WELL, I got my trunky papers from the mission today, asking me to coordinate with the mission office about my departure date. Euh ... am I old enough for this? I still have people to baptize!
At least I'm not as old as Elder Walton. He's going home in three weeks. I had an exchange with him this week, and we had SO much fun. We were together on Thursday, which happened to be a nationwide "no working" day for everyone who lives in France. Everyone had the day off with, of course, the exception of the missionaries and the seasoned bakers who make the blessed baguettes that are so necessary for daily living. Unfortunately, "everyone" DOES mean that there were no metros, buses, or trams in the agglomerate of Lille, meaning that we took the good ol' heel-toe express instead.
And so it was that Walton and I set out for the day without the intention of walking back to the apartment until the evening. We unfortunately don't live in our area, so we had to walk through some of the less-desirable neighborhoods of Lille to get to the church building. I'm not sure why so many people were completely drunk at 10 in the morning and wandering around the streets, but I stopped asking questions a long time ago. We stopped in a restaurant to eat unlimited fries for 5 euros for lunch (yeah, it was the only place open), and made it out to our destination by early afternoon.
While deep in the clutches of Villeneuve D'Ascq en route to our rendez-vous, it started pouring rain without warning. Elder Walton and I took cover under a tree on the side of the road while I was lamenting over the fact that I had worn my dry weather shoes. One of my pairs of shoes has cracks on the bottoms that are working their way up the sides of the shoes. I guess my heels and toes have been going TOO express. Proof that I actually work. After all attempts at superglue and silicone filling repairs had failed, I reasoned that I just would stop wearing them in the rain and save my secondary pair for wet weather. Luckily, I particularly enjoy filling my shoes with water before I walk for two hours back to the apartment, so Walton and I were in heaven.
Well eventually, Elder Walton and I made it back to the apartment after talking to more people and being yelled at extensively by a weirdo on a bike. He saw us, rode over and called out,
"Hey! Could you tell me about Joseph Smith?"
-"Well, I'm pretty sure you already know about him if you're asking the question."
"No! I don't know anything. Never even heard of him."
-"Are you sure? I think you're lying to us."
"I don't lie, man! You really think he prayed in a forest and saw an angel?"
-"Ahh, so you WERE lying to us. You DO know about Joseph Smith."
"Look, you guys just need to get it straight that everyone is from Africa, and has been from the beginning. You, me, everyone."
He started yelling nonsense after that, but maybe you get the picture.
Well, other than that, we had an awesome FHE with a young member family who invited "H", "D" and their daughter over for dinner. We got worried when they still weren't there after 40 minutes, but they just got the time wrong, and everything was good. They came to church on Sunday too.
We had interview sessions with President for the Lille zone this week, which means that Elder Tai and I got to give another training and feed everyone whatever we wanted. We ordered pizza and got some other sides, but everyone totally forgot about all the eclairs we bought. We ended up coming home with 15 eclairs and weren't even able to finish them all.
We had a lesson with a recent convert last night, and he says he's going to want to go on a mission next year if he's able to do well enough this semester in school. He watches conference talks every night and reads from the "Holy Book of Mormon" all the time. What a stud.
And there you have it! As always, you're officially up to date on the goings-ons of mission life. Talk to you on Sunday, mom.