Hello, my sweet ones! How is everything in the beautiful mountain paradise of Utah? Before you all tell me about how wonderful your spring is right now, just know that we were hit with three massive snowstorms this week and chilling winds. HAPPY SPRING! The locals are going crazy. Haha. It's sad to watch, but more so for me because I feel as if I'm suffering more than anyone. If I don't see the grass by the end of April I'm LEAVING! Meh. Or maybe I'll just stay. It's only an extra couple months anyway.
Alright, enough of my chat about the weather. That's basically all we talk about in Canada because there is an unexpected snowstorm like every five seconds. But I digress. Can you tell I'm bitter about the snow? MOVING ON! This week really was exceptional in every other aspect, besides the fact that I had a near death experience. Pull up a chair! This story is nuts. Okay. So on Tuesday the day was going just splendidly. We spent part of the afternoon with a sister who has been recovering from breast cancer. Because the chemo makes her hands numb, the doctor told her to try to find ways to keep them moving to strengthen them. So there's this mommy/craft craze sweeping the nation right now. Maybe you've heard of it. I certainly hadn't, and probably never would have because I'm horrible at crafts, but this was life changing. This amazing sister invited us over to teach us how to hand-knit infinity scarves! I have never finished a crochet or knitted creation in my life. I've started many a scarf, but have never been able to finish. Well. I will have you know that I, Sylvia Cutler, finished an infinity scarf. In ONE HOUR! BY HAND! No needles. :) It was maybe one of the most fulfilling moments of my life. All those times at Young Women and Girl's Camp and Activity Days when I was looked down upon for my lack of homemaking knowledge... NO MORE! I feel like I conquered that beast. I am so proud of myself!
Okay, but me getting the scarf made is not the near death experience. Let me tell you what happened. So as missionaries we have lots of highly specific rules, one of which is to have someone back you if you EVER put your car in reverse. Well. During our little knitting session, someone had decided to wedge their car behind ours. Great! My companion is 200% obedient, so I still had to back her. The only problem though was that there was maybe like two feet in between us and the car. So I shimmied myself in between the two cars, hoping to back us a TAD so that we could be obedient and get the car out safely. Well. There was also a pile of snow behind the car. My companion pushed the pedal with ALL of her might to get over the pile. BUT WAIT! Guess who was wedged in between two cars. ME! I'll tell you what. I don't think I've ever screamed so loud in ALL of my life! The pain and the fear were excruciating! And as if that wasn't enough, my companion didn't hear me! So she backed the car up even MORE! All the while I'm screaming and my legs are breaking. Finally she saw what was happening and unleashed me. She ran to see if I was okay. I would have crumpled to the ground but I was stuck between the cars! And she LAUGHED at me! SHE LAUGHED! And I was bawling my eyes out, thinking I would be coming home from my mission early for having broken two legs and popping open my kidneys! I have never been so horrified in my life. After the adrenaline wore off, I discovered that my knees were swollen and big fat blood vessels popped, but since I could walk we decided no real damage was done. Still. I've greatly enjoyed telling every person we see this story, and now I can laugh along with Sister Sherwood. But seriously. I could have died!
Alright, moving on. This Saturday was WOMEN'S CONFERENCE!!!! Literally the best thing of my LIFE! The minute that cute little group of 8-year-old girls started singing I unleashed thousands of tears and wails and sobs! And I wish I was exaggerating. It just made me realize that I miss my little sister and that I haven't been there for some important milestones in her life, like baptism. So sad. I cried throughout the whole thing. Literally. Ever talk, every segment. TEARS! What a great conference. I'm so incredibly proud to be a woman, and I have learned so much about the value of sister unity in the church since serving a mission. We should all celebrate our differences as, but we can still be friends and we all have a contribution to make! Love it. Sister power. We had a sister come who hasn't been to church in fifteen years, and she is my favorite, favorite, favorite woman that we visit. I was so happy to see her there, but I was especially happy to see the outpouring of love she received from sisters who have greatly missed her. Love one another! That's basically all we need to know.
Well, I hope you all have an amazing, amazing week! In case anyone was wondering, I'm staying in LaSalle this transfer! With my same companion, Sister Sherwood. THREE TRANSFERS!!!!!!!!!! WHOOOO!!!! I'm super happy we're staying together. We have tons and tons of fun at all hours of the day and night. I'll most likely finish my mission here. It's a great ward! I'll be happy about whatever happens. I just love being a missionary, so I'm happy to serve wherever I'm needed. Anyway, I hope you all have a WONDERFUL day! Enjoy your spring weather. Missing everyone TERRIBLY!
April 7, 2014
The Church is True! #LDSconf
Hello dear ones of the Great Wild West! How is everyone enjoying their lovely spring? Although we are still notquite to spring yet, I am enjoying myself immensely, if not a little too immensely... out here in the Great, still very White North! Conference weekend was sensational. Gotta love that three-day P-day weekend! I have been so inspired in the past 48 hours that I don't even know if I'm the same person anymore. But more about conference in a minute. Let me tell you about my week!
