Wednesday, July 10, 2013

July 1, 2013 The Hills Are Alive

Well. AHHHH! I'm in France. It's just so weird.
Every time I look out the kitchen window at the beautiful hill sides of France and the castle (that's right, I can see the castle from my apartment), I hear music. This is where the Lord needs me to be.

My companion Soeur Bayles is from Florida. She went to school in England however; she is sups cool and a great missionary. I am learning very much from her. We have lots of fun together.

Carcassonne is BEAUTIFUL! It reminds me of Georgia.  It is very green and sunny and warm. There is a beautiful river that runs through the town. I love the scenery. Couldn't have chosen a more beautiful town myself. It is about two or three hours train ride from Lyon (which was super beautiful and amusing. I even saw the Mediterranean sea during the ride!). I kinda sorta can't understand 75 percent of what everyone is saying, but my companion does! So im good to go. I know understanding will come with time. Everyone in France has a dog. And everyone smokes. The missionaries here joke that we will all be addicted to second hand smoke before we leave, haha. Wouldn't doubt it... but the key to talking to people is smiling. They don't really smile too much here, so that makes us stand out; but in reality, French people are very kind, yet honest. If they're not interested, they will tell you. It makes missionary work easier when you're not lead on by false interest! 

Carcassonne doesn't have a car, and there is no public transport, so we walk all day everyday; which is good because we do eat pretty heavy foods. My companion has already made us homemade quiche and couscous; both very delicious! we have had yummy gelato, bread (sacrament bread owns here) and yummy cheese (that's right, I liked it!). Speculoos is the yummiest thing I have had here so far, but the chocolate is pretty darn good too!! 

Our ward has about 80 members with probably 50 or so actives. The bishop is ROCKIN and so is his family. We have a lot of work ahead of us with the inactives though. (Funny stuff about our ward: Carcassonne: there is a mental hospital in the middle of town, so many of our members either work there or they LIVE there, haha. We have a curfew of 8 instead of 9 because there are stalkers of the missionaries. I haven't seen them yet though, haha. Half of the city is red zones because it can be kinda dangerous. Also, there is a Muslim mosque near and lots of Muslims. The last sisters received a death threat on the door of our
church building if they ever were to return to the area of the mosque... so we stay far away! haha, Carcassonne is very interesting, but I love it and I feel very safe.) Soeur Bayles and I are whitewashing (meaning neither of us have served here before, so we are meeting the ward and learning the ward together. it also means we do not have any investigators of our own... it makes it harder, but it will prepare me for the rest of my mission.) We do however live with another companionship, and one of those sisters has been here for months. Her name is Soeur Fairchild (very interesting girl... she is allergic to everything under the sun, including anything scented, lots of foods, and purple flowers. Bu she is very strong and knows what she is doing. I am not her companion, thank heavens, but I learn a lot from her.). This is her last transfer of the mission. She is very experienced. She knows the ward and has three investigators with baptismal dates. VERY EXCITING!!!

Starting from ground zero has been hard. Soeur Bayles and I have been walking for probably 8 hours a day since Thursday contacting and porting; not much success. We did teach our first lesson yesterday though! Just this curious guy... who knows though, it may go somewhere!! We also taught a non-practicing couple. We do have like three lessons planned this week with some people we contacted, so that's exciting and Ill be sure to let you know how they go or if they look promising. 

Like I said, its been hard. The Lord has been testing me. I was feeling way off yesterday, missing home and wondering why the heck I decided to come on a mission. I prayed for a desire to be here and to stop thinking about home and BYU... Then I read my scriptures. My next chapter was Alma 29... WWWOOOOOWWW!!!!!! Go read and you'll understand how much the Lord loves me and that he hears and answers our prayers. I realized how self-centered life is, and that I have a lot to learn. I am excited to work and get some real investigators.

Also, our apartments electricity goes out if there is more than one appliance running at a time. And my blow drier always makes it go out, so I cant use it. And my straightener doesn't work At all, even with the converter. My companion says its probably for the best because even with convertors, my curler, straightener, and blow dryer will burn out here within the first few weeks. Should I send them home? Cause they're all nice and I don't want to ruin them!  And if I really want one the rest of the mission, I can buy one for twenty euros if needed.... so let me know next week.

Well I love you all very much. I hope you have a splendid week!! Keep the faith. THIS IS THE TRUE GOSPEL!!! The Lord lives. He knows and loves us individually.


Avec tout mon amour,

Soeur Victoria Beeny

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