Hello! Bonjour! Ia Orana! Yeah, I can totally speak three languages. I'll be out of the MTC in no time. (Not)  The Missionary Porta...

Ia Orana!
Yeah, I can totally speak three languages. I'll be out of the MTC in no time. (Not) 
The Missionary Portal on has really enjoyed intimidating me with its big scary countdown until my report date. Well, it wasn't so bad when it said 120 days, or even 72. But then, it got to 28, and then 14, and now... SIX.
Okay, for those struggling to follow along at home: You probably know me as Erin, but for the next 18 months I'll be going by Sœur Ladd, which is just French for Sister Ladd. I'll be a sister missionary in the Tahiti Papeete Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Papa what now?
The Tahiti Papeete Mission includes all of the islands of French Polynesia, which comes out to 118 islands and atolls, 67 of which are inhabited. And, ok, I'm not actually sure how to pronounce Papeete, but I'll let you know how the locals pronounce it when I get there in a few weeks. For the past few months I've been saying 'pa-pa-ay-tay', but I could very well be wrong.
I say a few weeks because I don't actually get to Tahiti until (maybe?) the end of January (I think). First I need to spend a few weeks in the MTC, or Missionary Training Center, in Provo, Utah so that they can teach me how to be an epic teacher. And how to speak French, which, judging from school report cards saying that I've studied it for five years, you'd think I'd be pretty good at speaking. Let's just say that making conversation isn't my strong suit.
Eventually I'll also need to learn some Tahitian, but from what I've heard, I'll just have to learn that in the field. They used to teach all missionaries in my mission both French and Tahitian in the MTC, which adds up to a whopping 11-12 weeks at the training center (for a comparison, most missionaries spend 2-6 weeks there, 9 tops, depending on their language). That's a really long time when missionaries are anxious to get out into the field and get to work, but now they've shortened it to French OR Tahitian for about 6 weeks. (Disclaimer: this is mostly based on rumor, nobody official has actually told me all of this themselves). I'll be studying French.
Anyway, as I was saying at the beginning, I have SIX days until I arrive at the MTC! And only three days until I officially become a full-time missionary. On Sunday I will be set apart by my stake president, and on Monday my mom and I will fly to Salt Lake City. After a few days with friends and family, I report to the MTC on Wednesday!
I'd better get packing.
~Sœur Ladd
P.S. I know some of you aren't members of my church, so I will try my very best to explain our odd vocabulary!