Monday, July 4, 2016

America the Beautiful - Week 56

Hey once again. This week was full of more soccer and really hot weather all the time. Last night we were lying in bed about to go to sleep when right at 11 o'clock a bunch of cars starting honking their horns and people were yelling. Looks like France won their game. I'm glad we don't have any traditions like that in America. But something else for you is England played last Tuesday and thet actually lost to Iceland. Aitchison was pretty bitter about it so we got some cookies to lessen the pain for him. But apparently a 1/4 of the whole country of Iceland game out to go to the games. Not bad.

Soldes shopping started back up again. And if any of you remember from last time I talked about it, it's basically Black Friday for a whole month and every week, everything that doesn't get purchased gets marked down even more. One of the nice things about France, too, is that there are a couple clothing stores that sell cool French style clothing only for guys. And there happens to be those same couple stores in every city. And since I have under a year left on my mission, that means I can start buying some clothes for back home right?

Wednesday morning we took a train into Manosque to do an exchange with the guys there for the day. After walking around trying to find some old Amis and unsuccessfully finding a guy named Mamadou, we went to teach one of their Amis who owns this Asian shop that sells all those stereotypical Asian things that you would think of. Apparently she gets old women coming into the shop all the time and they just sit there and complain to her about their lives and so she says she is first a therapist and sometimes she sells things. Luckily she spoke English and so we got to talk about the other people while they were sitting there. Haha. Some situations you get in as a missionary are pretty funny. She ended up making us some herbal tea and giving us some cookies as we sat and talked with her for a bit. And this was real herbal tea. The stuff with leaves still floating in it and everything. Surprisingly I actually liked it.

That next morning, we went down into Aix to have a Zone training with all the other missionaries from around here. Basically in those meetings we just talk about all the new things our mission President wants us to focus on for this transfer and we get to spend time with other missionaries, which is always fun. And in Aix it was really hot. Like I'm "yeah it's kind of hot" like "it's so hot I can't even think" hot. After taking a 3 hour bus trip back up to Gap, with real air conditioning, we basically called it a night.

We ended up being really booked all day Friday which doesn't happen too often here. But some of the highlights are: we have this less active member that we visit who has some problems with his legs and he drives around on a motor scooter all day and can't sit up for long periods of time. Because of that, we had our entire rendez vous with him laying down and him helping him do random things in the middle of our lesson. From getting bones for his dog to putting some of his groceries away. That's a pretty average lesson with him. After we finished up there, we headed out to another Ami who we've taught a few times before. For some reason in the middle of our lesson, he just started talking about these magic crystals that he has and a few stories of when he used them. Like one was he had this dying tree in his front yard and so he but his crystals in the base of it and it came back to life in a week and then he told us how he puts them on his table outside whenever there is bad weather and it makes the weather stop and then my personal favorite was when he said that he holds the crystals and uses his third eye, located in the middle of his forehead, and concentrates really hard so he can see the future. Always some interesting people that you meet on a mission.

Sometimes I wonder how some of these small branches are successful. Just yesterday at church, I was the one who conducted in Sacrament Meeting and I gave the lesson in priesthood. That's 2/3 of church that the missionaries did. I guess that's why there are always missionaries in these branches to help out. At least because I am in the Branch Presidency it didn't seem so awkward.

I'm actually currently sitting on a train going down to Aix again to celebrate the 4th of July with all the other American missionaries. I've got my American flag socks on and I'm ready to do whatever other American things we can think of. Have a great Independence Day and enjoy the fireworks for me.

Glad to be an American,