Friday, November 29, 2013

Catching Ice my winter gear! I do so wish I was Catching Fire, but it's the opposite, I'm afraid. My goodness. I cannot even begin to describe how cold it is up here. As the Quebecois would say, "Il fait FRETT!!!" Translation: It is so cold that I want to throw myself into a pile of burning firewood and never come out. So apparently the cold that I am experiencing right now is nothing. That's what the locals tell me. I cannot even begin to tell you how much that warms my heart. Wish me luck! I would tell you all how sorry I feel for you that you are also experiencing a cold winter right now, but... well, how do I put this? Not to brag or anything, but my winter is definitely colder than your winter. End of discussion.

This week was wonderful, even if I felt like the Ice Queen in the flesh the majority of the time. Last Monday we were able to go to Vieux Quebec and see some Christmas cheer! I don't think the Christmas spirit is in full throttle yet, but it was nice to see some lights and walk around my favorite parts of the city. I really will NEVER get tired of saying how much I love Quebec City. And good news! Transfer calls were this week... and I'll be staying here for Christmas! With my sweet little Sister Guevara. That will make seven months in Quebec City by the end of this transfer, and honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way! I am beyond thrilled. Christmas with my favorite people in my favorite area. It doesn't get better than that!

I would also just like to point out that my call was made a year ago. Looking back to that moment that I opened my mission call a year ago on Thanksgiving, I seriously cannot believe everything that has happened to me since that time. I've changed so much, I've learned so much, I've grown so much (even if it be only horizontally), and yet that moment feels like yesterday. Ahh! What a trip! I remember being at Grandma Cutler's on Thanksgiving, about three hours before I opened my call. And Dad said something like, "This time next year you could be spending your Thanksgiving in a grass hut with bugs or rats in some far away land." Joy of joys. Well, here I am, a year later, in Quebec City (thank goodness)! Not celebrating Thanksgiving... but that's okay! Make some Frog Eye Salad in my honor, eh? I'll be home to eat all the bottled beet preserves next year.

In other news, this week was quite lovely. We spent a fair amount of time visiting less-active women, which is my absolute favorite thing in the world to do. We also had a Zone Meeting, which, let me tell ya. I always make a fool out of myself at those things. The elders think I'm frightening enough, but when I go to those shindigs something ridiculous always comes out of my mouth and I embarrass myself to death. This month's zone meeting comment was golden. So I wasn't paying much attention the whole meeting, because everyone was just being hard on themselves and talking about what failures they are. And I was just feeling so sad that everyone was being so self-critical. So at the end of the meeting one of our zone leaders was asking a few people what they learned at zone meeting that day. And the comments were, again, pretty self-critical. I had already jabbered enough at the meeting, so I didn't think he would pick on me. Then he says, "Sister Cutler, what did you learn at zone meeting today?" And it was in that moment that I commenced a very high-charged, out of this world sobbing fit. And I just exclaimed in my most tempestuous voice, "Today I learned that you are all freaking AMAZING. Every last one of you. And your best is good enough. So stop thinking otherwise." Ha ha let me tell ya. It was sooooo awkward in there. It's like the third time they've all seen me break out into tears. Then my ZL says, "You're amazing, Sister Cutler." Just to break the awkward silence. And I was like, "Duh, I know." Still crying. Ahhhh! So ridiculous! I'm turning into such a ninny. When I get back I'm going to be like a BYU YSA Ward testimony meeting on steroids. Get your tissues ready!

Anyway, that was the week that was. Much of it was spent with good company, favorite members (shout outs to Sister Levesque...cough cough), and a favorite companion. And way too much pillow talk. I'm so exhausted! Ha ha I should probably take a nap today. Well, I hope you are all doing exceptionally well! I miss and love every single last one of you! Please let me know that you're alive and well. Have a Happy, Happy Thanksgiving! Peace and blessings. Bisou bisou!


