Monday, February 28, 2011

Grossest Story of My Life!

February 28, 2011

Grossest story of my life! I ate a caterpillar this week!

We've had a bunch of dinner appointments this week, but most of them were with the Americans in the Ward, however, not on Saturday. Soeur Thompson and I went with the other four missionaries in our ward to the Boda's home.

The Boda's are awesome! They are from Congo and have five kids. They fed us basic rice, beans, shrimp...nothing crazy. But then Elder Cannonica - whose brother is also in our mission - told them who his brother is. His brother had eaten at their home before and when he was there, they fed them caterpillars. So Sister Boda went and grabbed a bag of them from the kitchen to show us. Curiosity was killing him and Elder Cannonica asked to try one. Since he was going to try one, Elder Garcia, Elder Bjerga and Sister Thompson wanted to too. Elder Dykstra and I were the ones who weren't even slightly interested. But after those first four ate them, they guilted Elder Dykstra into giving it a go as well. Leaving me as the only one who hadn't given in. So...I gave in. How gross is that?!?! I will have you know, sun dried caterpillars are NOT meant to be eaten! (And is doesn't really help to have an elder say "You can feel the hair, huh?" right when you bite into it...thanks Elder Dykstra).

 About a week and a half ago, Sis Thompson and I were out trying to track down the address of a less active. We passed two guys talking on the side of the street, and the home we were looking for was only about 20 feet passed them. No one answered the door, so we left a note and turned back the way we'd come. Shortly after passing those two again, one called out to us and asked if we were Jehovah Witnesses. We told him no, who we were and a bit about what we believe. We pulled out a Book of Mormon and explained a little of what it is. Before we could even offer it to him, he said, "Can I have that book?" ha ha easiest book placement ever. We told him he could have it and Sister Thompson showed him 3 Nephi 11 and told him to read it and call us if he'd like to discuss it further. Holding the book open to that page, he asked in French if we also have it in English. "You speak English?" "Yes" (pointing to the chapter heading) "'Chaper eleven'" (Sister Thompson was not thrilled that he made her do the whole contact in French, knowing English was her native language.)

His name if François and he's from Ghana. -Translation: English is his native language too. He gave us his number and we told him we'd be happy to bring him an English Book of Mormon too. (He can understand French, but can comprehend the book better in English.) I called him two days later. He'd read the chapter and loved it, but still wanted to see it in English. So we set up a time to go see him. When we got there, he was gone, but his 20 year old daughter was home. She let us in and told us she wanted to know more about God. Turns out, they are Muslim, but she says her father is "half Muslim, half believing" (They say believing rather than Christian here.) I'm still really confused how you could be half Christian and half Muslim, but for now it means they are willing to listen to us. So I'm not complaining. We're meeting with her again this week. Yay for new investigators! =D

And we finally were able to see Claudia again. (She's that girl from Transylvania.) She met us after church yesterday. Wow! She's awesome!!! She's 19 years old. Her family is Orthodox Catholic, but in her early teens she became really bothered by the way they pray. She said there's just nothing sincere about recited prayers and prayers are supposed to be a communication between you and God. She even referenced in the bible when Christ offers "The Lord's Prayer" that when he said that they needed to pray like him, he meant the style of prayer not the words alone! How stellar is that?!?! We gave her a Book of Mormon and explained what it is. Before we were done explaining, she asked why we need it. I told her that in the Bible, we can learn a lot from reading Genesis, but when we read Matthiew too... She interrupted me and said, "Oh okay. So you have more of a fullness of the gospel then?" Seriously! Like I said, she's fantastic!! She said the existence of the Book of Mormon makes perfect sense. She loves the set up of the church, and is planning on attending next week. (We didn't even have to ask her to come!) The only sad part of the story: we found out where she lives, and she's way out of our area. However, we'll be passing her to Sister Woodruff. So I'll still be able to find out if anything happens with her.

Side note about Claudia's coolness: she speaks, Hungarian, Romanian, English, French, Dutch, German and she'll be studying Arabic for the next three to four years!

Well there's a couple highlights from the week. 

Until next week, I love you!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Moving forward in Belgium

February 21, 2011

I know I always complain about the limited time I have to write, but today I honestly only have about 20 minutes. So sorry ahead of time, but it looks like this is going to have to be a short one.

I'll try and write another letter today, but our schedule is crazy all day! But I'll do my best.

Since you've gotten my letter now, and each of you mentioned it, you should know I really am doing loads better. I think I mentioned that I was comparing it to the MTC as far as adjusting goes. And it's taken longer and I'm still a bit overwhelmed at times, but I'm learning to love it here. And the thought of being a missionary for the next 15 1/2 months is far happier. So not to worry. I'm fine.

