Week 5!

Hey! Everyone!

It’s an early email again! I actually had this nice written writing of what I was going to say in this email, but I forgot it, and getting computers in this place of laundry is like wildabeests waiting around for the best small piles of hay in a zoo.. That’s probably not very action-packed though. Haha, who knows. That’s pretty much how I am when we’re not studying. Makin’ up stuff that makes people laugh. Though now my district-mates (I don’t think anyone really calls them that, it just sounded appropriate in those two seconds of typing) have no idea whether what stories I tell them are true or not. ūüôā haha

This week has been pretty interesting. There have been a few lows, but mostly ups. The lows were from me feeling a bit nervous about going to be in France and speaking the language to natives, but they were quickly extinguished because I know that it’s going to work out. I have heard that Switzerland is closed to non-natives, but my teacher (Sister Scott) tells us about how awesome the Swiss French accent is. It’s kinda exaggerated in how everything is said. I hope that it will open while we are there for the next year and a half-ish.

It’s so windy in this laundry place. It’s weird. Well, it’s because they have huge fans going so that it doesn’t get blazing hot, but it’s weird.

So, there are only 6 days left!!! It’s so, so crazy to think about! I feel like I have been here for my whole life, but, at the same time, it seems like it has gone by so fast. Also, I brought my camera this morning, but I couldn’t really find any pictures that would be good to upload or anything. I should start taking better pictures. So that you call can see the awesome people that I’m around all of the time. My district really is like a family, and It’s so fun to be around them all the time. We all keep saying how it’s going to be weird that we are going to be in different parts of France next week.. Next week.

Oh man! And last night, it was the best night ever. I am so ready to go and be with the people and lift their burdens (not that everyone will have huge burdens) and cry with them. I know the things that I’ve gone through in life (not that they’ve been super crazy; it’s more crazy than the people I’m around) were specifically so that I will be able to understand them. I am finally beginning to lose myself little by little, and it is really a great feeling. Every day, I am changed or some realization

I wish I had better words to say. I love this work! I feel that it is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing!

I probably won’t get another P-day until after next week. I think it will be the next Monday after next monday.

I love you all so much! And thank you for the packages and mail and love!

Love,
Sister Smith

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Week four! (I think)

Hello everyone!

I only have about ten more minutes for this, but I wish I had so much more time! This week (especially the end of it) has been so so very wonderful for me!

I had the opportunity to share my conversion story with Sister Nalley, one of the women in charge here. She was seeing if she wants me to share it in Relief Society ( a meeting with all of the girl missionaries here), because they always have a conversion spotlight. I don’t know if she will choose me, if she doesn’t, I won’t mind, but I feel like I should share a little bit with you all. Since I have been on this mission, so much has been opened up to me. I feel like my mind has literally expanded. Not just from learning a lot, but my memory and my consciousness. I don’t know, but it’s been so interesting to me.

Before Annalise Strange invited me to girl’s camp, I had this very distinctive dream: The Messiah (that was the name in the dream) was riding on a horse down a path in this beautiful forest. It was fall, and the leaves and the light were all golden. They were flying behind the horse as it ran. The Messiah was hurriedly coming to get me to take me on a journey. I had no idea what that journey was, but I knew I had to go on it. And I was sad that I had to leave my family, but I knew that I had to go. And I was excited. So I went with Him. (I wrote a poem about it right after, and I shared both with the members and Annalise when I went to Girl’s camp)

As I have thought back on this dream many times, it has meant different things to me as I have grown. And I have finally come to realize that this is what that dream was telling me. I am on that journey right now. And, man, if I had had any idea then what I would be now. What I would be becoming, I would be so baffled. I would never have thought that I would be this close to the Savior. This close to Heavenly Father. It’s just… mind-blowing. And I am so very grateful to be here.

And we have two weeks left! It’s so crazy! I feel like I have gotten into a plateau as far as what I can do with my French. But, I am so so excited to get out there. My time on here is running out. I wish I could have said more. Sometimes the words that I think of in my head are so much better.

I thank you all for the support and love that you have for me! It’s the best feeling in the world to feel such support.

I love you!!

Weeeeek Three!

Hello!
 
So it is the third week here in the MTC, and it sure has been one filled with amazing things! Like the sun. Vitamin D!
 
Sister Witt and I just keep learning more and more how similar we are and how similar our goals are for our lessons and our mission. I don’t know if many of you knew that my primary goal for this mission is to love people like Christ would love them (I feel like I say it all of the time, so I’m sorry if I repeat all the time), but Sister Witt and I were talking one day and we figured out that we both want to do that above all else! She said the words exactly as I said them before I left to come here! It was then that I knew it definitely is no coincidence that we are companions. It was so relieving to hear.
 
Sister Bill (I don’t remember if I had mentioned her before, but she was our roommate when we moved in and was a Solo sister so she went around with us a lot. It felt like a tricompanionship, which was very awesome a lot of the time) left for New Caledonia on Sunday. Sister Witt and I and many other people were sad to see her leave, but it just made us all the more excited to leave on April 1st! The best April Fools I will probably ever have. Unless someone decides to send me a munchkin kitten and say that it isn’t a joke. But who knows.
 
Our whole district is so excited to get out there in France and be among the people. At this point, even though I’m not completely fluent, I feel almost ready. But I know that, as soon as I get out there, I will have to ask many times: “Repetez, s’il vous plait?” Just because they will probably speak at the speed of light. It will be awesome, though, I can already feel. I love French, though. It really is an awesome language, and I love speaking it and trying to sound like a frenchman.. Woman? Person?
 
Today is SUCH a beautiful day in Provo! It’s so sunny and warm, and I can’t wait until it is that way all of the time. Hopefully we’ll get to exercise outside before we leave. I want to run around on the grass! They have an indoor track here at the top of the basketball court, so that’s what Sister Witt and I do a lot of the time.
 
