September 16, 2013

The Chamber of Secrets - Week 56

It's the day of the transfer email, and I'm being transferred to . . . VERSAILLES! Dream come true. I've been so lucky, because three of my four cities have been three of the most beautiful cities in the mission: Paris, Brussels, and Strasbourg. Back to France I go!

As is custom among the Elders in the mission, we did transfer prophecies on Saturday night, using the standard works to predict where we're being transferred to in the mission. Since all of us except Elder Wood have some African clothes, we decided to go all-out and have a little ceremony. Elder Davis went a little overboard and spread Nutella on his face, so here's to hoping hazelnut spread works as an exfoliant. We were wrong on all prophecies except the one for Elder Wood, since he's training in Brussels, but it was so much fun. Just look at the pictures and you'll understand.

Meanwhile, it's been raining every single day this entire week, which weather is not conducive to contacting people on the street. It was some extra motivation to schedule more lessons to stay out of the rain, but it's a good thing I got a fantastic umbrella from a random man on the street for two euros. Best deal ever.

Yesterday, however, we somehow lost the keys in the apartment (okay, fine ... so I lost the keys to the apartment), so we decided just to leave and let the door lock behind us. As soon as the door snapped shut, I realized that it was still pouring rain and I had left my jacket and umbrella in the apartment with no way to get inside. Poor planning? Yeah. So, Elder Wood and I spent the next hour jogging and switching off using his tiny umbrella.

We had a lesson last night with an African family, and the father told us about how his family is being killed by fighting in Africa with no way to save them. Made me so grateful to have been born in the United States.

District meeting on Tuesday was the finale for the Harry Potter themed transfer, and it was centered on a metaphor with the Chamber of Secrets. The district had to drink some polyjuice potion before sneaking down two stories to the basement of the church building. Luckily, the building has secret tunnels and storage rooms with a couple of couches in a dark, secret room, so it added to the authenticity of the whole adventure. Gryffindor won the house cup, so we had a little party for a minute in the basement with Gryffindor-colored finger lights. Missionary appropriate, of course.

I'm afraid that's all I have for you this week. Have a good one, and I'll keep in touch next week from la région parisienne!

Elder Wilson

Owen, a recent convert.

Classic district picture!

Awkward photo

The incredible stack of crepes for district meeting lunch.

Elder Wood!

(editor's note: Look who came to visit Trevor on his mission! Mitt and Ann! It was so nice of them to visit after attending Trevor's farewell. Just kidding! They did come to Paris, but to visit another missionary, a senior couple that are their good friends. Here they are with President and Sister Poznanski and their daughter Manon.

We also received an email from Bishop Dean M. Davies, the second counselor of the Presiding Bishopric. He served with Alan in our Stake Presidency before getting called in April 2012. He was in Brussels for church meetings and he sent us this: "Look familiar? A great missionary! We enjoyed our assignment to Brussels." Trevor said the other missionaries couldn't believe that their visiting General Authority took out his iPhone and took a selfie with him! They were all jealous.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks and Elder M. Russell Ballard were both in Paris this week as well to create the third stake in Paris and help to prepare the site for the Paris Temple, which is going to be in Versailles, a happy coincidence. What a week of church celebrities!)