March 24, 2014

Apostasy Part II? - Week 83

We're back! It was pretty fun to be able to go up to Brussels again and to see that big blue mission van parked outside the chapel. President drove it up from Paris to take Elder Christofferson around, so we were reunited again. We stayed the night with 10 other missionaries in one of the Brussels apartments, so it was just a big missionary slumber party. 

And so it was that we were able to go listen to Elder Christofferson and have a big Zone Conference. The assistants introduced some new finding methods focused on Easter that involve placing hundreds of flyers in mailboxes and then passing by later. Elder Oliverson and I gave a training afterwards, which included force feeding Soeur Cameron 20 marshmallows until she started choking. I'm sure it was fun for her too, though. Thanks for being a good sport.

After that, Elder Oliverson, Elder Dussere, Elder Price and I made our way to the car to start the road trip back to Paris. We ran into President on the way out, and he offered to trade cars with us so we could all ride in the big van. Remembering that the van has an auxiliary cord for an iPod, we traded cars without thinking and set off on our way listening to EFY 2011 down the highway. By the time we reached the Brussels city limits, we remembered why we were driving to Paris in the first place; we were supposed to trade cars with the Elders in Nivelles. Unfortunately, the car we were supposed to trade was in President's hands and halfway to Paris already. We called up President to tell him he would have to make the side trip for us and went to McDonald's to eat some burgers in shame. Not really though; we were forgiven the next day.

We got back in town to Lille on Friday after a sleepover with the assistants in Paris and made it to a mega, four hour long Ward Council meeting. During the four hours, we had a big pizza party together and we all brainstormed ideas on how to improve the missionary efforts in the ward. At a point when we got stuck and out of solutions, someone turned to the group and shouted, "We're just going to create our OWN church!" That'll solve all the problems. Those are the most fun Ward Council meetings I've ever attended. 

We had three baptisms planned for Saturday, so we spent the day on Friday going around the city with Elder Walton so he could interview all the investigators. All the talks, prayers and food were planned for the service the next day, until we got a call from one of the investigators an hour and a half before the baptism. He and his daughter were going to be baptized, but the daughter's little baby got really sick and they had to go to the hospital at the last minute. One of the members went with them and our three-person baptism turned into a single person baptism. Quite a few people came though, and it turned out being great. We're going to have a second baptismal service for the last two this next Saturday. Pray for no more emergency hospital trips!

"J" DID get baptized though, and he got confirmed yesterday in a nice white shirt and tie. He's from east Africa and studying English at the university in Lille. Super cool.

Luckily for me, some of Elder Oliverson's friends from home came and visited on Saturday. They came to the baptism, then took us out to lunch right afterwards at a fancy restaurant. I got some goose liver, smoked duck, crepes and a salad. Thank you Bushman family! You're fantastic. Also, thanks mamma Oliverson for sending food and root beer milk.

A good clip from the highlight reel of the week happened right before the baptism on Saturday as we were scrambling to see who was going to sing a musical number. Someone walked into the church and asked for a Book of Mormon. He said that for a long time, he's been wondering why there aren't any more prophets on the Earth. Some crazy guy on the street told him recently that Mormons believe in prophets, so he did some research and showed up at our building. He was a little cautious because of the whole "cult" reputation, so he didn't want to set anything up with us. We invited him to come to church the next day ... and he came! He enjoyed sacrament meeting, and we got to talk to him for awhile during the second hour. He says he's going to go read the Book of Mormon then come back. 

Talk to you next week!

Elder Wilson