Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Well hey y'all!!

Yeah, that's right. I just greeted you in "American Hick". You thought I was learning French? Well you were misinformed...

Life is awesome up here in Alma!! It is beautiful and gorgeous and stunning! Let me tell you a bit about this past week and a half!

We didn't end up going out to Rimouski last week, our plan got cancelled at the last minute by President Cannon. Which really isn't a huge deal, but we had already finished our shopping for the week, and had only bought a half a weeks worth of food... And our P-Day this week was on a Wednesday, so we had half a week of food for a week and a half of time. But we had some miracles, so we were all totally fooded up this week. We had a brunch last Saturday,with the Branch, it was our Branch Brunch, it was awesome! We had 6 investigators there! That was crazy awesome! But, one of our miracles was that all the extra food left over after the Brunch we got to take home and eat, so we had plenty of sausages and eggs and beans. And butter.

It has been so hot these last few days! The humidity is still killing me... About a week ago, I was sitting at my desk during study time and I thought to myself "You know, it's hot out, but it's not that bad. I can handle this, I must be getting used to the humidity!"! I was excited! But then this weekend I realized that I wasn't getting used to the humidity, there just was no humidity, and when the humidity came back, I died. It is just such a gross feeling to go to bed at night, sticky from the humidity, and wake up 8 hours later, stickier then when you went to sleep because it got more humid as the night went on. Not a good feeling...

There was a parade and some fireworks here in Alma a few days ago, and the fireworks started after our curfew, but luckily, we could see them from our windows in our apartment, so we took a break from planning and watched the fireworks.

Our investigator Roger is doing great! He had his baptismal interview yesterday and our district leader said he was good to go! So we will be preparing the baptismal service for the 28th in Alma here!! We are so excited for the ward to have a new member! And Roger is loved by all here in the ward! Hopefully his baptism will help our other investigators to see the blessing that baptism is and keep on the path of righteousness! We have met some people from some crazy places though! We had a guy from Sengal, and a family from Mali, and the branch presidents wife is from Belgium! Lots of diversity here, it's not like Sherwood Park at all...

We had splits this week, so Elder Stanley, our district leader went out with Elder Heder and I yesterday and that was super fun! It was great to get a chance to learn from other missionaries! Elder Heder said that splits are good for a few things, one is to learn things from missionaries that you want to do, and the other is to learn things from missionaries that you don't want to do. And to appreciate the things about your companion that you love. Check, check and check. I mean, I loved splits, but I will stick with Elder Heder thank you...

Today after we do all of our shopping and stuff we will be headed out with the Bouchard family in our branch to go pick Raspberries. I am so excited. The raspberries here are super famous, Lac-St-Jean region has lots of fruits. In 2 weeks the blueberries are ripe too. And the blueberries here are much more famous than the raspberries. One of the things that the Lac-St-Jeanians are super proud of their raspberries for is that they are blue all the way though. Not like store bought raspberries that are like, white on the inside. To be honest, I don't remember what the inside of blueberries look like, so for all I know they could be completely lying to me, but I trust them. For now. =)

I have gotten a few letters from people, and I will try my hardest to reply to them as soon as I can! I promise I haven't forgotten about you!

I think I will be starting to leave these emails with a spiritual thought. Just a little tid-bit of goodness and joy. Who can say no to a little more goodness and joy in their lives, right?!

3 Néphi 5:13

Voici, je suis disciple de Jésus-Christ, le Fils de Dieu. J'ai été appelé par lui pour annoncer sa parole parmi son peuple, afin qu'il ait la vie éternelle.

3 Nephi 5:13

Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.

I love this scripture. It applies so well to myself as a missionary. Well, all missionaries really! Whenever it gets hard to wake up at 6:30 every morning and exercise and study for four hours a day, and keep working every single day, I read this scripture. I have been called of God to declare his word among his people that they might have everlasting life. Yeah, I made a personal choice to come here and work, but truly, I have been called of God by a living Prophet to serve and to declare his word, to help people find everlasting life. That is why I am here as a missionary. Yes, I am here to help people in any way possible, but my main goal as a missionary is to baptize people. Why? Because it is only by baptism by immersion by those who hold the priesthood authority from God that anyone can be accepted into the courts of God and find everlasting life. What greater help can I give?

Is it just me, or does that firework not totally remind you of something starwars!?!

