Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Serenity Now

Hello, hello, hello to all my cherished friends and loved ones! Comment ça va? Quoi de neuf? Est-ce que je vous manque? Aaaah! Wow, can I just start this email by saying how much I love you all? I really, really do. I can't even begin to describe it. I just felt like starting this letter off by letting everyone know that I miss them terribly. The fall transition is bringing back a lot of good memories, so excuse me while I trunk out a bit.... Okay, I'm over it. Still miss you all though! I hope everyone is doing well and getting settled in now that school is in full swing.
Alright, on to my AMAZING week! Seriously, every week as a missionary is amazing. ESPECIALLY for Quebec missionaries. I feel sorry for people serving anywhere else. ;) So this week our "namaste, serenity now, yoga loving, veganesque" investigator had this crazy idea to have one of our discussions out in nature. Soeur Cutler was DEFINITELY alright with that. He has an amazing river that he found hidden in the middle of our neighborhood, so we took our whole crew out there and talked about faith being like a seed. Very fitting for the little scene we found ourselves in. Oh my. It was GLORIOUS! He has this amazing spot by the river in this shroud of beautiful trees, all transitioning in an array of magnificent autumn colors. On the other side of the river there is a small waterfall cascading softly into the rushing current. I'm telling you, I could die of happiness out here. We had such an amazing experience. I insisted that we sing "For the Beauty of the Earth," which immediately brought me into a wistful reverie of days spent watching Little Women, pretending to be suffering from some ailment or other so that I could stay home from school. Ha ha good times. But really, it was just the greatest moment of my entire mission. I know without a doubt that I am totally where I'm supposed to be right now. After our lesson the full moon came out, and let me tell you. Heaven on earth! It was spectacular. Our ami had these super high def amazing binoculars back at his house, so we went there before the night was over and observed the full moon in all its splendor. Overall, I'd say that was the kick-off to one fabulous week.
Right now we are teaching the sweetest part-member family. The two young adolescents in the family haven't been baptized yet, and they are just about the cutest kids on the planet. They should be getting baptized conference weekend, so we're excited for that! Nothing better than conference and a baptism on the same day! It should be fun. I love Quebec City more than I can handle sometimes. I'm not sure how long I have left here, but I'm loving every single minute with my favorite Quebecois crew. My French has slowly transformed into Quebecois now, and I'm guessing Quebec City will make the transition complete by the time I leave. I hope you can all understand my French when I get back! If not, c'est pas tes affAAAAIRRRRes!
One last thing. I just would like everyone to know that I finally had my eyebrows waxed today. Why am I telling you all this story? I will tell you why, so that you can understand the sacrifices I'm making to be a missionary. Now, we all know that I already sacrificed my beautiful ballerina figure. That's old news. That went months ago. But. What you might not know is that I also sacrificed my beautifully manicured eyebrows to serve the Lord. Let me tell you, I have never felt so awful in my life. A sister in the MTC told me that there was NEVER EVER time for me to go get my eyebrows done on the mission. EVER. I needed to keep my eye single to the glory of God. That seemed to make sense, so I decided, "Well, if I'm only going to keep one eye single to the glory of God, I might as well have one eybrow to go along with it." Ha ha so I started plucking a few hairs as occassion would permit. ...Well, you know me. Over the course of my mission I ended up plucking ALL of my eyebrows off! I looked like a little white girl from the hood starting middle school. It was ridiculous! So for the past three and a half months I have been dilligently growing them out, refraining from using my tweezers with all of the will power I possess. I went from little chica in middle schoool to full on CAVE WOMAN by the end of this awful battle. Anyway, to make a long story less long, I finally found a place to have my eyebrows waxed. And today, I can honestly tell you, that I feel like a new woman. You wouldn't even recognize me! There CAN be miracles when you believe! Ha ha.  I just really wanted you all to bask in this moment with me. I'm smiling and giving seductive eyes to everyone I see! That was the worst 9 months of my life. Never again will I let myself go like that!
Well, that's all for now! I hope everyone is having a splendid week! And also, GREAT BIG SHOUT OUT to my favorite Aunt Shannon! HAPPY BIRTHDAY last week! I unfurled the birthday banner you sent me in honor of you! Hooray for September birthdays! I hope it was a good one. :) Anyway, I hope everyone is doing stellar! I miss you all like crazy and just know that you are all tearing it up out there in the states! Love, peace, and blessings to all. Namaste!
Soeur Cutlerrrrr

