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My First Week

Hey Mom and everyone!!!
Mom!! Your birthday was yesterday!! I’ll send you a nice letter!  I didn’t forget!!
So this is my first email that I’m getting to send out, and I’m making sure to have quite a bit of time. I have thirty minutes in all to read and send emails, and there are now 22.. no 21 left. Okay!
I wrote a few things down to say that I wanted to tell you for sure, but first! My companion is Sister Witt, and she is really really great! She’s from Holiday, Utah, and she has done ballet for 16 years!! Crazy! And she is 19 years old, but she is so very mature. We are both doing pretty well in learning the language. I can pray in French without having to look at our little books that help us to say certain phrases and everything, which is really cool. And, when talking to a native French speaker, I can’t understand every single thing they say, but I can get the just of what they are trying to say and almost say anything I want to them (hehe, if it’s simple). I love French, though.
I want to also say that I love you all. I pray for you every night and I hope you are all doing more than okay. 
Oh! And I have seen Lizzie (Clint’s cousin who came in at the same time to the MTC as I did) a few times! We watched the Testaments (a movie) together on Sunday, and I showed her the awesome chapstick that I got from Jolyn. My companion also wants to know what the process is for making the soap that I have from Jolyn.
Everyone here kept telling us that it will be okay after we get to Sunday, but sister witt and I were both not really getting that overwhelmed with anything that we had experienced in the MTC. We’re both kind of quiet people though in front of others, but I definitely need to work on opening up way faster than I do. Our district (full of three companionships of Elders and three companionships of Sisters all going to Lyon) is very very strong, I think. We all say that, if it wasn’t for the language, we would be able to show anyone we want how awesome it is to be in this gospel. But yeah. I want to get to the exciting part before this runs out!!!
Yesterday, we had to fly to San Fransisco to go to the French Consulate to get our Visas all squared away. Basically we just went for them to take a picture of our face and stamp the papers for two seconds. We woke at four thirty, got to the airport at six, flew out at around nine, finished with the consulate at twelve in California (my first time going!!), and walked around the Pier of San Fransisco for two and a half hours. It was pretty awesome to say the least. There was nice sunshine (a starking difference from the snowy, cloud-covered skies here), tons of cool birds (cormorants, gulls, etc), and nice, nice grilled cheese on sourdough bread.
But the best part, I think, was walking on the pier and seeing the ocean (my first time seeing the Pacific). And, though we didn’t know it at the time, our group of ten missionaries started proselyting on the pier. I kind of felt that we shouldn’t really do it, but they handed out pass-along cards and talked to some people. The coolest person that came to us as we were sitting down was a man called David (Mr. David). He wanted to sing us his song that he had made. His style is a John Lennon style, and it was pretty awesome I have to say. I loved it. His band is called “the amazing adventures of mr. david” or something like that. I think I would listen to it in the future (unless the fish song he sang to us was just a rouse and he really sings some deathly heavey metal with horrible words…). We started talking to him a little bit, and then the police came and (I didn’t hear this part, but the other sisters said) they told us to not proselyte on the pier. “Come on guys, you know better than that.”
Oh! But the even better part, was when we walked by this older homeless man who “only needed a beer” and had another sign that said “Smile”. We all walked passed him, and it seemed like no one was even paying attention to him, so I looked back and smiled. And the look he gave me as he said thank you was the most appreciative, loving look I have ever seen. And, I wish I would have done this, but I wanted to go back and tell him that he was loved. I felt like I should have. I won’t resist that feeling next time, because it could have made all the difference to him. My compantion felt the same way. And that’s the type of missionary I want to be. One that communicates love.
But yeah, I only have three minutes on this, but thank you all for your love and support! And I would really really really love to get mail from you all through DearElder.com, where the letter gets to me that same day and is free. Please send me some! And I can know more of what to say the next week! And please send this to Mama and Papa B and update it on the blog.
I love you Mom, Dad, and all the rest of my family (everyone basically)
Much, much love,
Melissa (Soeur Smith)

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