Monday, September 24, 2012

Me and the Honeyhead at the Delgado's house

Me and Sister Delgado with my birthday cupcakes. She is the cutest pie ever and is so kind! 

Hello Family and Friends!

I can't believe that it's fall again, but everything here is saying Fall! Sister C and I have been like busy little beavers but every now and then we take a few minutes to make something delicious and fall-ish (apple crisps, pumpkin cookies, german pancakes with peaches). I'm such a sucker for fall. I LOVE THIS SEASON! I've also been collecting the leaves that never seem to stop falling. It's so stinking beautiful! This is the time of year that I'm actually grateful to be serving in Canada. Too bad winter is coming. Nooooo!!!! I'm still un thawing. 

On Saturday we got to have lunch with the super duper lovely Kat! Oh my goodness! She was the highlight of our week (I'll explain more later). Kat is an amazing member from Dows Lake and every time I see I just can't help but feel so much gratitude. I'm just so happy that the Lord let me be a part of her life. She's an incredible member! I miss Ottawa!! Maybe one day if I'm really good I can go back? Probably not though. 

My district made sure I had the best year mark. We all went out for crepes and this fancy shmancy crepe place that Sister Sandoval took me to for my birthday. It was super yummy! Basically this is my favorite district in the whole world. It consists of Elder Blank and Elder Foster, Elder McMurrin and Elder Mortenson, The Bendios (a Senior couple) and Honeyhead and Me. Basically coolest district everrrrr! If you've never served a mission your District is basically like your little family and this is the best one so far...well...aside from my MTC district. I'm already sad just thinking about the fact that Sister C and Elder Blank are leaving us next month. Boo!

So this week was rough. Super duper rough. Every member that was supposed to help us didn't show up. Our solid investigators went MIA and it just seemed like Satan was being particularly rude. I can't stand him. We had one really really really bad day. Actually it was a bad afternoon. So we decided to go knocking and we got let into this apartment building were no one was interested. So, we're talking in between doors and Sister C tells me about how she used to be afraid that someone would try to push her down the stairs.So, I'm laughing at her and we're about to knock on this the very last door and this crazy old man comes running out of his house yelling (in French) "GET OUUUUUT! GET OUUUUUTTTT!" So, he kind of pushed Sister C towards the stairs and then pushed me towards the stairs. I instantly started laughing like a crazy because I thought, "How ironic?" So, we left that building and went next door. Sister C buzzed on this door and a lady stuck her head out the window so Sister C started explaining who we were and the lady let out a stream of not very nice words. Then our appointment canceled. Our member for the next appointment never showed up and it just seemed like no matter what nothing was working out. If you know me at all you know that my instant gut reaction is to laugh, but the second is to cry. So at this point I'm all water works, because really? REALLY, Canada? So, we ended up going to the appointment sans member. We went to visit a couple named Karen and Gregory. They are really cool and were in a super bad car accident about a month ago. So, we've been going to help them and pray and sing. They love it. On Monday the Elders came with us to give them a blessing. Gregory LOVED it! So anyway  we show up and I'm grumpy gills. But as soon as I saw them my heart melted. And I remembered this line from a song that Sister Sandoval used to play that says, "I can promise, I can promise you that the Lord knows what he's doing." And it just really hit me. He does know. I have absolutely no idea in the world why we had to see all of those mean people, but I do know that He has a plan. I also know that even though it's not easy this is worth it. It's like that quote from Joseph Smith " Shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren (and Sisters) and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing... Let the woods and the trees of the field praise the Lord,... and let all the sons of God shout for joy!" I have no idea what the Lord has planned but I do know that in the end we will have joy!

Well, I hope you have a beautiful, fantastic, super duper, cozy fall week! play in some leaves and eat something cinnamon-y! 

I love you!

Sister Perkins

Monday, September 17, 2012

 Birthday Crepe! So yummy! 
 Mr. Birthday Suit
Birthday buddies. We look like twiners too huh?:)


My birthday was beautiful and glorious and everything I could've hoped for as a missionary turning 23. I had to say goodbye to Sister Sandoval:( after a beautiful crepe breakfast and later had a silly lunch with Sister Hill my Birthday buddy (We were born in the same year too!)  and ended the day with a lesson with Nicole and Pierre. Also, I got to see Elder Leon who is basically my brother so that was really great. It was pretty funny, he just had his birthday last month and so he was telling me how this member bought him the suit he was wearing. He said, "It's my birthday suit!" The best part was that he said it with a straight face and didn't realize what he said until I started laughing. Birthday suit. That is apostate! Super funny! Gotta love transfer birthday day. So. Good. Also, I'm a terrible Sister-in-Law.... HAPPY BIRTHDAY CORTNEY! Sorry that I have the brain of a chicken and forget everything! I hope your day was as interesting as mine. Hopefully you got a new birthday suit like Elder Leon;) So funny!

