March 10, 2014

This is My Email. - Week 81

Well, life is back to normal! Back to finding investigators, talking to drunk men who let us in their houses, being fed by random African families, and back to fending for myself instead of being taken care of by senior couples. Elder Oliverson makes fun of me saying that my "heart is still in Versailles" because my replacements keep calling to ask for advice and things like how to start the car. Hey; it's not my fault they developed a partial dependency after I was there for half a year!

So by the time I wrote the last email, it was late in the day and I still had to pack all my suitcases before morning. We figured we had enough time to get started, but then scheduled a lesson with some recent converts and had to meet all the new missionaries at the train station and take them to the hotel. Suddenly, it was 9 at night and I was basically just starting to pack all my bags. I eventually fit half of everything I owned in my three bulging suitcases, then shoved more in an over sized military backpack, side bag, and grocery bag. Basically, I needed a team of three to get all my stuff through the metro the next day. Luckily, I had Elder Christensen, Elder Nielsen and the Princes to take all my stuff through the metro. 

In Paris, I met up with Elder Oliverson and Soeur Rhondeau showed us how to get to a hipster shawarma/falafel place next to the church. Let's just say, that's all I've really been wanting to eat for the last few days, but pasta it is! We snapped a few Polaroid shots in the courtyard of the church, then said goodbye to Soeur Rhondeau and Soeur Hill FOREVER. Not forever; just a while. They DIED and ditched us for a plane back home. Our sisters are dead. Gone and in the grave. That's the sure sign of being an old missionary: our sisters have gone home already. May they rest in peace.

After that, we herded up all the 10 or so people going up to Lille from Paris, and took all the bags through the metro to get on the train. No casualties this time, but we had to enlist the help of a half dozen people to carry everything through.

Well, Villeneuve D'Ascq in Lille is pretty legendary in the mission for being the ward who is the most involved and enthusiastic about missionary work. We showed up to the city on Wednesday night and went straight to ward council meeting. Basically, it was a session of, "How can we get your investigators baptized and in the ward as easily and quickly as possible?" So awesome. The bishop walked up to us on Sunday and said, "Wow, there are a lot of investigators here! We need to make sure that they're all invited over to members' houses this week so they come back next week."

Friday, Elder Oliverson and I went back to Paris for mission leadership council and spent a good chunk of the day in meetings. Lille is only a 45 minute train ride on a TGV going 300 km/hour, so it's pretty nice that it can be just a little day trip.

For the weekend, we ground our boots to the pavement and went out to find and teach people. We have some pretty cool investigators and families we're teaching, and we're set to have at least two of them baptized in the coming weeks. We were able to contact some sweet people as well, but let's be honest: most of them went to the Sisters. Elder Oliverson gets fake angry when we give another investigator to them, but he'll get over it. It's pretty funny.

As for the apartment, it's SO fun. Let's see. Three missionaries as old as dirt and a newborn blue. It's me with Elder Oliverson who has been around me since the MTC, Elder Walton who is going home in three months and has hung out with me in Paris for the last six months, and Elder Shaver, a brand new Elder who just got here from Canada. Elder Oliverson, Elder Walton and I just reminisce about crazy people we know and crazy things that have happened to us all the time. Elder Shaver probably just sits and thinks, "Is this what I'm going to be like in a year and a half?" Yep, with any luck!

And, well, here we are! Just living the big city life and speaking French with all my friends. Have a great day.

Elder Wilson