Monday, July 29, 2013

Strawberry Fields Forever

Helloooo loved ones and extra-loved ones! How the heck are ya?! Un gros bisou to you all! I miss everyone so much. But! The good news is that I'll be seeing you all in one more year! I hit my year mark this week! All I ahve to say is... cray SQUARED. Missions go by way too fast. Time flies when you're having fun, I guess! So, to all of my homies who have forgotten that I exist... Hide yo kids, hide yo wife, and hide yo husband. I gone find you. Do not procrastinate the day of your repentance! Send me some love and we'll be even. ;)

ANYWAY. This week was incredibly bittersweet. But, you know me and Sister Orozco. There were still PLENTY of adventures to be had! On our last P-Day together we decided to FINALLY hit up Old Quebec! And please don't tell anyone, but I may or may not have gotten a little choked up when I saw the Chateau Frontenac. Don't judge! It's like the equivalent of the Eiffel tower for this quaint little mission of mine. Quebec City really is beautiful. I am so blessed to be here. You have no idea! We had such a pleasant day prancing around town, taking selfies everywhere we went. AND I even ate McDo's for the first time in like 7 months. Mmm mmm good! My arteries were rejoicing! My chins jiggled in delight! Ha ha such a minor detail, but you have no idea how much I've missed those golden arches.

On Tuesday we had an even bigger adventure. One of my fave families in the ward invited us over for dinner, but because the ZLs snatched up all of our clicks we just HAD to take the ferry to get across the river for our mangez-vous. Well, we were running late as usual, and we desperately needed to catch the 5:30 ferry to get to our din din on time. So we're running down the harbor as fast as our chubby little missionary legs can carry us, looking like a couple of idiots, when suddenly a police brigade made us all stop. We were literally RIGHT across the street from the ferry, but the fuzz wouldn't let us budge! Sister Orozco was livid. But I was like, "Hey, we're going to be good citizens and wait right here. I don't want to get yelled at in some policeman dialect of Quebecois." So we're just chilling, and complaining and what have you, when suddenly a sleek black car turns the corner. Imagine my delight when SIR PAUL MCCARTNEY pops his head out the window and gives us a big old thumbs up! I. WAS. DYING!!! We were so thrilled we literally fell to the ground! I couldn't even breathe!!! I still get emotional just thinking about it! Aaaaah... such a tender mercy! Needless to say, we missed our ferry. But OHHH my gosh was it worth it! I still have goose bumps just thinking about it. This Beatles fan will die happy. :)

So after the Paul McCartney fiasco we took a delightful ferry ride across the river to the Riv Sud, had a pleasant evening with my favorite little Blouin family, and then we rode the ferry back home under the glorious light of the biggest full moon I have ever seen, with Old Quebec shining in the distance. It was the perfect last night for Sister Orozco, and a perfect way to end our perfect transfer together. 

The next morning we woke up bright and early to drive Sister Orozco to Montreal for the transfer. I had to go to a training meeting, so I got to make the three hour drive there and back! It was super fun to see Montreal again, but it made me realize just how much I love Quebec City. It was seriously the best to see all of my missionary peeps at the transfer. We're super isolated up in the Quebec Zone, so it was nice to see some different faces for a change. President Patrick gave the best training of my life, and then I met my greenie! Drum roll... I'm with Sister Rios! Get this. I CALLED IT! She's Sister Orozco's bestie from back home, so I've been hearing about her quite a bit this transfer. As Sister Orozco and I were leaving McDo's that morning (twice in one week... whoops..) I told her I was fairly confident that I would be taking Sister Rios under my wing. And I was right! And she is such a doll! I seriously won the lottery with this one! We are having too much fun together already. After the transfer we had to chill in Montreal because her luggage was lost, so that gave us the chance to visit some of my old haunts with a few other sisters and eat some poutine! Such a delight. If I'm starting to look like a beached whale in my pictures, it's because I AM! The mish has been NO BUENO on my bod. I'm EMBRACING it! Skinny sisters are boring anyway. Lol. Sister Rios and I didn't get home till 11 that night, but the road trip back  was oh so much fun. We chatted the night away, and the outskirts of Quebec were just glorious under the setting sun. 

