November 12, 2012

No Phone Numbers Necessary: We Have Superpowers - Week 12

It's been another fantastic week! The days are starting to fly by. Let's review some things that have happened:

After church yesterday, we had another fight with the army of primary children. They didn't get my nametag this time, but Elder Dunn wasn't so fortunate. Just wanted to let you all know that my nametag and I are both safe from the Strasbourg ward ... for now.

I think I finally got the hang of using French keyboards.

It's been raining all week here, and even snowed once. After walking around the city for two days and being completely soaked from head to toe, I realized that people might not have been taking us as seriously with streams of water running down our faces and with waterlogged shoes squeaking at every step. So, I finally went and bought an umbrella. I walked outside a few days ago and, upon realizing it was raining again, I opened the umbrella and walked down the street, feeling like I had finally conquered nature because I would stay dry for the entire day. I kind of smirked at Elder Dunn because I could tell he was going to get soaked very quickly. I came to regret this thought because 10 seconds later, across the street from our apartment, a bus drove by and drove through a puddle, which launched a wave of dirty street water the size of a tsunami right at me. I thought that this sort of thing only happened in movies, but the umbrella was completely useless. Stupid bus.

While we were out contacting in the middle of the city a few nights ago, we were actually having quite a bit of success. We were standing near a tram station and were stopping every person that walked passed us on the street and talked to them about the church. One man had seen us doing this from down the street and apparently, upon seeing that he would have to talk to us, came up with a plan to get out of it. When we stopped him, he said something along the lines of, "I know that you're missionaries and you want to share a lesson with me about your church, but I need to get on the tram." He then kind of smirked and said as he began walking away, "... of course, if you want to get on the tram with me, you can teach me the lesson." Elder Dunn and I grinned at each other and ran to catch up with him. When we said, "Of course we'll get on the train with you and teach a lesson to you!" he got a really surprised and frightened look on his face and told us it wasn't necessary and that he didn't ACTUALLY expect us to be willing to get on the train when he told us we could come. Silly man, apparently he's never met missionaries.

We were out contacting earlier this week around the same area in the middle of the city when we stopped and talked to a man on a bike. He had thought a lot about religion and told us that he had come to the conclusion that God doesn't exist. We ended up talking to him for 45 minutes and the contact ended with him rejecting an offer of a second lesson, rejecting a copy of the Book of Mormon, and declining to take our phone number. Three days later, we were on our way to the other side of the city. Elder Dunn had forgotten his bus pass, so we decided to walk across the middle of the city. After 10 minutes or so of walking, the same man ran up from behind and stopped us again. He said that a few minutes before he saw us, he had changed his mind from the few days before and decided that he wanted to talk to us again. He regretted not taking our number. The man said that just before he had rounded the corner, he envisioned us in his head, turned the corner, saw us, and chased us down. We ended up talking to him for another 45 minutes, but it ended the same as the last time. When we asked him if he wanted to exchange phone numbers in case he wanted to talk again later, he replied by saying that instead of calling, he'll just envision us in his mind and we would appear around the next corner. He advised us to do the same.

I've tried and it hasn't worked yet, but I'll keep you updated.

We took a train to Nancy last week for Zone Conference, and we're going to be taking a train to Paris this week for Mission Conference with Elder Andersen. Trips around France are so fun! I never get tired of riding passed castles from the middle ages scattered all throughout the countryside.

We usually buy a fresh baguette to share for lunch at a boulangerie on the way home and while there on Saturday, I accidentally bought a bunch of pastries with the extra euros in my pocket. Oops.

We're teaching an awesome man from the Congo. He just got a tumor removed from his neck, so we went and visited him in the hospital and taught him a lesson. I'll never get tired of him calling us his "brothas in God" or rather, the French equivalent. Anyway, he told us about how he got to France. He said that when he found out that he had a tumor in his neck, he had to leave Africa to get it removed so that he wouldn't die from the lower quality medical care in his village. So, he set out on foot for France. I'll say that again. He set out ON FOOT to France. If you didn't realize, France is on a different continent. Anyway, he made it to France after three years of traveling and finally got his tumor removed. Talk about dedication and commitment. He's so great.

We're teaching quite a few people here in Strasbourg! France isn't NEARLY as difficult to find people as everyone says it is. Everyone told me that I would be lucky to get one or two baptisms on my mission in France. Much more than that is possible and it's being done by Elders all over the mission.

That's all I have for today! Good luck with whatever you're doing, and I'll talk to you again next Monday. Same time, same place? Okay, good. See you then.

Elder Wilson