July 29, 2013

Hugging the Sisters and Free Pea Soup - Week 49

Well, we went to Paris this week again, but this time for a mission leadership council with President and the assistants. We got to the north train station in Paris just in time to see someone get pepper-sprayed, and someone else get handcuffed. Welcome to city life, Elder Wilson. 

Getting to the church in Paris was especially fun because I got to see all my MTC and mission friends all in one place at one time. It was the last time I'll be seeing some of them since a lot of people are dying (going home, not for real) in a week. It was a five hour long meeting in a small room with 80 people, which normally wouldn't have been a problem had it not been for the lack of air conditioning and the huge windows bringing a greenhouse effect into play. Good though. 

Next was an adventure to get on the train back to Brussels. There's always a problem with trains, though I shouldn't be complaining with what happened with the train in Spain. We had around an hour and a half to get to the station, so Elder Wood and I decided to get some friends together and head over to KFC since we haven't found one in Brussels. As we were leaving, we got word saying that our train would actually be leaving in 45 minutes, so we ditched the plan and got some McDonalds to go. We headed down into the metro to get on an RER train to the station.

As we were standing there on the platform, we looked across and saw a group of missionaries waiting on the other side. We yelled across the tracks to tell them that the train would be pulling up in a few seconds. They decided that our train would be faster, so they sprinted up and down the stairs to come with us. As they were coming, the train pulled up and the doors opened. We hit the metro system at rush hour though, so the train was already packed with people with no room left to get on. We just stood there hopelessly, as the second group of missionaries came sprinting behind us with no intention of slowing down. With a death shout of "GET IN!" and the doors closing, we got slammed into the train by a half dozen Elders and Sisters.

To make all the missionaries get on the train, the Elders at the back had to push and shove the group. One thing led to another, and I ended up smashing a cheeseburger and fries into a man in front of me and had a three minute metro ride in what was essentially a group hug. FYI, we're not really supposed to give group hugs with the four sisters, but it happened so we could make the train. Always an adventure.

The next day, sitting alone in our apartment for weekly planning, Elder Wood and I had a little tussle. We couldn't agree on who is better at Guitar Hero, so we sealed a pact to have a showdown in a year and a half when we're both home. It was pretty serious, and we exchanged cell phone numbers to make it happen. We're friends again now, though.

We continued the search this week for a family to teach. I've never taught any families on my mission, but this transfer with Elder Wood, we're teaching like five of them. On Saturday, we even found another. We were out tracting (and by tracting, I mean pushing buttons and talking through intercoms) and got let in on the second try. Usually, we go weeks without being let in. Anyway, they were a nice young family with lots of questions. They started off by saying, "I don't know if we have too much time ..." When people say that, we usually fight for five minutes to share a little scripture with them. "... so you'll probably only be able to teach us for a half hour." Uh, excuse me? Don't mind if we do. We took a seat, they served us bowls of pea soup, and we chatted about the gospel for 45 minutes.

Upon exiting their apartment and giving each other a customary high five of success, Elder Wood and I heard a voice yelling at us from a bar. We went back to talk to the guys beckoning us, and got a response like this: 

"Hey! Come have a wine with us!"
"Sorry, we don't drink wine."
"A beer then!"
"Nope, not that one either."
"Come have a glass of water for all I care! I just want you to come tell us about what you believe! I'm atheist, but I'm really curious!"

We unfortunately had to leave to get home semi-on time, but we exchanged numbers and we'll meet up soon.

There you have it. The adventure never ends. Have a fantastic week, and don't wear socks with sandals! Especially with capris, if you're a man. We saw some dudes wearing that this week.

Elder Wilson

On top of the Basilica

Elder Player, Elder Davis, me, Elder Wood

My companion, Elder Wood

Still on the hunt for the best frites in Belgium

Elder Maxwell and Elder Reed. Good friends that I lived with in Nancy. They're going home in 7 weeks and 1 week respectively.