We are doing so great! The fort tradition lives on, and this morning we started pancake P-Day! Man, I'm such a fun trainer! Good things are happening on the mission. I absolutely love what I'm doing out here! Today I took Hermana Rios to see Old Quebec, and that was just as wonderful as ever. Next week we're going to visit the exhibit "Paris en Scene." Can't wait! 

Well now.... BIGGEST SHOUT OUT OF MY LIFE to my favorite cousin LAURSSSS!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY yesterday, and HAPPY MISSION DEPARTURE! I could not be more proud of you, my little grizzly bear! You are going to rock it! I am so happy for your decision to serve a mission, and I know soooo deep down within my soul that this is what you are meant to be doing. You are going to bless and strengthen so many people! Give 'em heaven, Sister Johnson! You are my shining star, and I know you will bring so much light to the good people of Panama City!

Anyway, good luck to everyone in their endeavors! I love you all sooooo much! Really, I miss everyone more than I can handle sometimes. Please everyone stay safe and have a great week! Hugs and kisses to you all! Take care! Until next time,

Soeur Cutler

Monday, July 22, 2013

They Say that Leaving Is a Part of Letting Go #jerichoroad

Why, hello! How are you all? Good? Enjoying life without me? I can tell. There's so much good energy flowing through the streets of Provo right now and I'm not a part of it! Boo. No worries, I'll be back before you know it. I hope everyone is taking it easy and rocking their scene! I certainly am. This week I got hit on by ten year olds. It. Was. AWESOME! I'm a cougar, eh? Hee hee. That was pervy. I'm sorry. No, we just laughed ourselves to death because a week before my favorite Native Canadian member was sitting in a lesson with us in all of her serene, Native Canadian wisdom, and suddenly she looks deep into our souls and says... "I'm a cougar, eh?" Ha ha! Best line of my mission. And it's true, she is a cougar. But that's a way different story. So we actually had the chance to legitimately use that line in a conversation this week after the incident with the ten year olds. So I'm rocking my scene, to say the least!

This week was absolutely tragic. Absolutely. Tragic. Transfer calls were on Saturday, and guess who has bad news. Yep. The party's over! Sister Orozco is leaving for Lavalle, abandoning me up here in the greatest of the Great White North. And guess what Sister Cutler will be doing. TRAINING!!! For the zillionth time! Gosh, they keep giving me missionaries to ruin until I learn how to get it right! I'm beyond sad to be losing Sister Orozco (like, beyond sad. Tears and Oreo binges type of sad. I know, we're pathetic...).  But! It will be fun to train a new little fledgling. My goodness. If the mission is any indicator of what my future life will be like, I'm going to be birthing babies left and right when I get home! Crayzay. Anyway, that's the bittersweet news of the week. Let's get on to my adventures!

This week really was insanity. I did something incredibly stupid that I never, EVER in my wildest dreams thought would happen to me. So Sister Orozco and I hopped in our car to go to Walmart to buy some groceries for our little old investigator Lucie one fine morning here in Quebec City. And I'm just cruising along in my beautiful red car, thinking about how apt and amazing I am as a missionary. We're driving up an incredibly steep hill, when suddenly I'm pushing on the gas pedal and NOTHING is happening. To make a longer story less long, I ran the car completely, COMPLETELY out of gas. Ha ha whoops! We sat there for a good five minutes in panic, calling the zone leaders to rescue us, but to no avail. There you have an anglophone and a spanglophone in the middle of the road, on a hill, with no sense between the two of them to get themselves out of a pickle. And the whole time I kept thinking, "How do I say, 'I'm stupid and I ran out of gas!' in French?" But, since we're missionaries, we said a prayer and then our brains started working again. For a time. Then I spilled gas all over everyone and everything and my skirt went flying up Marilyn Monroe style at the side of the road. That was a pleasant sight! Ha ha I am so incredibly embarrassed. All is well now, though! Thought you might enjoy that little slice of drama.

