Monday, November 2, 2015

Hogwarts Express on the Mediterranean - Week 21

Man what a week it has been. I didn't get one normal day of missionary work in my own city with my companion and I also went from one side of France to the other on train. Well, let's get started with this week’s adventures shall we?

This week started off pretty normal with us having our P-day and doing emails and shopping and what not. That night, though, we had a few things planned to go and meet with people and even to eat with a family that we were teaching. Well, one by one, everything fell through so what do guys do when things like that happen? Go and buy an unusually big sized dinner to eat. Luckily after that, we set up some more appointments with people for later one.

On Tuesday, the Zone Leaders came down from Bordeaux and we did an exchange with them. I stayed here for the day and Steinbock went up to Bordeaux to throw down with Elder Garside. Elder Sanders and I went and taught some of our investigators here in Agen and then headed off to go visit some guys who Elder Sanders used to teach when he was in Agen about a year ago. We kind of just surprised them with showing up there and they freaked out when they saw Sanders. Like these guys loved him. We sat and talked for a little while and ate some pastries with them since that's what you do with French people. Well it was all great and then it started to rain. We didn't think it would be too bad so we just decided to tough it out and make our 30 minute bike ride back home to finish up the night. About 10 minutes into the ride, it just started to pour rain. And I mean, it was like a ton of rain coming down, but the thing is, the rain was coming down hard so it basically felt like we were riding our bikes as hail was pouring down on us. Oh, and we couldn't really look forward as we were riding since it was getting blown towards us. Sanders probably thought I was crazy because I was enjoying every part of that bike ride. Even if we did end up soaked and slightly battered.

Wednesday we had a district meeting in Bordeaux in the morning. Luckily this time there wasn't any crazy delays and we actually made it before 1 o'clock. We ended up talking about the Book of Mormon and how it is basically essential to everything that we do. Also, if any of you have time, go look up a testimony of the Book of Mormon by Elder Holland. It's dope.

Thursday morning we woke up and looked forward to our 9 hour journey ahead of us. We had to go to Nice to pick up a legality card for Elder Steinbock. In the morning we had a layover in Toulouse and for some reason we thought it was a good idea to go and search the city for a grocery store to buy drinks for a our trip. It was a lot harder than it should be. After looking for like 30 minutes we finally found a place. But the only problem is that we were in the middle of Toulouse and had no idea how to get back to the train station. After asking 3 people where it was, and sprinting all the way there, we did finally make it without missing our train ... luckily. We had six seats on the train between the two of us so we could spread out and relax. We also had an hour layover in Marseille so I guess I can add that to the list of cities I have visited. 

After finally getting into Nice with only minimal train delays of like an hour, which is better than normal, we just met up with the Elders there and spent the night in their apartment. Now, being my foolish self, I didn't realize how close we actually were to the Mediterranean Sea. So the next morning we woke up and just went for a run and the next thing I know, there we were on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea as the sun is coming up. Nothing like running as the sun is coming up on the sea next to some mountains. Basically one of the coolest things I have seen in my life. If any of you have the opportunity to go to Nice one day, I definitely would recommend that. But after waiting in line for a few hours, we finally had the legality card and basically had the rest of the day to do whatever until our train left later that night. So we decided just to walk by the beach and walk down the main shopping area back to the train station. Also apparently Nice is known for its rocky beaches or something. Definitely have to say I prefer the real sand kind.

We later took a train to go to a city, Toulon, farther down the coast where Steinbock had served for 7 months. We went down there so he could just sort of show me around a bit and so we could go and visit members there. As part of that, we got to take a boat ride across that harbor. And I know what you're thinking to yourself, "Oh a boat ride, there's nothing special about that." Actually there is. That was the only boat that missionaries in France can take. And lucky for us, we got to take it when it when the sun was setting. Pictures included. Toulon is pretty unique since you have a city that is set between some mountains and the ocean. Also, it is the harbor for the French Navy so we saw plenty of massive battleships around. We ended our night by going to an activity at the church and I got to talk to a bunch of members there and now they all want me to come and serve in Toulon. I'm down.

The next morning we took another long train ride back to Agen. The cool part about this one is that, if anybody remembers from the first few Harry Potter movies when they are on the train to go to Hogwarts, they have like the little rooms with seats in it and they have the candy trolley that comes by to sell food to them. Well unlike Harry, I didn't buy the whole cart, but the same exact thing happened to us. Small room on a train with a candy cart rolling by. Basically the only difference is that I can't do magic but the priesthood is kind of the same thing right? Oh and I'm in France not England.

But finally after all that, we made it back to Agen alive and well. 

I hope everyone has a great week and I'll see you next time!

Elder Wilson

A random castle we passed

The guys in Nice