Happy St. Patrick's Day! Well, it was actually yesterday, but I figured I could wish you all good luck anyway. Plus, since no one celebrates it in France, I had to wish SOMEONE a happy St. Patrick's Day. I guess I'm not surprised that France doesn't recognize an American holiday recognizing Ireland. Anyway.
Last week, while we were waiting at a bus stop in Nancy, we met a nice Turkish family with four kids. The father is trying to learn French, so as his kids were climbing all over him, he came up and practiced speaking with us until the bus came. Then, oddly enough, we ran into him and his family a few days later when we got on the bus. Then we ran into him again a few days after that. This time he was alone, but all the same, he ran over and sat down by us so he could practice French and learn some English. In exchange, he taught me some Turkish, which I've been able to use to impress all the Turkish people I've run into in the last few days.
At the end of our last conversation, he pulled a big package of cookies out of his bag and handed them to us since he likes us so much. We jokingly said that we'd see him soon since we've been running into him so often, and maybe he'll give us more cookies next time. They were even pretty good cookies.
On Wednesday, Elder Hunter and I went to an English class taught by a member in Toul. I started by slowly introducing myself in English and was met with a roomful of blank stares. I guess I overestimated their level of comprehension. Learning a language isn't so easy, huh? Maybe French people will understand now when we trip over our French. Probably not. In any case, I guess I impressed them with my English skills, because one of the members of the class invited us to go ride their new motorcycle and sidecar and two of them said they were interested in having us over to talk to them about our church. Mission accomplished.
With a half hour remaining in the English class, we were asking them questions and they would respond in English. After Elder Hunter asked them what their favorite kind of cheese was, the roomful of Frenchmen spent the rest of the half hour discussing and explaining the nuances of their favorite varieties of cheese. Classic. Since they said it was too difficult to really appreciate their favorite kinds of cheeses through mere words, the class decided that they would all bring a handful of cheeses for us to try next week. Score! Maybe we'll have to bring a plate of real American cookies for them to have. The ones they sell in the stores don't really cut it.
Lastly, our stake had Stake Conference yesterday, so buses full of people from northeastern France and from Luxembourg came here to Nancy. It was especially fun because I got to see everyone I know from Strasbourg, Nancy and Toul all at the same time. As is custom at many French church meetings, everyone pulled out tables immediately after, set up meals, and invited the missionaries to come and eat with them. That's one aspect of French culture that I sure appreciate.
That's about all I have time for this week. Here's a birthday shout out to my brother, Blake and to Jade from Strasbourg. Now the internet can celebrate right along with you.