Meredith in Montreal

Letters and Photos from Sister/Soeur/Hermana Hanna

Month: December, 2014

Joyeux Noel from Meredith

Hello! Back I am again at my comfortable perch in the mall on P-Jour. This week was kind of quiet and laid-back due to the holidays.

Monday we had a Zone Christmas Devotional, and we also received mail and packages!! In our area we can only get mail and packages once a week so receiving mail is always an event of jubilation. While at the devotional I was able to talk to an Hermana from my MTC district. It was so nice to see a familiar face among all these elders and soeurs!joyeuses-fetes-2014

Tuesday we shared a message with a recent convert and her friend after Zone Training. Wednesday we scrounged for things to do so we could feel productive. I must say, I’m pretty proud of the bulletin board we made for our English class. With its pearls, flowers, and ribbons no one will mistake that it was made by sister missionaries.

Christmas Day, after working out, we allowed ourselves to open our presents! And then we commenced with personal study with more energy than usual. Skyping with my family was so fun, and we spent the rest of the day with three different member families eating eating eating.

On Friday we woke up out of our food-induced reverie back into real mission life again. We passed by less-active members on Saturday along with walking down a long street in our area. I startled a boy walking down the street when I practically ran up to him and yelled Bon soir! He didn’t want to learn more, like most people, but I feel good knowing that I am giving people an opportunity to learn more about our Savior and the gospel. The most effective form of missionary work happens when members share the gospel with their friends and family.  So I would encourage you to share your testimony with others and share the joy that the gospel brings to your life..

I love you all and Joyeuses Fêtes!

Christmas greetings from Quebec

{This is Meredith’s letter from Monday, Dec 22 — before Christmas!  She called us from Quebec on Christmas day via Skype–note the earphones in the screenshot–and she is doing well!skype2}


What a week! It was busy, which was such a blessing. Monday  (Dec 15th) was our P-Day, and after emailing and trying to buy boots I introduced Soeur Brimhall to Thai food. She was not too enthused, so I felt a little bad, but at least she can say she tried it!

Tuesday we had splits with the Sister Training Leaders. I went to Longeuil with Soeur Kinghorn and watched her teach some lessons. She is a really time-efficient missionary, and I have always struggled with that, so it was great to catch some tips as we drove from appointment to appointment. We have really similar music tastes, so in discussing that I felt a profound nostalgia for my screeching Norwegian folk bands and soft rock from my study playlists. Ah well. While before my mission I used to put my headphones on and zone in order to relieve stress, I have felt that I have received the same relief from stress in the mission field through study and even just staring at snow fall. Soeur Kinghorn introduced me to the wonders of Tim Horton’s hot chocolate as well, which probably contains a whole can of sweetened condensed milk. Yes.

Wednesday was district meeting. Soeur Blanc, a missionary from Haiti always makes us the most amazing lunch (wow. I must be really hungry right now since the highlights of the week are appearing as meals). We sang to some ward members on Thursday, and we got a referral for a family in Brossard!

Friday we taught a man named Mario the second half of the Plan of Salvation. He had taken notes on the reading that the sisters assigned from before and had a lot of questions (yes!). We also taught an older couple named Louis and Clarisse. Saturday was the Christmas Party. There was tons of food, games, and dancing. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a ward activity with dancing, but I loved it! A lot of members invited friends too, so it was fun to get to know them.

Quebec is amazing, and I love the people here so much! Merry Christmas to every one!!


Here’s the recipe for Meredith’s favorite cupcakes to make.  She requested that we send it to hercupcake this week.

brown sugar poundcakes with brown butter glaze

adapted from Martha Stewart’s cupcakes, makes 12 cupcakes

for the cakes:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1 cup + 2 tablespoons dark or light brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
6 tablespoons buttermilk

for the glaze:
1/2 stick butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk

  1. preheat the oven to 325F and line muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. add eggs, one a time, until incorporated.
  3. mix in baking powder and salt. alternate adding flour and buttermilk until everything is incorporated.
  4. fill muffin tins 3/4 full. bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then remove. cool completely before glazing.
  6. while waiting for the cupcakes to cool, make the glaze. start by melting the butter over medium heat in a pan that is not nonstick. cook until the butter turns a nutty amber color, 6-10 minutes. pour off the browned butter (try not to get all the black sediment – it just tastes burnt) into a glass or heat proof bowl. add the sugar, vanilla, and milk. mix until smooth.
  7. when the cupcakes are cool, glaze them. turn the cupcake upside down and dip into the glaze. swirl the cupcake as you pull it up and out of the glaze (to get the relatively flat top). eat immediately or let sit out for an hour or so for the glaze to dry.