For Valentines Day, Soeur Thompson and I went on a "date" to
Grand Place
. Wow! That place is SO cool. Mom, you'd LOVE it! Google it if you get a minute. We also grabbed a hot waffle (Belgium is famous for them - of course) with Australian Speculous ice cream on it. Oh my heavens. It was to die for! We took a ton of pictures, but I don't have time to send them today. (Sorry again)

We had a rendezvous with an investigator we found in our area book this past week. She used to have a baptismal date, but in being transferred around, the missionaries lost contact with her and hadn't seen her since September of 2009. We called her up to see if we could stop by some time. Once she realized who we were, she got really excited and informed us that she had "given our bible to her aunt." We didn't really understand what she was trying to tell us until we met with her. She is from Cameroon and her aunt is a preacher in the Catholic church there. Her aunt apparently loves to read. So our investigator got an extra copy of the Book of Mormon from the sisters that used to teach her and gave it to her aunt. Well...she loves it. She now reads it over the pulpit to her congregation! Hahaha She's leaving for another vacation to Africa today and won't be back until April 22, but...she very happily took the two extra copies of the Book of Mormon we had with us to give out while she's gone. So little does the pope know, but we're slowly working our way into the Catholic church through the members in Africa via people who aren't even members of our church yet! Good thing we'll have a temple in Rome. They're going to need it!! ;)

We have another woman that we are working with. She was baptized a year ago, but still has plenty of concerns. One of her biggest issues is that she can't be a missionary until her youngest son is 18. He's 14 now. We've told her that four years isn't that long. However, she's really upset that there are people our there who need Jesus and our bishop won't let her do anything about it. So...she took matters into her own hands. She randomly took off for a week and we couldn't reach her. Turns out, she ran off to another city to be a street preacher for the week. Ha ha yup...she's kind of a piece of work. But at least her heart's in the right place.

I don't have any more time right now to type. So...letter it is. I love you and I'll speak at you again soon.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Update of Kim's addresses

We posted Kim's new addresses in older posts, but thought we would clarify.  The Mission home address is: 

France Paris Mission
23 Rue Du Onze Novembre
78110 Levesinet, France

She will receive packages and mail from the Mission home about every six weeks at transfer times and at Zone Conferences etc. 

As you know from her previous blogs, Kim is currently serving in Belgium.  If you would like to send letters only to this address, here it is:

Soeur Jorgensen
Les Missionaires
16/26, allee des Freesias
1030, Schaerbeek

Thank you for all of your love and support for Kim. 

Happy Valentine's Day

February 14, 2011

I feel like I don't even know what to tell you about this week. It has flown by!

On Wednesday, we had to catch a train at 6:37 a.m. -which is a terribly gross hour to be awake and running around, especially since we had to be out of the apartment far earlier to try and catch the right bus and tram to get us to the train station on time! Soeur Thompson had to renew her French legality. So we had ;) to spend the day in Paris. The only problem was that we were exhausted. So neither of us had a ton of energy to really do anything, but it was still neat.

When we first got in, we had to wander around for awhile until it was time for her appointment. So we strolled around Notre Dam. That building is amazing! I have officially decided that we have gotten extremely lazy in our building ha ha. The details of the buildings here (like that one) are just incredible.

After her appointment, we went to the church's visitor center. It's right next to the chapel in Paris and the missionaries run it. While we were there, Elder Liao and his companion walked in (they serve in Paris.) And Elder Liao kind of freaked out when we saw each other. To be honest though, it really was great to see him. =) We were chatting for a bit while Soeur Thompson was talking to his comp. He was feeling almost exactly like I had been all week. It was so nice to feel like I wasn't totally off base and that we were normal in our shared stress, homesickness and in missing our MTC district a lot. And, it was just nice to see a face I recognized. If for no other reason, and despite how tired we were, I'm SO glad we went into the city, just so Elder Liao and I could catch up.

Knowing we had a few hours until our train would leave for Brussels, and not wanting to spent all day in the visitor center, we went out exploring. So we walked and walked and walked. Again, just like Notre Dam, the buildings everywhere are amazing! We finally ended up at the Louvre. We didn't go in, but we hung out on the grounds for about an hour, people watching, and eating French pastries. was a good day ;) And technically we saw the Eiffel Tower too...just from a really long ways away ha ha.

One of the absolute best parts of that day was right after leaving the Louvre. First off can I just say I love hearing the police here speaking in French? They just can't sound tough and speak French! So, my feelings towards them got about 1000 times better after seeing two Parisian cops, outside the Louvre, speaking French, wearing gold painted roller blades!!! ha ha ha I absolutely died when I saw them! =D I really want to see them running after somebody. Especially with the cobblestone roads all over. It would be EPIC! =)

On Thursday we had a dinner appointment with an American member named Jan Noyes. Oh my heavens, her house is gorgeous! I seriously am in love with it. It used to be an old farm house, but it doesn't even kind of look that way. It's been super modernized and it honestly looks like a model home. It's incredible. However, the trip to her house was a bit...interesting. I'm so glad we weren't alone though. We went with the two companionships of elders in our ward and we got SO lost. And even worse, we ended up on the Dutch speaking side of the city. So we couldn't even get help easily. Wow, it was a crazy night, but SO much fun. We were seriously just laughing the whole time. I love elders. =)