Monday, September 16, 2013

Fall is Bringing Sexy Back!

Why, HELLO! To my adorable family and friends. :) I hope you are all enjoying the fabulous month of September! Fall is definitely setting in and bringing so much joy and peace to my soul. I've never felt so good bringing out my scarves and sweaters, sprucing up the mission outfits that I am getting soooo sick of! Ha ha but fall fashion is changing up my image a bit, so I'm welcoming the chilly weather for now. Thank you again to everyone for the best birthday wishes ever! It was quite a special birthday week. Plenty to say on the matter, so buckle up!

Let's start with my birthday afternoon. I was able to coax all of the elders and the other team of sisters into driving out to Montmorency Falls with me so that I could enjoy some time in nature for my special day. It was HEAVENLY! I can't even tell you all how much I miss hiking. The hike up to the falls was absolutely majestic, with fall colors beginning to set in gradually, wild sumacs everywhere. We were all laughing and having a grand old time, when suddenly I hear Soeur Rios scream, "HEY, EVERYBODY!" Not characteristic for her to want to draw large crowds around her, so I was mildly confused why she was yelling. Suddenly I see Soeur Bourdon ON THE GROUND at her feet! I thought she was dead! She wasn't dead, but ALMOST dead! This poor sister passed out! So Elder Garrett and I went rushing over to her, and I turned her aroud to lay flat. So a couple years ago in high school I took this Med Tech class and was apparently CPR Certified against someone's better judgment... Elder Garrett is fresh out of high school and took an EMT class, also CPR certified. Well, we're just sitting there chilling like villains, neither one of us sure who should give her CPR. I was like, "Uhhh... Sister Bourdon's going to be sketched out by me for the rest of my mission if she wakes up and thinks I'm kissing her." And poor Elder Garrett is an 18 year old little boy and probably hasn't kissed someone since his senior prom. Ha ha SOOOOO lame, but we were freaking out because neither one of us wanted to do mouth to mouth! Well, miracle of miracles, she woke up after a minute, but her face was turning blue and I just sat there rubbing her legs hoping to get circulation going. A bunch of idiots, obviously. But she survived! The poor thing was so disoriented. Naturally the ZLs called up President, who told us to march straight back down the trail for fear of her safety, so my birthday adventure was cut short. Still! It made for such a great story!

On Tuesday we had another run in with disaster. Our 85 year old eternigator Lucie invited us over to celebrate my 21st birthday. This woman will go down in history as my favorite investigator from the Canada Montreal Mission. Seriously, I love her to pieces. She believes in a tradition that on a woman's 21st birthday, she is to be given a key. That key is her key to happiness, and if she loses it, well, in Lucie's opinion, her life is basically over. So she threw me a 21st birthday party! And she gave me a key! And about a ZILLION Avon products! Ha ha INCLUDING Advanced Wrinkle Cream. Lucie insists that I have wrinkles between my eyes, but I beg to differ. Anyway, the present was fitting seeing as I'm so OLD now. Anyway, Lucie went ALL OUT! Balloons, confetti, sparklers, everything. Well, she had this extravagent idea to put 21 candles and a bunch of sparklers on my cheesecake. And she was DETERMINED to light them all. As you start getting up there in numbers, the more of a fire hazard your birthday cake becomes. So what happened as she lit the sparklers was NO surprise. The whole cake went up in flames! And Lucie just sat there cackling as I tried to blow it out, only making it worse! The fire alarms were blasting, and I was in sheer panic! Ha ha Lucie just laughed her fanny off. We finally put out the fire, but I'll tell you, it was a birthday unlike any other. I'll definitely be sending pictures of all the mahem.

