It's been six weeks now since we launched Jordan off to Lyon, France. I'm not sure if you remember, but she gets exactly 1.5 hours of computer time PER WEEK, so we get a weekly e-mail (on Mondays), and she has also been sending a real-life, paper letter that generally arrives around Saturday. I'm not sure how long she'll keep up the real letter writing, but I'm hoping for FOREVER. Other than the e-mail and letter, she's on her own. This kills me a little bit. Okay, a lot.
I'm going to be real honest here and tell you that at about the three week mark, I fell apart and spent the better part of two days in bed. My personal method for dealing with difficult situations generally goes something like this:
No problems here.
I'm crying on the bathroom floor, and I have no idea why.
I like to hide my problems from myself until they either go away or punch me in the face. Currently, I'm of a mind to pick myself up and work towards moving on. So that's what I'm doing here . . . dusting myself off and looking around for more productive options.
The good parts? (all quotes from Jordan)
Reading the weekly e-mail. Typically, it includes PICTURES.
Learning about her experiences living in another country:
It is HOT HOT HOT here. It’s been in the high 90′s almost every day since I’ve arrived. I was not prepared for that. Thanks for getting my mild summer hopes up Southern France. The weather’s about like Texas, except there is NO AIR CONDITIONING ANYWHERE!!!
Laughing. She's funny:
We do SO much contacting. We contact on the bus, on the metro, walking on the street, streetboarding. I’m still not really over the awkwardness of it all. Our goal is to contact and talk about the gospel with 350 per week, but this week we talked to 570 people. Streetboarding is my favorite way to contact. We go to one of the squares or plazas in our area with this giant board that has a google map on it of Lyon and it says “You are here….. WHY??” mahahaha I think it’s soooo funny. (Oh no. I’m already weird and I’ve only been a missionary for one month…) But then we just talk to every single person that walks on that sidewalk. Sometimes people say really funny things when we try to contact them like..
“Hi, we’re missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
Random man: “Me too.”
We were caught so off guard that he just ran away.
“Hi, we’re missionaries, and we’re here to share a message centered on Jesus Christ.”
Random man: “Oh great. I’m having him over for dinner tonight. I’ll tell him I saw you.”
“Hi, we’re the missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ- What are your thoughts on God?”
Random old man turns to me and says, “Vous avez les yeux d’une Spaniard.” (You have the eyes of a Spaniard.)
Enjoying her descriptive writing:
Soeur Stevens got a blister yesterday, and today it got totally infected. Her entire leg is swollen and red, and the blister is like the most mutated, disgusting thing you’ve ever seen.
And really? Deep down I know that living in another country, dedicating herself full-time to serving others, even being away from her mom, is invaluable life experience. But I also recognize that there is an inherent contradiction for me, as the mother, to simply set down the charge I undertook 19 years ago to care for this child. So I'm caring in my mind. And in my prayers. And in the $47 I just spent to send a FOUR POUND package.
And life goes on . . .