August 19, 2013

Team Hufflepuff and the Closest to Hawaii I'll Ever Get - Week 52 (half way done!)

We took advantage of the hot weather last P-day. Hot weather equals cheap European cardigans. Mmm.

ANYWAY, it was a fun week, but it was pretty tough. We worked hard and didn't end up teaching very many people, but we had a good time anyway. We were fortunate enough to have some bright spots sprinkled in the week.

First was Tuesday, which felt like a little mini-vacation because Elder Wood had to do some legality paperwork for Belgium with the rest of his MTC group. We met all the other missionaries and the senior couple coming off a train from Paris at the Brussels train station, then got to spend the afternoon with them since we had to go with them to the prefecture. We went and ate lunch at a little sandwich café downtown, had some waffles (of course) and went to the Grand Palace in the middle of the city. Missionary friends are just so fun to hang out with ... maybe just because they all speak the same native language. 

A few days later was the weekly district meeting, which normally isn't too noteworthy, but it was extra entertaining this time. Because I am District Leader, I decided to make a theme for the district this transfer, with the theme being Harry Potter. Yeah, we're not exactly allowed to watch the movies or read the books, but we still had some fun with it. Elder Wood and I spent the first half of the week scouring the park across the street from our apartment to find some good-sized sticks. On Wednesday night, I spent a while carving down all the sticks we got into wands, then gave them to everyone in the district. After we were officially wizards with our wands, each companionship was assigned to a house via the sorting hat. So, the whole transfer, we'll be doing challenges throughout the weeks and answering questions to win house points for our companionship. Hufflepuff for the win!

On Sunday morning at 6:40, our phone started ringing. It was still early enough that no one had yet broken the "talking barrier," and everyone was sitting exhausted in chairs or on the floor. I was a little annoyed to see who would call us at such a time, but I answered the phone to hear an enthusiastic voice shout, 

"Hello! Are these the missionaries in Brussels? How are you doing this morning?"

"Uh ... fine (I was too tired to think of a more creative response)."

"What's your name Elder? Where are you from? Did you just wake up a few minutes ago?"

"Elder Wilson. Utah. And ... yes (still too tired to think)."

At this point, I was sure it was a Tahitian missionary. He was happy at 6:30 in the morning, he had an islander accent, and he was switching between English and French.

"So, uh ... what can I do for you?" At this point, I was coming to my senses.

"The name's Jim, and you can call me Jimmy. I'm calling you right now from the beautiful island of Hawaii, and I'm a student at BYU-Hawaii. My girlfriend lives in Brussels right now, and she's not a member of the church. I'd like you to give her a call and meet up with her."

So a little background. I've only gotten two real referrals from members: one on my very first day on a mission in Strasbourg with my trainer, and this one. It was rather miraculous. The sad part of the story is that the girlfriend lives out of our area so we had to pass the number on to the other Elders, but it was still a nice experience to have. Three cheers for Jimmy!

To close up the week, we had a lesson with an African family we've been teaching for a while. We gave them a call to make sure the lesson was still possible, and they told us they were in the park and wanted to meet us there. We walked over to the park to find the parents and children all riding bikes together as they watched the sunset. Elder Wood and I gathered them up, and they crowded around as we shared a scripture with them. It seemed like a good picture-perfect moment to close up the week, and they're all just so nice and fun and I want the parents to get married so they can be baptized.

We're going to a Belgian chocolate factory today where they have all-you-can-eat unlimited free samples, so if you don't hear from me next week, it's because I'm in the hospital from a heart attack.

Have a healthier day today than I am.

Long live Hufflepuff,

Elder Wilson