Birthday week really was a smashing success! On Wednesday my district leader had everyone go around and pay me two compliments. And would you believe it, those elders did not have ONE thing to say about my character! Ha ha okay, a couple of them did. But mostly they just said stuff about how white and straight my teeth were or that I spoke really clearly or that I had all of this grace about me. ??? Okay. Elders are elders. Ha ha it was still nice to be complimented! On Saturday my other favorite investigators invited me over for dinner before our lesson. They bought us more bonbons and cakes from the bakery than we knew what to do with. We were still finishing a rather large pink birthday cake that my Relief Society President had made me for my birthday dinner, so Sister Rios and I are going to be rolling through the airport like balloons when we come home. Ha ha seriously, I'm hiding my scale for at least a month. I need time to recover from the birthday feasting! But really, this week was just fabulous. Our new investigator is doing so well, despite some set backs after finding some anti-Mormon material and what not. Hate when that happens. But things are going SO great in the CMM! Just loving every minute out here in my little Quebec City. :)

That's about all for now! I know it sounds like all I do is party, but we really are working so hard and having such a great time along the way! I love being a missionary more than anything in the world. The gospel is true! Missions are true! Serving our brothas and sistas is the only thing that brings true joy. I testify that that is the TRUTH!  Well, I better run. BUT! I love you all so very, very much and miss everyone like crazy! To that I also testify. Have a glorious week! Take care of yourselves! Bisou bisou!


Soeur Cutler

Monday, September 9, 2013

Happy Birthday to ... ME!!!

Hello to my beautiful, amazing, foxy family and friends! I just need to start off this letter by letting everyone know just how much I LOVE you all! Thank you for all of the birthday wishes and good vibes coming my way today. It has been such a great birthday so far! Still plenty of fun things ahead. Now that I'm legal I'm taking my greenie to club it up, maybe call up some of the French Canadian honeys I contacted into on the streets last week... It's going to be a PAR-TAY! Ha ha just kiddin. ;) We're keeping it PG here for my 21st. I promise I won't get into too much trouble...

This week was fab! The Great White North is slowly turning into a colorful, peaceful, CHILLY wonderland of autumn and beards, piping hot poutine and Tim Horton's hot chocolate and donuts. Fall is here! I'm feeling pretty blessed that I get to spend my birthday in the beautiful city of Quebec with the most amazing people. My peeps in the Quebec ward have been pulling out all the stops for me on my special day! To all of you wishing you could give me a birthday phone call today, my lovely ward family has been taking care of me on that end. No worries. :) But still, I'm missing everyone back home SO MUCH on my special day. I wish we could all be celebrating with crêpe parties, Pocahontas sing-a-longs, hiking, autumn drives, disco-tequing, nude leotard fests, and dare I say... *clubbing* .... haha but that will all have to wait until next year! For now I am content to spend my 21st year serving the Lord, spreading light and love to all of his children here in La Belle Province. It's probably a good thing that I'm a missionary for my 21st birthday... who KNOWS what kind of trouble I would be getting into today if I didn't have this missionary tag on!

Today has been pretty great so far! I made birthday pancakes for my companion... oh, and me... lol. So that was fun! Then we went on a little shopping spree, and now I'm basking in birthday love and emails until we leave to visit Montmorency Falls this afternoon with the District! I have the elders at my beck and call today... ha ha okay, not really. They just love/are scared of me enough to do whatever P-Day activity I want. So hiking it is! Then later tonight I'm going to the Relief Society President's house for dinner (she is seriously amazing), and after that we'll see where the wind takes me! Painting with all the colors of the wind today. My B-Day P-Day (haha y'all are so clever) is going to be fabulous, to say the least. :) In case any of you were worried, I still know how to have a good time, EVEN on the mission!

