Sunday, November 16, 2014

I'm Back!

Who ever thought this day would come? Not I, said the Little Red Hen. And let me tell you it was weird. Starting with weekly planning because I'm still not over it. Two hours into weekly planning, Elder Erickson calls and says, Sister Hutchins. I'm so sorry. The only way for us to get you to Lyon before your plane leaves on Tuesday morning is for you to take a train up Saturday morning and spend the weekend in Lyon. To which I responded, I hate you. 
Turns out I was fine and found another train I could take. I had a great day at church. I only wish I had more time with those wonderful people. They are fabulous, all. May or may not have forgotten to tell them I was leaving until I bore my testimony in Sacrament meeting. Oops.
Anyhow. I flew home and it was less stressful than I ever imagined it. I kind of just sat there in a bit of a stupor, not being able to function like a normal human. I finally got home at 19h in Providence, RI. I carried my bags full of rocks and scriptures down the escalator and there they were. Approximately three feet taller then when I left them. 
I was famished and so we went to Wendy's. Love the JBC.

I had an interview and was released by my father. Then I went and took a long, hot shower where the shower head was above me. I didn't cry too much, but I think it's because it doesn't feel real. The mission is the realest thing you will ever feel. Normal life is dull comparatively. It's not hard to see why RMs go inactive. Je suis paume. Sorry for the lack of accents, but I have an english keyboard now. I feel so out of place and I don't know what to do with myself. So day one, I raked the lawn until my hands bled. Then I mowed the rest of it with a ride on lawn mower. This is my lawn and house if you can see it.
Day two my mother took me shopping to get a phone. I pay for it myself and it has internet access. She left me alone for a while so I tried to go through some old boxes of stuff I have, but promptly gave up. We went to Five Guys for lunch and I got a new toothbrush. I learned the Party Rock dance. Thank you, YouTube. And I played some basketball. My dad brought me home stuff for a rootbeer float.
Friday I went to the temple. I left really early to get to a session at 10am. It snowed. But the trees were beautiful. Kind of like these ones. 

Then I got to the temple late because I got lost in Boston. But then I saw people from Montreal (their temple is closed for mold) so I could speak French with them, I saw my aunt, Becky. Then I saw a bunch of people from my home stake. So that was a miracle. 

Then all day Saturday, I drove my brothers and two kids in the ward and three nonmember friends to Boston again for EFY for a day activity. I hung out with my mom and read the scriptures and put pictures on Facebook during the day. Some of my sister's friends found me and spouted off facts about me and took this picture to send to her. 

Then I committed my brother's friend to baptism during the dance portion that I went to. All in all, a good night. Sunday I gave a talk and my family came to visit and skyped Carolyn Carter and my BFF Lauren and my sister Hannah and my brother Derek. There you have it. Love.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Elder Hutchins
French. I thought I would never come up with enough of these, mais voila. Our ami Raphael told us this week that the French are really feminine, which is why they are so into style and art over comfort and fun (cough cough, America). Those are his words, not mine. But I testify of their truthfulness.

We had a GLORIOUS week. It always feels good to be in your sector and have things happen. (Glorious is a word I learned from Elder Kearon. I like it a lot). 

We went to a natural park last p day called L'Esterel-with beautiful red rocks and blue ocean. The pictures do not do them justice. I wanted to climb all over the rocks. But I made myself wear a skirt so I wouldn't be as tempted.

L'Esterel National Park

This week we dragged Akima around with us to visit some members. It's good because she has no job or anything and so she just sits at home and thinks of really bad ideas. So I decided to occupy her. Hehehe. Never have Sister Hutchins occupy you. I literally made her run around like a hooligan all day. But she was tired and it worked.

She also got to teach Raphael with us. That was good. We taught the plan of salvation. Akima didn't understand very much because she is Portuguese and has only been here a year, but in the middle she just testified of the BOM. Raphael had a lot of questions answered. He says we are his ray of sunshine in the week and that our visits give him the force to keep going. I say the Spirit is here. We are promising you a lifetime of this. What joy!

Lion King-Get It?
The Carpios and we had a great rdv where we taught about the sabbath day. They invited us to their concert and promised to come. They were so close! They came via train and waited for a long time for a bus that never showed up. Progress though.

We had great other visits with Sœur Delval and Lapierre, encouraging them to give out a dedicated BOM, like the ward mission plan says. They're both wonderful sweet older ladies that work so hard despite their loneliness.  

