Monday, March 25, 2013

I'm Keeping My Baby

Hello! I hope everyone is enjoying their sunny spring in Utah! I HATE YOU ALL. It appears that winter is never ending here in the North Pole, so count your blessings, you selfish sunlight hoarders. ;) Out of the goodness of your hearts you are welcome to send me pictures of the beautiful spring I hear you're having. I'm starting to forget what color the sky is supposed to be, so send me warm thoughts please! Also, SHOUT OUT to Lauren Stookey for getting her mission call! I'm SO PROUD OF YOU! You will be the most incredible missionary. Seriously, you will LOVE the mission! Congrats!

In case you are all wondering, my greenie and I are alive and well! Oh my, what a week! It was quite a traumatic delivery for my sweet new baby, but she is an amazing missionary and has transitioned into mission life beautifully. So where to begin? I can't believe a week ago I was still with my mommy Sister Cantu. We really partied it up on our last P-day together. We went and saw the dregs of the "world-famous" ice village, as well as the ever popular Biodome. Cool stuff right here in Montreal, let me tell ya! Ha ha but no, we know how to make things fun. On Tuesday we had a farewell poutine together with the other sisters in our apartment, dinner with my favorite Parisian family in the evening, and then I had to face the fact that I was about to go from greenie to trainer in a matter of hours. Wow. Can you say waterworks?

Wednesday morning I moped and paced around the house as Sister Cantu prepared to abandon me. We listened to the mission song on repeat as we made the solemn drive to the parking lot where transfers take place. It was like this... my palms were sweaty, knees weak, arms were heave, I'm nervous. But on the surface I looked calm and ready to drop BoMs. #loseyourself. It was almost as hard as the day I left for the MTC. ...Mmm, no. JPLAY. Nothing will rival that day, but becoming the trainer of someone who has been a missionary as long as you have is a TERRIFYING experience. Fast forward to transfers though and my greenie is FABULOUS! Her name is Sister Foniciello, she's my age, about as sweet as can be, and she's from Belgium! How perfect is that?! I love her so much already. 

We went and got her first poutine with Sister Cantu's new district (in case you were wondering, yes, all we do over here is eat poutine) and after that she was allll mine! The airport lost her luggage, so for the first three days she felt homeless. I can't imagine a better start! Also, our toilet broke for the third time this month. So we take our new greenies home no clothes to call their own, no toilets to call their own. Ha ha the PERFECT orientation to the mission field!

Luckily I'm a great mama bear and have learned how to handle catastrophes like an adult since I got here. I've also learned more about plumbing than I ever wanted to know, which leads me to the drama of the week. Okay. When I first got here I soon had to become the official plumber of the house. Don't ask me why the greenie was apparently the only one capable of this task, but I'm a problem solver, so quite frequently I would hear, "FLUUUUUSH... AAAAAH! NOOOO," and then, "SISTER CUTLER! HELP!" And I could always fix the problem. Then the day of transfers comes, and I suddenly could no longer work my plumbress magic. I call the landlord, who already hated us after waking up to the sound of us hefting our Nutella-laden bodies around to Jillian Michaels one morning. She gives me some shady promise that she'll send a plumber over that afternoon, scolds me one more time about the Jillian Michaels incident, then hangs up. I think the problem is solved until that night when we return home and it indeed has NOT been solved. I won't go into details, but being toiletless was the darkest night of my life. ANYWAY, the next morning I decided to just let it flood all over the floor, and for two days that actually solved the problem. Fast forward to Saturday and it's taking on the characteristics of Mount Vesuvius again. Ugh. I call the landlord. She doesn't answer. SURPRISE! Fast forward to that evening when we return home for dinner. I'm thinking, "Is it too much to ask that I NOT get kidney stones on my mission?" when FINALLY the landlord comes over. She the takes one look at the toilet, accuses me of flushing all manner of feminine hygiene products down there, makes me empty out the tank by hand, says she can't find a plumber until Monday, and then leaves. And I'm just like, "Ohhh no she didn't! Girlfriend is about to get it." So I do the mature thing and call Sister Cannon and cry to her about how we haven't had a functioning toilet in days and that I've been doing more plumbing than missionary work since I got here and that the landlord wasn't going to fix it until Monday. SHE WAS LIVID. She calls the landlord, and MIRACULOUSLY the landlord is able to find a plumber on the weekend. In a city as big as Montreal, it is nigh unto impossible to accomplish something like this. The landlord was all kindness after the phone call from the mission president. She even offered to let us use her bathroom. What an incredibly kind solution! It turns out the entire toilet needed to be replaced, but the landlord didn't want to admit it. But hey, at least we got a sleep over at the mission home out of it! Such an adventure. It was the perfect ending to an insane week. My new companion probably thinks I'm a neurotic toilet queen, but I am seriously wearing the new toilet in the apartment like a badge of honor.