Anyway, enough about me and how lucky you all are that I was born. On to more awful things. This week we went to chill with Sister Foniciello all day because her companion was getting transferred. We were invited to eat lunch at this lady's house, and I think I can officially say that I've encountered my first horror with mission food. I'm not lying when I say that this lady made us omelettes with a dozen eggs each! AT LEAST! Stuffed with mushrooms, bacon, peppers, four cheeses and onions onions onions! Allllll burned to a CRISP! I was in AGONY! And poor Sister Rios... oh my. Poor Sister Rios. This woman would NOT let her stop eating it, even after she started gagging. Ha ha. Too, too funny. Afterward they brought us out half a cantalope each. Also not exaggerating. We managed to survive, but my sweet little companion was horrendously sick the rest of the day. Tooooo awful!  I never want to live through something like that again.

In other news, our new investigator is doing so great! We had three amazing lessons with him this week. He is just a rockstar. He wanted a drawing of the plan of salvation because he's going to teach it to his coworkers this week. Seriously, this guy is just a walking miracle. The bad news of this week though is that our perfect Quebec ward got SPLIT! I am in emotional turmoil over this. ALL of my favorite families are leaving me!!! Okay, not ALL, but so many people that I love to pieces. (cough cough Roxane... because I know she's reading this). ;) No really though, it was a tragic day for everyone. It reminded me of the time that our ward got separated, and how earth shattering that was.

Well, that's all I have for you today. I will for sure be updating you next week on all of my awesome birthday adventures! The day is just getting started. :) No, birthday WEEK is just getting started! I still have plenty of partying to do over the next couple of days. Also, before I forget, I hope you all survived the flood of the century!!! That is nuts. Also, one other thing, SHOUT OUT to everyone who has sent so much birthday love my way! I have the best friends and family in the world. :) Also. BIGGEST SHOUT OUT IN THE HISTORY OF SHOUT OUTS for my main squeeze Ellie Parker for bombarding me with SOOOOOO much birthday love this morning! I was weeping tears of joy. Literally. And then I saw my chica shirt and weeped some more... HA HA! My birthday is complete. But really. I am so, so, so, blessed to have so much support from loved ones! You all rock!

Keep on doing your thang! May the good Lord bless you for making my birthday so special. Peace and love! Smooches galore! Loving and missing you all more than my heart can bear!



Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I'm Alive!

Hello to the world's best missionary fan club! Before you all start to call up my mission president, I'm alive and well! No, I didn't get attacked by bears or beavers or hockey players. Just ran off with my clan of 18 year old elders for the weekend, went camping, sang Celine Dion songs... Ha! Teasing! I wish my excuse was that glamorous. Seeing as Quebec closes down the entire city on Labor Day, we had to move our P-day to today. Saddest story of my life! I worried about everyone all day.

This week... was miraculous! Seriously! So many miracles I don't even know where to begin! First, let's just start off with the miracle Sister Cutler pulled off in finding her way from Quebec City to Montreal without a map, GPS, or directions. But it was the greatest day! I got to see ALL of my peeps and go back to my old area and my old chapel! Holy cow... can you say waterworks? I feel like I just left my little old NDG! It was such a weird experience to see all of my old haunts. I got to give big old bear hugs to Sister Varela and Sister Landeen, two of my old comps, and my FAAAAVE Chinese elders from the old district! Ha ha don't worry, didn't give them bear hugs. Rain check on that one! But still, it was super fun to be with my old peeps in my old area. Afterward we went and got POUTINE!!! (so sick of this tradish, btw) and invited a Kenyan woman studying at MIT to have lunch with us! She was too, too cool. Super ready for the gospel. Except she was only passing through Montreal for the weekend... still. Six sister missionaries weren't going to leave her empty handed! So we dropped her a Book of Mormon to read on her flight to Kenya! Love little moments like that. There are such cool people out in the world! Montreal is full of all sorts.

