Monday, February 29, 2016

Churros for Everyone - Week 38

I'm glad to see all your smiling faces once again. That's always a nice sight to see. This was a more exciting week since we actually got into the swing of things and got some work done so why not get started?

Monday we had a planned a bowling activity to get some of the young adult less actives to come and actually realize that we, the missionaries, aren't really that weird. Well maybe a little bit, but we are kinda normal. We met up with all of them and ate at McDonald's just to make it more American and then headed over to the bowling alley. After a few racks, I wasn't looking too hot but much like BYU football these days, I came out strong in the second half and ended up beating everyone. All I got was like 5 seconds of glory but that was more than anyone else around. I'll take it.

The next day we had quite a few appointments because of people we had contacted so that's always nice to see your hard work pay off. We went to this one guy’s house and it turned out that it was a family and by the end of the first lesson, they had a baptismal date and we have a return appointment. When we went back a few days later, we had found a Book of Mormon in their native language of Urdu so that was pretty sweet. For those wondering, that's from Pakistan. But they're a Christian family who lived in Pakistan and had to basically leave because of religious intolerance and they landed here. I mean if they're here, why not baptize them, right? The dad is a cook for his job and made us some soup and it was incredible. If you have the chance to eat some Pakistani food, I'd recommend it.

We visited some other people for the rest of the week and on Thursday we found ourselves with an appointment with this guy from Sudan who we had contacted in Chalon who actually lived in this smaller town a fair bit away. So luckily we were already out with the Snows visiting someone and they dropped us off. Well we got talking with this guy and he is Muslim and as he explained it to us, religions are like cars, the newer ones are better. So for all those wondering I'll now be starting a new religion and everybody needs to join it since it’s the best one. Just like the newest cars these days, it'll have the best features. I'll include churros at every meeting too.

Now you ask yourself, why did he just mention churros? Well apparently it's a big thing here in France when Carnival comes around town. Literally the entire town gets taken over and there are carnival-esque things everywhere. From rides being set up and bumper cars and carnival games, to the smell of churros everywhere. We have yet to find the best churro around but I'll let you know once we do find it. There are also parades that seem to happen every night and they spray confetti everywhere. Pretty fun sight to see and I've only had confetti thrown in my face once so far. Hoping to have it thrown at least a couple more times just because.

Besides those few highlights, we spent the day in Lyon on Friday doing stuff with the Zone and then we had some other rendez vous throughout the week. Ended up being pretty successful and here's to another one just like it. 

Love you all!

Elder Wilson



Bowling Par-tay!


video


video

Monday, February 22, 2016

Chalon Round 2 - Weeks 36 and 37

So before I get to this week, I'll talk a little bit about last week since I never really got around to it! After spending the day at President's house and eating a bunch of American food, I went back to Chalon with Elder Jensen to do an exchange for the day. Basically the day consisted of us walking everywhere around Chalon to try and find some old investigators with basically no luck. On the bright side, I know Chalon really well know. Then that night our comps came back up to Chalon to trade back comp's but instead of them going back late that night, we decided to just make a floor bed and have a bro over. Basically a sleepover but it's a bunch of dudes sleeping on a massive bed on the floor. You get the picture. The rest of the week just consisted of us visiting some people and driving around with the the Snows, the senior couple. Just the usual.

But now to the important stuff. We got our transfer calls on Friday morning of last week and I'm sticking around here in Chalon and get to be with Elder Lindsey. I've heard some good stuff about him so it should make for a good transfer. Sunday came around and Guyaux had to pack and all day he said bye to everyone here.

On Monday morning I headed down to spend the day in Lyon waiting for Lindsey to come up from the city of Aix. My day consisted of me talking to a ton of missionaries who went through the train station in Lyon to get to their new cities and hanging out in the office for a while. Oh and eating the forever coveted Burger King that you can only eat in Lyon. Good stuff. But that night we got back to Chalon and got invited to eat at this less active's house with the Snows. She's from Columbia and made some authentic Colombian food for us. Let's say that I'm a fan. Besides that, we just went back home and unpacked for a while.

Most of the week consisted of us knocking doors and stopping people on the streets because we didn't have too many people to teach. It's weird how not fun knocking on a bunch of doors sounds but we had one of the young adults come with us. Nothing better than just chilling with your bros and getting some doors slammed in your face. That's how bros get close.

