It's 2014! I'm old! But I'm alive! Despite having no heat in our apartment for three (!) days last week. Yerp. It. Was. Cold. Actually, to be a little less vague, things here got down to a toasty -39F last week....For any of you who can't even begin to comprehend what that means, I will translate: it. was. unbearably. frigid. Like 5 pairs of fleece-lined tights, two pairs of leggings, many socks, boots, toe-warmers shoved in boots, all covered by wool skirt kind of cold. Yeees. It got so bad that we had to move-in with some other sisters - which was actually really fun. So it's all good. We had a little New Years Fete (I know I don't have the accents, but I can't worry about those things at a time this); we poured some bubbly, shoved grapes in our mouths and made wishes (apparently its what all the cool kids down south do nowadays), popped some poppers, jumped around and sang some really delightful, really off-key French drinking songs. Happy 2014! I also made sure to shove everyone full of lentils, and took time to bathe my visage with apple water. So it should be a good year.
We spent New Years Day with one of our investigators and ate traditional Haitian/French soup. You should look up the recipe. It's independence soup - with squash and stuffs. You'd like it.
Actually, this last week we were celebrating all over the place. I turned 22! :( But it was ok. My district threw me a wonderful party with the most exquisite blood orange praline cake. It was really very beautiful. And it was procured at the most amazing bakery! If anyone wants to visit, I'll take you there. It's called Rococo and I discovered it last week.
Oh, so - we teach an English class every Friday night. Well, last Friday night, we didn't teach. The other missionaries taught, but while we were at another lesson, we got a text from an unknown number inviting us to lunch the next day. After a little back and forth, we realized it was one of our English students. He invited us to meet his family and eat Moroccan couscous together. It was very unexpected, and a little strange because English class is supposed to be completely non-religious service. It takes place in the church building, but we are not allowed to talk about religion. And we also felt a little strange talking about religion with this lovely Muslim family. But they were totally into it! We talked a lot about both of our faiths, and they were really kind. They were also very surprised and touched to learn more about what we were doing in Canada as missionaries. The mother became teary-eyed as she explained that she didn't think there were other people like us in the world. Though they are probably not going to join the church, they would not stop telling us that their impression of the United States was so very positive after meeting us. We're the only Americans or Canadians they know here!!!! They both worked with the UN before coming to Quebec, but now they only know other immigrants. Which is crazy. But it was great. The only problem was that they expected us to spend the ENTIRE day with them. And that just wasn't possible. So, after 2+ hours we bade them adieu and scurried off to our other lessons.
Yesterday one of the members of our congregation asked us to meet him in the kitchen after church. He's studying food processing or something strange like that. He is a very nice person, and made me an impeccable three layer black forest cake which was quite amazing. I don't think I've ever had so many special birthday cakes, but it was very dear. And very impressive. It was perfect. I'll send you pictures. Unfortunately the taste may not translate. The members here are crazy nice.
Weeeeellllll, I love you so much! I have to run! But thank you again for all of your goodness and love! Tom sent me the sweetest book of pictures and memories and it just made me reflect a little more on how very much I love each and every one of you. Thank you for being so awesome.
P.S. One of the sisters from my zone in the MTC got into a terrible accident. She was serving in Tahiti and was hit by a car while riding her bike. She's been in a coma ever since, and I can only imagine how her family is feeling. People have been so kind about praying for us when we've been in similarly dire circumstances; if you could make sure to include Sister Rachel Taylor in your prayers that would be super. I love you all so much!