Monday, January 11, 2016

Kicking It On the Saône - Week 31

For those uncultured Americans out there, which once was me before I came here, the Saône River is like one of the five major rivers here in France and France takes their rivers seriously sometimes. Along with their bread and weird cheeses. Note to self - don't be making fun of them for that. Anyways, let's get on to the week shall we?

After my whole 10 hour train adventure last Monday, I finally got all settled in to my new apartment. Right after I sent my email last week, we went off to FHE with a bunch of the members in the branch. I should also make a side note that this city is famous for making missionaries fat because of how much food they give us. But anyways, after FHE was over, everyone brought dessert to eat and one tradition here is that, in order to be a proper member of the branch, the new guy has to take part of eating a piece of cake. It's just a piece of cake right? It looks like a nice innocent piece of delicious cake but then they take a can of whipped cream and literally put at least 6 inches covering the entire thing and you have to finish it or else you basically get shamed for a while. I should also mention that they decided to do this after I had already eaten the other plethora of French desserts. After barely surviving that, I was officially welcomed into the branch. Apparently it's not like a one time thing either, it's a weekly thing. I guess I'll sacrifice.

But for the rest of the week we visited a bunch of members and literally left every single one of their houses with a bag of food. It's great.

It also rains literally all day long here. I actually only saw the sun twice last week. Let's hope my luck increases to at least four times this week. Is this too much to ask?

Yesterday at church was Branch Conference and so the Stake Presidency showed up with their families. Now you wouldn't think that's very exciting at all but the thing is, all of the Stake President's family is American. His wife and all five of their kids. The best part though was that his wife just looked like a Utah Mormon Mom. For those of you who actually know what I'm talking about, here's a gold star. But it was nice to be able to talk to some real Americans who aren't missionaries for the first time on my mission. We just got to sit there and talk about how America is so much better. Only the usual.

The Elders that were here not long before me actually baptized someone and he comes to all the activities and stuff and is super cool. But we were at the church last Saturday night and we were singing with some people from the branch and we heard some other people come in to the room so we looked and didn't recognize them. They introduced themselves as the parents of our recent convert. Well after talking for a bit, we learned that they didn't even know that he had been baptized and we went on to teach them all the missionary lessons pretty quickly. But at least now they know we are normal people who do normal things. For the most part of course.

Besides those things, I've been sick all week and so we stayed inside one day and tried to avoid standing outside in the rain as much as possible which is kind of difficult here but I'm getting better at least.

I also forgot to mention that I began my blackout year last week. A.k.a. I won't touch any American soil for all of 2016. Enjoy it for me will ya?

Love you all!

Blake



My new companion Elder Guyaux. We just learned that his Dad grew up with my Dad in Riverside, CA. You never know who you are going to meet while in France!