We also saw Sandra and Tongi finally and had a wonderful, spirit filled rdv. They fixed some goals and made some serious progress. 

We had dinner and rcm with the Perez couple, the missionaries, and our amis Raphael and Vanessa. I loved it.

Ok, here's the good stuff. Elder Kearon came this week. We had a zone conference with half of our mission and it was glorious. He taught us some good things, but I loved his emphasis on energy. Rising to a new sense of commitment. Scratch and bite. Have fun. Be happy. I like those things because I know they are true. 

These past few weeks have been a very interesting experience for me. I kind of took a step back and analyzed in spiritual moments what was happening. I feel glowy. I feel like my whole mission, I've been crammed full of light and love and all things good. I literally can't contain it. It just flows out of me from a never-ending source as I teach and testify and smile and laugh. It feels glorious.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

On Vacation

French Fact: It's really bizarre to travel long distances. Driving even 30 minutes is literally the biggest hassle in the world. That being said, members of the Church are slowly killing this cultural norm through youth activities, temple trips, and stake conférences. Normally if you drive more than an hour, you're on vacation, and you stay there for a week, au moins.

Why would this be relevant? You may ask. Let me tell you. Last pday, after playing tennis at the Perez family's court and emailing, Sœur Staples and I took a train to Montpellier, leaving at 13h and arriving at 18h. We started an exchange with our STLs. Sœur Francis and I visited Fanny, one of the most wonderful recent converts ever, who's stuggling a bit right now. She's a delightful human and we were able to bring some light and revitalization into her life. 

The next day, we visited a woman currently studying to be a pastry maker. No complaints there-we were well snacked. 

We also stopped by an African lady who is now engaged for baptism! In between there we were yelled at on a tram and then hit on by a different guy. Missions are fun. 

We ended by having a short rdv with a member who now has some cool activities planned with his friends. 

Also, since I have no problems in my life, Sœur Francis just asked me questions and delved into the neverending pockets of wisdom that I possess. They're actually a myth, but we don't tell anyone.

We then rejoined our collègues and Sœur Staples and I headed to Bordeaux. Yep, there it is. Again. Sœur Clark said that a sister had to bribe a guy at the airport about 200 euros to get home and she doesn't want me to do that. I said, well no worries, I'll just have to stay in France till it's done. She didn't like that. Neither did President Roney. They told me to go to BDX and stay there until I was legal. 

So I did. We went to the prefecture first thing Wednesday morning and they told me to fill out a form and they would contact me shortly. I explained that I had doubts about that because I'd actually already filled out the form. They said do it anyways. So I did. Then we waited. We did our studies. We worked. I saw Sonia who is back on the baptism track. I saw Justine at Institute. And I dropped by the Jouault's house to grab the keys from the sisters so we could get into their apartment and they told us to sit down and eat with them. I said OK. Again, no complaints. They're wonderful. Frere Jouault and I just make fun of each other the whole time. I felt bad infringing on Sœur Swenson's and Sœur Pape's rdvs, but not too bad.

Thursday we did studies and kept checking my email to see if the prefecture would send me anything. Nothing. So we went out the Gradignan. There, we had a much needed visit with the Lerbschers. They also fed us on the spot. Then we did some porting and found some less actives. And we went back to check my email and turns out my carte de séjour was done in July, but no one wanted to tell me. We met the sisters coming home from a visit with the Lancelots and also profited from the extra food she gave the sisters for us.

Friday we went to the district meeting there since we missed ours. My comp had her first kebab. She now understands. And we went to the prefecture between 130 and 245, the only time you can pick this card up. Unfortunately, we were in a long line of unprepared people and it took a while and we missed the one straightshot train to Cannes by ten minutes. So we did the next best and went halfway back, and spent the night in Carcassonne. 

The next morning, we took the first train back to Cannes at 1230 and arrived at 630pm. I also paid for that myself since the office forgot the day before and Saturday is their pray. 

Finally, we returned to our own sector where the sun is always shining and I don't have to wear a sweater. We saw Akima and the Carpios before the night was over. Both are struggling.

At Church, however, we had a great day. Everyone missed us even though we didn't tell anyone. Raphael came to all three hours of Church and brought Akima and her kids. Sandra and Tangi came. The Elders had a few amis there as well. And it was just a really good day. It's so wonderful to be back in our sector. 

We are planning on double timing it even more than before. Splits and blitzes are all chez nous from here on out. And since I'm Sister Hutchins, people literally do whatever I ask. I think it's weird, but I'm not complaining. Have a monster of a week. Love.