Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas... Is over

Why, hello! How are you all doing? I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas! I know I certainly did. This Christmas will go down in my memory as one of the very best, even if I was far away from home. The love and light of those around me made me feel the Christmas spirit anyway, and talking and SKYPING the night away with my family posed serenely in front of a beautiful fireplace made the Christmas spirit bright! Ahhhh... I wish I could go back and replay it over and over again. Oh well! I'll be home for Christmas... next year! This Christmas was special though, and we saw a lot of miracles all week. The biggest miracle of all being that I have turned into a Canadian, eh? Ask my parents. Apparently I emphasize words like mOOOOse and sOooory and little too strongly there. Oh boy. 

So let me tell you about my holiday cheer! On the eve of Christmas we spent our afternoon with our lovely eternigator Lucie. She is such a doll, as always. This woman is 85 but has the Christmas spirit of a wee child. She kept telling us she didn't have the Christmas spirit all afternoon, but it was hard to come to terms with that seeing as she was blasting Christmas records from the 30s and forcing horrendous fruit cake down our throats. Ha ha still, it was such a pleasant day, and I so enjoyed her company. It's hard for people her age to be alone on Christmas, so I was glad we could pass some time with her, even if I did eat ten pounds of $30 fruitcake. 

In the evening we went to our Relief Society President's house, and I was in HEAVEN! Ahhhh. It was just so magical. They invited a Belgian family that just moved into our ward, and there were sweet little darlings of all wee ages running around in Christmas raptures. It made me miss my little Lil to pieces, but I still had a sweet time. We *secretly* shhhh.... danced to creole Christmas music with their fabulous little daughters, which was the highlight of my mission. Surprise! I forgot how to dance. So embarrassing. I felt like a fourteen year old at her first Stake New Year's Eve dance. Uhhh... awkward. Can't shake my booty! Ha ha. Still, so fun! We did a live Nativity, with costumes to boot. I will definitely be sending pictures. I was one of the wise women... ugh... men. Whatever. It was totally groovy. Sister Guevara and  I agreed that it was by far one of the best Christmas Eves we've ever had.

Then came..... CHRISTMAS! Hallelujah! We were still required to study that morning.... so... after I studied how to make bacon and sausage and pancakes and orange juice and eggs... we watched Mr. Krueger's Christmas! Seriously, a Christmas classic. I love that movie, but it makes me weep like a baby every single time. Sister Guevara and I were just sitting there sobbing all morning, thinking of our sweet Lucie who, like Mr. Krueger, was alone on Christmas. In the evening we went to the Worner household, aka the sweetest fam ever. We ate Brazilian food for Christmas and chatted the night away. I would have to say that talking to my family was the very best. MISS YOU GUYS AND LOVE YOU GUYYYYYYYZZZZ.. Aaaah! With all of my heart! The 26th was the darkest day of my life... haha. Trunky does not even begin to describe how I felt. 

The rest of the week we just frolicked about and did A LOT of service! It was a good week. We helped a family move, and I got a free sports bra out of it. And some couscous. YES! However, now I'm covered in cat hair and feeling rather sick. Still, serving is FUN! Ha ha.

Before I forget.... BIG BIRTHDAY SHOUT OUT to my one and only BIG BROTHER!!!!!! Aaaaah! 24! 24! I cannot BELIEB it! I love you, booo! I hope you have the most amazing, rocking birthday/New Year's Day EVER! You are simply the best brother in the entire world. No brother even compares. Sorry to all of you out there who have brothers. Mine is BY FAR the best! I hope all of your birthday dreams come true. Go get yourself a birthday/New Year's kiss and a birthday wife! Actually, no wife. Blagues. Je t'aime, bichey! See you soon, you old hooligan!

That's about all I have for you! I have some Christmas miracles to share, but they'll have to wait till next week. We're going to try to go to Old Quebec with les elders today so I don't have too much time to write. Transfer calls are this week! Chances are I will be leaving beautiful Quebec City... pray for me as I proceed to bawl my eyes out for the next few days. I hope you all had a FAB NOEL! I miss and love you all TERRIBLY! GROS BISOU! HUGS! 


