Monday, July 25, 2016

Do I Actually Serve in Gap? - Week 59

This was probably one of the crazier weeks that I've had on my mission because I slept in four different cities on four different days in a row. It’s pretty cool to get out and see different parts of the mission because the south is really different depending on where you go. But one thing is always the same, it’s always really hot. Luckily we were next to the coast and got some of the breeze coming in.

Last Sunday night we headed down to Manosque so that it wouldn't take us 4 hours to go down to Marseille for P-day on Monday We planned on meeting up with all the other missionaries from around. I had been telling people around Gap that we were going to go to Marseille on Monday and every single one of them told me we had to go and visit this certain cathedral. Luckily for us, that’s exactly what we did. You know how on top of temples there is usually the Angel Moroni? Well this cathedral had the Catholic equivalent of a giant gold Mary holding baby Jesus. The cathedral is set up on top of this hill in the middle of the city and so you can see everything around. After touring around for a bit, we got some falafel for lunch and ate it right on the dock in the port there. Later that day we headed back to Vitrolles with the guys from Aix and we all went to Ikea the next morning to buy them some stuff.

I bet it was quite a site seeing six Americans carrying a table and some pillows and blankets, among other things, across a busy city overpass with cars driving right next to us. There are always funny situations you find yourself in as a missionary. But don't worry Mom, we all made it back safely. After taking a bus back up to Aix, we went shopping to buy food for Zone Conference the next day. I have to say, when you have an entire cart full of drinks and chips and you're dressed like Americans, you get some pretty weird looks from people. I just bet that people were wondering why we didn't have any alcohol.

Later that night, we had a 13 person sleepover in the apartment in Aix, preparing for the multi Zone Conference the next morning with everyone from around Nice, Aix and Montpelier. It's so awesome to have a bunch of missionaries together just having fun. It was so great to have the missionaries from Nice there safe and sound, especially after the attack last week. They had some pretty crazy stories to tell. They were directed to stay in their apartment for awhile and not come out so the members in Nice took care of them and brought them food and anything else they needed. The church is a great organization!  

I'm not sure how many of know about our Mission President's wife, Sister Brown, but she's the type of person who is like that stereotypical grandma. She always has candy to give out to everyone and every single Zone Conference she comes up with a game to play. Since it’s the middle of summer, she came up with a game where some missionaries were launching water balloons in the air and some other missionaries had to catch them with a towel. It basically just turned into a massive water balloon fight. But don't worry, it all got tied back into some gospel principles. Later that night we took our 3 hour train ride back up to Gap.

In the morning, we went and installed some fire detectors and CO2 detectors in the empty senior couple apartment here in Gap. We ended up having to bang some nails through the walls to get them in and I'm sure the neighbors were wondering what's up since nobody has lived in that apartment since January.

On Thursday we did our weekly crepe party for all of the members, investigators and basically anyone who wants to come. We had a really solid turnout this time. But I think the highlight of it was when half of them started to argue about French history. One thing that you should know is that once a French person has an idea in their head, they usually don't back down from it for a long time. So there we were, listening to them arguing, with a couple other people who didn't really care just keeping up small talk. That's a little bit of France for ya.

Most of Friday and Saturday was filled with straight knocking a bunch of doors. The fun part was on Saturday afternoon it started raining a lot and so when people would answer the door, I bet it was a pretty funny sight to see a tall American and an Englishman soaking wet in the middle of France knocking on their door.

When we came to church on Sunday, there was a family from the north of France there visiting. Turns out one of the son served in this mission and served in Gap when I was in my first transfer way back when. Through them, we were invited to go eat with an investigator that we teach and that the previous missionary used to teach. It was pretty cool to just sit and talk with an entire French family since that doesn't usually happen.

So that's Manosque, Vitrolles, Aix and Gap that I slept in this week.

That basically wraps up the week. Except one of our investigators told me to say "Hi" for him to my family back home. So here's the greetings of a 70ish year old French man to you guys.

Love you all. Take care!

Elder Blake

See what you can do with a panoramic camera?