Soeur Cutler

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Hot and Dangerous

Hello again! Well, another week has rolled by, and I find myself completely thrashed and in need of some hot stone therapy. But! It was a wonderful week full of miracles and blessings, so I'm not going to complain. How is everyone doing? Are you all gearing up for Thanksgiving? I'm JEALOUS! Thanksgiving was soooooo last October out here, so I will be doing my missionary thang like any other day. Anyway, I hope you are all doing just fabulous and that winter isn't treating you too terribly. 
Well, where to begin? This week was so darn stressful that I don't even want to remember what happened. It was full of so many wonderful moments though, so I'll focus on those. On Wednesday night we started our splits with the Sister Training Leaders, which is ALWAYS a party, whether they think it should be or not. Meh. My area, my rules. My favorite Haitian member Flore invited us over for dinner, so I delighted in delicious Haitian food and Haitian honey and blueberry tisane while my companion spent the night finding people to help and love and serve on a bitter Quebec night. Ha ha am I the world's rudest companion or what? ;) The next day I was cruising around in our beautiful red car named Scarlet when SUDDENLY I look into my rearview mirror and I see flashing lights! BUSTED! I have never been so panicked in my life! The other sister and I were both freaking out because we had no idea what I did. We were going the speed limit, following traffic rules, everything. So bizarre. Anyway, this fine, young officer comes up to the window and is all like, "How you doinnnn?" And of course all of my French left me completely. He took my driver's license but wouldn't tell me what was going on! We were sitting there forever in a panic, and I kept asking him what I did and he wouldn't tell me! Apparently it's completely acceptable here for policemen to do that. So he comes back an eternity later and just says, "Have a nice day!" And I was like, "Could you please tell me why you pulled me over!" And he's just all, "Meh, c'est beau!" And I'm just like, "Whaterrrrrr." So strange! Basically I got pulled over for no reason, other than the fact that the police officer was bored and wanted to chat me up. As if! Ohhhhhhh Canada. I guess it's a crime to be sexy here? My bad.
Alright, onto miracles and more spiritual things. Saturday was out of this world, fantastic, possibly one of the best days of my mission. Our ami Guy has been in and out of the hospital the whole time I've been here teaching him, which has made it impossible for him to get baptized. But he's amazing enough to be a Bishop already, and he hasn't even been baptized yet. Well, last week he had a miraculous recovery from his final surgery and left the hospital way sooner than anticipated. So we were sooooo ready to pounce and give him a baptismal date. Everyone kept telling us to make it as soon as possible, because the ward wants to give him a calling. Last week Sister Guevara and I were looking through our calendar trying to decide on a date. I flipped open to December and saw Lily's birthday, December 21st. I said jokingly, "We should totally give him a baptismal date for the 21st of December to make me less sad that I'm missing my little sister's 8th birthday and baptism." But strangely enough, when we prayed for his baptismal date, I felt the strongest feeling that we should plan for the 21st, even though everyone kept saying it should be sooner. I thought, "Maybe I just want this because I want him to be baptized on my little sister's birthday...." The more I thought about it though, and the more Sister Guevara thought about it, it just felt right. So we stuck with that. Well, fast-forward to Saturday. We had been too busy to meet with Guy all week, but we were determined to see him Saturday morning before the baptism of one of the elders' amazing, amazing investigators. His fellowshipper usually isn't available Saturday mornings, but by some miracle her husband let her go and all was settled to meet with Guy. When we got there I was planning to talk about baptism, but I was feeling all nervous and afraid, and I had no idea why. We started with our usual chat, but the whole time I was thinking about changing the lesson to something else because I was afraid. No idea why! Well, I decided to just go for it. I opened up to D&C 20:37, which if you don't know talks about the qualifications for baptism. Guy opened his scriptures and just gave me the biggest smile. So we read it, discussed it, all was well. The Guy said, "I was going to call you this morning and tell you that I wanted to talk about baptism today, but for some reason I didn't. I'm glad that you were following the spirit, because I'm ready to choose my baptismal date." He gets out his calendar. I get out my calendar. He says, "Okay, so... it's in December." And my heart starts racing. And our fellowshipper Sister Vallerand says, "The 14th?" And he says, "No, later." And my heart starts racing even faster. He turns the calendar around and shows me. "I want to be baptized on December 21st. Sister Guevara and I almost fell to the floor! I opened my calendar and showed him the circled date, December 21st. I said, "Guy, we prayed about when you should be baptized, and we recieved the same date." EVERYONE was crying. I have NEVER seen this man cry. The spirit was so remarkable strong. It might have been one of the most powerful experiences of my mission. He was so touched. He said, "If you recieved the 21st, and I recieved the 21st, we know without a doubt that this is what Heavenly Father wants." I'm sorry, but this story is Ensign worthy. Anyway, long story short, Guy finally has a baptismal date! On Lily's birthday! And the Winter Solstice. I think it's absolutely perfect. :)
The rest of the week was great! We were pretty much dead by the end haha. Last night we had a wonderful night with our vegan ami, my favorite member Sister Duchemin, and our boy Pierre. We watched the talk that Elder Holland gave this last G-Con. SO GOOD! Then we sat and laughed about Rob Ford and how awesome Canada is. I really do love this place, and the people here. Why are missions so dang awesome?! Well, I better get going! We're going to try to go to Old Quebec today with the Ste Foy sisters for Soeur Foniciello's birthday. I hope everyone is having a FANTASTIC WEEK! Please remember how much I love, love, love you all! For real, I do. More than I should. It hurts sometimes! Or rather, all the time. Ha ha peace and blessings to you all! Much love. Big hugs.