I hope everyone has an incredible week! This week should go much better than the last. Enjoy the spring and have a wonderful Easter Sunday! I love you all and miss you soooo much!


Sister Cutler

Monday, March 18, 2013

Teen Mama

Why, hello!

How is my crew back in P-town? I hope everyone is enjoying life in the land of inexpensive cereal! ... But seriously. God bless America. It's a good thing Montreal has apples sent from heaven, otherwise I would have something to start complaining aboot, eh? Anyway, I hope everyone is doing well. Happy St. Patrick's Day yesterday! Are you all recovering from your St. Patty's Day hangovers today? I know two-thirds of the people in Montreal are.

We had quite the week this week! I hardly know where to begin. Last Monday I went with the cute little elders in my district to see Saint Joseph's Cathedral. It was beautiful! We actually have a view of it from our amazing apartment, so I gaze at it every morning as I relax and eat Jewish bagels under early morning rays of sunlight, but it was incredible to finally see it in all of its glory. Frere Andre's heart is preserved and displayed on the inside. Yeah, that's not disgusting at all. We had a wonderful day though! About half of my district is Mandarin speaking, so I'm dazed and confused a lot of the time when I'm with them, but I'm sure they're just talking about how hot Sister Cutler is.

This week we also had Sister's Conference at the mission home. The theme was "Training to Train," and I thought, "Wow, that's really hilarious. Not like I need that anytime soon, but Sister Cantu might enjoy this." Sister's Conference was FABULOUS though! It was so great to meet all of the sisters in the mission. It was basically just one giant slumber party. Let' s go, GNO! #mileycyrus (Sorry, had to). It was so wonderful to be reunited with my crew from the MTC! I love and missed them so, so much. Well, not Sister Murdoch because I see her everyday, but I still love her.

One of the highlights of the conference... remember last week when I mentioned the creeper who asked Sister Cantu on a date after speaking with her on the phone? Well, things just got a whole lot better. So we get a text from a number that says, "Call me. I need 2 talk 2 U rite away." And we have no idea who it is. We call. It is indeed our favorite investigator. So I'm like, "What do you need help with, hun?" and he launches into this full-fledged story about how a prostitute "stole" $600 from him and that he needed legal advice from us on how to get it back. You know, since missionaries are qualified for this sort of thing. And I'm like, "Uhhh... I'm not sure how well that story would hold up in a court of law." And then he asked if we would pray for him to get the money back, and Sister Cantu and I nearly died laughing. Sister Cantu recorded the whole conversation on her camera. It was UNBELIEVABLE. I think when Russel M. Nelson said, "Ask the missionaries. They can help," he would never have imagined in his wildest dreams that two sweet sisters would get embroiled in a scandal like this. But hey, good on our investigator for thinking to ask the missionaries to help him get $600 back from a prostitute, right? Ohhhh Montreal. You never know what you're going to get out here. At Sister's Conference I told President Cannon about all of the dates I've been getting. Ha ha guess who's staying as close to the mission home as possible for the rest of her mission... He told me to stay away from all of the Muslim men, but I told him that they'll find their way to me no matter what. Yeah... let's just say they're keeping a close eye on me out here. I probably should change my motto of "flirt to convert" to something else.