Another slice of awkward for ya. For district study this week we had a mock negotiation, some jeu de role cooked up by Harvard. Like a mock debate. I was the environmentalist, and (bragging moment!) needless to say I kicked everyone's trash. Those elders be IMPRESSED! Ha ha I'm the world's worst missionary, but hey, FINALLY everyone was able to see that I'm not a complete yo-yo. But anyway, that's not the story. After I dominated the meeting and kept those greedy money mongers from destroying the delicate ecology of the east coast, we had our traditional district lunch. Now, little something about our D-Study lunches. Elders are AWKWARD. Like, beyond awkward. Our district lunches average about two awkward silences per minute. So Sister Orozco and I cooked up this idea to get the elders talking about SOMETHING with us. The plan would have worked flawlessly, but Sister Orozco soooo did not have my back. Sister Orozco starts with her usual, "So... (cricket chirps..) any good jokes? ...(more cricket chirps...)." And then I followed up with what I thought was the best conversation starter on the planet. "...No? (cricket... cricket...)..Well then.... (chirp... chirp....)... Any good first kiss stories?" SHUT. DOWN. I kid you not, I have never seen such a mass exodus from the table! Elders were avoiding the awkwardness left and right, getting up, walking to the kitchen for no reason, going to the drinking fountain, you name it. ANYTHING to avoid my completely inappropriate and scandalous question. Aaah! Ridiculous. I felt like such a harlot for even bringing up such a topic. I am honestly at a loss. How on earth are these elders ever going to get married when they get back? If you ask me, I'm doing them a favor. They just don't know it yet. I will keep trying, but gosh. SOMEONE has to thing of a conversation starter for me that won't offend these little 18 year old boys!

The rest of the week was a riot, as always. Just an average week with Dora (me) and the map (Sister Orozco) and Swiper (the Zone Leaders, for swiping all of our clicks). On Sundaywe went to visit our favorite investigator Guy in the hospital. He has had surgery after surgery, which prevents him from being baptized. But gosh, this guy is so solid! It gave us the chance to go down to Old Quebec, so we got to teach a lesson by two large windows overlooking the most glorious view of Vieux Quebec. It was perfection. The cathedral bells were all chiming in unison and everything. I seriously LOVE this place! Such a dream. This afternoon we're going back to Old Quebec for Sister Orozco's last P-Day here, and we'll probably bring Guy some Tim Horton's while we're there. Last night we had dinner with our favorite, favorite family in the ward (The Rodhains). Aaaah. So, so sad. Sister Orozco and I just sat there crying as Frere Rodhain talked about how much we had both helped each other change in the last six weeks. Sister Orozco really is an amazing companion. I'm going to miss her more than I can even describe! On the way home we drove through the mountains under a beautiful full moon, belting a Jericho Road song about a missionary leaving his girlfriend at the top of our lungs. I'm telling you, we're the most pathetic bunch on the planet! But it was a good way to end the week. We built our last fort of the transfer, only to have it collapse on us completely in the middle of the night. I literally almost died. But we were laughing so hard that we couldn't move, so we just laughed ourselves back to sleep and slept in the rubble. 

Well, I'll keep y'all updated about next week and my new greenie! I'm excited to be training again. Also, BIG SHOUT OUT to Grandma Nelson for sending me the most delightful lotion from Bath and Body Works! Midnight Pomegranate is my next fave, so perfect choice! Dark Kiss was probably too inappropriate for a sista anyway. BUT THANK YOU! I LOVE IT!!! And also, SHOUT OUT to my mommy for the wonderful 4th of July package! It takes FOREVER for me to receive my mail up here! But we were in heaven! And we are sooooo fat now! I think we consumed everything the night of transfer calls. Whoops! Ha ha anyway, I hope everyone has a wonderful week! I love you and miss you all more than words can describe. Peace and blessings to you all! BISES!!!!


