Sunday, January 23, 2011

T-minus one week and three days

So much has happened this week, but I have absolutely no idea where to begin. I almost think it was one of those things that you might have to experience personally to ever comprehend.

The weeks here are now absolutely flying by! It honestly seems like I just got here, yet yesterday at dinner, Elder Wolfart handed me my travel plans. I'm kind of freaking out about that one ha ha.

I'll have to fill you in on it more next week seeing as it hasn't happened yet, but this coming Tuesday (the 25th I think) Romain Serman is coming to the MTC and is coming to my district. If you're like me, the name Romain Serman means absolutely nothing. ;) So...if that's the case with you too, let me fill you in a bit. He is the Consulate General of France. Basically that means he's they guy right under the ambassador and he's the one that signs our visas. Based on his visit with us, things can either open up even more for missionaries in French owned territories or...a bit more negative of an effect. (But no pressure, right?) We are going to have to individually introduce ourselves, state where we're from, where we're going and ask any questions we can think French. Good thing we learned how to do that the first day, huh? ha ha. Brother Spencer Chistensen, who works for the MTC and gave us the news of Romain Serman's visit said that we have to have questions to ask. Just nothing political or personal to Romain or his wife. So...anything you want to know about France? (You'll have to dearelder it to me before Tuesday - he's coming around 9:30am)

Not only is Romain Serman going to be there, so will his wife, Madame Laura Serman. Ivan Bertoux, the Attache Cultural Adjoint. Jacques de Noray, the Press Attache. Erlend Peterson, the BYU Associate International Vice President. President Brown, the MTC President. And, apparently, loads of security assigned by Governor Herbert. Yup....apparently it's kind of a big deal... ;)

Kathy Whithers is the bomb! She sent us two loaves of bread, butter, and jam. Our district has been dealing with a good bit of illness this week. Two of our elders were having a hard time even stomaching the food in the cafeteria and decided it would be better if they just avoided it altogether that day...until I got Kathy's bread. They're half way certain she saved their lives that night ha ha. ;) Along with that box, she wrote me a letter. Mom, had you heard that Judy Whitaker passed away last week? I knew she had cancer, but I hadn't heard anything until recently. But just like Joe, it wasn't what she was initially sick with that took her life. Instead, the same as Joe, it was a blood clot to her lung. Crazy sad, huh?

Soeur Woodruff has been sick again. So the last two days, we've gone back to our room right after dinner. So last night I recorded a bit more on another tape, explaining the events that unfolded yesterday. So I won't go into a ton of detail here, was a tough day. One of our elders got some very hard news from home. It was so hard to see him going through it. But just like with me dealing with the news of Joe's death, this recent news brought out the absolute best in our district, and once again proved that we were meant to be together. It's amazingly incredible to experience the love that we have been able to share as a group and the spirit that that love allows us to feel. Despite all the hard things that lie before each of us, none of us can deny the love and support that we've been able to feel from the other side. - We are known. We are loved. And we are cared for, especially in our darkest moments.

Sorry this email is a bit jumbled. Weeks like this are very hard to make sense of enough to explain to "outsiders." But hopefully, you'll understand enough. Have an awesome week!