec accent. But the other day we had a lesson with him in the park and he said, "Will you sing for me before we end the lesson?" My companion said, "no", but I'm pretty much a sucker for all of my investigators, so Sylvain and I belted "Did you think to pray?". We had a few people stop and listen. I felt pretty cool:) We also taught our investigator Nicole who is deaf. It's amazing! You can feel the spirit in those lessons because it's so silent. I. Love. It! This area is already so very dear to my heart. 

Yesterday we went to church for the first time. I love the ward! Sadly about 80% of our ward is less active, so they really need us.Most of our ward is also Haitian, which is basically heaven. And they make us feel like they need us! Yesterday we were walking out of relief society and the ward chorister said, "Sisters please come to ward choir!" I'm a sucker for these people, right? So off we went. We got to choir and it was me, Sister Sandoval, the chorister, and three others sisters:) Sweet Choir, dude! So they're learning Silent Night in English for their Christmas program and so basically I would sing solo for a few lines and then they would all follow me. The problem was none of them could sing the part that says "round yon virgin mother and child". Instead they would sing "Ron yawn weergeen, muder and chile." And one point I was actually laughing at them because I kept thinking of that part on The Christmas Story when they go to the Chinese restaurant and the waiters are trying to sing Deck the Halls. I know I'm so mean, but really my life is like a sitcom. I. Love. It. 

This week I was studying in the Book of Mosiah during King Benjamin's speech and at one point he's preaching about the coming of the Messiah and while I was reading verse 5 of Chapter 3 where is says. "For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases." It made me think about my sweet investigators with their own struggles some more apparent than others, and it really hit me that although we can't help Sylvain to walk or help Nicole to hear, we can help them and many others in a spiritual sense. Because what we can give to them spiritually can help them overcome their physical weaknesses. I don't know if that really makes sense. Maybe it was way more profound in my studies, but it just made me realize that no matter what the Lord is in all things. 

I hope your week is grand! Count your blessings! Eat your veggies! Scatter Sunshine! Remember I love you!

Bisous Bisous!

Soeur Perkins