Monday, June 25, 2012

People Actually Live That Far North?

Okie-Dokie! It's Weekly update time!! Let me tell you all about the life of Elder Austen Oviatt!

I arrived in Montreal about 4PM on Tuesday, and spent the night at the Mission home with the 5 other missionaries who came in with me. They are all super awesome people, but none of us were ready for the humidity here. WHOA! The second we stepped off the plane, BAM, we were just all, humid and sticky and gross. Anyways, Pres. and Sis. Cannon are super awesome, and I'm glad to have gotten a chance to eat their food between the MTC and our own missionary meals. Then, Wednesday, we had our orientation meeting and President went and picked our areas.

I have been sent to Alma Quebec, the furthest away area in the mission. I had to take a 3 hour bus ride from Montreal to Quebec, then a 3 hour drive from Quebec up to Alma. The people here are 100% French. I have met 1 or 2 people who speak English, and then it's broken English. I am able to understand them all, minus a few old people who talk to fast and with such slurred French that I doubt most of the people who speak french can understand them. But It's super fun here. The weather has been super hot and humid, but with a nice light breeze to keep us cool as we tract.

My Companion is named Elder AUSTIN LEE Heder. Crazy, right!?!?! What are the chances of that!!?? He is from Pleasant Grove Utah and has only been out on his mission for 12 weeks, or two transfers. That is basically the minimum amount of time that a missionary can be out before he is allowed to train, and even then, he is basically still a greenie himself. We are doing well though, eating well and working very hard. I'm falling asleep all the time, still trying to conquer the habit I started for myself of sleeping in class. I totally got busted on Sunday by the sister teaching the Sunday School Lesson. It was funny...

I am starting in the same area that Elder Kastendick started, so all the members here go crazy when I tell them that I was friends with him before we were both out here. And as for members, there are only 10. 10 members in a branch that covers basically the entire northern half of Quebec. And they are slightly old too... I believe the youngest member is about 60, 65? But there are lots of investigators and we are working very hard all day every day getting out and knocking on doors and teaching lessons. Everyone in the branch is super awesome though.

Last night we had to be indoors by 6:00 PM because it was Le Fete de St. Jean-Baptiste, which is like Quebec's own national holiday, so we went to the Bouchards house at 7 after teaching some lessons, and they "made us a snack" and I think we ended up eating more than we did at supper. But the Bouchards are super awesome, and basically are the ward mission leaders, they have investigators over every chance they can get to help us out. I think that have been on... Sis Bouchard has been on 4 and Brother Bouchard has been on 3? But two from each were with each other as a couple. OH! Best news of all, our mission has a car. Actually, that's a lie. It's a truck! A little Chevy Colorado, short bed truck, midnight blue. It's pretty awesome... I don't know if it has a name yet, but Elder Heder and I will probably name it here soon.

Back to the mission. It is super hot here. And with the humidity it's even worse. I've never been a person who has sweat drip down my body, but it does here. Alot. It's gross. Trust me. I can't believe I have already been gone for almost a month! Isn't that a bit crazy?! Time flies when you're serving the Lord I guess!

Oh, everyone here has a swimming pool. Everyone. It's ridiculous considering in the winter they will get like +5 feet of snow! But it also makes things a little awkward at doors, lots of times (because like the ward, the town is populated by a mostly older people. There are still lots of young people, but mostly older) people will stand with only their heads showing out the door because they are in their bathing suits. Or even worse, sometimes they just open the door. It just works really well for making things awkward, a nice, older, well sized woman in a bathing suit... I am glad I am up here though, because one of the missionaries I was talking with said that his first area was Chicoutame (just about 40 minutes away from us, and where Elder Coulombe was from), and he never saw anyone he was attracted to, then he got transferred to Montreal and he said there are attractive women everywhere. I think it would be super hard for a new missionary to have to learn how to be a missionary while having to deal with lots of hotties who are all scantily clad thanks to the temperature and the humidity.

Anyways, The time has come to go shopping, so I must say farewell! I have lots of pictures and will send them next week, I just forgot my cord for my camera today. Friends, I have things to tell you, write me.

I love you all so much!


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Back in Canada

Hey Guys!

I'm safe and sound in Montreal!! We arrived at around 5 their time and we are just meeting with President and Sister Cannon right now!! Love you all!!

Elder Austen Oviatt

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Short but Sweet

Man, life sounds awesome out in good ol' Ca-nay-duh!
Life is good here at the MTC though, I got to host the new missionaries this week, which means, show them where their classroom is and their residence. it was fun, but I skipped a class to do it and my teacher wasn't super impressed... =) Oops! I saw Mark Hillman, and Sean Court and a few others that I know well! it's weird seeing all thses people at the MTC!! But so good to know that there are still so many good elders out therre. My companion actually had Elder Joe Kastendick as a missionary in his ward before he shipped out! I tought that was pretty cool!! Anyways, I am out of time!! I love you all, and thank you for your prayers and your letters and your thoughts!! And know that I am thinking about you all in my prayers!
Elder Austen Oviatt!

