10 little things that make me terribly happy:
1. to get to the train station from our apartment, you walk down our street and turn right at the castle.
2. the mailmen deliver the mail on yellow bikes.
3. trees and fall leaves everywhere.
4. the twinkle lights strung between the trees in the little town park
5. the boulangerie on the corner called "the golden croissant"
6. there is a shoe cobbler shop on our street.
7. they play an audiobook in the park on sunday nights
8. our little branch of 50 members
9. the accent. their "r"s are much more round here than in paris. love.
10. if i had a basket with a book in it, i would totally feel like Belle everyday.
yes, Blois is exactly as ideal as it sounds. after a less-than-ideal arrival (we had to switch trains in the middle of our journey and the Big Strong Elder who helped us load our luggage on the train was not there anymore. We had literally 5 minutes to take our 6 suitcases that weighed 5,000 lbs each down two flights of stairs and up two flights of stairs. We could only lift one at a time. We were literally throwing suitcases on the train as the conductor blew the whistle, but we made it!) anyway. Blois is tiny, which has been an adjustment. my mission has turned me into a city girl! I adjusted quite quickly, though. how can you not when you live in a perfect French village? Seriously. This is a dream. There are trees everywhere, hilly cobblestone streets, and the beautiful Loire river. Everyone says "bonjour" to us.... so friendly! It's lovely.
Not only is the town beautiful, but the branch is AMAZING. we are the first Soeurs in Blois for over 10 years, so we got a hero's welcome into the branch :) The members are so excited to have us. It's nice to feel so loved! Yesterday in sacrament meeting they asked Soeur Larsen and I to "present ourselves". pretty sure both of us got up there and cried about how much we love French people. I'm ridiculous. I just can't seem to get over how much I love it here. I love the people so much. The branch is super small, about 50 members all together. It's like a family.... all of the members know our investigators and are like, best friends with them. It's every missionary's dream.
Speaking of investigators, we are so excited about them! We have one, Clément, who is on the brink of baptism. He is what we missionaries call a "solid ami". He's about 25 and he's newly married to a member. We had heard all about him, so we were excited to see him. We had our branch mission leader point him out to us yesterday and we could not believe our eyes. He was in a suit, white shirt, and tie! He commented on the missionary minute! He looked like a member! We are so excited for him. He knows the church is true, knows the doctrine backward and forward, reads the Book of Mormon everyday, but he's afraid to commit. We can't wait to work with him. There are so many exciting things happening here, and Soeur Larsen and I get to witness them firsthand! It really is incredible.
Love from the Loire valley.