HAPPY, HAPPY SPRING! We are currently enjoying breezy wind chillls and virbrant bursts of fresh, white snow. Spring is here! At least that's what the calendar tells me, anyway. But I'll stop complaining for the millionth time about how cold I am. How are you all? My babes! I miss everyone terribly. Quoi de neuf?! Is it spring yet in the Wasatch Front? You lucky ones. I hope you get a surprise snow storm!
So I know I say this a lot, but this really was the BEST WEEK of my mission! Oh my. I am still gracefully floating down from the heavens. As I mentioned last week, we had a little visit from Salt Lake! Among the party was Elder Neil L. Andersen of the douze, Donald L. Hallstrom of the Presidency of the soixante-dix (FAVE!), and Gérald Caussé of the Presiding Épiscopat (DOUBLE FAVE)! But more on that later. I have a lot to say about my week!
On Tuesday we went to the Montréal temple to spiritually prepare for our mission conference. Aah! I absolutely adore the temple. It's closing for a year this May, so we're allowed to go once a transfer since we won't get our temple day when I go home in August. On Thursday I went on exchanges with my granddaughter, Sister Godfrey, but THIS time I was able to go back and work in my first area! My goodness. What a blessed treat! We started off the day by seeing my little recent convert's family, the Espindolas. I have missed them SO MUCH! It has been a year since I first met them, and the changes that have taken place in their lives have been so amazing. Sam is even planning on going on a mission! In like... nine years haha. Gosh, I love them to death. His mom is preparing to go to the temple too! She expressed her gratitude to me for pulling them out of the dark a year ago and for being THEIR missionary. I honestly feel like I did nothing, but that family is completely precious and will ALWAYS hold a very special place in my heart. Missions are spectacular! There is no reward greater than seeing just how much the gospel blesses families. After visiting them we went and had lunch with a Filipina sister! THE BEST! Something I desperately miss about Montréal ward haha. I ate blood pudding for the first time in my life and wanted to DIE. I took pictures of this event, but I won't be sending them because I don't want anyone to see how many chins I have acquired. Ha. But really. After our lunch we went to visit the most AMAZING recent convert named Mary-Lynne, who Sister Varela and I began teaching before I left for Quebec City. Now she's a ward missionary and OH-SO FABULOUS! I feel blessed to have had the chance to come back and see all of these incredible people again. Later that evening we went to track down a woman that Sister Foniciello and I had taught nearly a year ago. It was actually planned by the member who found her with us last year, and she had no idea that I would be there that evening. When we arrived at her home, she remembered me completely, and told me that she thinks of me often. She begged me to come back and see her another time, but unfortunately I'm assigned to the neighboring area! So sad. But I felt touched that she remembered me. The whole day was like flash-back city. It was fun to run around the metros and buses talking to all of the interesting people in the city. Aaah! Such a great day! I love being a missionary in Montréal.
Alright. The next day was just fantastic! We had mission leadership council in the morning, which is always a treat. We were discussing modesty, particularly how some of the sisters' skirts were too tight. And I'm just sitting there like.... uh... GUILTY! That poutine has to belong somewhere. Afterward we picked up my main boo and best friend on the mission, SISTER OROZCO!!!!! She and her amazing companion, Sister Garcia, came down from Quebec to spend the night with us. HEAVEN!!!! We went to a Venezuelan restaurant for dinner, and then Orozco and I proceeded to talk the night away and cry because we miss each other so much. It was so incredibly fun. We pushed all of our beds together in the kitchen and just had the best girls night I've had in a long time.
Then came... MISSION CONFERENCE! Can you imagine the joy of seeing every single companion and mission friend you've ever had in the past 14 months? It was beautiful!!! I have never felt such happiness in all of my life. I imagine that my homecoming will be like that, but ten times more beautiful. Get excited! The speakers were absolutely excellent. I was so spiritually edified that I feel as if I have become a new person. We are so blessed in our mission! Bishop Caussé even gave his talk in French. I felt so special. They treated us as if we were Paris missionaries! Little do they know we only speak Quebecois. But that's okay! It was a fantastic day. Later that evening les elders had a baptism of two sweet young boys in our ward whose mom joined the church a few years ago. Their dad finally allowed them to get baptized, and it was just the most precious event I have ever attended. I was asked to play the piano, which was a big mistake, but hey, I pulled it off. At the end I was playing Families Can Be Together Forever, and after one verse Sister Sherwood stopped conducting and turned around to sit down, but I just kept plunking along. Everyone was laughing, including me, which made it nearly impossible to play. Spirit ruined. But hey, it was a great day!
THEN on Sunday we had a special stake conference with Elder Hallstrom, an event that also changed my life. We sang in the most powerful missionary/youth choir, and there was literally not a dry eye in the chapel. The church is so true! No doubt about it. What a beautiful opportunity that I have to be a Mormon and share the gospel. I never want it to end sometimes! Every member a missionary, I guess. Keep preaching!
Alright, so there's my piece. Sorry for such a long email! This was just such a fantastic week. The rest of the weeks of my mission are going to be awful compared to what I just experienced. Meh. Oh well. Anyway, I hope you all have a glorious first full week of spring! Enjoy the warm sunshine! I'm freezing my toonkie off. No big deal. I love you and miss you ALL! Lots and lots and lots. Thinking of you always!