June 17, 2013

Regardless, I Still Don't Think South Park was Inspired. - Week 43

Hey all,

In our ward, three of the four recent converts were baptized thanks to the South Park episode that features Mormons and Joseph Smith. Basically, someone saw the episode, decided to do a school project on Mormons, went on mormon.org and scheduled a meeting with the missionaries to get information for the project. One thing led to another, and now a few months later he, his brother and his girlfriend are all baptized members of the church! It's a tiny bit ironic, but I suppose the Lord works in mysterious ways. 

This last week, we were rushing home to get in on time when we walked passed two guys walking the opposite direction. A few seconds later, they stopped and one called out two us: "Hey! Stop! I want to talk to you!" Slightly taken aback, we of course turned around to see what was up. He was like, "Are you guys REAL Mormons? Like with Joseph Smith looking in the hat to translate a book and everything?" Elder Smith thought for a moment and replied, "You've heard about Joseph Smith and a hat? You've seen the South Park episode, haven't you." 

"Yeah, that was a good one!" 

"Well, would you like to learn more about us and our church?"

-brief pause for suspense-

"Actually, yeah, I would! That really interests me a lot! Could you come over to my apartment tomorrow afternoon?"

And so it was that 'R' became interested in the church. He didn't end up being home when we checked his apartment, but we aren't letting him go that easy. Hooray for South Park! In no way is this email an endorsement of the show, but Elder Smith suggested that we keep a copy of the Mormonism episode to show to investigators or people on the street. Hey, apparently it works!

On Monday, Elder Smith and I had some extra time on P-day, so we decided to go to a Leonardo Da Vinci exposition in downtown Brussels. They made life-size models of most of his ideas and inventions, and it was pretty cool. Halfway through the gallery, we ran into a member girl from Utah who was visiting friends in Belgium. It's a small world!

The next day, while on exchanges, my companion-for-the-day Elder Simoes and I accidentally got stuck deep in Dutch-speaking Belgium for a few hours while waiting for a dinner appointment. So, we decided to start knocking on doors. For the record, neither of us know how to speak Dutch, so we felt like brand-new missionaries again, not being able to understand anything. We were able to communicate with over half of the people since most Europeans seem to be bilingual, but we still became proficient in explaining our purpose using hand signals and pointing to things.

Remember 'T', one of the guys that we found last week? Well, we had a lesson with him this week, and he decided to bring two of his friends. What a pleasant surprise. One of them was really talkative, and it was a bit of a challenge to get the lesson moving along. As soon as we got to the Joseph Smith story though, everyone was quiet and focused on what we were saying. That's something that Elder Smith and I have noticed recently: we can have people be off-the-wall or super talkative or not paying attention, but as soon as we talk about the first vision, everyone gets silent and listens. It's kind of like a secret weapon.

To celebrate Father's Day yesterday, Elder Smith and I were invited over to an American family's home for a barbecue. I felt like I was back in the United States. So, dad, happy Father's Day, and thanks for the excuse to celebrate!

I tried some Brussels sprouts in Brussels recently. They're still gross and still taste the same. For all you Brussels sprouts enthusiasts out there, you're welcome. I just saved you a plane ticket to Brussels and back.

Those are all the goings-on in Bruxelles as of late. I'm still on my quest to find the best fries/frites in Belgium, and I think I may have found the place. So, if anyone is planning a trip to Europe and wants to try the best frites in the world, let me know, and I'll happily be your tour guide (if you take me along on the rest of your trip all-expenses paid, of course).


Elder Wilson