Wow! This week was awesome! So much happened! lol It really is a blur what happens and when it does happen. I literally feel like every time I sit down at the computer I just wrote home. Time is such a weird concept. Sometimes it goes fast and other times it goes painfully slow, but regardless it is always moving forward.
Who would of thought that living in the French Rivera has some benefits? Lol! One of these benefits is the Mediterranean Ocean! As a missionary, you aren't allowed to swim, so you can't quite benefit 100 percent but still, it is a sight to behold! This last P-day, Elder LaPointe, the other equip, and I all went to the Calanques (which translates to creeks which doesn't make any sense but whatever... maybe it means cove too?). Anyway, we took a bus all the way to it's terminus and then got off and hiked for about 45 minutes. At the very end of the hike you come to all of these beautiful coves and inlets. The water is turquoise and crystal clear. In contrast you have sheer cliffs right on the ocean. Goodness, it is beautiful.
We may have seen some naked people too... Fortunately they were very, very old and far away. Far enough away to where you couldn't see them but close enough to tell they were old? hahaha Eh, there is a worm in every apple.
It was a just absolutely incredible. I really was surprised at how magnificent it was. I just kept thinking of Count of Monte Cristo the whole time we were there. Next week we are planning on going to Chateau D'if, which is also in the film. Anyway!
SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL.
This week I had the opportunity to visit a family that came to the ranch! The Dolla family came to the ranch about 5 years ago and when they saw on Facebook that I was in France they invited me to come see them in Marseille if I ever had the chance. At the time that I received the invitation, I couldn't meet with them because I was in Bordeaux. At the time I thought, "Well, that was a nice thought but I'm never going to get to see them." Then I got transferred to Marseille, president said I could go see them and I did!
It was so much fun to be able to speak with them and get to know them better. When they came to the ranch I was shy and didn't really talk to them so this was a great opportunity to really get to know them, in their house, speaking their language! It was pretty darn cool. They were so happy to have us over. They fed us really good food too. Holy cow.
We also learned so much Marseille slang on the car ride there and back to our apartment with Pauline and Christophe. They were teaching us all of these words that I will probably never use as a missionary but it was funny to learn all of the different things that only the Marseillais say.
We didn't have the opportunity to share a spiritual thought or anything like that, but I know that we came out of that dinner appointment successful. They have a much more concise and clear understanding of our church and what we do as missionaries. A lot of misconceptions were cleared up :) It was neat.
Well--- one thing that I must admit, I've gone my whole mission without getting bisou'ed (the little kisses on both cheeks that the French do) and my track record got broken. lol. At the very end of the rendezvous I gave Pauline's Mom cookies and I was already standing kind of close to her and then she said "Ah! Chez-moi on fait le bisou! Which just means: In my house, we do the bisou. Haha and at that point it would have just been a really awkward and rude if I rejected it. So I got bisou'ed...hahaha. Then Elder LaPointe had to do it too! hahaha.
A TAHITIAN MARRIAGE!
This week our ami Hinaiti got married to her fiancé Henry! It was so awesome! The ward all went to the civil part of the marriage at the equivalent of City Hall. It was an interesting ceremony, really business like and short. But hey, efficient.
After Town Hall the whole ward went to the chapel and we set up the party and reception for them (which was a total surprise). It was Tahitian themed too! It was so sick. They were so surprised and Henry started crying as soon as he walked in to the room. It was fantastic. The ward really came together to make it happen. Which was good to see because sometimes I worry about the unity of this ward. So it was a miracle.
We ate Tahitian food too. We had Poisson Cru (raw fish) in a cucumber, tomato, and carrot salad with coconut milk and citrus. I was a little worried when I first started eating it but then it turned out to be really good. Then we had Curry Pork over rice and then ended the meal with cake and fruit.
It was pretty touching to see Hinaiti and Henry get married. They have changed a lot, even since I first got here. They are happier and it is all because they are making changes in their lives to live in accordance with God. It is neat to witness the change in people.
Hinaiti should be baptized not this Saturday but the next :) After that we are going to work on getting them to the temple.
That is it for this week! It was a busy good week! I apologize for not writing more last week. I was just feeling lazy. hahaha. OH! Cool miracle to wrap it all up...
We received a referral from the Church website two weeks ago and the person lived super far away. It took 45 minutes both ways. Anyway, we passed it twice and couldn't ever get ahold of this person and then…BAM this Sunday, a random girl shows up to church and we start talking and she has the same first name as the referral given. We continue to talk and she was like "yeah, I requested a missionary visit but no one ever came… So I just decided to come to church!" It was so cool! She is atheist but she texted us after church and was like "That was so enriching and enjoyable! Thank you so much!" We are going to have a family home evening with her and a member this next week :) I'm excited.
That's it for this week! I love you all. I appreciate your prayers and your support!
Je vous aime!
Que Dieu soit avec vous!