That one I just think is cool looking, and it reminds me of a green algae we studied in Biology, called Volvox. It was probably one of the coolest looking things we looked at. I suggest googleing a "volvox algae" and then comparing the pictures of the algae against the picture of the firework.

Oh, did I forget to mention in the email that Tinkerbell visited us this weekend? It was kinda cool, we flew off to Neverland for a few days, met the lost boys, fought some pirates... But we kept all the missionary rules, so it was OK!

This is a sunset here in Alma. Not the best picture, because there are a lot of houses that are in the way... But you kind of get the idea. I'm going to send a picture that Elder Heder took of a sunset in Chicoutimi. It's National Geographic good...

Monday, July 9, 2012

What? He actually sent some of the pictures he kept promising?

There are so many washers and dryers at the MTC. This is half of them

A picture I took on our Sunday Walk at the MTC. It was one of the few times we were allowed to leave the MTC boundaries, so we took advantage of it.

So we have these ID cards that are like our debit cards too at the MTC. Our weekly allowance was put on in, and we had to swipe it to enter any building, and to eat in the cafeteria. And... I may or may not have gotten mine stuck in the roof. A few times. But to be completely honest, it was always an accident! I never did it on purpose! Also, sometimes it fell down the heater in the classroom, so I had to wait for the teacher to leave the room, then I had to take the heater apart to get it out... I hope it works again come wintertime! =P

This is a picture of my district at the MTC. I used this picture because it is such a terrible picture of all of the Elders. The Sisters are fine. From left to right we have Elder Coulombe (from Chicoutami Quebec. I have met his family a few time actually!) Sister Hunstman, Elder Oviatt, Sister Hoover, (Tall one) Elder Baker, (Short one) Sister Gallego, and then our teacher Brother Matthews (I believe...)

President and Sister Cannon! Welcome to the CMM (Canada Montreal Mission)

My first moments meeting Elder Heder!

This was my first experience with Quebec Poutine. IT WAS ENORMOUS! All the missionaries said don't get a medium, you can finish it, but you will feel gross after. No. It's impossible to finish a medium. That was insane

The hail storm we had left so much hail! That picture only shows a very small spot on the lawn.

OK, that is how big these pieces of hail were. Like, ice cube sized! It was actually kind of scary, we were worried it was going to dent our truck...

Elder Heder and I made our own Poutine to celebrate Canada Day. It was good! But without cheese curds, it just wasn't quite right...

This is the view into the Quebec bay from the bridge over the waterfall.

The steps to the bottom of the waterfall.

Two of our Elders standing at the bottom of the waterfall. It was wet down there...

Like, everyone was soaking wet

These are the ice cream cones. I have already eaten a large portion of my cone, and Elder Heder got a small.

This is a sunset here in Alma. And to be honest, this is really not that pretty of a sunset. Usually they are bright red and orange and it looks like the sky is literally on fire... Ahhhh... I'll see if I can get a good picture here in this next week!

This guy is long winded

Ah! Bonjour mes amis! Comment ca va?

Man, it's a whole lot easier to speak in French then it is to write in French. Not that I can still really speak that well in French, but it's coming! I guess...
Let us see, what has happened in the last week? Well, last Monday Elder Heder and I drove 45 minutes to a town called Chicoutami, where we carpooled with the Elders there down to Quebec City for a Zone Study. There were 18 missionaries there and we spent the day at a big waterfall in Quebec, and then we played Ultimate Frisbee and went to a place called "Chocolate Favori" where they have these chocolate dipped cones that make DQ cones look like trash. The largest size (which is like, 6 bucks, but totally worth it) is like, 8 inches of ice cream above the cone, then dipped into your choice of milk or dark chocolate. And the chocolate they use there is so good. You get a nice thick coat of chocolate, and tons of ice cream. I got a medium and almost didn't finish it, just because the chocolate is so rich and the cone is so huge! I'll send some pictures of that.

Then after that we helped some missionaries move, then we slept over at our zone leaders apartment. That was not so fun. There were 6 of us, all piled in this room, because rules say you have to sleep in the same room as your companion, and we just had a whole bunch of mattresses on the floor. None of us slept that well that night. Then we had our Zone study the next morning, and President Cannon showed up after a three hour drive from Montreal that he would have had to leave at 6 AM to have made it on time to. Man, he is an awesome President! Then we drove home Tuesday afternoon and did more missionary stuff in the evening. We had a few lessons and did some more tracting. Good times were had by all.

