July 21, 2014

Serial Killer and an Attempted Kidnapping - Week 100

We received a letter in the mail this week. It had no return address, so we don't know who it's from. Inside was a serial killer note that said "YOU'RE NEXT" in magazine clippings. Ha. 'Cuz we're dying. We're trying to figure out who sent it so we can return the favor.

Elder Rodriguez and I have been tracting the same little city on the outskirts of Namur for the last transfer, so we're there almost every night. There's also an ice cream man that passes through the same little city every single night, so we see each other a handful of times a week. He's our best friend now, and he always stops to say hello to us or bows at the driver's seat and gives us a friendly honk. I'm just holding out until the day he decides to give us free ice cream.

Speaking of eastern European friends in cars, we've got some other friends from Albania. Remember when we got invited in and offered wine by an Albanian dude a few weeks ago? We've seen him driving around the city a few times, and he always slams on the breaks to roll down the window and gives us a fist bump. He always has friends in the car so he introduces us as the American Mormons.  We saw him again on Saturday as we were walking out of our apartment, but this time, he yelled out to us and motioned for us to get in his car. We figured we had nothing to lose, so we hopped in and enjoyed the air conditioning.

After he introduced us again to his friend and showed us some cool Albanian music, we were curious what was happening and asked, "So, uh ... where are you guys going, anyway?" They responded with, 

"Oh, nowhere really. We just drive around and look at all the girls walking through the city. They look better in the summertime, you know. What about you two? Where were you going?"  

"Well ... we weren't going anywhere either. We were just going to walk around and talk to those girls walking on the street ... but about the gospel." We had them drop us off after a few minutes, and we got on with our day.

We had another zone conference with President Babin, which was fun. They like to use a lot of videos and music, so it's kind of like listening to EFY speakers, but learning cooler stuff. As is custom at all zone conferences, they had the departing missionaries give their "dying testimonies," which included Elder Price and me. We've been seeing missionaries give dying testimonies since the first month in the mission when I was back in Strasbourg with my trainer, and it's kind of important. Throughout our entire missions, we always see people going home and wonder what we're going to say for our own dying testimonies. Now that day has already come and passed for us.

It was Elder Price's birthday on Saturday, and we went to a member's house to eat dinner. We celebrated his birthday and my 3/4 birthday, since I'm 20 and 9 months old. I only ate 3/4 of a cake as a result. We tried going to get Pho at an Asian restaurant the next day, but it was closed for summer vacation. Lame.

Today is a national holiday in Belgium, and a big military parade just marched past in front of the internet café. Pretty cool.

We also did more service for the lady that owns the sickle and taught our African family on Saturday. We taught "S" before that, who is the 77 year old lady whose father was a member of the church. Her 11 year old granddaughter has been there for the lessons recently, so we're teaching them both. I don't know what's cool in America, but all the European elementary school kids wear little rubber band woven bracelets all the time recently. It's turned into a type of trophy for missionaries to be given one of the bracelets by a little kid, and when we taught the granddaughter, she pulled out a loom and started making the little bracelets. Elder Rodriguez and I held our breath to see if she would give one to us, but we had to leave before she finished. We're gonna score next time for sure.

We finished up the week by teaching one of our African families, but the lesson turned into him explaining the intricacies of chemical bombs for a half hour. You see, he is a chemist. We went home last night and crawled into bed after the sun zapped all of our energy and enjoyed the peace and quiet for three minutes until a huge rock concert started right outside our window. We enjoyed falling asleep to French singers singing songs by The Police and Green Day, until a gigantic fireworks show started over the river out our window. It was equivalent to a 4th of July fireworks show, and we climbed out onto the scaffolding outside our window and enjoyed it for a little while.

It's been difficult to keep in steady contact this week with "B" since she's in the process of moving, but we're still trying to make the baptism happen on August 3rd. We called in a favor from the Elders of Charleroi who are helping us teach her tonight, so it's a team effort.

And thus we find ourselves in an internet shop on an overcast day in Namur. Next week is going to be my -LAST- email home ever, so I'll put in some extra effort to do some good things this week. Stay tuned. Adieu.

Elder Wilson