Soeur Cutler

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Oh the Weather outside is Frightful

Hello familia and friends! How is everyone doing on this week of Christmas? I'm literally counting down the minutes to my phone call home. Can. Not. WAIT! It's going to be such a fun week, filled with fiestas and bouche de Noel. I'm going to become a bouche de Noel by the end of all of this, probably. Meh. Go big or go home big, eh? Anyway, I'm wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, and a fabbbbbulous New Year! Dear single friends: rack up some New Year's kisses in my honor, okay? I'll be expecting stories. I've got some mistletoe in my apartment but so far no luck... ;)

To start things off, I would just like to dedicate some time to my favorite sister bear on the planet.... LILY! Happy Birthday, my sweet! I love you forever and ever! I can't believe you are now EIGHT years old! It feels like you've always been here.... ha ha. Sister Guevara and I yelled HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LILY!!!! super loud inside our apartment on Saturday morning, but you probably couldn't hear us. At least our neighbor did! Anyway, I hope your day was special and filled with bon bons and plenty of attention. Save me some Bombay House! If you leave it in the back of the fridge I'll come home to claim it in about 7 months. Lily, I love you and I hope you know that I think you are the cat's meow. HAPPY B-DAY, beautiful!

In other news.... we had a baptism this Saturday! In honor of Lily's 8th birthday. :) Our ami Guy was FINALLY able to get baptized! I do not think I have seen a happier man in all my life. He was practically a member of the ward to begin with. Pretty sure he's like assistant to the bishopric or something.... ;) Really though, it was such an incredible day. He had to get baptized THREE times, but hey, he'd been waiting for so long that he deserved at least three baptisms. Guy's the man! I gave a talk on the Holy Ghost. In French. And I totally ROCKED IT! Ha ha even though my French is terrible.... Still! The spirit always wins out in the end. His baptism was the most attended baptism in the history of convert baptisms in the Quebec ward. I was so touched to see so many members come out and give him support. It was a very happy winter solstice, and a bright spot on the darkest day of the year.

Earlier that afternoon our mission president thought it would be fun to take our whole zone out caroling. Can you imagine a group of like twenty something missionaries standing outside your door singing Christmas songs? HEAVEN! Well.... we got a door slammed in our face. Ha ha. President looked a little surprised. And all of us Quebec missionaries were like.... Welcome to life in Quebec! Ha ha. Still, it was super fun to be congregated with a bunch of missionaries, and there were at least three people who radiated with joy as we sang to them. I'd say it was a very successful day!

We also had a soup dinner with the Relief Society, and miracle of miracles.... my favorite Haitian member was there! We've been working and praying so hard to get her to come back to the church, if only just to be with the sisters and receive love, support, and fellowship again. I was so happy! And she was a complete riot. We were all discussing dinner calendar issues for the missionaries, and someone asked if it was alright to have the elders over if you were a single woman. She is super outspoken, which I love, so she just says, "I have my elders over all the time. But when they come to MY house, they need a chaperon... because they're afraid the cougar will POUNCE!" Ha ha ha ha. I just loved that. That's going to be me in another fifteen years. CAN'T WAIT!

So that's the week that was! It was just such an amazing week, filled with miracles and Christmas joy and happiness. I survived a massive snowstorm yesterday, BTW. Church was completely cancelled, but missionary work wasn't. I think I had five near death experiences in my car.... please pray for me! Or pray that my leaders soften their hearts and let me stay inside when it's a blizzardin. I love you all! I hope you all have a very, very, very, very MERRY CHRISTMAS! I do so wish I could be there. I will be in spirit, anyway. Lots of love and HUUUUUUUUUUGE hugs! Bisou bisou! Ho ho ho!


