Family... isn't it about... time? Ha! My goodness! How the heck are you all? I hope everyone has enjoyed their week! For those of you experiencing the nightmare called "finals" right now, just know that you are getting the best missionary prayers a sister has to offer. So don't be surprised when you get all of those A's! Still study though! And rub Buddha's belly for good luck. ( That's the recipe for my finals success.) Bonne chance!
This week was a whirlwind! Lots of miracles, lots of tender moments. Lots of getting hit on in the metro. (My favorite-- thug master T yelling "Ehhhhhh, sexy LADAY!" at me from across the station. Mmm. Heaven.) So I'd say it was a pretty successful week! This week we had zone study, which for Sister Cutler means.. ELDER HEAVEN!!! Ha ha. Blagues. Elders are huge babies. On Monday night Sister Foniciello and I get a text from an unknown number demanding that we need to prepare chicken breasts for twenty people because some elder has the idea that he wants to eat Hawaiian haystacks at zone study. Do you see where this is going? After poor Sister Foniciello (bless her heart) endured a solid hour of a Sylvia rant (which I'm sure my friends and family have missed terribly since my departure) I accepted the fact that I would be buying and making chicken for 18 whiny elders. For TWO HOURS we slave into the night making chicken, because as you know, having estrogen gives you this miraculous ability to cook! Don't ask an elder to cook anything! Heavens, no. It's not like 16 months of independence as a missionary has made them capable of throwing chicken into a pan and making it edible. This is, in fact, the reason sisters come on missions, in case you didn't know.
So the next afternoon at zone study we gather for lunch. All I know is that I contributed copious amounts of chicken, and so I assumed my part was done. OH NO. There I find myself with a group of twenty-year-old boys looking at me helplessly. Their expressions practically SCREAMED, "Get thee to the kitchen, woman! Me want HAYSTACKS!" Finally some brave soul has the courage to turn to me and say, "Uh... Sister Cutler... umm... like... do you know how to make Hawaiian haystacks?" It took everything within my power not to yell "GIVE ME THE CUSSING CANS OF CREAM OF CHICKEN SOUP, ya ding-dongs!" Ha ha patience is a virtue, and I have it. So guess who made the Hawaiian haystacks? The elders did, of course, under my orders. I made them open cans (poor babies) and dump it into pots and mix the chicken in. Rocket science, I tell you! I was asked questions like, "Uhh... Sister Cutler... should we like... um.. strain the pineapple juice out of the cans?" ... "Yes, sweetheart. Yes, my darling, darling boys." It was pathetic. I feel like this learned helplessness is only going to get worse as more sisters enter the mission field. DON'T BUY IT! Make the elders open cans. Make them cook chicken. Make them mix salad into a bowl. DO NOT BAKE THEM COOKIES. My goodness, they need to learn. Ha ha I'm being harsh, but it was a ridiculous experience. I really do love the elders in my zone. At first they were terrified of me, and then they found out that I'm 20 and I'm from the new wave of sisters their age. You should have seen how fast the dynamics changed! I guess elders aren't into the whole cougar thing? But as soon as they found out that I wasn't an old maid, ELER LOVE was poured forth from the heavens. Ha ha I can't wait for all of the drama that is about to ensue when all of the sisters get here. Lock your hearts!
Other than the Hawaiian haystack mayhem, this week had some exceptional moments. This year our ward had the once in a lifetime opportunity to host the Jewish and Christian commemoration of the Shoah. It was incredible to be able to come together with the Jewish community of Montreal and remember the victims of the Holocaust. A female Rabi (I was in heaven) gave a stirring address about tolerance, overcoming fear through love, and always remembering so that history does not repeat itself. I was so moved. It was touching to be a part of a concrete example of communities joining together out of love and respect, showing solidarity and a willingness to overcome prejudice. A woman sang several Jewish songs written by brave women during the time of the Holocaust. I was able to have the experience of listening as they prayed together, remembering and mourning for the lives and dreams that had been lost. I am SO glad I was able to have this experience on my mission. I truly love Montreal. There is so much diversity and tolerance for other people's backgrounds, religions, and personal beliefs. This mission really is so perfect for me. I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to witness and take part in this community's event. Anyway, just thought I'd share that little experience with y'all.
I hope everyone has a wonderful week! Thank you for all of the lovely pictures of the cheerful spring you are having! My heart is aching. We had a big snow storm this week, but today is lovely and I plan on enjoying it with my awesome companion and my almost as awesome district. Also, SHOUT OUT to Jane Bryner and Kristin Matthews for well-timed letters this week. The love and validation was definitely needed. Anyway, I hope everyone is doing well! Take care! I love you all and miss you soooo much!