The rest of the week was great! We had some interesting experiences. A couple of weeks ago a Born Again Christian guy Bible bashed us into oblivion, following us around the streets and not leaving us alone. We didn't want to contend with him, so we didn't say anything. Well, this whole week we kept having all of these experiences that related to what he had been yelling at us for. We just kept saying, "Man, if only we would have been able to say these things to him!" Okay. So get this. We were out contacting this week, and we were just about to go home but decided to stay out for another five minutes and knock one more building. We ring one buzzer. We go inside. IT'S HIS HOUSE. Of all of the apartments, in a completely different area from the one that we met him, we knock HIS door. And ohhhh did Sister Cantu preach. We didn't Bible bash really, but we just stood up for what we believed in this time. And oh my gosh was he mad. We had a member with us and she was terrified, but as missionaries we feel so protected that the fear doesn't really touch us in situations like that. He was red in the face and yelling that we would be cursed, but we were glad that we had the chance to stand up for ourselves this time. Anyway. Cool story of the week.

Alright, so we should probably clear up the elephant in the room... I'm going to be a mom. Now, let me translate that out of mission lingo... I'M GOING TO START TRAINING THIS WEEK. PRAY FOR ME. I beg of you. It is going to be the blind leading the blind out here! I cannot even describe how sad I am to part from Sister Cantu, but training will be a good experience. I'm basically the youngest trainer in...a century. Ha ha not really a century, I just wanted to throw in a Harry Potter quote. But yes, I will be training someone who entered the MTC the same day as me. So wish me luck! If you don't hear from me next week it means I am probably lost in Montreal somewhere. I'm excited but incredibly nervous. It will be an adventure!

Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful, wonderful week. SHOUT OUT to Taralyn Clark! HAPPY BIRTHDAY tomorrow, my cute little 20 year old! You are a rockstar! I sent you a birthday card a very long time ago, so be on the look out! I love everyone so, so much and miss you all like you wouldn't believe! Everyone stay healthy and stay happy! BISOU BISOU!



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Monday, March 11, 2013

Fat and Happy

Greetings, loved ones! 

I hope everyone is doing as great as I am. Whether you're CTRing or DTRing, just remember that I'm very far away from y'all and would LOVE to be thought of once in awhile. Once a diva, always a diva, I suppose! I guess the mission hasn't changed me too much. I still yearn to be the center of attention even when I'm this far away, so just take some time out of your day to drop me a line. Also, SHOUT OUT to all of my sista friends who sent me letters this week! You have no idea how incredible your timing was, so thank you! All of you! The Canadian post will be giving you my letters in the next few years, so be on the look out! If you want to send me a letter, use the address to the mission office on my blog. The other sisters in my apartment frequent the  mission office quite regularly, so I PROMISE this is the best way to send me mail if you feel so inclined. 

More importantly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my mama bear! I hope it was a wonderful birthday week. I sent a card forever ago, but knowing the mail system here you probably haven't gotten it yet. Just know that I thought about you ALL week and that I love you so very, very much! Seriously, the best and foxiest mom in the entire world. I LOVE YOU! I can't wait till I'm home again and we can cuddle in bed on a rainy afternoon and watch Lifetime movies or the Hallmark Channel. Aaah. The best. 

I think I am transitioning well into the life of a missionary! This week was definitely full of breakthroughs. For example, I was bopping around our apartment this week to EFY music and suddenly I realized... I... enjoyed it? Oh gosh, I can't believe I'm admitting that. I think it's safe to say that the transformation is now complete. I'm pretty sure I even forgot my first name. So props to me for being a true sister missionary! At least my companion is cool enough to keep me from going full on frumpster missionary. This week we've been rapping the Fresh Prince of BelAir theme song in times of need. Sooo re"fresh"ing. Ha ha  ... blagues. That reminds me... if anyone wants to send me the lyrics for our amusement, that would be a blessed, blessed thing.

