I started in Lyon with Sr. Kathlee Byrne. We lived with Sr. Jamie Coon and Sr. Marion Lockhart. On one of the first days, we were going up an escalator going out of the metro. Kathleen started running and she fell on the escalator flat on her face. When we got to the top of the escalator, I questioned her about her reasons for taking off like that. Apparently, she was trying to avoid some smoker and their smoke. Her legs got banged up, but her tights didn't rip.
Sr Byrne and were companions for two transfers. The 2nd transfer, Sr Coon got sent to Geneva for her last transfer and Sr Lockhart went home. I think my first transfer was probably the biggest our mission ever was. I think the lowest amount of missionaries we had was around 97. The bar was raised right before my mission. The Preach My Gospel program was being rolled out. We got the books in November 2004 but by the time I left in March of 2005, we still hadn't gotten our french versions.
My third transfer in the mission, I was sent to Grenoble to serve with Sr. Heather Larsen. It was her last transfer and it was pretty hard for us getting along. The first four weeks were the hardest of my mission, I believe. Sr. Leann Malzer was sent to us those last two weeks. Sr. Powell had finally gotten her visa and so Sr. Malzer had her transfer two weeks earlier than everyone else. Sr. Malzer and I got along quite well. We served together for two transfers. Those transfers were hard missionary work wise but we became good friends. One of the members gave us little stuffed cats. I told Sr Malzer that when she got her new greenie, or blue for french missionaries, that she should pose the stuffed cat in different areas of the house each day and see how the other sister reacted. I know Sr. Malzer never did that, but it was pretty funny to imagine. In Grenoble I was introduced to a pastry called the "Succes". It was cake filled with a big ganache center. It was also covered on the outside with ganache.
My next transfer I was sent to Annemasse to serve with Sr. Melodie Martin and Sr. Reina Gould. Sr. Gould had the habit of setting her alarm 30 minutes before we had to get up and push "snooze" continually until 6:30. After the first alarm went off, I would awaken and not be able to go back to sleep, and then showered and got ready. This was not my favorite morning ritual. Sr. Gould was actually transferred a few days later and I have to admit that I was relived. Sr. Martin had trained Sr. Gould and they seemed to have a really close relationship and so it was hard coming in as a third wheel. They stayed up at night and gave compliments to each person. I was a little unsettled by this ritual as I like to compliment people in the moment and it seemed a little forced for me to do. When Sr. Gould left this ritual also got left behind. I have to admit also that as soon as my head hit the pillow I was out so I didn't always make it to my turn.
Sr. Martin helped my improve french, as she was a native speaker. The elders in our district were Elder Keough and Elder Jenner. One day we found a wooden hand that was used by artists to pose and then draw what they saw. We kept that wooden hand and thought it was super hilarious. You find crazy things to amuse yourself when you are trying to work hard preaching the gospel, which can become monotanous.
In each city we would find the best kebab place to eat. The best place in Lyon was down the street on the Parc Tete D'or. There was also a bakery on the corner which we frequented.