Oh man, I don’t even know where to start there is so much I could tell you all. This first week has been crazy! I kind of feel like I started my mission over again. Everything is so new. I will never forget stepping off the plane last Tuesday and reading everything in french, listening to everyone speak french, having no clue where I was and thinking what have I just done?? But man I really am loving it.
Everyday I am so tired and I pass out every night. I feel like I just got done running a marathon every night when I come home. I am learning and my trainer has helped me so much. Her name is Sister Hinkson. She is from California, she recently graduated from BYU and she is 21 years old. I love her and and I am learning so much from her. She is so patient with me and so willing to help me with anything and everything. She helps me a lot with the french.
My first day after arriving to the mission home was crazy. Right after I met my companion we left to go teach a lesson to an investigator, Geraldine. I was so overwhelmed! It was so hard for me to understand what she was saying, she seemed to talk so fast. Wow, but did I ever feel so much love for her. The second I walked into her house she just embraced me in the biggest hug. She is Haitian. She has experienced a lot in her life, but she feels so blessed. She told us there is no way there isn’t a God for all she has been blessed with in her life. We call her a golden investigator because she is so excited to learn and already has a strong testimony of God and our Savior. I am excited to see her progression these next few weeks. I will never forget being able to bear my testimony in that first lesson we taught her. This literally happened just one hour after finding out where I would be serving on my first day.
We also had another cool experience the other day as we went to contact a referral we recieved. They were not home, but as we were leaving a guy from his balcony starts yelling at us in french asking if we believe in Christ and God. We literally are yelling our testimonies to this man from the street. Finally we invite him down and start teaching him a little and give him a Book of Mormon. He is Muslim and has a lot of questions about religion. He soon discovers my french isn’t the best and starts talking in english with me…ha! Almost everyone here speaks two languages or three sometimes. Anyway, he starts asking why I am here and why am I not married. He was pretty confused why I would choose to be a missionary rather than get married. He told me I am doing something good and it is one of the most important things I could be doing. I just stood there shocked. Wow, just at that moment I realized that I am a missionary, I am a disciple of Christ and people are watching me. He seemed interested so hopefully we will be able to teach him later this week. He kind of started hitting on me at the end of our conversation so hopefully he doesnt do that again…ha!
Yesterday, when I attended church I once again felt very overwhelmed. First, I sat in ward council where everyone was conversing in french. I just sat there and smiled. I was asked to introduce myself and bear my testimony for Sacrament meeting. I think I almost fainted right there. I felt it went really well. I just hope they could understand me. The ward is so friendly and almost everyone speaks english too. They help me when I don’t understand. Also, I have never been hugged so many times in my life. I am not really the most touchy person, but wow I could not help, but hug all of them. Well, you know just the sisters of course…ha! I guess our ward loves the missionaries. The members in the ward pretty much feed us every night. Our area is huge. The members are so excited and willing to help with the work which makes me so excited.
The other night we ate with the family of one the counselors in the bishopric. They had a lot of family over at their house who were not members and were atheist. It became a little awkward as we started talking about religion. I have never felt the spirit so strong as Sister Hinkson and I shared a message at the end of the dinner. The room became so silent and the grandpa who had been saying some rude things about God just stopped. I could feel the power of the spirit in that moment and I know everyone else felt it too. My love for their family grew so much that night. We are going back Saturday to teach their son, Daniel. He is 19 and stopped going to church a few years ago. I am excited to teach him and he is excited to help me with my french.
It is kind of funny, but I am actually writing this letter at a mall. I am sitting next to the H&M store. I really want to go shopping…ha! The mall is located by the town of Longueuil. My first area is called Lemoyne. It is a large geographic area. I am so happy and I feel so much love for the people here. This first week has definetly been really hard and discouraging at times but, I know my Savior is there for me and is helping me every step along the way. I love you all!! You are all in my prayers.
Love always, Soeur Hunt
Pres. and Sister Patrick with me and Sister Hinkson