Ia Faaea

Bonjour ma famille et mes amis! If all goes according to plan, my mother will forward my emails to y'all each week as well as post th...

Bonjour ma famille et mes amis!

If all goes according to plan, my mother will forward my emails to y'all each week as well as post them on the blog. Anyway... here goes!  [editor's note: we will be removing all names from emails and posts to preserve privacy]

Week one at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, UT!

Last Wednesday was a bit of a whirlwind but it was also very fun. After getting my luggage all sorted and picking up my MASSIVE pile of books (they were not kidding when they said to plan space for an extra 8-12 lbs of books. Since I will be learning two languages I have twice as many as everyone else too!), my lovely host dropped me off at my first class. My district has two awesome teachers, Frere (Brother) T and Soeur (Sister) C. Soeur C served in Tahiti and Frere T is from Tahiti! It's so helpful that they know about Tahiti because they can give us the inside scoop, like a super cool Secret Tahitian Handshake that Frere T taught us. They know what we need to do to get in with the locals ;). Oh, I should mention, my whole district (class) is going to Tahiti! And the current consensus is that we will be here at the MTC for nine weeks....? Six weeks of French and three weeks of Tahitian. I'll let you know if they change their mind again :/

So, here is how a standard day at the MTC goes: Wake up at 6:30, shower, go to breakfast. Go to class. Go to lunch. Go to class. Go to dinner. Go to class. Then we have time to exercise, get ready for bed, and lights out by 10:30. In case you were wondering, that's about 10-11 hours of class every day. Class time is divided up between studying the language, studying the gospel and how to teach, and practicing teaching, with quite a bit of goofing off in between. Our "investigator" (who I'm pretty sure is just another teacher pretending to be an investigator) (investigator = person we are teaching about the gospel) is Jean-Gabriel, and we have had two awesome lessons with him so far, mostly focusing on the Atonement of Jesus Christ and understanding God's love for us, His children.

Anyway, sorry this is a bit scattered, but back to my district! First we have my lovely companion, Soeur S. She is wonderful and always happy and such a great example for me ;) Okay, then there is Soeur L, who is sort of like our half-companion. She is from Montreal and is fluent in French, so she was supposed to leave for Tahiti a week ago, but they asked her to stay back so that she can learn some Tahitian as well. I say half-companion because in class she stays with Soeur S and me, but out of class her companion is Soeur M, who was supposed to leave for Montreal a week ago but also had to stay back because she got pneumonia, poor thing (Soeur M goes to the class with the other missionaries going to Montreal). But, despite delays Soeur L and Soeur M will leave next week, just after Christmas! Okay, next we have the tri-panionship of Elder L, Elder D, and Elder I. Elder L is district leader, which makes sense because he probably is the most mature of the Elders in our district. Elder D is super funny and sarcastic, and we like to tease him because his glasses make him look like a 19 year old Mr Fredrickson from Up! Elder I is also very fun to be around, but we haven't come up with his cartoon character yet... The last two in our district are Elder P and Elder H. Elder H is from North Carolina, and his accent makes me miss Georgia just a little bit! When he wears Elder D's glasses, he looks like Flynn from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. I think they are magic glasses or something. Elder P is from just outside Seattle, and is possibly even funnier than Elder D. Interestingly, Elder P is almost completely colorblind, which we find very entertaining when he can't tell the difference between our orange French books and green Tahitian books. Some other missionaries you should know are the Zone Leaders, Elders A and W, and the Sister Training Leaders, Soeur B and Soeur B. They are like the mentors over our district and all the other French-speaking districts. Elder A is very theatrical, and Elder W is from Southern England. Even though he's never seen it, he can do a perfect impression of Wallace from Wallace and Grommit, which is very, very hilarious. And yes, Soeur B and Soeur B are their real names. [editor's note: B and B are very similar names ;-)] They are super sweet and so helpful.

Okay, I think that's all for introductions, but now I'm starting to run out of time! Well I'd like to end with two spiritual thoughts: 

Firston Sunday night we had the chance to see "Character of Christ," which is a devotional that Elder Bednar gave at the MTC on Christmas several years ago. Many of the Elders and Sisters had told us "You don't have to see it... but you HAVE to see it. It will change your life." And they were totally right. I wish I could just tell you all to go watch it, but I don't think it's available outside the MTC! The main idea though was that the Character of Jesus Christ is to TURN OUT when you and I would want to turn in and only think about ourselves. After Christ had fasted in the wilderness for forty days and overcome Satan's temptations, He didn't say "HEY, LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT WHAT I DID." Instead, He sent angels to minister to John, who was in prison. After He suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane, was disappointed by His friends who couldn't watch with Him one hour, and betrayed by one of His apostles, He took the time to stop and heal a guard's ear! The point is, if we want to become truly converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ, we need to follow His example and turn outward in compassion and love. 

The second thought I'd like to share is my testimony in French! Pardon the lack of accents, I don't know how to insert them on this computer.

Je sais que Dieu et son fils Jesus-Christ nous aiment. Je suis reconnaissant de l'expiation de Jesus-Christ et je sais qu'en faisant confiance a lui et son sacrifice expiatoire, nous pouvouns ressentir l'espoir et le bonheur. Je sais que le Livre de Mormon et la parole de Dieu et que Thomas S. Monson est un prophete de Dieu. Au nom du Jesus-Christ, Amen.

One last thought before I end - I titled this email "Ie Faaea" because it's has sort of become our district's motto. It means "Never quit!" 

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! Joyeux Noel! Ia oaoa i te Noela! Je vous aime! Ua here vau ia oe!

Soeur Ladd