August 05, 2013

Stalked at a Concert - Week 50

I'll be staying in Brussels again this transfer! Not much is changing for me. I guess we already have a winning combination.

I'm not really sure what happened this week, but we literally ran out of food by Friday. All we had left was rice and noodles, so on Friday night, we ate some rice and soy sauce for dinner. We had a little pow wow in the kitchen on Saturday night to figure out how we were going to survive until Monday, when we all realized that it would be Fast Sunday the next day and we didn't actually have to eat anything. It was probably the happiest we had all been to find out it was the first Sunday of the month. Not to worry though, we're going shopping this week.

Anyway, it's been a week filled with exchanges, meaning I had three different companions over the course of three days. On the first exchange, Elder Player and I passed by the house of a family that told us we could come back later. As we were standing on their porch, they happened to pull in the driveway. Of course. I got excited because the last time that happened I got let in to teach a lesson. Instead, the wife came out of the car and started chatting to us in Dutch. For those not familiar with my language abilities, I don't speak Dutch and she didn't speak French or English, so we ended up standing there awkwardly yelling at each other in different languages until her husband came around. He didn't let us in either, but we found a cool family from Chicago a few minutes later that told us to come back.

Meanwhile, Elder Wood found a guy named Flo Rida for us to teach this week. I haven't met him yet, but my guess is that he isn't the same one.

Has anyone heard of Robbie Williams? None of us have, but apparently Belgium has. There was a big Robbie Williams concert in Brussels this week, and we had to walk around the stadium to get to a metro station. We heard the concert for 15 minutes or so as we were walking, and we also sort of got stalked by two girls who were on the same bus with us on the way to the concert. We lost 'em though; don't worry.

On the way back to the apartment last Monday night, a guy behind us yelled at us to stop. He caught up to us and asked if we were the Mormons. After we confirmed that we were, he asked if he could have a Book of Mormon. He continued by saying that he was originally from Rwanda and was consistently meeting with the missionaries in Belgium 20 years ago when he got deported back to Africa. He lost his Book of Mormon in the move and was recently able to make it back to Europe. He was excited when he saw us and for the opportunity to come back into contact with the church. He lives in Amsterdam though, so we took his number and passed it to the Elders in the other mission.

We've been running every morning around the park across the street, and there's a very large green parakeet population that apparently started from pet birds that escaped. There's thousands and thousands of them that live up in the trees, and every day is a risk of running under the foliage without getting hit with falling chunks of digested bird waste. I guess it adds some excitement to the mornings.

Two months ago, Elder Smith and I went to teach someone named 'B'. He's an older guy, but he didn't respond to calls or texts after the first appointment, so we kind of stopped trying to schedule lessons with him. Then, this Saturday, Elder Wood and I got a call from 'B' asking us to come right away and help him. When we showed up, he was smoking and pretty depressed that his life was awful and he didn't know what to do. We told him we wanted to help, and invited him to church to start to turn his life around. He responded to the invitation with a flimsy "Maybe I'll be there, if God wills it." Interpretation: "I'll probably be too tired tomorrow morning, but we'll see." After that, Elder Wood responded with, "No. We will be here in front of your door at 11:30 and you ARE coming to church with us." "Okay, I'll be ready."

He came to church the next day and it was fast and testimony meeting. Our hearts skipped a few beats when he decided to get up and speak to the ward. It turned out alright though, and he said something like, "My life is pretty bad right now, but I really like it here. I think I've found my sanctuary and the place to find answers to my questions." Right you are.

Stay classy,

Elder Wilson