But yeah, I want to get some pictures to you all before I leave, so hopefully that will be possible. Maybe one or two of Sister Witt and I and maybe Sister Bill. The only computers capable of uploading photos are the computers in the laundry room, and you have to guard them like hawks.
 
There are so many people here from different countries, too! In our building, there is a Sister who is from France, knows English already, and is here to learn sign language. We eat with her and her companion sometimes, and it’s interesting to see them learning our language. Sister Witt and I were trying to figure out the equivalent to “bon appetite” in english. At first we couldn’t because you really don’t hear too many people saying “Good eating!” in english. But then we remembered that sometimes people say “Enjoy your food.” It’s fun realizing that we’re starting to forget some of the things in english.
 
We talked to a Elder from Finland today who is going to Germany. I really wanted to hear him speak Finnish, though (just like every American), so we asked him to speak Finnish to us. It was awesome and confusing at the same time. I had nothing really to compare it to in sound. Because you would want to say that it is like German, but nope. It had a lot of phonemes that I have never heard. Like a nasally thing in the back of the throat but also like gibberish. That would be cool to learn someday.
 
Only five minutes left! I wouldn’t say that I love the MTC, but I love the feeling here. It really is spiritually lifting, and I love feeling that way. And I know for sure that this is where I am supposed to be.
 
I opened randomly in the Bible during my personal study, and it opened to 1 Jeremiah Chapitre 1. That is when Jeremiah first became a prophet, and the Lord was telling him that he knew him even before he was in the womb, and that he was called from that point to serve. And to not feel like a child because the Lord is there for him, strengthening him because he has called him. And I realized that I was prepared for this calling even before I was a member of this church. I learned French in high school for these people I will meet and love in France. And it’s really so, so awesome. And humbling. And I love it. I am who I am because I was called from long ago. ūüôā I dunno, I’m not trying to preach. I just like sharing what I learn and stuff.
 
I love you all so much! I cannot emphasize that enough! Thank you for all the love and packages!
 
Love,
Sister MelissaSmith

Week Deux!

Hey everyone! All of the ones I love!
 
So it is week two now, and I feel like it has gone by pretty fast. The teachers and older missionaries all speak of a similar phenomenon where the days go by so slowly here, but the weeks go by so fast. It’s pretty true. I was so very ready for this P-Day, though. It comes at the exact time when you feel like you need a little break from all of everything that goes on here.
 
I love learning so much. I need to be a lot more diligent than I am, though, I feel.¬†They have very great ways in order to help learn the language (that word looks misspelled) here, and it really helps to take the stress off of¬†what you need to learn in the language. Because you want to learn every single word in the language, but that broad of a scale only overwhelms you and discourages you. My companion and my’s French is going pretty well. We both have pretty authentic French accents (others have said), and we’ve memorized a few things. It’s really fun to speak French. I just wish I knew so much more all of the time.
 
Oh!! And I forgot to say that, whenever we went to the French Consulate last week, we got a sneak peek at our itenerary for the upcoming April 1st will be! We leave out of Salt Lake at 11 on the 1st, fly into Chicago, then to London, then get into Lyon  at 11 their time (which is six hours ahead). But yeah, my whole district (the group of six companionships that are all going to Lyon) is very much looking forward to going to France and getting to know and love the people there.
 
It’s a very spiritual place here, which is pretty amazing. I feel lifted up by the Spirit so much more than I have at any other place. Sunday, we watched a wonderful talk by David A Bednar about focusing outward like the Savior did. He made it a point to outline that the character of Christ is: whenever we would naturally focus inward with self pity or selfishness for certain situations, the Savior would focus outward to lifting up those around him. It gave me a lot of strength and motivation that I specifically¬†needed¬†in that moment.
 
I should make it a point to write down more of what happened during the week so that I can have more cool stories and things for you all. I’ll work on that.
 
Soeur Witt is awesome, though. We are very much alike, and she helps me so much. Oh! And our whole district is wanting to try out to sing here at the MTC. I think it’s a process that not many people get very far in. Our Elders are great at singing Disney songs and High School Musical.. It’s pretty interesting that almost everyone in our district knows and loves every single Disney song ever made. I didn’t know that High School Musical was so great, haha. No, I will probably not ever be converted to loving High School Musical. It’s fun to laugh at them, though.
 
But our district works pretty diligently as a whole. It’s going to be really cool (cooler than cool, of course) to see how much the work in Lyon progresses when we all get there. There is just this huge wave of energy that I can feel coming, and it’s awesome.
 
We have two teachers that come for three-hour blocks during the days to come and help us learn what we need to learn. Soeur Scott is one of our teachers, and she served in the Geneva, Switzerland mission before it combined with the Toulouse, France mission, fusing into the Lyon Mission. She really cares for us a lot, and we all love her. Of course, her French is amazing, and we’re always learning so much with her. The other teacher is Frere Glenn. We all call him Pierre-Yves because we taught him before we knew he was going to be our teacher. He doesn’t look like a Glenn. He served his mission in Montreal, Canada. And, even though he only spoke French for the last quarter or so of his mission, his French is really amazing.
 
I really would like to hear from all of you! I will write you letters, just because there only is¬†30 minutes to use the email. You can also use Dearelder.com, though. It’s a pretty great resource to have for missionaries that are in the MTC.
 
We only have 3 full weeks left!! Crazy! There is still so much to learn, it feels. Heavenly Father will definitely help us out, though, which is a great gift. I love you all from the deep depths of my heart! (I’m trying to refrain from saying guys, just to get it out of my vocabulary. Weak vocabulary is lame.) I can’t wait to hear from you!!
 
Love,
Soeur Melissa Smith