Santa's Little Helper

Well, HEY! How are you, my lovelies? Did you miss me yesterday? Did anyone even notice that I didn't write home? Hmm? Am I just becoming a dim memory to you all? Good riddance! I'm coming home sooner than you think. You best be ready when this little slice of Canadian sugar pie rolls back into town. Ha ha. Anyway. I hope you all had the BEST week! What's the 411? What is everyone up to? What's the hottt gossip? Are you all as freezing as I am? Don't answer that question. I know that is 100% impossible. The Ice Queen of Provo is turning into a literal ice queen now. What do you think of that? I need some Justin Timberlake to warm my soul. In due time, I suppose.

So.... anyone want the big news of the week? Soeur Cutler is HALF.WAY.DONE! Yes indeed. I am officially on the downward spiral... say WHAT?! I can't even believe it. Nine months ago I was ruling the MTC, and now in that same amount of time I'll be back in the real world of dating and celestial marriage and BABIES! Can't handle it! I don't think I would come home if it weren't for the fact that I miss you all TERRIBLY! But still. I'd prefer not to get back into the BYU scene. Dates at the Creamery on 9th. Hiking the Y. FHE. Bowling. Squaw Peak... whaaa...? I din't just say that... In all honesty though, the first nine months of my mission have been a dream. I've been more blessed than I thought was humanly possible, and I've met just about the hippest, craziest, most wonderful people in the Great White North. To say I'll be sad to leave at the end of this is, well, a bit of an understatement. For my nine month mark we went out and got sushi and Tim Horton's with our boy Pierre. We had a groovy time, sang a hymn, took some awesome selfies. Honestly, I can't complain.

In other news, this week was just about as fabulous as ever! Last week we went to visit our dear, sweet, wonderful eternigator Lucie, as per usual. Well, Lucie was bragging to me about how skinny she was back in the days of yore, and to prove it she had her ever-so-patient brother-in-law go and fetch her old corsets from the attic. Those things were TINY! Well. I had an idea. I HAD to see if they fit me. So I tried one on over my clothes. I might have broken a rib or two, but it FIT! Poutine ain't got NOTHIN on me! Ha ha. It was the most joyous day of my life. So guess who walked away that night with two "vintage" corsets from the 1950s. THIS GIRL! I love them to bits. I wore one on Sunday and my clothes suddenly started to fit again. I'm telling you, there can be miracles when you believe. I would send a pic but... riskay riskay, I say. I also made another AWESOME buy for the winter. Spandex. With galaxies all over them. I call them my space pants, and MY GOODNESS, yoga in the mornings just got a WHOLE lot better! Were it allowed, I would run around all day teaching the Plan of Salvation in them. Alas, they are not sister missionary appropriate. Although... I DID wear them under my longest polygamist skirt during my interview with the mission president... Shhh! Don't tell anyone. I lifted my skirts mid-calf (gasp!) so that my boy Elder Hernandez could see them, and I think I might have frightened him. Ahhhh... Elders. I know they all secretly love me. Anyway, I'll be sending pics. I took some awesome selfies. Has MySpace made a comeback yet? If so, they would be up there in a heartbeat.