On Thursday we had our first lesson with Sylvain( our paraplegic investigator) and Sister C. It was a really great lesson at the park next to his house.  At the end he offered to give the prayer and Sister C and I could barely hear him. So at one point we both thought we heard him say "Amen." So then in unison we both said, "Amen." But then we realized that he was still praying. So feeling like idiots we kept listening. After we walked away Sister C said, "Remember how we turned into Pentecostals during that prayer?" It was pretty funny. AMEN!

This week the Lord gave us a whole lot of miracles. We found this man through a less active family who just moved here from Paris. Is that confusing. Sorry. English is hard now. Anyway, so we were watching the Testaments with this family and then we realized that this guy walked in right at the end when the Savior comes. At the end of the lesson we asked him if he wanted a BOM and he was super excited. He also told us that he's going to come to church with us. So cool! This is just one of many miracles we saw this week. OH! Another miracle would be my French has improved significantly. I'm so grateful for that. Please, keep praying for my French! Merci!

I gave myself chills typing the title of this email. One year. Holy Hannah Banana! Where did the time go? I still feel like a little greenie baby. It's a pretty surreal feeling. I've been thinking back on everything I've experienced and everything in the past year that I've learned and it just makes me so grateful. I'm so so so grateful that I did this. I didn't want to. But the Lord told me to. I can't exactly say what finally pushed me to just come. I guess if I'm honest it was the hope that I could change. I've changed a lot. It many ways. I still think I'm really funny, I still dance around the house, I still laugh at my own jokes, I still eat really weird things, I still find joy is crunching leaves, I still love Tiffany Blue and salty snacks. But even with everything I still am, I'm different somehow. 

I remember the first day that I realized I was changing. My companion and I were in a lesson with this man named Justin. He was a lawyer and atheist. But he wanted to know why we believed what we did and how. I remember teaching the plan of Salvation just like I had done for the past four months and then all at once I felt like something clicked. It wasn't just some nice story we told people but this plan was real. This really was the way, not just to live a better life or to make peace with where we came from, but to be saved. It struck me so hard that I felt like this broken piece of my heart shifted and it didn't matter what had happened before because this was true. People always say that you don't come on a mission to get a testimony, but it just happens. At leas for me. I remember the day I realized the resurrection was real. This is a real thing. It's really going to happen. I felt so much gratitude as I realized this is a manifestation of the love our Father in Heaven has for us. Every time I read Alma 11:44 I get chills just thinking about it "44 Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil." I cried as I read it knowing that he loves us this much. So much more than we will ever know. 

I remember the first time I cried because we had to drop a non-progressing investigator. I remember the pain of saying "Good-bye" to my family in Ottawa, to my home, to my Dows Lake. I remember the indescribable joy I felt when Jeffrey was baptized by William. I remember the way I couldn't stop laughing everytime I was in the care with Sister C. I remember the fear that struck in my heart when I flushed my phone down the toilet. I remember trying so hard no to laugh at Ramon in Zarahemla and the Sisters giving me "the look" to keep it together. Of all of these things that I've experienced I will never be able to forget the change that i've seen in me. I'll never be able to thank the Lord for who he has made of me in these short 12 months. I couldn't ask for more, but I can't wait to see what the next 6 months brings.

Sorry this email was kind of nerdy. But I've become really nostalgic in my old age. Life is crazy. But oh so good. I love my calling as a missionary. I love that I have six more months of this. I love you! 

Have a beautiful week!

Bisous Bisous
Sister Perkins

Monday, September 10, 2012

 SWARMA! My new love. I love, love, love Lebanese food!

 Organic ice cream. This was a foodie dream of a P-day!