This Wednesday we went to visit our dear 85-year-old friend Sister Ross. This woman really is my favorite person on the planet. She's just so feisty! Thanks to her I have this very pressing desire in my heart to marry a New Zealander and NEVER return! It could happen. I just really love visiting the elderly people in my ward. Since I'm not up in Quebec City with my sweet little eternigator Lucie anymore, I have to get my fix somehow, and Sister Ross definitely does the job. I've been so incredibly blessed by the people I've met as a missionary. It's nice to hear people's stories and get to know what makes them tick and what makes them ticked. Haha. Montreal is full of the world's finest!
On Thursday we had to coordinate the ward list with the elders, so we totally took them on a date to Subway. Technically we're allowed to be with the four of us in public if we're doing missionary work, which we totally were. Our big, lovable, sweet Tahitian elder was just replaced by a kind, innocent elder who has never served with sisters before. Poor thing getting sent to Sister Cutler's ward... haha. Elders love me. Anyway, our meeting was fun. Although it was definitely NOT a date (I promise we went over the ward list and had an effective meeting) it reminded me that I will be going on actual dates all too soon. Meh. I forgot what that was like. Not sure if I want to remember again. I guess I'll know in another four months. Which reminds me...
HAPPY FOURTEEN MONTH MARK to me! Can you believe it? Provo better get ready. I'm about to turn the whole town UPSIDE DOWN!
Back to my story about Thursday. So after we were leaving Subway Sister Sherwood and I went to contact a man on the street. He was super nice but wasn't interested. Kind of kooky. THEN as we're walking away, he's like, "Girls, I need to tell you something." And we're like, "Yes?" In our sweet sister missionary voices. And he says, "I don't think you two really have a conviction of your beliefs. I don't feel like you actually believe what you're telling me. You should ask yourselves if you're really doing this for the right reasons or if you're just phony." And I was like, "EXCUSE ME?!?!?" But I couldn't because I'm a sister missionary. But really, if I didn't have full and complete confidence in my beliefs, that God is my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ lives, why would I go up to a complete stranger on the street and testify that I believe? Grrr. People are irksome. But it was a good opportunity to reflect about why I'm here, and I was just blown away by the fact that I do know these things to be true, and I have loved every minute of being a missionary. I'm never going to let anyone tell me ever again that I'm being coerced or manipulated into being a missionary and sharing my beliefs. Interesting experience. Anyway, thought I'd share.
This weekend was, of course, completely and utterly fantastic! We started our morning with a wonderful less active woman and the Relief Society President. This inactive woman is remarkable, and our visits always bring such a sweet spirit to my heart the rest of the day. After the visit we went and had brunch at our Ward Mission Leader/Relief Society President's house. He made us Sea Food Crepes, which were, in all honesty, the best thing I've ever eaten. I nearly spit out my food though as I was getting a spiritual slap in the face from Elder Holland. Haha! He is excellent! I loved every minute of that conference. Afterward we went to the church in the middle of the first session to see if any of our investigators or less actives were there. We were invited to go to an all-you-can-eat buffet across the street by one of our dear single members, and older man who is just as cute as a button and has a wicked stamp collection. So in between sessions we went out with him, even though I was already stuffed from sea food crepes. It was so fun to spend time with him though! Haha. We're trying desperately to set him up with one of our returning members, but she isn't seeing the light. One day she'll get there. Well, the day got even better. ANOTHER single man in the ward (the one who gave us flowers and chocolates for Valentine's Day) invited us to go to the SAME buffet for dinner after the next session. I was like, "Four months to sexy....? ....Nah. Okay! We'll go!" Haha these men just love us. Well, our friend from the previous date saw us leaving with our new date at the end of the second session, and he was like, "Where are you going with Brother Bowden?" And I felt as if I was being disloyal to a boyfriend or something.... haha. We sheepishly told him the truth, which resulted in him coming along AGAIN. And then another older brother decided to come with us! Can you imagine? Two cute sister missionaries with an escort of three of the cutest old men you ever did see. Haha. It was definitely one of the highlights of my mission, and I'll have the pounds to help me remember it for years to come.
Conference was exceptional! I especially enjoyed Elder Uchtdorf''s talk, but that's no surprise. He will always, ALWAYS be my favorite. I also really enjoyed Elder Hallstrom's talk from the Priesthood Session. He spoke to us a couple weeks ago, so he has a beloved place in my heart too now. I would have to say though, that of all the talks, I LOVED the prophet's message the most on Sunday. Really, this is a gospel of love. Let's not let anything else get in the way of that. Gosh, I love being a member of this church, and I especially love being a missionary. I wish I could go on like this forever!
Well, I better be going. I've regaled you all with stories for long enough. I hope everyone is doing exceptionally well. BIG FAT SHOUT OUT AND CONGRATULATIONS TO KARENNA TROUTNER for getting ENGAGED!!!!!!!!!!!! And not getting married before I get home. :) EVEN BETTER! YAY!!!! I love you and Austin and I KNOW you will be so joyously happy together! See you this summer! I cannot wait! Anyway, have a beautiful week, my loves! Miss you to the stars and beyond. LOVE YOU ALL!