July 14, 2014

Plastic, Waffles, Party Bus, Muscles - Week 99

It's been raining almost nonstop every day this week in Belgium, but I managed to keep my feet moderately dry thanks to a large roll of plastic wrap I found in the kitchen.

(editor's note: look at following pictures. Guess it's time to come home!)

It was transfer week, but since none of us got transferred, we didn't have much contact with the world outside of Namur. We usually have district meeting or conference exchanges or something to keep us informed, but we stayed in our little bubble the whole time. Since it was raining, there weren't many people on the streets, so we spent most of the week knocking on doors. 

As we were out in a neighborhood last week, we saw a 77 year old lady working in her front yard and decided to talk to her. We walked out from behind her bushes and probably almost killed her because we scared her so bad. Once she regained her senses, she told us that we could come back another day and talk to her. 

We went back the second time this week and had an interesting rendez-vous. After she realized that we were Mormons, she told a story about her father, who passed away decades ago. He went to a concentration camp in Germany during World War II for five years and came back home after the war was over. He then joined the LDS church in Namur and was at one point in the branch presidency, but his wife didn't want him teaching their children about the church. She said her father baptized her when she was 9, but she never went to church a single time. Consequently, she also knows absolutely nothing about any of the doctrine, and we started at square one with the Book of Mormon. Her eyes are so bad that she can hardly read, but she said she tried to read the Book of Mormon until she got a headache and couldn't continue.

At the end of the second lesson, she brought out a big plate of homemade waffles, which served as confirmation that she is, in fact, Belgian. They were pretty darn good, so I asked her for the recipe and started writing it down. "First, you take a liter of milk, 10 eggs, two vanilla packets, and a cup of coffee ..." at which point, Elder Rodriguez and I stopped chewing and slowly looked at each other from across the table. No wonder why they were so good. That must be why more Belgians don't join the church: they just can't give up waffles to keep the word of wisdom. Just kidding. I had her repeat the ingredients, and the recipe doesn't actually call for coffee. She made a mistake the first time.

Wednesday night, we decided to go out to a village to knock on doors. We walked over to the bus station in the center of town and had 10 minutes before the bus came. Standing right next to us was a group of blonde 20 year old girls that may or may not have been tipsy. They had a radio and were having a dance party while they waited for the bus. Elder Rodriguez leaned over and said, "I really hope they're taking a different bus." Three buses came and left, and of course they didn't take any of them. Our bus pulled up, we got on, then the group of girls jumped on behind us. The bus pulled away from the station and we just laughed at the dance party going on in front of us on the seats and the music from the little portable speakers. Some other 20ish year old dudes got on at the next stop, at which point the bus driver decided to join in. He plugged in his iPod and blasted some party music over the bus speakers, gaining claps and cries of satisfaction from all the youth on the bus. Party bus! That was fun.

We talked to a huge muscle bound guy at his door while we were tracting a neighborhood last night, and after he gave us some hardcore rejection, I said, "Just one more question. What do you do to work out?" He responded with, "It's all about four times a week at the gym, a good diet, some protein, and praises to the Almighty Lord!" Well, we counted that we usually say somewhere around 30 prayers a day, so we must be getting huge muscles.

Well, to wrap it up, "B" is doing really well. We taught her with the bishop this week, and talked about putting off her baptism until August 3rd to give more time. She thought she would be ready before then, so it turned into a game of the bishop and the missionaries persuading her to wait an extra two weeks to be baptized. To be honest, that's a first for me on my mission. She's sweet.

That's all I've got for you today. Happy Bastille day.

Elder Wilson

First pair

Second pair. These are my "GOOD" shoes