This week was exceptional! Sister Cantu and I realized that when we wear our polygamist skirts we get more legitimate investigators, so I think everything is falling into place! The trick is for me to wear a flirty, borderline knee length skirt and for Sister Cantu to wear an ankle length skirt (or vice versa). Seriously, BRILLIANT! 

We had so many miracles this week. Our investigators are really cool people, and I'm learning a lot from them. Yesterday we had a lesson with a single mother from the Phillipines. We were all crying during the lesson because she has the most amazing spirit. She even served us dinner! Seriously, who does that? Oh yeah, Phillipinos. I am incredibly jealous of anyone serving in the Phillipines. They are by far the kindest people I have met out here. This woman was so generous and sincere. I really am meeting some of the most amazing people! Last night we also visited a Haitian family in the ward, and what did they do? Yep, they fed us Haitian food, and it was insanely good. You guys, I am getting sooooo fat out here. I have like, NO chance of getting married when I get back. Oh well, c'est la vie! I enjoy my Nutella way more anyway. We also went to Wendy's because I desperately needed a Michael Jackson frosty (half vanilla, half chocolate) and fries. My companion watched as I held back tears because it reminded me so much of late night Wendy's runs with my sweet broseph Daniel. Aaaah, I miss you guys so much that even food brings me to tears!

This week was also a week of celebrations! We went out contacting with a member and had ice cream and pizza to celebrate Mom's birthday, my companion's way belated birthday and my half birthday! So fun. Before you all get the idea that I'm just waddling around Montreal from one dinner appointment to the next, we really are working so hard out here and having the most amazing time! I love how diverse it is here. It's like I'm serving a mission in fifty different countries! Montreal is a beautiful and vibrant city. My French is improving each day and my anxiety is quickly diminishing. Missions are challenging, but so, so wonderful!

We are trying our best not to flirt to convert. This week one of our on and off again investigators gave us a referral, and we were waaaay excited. So Sister Cantu calls the guy and sets up an appointment to meet at Tim Horton's. Like fifty zillion times she tells him our purpose as missionaries. The whole time he keeps saying, "Unbelievable..." and Sister Cantu is like, "Yeah, I know! It is unbelievable!" She thought he meant that it was unbelievable that the missionaries had finally found him, but I knew differently. Two minutes after hanging up the phone we get this text: "Hey, you sound sweet. Do you want to go on a date hunnn?" Ha ha ha blehhh. Unbelievable. I guess we can get dates over the phone as well. The Nutella diet is going to be useless for us if our voices are still appealing! Meh, whatever. I'm still sticking to the Nutella diet and hoping for the best.

Anyway, I hope you all have a fantastic week! Make good choices and go eat a frosty in my honor. I love you all and miss you more than I can bear! Bisou bisou! Take care! 

Sister Syl

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Best Dating Pool Ever

Hello from the great white north! I hope everyone is doing well and staying warm. Every single day I am grateful for spandex out here. Hmmm... well, not so much when the Montreal girls prance around town in nothing BUT spandex, but nevertheless, I am grateful. It's a weird trend they have going on up here. I mean, I know I look fabulous in my spandex, but we can't all have ballerina bods. Aaaand that is all I will say about that. ANYWAY.