I had my first Dinner Appointment last night! Elder Heder and I went to our Branch Presidents house for supper and to talk to him about the branch and stuff. He lives about 40 minutes away, so it was a long drive, but it was super pretty. This whole place is just gorgeous! The sunsets here are absolutely amazing, like, you don't even understand. Life is good here though, Elder Heder and I are spending lots of time teaching lessons and finding people, and the French here is super funny. Sometimes at doors where an elderly person lives, they will start to talk to us, and Elder Heder and I will just look at each other and neither of us will have any idea of what the person just said. So we just say yes then bare our testimonies of something. 8] We still have our investigator who is preparing for Baptism, and he is still trucking along, doing very well!

Oh! This next week, I need to tell everyone now or else I will forget, I wont be sending my email on Monday, because we are having a special district study where President and Sister Cannon are coming up to talk to us, it should be good, but we have to move our P-Day to Wednesday just so we don't miss any email time because the meeting is going to be on Monday. And this week should be exciting! Tuesday we are going on exchanges with our district leader, who lives in Rimouski. Which is about 6ish hours away from here, so we will be leaving Tuesday morning. At 4 AM at the latest. Because we have to catch a ferry and that leaves at 9, and we have to be there at or before 8:00 as the parking space on the ferry is a first come first serve basis, and we need to get across the great waters. And so that means that today, we have our P-Day, and then we have a dinner appointment at 6, then as soon as we are done with that we will be coming home to go to bed. We get to mess around with the mission rules a little bit! Hehe, were such Mauvais Garcons (tough Guys)!!

Anyways, I Love you all, and am trying my absolute hardest out here to be obedient and to serve the Lord with all my heart, might, mind and strength! I love hearing from everyone, so if you feel so inclined to send me a letter, I would love that! I mean, I'm not saying that I am going to cry myself to sleep if no one sends me anything, because I sure hope that I am over that stage of my mission... But seriously, I'd love to hear from everyone and anyone!

I love you all, and you are all in my prayers!


Elder Austen Oviatt

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Wet Week

Hey all! How's life back in Not Quebec? I was kind of sad this week thinking about everyone not in Quebec when no one here did ANYTHING for Canada Day yesterday! It was sad to not see any kids running around with their faces painted with not so quality Canadian flags and maple leafs... But, to celebrate, Elder Heder and I made a home made Poutine Saturday night. It wasn't actually too bad! And Courtney, Both of our hands are completely unscathed. The Poutine here in Quebec is insane though... I have a whole bunch of pictures that I need to send you guys, but I keep forgetting my camera cord. Oops! This week has been crazy! We have been having Super hot moments ( an hour, or just 45 minutes) Then Thunderstorms for about the same about of time. For the past 4 days it has been like this! Just sun, then rainstorms, then sun, then thunder, then sun, then HAIL!! I was in the biggest, longest hailstorm of my life! It was so cool! The storm came on instantly! We were out doing service for a member in the ward, then it started to rain, and by the time we walked from the back of his backyard to his house, it was a torrential rain, and we were almost soaked. Then, like 30 seconds later, it started to hail. Just small at first, but then huge hail! It got to the point where the hail was as big as an ice cube! I have pictures of that too. And it was raining so hard! And the water was flowing in the gutters about 3 or 4 feet from the sidewalk, and then, almost instantly, it was stopped and the sun was out and the water was gone and the hail had melted... it was so weird! Anyways, life is good here, we have been teaching a lot, and tracting a lot. Elder Heder is a good trainer, and has been making me do lots of the talking, which is super hard, because you have to use very formal language when speaking to people you don't know, and so instead of saying 'Tu' Which is 'you' you have to say 'vous' which is basically the same thing, just polite. But you have to conjugate everything to Vous instead of Tu, so that changes everything about how you speak. I still have major issues remembering to do the switch over, but that's OK. We have an investigator with a baptismal date of the 28th, so hopefully he follows through with everything! He is a super awesome guy named Roger, and everyone in the branch loves him and is super excited for him. Oh! Tell Brittany that I have joined Ted's side, and Nylon is quickly becoming my favorite... If she doesn't understand that, tell her to email me. But she should know. Oh! They have the most amazing sunsets here in the world. You should all be jealous! Uh, what else. Oh! Today I'm headed down to Quebec City for a zone study, we will be coming back tomorrow evening, so hopefully that is fun? I have no idea what to expect though, so it should be good no matter what!

Anyways, thats about it for this week!

Love y'all!

Elder Austen Oviatt