 Old Montreal, it's kind of like being in Europe:)

I can't believe I'm getting older. How did that happen? I was supposed to stay 19 forever. In my head I'm still 19. I think nearly a year of being around 19 year old boys will do that to you. Actually they are very kind. My district leader is planning a birthday fete for me this Thursday for our District study. And my birthday is going to be a very interesting day because it's transfers AGAIN! Crazy, huh? six weeks is like nothing in the mission. So, it will be sad and happy. Sad because Sister Sandoval is going home, but happy because drum roll.......I will be companions with SISTER CHADBURN again! It's like the Lord gave me a big birthday present. I'm pretty excited:) I love that little coconut head. I've decided that I'm going to go knocking and tell everyone we knock into that it's my birthday.....guilt is the second best tool for conversion. The spirit is the first. I'm also going to run around and yell "C'EST MA FETE!" This is probably only funny if your name is Lindy Pace and you were one of the people at Oula's birthday party. Best birthday EVERRRRR!

So last week was kind of like BLAH! Which is okay, because that's life. So let me tell you about it;) It was a rough one. We were supposed to have a baptism....but then an hour before the mother of our investigator said it was a no go. We were crushed, but more than us SHE was crushed. It was pretty devestating to see her like that. But she promised us that as soon as she gets the green light she's going to get baptized. So not the weekend we had planned, but hey c'est la vie. 

We're teaching this less active members daughter and her best friend (they are 11) and they're pretty much amazing. The last time we were there we watched the Restoration DVD and they both said that they wanted their own BOM. We went back yesterday and they had both read and watched the Restoration film "like 8 or 9 times". Crazy, crazy. Especially because that movie is only like 20 minutes long. I'm really excited to see what the Lord has in store for our area this transfer:)

In other news fall is coming!!! I'm so excited! Fall is beautiful here! I like to walk through the leaves and hear the leaves crunching. I love that you can almost smell fall when you walk outside in the morning. It's so beautiful! I've been collecting leaves like some crazy person. They're just so stinking beautiful! I'm a sucker for this place.

This week we visited this really beautiful sister in our ward. She's an RM and the mother of a beautiful little boy. I love talking to her. This week we talked about beauty and the miracles we've seen. It made me so grateful. A year ago I was really not the same person (you'll probably hear me say that a lot now). I feel like this change has taken place in me and I just love things differently. I love me more. That's been a hard process for me. But I can honestly say I've learned that lesson on my mission. When I was talking to this Sister I shared an experience I haven't told anyone until well Sister Chadburn. There was a time before my mission when I doubted a lot of things, myself, my beliefs, my life. I didn't get it. I let other bad experiences make me go bitter. But I found a ray of sunshine in my day through a talk given by Elder Uchtdorf (I think I quote him every email now), but this talk literally saved me from spriritual ruin. It's a talk called "Your Happily Ever After". I remember listening to this talk nearly every day for months. I actually had parts memorized, but it gave me hope. His words helped me overcome the things that I couldn't say.  And helped me hope for my happily ever after. This quote in particular helped me feel peace,
“You are a beloved daughter of Heavenly Father, prepared to come to the earth at this particular time for a sacred and glorious purpose.” Sisters, those words are true! They are not made up in a fairy tale! Isn’t it remarkable to know that our eternal Heavenly Father knows you, hears you, watches over you, and loves you with an infinite love? In fact, His love for you is so great that He has granted you this earthly life as a precious gift of “once upon a time,” complete with your own true story of adventure, trial, and opportunities for greatness, nobility, courage, and love. And, most glorious of all, He offers you a gift beyond price and comprehension. Heavenly Father offers to you the greatest gift of all—eternal life—and the opportunity and infinite blessing of your own “happily ever after.”

Yes. I am getting older. But I do know that it's going to be a great year. I can feel it. I know that there is an amazing year a head of me. Yes. there will be hard days and weeks, but I just can't help but hope that it will all be happy in the end. Thank you for your wishes! Thank you for your love! Thank you for being a part of my life. I'm so glad that you exist! 23 never sounded so sweet:) C'EST MA FETE!

Bisous Bisous! 
Sister Perkins

 This is our family Christmas card photo with Pierre and Nicole:)

This is Sister S after I turned her into a tree. So the Elders stole our antenna off of our car. They actually held it hostage until we gave them cookies. So this is us after we got it. I felt like Harry Potter, but I look more like Bellatrix. I know what I'm going to be for Halloween:)
  "Je vais chanter avec mes filles!"

This summer I've developed a penchant for frozen water. I'm addicted to frozen water bottles and now Sister S is too. We look like drunks.

Hello everyone! 
How are you all doing? I'm doing pretty good. I'm happy and healthy and can't wait for this new month. I can just feel it in my bones...It's going to be a miracle month! 

And HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LUKEY!  I'm so happy that you are my brother and that with out fail you always have a good song about peanut butter and jelly, or putting on pajamas. I'm so happy that you're a part of our family! Eat lots of pie, because I know you don't really like cake:)

So this week we had a really funny lesson with this girl named Sabrina. MY NAME! It's so weird calling someone my name. But anyway she's a little crazy, but she has a sincere desire to learn. She's one of those people who has had a really rough life. She's lived in really sketchy situations and just needs some love. We had a crazy lesson that was kind of all over the place and at the end of the lesson I asked if there was anything we could do for her and she said, "Hmmm. GROUP HUG!" It was like the funniest thing I've ever had anyone say when I ask that. People usually just say "No." It made me laugh:)

We also had a really great lesson with Nicole and Pierre. It was soooo cool! We taught her about the importance of prayer and how we receive answers to our prayers. The cool thing about this lesson was that both Sister Sandoval and I could understand everything! The spirit was really strong and she was so excited to pray. She actually prayed at the end. It was so amazing! Teaching in sign has been cool because we totally have to rely on the spirit. It's amazing!

On Saturday we did a lot of visits and pass-bys I would like to write about two in particular that I'm still laughing about.

Experience number 1: About a week and a half ago we met this guy who owned a dry cleaning shop. The circumstances in which we met him included me needing to use the bathroom and the fact that he had one. The bathroom experience was probably the scariest one I've ever had, but that's not the purpose of this story. So anyway we went back to teach him this week and after about a 45 minute rant on his part about how the Bible is like a Sunset and we can each interpret it how we want, we tried to pray with him. Which took another 15 minutes. He talked and talked forever about how we needed to be women of faith so finally I just say, "How about I say the prayer?" And he was like, "Yeah, Sister, pray for me." So, I start praying, but then I was confused because he started praying too. Really LOUD. Like over my prayer. I actually laughed for a little while and he didn't even notice because he was so involved in his prayer. It was hysterical. My companion said she bit her lip the whole time to keep from laughing. 

Experience number 2: We've been visiting this cute little single mom and her 5 yr old son. He is stinking cute and he loves us a lot. Well, when we visited them they had just gotten back from buying his new backpack for school (it's blowing my mind that school has started again).  His mom asked him to go get her scripture and he said, "Je vais chanter avec mes filles" (translation: I'm gonna sing with ma girls!" It was so hysterical! Then he wanted to say the prayer and he said, "God, bless my girls, Chris and Chris." I guess he saw Christ on our tags and assumed our names were both Chris. It was so funny. And then he danced for us. Best visit ever!

This week is going to be awesome because we are going to be having a BAPTISM! Her name is Manntara, she is 14 yrs old and she is the only member in her family interested in the church. It's actually pretty crazy because her whole family was being taught, but she was the only one who continued to learn when we took over for the Elders. She's amazing! Every Sunday she travels an hour by bus and 20 minutes by metro to get to church. The other day we were going through the baptismal questions and she told us that she knows it's going to be hard to be the only member, but she knows it's true. Please pray for her. Oh I love baptisms!

This week was a big learning week for me. I learned a lot about love. Real love. Charity. I feel like I'm good at loving, but less good at the charity part. The love in action part. So, after a really great talk with President Cannon, I've been studying the application part. Oh I have miles to go, but one thing I've realized this week is that, hope is a major part of charity. You can't really love someone if you don't have hope for them. We love our investigators so much that our hope helps them to change. I've been thinking a lot about hope and as  always it goes back to the Atonement. We have hope because of the Atonement. I really love this quote by Elder Uchtdorf "Hope is a gift of the Spirit. It is a hope that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the power of His Resurrection, we shall be raised unto life eternal and this because of our faith in the Savior. This kind of hope is both a principle of promise as well as a commandment, and, as with all commandments, we have the responsibility to make it an active part of our lives and overcome the temptation to lose hope. Hope in our Heavenly Father’s merciful plan of happiness leads to peace, mercy, rejoicing, and gladness. The hope of salvation is like a protective helmet; it is the foundation of our faith and an anchor to our souls." We can't lose hope. Not for ourselves, not for those we love. Remember to show love:) Life is so much sweeter when you do!

I hope you have a grand week! I hope you laugh a lot. I hope you sing out loud and eat tasty end of summer treats! Enjoy because Adam fell that we might feel Joy! 

Bisous Bisous

Sister Perkins