December 10, 2012

The Cake Was Worth It - Week 16

Hello! I hope everyone is enjoying the snow and cold weather. Here's a shout out to all my friends receiving mission calls! It's so fun to hear where everyone is going around the world.

Now that Elder Dunn and I are the only two missionaries in Strasbourg, things have gotten a lot more quiet ... and more busy. Let's review the day just yesterday:

We had our schedule full of lessons, so we didn't have enough time to go back to our apartment and eat a meal until 8:00 at night. We were a little sad about that, especially considering we couldn't go to MacDo's and get a 1 euro cheeseburger for lunch because it was Sunday. We left and went to church anyway, and it just-so-happened that a few families had decided to bring lunch and eat it together in the gym after the meetings. I'm not sure why they decided to eat a meal at the church, but I didn't complain when they invited us to go and eat lunch with them. 

The problem is, however, that the worth of a missionary is sometimes determined by how much they can eat. So, three platefuls of food and two desserts later, we were finally able to leave the church and head to our rendez-vous. The lesson was canceled after we called to confirm, but as luck would have it, we were called immediately after by a super nice member to go over and eat some cake at her house. So, we set out to get the bus to Sister Bell's house.

5 minutes of jogging later, we got to the bus stop and discovered that the bus line didn't run on Sundays. So, we jogged for another 10 minutes to the next bus line, only to find that it didn't run on Sundays either. The same was discovered at the next bus line after another 5 minute jog. By that time, we realized that we were in the middle of nowhere without any form of transportation.

So, we thought it was a good idea to just run to Sister Bell's house.

It wasn't a good idea.

We made it, of course, but only after a 45 minute run over sidewalks covered in ice while wearing suits, dress shoes, overcoats, and bags of books around our shoulders. The reason why it wasn't such a good idea was because 20 minutes before, Elder Dunn and I had just eaten a gigantic meal supplied by the members. I'm just happy we didn't throw up. 

On the bright side, the cake was delicious.

We left in time to make it to our next lesson on the other side of the city, and we taught an awesome lady from the Middle East. In fact, we found her a few days ago. We had a few extra minutes, so we decided to knock on a handful of doors. We decided on a building, and Elder Dunn felt like we needed to go to the third floor. The first door we knocked on was hers, and she was really interested to have us come back.

She had a lot of questions like, "Why don't we have a record of the gospel given to the people living in America?" Needless to say, Elder Dunn and I were more than happy to answer all her questions. However, the lesson went over and we barely missed a bus, so we were late to our next lesson and the investigator had already left. We called and apologized before trying to figure out what to do.

We had an hour left in the day, and we needed to teach one more lesson and find a new investigator to meet our goals for the week and for the day. We called one of our investigators who hasn't answered the phone or the door for three weeks. She not only answered the phone, but she said she wanted us to have a lesson with her right away AND she wanted to bring a friend. Plus, it just-so-happened that we were a 10-minute walk away from her apartment, which is pretty miraculous considering our area is large enough for 2 hours of travel by bus and train in almost any direction. So, we ended up meeting all of our goals in the very last hour of the week with an unplanned rendez-vous. We must be doing something right.

I found out that two transfers before I came, President Poznanski took missionaries out of Strasbourg because they couldn't find anyone to teach. This week, Elder Dunn and I taught close to twice as many lessons as the mission average for the week, even with a good number of lessons that fell through and with extra hours of having to organize and plan. So yes, we're being blessed, and I know we can do a lot better.

Anyway, that's a day/week in the life of the Elders in Strasbourg. We're staying busy, fighting off the cold, and fighting off the concourses of tourists coming for the Christmas lights and street markets in the birthplace of Christmas. 

Have a wonderful Christmas season, pull out the scented candles, and go shovel the driveway of an elderly couple for service.

Unless, of course, the person reading this considers themselves elderly, in which case you should get a young person from next door to shovel for you. And no, grandma, I wasn't referring to you when I said "elderly."

Bonne Journée,

Elder Wilson