(Austen is leaving the MTC on Tuesday so if you have sent him any letters that may arrive after that date they will be forwarded to his new address. Once I get his new address Ill let everyone know)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Week Two: Being the District Leader for 6 is Really Hard Work

Hey Everyone!

DL is weird, I have to conduct interveiws with all the senior companions in my district (there is one companionship, and technically I'm the senior companion) But I'm just going to interview the other two elders. I also authorize temporary exchanges for like, gym class and stuff, but it has to be within the district, so I don't have anything to do there becasue again, one companionship. It is a fun calling though, I had to conduct a meeting on Tuesday after a devotional we had with Marlin K. Jensen and there were 19 people in our room that has troulbes fitting 7 of us. Well, it's not that hard for us all to fit in the class, but with 19 of us in our class, we were litterally touching sides and the front of the desks were touching the backs of desks. My district auditioned to perform a special musical number, singing/playing Nearer My God to Thee. I'm on Piano, Sis. Gallego is singing Sis Hoover is singing/violin Sis Huntsman is singing/flute Elder Coulombe is singing/chello and Elder Baker is singing/violin. It was super fun to do and we threw it all together in less than a day. Between all our classes! I need email addresses from people! I want to hear from Dallin and Deanna and Courtney and Carly and Jones/Brock! I mean, everyone else I want to hear from too, but those are just a few names that are coming to mind right now!!

I have everything in english. even church meetings, so learning the french is difficult, I have to take time out of my study time and my prep time for lessons to learn french too, but I'm memorizing scriptures in french and teaching in french, so I'm getting better everyday, thanks to some heavenly help though, thats for sure. And Elder Coulombe and Elder Baker. They're helping too. I've bumped into Sean Court (he legally has to go by Mercredi here) quite a few times, and he is doing well, and Courtney, I've been hanging out with Elder Clawson alot too. Anyways, I have 30 seconds left on the computer!

I love you all so much, and I will see you in two years!!!!!

Avec L'amour,

Elder Oviatt

Friday, June 1, 2012

Week One (aka Day 3!)

Hey Kaycee!

Friday is my P-Day, so I will be sending emails on Fridays while at the MTC. So far it has been a mixed experiance while being here... The days are so long, but pass by so quickly. It is a very strange feeling. I have been here for less than 3 days, but it already feels like I have been here for 3 or 4 weeks. But also, I feel like I haven't learned a whole lote yet, even though I have learned so much already. I have two awesome companions named Elder Benjamin Baker who was Born in Japan, and has lived in Japan, China, Paris and the US. He is White, not Japaneese. And he is going to the Congo speaking French. My other companion is Elder Guillaum Coulombe who is from Qu├ębec! He is off to the France Lyons mission. We share a room with two Elders who are going to missions in Germany, Elder WIlliamson and Elder Merkley. I really don't know anything about them because we are in different districts, so we don't spend any time together other than bed time and getting ready in the morning. They are both super awesome dudes though. Let's see.... When I showed up, I was placed in the 9 week program, but after talking to my teacher for about 3 minutes, he decided to talk to the french language assesor to see if they could put me in the advanced class. I was then moved into the advanced class. Which is super awesome, because like I said, time moves so... strangly here, but it is also quite difficult because of the language issue! Everything in the advanced class is in english. EVERYTHING. If I had stayed in the 9 week program then I would have had sacrament meeting in French, and my classes in French, and my meetings in french, and my interviews in French, but now I have to take time from my personal study time to learn church words in French because I don't know any French words. Although, I feel already that I know enough that I could have a conversation without too many issues about church things. My District consists of my class. That's it. Most districts are a bit larger than that, but not ours. Also, my class has 6 people in it. My companions and I, and the trio of Sister Missionaries who are all in the advanced program for their languages as well. Sister Hoover is going to France Paris, and Sister Huntsman is going to France Paris (both french speaking, actually, so far we are all speaking french) And then Sister Gallaygo who is going to the netherlands speaking Dutch. They are all cool, and I love them all so much! We had our meetings with the Branch President yesterday, and I was called as the district leader, but they haven't done any training or anything, so I really don't know what this position entails. Apparently I am in charge of collecting the mail for our district? Anyways, I don't have any more time, so I will write again next week! I would like to say thanks to everyone who sent me letters or cards on my open house, they were greatly appreciated and I treasure them all!! =]

Avec l'amour,

Elder Oviatt

Love you guys!