Thursday we went to this smaller city called Beaune to go and meet with some more less actives. We didn't get to experience ten cats this time luckily. But we did end up talking in this French café on a street corner where I possibly had the best hot chocolate of my life. If you ever find yourself in this corner of the world, ask me and I'll hook you up with the info. We had a super cool lesson with her about her conversion story to the gospel. Basically I've learned that members here in France, since most of them are converts, have really cool conversion stories if you can get them talking. Then later that night, we went over to a member’s house to eat with them and with an old missionary who served here in Chalon and her family who just picked her up from her mission this week. They're all from Peru but live in the USA so they speak enough English so the dinner consisted of some Americans, Frenchies and people from South America speaking three different languages. Just another normal thing here in the France missionary life.

The day after, we kind of got bodied (ask your nearest French missionary for that reference) all day and all of our appointments fell through, so we found ourselves with the Snows again in a smaller city with nothing to do and having not eaten dinner. So the Snows, being as great as they are said, "Well I guess we just have to go and eat dessert at our apartment now." Have I mentioned how great they are? They even made us dinner too.

Saturday came around and we helped paint one of the member’s new apartment. All I gotta say is I'm glad I'm not a painter because we did a pretty big hack job at it. But I'm sure I can be hired out pretty cheaply if any of you guys need some help.

Sunday I woke up and felt like I had been hit by a semi-truck and so we stayed inside all day which kind of blew but at least I feel better know. That's basically the week in review!

Check back next week to see what happens. Thanks for being the best email readers out there. 

Take care and love you all!

Elder B. Wil

Monday, February 8, 2016

Ferris Wheels and Golden Heads - Week 35

Hello once again! Weeks just keep going by fast here. It's pretty crazy how short they feel sometimes. But anyways, you don't actually care about that so I'll actually just talk about some of the fun stuff we did this week!

I'm pretty sure I explained last week how last Monday we were heading to Lyon to spend the day with a bunch of other missionaries. After finally getting there after our train ride, we all met at this park in downtown Lyon called Parc de la Tête d'Or. Or in English, the Park of the Golden Head. Apparently it's some famous park there. I'm not sure. All I know is that the whole park is basically a zoo and they just had lions and some ostriches and other animals there. Pretty cool. We ended up just playing Frisbee for a few hours with everyone there which was pretty fun. After we all had enough, we decided to head over to this place called Place Bellecour where during this time of the year, they set up a Ferris wheel that people can ride. And so naturally upon seeing that, that's exactly what we did. It was set up at the perfect height where you could see over all the buildings in all of Lyon and made for some super cool views. And yes, I did take a selfie at the top like I promised. Afterwards we just went and looked around some shops for a little while and then headed back to the apartment in Lyon to actually go and do real missionary work. Later that night, we started an exchange with the zone leaders and so we were going to stick around Lyon for the next day too. Spending the day in a big city? Count me in.

The next day, I headed out with Elder Walker and we spent the afternoon checking on some less actives and going contacting back at Place Bellecour for a few hours. Nothing too exciting happened but I'll always take a day to walk a little bit around Lyon and for some reason, at least half the people in Lyon speak English. That's always a nice change for me. Guyaux and I later headed back to Chalon where we had a rendezvous set up to eat dinner with a less active family. Cool. So this family we visited are originally from Tonga and they made us a few things from there and I have to say, I'm a fan. They also said we had to come back sometime so they can do a real feast with us and all their cousins. Count me in. But the dad of this family is super cool and is actually a professional rugby player and he told us part of his life story. Basically he went from living in the poor parts of New Zealand when he was young to playing for the best team in the world for a few years. Pretty crazy. I'm just glad he'd be on my side in a fight. You know how those rugby players are.

Wednesday we went out and visited with one of our investigators who had referred herself on Mormon.org, the same one previously mentioned in weeks before, and had an awesome lesson with her. She is one of the few real French people who has completely embraced the gospel. She was telling us that sometimes during the week when times are going rough, she looks at the pictures of the Madrid Temple her friend sent her and she says she just gets these good feelings and wants to go there. Can we get this lady baptized already? But actually, we set up a baptismal date for her in March so hopefully all goes well and we can get her baptized then. Prayers anyone?

