February 05, 2014

Le Tour de France - Week - 76

I can't believe I haven't thought to use that title before. Seriously.

Yes, yes, mother. I know, I'm late for my email once again. Two days late. Once I leave the mission office, I promise I'll be more timely with these things. Just think: now you have a shorter waiting time until the next one! You're welcome.

So last Monday, we actually had a real P-day, just full of some sitting around, shopping, and going to Ikea again. Yeesh, all these emails are starting to sound the same: "Went to Ikea again, built some more furniture, drove across the country." I'll need to start making things up so you'll be more excited. 

Anyway, we were in Defcon 3 on Tuesday as we had to get the apartment ready for the new Orléans couple before they came a few days later. Elder Christensen and I jumped in the van in the morning as part of the advance team. We were semi-planning to take two days to get everything ready, but we got some help from the Orléans Elders and finished everything that day.

The only mishap came when we realized that we didn't have a bed for them. We're not as dumb as we sound; we got a mattress and bed slats, but just missed the frame. We left the Elders to finish up with everything else, and Elder Christensen and I scoured the city for another furniture store. After finding one, we approached the bed salesman and placed our order. He recognized our American accents right away, and jumped on the chance to practice his English, which was admittedly pretty good. Better than most French people, at least. We chatted in English for awhile, and after explaining why were were in France for such a long time, he invited us over to his house to meet his family, and teach them about the church. You sell us furniture? We sell you the gospel. Merry Christmas, Elders of Orléans. Referral successfully referred.

After a triumphant drive back to Paris, we enjoyed a half-mission conference with Elder Kearon of the Seventy. We have become pretty good friends with the staff at Subway after ordering 800 sandwiches for the lunches, so they made sandwiches for us at 4 in the morning. We doused the van in a heavy saturation of the smell of spicy Italian, then got to enjoy the conference. It was really good, and he was an impressive and entertaining speaker/teacher.

The following day was the second half-mission conference (the other half), and we helped with the set up and food for that one as well. During the conference itself, I joined forces with Elder Walton and Elder Clawson to translate everything into French. It wasn't incredibly easy doing simultaneous translation for a sophisticated Englishman in the First Quorum of the Seventy, so we helped each other out when we couldn't think of phrases or when we had to speed find scriptures. 

Friday, we were calmly getting ready in the morning when we got a call from President, wondering who had gone to pick up the new Orléans couple from the airport. As it turned out, everyone had temporarily forgotten they were coming, so Elder Christensen and I ran into the car to get them. Even with an hour of Paris traffic, we were only a half hour late. Score.

That same day, we were riding in the metros back from district meeting and saw a little crowd forming on the platform ahead of us. Our metro car happened to stop at the crowd, and Taylor Swift got onto our car with a few of her bodyguards and one of her friends. Of course, I had to run over and talk to her and get a picture, and she was actually really nice. 

I 100% made that up. We actually just went to Ikea again for furniture ... only wanted to get rid of the glazed look in your eyes. I warned you seven paragraphs ago!

ANYWAY, enough lying. Saturday consisted of heading up to Compiègne, a city north of Paris. We just got a new apartment up there, but we decided to paint the walls to get rid of the deep smell of cigarettes. We drove the hour and a half, unloaded all the painting supplies, hauled them up to the fifth story of the building, and opened the apartment door, only to come face-to-face with a 90 year old lady and her four-foot tall adult grandson. Of course, our first thought was, "Either someone gave away our apartment and grandma has moved in, or we've made a terrible mistake." We ruled out the first option after we couldn't smell any pies baking in the oven, and we soon found out that the landlady had actually decided to paint the walls for us without telling us and had enlisted the help of her grandson. We left the grandson to do the work and went to KFC instead.

Finally, after church on Sunday, we jumped in the car with Elder Prince to go to La Rochelle. For all you Americans out there, La Rochelle is a city on the coast and is a 6 hour drive away. Yet again, we found out with short notice that a new couple is coming in a few weeks, and we had to go find an apartment for them. The Elders graciously let us stay in their apartment for two nights as we had appointments with rental agencies. In between appointments, we had some extra time and got to explore the city during our demi-P-day, and we enjoyed the warm weather. We stumbled on an 11th century castle and a medieval lighthouse/prison, so no complaining here.

We drove back from the coast to Paris yesterday, and now here we are! Such is the life, and I'm loving it. 

Like I said, I'm sorry I'm two days late, but now you get some pictures of La Rochelle. 

Talk to you again soon! Probably.

Elder Wilson

La Rochelle sunrise

We found a complete double rainbow!

And then we found the gold! It's right there.

Oops! Found a coastal 11th century castle.

Mini MTC Reunion