Soeur Cutler

Monday, July 15, 2013

My Feet Took a Swim

How are all of my favorite people in the world doing? Wow! It sounds like everyone is just having the most amazing summer. STOP IT! Save all of your partying for next August when I step off that plane. Ha ha blagues. Now that I'm a seester I feel happy when others are happy. It's just... not normal. But missionaries are not normal, of that you can be sure. So I embrace it! Anyway, this week was great! So much to tell. Buckle up!

Last Monday we did things RIGHT! There is a FABULOUS family in our ward that invited us to go on a picnic with them. And we thought, sure, we'll go on a picnic. Sounds nice enough. Oh my. This wasn't just any old picnic though. FIRST they took us to see one of the most gorgeous waterfalls! Sister Orozco and I are nature girls, so we were in heaven. But this wasn't all. Oh no, not with these members. This was only the beginning of our excursion. For the next HOUR they drive us out to the middle of nowhere. I'm thinking, "Hmm... am I even in the mission boundaries right now?" (Don't worry! I was!) But I didn't care, because the scenery was flawless. We drove through miles and miles of forests and farm fields. The sun was low in the horizon, the sky was a perfect blue, and there was green EVERYWHERE! Someone better wake me up from this dream. The Quebec mission is UNREAL! I know I will be saying VERY different things in the winter, but this summer has been one of the most glorious seasons of my life. Anyway. FINALLY we get to this tiny village with a church and a few houses, and I'm thinking, okay, we need to probably have our picnic now if we want to get home before dawn. They then take us up to this place called "La Domaine de l'Heritage." LOOK IT UP! It was insane! It's a huge garden in the middle of nowhere on the outskirts of Quebec City/Riv Sud/wherever the heck I was. We ate underneath a little gazebo and a glorious sunset, taking in a magnificent view of the tiny village and miles of fields stretching into the beautiful horizon. Sheer PERFECTION! We had a fabulous time. And on top of that, they invited nonmembers for our lesson, so we even got something done! Ha! Holla. That's how we do it.

Along with the P-day excursion, the rest of our week was just delightful! (Minus one day that I was so sick that I don't even remember what happened. But don't worry, I'm fully recovered.) On Friday we spent a lovely evening with the world's most cherished investigator in Sister Cutler's book. (In other words, yes, I did find a feminist to teach.) She invited us to swim in her pool, but since I would look like a bleached and beached whale if I put on a bathing suit, and since I have this little tag on for L'Eglise de Jesus-Christ des Saints des Derniers Jours, we decided to cool our heels in the water instead. Ahhhh! Such a perfect summer evening full of gospel discussions, answering her questions and having a fabulous night with her and her rocker husband. At the end of the night she gave us each a long-stemmed rose that she had purchased for us. Is that precious or what? I seriously am in heaven up here. The people are incredible! 

On Sunday I had to give a talk. IN FRENCH. Gosh, it was TERRIFYING! I gave a talk on teaching by the spirit, and you best believe I had to have the spirit with me to communicate ANYTHING without passing out on the spot. It went surprisingly well though! And my fave feminist investigator even came to church for the first time to support me! So I would say it was a success. :) Some members told me they can hardly even detect an accent with my French. LIARS!!! Such fatty liars. But my self-esteem is through the roof now! Really, this week was fab. Can't complain. We made a fort again last night and watched a million video clips about church history. I had dreams about being a polygamist, but I'm slowly recovering. Ha! :)

OKAY. Now. The most important part of this email. The world's BIGGEST SHOUT OUT and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my shining star and best, best, best, best, best, best, friend VANESSA!!!!!!! Vanessa, I love you to the moon and back and I am SO happy to have you in my life! Make 20 the best year of your life, lover! SMOOCHES! I hope it's a great day. Tara or someone who actually reads this, please pass the message on to her. :)

Anyway, I love you all so very, very much! Missing my clique in P-town like crazy! Keep on keepin on and have a fabulous week! We're off to Old Quebec today. Should be fun! Don't get to jealous now! Peace and blessings. BISES!