Alright, so on to the coolest experience of my mission. On Wednesday night Sister Rios and I were just chillin doing our favorite hobby, aka knocking on every door in the neighborhood. Super obnoxious, right? Dang hooligans. Anyway. This man opens the door and just looks at us funny. Nothing new there. Then I bust out my, "Salut! On est missionaires de l'Église de Jésus-Christ des Saints des Derniers Jours!" And then he was all, "Whoa whoa whoa! Trop vite pour moi!" MIRACLE OF MIRACLES! An ENGLISH speaker! So immediately we chatted him up. And this guy says, "Funny you should knock on my door... I've been wondering where I could get a Book of Mormon. Do you know where I could buy one?" You should have seen me as I dropped to the floor! We ran as fast as lightening to the car to grab one in English, and Sister Rios was so excited that she went flying off the stairs of the apartment and scratched up her whole body! Ha ha it was seriously too good to be true. I was almost positive this guy was an RM playing a trick on us. So we go back, teach him the Restoration at the door a little. And HE asked US for a return appointment! I was speechless. So we go back a couple days later with a member, sit around and partake of a vegan feast that this guy has prepared for us. Seriously, too cool. It went super well! He asked us our conversion stories... like seriously, who does that? And Sister Rios has a killar conversion story (convert of 1 year and a half!) so naturally his mind was totally blown.

The next Saturday was our Epluchette de Blé d'Inde activity for the whole ward. Such a success! We were able to bring a couple of the daughters from my favorite Côte d'Ivoire family, which was also a miracle in and of itself. And it gets even better... our new ami showed up! So we gave him a church tour, showed him the baptismal font. Only problem is that he wants to get baptized in a river... ha ha SOOOOO we will see about that! But it makes sense. He's just super into nature and good vibes and all of the important things in life, so I dig it. Afterward we played an intense soccer game with some of the elders, our investigators, and this super foxy hot mama future sister missionary Roxann. Seriously, it was such a fun night. 

Transfer calls were also on Saturday.... and we're staying together! I'm super pumped. We have a lot going for us in our area right now. I love this place, love the members, love the people, love the scenery. Wouldn't have it any other way! On Sunday we had even more miracles. Our new ami showed up to church! Doesn't speak any English, but the spirit works in all languages. The craziest thing happened... he's like... "Hey, can I do one of those testimony things?" And I'm like, "Uh, yeah!" So HE BORE HIS TESTIMONY! First Sunday at church! He's seriously a rock star haha. Not a dry eye in the house! Seriously, it was the best moment of my entire mission. He gave the sister missionaries two shout outs for being awesome and bringing him the gospel. We were seriously celebs afterward! I was glowing from head to foot. Ha ha way cool experience. 

Today was pretty sweet. While all of y'all went back to school, I went and bowled it up with the district! Ahhhh yeah! And it was disco night/afternoon? I was having MAJOR flashbacks to my 10th birthday party eleven Septembers ago when I was discoing around to the Bee Gees. NOSTALGIA! Right in the childhood. Ha ha it was super sweet! And the elders were dancing around... tsk tsk. I would have joined but... once you get Sista Cutler dancing... the trouble starts. Ha ha so I bridled my passions. But I did throw on my BYU "Cougar" shirt, just for good measure. It was a lovely P-Day.

Well, I love you all and miss you terribly! I hope everyone has a wonderful week, a wonderful September, and a wonderful back-to-school! Sending missionary prayers your way! Also, SHOUT OUT to Grandma and Grandpa Nelson for celebrating their 58th wedding anniversary this week! Thank you for being such a great example. Seriously, the perfect marriage and the perfect couple. LOVE YOU to the moon and back! Well, I best be off, but I hope you all are doing just splendid! Have a faaaaabulous week! BISOU!


Sister Syl