January 13, 2014

Sure, I Talk to Myself, But I Drive a NASA Shuttle - Week 73

Well, no exploding tires this week. No exploding anythings, for that matter. If my lack of significant physical harm bores you, stop reading now.

So, we went to a big important zone conference in Paris again this week, and had trainings from other missionaries. We had lunch together, did some practice teaching ... you know, the usual stuff. The unusual part came after, when we came back to the mission home to find a BRAND NEW VAN sitting in the driveway. What a thing of beauty. Elder Prince called us beforehand to tell us it was ready: "Well, the good news is that it's a nice dark gray/blue color. The bad news is that since there aren't any severe dents in the sides of it, it's going to be a little tougher to maneuver around corners." Not a bad trade.

We refer to it affectionately as the "Space Van" for now, because it connects to our phone through bluetooth, makes our phone contacts accessible from the steering wheel, and lets us wirelessly play music. We're talking about high-tech stuff for poor European missionaries without tablet computers and smartphones. We're still going to internet shops run by middle eastern men to write emails on brandless computers running Windows 95. Wireless is a big deal for us.

Elder Hill and I got to test out our new locomotive as we drove to the other side of Paris to fix an electrical problem. The Sisters have been out of electricity for a few days, so they warned us by saying, "Don't open the fridge if you want to live." Unsure if they were just overprotective of their food, we decided to listen anyway and just searched the building for secondary electrical boxes instead. Even after talking to half of the apartment building, we still weren't able to solve the problem, and accepted defeat. Elder Hill fixed the problem after an hour on the phone with French utility workers.

Saturday morning, we had absolutely no office work to do, so we confidently prepared to spend the day proselyting our little hearts out. Not literally. Right before we were about to leave the apartment, we got a phone call soliciting our help to move a member family. Thus we see that even on days when Elder Hill and Elder Wilson don't have to go around the mission moving furniture, fate finds a way to make us spend the day moving furniture. Ha ha, very funny. I sure hope the powers of the universe were laughing.

The best part about the day of service is that 'R' came to help too. Here's the thing about 'R'. Once upon a time, a 28 year old hip French man named 'R' had an LDS girlfriend who left on a mission. He got curious about the church, found a Book of Mormon, and promptly read the whole thing. Then he read it again. Then he started reading the Doctrine and Covenants. Then he came to church on his own one Sunday and made all of our dreams come true. He's been meeting with missionaries since then, and has been known to request multiple lessons in one day. Then, he has the gall to show up to service before the missionaries, stay all day, and be extremely stylish and personable even while exerting physical effort. He's the real deal. He even rollerbladed home from church after his car AND motorcycle broke down.

That night, we went out to knock on doors and got let in to teach a nice Catholic man. He let us pray with him, then we left to go home. A lady walked passed us with her dog, then Elder Hill started backing up the space car and getting the rocket boosters ready to maneuver it out of the parking place. Just then, I had an internal battle with myself:

-I should talk to her.
-No, that's stupid. It's late at night and we drive a huge gray kidnapper van.
-But she's probably pretty nice if she has a tiny dog like that.
-Maybe, but I would have to chase her down. Can anyone say creepy?
-Do it.
-No. Elder Hill is in the car.
-Do it.

So I chased her down, started talking to her, found out that she's really super nice, and got her contact information so we can go teach her family this week. I guess I just need to be persuaded sometimes.

The rest of the week included office work, going to church, and having a surprise meal with an awesome less active college student and his roommate. We had some good moments.

Well, now I've successfully spent a whole email talking about the few things that have happened since the last one five days ago. I started off by thinking, "Well, THIS is going to be a short one." Not so.

As you were.

Elder Wilson