Well, things have been good up here in the cold icy north :) It was actually super warm this week. On Saturday it got up to 6 degrees (I think that's like 45 Fahrenheit?) which was crazy, and I don't think it got too far below -2 or -3 the whole week. It's been really convenient, because it means more people are out on the street and fewer people are huddled inside around their "Poêles". I don't know what it's called in English, but it's basically a stove that heat's the house. I think it just translates to stove. Not sure.
Anyway, life has been good here this last week. Man, the gift of tongues is real! It was super stressful these past 2 weeks because I couldn't keep up AT ALL with what people were saying, but this week was tons better. Now, don't let me give you the impression that I'm fluent or anything like that, because I'm not, but I kept up in church this week in all the lessons and I was pretty proud of myself for that. I can usually understand what people are saying to me, unless their Quebecois is really strong. Man, I'm so grateful for that high school French. I can't tell you how many times I've been trying to think of a word and I'll have some flashback to Mr. Baugh's or Mrs. Magelby's class where we learned it. Elder Hunter asks me French questions sometimes, and the same thing will happen. I'll recall some concept my teacher said 5 years ago when I wasn't even paying attention. It's been cool.
On the other hand, this whole third language thing is messing with my mind. I still study Chinese a lot, and I've never had a time in my life when I've used 3 different languages frequently. The strangest part is that I'll have memories of conversations and stuff even before the mission, but the conversation will be in Chinese, and I know for a fact that person doesn't speak Chinese.
Anyway, enough about that. The week was really good. We found some awesome people, and we've been working with a few towards baptism.
We have a new convert named Josephine, and she lives in a house with a lot of her cousins. We've been teaching them lately, which is interesting because they have a lot of rowdy kids, but it's been really cool. One of them - Benjamin - has a date for baptism, which is exciting. They'll be coming to Family Home Evening tonight, which will be fun.
We did service for Lise again this week and we also sat down and talked a lot about who God is. If I had to describe her in 2 words it would be "young soul". She's super funny, and speaks English and French fluently, so she helps us a lot with words and phrases. She's been coming to church every week we hold it in Rouyn, and she really want's to get baptized, but she doesn't feel like she's gotten an answer yet. We're really praying hard for her.
Also, be praying for Valida. She wants to get baptized really bad, but she's waiting for the weather to warm up because she wants to get baptized in the lake. The alternative is that we rent out the town pool and do it there, but that's not quite as cool. There's no font at the chapel here since it's so small, and so baptisms are interesting. Anyway, the reason I wanted you to pray for her is because she's had some bad shoulder pain that's really hurting her, and she's seeing the doctor today to get it checked out. She's pretty old, and so we're a little worried about it.
We've also been meeting with Skye. He was taught by the missionaries a while back, but we stopped by the other day and helped him out with some shoveling. It was good to get to know him. He's native, and he's an artist, so it's always really cool to see the stuff he makes.
Vanessa has been doing good as well. We've been trying to help her find a way to stake conference this week, since it's going to be in Sudbury (4 to 5.5 hours away depending on where you're coming from in our area.) It's going to be interesting getting people to church this week :) also, it's kind of a bummer when we tell them it's going to be in English.
Gwenda (one of our new converts) has been doing great as well. We've been helping her figure out institute online lately, and she's also been trying to get her family to church. I've never met them, but Elder Hunter has, and he says that they're awesome.
Also, we met with Yvette this week, and we're helping her to overcome drug abuse. She's struggled her whole life with it, but she just feels like she's failing as a parent when she uses it because she's not being a good example to her kids. It's been cool to meet with her though. We're stopping by later today to help her out with some questions.
Small soapbox here. Don't do drugs. This town has taught me a lot these last 3 weeks, but at least one of the things it taught me was not to do drugs. This town is kind of like a big object lesson in that way. And the consequences aren't pretty. Don't do drugs.
There's also a few other new converts and less actives, but these are the main people we've been working with.
Mom - Haha, yah, the branch is tiny. We split when we have enough people, but sometimes we just stay together. It depends. There's a joke among the French elders that some area's have more dinner appointments than we have of sacrament attendance :) As far as a typical day goes, we usually spend the morning studying until around noon, and then we go out. Usually we have a few appointments, and we teach English class on Tuesday's and Thursdays. church is on Sunday, and we do it for 2 weeks in Val d'Or and 2 weeks in Rouyn. It get's complicated, because the missionaries are responsible for bringing all the church stuff back and forth :) Thanks for the quote as well.
Hadley - Haha, sounds like a blast. We'll definitely have to watch it when I get home. What kind of things have you been doing for date night with Mom and Dad?
Ellie - I'm not sure what I'll name the puppy. Probably Askim. So when people ask "What's his name" you can say "ask him" and then they'll ask him and you can laugh.
Ashleigh - Haha, my life's going great. Congrats on making the play! What does your character do? How do you get into character? Are you one of those people that never goes out of character? That would be pretty funny.
Hayden - That sounds pretty cool :) Pig city? Sounds like an interesting place. At least they're honest with the name. 8 points is pretty impressive. Is it hard to balance basketball and skiing?
Dad - Haha, as far as differences between this and Chinese work, I don't even know where to start. In the past, I've been teaching foreigners, as in they've come from far away and they're in a new environment. It opens them up a lot. Also, Chinese people don't really have a belief in God, and virtually all of the ones in Ontario are YSA age college students. Here in Quebec it's different, because I'm the foreigner now, and I'm in their home. It's like an away game in football. Also, they all have a super strong faith in Jesus, but they don't do anything about it. And there's a lot of older people up here. They have young people, but a lot of them go south to Montreal and Quebec City. The language is obviously very different as well. As far as other religions, it's mostly Catholic with a hint of protestant and a few Muslims here and there (mostly from Africa).
Anyway, that's pretty much been the week. Love you all!