Sista Claus

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ohhhh Canada! (TUNDRA)

Hello my angels! How are you all doing? Are you cold? If you said yes, I would like to just let you all know that you are NOT cold. Not at all. Yes, maybe you were cold last week. But right now I am indoors and I am SHIVERING uncontrollably. Why? Because it's -15 degrees and the doors of our chapel are covered in two feet of snow. So yeah, you could say that I'm cold. But let's not dwell on that. Anyway! How was everyone's week? I'm sure you're all as geeked for Christmas as I am! 9 more days! GET EXCITED!

Okay, so first things first. Last week for the first time in my life I ate pupusas! You would think after having two companions from El Salvador it would have been much sooner.... In any case, they were SO delish, and what was even better is that we ate them with my favorite Salvadorian members. Afterward we went and had a family home evening with the elders from Ste Foy and the senior couple in the Ste Foy branch with our boy Pierre. It was waaay too much fun! I love FHE. I wish I had a family to have FHE with, but c'est la vie right now. It was nice to get together with my favorite elder..s and be one big happy family. 

This week I slept in a bed other than the one I own in Quebec for the first time in six months! That's right! I went on SPLIIIITS! And I got to visit the lovely little town of Shawinigan. It was so pleasant, and SO nice not to be in charge of my own area for the day. We ate dinner with the cutest family. And they have 10 children!!! My oh my, it was such a party. Since I'm not from a big family I always get overwhelmed when I visit families with lots of kids. What a ruckus! And what a delight. I think I'll have five kids and five cats though, just to balance it out. Anyway, the whole entire day the heater in my beautiful red car stopped working. It was nightmarish. The next morning when we were getting in the car to leave, I noticed that my nostrils were frozen shut. THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED. We turned on the car. I looked to the dash. NEGATIVE 28 degreeeeees! Hell has officially frozen over. Ha ha ha never ever ever have I been so cold in my LIFE! So please pray for me, my loves.

On Tuesday night we went over to my favorite member's house for dinner, with my favorite vegan ami and my favorite returnigator, aka my boy Pierre. I think I gained ten pounds in one sitting, but it was a super fun Christmas dinner that we all shared together. Gosh, I cannot tell you how much I love that kind of missionary work. Members, missionaries, investigators, all wrapped up into one spiritual evening of great company and great food. I think this is the future of missionary work, eh? GET ON IT!

This afternoon my little compy and I had a Christmas photo shoot in all of the fabulous snow we just got up here! (Chins... have...frrrrozen... offfff....) SOOO cold! I think I've lot a toe or two. Haven't checked yet. My boots are frozen to my legs. But it was so fun! And en plus, I got my eyebrows done AGAIN, so I'm looking more babelicious and less cavewomanish. Pictures are coming! We look good. Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful, wonderful finals week. Please don't die and don't cry. Remember that I LOVE you all and I pray for you every single day! Joyous seasons! Peace and blessings! Loving and missing you all to the moon and back!


Soeur Cutler

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Road Trip!

Hey, ho, the mistletoe.... I'm gonna get to know ya better.... this Christmas... Ha ha. Does anyone else think that Christmas song is totally creepy? It's the song of the week this week at ye olde soeur missionnaire apartment. Well now. How the heck is everyone?! Apparently you all suffered way more than me last week in terms of winter cold. BUT. As we speak I am currently in the middle of a big, fat snowstorm, so no, I'm not giving any of you sympathy. However, I am offering my condolences to all of you who are in the middle of finals and end of semester mayhem, and for that I truly am sorry. Bonne chance, bon courage! Je vous aime. 

