May 19, 2014

Manga Should Be Standard MTC Training - Week 91

Ni hao, wo she Wei Shen Jung Lao.

We usually do some pretty Asian things with Elder Tai being the other half of the companionship, but this week was especially noteworthy.

Thursday morning, we were out contacting by the university as usual. Elder Tai found a Chinese dude in the metro that let us (by "us" I mean Elder Tai) teach him about prayer for 20 minutes. Of course, I threw in my token phrases of, "I'm his companion!" or "I don't speak Chinese. I'm a missionary. I like noodles" as they were required. Upon leaving the metro, we got a long distance snipe shot at a Japanese girl and speed walked until we contacted her. After getting her phone number, we turned around to go the other direction and ended up behind a group of Taiwanese students. Elder Tai couldn't pass up the opportunity, so he contacted them all and they replied with, "Well, do you want to come eat lunch with us and we could talk some more?" Much obliged.

And so it was that I ended up at a collegiate cafeteria munching on a sandwich and chilling with hip French students. The line was unusually long due to a cafeteria strike, but I was able to pay the student rate and got an invite at the exclusive Asian table as the specially allowed Caucasian friend. I couldn't really add too much to the conversation since you can only say, "I like noodles" so many times without people wondering why I was actually eating a sandwich. They were nice though.

Anyway, the next night, we went with a member to have dinner with two of his nonmember friends. They've all known each other for decades, and they all share the same obsession for manga/anime from the 70's and 80's. It just so happens that Elder Tai knows all about Asian manga as well, so they all had a blast talking about their favorite episodes. They would eventually feel bad and turn to me to ask, "So ... what's your favorite manga, Elder Wilson?" "Well, uh, I guess I watched Pokémon when I was like seven like everyone else." "Oh. That's cool." "Yeah, I suppose so."

After I got back into my element, I went on an exchange with the one and only Elder Shaver. We call him Shaved Ice as a rapper nickname, or Screen Shaver if you prefer the techie lingo. We had a grand ol' time contacting in Roubaix and finding another French student who was relatively interested.

Saturday was a stake High Priest activity, and they all did splits with the missionaries. We got special permission to bring in all the Elders within an hour and a half or so of Lille, and we ended up having 25 companionships of Elders and High Priests to go contacting and visit less actives. Elder Oliverson and Elder Barr got to come up from Amiens, but they missed their return train and had to sleep over at our apartment for the night. It was super fun.

In other news, we also got to go to St Omer for a baptismal interview, which also happens to be the smallest city in the mission. The place is famous for its beer factory, and the whole city smelled like hops from the brewery as we drove around in the car. We also found out this week that "J" has been living with his girlfriend, so the baptism thing is at a standstill. He knows that everything is true and wanted to be baptized, but moving out might be too hard for him to accept.

Have a good week! Hopefully you've got some nice weather on the other side of the pond. It's been basically perfect over here. À lundi.

Elder Wilson