Man, this week was SOOO fun!
On Wednesday I went on an exchange to BELGIUM with Sister Powers for legality. The legality appointment took about 3 minutes total (I just had to sign 3 peices of paper) so we spent the rest of the day having fun. Soeur Powers is so much fun and we became good friends instantly. She was renewing her legality and she had served in Belgium before so she made sure that I got a perfect Belgium experience. We went to Grande Place and ate a Belgium Waffle. Then she wanted to go shopping for lace. Then we went to the fountain of the little boy peeing-which I guess is really famous but I had never heard of it before. Then we went to get Belgium frites. Then shopping for Belgium chocolates. OH MY HEAVENS!!!!! Belgium chocolate is literally the best thing in the entire world! We went to the Galler chocolate store and we both bought a lot. I wanted to send some home to you in the mail but since you said that it has been so hot I was afraid that it would melt. What do you think? Lately I have been giving a lot of chocolates to our amis and other missionaries.... and Soeur Brough and I have been eating a lot. I really am surprised that I haven't been gaining weight here. Maybe it is because we walk so much....maybe it's a blessing for my service here. Haha I'm definitely not complaining. Anyways I LOVE BELGIUM and can't wait to serve there. It is very different from France but in a way that I can't really explain. There is just this 'feeling' here in Europe and I love it. I really do feel like I have been sent to the greatest mission in the world- or greatest mission for me at least. The TGV(train to Belgium) was fun. It took about an hour and a half to get there and the ride there was absolutely beautiful. The northern France/ Belgium countryside is gorgeous. Yeah, I love it here!!!!!
Also, Soeur Brough and I found out that in a couple weeks we will be going to Belgium together for sister exchanges. We will be doing exchanges with the Liege soeurs. We are really excited! It's the farthest place we can go for exchanges. It's fun to get out of little Evry sometimes.
Also this week we went to a wedding where Soeur Brough played a musical number on the flute, accompanied by Elder Caussé- from the 70. Pretty cool huh!?!? The wedding was beautiful, but made us both a little love-trunky, and also a little terrified to get married. Haha
ALSO, we set a BAPTISMAL DATE with one of our amis. Her name is Nataly and she is 22. She used to be pretty unresponsive in our RDVs but ever since General Conference she has experienced a huge change of heart. She felt like God was talking to her in Conference and now she is like a completely different person. Her baptism will be on November 6th- Sarah's birthday!!! :) That will be a very special day. We also have a few other amis who we will hopefully set dates with this week. I LOVE this work!
This week we went to a ville named Etampes. It is absolutely gorgeous! We went there looking for a reference that we couldn't contact by phone. To make a long story short, we didn't find her but instead we found a older man and his wife. They instantly invited us in and they were trying to help us find our reference. They were SOOO kind to us. While I was sitting there in their apartment I thought to myself how as a missionary, complete strangers all of the sudden become friends. There are so many people here who love us and take care of us. People who I know you would be thankful for- I am sure that they are a result of your prayers and faith in Heavenly Father. He is taking care of us. Anyways, Maurice and Claire invited us back for dinner so we will hopefully see them again soon.
Some more French facts that I thought of this week:
- Milk here is very different. It doesn't have to be refrigerated until it is opened and it tastes really weird. Also, eggs here aren't refrigerated either.
- No one hugs here, only bisous.
- French people make this sound with their lips when they mean to say "I don't know" It's hard to explain in words. I guess I will have to show you someday.
OH!!! Another really cool story- Last night we went to Catholic Mass with the elders in the big pope-hat cathedral. It was very very different from mass at Notre Dame. This mass was very modern and African. After wards the woman sitting next to us started talking to us. I guess her son lives in Washington DC and is a member of our church. She said that she used to come to our church and misses it so much. She said that she still sings "The Spirit of God" almost everyday. She gave us here phone number and basically begged us to come teach her. She kept saying "Please come to my house and teach me! I really hope you come! I will be praying for it!" Wow! We have missionary experiences even in Catholic mass. Heavenly Father is always aware of where we are and He always places His prepared children in our way. At the end of mass we sang a song (while clapping) that went like this- "Ne rentrez pas chez vous comme avant" (Don't go home and be the same as before) I think that it a good message. We really shouldn't leave church and be the same person. We should always leave having learned and changed for the better, or else it was for nothing. I kind of feel the same way about my mission. I don't want to come home the same person I was before. Everything here is changing me- for the better. Of course I am still SOOO far from being perfect, but I am trying to be better than I was before.
Well, We are off to Paris again for P-Day with the Elders. I hope you all have a wonderful week!
I love you!
Soeur Andrea McClaine