It's already the start of my third transfer, and I'll be staying in Strasbourg again! Elder Dunn, however, didn't get so lucky. He's being transferred to Cherbourg, which is on the other side of France. My new companion is going to be Elder Manivanh. I'll let you know how to pronounce his name once I meet him and figure it out for myself. I have been told that he is from Tahiti and I hope that he is so that I can speak French to him 24/7 and improve my speaking and understanding. Also, there's a chance I'll be going to Paris for a few hours on transfer day on Wednesday. We can only hope!
Now that Christmas and New Year's is over, France has begun yet another holiday which, in my opinion, is probably the best. This holiday is Soldes, where every clothing store in existence puts all of their merchandise on clearance. Being in France, there's no shortage of clothing stores. Do you want a classy, 30 euro French belt? Bam! It's now 10 euros or less. How about a 90 euro pair of shoes for 35 euros? Sure! Soldes has it all. Missionary wardrobes aren't exactly the most diverse, but we'll try to take advantage of it anyway. Unfortunately, there's only so many white shirts and ties someone can own before it becomes ridiculous and impractical.
This last Thursday night, Elder Dunn and I took a train to St. Dié to conduct a baptismal interview for one of the investigators of the St. Dié Elders. Elder Dunn is the District Leader and that is one of his responsibilities. Once we pulled into the station at St. Dié, we realized that we forgot to bring a baptismal form that's required for the baptism. So the next morning, we woke up bright and early to run and catch an hour and a half train back to Strasbourg, sprinted to our apartment to grab the dumb piece of paper, made it back to catch the hour and a half train to St. Dié, dropped the paper off to the other companionship, and got back on another hour and a half train to Strasbourg. Maybe there's a reason it's called St. Dié ... the days have been killed every time I've gone there so far. Well, I suppose it's not every day you get to ride on a train through the French countryside for five hours, right? Still, I'd prefer not to do it again.
When people found out I was going on a mission to France, I heard quite a bit of stories and rumors about how French people hate Americans. On the contrary, I've found that a lot of French people love us just because we are American. Parisians hate rude American tourists. I've mentioned this before in other letters, but in the last few weeks, we've scheduled a handful of extra lessons just because our accents are "so cute!" I'll take it. Hey, whatever works, right?
All in all, it was a fairly calm week filled with a decent number of lessons and way too many train rides. Also, as of 5 hours ago, I'm officially trained and no longer a blue! I guess I'm a real missionary now. I'll have to celebrate by buying myself a new French suit for 50 euros at Soldes.
Have a great week!