On Saturday, we went to the ward house to play basketball and soccer for a few hours. Soeur Thompson and I ended up on the same train as the elders on the way. So we were all laughing and talking for the entirety of the ride. There was a woman sitting in the middle of our group just watching us the whole time. Once we reached our stop and got off, she exited as well and walked up to me and said, "Excuse me, but are you from some sort of church?" I told her that we were and which church it is. She told me her name is Claudia, and that she's from Transylvania and is "normally" Catholic, but disagrees with their teachings and would like to find a new church, took our number and gave me hers. I am absolutely certain, I would never have the guts to walk up to random strangers, ask what church they belong to and immediately want to go with them. I don't care what church it is, that's a huge leap of faith into the unknown. However, I'm glad there are people like her that are so willing to give it a go. We didn't want to be creeping and call her right back. So we've given it a couple days, and are planning on contacting her today. So keep your fingers crossed that it goes well. =)

Once again, I'm running short on time. So until next week, have an awesome week, and try to stay drier than we are here! ;)

Love you!

I keep forgetting to tell you to tell Cayden happy birthday. I realize it was last week, but I forgot to say it in my email last week, this week, and the letter I sent you. Ridiculous, no?!

Happy Valentines Day!
Love (again)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Kim made it to Paris=)

Feb 7, 2011

First off - I don't know if I'll ever be able to figure this keyboard out. I fully believe that keyboard layouts should be a universal thing!

I'll try and answer all of your questions. But sorry in advance if I leave something out.

So the flight over - it wasn't too bad. I definitely didn't sleep at all, but I survived it. And that's always good, right? I don't know if I will ever be able to love babies on airplanes. I had two a row ahead of me and one a row behind me. None of which were happy about the fact that they were on that flight.

Our steward on the plane absolutely hated us. ha ha so that was "fun." At one point when I was up walking around, he was talking to two other flight attendants, saw me, turned back to the two and rather loudly - making sure that I could hear him, he said, "I don't know why I always get stuck with the ****ing missionaries!" He has to be one of the most bitter, jaded people I have ever met. Elder Andrus really wanted to write him a thank you note and leave him a tip, just to see what he'd do. ha ha (by the time we got off, we forgot to do it, but it would have been awesome!)

I didn't watch any of the movies they aired. I ended up writing a couple of letter the majority of the time. And just being able to listen to my own music again was amazing! However, they did show "The Pursuit of Happiness." That one was pretty difficult to pass up...

We landed about 40 minutes before they originally expected us to. Elder Liao and Soeur Woodruff were really excited to see the Parisian skyline, but it was crazy amounts of clouded over. So...nothing to report came from that.

As for seeing Alan - I really feel kind of bad. I clearly didn't give the reaction he was anticipating. (But how could I?! I knew he would be there.) In my conversations with different office elders since then, it became more and more apparent how much he wanted me to be surprised. So like I said, I feel bad about it, but ça la vie I guess.

That being said; it was really bizarre ha ha! Just seeing him was strange enough, let alone talking to him for as long as I did. But overall it was fine.

We spent our first night in the mission home. We had dinner with President and Sister Staheli and Alan and his current companion. The mission home is beautiful! And President and Sister Staheli are absolutely wonderful.

On Wednesday morning, after telling us who our companions would be and where we'd be serving, President took us with the APs up to what he calls "consecration hill." (If I remember correctly what he said, it's where either Louie the 4th or the 14th was born.) Again, it was very foggy, but normally you can see all of Paris from up there. All the same, it was still super pretty. After a quick few words from President, we headed back to the mission home and met our companions.

Soeur Thompson is my new comp. I absolutely love her! She's only got two transfers left. So we're expecting that I'll be with her until she leaves in April.

She and I are currently in Belgium. We live in a town called Shaerbeek. The area's been closed to sisters for a while. So it's been pretty difficult, because we completely starting from scratch. So we only taught one lesson last we, but we've already got four scheduled this week. So hopefully it gets better.

I have SO much more to tell you, but the library we're at is closing right now. So I've got to go. I'll try and write you a letter later today.

You can always reach me at the mission home, but in case you want it, our physical address is:

Soeur Jorgensen
Les Missionnaires
16/26 allée de fréesias
1030 Shaerbeek

Sorry this is so rushed, but I should be used to it by now after the MTC! ha ha

Love you,

Letter from Alan Schwind with pictures
Hey Shauna!

Kim (aka Soeur Jorgensen) made it to France! She's doing well and already speaks great French. She's probably already told you, but in case she hasn't, she was assigned to serve in Brussels. She's in a big international ward up there.

It was so bizarre to see her walk out of baggage claim. It seems like yesterday that we were running all around the Salt Lake Valley doing crazy things.

She is and is going to be an amazing missionary. I wish we had more time to serve together, but that's the way it goes. ;)

Love you so much and think about you tons!


Kimberly on Consecration Hill

Kimberly with Pres. and Sis Staheli

Kimberly's new group meet up with Alan and other office missionaries

New Missionaries arrive in Paris

Friday, February 4, 2011

Kim's new address in France!!

Kim is now in France.  We haven't heard from her yet, but she let us know before she left that the following will be her new address:

Sister Kimberly L. Jorgensen
France Paris Mission
23 Rue Du Onze Novembre
78110 Levesinet, France

We'll keep you "posted" as soon as we hear from her.