This week we also had the chance to have dinner with one of my FAVE members of all time, Sister Duchemin, with our vegan ami. The best, as always. We discussed my webbed toes and my double jointed elbows, yes, but we also had an amazing lesson. I just love those days on the mission. Members, missionaries, investigators, all wrapped up into one fabulous evening. It just doesn't get better than that! Later in the week the same vegan ami invited us over to try some of his ..wheat grass. He grew it all by himself! It was so good. It went really great with our new vegan kick that we're on. He said that you can live forever if you drink like six ounces a day. Something like that. Being healthy ROCKS! We went home and counteracted the wheat grass juice immediately after with some Rolo Ice Cream. GO US!

Yesterday P-Day was cancelled because.... MISSION CONFERENCE came to town! It was super, super, super uplifting. Like, words cannot describe. I feel like a new person. We had Elder Pieper from the 70 come to speak to us, and he was just absolutely fantastic. I said the closing prayer at the end, and I was crying like a baby. Super embarrassing. But the spirit was definitely there and I learned a lot of important truths. I love that part about being on a mission. You are blessed with so many uplifting spiritual experiences throughout the week. Sometimes it's almost too much to handle! 

Well, I hope you are all doing super great. I don't see why you wouldn't be in that non-humid desert wasteland. Please pray for me to stay warm! That is all I ask. ALL I ask. Pray for me to have a car until winter is over. And then pray for me to be walking for the last three months of my mission. I've gotta figure out a way to get rid of this Canadian tire! Corsets and galaxy pants are only going to go so far. But until then, send me some waaaarm vibes! I'm sending oodles of love in return! I love you all and miss you terribly. Holla at your girl when you feel up to it. Which should be ALL the time. Peace and blessings, my angels! I'm out! 


Soeur Ice Queen

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Fondue and a Celtic November Kick-off

My BABES! Aaaah! My goodness! How the heck is everyone doing? How was Halloween? Where are my Halloween pics? I KNOW you all dressed up. Just because I'm a sister missionary does NOT mean you can't send me updates on all of your witchcraft and hoopla! I hope everyone had a magical Halloween week. It sounds like you all went ahead and had plenty of fun without me, which I know I will have a hard time forgiving. Good riddance, I say. We spent our Halloween eating our very last Chocolats Favoris chocolate-dipped ice cream cones, and then we got our ami Guy started on his genealogy. Looking up dead people for Halloween? Pretty sure it doesn't get better than that! 

So this week was a week full of miracles and rainbows and smiles. Also, vicious Quebec winds and mildly cold nights. I say mildly cold because I know I'll have absolutely no way to describe the weather when it gets COLD cold. And when I say mildly cold I mean I was freezing my booty off, chattering my teeth away, and screaming my lungs out because of the pain. And it was only -3 or -4 Celsius! What a treat. We had a horribly frightening rain and wind storm also, but my compy was throwing up that day, so fortunately I watched it from my window as I contemplated whether or not I was about to end up in Oz like Dorothy. Ohhhhh Canada! Time to bust out my tuque and cook up some moose! Which I ate in a lasagna last week. It was DE-LICIOUS. 

Alright, so enough about moose and snow and how miserable the weather is making me. This week really was such a treat! We spent a lot of time with our ami Guy because he is going in for surgery this week. On Sunday night he invited us over for dinner with our favorite family, famille Fallardeau, which was pretty much the biggest party ever. We made him a birthday cake (red velvet, my favorite) and had fondue! Mmmmmmm.... so heavenly. When I walked into the house, I suddenly overheard the ethereal sounds of my one true love Loreena Mckennitt playing softly in the background. It turns out Guy is ALMOST as much of a Loreena fan as I am! Almost. I spent the evening in a Celtic reverie, The Lady of Shalott soothing my soul and warm fondue and delicious red velvet cake fattening my corps physique. HEAVEN ON EARTH! Missions are full of so many tenderrrr mercies. We gave the leftover red velvet cake to the elders this morning, with a note that read: "Dear Elders, We made you a cake built out of rainbows and smiles, so that you can all eat it and be happy." (Mean Girls reference, for those of you who are behind the times.) And those little punks didn't even say thank you! MEN! Ha ha elders are the worst. Don't feed them. 