This week was fabulous! I absolutely love being a missionary. I probably owe a lot of my happiness to the fact that I Thave the best companion known to man, but really, missionary work brings me the most incredible joy. This past few days we had the chance to meet with some less actives in the ward. I absolutely love the women we met with. Montreal is just a giant melting pot of cultures and personalities. I've met the most amazing women with the most fascinating backgrounds. There is definitely a reason for me to be in this mission and not somewhere else. Sister Cantu and I are the first sister missionaries that the Montreal ward has had in years, which means that the less active single women are more willing to visit with us and open up to us. This is why we need more sister missionaries! Elders are wonderful, but they can only do so much. I am so excited for the sea of sister missionaries that are about to enter the field. There are people who need sisters, who have been waiting for that type of connection for a long time. The women that we visited expressed to us that though the visits from elders were nice, they had really needed another woman to open up to and confide in. You have no idea how incredible that makes me feel! Basically what I am trying to say is that there are women who NEED sister missionaries all over the world. Missions are difficult, but it is SO worth it. SISTER POWER!

Okay, I just had to get that motivational speech off my chest. Now, onto the juicy details of my week. The boys back in Provo have a thing or two to learn from the men in Montreal. I have had more date offers in one week here than I have probably ever gotten back in P-town. I wish I was kidding, but it's true. I don't know what it is, but the Muslim guys love me. We have to differentiate between boyfriends and actual investigators, because so many guys are interested in dating us. Seriously, we need to be plagued with some temporary ugliness while we're here. My favorite boy of the week was Mohammed. Mohammed was waaaaay into me. I thought he was really interested in the gospel when we talked to him on the metro, but it turns out he had other plans. He asked us out on a date this Friday to a bar in Old Montreal, but sadly I had to turn him down. It really was sad, because he was very cute. I thought that flirt to convert was going to be my motto out here, but I really need to change my metro contacting tactics. We have met way too many sketchy dudes this week. Oh well. At least it's a great self-esteem boost!

My fave thing to do out here is porte à porte, or in non-French Canadian, door to door. It is ALMOST as exciting as trick-or-treating. Mostly we get a whole lot of tricks, but this week we found the most amazing investigator! She is from St. Vincent. I was starting to get discouraged because we kept getting set up on blind dates instead of actual teaching appointments, but she was completely different. I even committed her to be baptized! Ha ha so, so scary. Missions are hard. But she said yes! So hopefully our lessons will go well with her. She really, really loved us. The people here do bizarre things though, so tomorrow she might hate us. Oh well. At least I feel like I'm making break throughs!

The highlight of my week was meeting an eighteen year old couple in our ward. They have the most beautiful little baby on the planet. We were looking through the dictionary to find words to describe how beautiful their baby is, but it's just impossible to do. I think the hardest mission rule for me to follow is the rule against holding babies. Ugh. Seriously, who thought of that?! The temptation has been so strong to break that rule. Anyway, the dad is really funny. A true French Canadian that looks like Justin Bieber's doppelganger. SOOO bizarre. Anyway, we had a dinner appointment with them last night and he asked me the most bizarre questions. My absolute favorite was this. "So... I have an awkward question..." and I'm just thinking, "OH great... what is he going to ask me this time?" And he says, "Are you guys like... allowed to shave your legs?" I nearly DIED. Ha ha if that was a mission rule, I would be the QUEEN of keeping it. Probably the only one I would have an easy time keeping... "Funny story. I actually never shave my legs. Like ever. It's just one of my personal beliefs. But no, shaving your legs is encouraged as a missionary. Next question, please." Ha ha so hilarious. Little Biebs makes me so uncomfortable sometimes. They are so fun to visit with though because they're practically my age, which makes missionary visits feel more like a hang out than anything else. Don't worry, we throw in a scripture every time we go. The people in my ward are the greatest. I have loved every minute with this crew!

Montreal is absolutely gorgeous, even with all of the snow. The hipster kids back in Provo would seriously throw up rainbows if they saw how many ghetto fabulous places there were to take pictures with their Nikons. Oh my. I am seriously in heaven. Today we are going to go to St. Joseph's Cathedral, so I am going to do my best to channel my inner hipster today. Anyway, I hope everyone is having a wonderful week! If you miss me feel free to write me a letter. I am definitely craving some drama in my life. I love you all and miss you so much! Take care! BISES!