So this week was quite possibly one of the most fun weeks of my mission! Thank you Christmas for bringing so much happiness and light to mission life. Where do I even begin? On Tuesday Sister Guevara and I got to take a ROAD TRIP (ROAD TRIP!!!!!!) down to Montreal for a meeting for trainers. Oh. My. Gracious. I was in heaven! I remember very little about the actually training... BUT! I got to see my main boo Sister Orozco! As well as ALL THREE of my favorite Chinese elders! It was insanity. The minute the training ended I ran into Sister Orozco's arms, and THEN I looked over my shoulder to see all of my Chinese elders swarming me! Every good feeling in my heart compelled me to give them each a big old bear hug, but President was totally watching me and I totally would have gotten sent home. SO! Instead I gave them each a firm handshake, and they were just beaming and so happy to see me. How could they not be? Oh yeah, and I was happy to see them too. ;) Surprise, surprise, there are some elders on the mission that aren't morbidly afraid of me! Mainly those three.... Needless to say, it was such an incredibly sweet reunion. Afterward Sister Orozco and I took a gaggle of soeurs missionnaires to the most delicious Thai food restaurant Montreal has to offer. (Spicy Thai is still the best in my mind.) So good! It was probably the best sisters outing I've ever been on. Everyone was just in the best of spirits and there was so much to catch up on, and hardly any self-righteousness to go around. I couldn't have asked for a better day!

On Friday night we were able to go over to our ami Pascal's house and help his mom Tamar decorate their Christmas tree. Gosh. Was I weepy or what? Christmas is making me trunkier than a redwood forest! Still, we had tons of fun decorating and spending time with them. They are Premiere Nation, or as you would say in les Etats-Unis, Native American. I love Native Americans sooooo much. You have no idea. Maybe another reason why Quebec is the perfect mission for me? Anyway, they're just the most loving family and I love spending time with them. I love spending time with everyone here, which is another reason the holidays are so grand. It's nice to be invited to people's houses and feel like I belong to a family, when in reality I'm orphaned and alone this Christmas in a foreign land. ;)

THEN the week got even better! We had our ward Christmas party on Saturday, which was double fun because we combined with the branch in Ste Foy, which meant that I was able to love and hug all of my old peeps from the Riv Sud! Ohhhh my. Christmas miracles all around! There was a Christmas dance that night, and lo and behold, SOMEONE started playing "King for a Day" by the Thompson Twins. Obviously I lost complete control of my brain and started singing and moving as much as possible without making it look like I was dancing. REBEL! My district leader saw me, of course, and I was totally scolded, but I SO did not care. That is my JAM! It was just the perfect way to end the perfect night.

Yesterday we went to the church to watch the #ChristmasDevo. The party consisted of all the missionaries, one family, and our stalwart rockstar investigator, Guy. Ha ha he's the man! One of the elders had the idea that we should go watch the X-mas Devo in English, so all six of us went into the tiny geneology room to stream it from the computer. Hmm... cozy. ;) My very favorite zone leader was all worked up and in a tizzy and said, "Uhhh... I think this is the most apostate thing I've ever done..." to which my favorite elder Elder Flitton replied, "Besides that one time you went to bed at 10:31?" Ha ha! Lolzzz. Missionary jokes. I laughed so much. He totally deserved that burn. Since when is it apostate to watch the Christmas Devotional with sister missionaries? Elders.... grrrr. Gotta love em. 

So that was the week that was! And a very fun one at that. This week we're going to try to have less fun and go knock some doors or something. Meh. Same old same old. I'll try to make myself equally miserable this week as you are all in finals. Deal? And then the fun can start again when Christmas rolls around! Anyway, I hope you all have an AMAZING week this week! Remember, I love and miss you all more than you could possibly know. Love and hugs! Bisous! 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Beach Boys

HAPPY DECEMBER to all! Let the ABC Family and Lifetime and Hallmark Channel Christmas specials begin! Aaah... I do SO wish I could be there fighting back the coupon-loving mobs of JCPenney this holiday season. Christmas just won't be the same this year without forty-hour work weeks selling Levi pats to middle-aged men whilst juggling finals and big fat essays at the same time. How will I go o?! Hmm. Somehow, I think I'll manage. Anyway, I hope you all had a GREAT Thanksgiving and a bodacious Black Friday! Do me a favor... give your local retail worker a big hug this Christmas season, eh? Their Christmas is probably not going to be as merry as yours. ;) I hope you all had a nice little Thanksgiving breaking, even though you missed me terribly.