The other highlight of my week was visiting a fancy tea shop in downtown Quebec City with our boy Pierre (world's coolest "returnigator" as he calls himself). My companion and I thought we could have died of happiness. It was pretty much this hipster palace full of tizane and tea and good vibes all around. I don't know how many missionaries teach the laws and ordinances lessons while sipping back a nicely brewed tizane, so go me for my zen and overall coolness. Ha ha well, it was actually Pierre's coolness that introduced us to such a sweet hangout, but my GOODNESS was it a fun time! At the end of the lesson I was having the hardest time finding the keys to our shiny red car. We spent a long time searching, when suddenly something whispered, "Go check outside." I was like, "Oh boy. I probably left them in the ignition." Well, I did. And not only that, the car was RUNNING! And the doors were ALL unlocked! For two hours in downtown Quebec City we left our car running, and would you believe it? Not ONE person thought to steal it! Ha ha. Why are people so darn trustworthy? Peace and blessings were upon me, that's all I've got to say. Not having that car stolen was just about the biggest miracle of my LIFE!

Anyway, that's the week that was. I honestly can't complain. It could have been a little bit warmer, but there's not much I can do about that. Send me the warmest vibes possible! I'm going to have frost bite on every square inch of me by the end of this winter. I hope everyone is doing just FABULOUS, and that November is treating  you nicely thus far. You are all LOVED! And greatly missed! By the foxiest sister missionary in the Great White North! (That's me, if you were wondering.) Loves and hugs! Bisou bisou!


Soeur Cutler

Friday, November 1, 2013

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Bonjour, bonjour! How are my lovelies doing? Aaaah! I wish I could just give you all a big old squeeze right now! I'm missing everyone quite terribly, but what else is new? Halloween is in the air. Today I heard Thriller playing while snacking on sushi in Jardin Mobile (my newest hipster hang out), and I just wanted to CRY! My goodness. I hope you all have the BEST Halloween! Halloween is my favorite holiday next to Christmas. Hands down. Alas, no candies or borderline inappropriate costumes for me this year. Sad day! I hope you all revel it up without me! Carve pumpkins and eat candieeees in my honor! No candies for me this year. I am on a very strict lentil and sweet potato diet. Anyway, I hope you are all having a great week and are getting ready to send me pictures of your oh-so-swanky Halloween costumes. Notice I said swanky, not what you thought I said.

Well, this morning I awoke to the first snow. I was busy in the kitchen whipping up P-Day pancakes, listening to the soft sounds of my Pride and Prejudice soundtrack, when suddenly I turned around and saw what I have been dreading... SNOW! Quebec winter is HERE! At least, I think so. It's actually very sunny and pleasant now, but this morning we got a good dose of la neige. My cutie companion and I were definitely in the Christmas spirit all morning, so we sang "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" for our companionship studies. Very festive, but then I realized that Christmas is still two months away... BOO! Meh. Deck the halls, I say!

This week was very slow in terms of me doing crazy things. Nevertheless, it was pleasant, as always. On Friday we had a fabulous vegan dinner with our fabulous vegan investigator, which has brought me to a major life decision... I am soooo going vegan! Ha ha okay, probably not. I like ice cream WAAAAY too much. But I did experiment with making some vegan dinners this week. Delish! Alas, my companion prefers tacos, so we'll stick with the basics. Anyway, it was a fun night. We arrived after a night of knocking doors and having seemingly festive people with festive Halloween decorations slam their doors in our faces. Niiiice!  We had a very lengthy gospel discussion, very great insights shared all around. I love moments like that on the mission. It's what keeps me going! There is nothing better than people loving and accepting the gospel, even the smallest part of it. 

Another fun thing we did this week was "Heart-Attacking." Ha ha! The best! Why have I never been more loving or creative? My companion is full of all sorts of fun ideas, so I thought we'd give it a try. We went and covered our ami's door with hearts to cheer him up. Pictures to follow! I thought I was going to die of anxiety though. It reminded me of all those times I was asking boys to dances, usually ending up making my friends do the door-bell ditching for me because I am waaaaay to big of a scaredy cat. I also thought of all of those great times every January when we would go forking a certain someone's lawn. Ha ha! Good times. Again, I would stand far away, way sheepishly, and let everyone else do all the work. Surprises cause me waaay to much anxiety!

Well, that was my week more or less! It was definitely a good one. Pretty busy, pretty fast-paced, so I can't really recall what I did. Nothing that would interest you all anyway. I hope everyone has a festive, fabulous, flirtatious Halloween! Please do, for my sake. If only the flirtatious part. ;) I love you all more than words can even describe, and I miss you to the heavens and back! Have a great one! Mucho love! 


Everyone's favorite soeur