February 04, 2013

The Law of Moses in a Gangster Style - Week 24

For some reason, the people of Strasbourg have been liking us a little extra this week. Everyone has just been more nice than usual. Here are the reasons why:

During a rendez-vous with a man named Philippe earlier this week, his girlfriend called him, and their conversation went something like this:

     (girlfriend) "Who do you have over?"
     (Philippe) "Oh, Jesus is over again."
     (girlfriend) "Who?"
     (Philippe) "Jesus is here. The angels are teaching me again."

Oh, Philippe. You're just too much.

The next night, we were walking home to the apartment when three guys yelled at us from across the street. "Hey, you! Yeah! We want to talk to you!" So, we walked over to see what they had to say. One of the guys was from Africa, the other from Jamaica, and the last was from France, but they all spoke English. The guy from Africa told us that he met missionaries a few years ago, and he had a lot of respect for them. Then, he said that a few hours earlier, he had been trying to tell the story of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon to the friend from France, so he wanted us to tell the story to them. We agreed, taught them a bit, and kept talking to them. Then, they started talking about their religious beliefs.

The guy from Africa told us a big metaphor about the Bible with African safari animals. "Bible says an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. It's like a lion and a leopard. They stalk their prey, and they communicate with their eyes. An eye for an eye, you see? Then, the lion can't climb trees, but the leopard can, so they work together. But, sometimes they get in a fight and fight each other. A tooth for a tooth. Understand? Eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth." 

I feel like I was suddenly transported to the Congo. But, at this point, the Jamaican friend cut in:

    (Jamaican) "Eye fo' eye and tooth fo' tooth was da Law of Moses, man. Jesus 
                     taught you turn da other cheek."

    (African) "Yeah, I know dat, but the Law of Moses is more hardcore sometimes, 
                  you know?"

    (Jamaican) "Yeah, I know man. That's why I follow the Law of Moses in a
                     gangster style."

What does it mean to follow the Law of Moses in a gangster style? I haven't the foggiest. But, there's something to know about Paris missionaries: we talk to a lot of African people. And, in doing so, we pick up on a good number of cool African languages. I even know some of the clicking language. Anyway, upon learning that the guy from Africa was from a region that speaks Swahili, I whipped out all the Swahili I know. At this point, they kind of freaked out, shouting "Man, white boy got RESPECT!" and patting me on the back and giving me cool African handshakes.

Yeah, I guess I'm cool, but whatever.

Saturday, while contacting on the street, we talked to an older couple, who told us that they weren't interested and walked away. Immediately after, a 20ish year-old college student walked past us, stopped, turned around, and said to us, "What, am I not important enough to be saved? Why did you stop them, but you didn't stop me?" Basically, he contacted us. He's really awesome though, and we have a rendez-vous set up with him for next week in a hip, cool college-town pub. Again, that'll be two Sprites for the Mormon missionaries, please

We met another nice person as we were getting off the tram last night. As the doors were closing behind us, someone yelled, "Hey, Mormons! God loves you guys!" and gave us a thumbs-up. The same thing happened a week ago in the same spot, when a lady said to us, "Hey, it's the Mormons! You guys are awesome!" What have we done to earn this extra respect? Still trying to figure it out. But, it's been nice.

Moral of the story? If you see missionaries, please be nice to them.

Elder Wilson