August 26, 2013

Drinking From the Carton and Almost Selling Makeup - Week 53

SOO the Neuhaus Belgian chocolate factory.

After wandering around on the outskirts of the city, Elder Wood, Elder Adams, Elder Oliverson and I finally saw the factory in the distance. We skipped lunch that day so we could eat disgusting amounts of chocolate, and we all packed a water bottle to cleanse our mouths and enjoy the chocolate more. Elder Adams decided not to mess around and just brought a liter of milk in his bag. What a man.

We walked through the parking lot in the heat of the summer, then approached the automatic sliding doors. As we moved closer and triggered the sensors, the doors rushed open and we were met with a wall of cold air, only to reveal a room full of expensive chocolate. They were displayed in open boxes so we didn't even have to mess with unwrapping anything. Most of the chocolate cost over 1 US dollar per bite. After doing the math, we probably ate a few hundred euros worth of chocolate between the four of us. It went a little like this:

"Oh, this one is good ... hey, this one too ... I'm pretty sure I just broke the Word of Wisdom with that one ... wow, this one is REALLY good ... a grapefruit chocolate? How did they even THINK of that? ... This one is extra expensive. I have to eat multiple. Hey Elder Oliverson, come eat some extra expensive ones made from flowers." 

(in the distance) "Hey guys! This one has alcohol in it as well! It was good, though."

"Yeah, these ones over here are all full of coffee. Watch out."

Meanwhile, I turn my head to see Elder Adams in the corner of the store trying to drink straight out of the 1 liter milk carton without being seen ... unsuccessfully.

Anyway, enough of that. We just went home and collapsed on the ground for the rest of P-Day. Meanwhile, we've been smelling like ganache and truffles for the whole week.

After a district meeting centered on applying the principles of Quidditch to missionary work, Elder Ensign and I went on an exchange in Nivelles, a small city outside of Brussels. The Nivelles Elders have a car, but we couldn't use it for the day since Elder Ensign's companion is the designated driver. Thus, we spent the hours walking and walking and walking around the city. I normally would have complained, but it was just the first 'step' (sorry, awful pun. Ha.) towards losing a few of the calories put on from Monday. I got to have a baptismal interview with their awesome investigator named Albert, who's a super smart doctor. He's cool.

On our trek back home, we passed a man and a group of three girls on the other side of the street. As we were about to walk around the corner, he called out to us and beckoned us over. We walked over to the group, and he started asking a few questions about our missions. 

"Alright, I understand you're volunteers, but how would you like to work on the side? You can try to sell your religion to one person, then to the next person, you can sell some makeup!"

"Uh, we can't really do that." Apparently the three girls were there to help him sell.

"Look, boys. I have hundreds of people working under me to sell makeup, and we're making millions in every country except the US and England. I basically don't have to do any work; I'm just raking in the money. You can even sell over the internet and Facebook to your family and friends! In a year, you can be a wealthy as me."

No thanks, sir. We would like no part of your pyramid scheme. Here's our card though.

And the next day was my year mark! Halfway done with my mission. What the...?! I came home from the exchange to a halfway package sent by mother. It was fantastic. It was themed, of course, and the four of us crowded around and unpacked the box to see what was inside. Fun.

This is an extra long email. I'll now pause to give you time to go get a drink, take a break, or do whatever necessary. No, seriously.
Okay, good. Let's continue.

Saturday was an exciting day as well. Elder Wood and I knocked on one door, and it was answered by a Muslim man who let us in. As is the plan for when Muslim people let us in (although it hasn't ever happened before), Elder Wood and I offered to pray with him: he prays in his Muslim way, and then we pray for him in our Christian way. It worked a little too well, and he spent 40 minutes showing and explaining every detail about how a Muslim person prays. It was really interesting, but we had to leave before long. We prayed with him, said goodbye, and walked out the door to one of the heaviest rain storms I've ever seen. The roads were flooded with water and we were soaked rather quickly.

We got home to hear a great story from the other Elders. 

They went to a Christian conference with one of their investigators about the end of the world. It was in a fancy hotel in the middle of Brussels, and upon flashing their invitation, the security guard let them in and seated them. They said there were hundreds of people there, with exactly two white people: them. They were given drinks and treated like kings. During an intermission, people flocked to talk to them, including the preachers in charge of the event. The head honchos came up and said, "We're really honored to have you here. Would you two like to go up at the end and say something?"

Wait ... like, that only happens in stories from missionaries in the 1800's, right? NOPE. Unfortunately, they were on their way out and had to decline, but I think they regretted their opportunity to talk to a few hundred African Christians about the end of the world.

And thus another week is in the books. I keep expecting my weeks to be uneventful, but somehow things keep turning up.

Slytherin is currently in the lead. We'll catch up.

Elder Wilson

Pre chocolate tour

Post chocolate tour

Elder Davis' birthday