Sunday, August 31, 2014

Change of Address - This is correct one and report from first Pday in first area in Paris

Yes my address is 2 Rue du Lieutenant Ohresser 94130 Nogent sur Marne France. Yes were are the only apartment on the street, all the rest is shops. I have to say I hated it here for a couple days, its dirty and gross, not like the places you see in the pictures. Nogent is the nicest area in the district. and we are in the nicest place in nogent, and our apartment was build 1900, the walls are chipping off paint, and there is no heater, and the water never gets hot. so no hot showers in the morning. It took me awhile to get used to waking up here and not in the US, and there were a lot of tears shed this week. But one day I just was praying and asked HF to give me one experience that would make me feel at home here, its so foreign. Well that day he answered it 10 fold. I wont go into details because im on a french keyboard and its super hard to type, but i found your letter that you put in the Family history book and it made me feel so much better, ever since i have been loving Nogent. The people are the uberest french you've ever met. I mean its like hollywood hilarious. I have finally started to appreciate each moment I have here, and since realized its been an extremely humbling experience. To see the way these people live is crazy. i mean it is so dirty and so sketch some of the places we go to teach. like i would not be here without this badge. its the surrounding towns we go into for rendez-vous with our amis that sketch me out. once there was a guy snorting drugs on one side and on the other a huge african that looked so so so scary, but yeah the RER man, its sketch. I met the ward and we've had some Psych worthy stories already my life is full of crazy stuff that happens everyday. My first night we went to the ghetto of ghettos here in Paris, and we all teach AFRICANS mom, ive never seen people so black before its crazy, but yeah thats all we teach. and she fed us african food that was so stinking spicy it was crazy! even the water was spicy! haha i was dying and my compaion was like dont eat the salad dressing... as im pouring it over my salad... ahhh it was the spiciest thing my mouth was on fire.... ahh it was bad, but hilarious. then we went and did service for this family who just had a baby and we iron their clothes for her. oh kay she said that the iron was made in the states, but ive never seen a contraption quite like that. I mean is was like i worked at a factory and was ironing at a dry cleaners and then she told me how to work it all in french, so obviously i didnt understand a thing, ah it was hilarious, so shes from Ile de Reunion. right next to madagascar so she fed us lunch right... no mom it was the worst thing ever, the chicken was chinese for some reason so i could down that, but the dessert was the worst she bought these things specially for us, and i dont know how to explain it except for it was hash brown potatoes with molasses curry blood vessels and sage. that was ligit the dessert... i've eaten some wierd crap here already... these africans mom they will be the death of me.. but all in all we thanked here for the meal and for everything, and went on our way. the next day we did service for this family who moved homes and they were re doing it so we painted windows for her, and shes straight french like frenchiest of french. and we had quiche for dessert that was chcocolat bottom and then egg, then bananas, wierd, but honestly the best thing ive had all week. 
OK, my companion is straight from Tahiti. her name is Soeur Tupai, she speaks French natively obviously. so she went to the madrid mtc for two weeks, never been to the US. the language was uber hard and i have no idea what anyone is saying 1/2 the time, but she does so thats nice. The tahitians have a different accent almost spanish when they speak french though because they roll their "R" not gurgle it so shes trying to make sure i dont start rolling my R because its bad french. but the members complimented my on my french and that uber french woman said i have a really good accent YAY!! i died out of happiness. Oh ok so the people in Nogent are all either Parisian (the frenchiest of french you can get or african) its wierd, but the ward mission leader told me "you know all the cliche french things, that you will soon see come to life in Nogent" hahaha hes right, they have a fresh market every tuesday thursday and saturday here and only one small "safeway" idk what its actual name is. yeah so eveyone is always carrying their bags with all their french produce and meat, with a fresh long bagette in hand. no joke i see it the most here. 
Yes it is super foreign, but i love it our amis are awesome and we are learning a lot every day its like a huge slap in the face from the world what i see. Everyone says they can tell im new because i have a sense of innocence in my eyes, even the members see it. But with time i think it will leave, another blessing that has happened is with the members. i guess before i was here they didnt ever have rendez-vous with members because nobody wanted to , but now weve already had 3 or 4 familys call and set up appointments and the family we did windows for ask if we could come again this week, which has never happened before, s tupai says its because of me, for some reason they actually like me here, i think its just because im american and not from utah.. and i dont know much french so they think im like some faith giant for coming here when im only 19 and so young hahahaha its pretty funny, they all want to teach me french and their ways, ah anyway we are going into paris for pday because we have Navigos we can go anywhere in paris on pday because its raining today we are going to the Louvre. Im goin to see mona. haha love you all so so so much and im always thinking of you and wishing sometimes i could be in clean oregon, but i love it here and there is much work to be done, so i will leave you with this! LOVE YOU!!!!
Soeur Stevens

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Ashley has been assigned to her first area!
This is just East of the City Center of Paris- 

Sister Ashley Noelle Stevens
33, rue Maximilien Robespierre
Fontenay Sous Bois, 94 94120


Saturday, August 9, 2014

P DAY Letter July 29th ( with excerpts from July 25th letter)

     Hi there! This week on Sunday we were finally allowed to watch movies! They play four different church movies every Sunday and you can pick to go to one you want. So this week we went to Legacy which was good. We had an amazing devotional as well, ots of good insights. I finished ‘Our Heritage’ -awsesome book which gave me an extraordinary testimony of the Resoration ( le resstablisement en francais).  
     The Lord is seriously watching over you adn blessing us all. I know that He is blessing you all and it makes me so happy. Last night I woke up like three times, and each time the spirit told me I needed to go to the temple ASAP in the morning to do initiatiories. SO in the morning my companion and I woke up, I told her about it and we got ready as soon as we could, grabbed a granola bar and headed to the temple. When we got there the sign said, “women needed for initatory today”( its never said that, they are always looking for men) So we went in and did a bunch this morning and the spirit was so strong. I really feel like these women were needing it for something, they needed their work to be done. I’ve never had such strong spititual promptings before, but when we do, if we follow them the more they come and the more we learn adn are blessed. This week has been an answer to my prayers. 
     Thank you so much for your support and motivating words, it really helped, my companion is doing way better at the language. She’s really trying and growing tremendously. Its amazing to see someone learn a language. We are learning more tenses and its getting harder. They are slowly taking away our notes, and things and making us speak and rely on ourselves for the French. Its so hard sometimes, but everyday we see improvement and when everyone you surround yourself with is trying to speak it too, you learn and grow so much. I bought a ‘ 333 most common French verbs conjugated in 13 tenses’  book, lol, but its come in handy many times over. I love that stinking book. 
(July 25th letter) 
     Some good scriptures- Alma 26: 11-12, 42:15 We just finished teaching another lesson. It was really good. Today I learned that if you ever pray for a bettering characteristic, the Lord will give you that trial. So through Him, you may grow. Before my mission, I prayed for patience. My companion has been my answer to that prayer. Only with grown patience, and charity could we work together. My faith in God has grown immensely since i've been here. Thank you for your prayers for Soeur Erickson, her growth is insane. She's doing amazingly well!
    Every day here is a glimpse of eternity, and the more I learn the more I know how much I don't need to know. I just need faith. In Alma 26:27, Ammon is about to leave because of all the persecution he's receiving, but the Lord tells him "bear thine afflictions with patience and I will give you success". I know this mission will be very hard with these people, but His  life was not easy and His name I bear everyday. Life was never meant to be easy, but with the Lord we can be happy through it. 
     Loving the mission, love to all, 

Soeur Stevens