So, onto the week that was! This year I did not find myself in a tin hut in Guatemala for Thanksgiving like Dad predicted. My ward mission leader and his wife (who is about fifty times cooler than him) invited us over for dinner! A Thanksgiving miracle! They're around the same age as me, so it was pretty much like hanging out with friends back home. They didn't know it was our Thanksgiving, but they DID serve us mashed potatoes made with mayonnaise, so I had a little Thanksgiving joy! Last Sunday as we were waiting for our investigator to get out of his baptismal interview, I spent half an hour manipulating my ward mission leader to sign my dinner calendar. And it WORKED! My manipulation skills have been getting better and better throughout my mission. Those poor little RMs are going to be buying me frozen yogurt and Cafe Rio left and right! I cannot WAIT!

This week we also went to our hipster tea salon with our boy Pierre. I got a brew called Rouge Twilight. Delish! Fortunately I didn't leave the car running for two hours this time around, but it was snowing like CRAY! I almost died like ten times this week. Quebec got its first big sow storm this winter, and let me tell ya... Utah roads are a DREAM! A DREAM! Don't complain about them ever again! I'm thinking about asking my mission president for permission to ice skate to all of my appointments from now on. Walking and driving anywhere has suddenly become a near death experience every time I leave the house. PRAY for me this winter!

Other than hazardous weather conditions, this week was just biazarro and crazy. The highlight would have had to have been when we went to my favorite Haitian member's house and helped her set up an LDSSingles account. I've secretly always wanted to make one, but obviously that was a WAY embarrassing confession that I just made, so it was fun to experience LDSSingles bi proxy. Pray that she finds an eternal hunkasaurus! That would be LOVELY!

We had some pretty great adventures in all of this crazy weather as well. The other day we were out knocking doors in -17 weather around 8:30. We were on a cheery street with duplexes covered in Christmas lights, but they had anything BUT the Christmas spirit. We knocked on one of the doors ad o one answered. Just as we were about to move on to the next one, we heard footsteps crunching through the snow. This drunk Quebecois man (totally NOT a hunkasaurus) swaggered toward us. He says, "Ehhhh... vous êtes belles, les filles..." and I was just like, "Uh, thanks, but we're here to share a message about the gospel." SURPRISE! He wasn't interested. DOUBLE surprise! ...We suddenly realized that he was walking around in a SPEEDO! Bhaaaah! In -17 degree weather! My oh my. I prayed that my eyelids would freeze shut! I just don't understand some people... We continued knocking but then another drunk guy started eyeing us, so we went to our car as swiftly as possible and home to thaw. It was just a crazy, crazy week, I'm afraid.

Funny elder moment of the week. We have this joke with the elders because one day in our correlation meeting my ward mission leader touched my arm. It was just the most awkward moment of my life, and both of us wished we could have burned our limbs off. Lol. Anyway, the other day we were in a meeting with the elders and Elder Flitton kept accidentally playing footsies with me. "Accidentally..." We all know the elders are in love with me. So finally after the fifth time I just looked right at him and said, "Elder Flitton, footsies is over." Jokingly he reached out to PRETEND to touch my arm like my ward mission leader did, even though he was still Book of Mormon distance apart. His trainer (one of the most obedient missionaries I've ever beheld) in the middle of his spiritual thought that he was sharing with all of his, looks over and practically dives out of his chair. I have never seen someones eyes go so wide in my life! Ha ha ha he seriously practically dove in front of his companion as if protecting him from a bullet. ELDERS! The best. The very best. One day they'll all thank me for flirting with them on their missions. And their wives will too. They just don't realize it yet.

Anyway, that was the week that was! I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving! I really did miss you all terribly. I hope everyone is doing well and that the prospect of finals week doesn't become too much of a drag on your Christmas spirit. I love you and miss you all SOOOOOOO very, very much. Peace and blessings! Joyeux Noël! Big Santa smooch and a jolly old bear hug!


Soeur Perfect