December 02, 2013

Wingapo! - Week 67

Let's give two snaps and a clap for another week completed! Well, I suppose it's bittersweet. It was a rather good week, after all. Also, the passing of another week leaves only one more until transfers, and Elder Hill and I are really hoping to both stay in Versailles. We're casually bribing the assistants and President with baked goods, and we're getting the senior couples to make requests for us to stay. We'll see what happens.

Anyway, since last Sunday was Elder Hill's birthday, we celebrated by going to the very tip top of the Eiffel Tower. It was the first time either of us had been to the top, and we made a game of sprinting up the stairs as fast as we could. It's part of the mini-health kick we're in to stay alive. On all the trips around the country, we're reduced to eating McDonalds and KFC for a good portion of our meals, so we have to be extra healthy the rest of the time in order to keep our hearts pumping oxygen to our brains. We need all the help we can get. 

It's always fun to peruse around Paris, because we inevitably run into some member families on vacation. This last week, Elder Hill made a comment along the lines of, "Man, I'm surprised we haven't seen members at the Eiffel Tower yet today." Three seconds later, we heard, "Hey! Elders! How's it going?" We turned around and, sure enough, there was a bustling family. For some reason, things have been manifesting themselves soon after we talk about them. It's a superpower, but no big deal. 

We went to a number of appliance and home improvement stores that night, and were lucky enough to hit every single one 10 minutes before closing. We were greeted each time by the security guard with a caution of "Hey, you only have 10 minutes!" When we walked out 8 minutes later with three microwaves and two ovens in tow, we gained their respect.

All the shopping was in preparation to head back to the city of Troyes and finish our painting job. All was well, and I finished the day with new knowledge of how to paint a house, install a washing machine, and adjust crown moulding. If God uses missions to prepare us for life, I've got a robust career as a construction worker ahead of me. 

And now to the reason why you're really reading this email ... Thursday was Thanksgiving. We had to leave early Thanksgiving morning to take a senior couple to the airport so they can go home and recover from a recent heart attack. We got them on their flight safely, and I was content to see the "Happy Thanksgiving!" signs flashing throughout Charles de Gaulle Airport. The timing required us to drive directly to central Paris in rush hour in order to get to our Thanksgiving celebration on time, so we had an enjoyable two hours in the car of naming things we're thankful for. 

We got to the church to meet the missionaries in our zone and have a district meeting. If everyone in the Paris zone wasn't jealous of being in the Versailles district before, they sure are now. I used my connections with the office to bring colored paper, and everyone made Thanksgiving Native American hats while I was giving the training. I don't know if everyone was jealous because we had colorful paper feathers on our headbands or if because we greeted each other with "Wingapo!" the rest of the day. Either way, it was a great day to be alive. (editor's note: Wingapo is a Powhatan Indian term for "Welcome" or "Our words of kindness", now an extinct language, but used in the 1600's and more specifically in the movie Pocohontas. Yeah, I had to look it up ... only Trevor would remember something like that!)

Due to our recently tight schedule, we weren't able to purchase our meal assignment of two chickens ahead of time. As a result, as they were setting up the tables, Elder Hill and I sprinted out of the church to find a butchery in Paris. We found one after a bit of searching, but it was ridiculously expensive. Not having any options, we bit the bullet and took two chickens to go. On the bright side, it was thanks to those two chickens that the zone Thanksgiving meal was saved. Two other missionaries decided to try to cook their own chickens and they succeeded all too well. The do-it-yourself chickens turned out to be "not burned, but cremated," as Elder Prince described it, but the expensive ones from the butcher were great. You get what you pay for, I guess.

All in all, it was a great day, and it was thoroughly enjoyed.

The rest of our week consisted of deliveries, fixing leaks, and a few lessons sprinkled in here and there. We finished off with another airport trip this morning, as is apparently tradition. There's a French lady that works for Delta that is getting to be our best friend. She comes over and talks to us while we wait in line, and we're slowly explaining to her the Word of Wisdom more and more to the point of eventual acceptance. One trip at a time ...

See ya next time!

Elder Wilson