Soeurster Cutler

Hello from Paradise

July 8, 2013

Hello from Paradise

Bonjour familiaaaa and amigas (because let's be honest, all of my male compadres are on missions or non-existent)! I hope everyone had a FAB 4th of July! It sounds like you all had WAY too much fun without me. Oh well, all is forgiven. We are just living it up here in the QC! Seriously, this place is a dream. I cannot even contain my happiness some days! I hope everyone is doing just as great in my little old P-town! I sure do miss you all. Sending love and sunshine and rainbows your way!

Alright, so let me brag about how awesome Sister Cutler and the CMM are. Last V-Day we had a grand adventure with all of the sisters in the zone. Oh my, let me tell you. PAR-TAY! Our new mission president was coming in the next day, so we had a gang of girls sleep over at the house. So much fun, as always! So here in Quebec City there is this little place called Montmorency Falls. And let me tell you, it is gorgeous! Not quite the grandeur of Niagra Falls (although Quebeckers will claim that it is taller than Niagra Falls...lies, probably...) but it was SPECTACULAR! We got to go on a gorgeous hike (which I desperately needed) and then bask in the mist on the way down. We were DRENCHED! But it was the closest to swimming I'm every going to get, so I'll take it. Afterward we went to this little slice of heaven called Chocolat Favoris, which is just a recipe for disaster if you're a sister missionary who wants to look like something other than the Michelin Man when she gets back. BUT! It was worth it, of course. Belgian chocolate-dipped cones. BE JEALOUS! It was divine.

The next day we finally met the new mission president and his wife! Oh yes, and six of their eight children. SOOOOO PRECIOUS! Their family is adorable. I'm really looking forward to my time with them. They have a 9-year-old daughter that reminded me of my sweet Lily, so I was getting a little trunky... (ha ha... what's new?) but seriously, it is SUCH a delight to have kids in the mission! She went up to me and asked, "Are you related to Elder Cutler?" and I said, "I guess you could say that. Actually, Elder Cutler and I are secretly married. Don't tell your dad." HA HA LOLZZZZ! I crack myself up. Elder Cutler was not amused. But I LOOOOOVE to make elders blush, so it was worth it. Ha ha little kids are fun to tease. As well as elders. I need to reign myself in! But I can't help it if I'm letting my light shine.

The rest of the week was just wonderful! We were invited to have dinner with my favorite family again (the Rodhains) which meant we got to take a beautiful Sunday drive through the mountains. Seriously, my favorite. This couple is incredible. They came with us to two lessons this week, and my goodness do they bring the spirit. After our dinner they drove all the way out to an appointment with us, and it was one of the best lessons I've ever had on my mission. Seriously, I can't get enough of these two. So many miracles out here! I am feeling light and love and warmth radiating all around me. Another favorite family in the ward invited us over for dinner this week as well, and they found out that I love poetry... and that I've been feeling deprived of poetry... (Preach My Gospel is sooooo edifying and inspiring, but I need some Keats in my life right now). So we sat together on a beautiful summer evening and they read me French poetry. Such a delight! I'm living the life of leisure out here. ;)

Anyway, I hope you all had a great week! If I think of any other adventures I'll let you know. We built a fort again and watched Legacy last night. Mmmmm.... that's as close to romance as I can get on the mission. I'll take it! That David Walker is a dream boat! Ha ha well, I hope you are all enjoying yourselves on your vacations and parties and whatever else you're doing without me. I'll get over it. Just be PUMPED for when I get back! We will be partying for DAYS! Well, take care, my loves! I miss you and love you all! Big hugs from Hermana Cutler! Bye bye for now!