October 28, 2013

Nǐ Hǎo, Paris - Week 62

Transfers again, and I'm staying here ... surprise, surprise. I'm getting a new companion though: Elder Hill, with whom I've already done a handful of exchanges. I'm so excited! Also, since the new assistants won't be able to drive and one of the couples doesn't drive, I'm now the only driver for the mission office. That means lots of driving for me!

To continue, this week was my chance to feel like a missionary in Asia.

It all started last Monday, when I gave Elder Clarke the privilege of choosing what we did for P-Day. His choice? The unlimited sushi buffet next to the mission home. We went with the APs, and they've been there so often, the store owner knows them all by name and the Elders know the workers by nicknames. The waitress didn't even ask what we wanted to order because they've been to that place so many times.

In keeping up with the food theme, the Roberts couple is going home this week, so they took us all out to a Chinese buffet down the street. So much sugared, fried meat. The experience was similar to the visit to the sushi place, as the senior couples have eaten there every single Friday for the last year and a half. These local businesses must love having the mission headquarters nearby.

From there, I went on exchanges with the Mandarin-speaking Elders in the center of Paris, which was interesting because I DON'T SPEAK CHINESE. We had lessons with Chinese investigators, and I employed my two Mandarin phrases like nobody's business: "Hi!" "Thank you!" "Hi!" "Thank you!" I'm sure they totally believed I was a native speaker. It was also fun to go contacting through the center of Chinatown in Paris. It was the same every time: my companion would go, "Nǐ hǎo, wǒ de míngzì shì Elder Everett," then the Chinese person on the street would turn to me, as if expecting me to say something in Chinese as well. I just gave an awkward smile and a thumbs up. Sometimes I would nod my head to act like I knew what was going on. Just like the good ol' days back when I first got to France!

So basically, I ate six meals this week with chopsticks and taught gospel lessons to a bunch of Chinese Parisians. Awesome!

We had back-to-back exchanges, so then I went off to work with the other Versailles Elders for the day. We contacted a bunch in front of the Palace of Versailles, trying to find the real residents in the crowds of tourists flooding the streets. #ParisMissionProblems. We got a quick text from the sisters, asking us to go over to their investigator's house to move a piece of furniture. No problem, right? We went over to the apartment, moved the one piece of furniture, then ended up laying down and installing new linoleum flooring for the lady in our suits. No big deal. Such is the life!

Besides the exchanges and Asian culture experiences, Elder Clarke and I drove over to Le Havre and Caen again to move furniture. Also, we saved an endangered hedgehog that we found crossing the street at night. He's safe now.

Lastly, we were out contacting last night in the rain through the middle of the city. The last lady we contacted before going into the metro station just walked past us and said, "I need to go turn in a paper! No time!" We walked down to the metro, when the same lady appeared next to us. "Hey, sorry. I have time now. What were you going to tell me?" We proceeded to teach her a bit, and gave her a Book of Mormon. At the end, she said, "You know? I really want to read this and pray about it. Could you tell me more another time?" Excellent idea, 'S'.

Well, this week is going to be full of lots of driving between the mission home and the airport. Better get to it! Have a fantastic time!

Elder Wilson