Nothing else too exciting happened for the rest of the week. I'm currently back in Lyon right now because we came down for a missionary fireside Sunday night and we stuck around today because all the missionaries in Lyon are actually going to spend the day at President Brown's house tomorrow. Should make for a fun time. Love you all. 

And see you soon!

Blake



Ferris wheel at Place Bellecour




Weird Panoramic Selfie


View from the top of the Ferris wheel

Monday, February 1, 2016

Strollin' in Lyon-in - Week 34

Alright, alright. I know that title is a little bit of a stretch but you have to make things rhyme. It's a lot more catchy that way. Anyways, this week features a lot of stuff happening in Lyon and well, that's about it!

This week actually does start off in Chalon. One night we got a text from one of our friends here asking if we could help him do an experiment for a PhD he is doing here. He even said he would make us dinner. What a nice guy. We walked over to his place that night and he set up all his stuff for us. So he's doing his PhD in like technology and human interactions or something so he had us put on these 3D glasses where I could only see blue and my comp could only see red and we had to basically play Pacman but with no ghosts and my comp could see all the invisible stuff that slows me down and I was just supposed to collect these mushrooms and we're supposed to be talking the whole time. Anyways, basically we did these experiments for him and I am proud to say that normally it takes about 300 seconds for the average person but my comp and I beat the record twice and did it in 150 seconds. Gold star for me? We ended up eating some pretty good Asian food with him, which is hard to come by here, and we taught him about the Restoration. Cool. Cool cool cool.

The next morning we headed down to Lyon with the Snows, the Senior Couple, to go to Zone Conference. It always makes for a good time hanging out with a bunch of missionaries for the day. Well for part of the conference, President Brown took us to this amphitheater up on one of the hills in Lyon. The place was actually built in 12 BC. Yeah you read that right, 12. As in 1-2. That blows away the church from the 1200's or whenever it was that I was at a few months ago. It had a really nice overview of the city and pictures will come soon. But he basically talked to us for a little while, had the dying testimonies, (no they're not actually going to die but it's mission slang for those missionaries that are going home and this is their last Zone Conference so they get the chance to talk to everyone) and sang our mission song in the amphitheater. Apparently it has perfect acoustics there? I'm not sure, you might have to ask a music major on that one. Afterwards, I stayed in Lyon for the day on an exchange with the Mandarin companionship.

After finishing up the conference, Elder Bleak, pronounced like Blake which always screws me up, and I headed out to meet up with one of their Chinese investigators. Basically our objective for the day was to just hang out with the guy because they hadn't seen him in a while and they needed to get in contact with him. He asked a little about me and when I said I hadn't ever really looked around Lyon and that this was one of my first times in Lyon, he promptly wanted to show me around. So that's exactly what we did. We hit a couple cathedrals and walked along the Rhone River and went and saw the Hôtel de Ville, which is a really cool one to look up if you have time, and a couple other famous places around. And yes Mom, I got some good pictures of a lot of them. After the investigator left to go to work, we went contacting for a little while. Now since this was the Chinese companionship, literally what we did was go and find people who are Chinese. So we got on the metro and rode around for a while pretending we weren't racial profiling everyone we saw even though that's exactly what we did. This is usually how a conversation would go down with them. I would go up to someone and speak a little French, pretend I was really bad, asked if they spoke English, talked for a little while, asked where they were from and when they said China, I would throw out the one Chinese phrase I know and then Bleak would actually talk to them in Chinese. After that, I felt like I was a new missionary again and had no idea what was going on. I definitely don't miss those days.

The next morning we woke up and had set up some badminton games to play with some Chinese investigators they have. Now let me tell you, if you are as inexperienced as I am at badminton, you (insert clever saying that implies that I got beat badly at badminton) but really though, these guys were like 2/3 my height and we're making me work at it and they weren't even looking tired. Luckily we played a little basketball afterwards and you can guess who had the advantage with that one. (If you guessed the Chinese, you're wrong.) After getting worked, we went back and one of the guys from China made us some really good Chinese food.

That basically sums up the week. I'm actually heading back to Lyon today for a P-day with the zone. What I'm most excited about is that we're going to ride the Ferris wheel there. Definitely taking a selfie while at the top. But I'll be in Lyon Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday and maybe next Monday so I hope to share with you my escapades there later. Anyways, thanks for the support and I love you all! Catch you again next week.

Same time, same place.

Elder Wilson