October 07, 2013

Skeletons in the Closet - Week 59

Last time, on Elder Wilson's blog:

"... We're also having a difficult time scheduling a plumber to come fix our bidet... always an adventure.

Stay classy!

Elder Wilson"

Pushes -SEND-

Leans back in the chair to appreciate a completed email and a job well done.

Four seconds later: "Hey, Elder Wilson! Remember how we told you that you could have a P-day today? Actually, you'll be going back to Normandy for the day to finish up some apartments. You'll have to leave ASAP. Have fun!"

And so it was that Elder Clarke and I jumped in the van and headed out. We basically had to dispose of some old appliances, take pictures of old apartments, and install a counter-top for some sister missionaries. We finished later than anticipated, but made it back to Versailles for the night.

The next morning, we headed to Charles de Gaulle airport again to pick up the new senior couple that is now living in the apartment we have been setting up in Le Havre. We took them back to the mission office, helped with a few things, then actually got to have our P-day for the week. Since it was Tuesday, the Paris catacombs were open and we decided to take advantage of the opportunity. 

Basically, Parisians centuries ago dug tunnels and caverns underneath the city to get the stone necessary to build all the cathedrals and buildings. After mass killings during the French Revolution, they decided that the old tunnels would be a perfect way to dispose of all the corpses, so they dumped them all down there. The solution worked so well that they dug up all the bones from the cemeteries of Paris and put them down there as well. The result is miles of underground tunnels filled with millions of skeletons. It took us around an hour to walk through it, and the walls were lined with 5-foot stacks of bones on every wall the entire way. It was really cool to go down there and see everything.

I also had to go to the prefecture to do more work to stay legal in France for a second year. I went once a week ago, and they gave me the wrong paperwork. I went a second time early this week to tell them the mistake, and they told me that there was no mistake and to go away. These attempts require waiting in line for an hour, mind you. I quickly determined that there was NO WAY that there wasn't a mistake, so I went a third time, stood in a three hour line, brought a senior couple as reinforcement, and eventually got my point across that they had given me the wrong papers. 20 minutes later I walked out of the place with legality. What a process!

On Saturday night, Elder Clarke and the other two Elders in the apartment with me (Coffey and Gutierrez) walked out of our apartment to go to the Versailles chapel for General Conference. We opened up the 100 year-old elevator, got inside, and pushed the button to go to the ground floor. We must have been working out too much and getting way too much chiseled muscle, because the weight for the four of us overloaded the elevator and broke it. Oops. Once It came to a stop, we looked around the interior and successfully found the "Max capacity 3 persons" sign in the corner. It's fixed now, but we got to help some ladies carry their groceries up to their apartments since we broke the elevator.

Even though the elevator incident prevented us from buying sufficient conference snacks, it was good. It's always fun to meet up and hang out with a few dozen missionaries for a day. Also, we read through the Conference edition of the Liahona so many times that it's nice and refreshing to get new material to learn from.

And there's your weekly dose of fun! I hope everyone is doing exquisitely. See you next Monday!

Elder Wilson