Meredith is in Quebec

Why hello,

I arrived in Montreal!  How nice it is to look upon so many beautiful emails from family and friends on my first P-Jour here in Quebec. It really is a Winter Wonderland here, thick piles of snow and lots of small parks everywhere that are covered in snow. The mission president is really kind as is his wife and three kids that are with him. The mission home has been the same here for decades, and it’s this really cute old home. Homes look so different on the East CoBrossard.10ast, roofs are more sloped!

I was assigned to serve in the La Prairie branch, a French-speaking area about a half hour south from the island of Montreal. The area is mainly residential, so it’s fun to be here and see all the lights. The branch covers a bunch of cities like Brossard and St. Constant , so that will be a lot of doors to knock on and a lot of people to invite to come closer to Christ! I am so ready.

My trainer is Soeur Brimhall, she is on her third transfer here, and she is already training! I’m a little sad that I won’t be able to use my Spanish, as all Spanish speakers are referred to another ward, but it is nice to actually be able to communicate and understand what people say for the first time in a month. Even still, sometimes when I talk about the gospel I start reverting back to Espanol, and I find it difficult to respond to Soeur rather than Hermana.

A struggle we are having is that we have no investigators. While Christmas time is a time when discussing Jesus Christ and his teachings comes easier, it’s also a busy time of rushing around and errands, and so it can be difficult to talk with people about anything at all. We’ll continue working hard though. I suggested to Soeur Brimhall that instead of just knocking and handing out pass along cards we could just go caroling instead. People were a lot kinder, and one woman let us in and gave us some Colombian hot chocolate. The hot chocolate is delicious but a tad more bitter, and so they put cheese in it. Yes. And I will suggest to all of you that mozzarella cheese in your hot chocolate is something to try. Fun things have happened through knocking though. A drunk man with the thickest Canadian accent I have EVER heard (aboot instead of about etc.) advised us to live wealthy not healthy.

The branch is wonderful and so kind! I am excited to get to know them better. We helped set up a Christmas tree for a lady in the ward this week and then she fed us, which was awesome.  Snow is just everywhere, and I wish I had bought boots beforehand. ugh I was so stubborn about buying them here in Canada, but my first night we went knocking, and it was a sad time in my thin leather boots.

I love you all so much!!

Meredith

Meredith’s Thanksgiving in the MTC

Why hello! 🙂

My Thanksgiving sack dinner (weep inwardly)

My Thanksgiving sack dinner (weep inwardly)

Last week I didn’t have P-Day due to Thanksgiving, so it is so nice to read emails and to hear of fun things going on at home. This Thanksgiving is the first, to my knowledge, that I haven’t been surrounded by my family and the accompanying array of delicious foods prepared by them. However, I was minorly consoled by a wonderful devotional lead by David A. Bednar and spending some non-class time with my district. We had a good time participating in a service project making casserole kits for less-fortunate children, and in seeing a talent show where an elder from our zone wowed us all with his fiddling.

I gave my first talk almost completely in Spanish. I say almost completely because I did substitute some French verbs in there (I thought no one could tell until I noticed the elders laughing. zut). It was on baptism.  I talked about how the act of baptism symbolizes a change of heart and a change of life and the faith and repentance that precedes it.

We had a variety of teachers this week as ours were off doing the “first Thanksgiving with future in-laws” thing. So we had a new investigator, Armando, from Peru. He asked a lot of questions which is the best.

Even though I’ve missed home and my old life this week, I’ve felt blessed as I’ve been able recogIMG_2694nize things that make me feel like it’s not so far away. Like hearing songs from the “Primary Colors” A’ Capella CD we would always listen to on road-trips and quoting “The Scarlet Pimpernel” in a most pompous way with Hermana Fox. I know that Heavenly Father wants to comfort us and knows how to do it in the way that is best for us.

Pretty Christmas lights after watching Meet the Mormons on Thanksgiving (Since then I've seen Meet the Mormons again. The Candy Bomber always makes me cry)

Pretty Christmas lights after watching Meet the Mormons on Thanksgiving (Since then I’ve seen it again. The Candy Bomber always makes me cry)

I love you all! This is my last week in the US for the next 17 months so my address will be different as will the number of stamps requisite for letters. Also my P-Day will be on Monday most days in the field, so that’s when my emails will come out. There is also the hashtag “Share the Gift” that has been spread around the web. It invites us all to share the love and the message of Jesus Christ this season. You don’t need to do anything on social media, but you can try and spread that message throughout the holidays in any way you feel inspired!

Bisous sucres!

Meredith

P.S. I love you, and tell everyone else that I love them!


Here are links to the #ShareTheGift video that Meredith mentioned above:

in English:  http://www.mormon.org/christmas

espanol:  http://www.mormon.org/spa/navidad?cid=HPFR112814529

francais:  http://www.mormon.org/fra/no%C3%ABl?cid=HPFR112814529

12/4/14