Subject: The Investidater
Hello from Montreal!
Is everyone alive? Are my friends married yet? Does Daniel have a girlfriend now? My goodness, I feel like I've been here for a lifetime! Montreal is absolutely incredible! Incredibly cold, that is. Je blague, it really is a wonderful city! I'm learning a lot and having more adventures than I can handle. Where do I even begin? Each day has been quite the experience.
On Monday an eternity ago I left my dear old P-town. We woke up at a ridiculous hour and stole away into the night, leaving my happy days at the MTC behind forever. I waved goodbye to you all and blew one of those rare and valuable missionary kisses to all of my loved ones in the city limits, but you were all probably asleep and dreaming of me. My whole childhood flashed before my eyes as I left. But don't worry Provo, I'll be back soon enough!
When we got to the airport it really started to hit me that I was a missionary. It was incredibly difficult to talk to my family on the phone, but the memory of it has kept me warm on these cold nights in Montreal. I miss you all more than you can even imagine!
Hours later my mission presidents picked us up after we went through the relentless process of becoming legal aliens of Canada. They are the NICEST people in the world! My mission president's wife is a saint. Perfectly catered to Sister Cutler. I'm sad that I'll only be with them for a few months, but they are just the absolute greatest. They fed me my last healthy meal and I honestly don't remember what happened after that.
In the morning I was put in the hands of my trainer, Sister Cantu. Again, perfectly catered to Sister Cutler. She is completely FABULOUS! I love her so much already. She pushes me to go out of my comfort zone, but she is very understanding and encouraging. My goodness, missions are HARD! Especially if you're a shy one like me. But it's totally worth it! I have loved every single day in spite of challenges.
I'm currently serving on the island, which is basically the heart of the city of Montreal within the St. Lawrence river. It's an amazing city with some of the most interesting people. And I mean INTERESTING. My companion and I are opening a new area as well, so... PRAY FOR ME. Ha ha but really, I'm not kidding. IT's super tough, but I'm learning a lot in a short amount of time.
In my part of the mission we do a little thing called Metro contacting. I'm sorry, but my year and a half in retail did NOT prepare me for this. Basically I accost people on the metro and try to tell them about my beliefs in very bad French, and then they proceed to yell at me in a dialect of the language that I have honestly never heard before. THE BEST! Ha ha not my favorite thing in the world, but I'm learning a lot about human nature. Metro contacting can actually be very fruitful in finding investigators though, and it turns up some fun people.
My first day with my trainer was just so bizarre. We went to this African guy's house in the evening to help him clean before he moved in, and boy did I get us into trouble. So apparently I can't speak French? Ha ha. He asked if he could listen to music while we cleaned, and since I had been in the MTC with the pleasure of hearing pre-pubescent, crackily voiced elders singing Called to Serve for twelve days straight, I responded with an enthousiastic, "OUI!!!" Whoops. My bad. Omar doesn't speak English, so I don't think he realized just how many F-bombs were on his Eminem album. Ha ha my trainer wanted to beat me. So there I am, bopping around Omar's house to Eminem, when he approaches me with some Sunny D. And I'm like, "Yay! Je l'aime!" Then somewhere lost in translation he asks if I want some beer, and again I'm like, "YAY! Je l'aime!" HA HA my poor trainer about died. So my first day was great! I didn't end up scoring free beer from Omar, but I got to listen to some pretty sick beats. Life is so good.
Metro contacting turns up some pretty great people. This brings me to the best blind date of my life. A few weeks ago Soeur Cantu received the number of a man named Mathieu while contacting in the metro. We called him on Wednesday and asked if he would like to meet with us and hear more about our beliefs, and surprisingly he agreed. The next day he even called to confirm our appointment, and at this point Sister Cantu was ecstatic. A golden investigator! Well, as the night drew closer to our appointment, I started to get this familiar feeling, but I just couldn't place it. We get to the metro stop where we are going to meet him when he calls us and tells us he's in his truck outside, waiting for us. Then it hit me--this was TOTALLY a blind date. Jokingly I say to Sister Cantu, "I think Mathieu thinks we're going on a date with him," to which she just laughs, to which I respond,"Trust me, I've been on enough blind dates to know one when I see one." We get to his truck. He opens the door. Garbage spills out onto the street. This man is CONFUSED. In the STRONGEST Quebecois accent I have yet to hear, he says, "There's TWO of you?!" Ha ha Sister Cantu is determined to prove to me that this isn't a date, but the odds were highly in my favor at this point. We then have to awkwardly explain to him why we can't get into his truck, and he is just completely bewildered. Seeing that we're in skirts, he's like, "Uhhh.. uh... I'm going to go home and change. I'll meet you at McDonald's." Ha ha sooo glorious. It was shaping up to be one of the fanciest blind dates I've ever been on! We get to McDonald's and the whole time Sister Cantu is like, "This guy knows it's not a date, I swear. He wants to hear about the gospel, I promise." I'm just shaking my head because I am totally prepared for what we're actually there for. So in waltzes the investidater, tats, earrings, and all. He then proceeds to tell Sister Cantu how black and beautiful her eyes are, and it was all I could do not to run around McDo's laughing in triumph. So perfect. We attempt to teach this poor man a lesson, but he just sits there shoving Big Macs down his gullet and making fun of us in a dialect of French that even my trainer couldn't understand. Ugggh! Worst date of my life! And I've been on some pretty sketchy dates (just ask Christine). Sister Cantu knows I am never going to let her live this down. Ever. I seriously love my mission because of moments like this one. Defeated, Sister Cantu and I walk the walk of shame through the snow as the investidater drives off into the night. My trainer is just such a temptress. Not only does she take me on a date my first week out, but then she dragged me to a bar to eat my first poutine. I just love her. Such a terrible, terrible influence. :) Yesterday as we were knocking doors, she jokingly says, "I've taken you on a date and to a bar. Now all I have to do is get you some marijuana." The VERY next door we go to, what do we find? Two Muslim bros passing around a doobie. JE L'AIME! They were higher than kites, but that's one of the many things I love about Montreal.
Let me paint a picture for you. Me, frolicking through the streets of old Montreal in bitter winds and blizzards, inhaling the soft perfume of marijuana billowing from a distant apartment. The Muslim boys on the metro gaze at me with lust in their eyes, but I pretend that they give me their phone numbers because they are interested in my message and not me. Me, bible bashing with a pastor on my first week out without my bible. I wipe the light sheen of sweat from my brow as the metro suffocates me, but it's all worth it. I am loving my mission! It's tough, but I am having so much fun. I love you and miss you all so very, very much! Have a great week!