Monday, October 17, 2016

American Families are the Best! - Weeks 70 and 71

Well sorry about last week. I honestly just didn't get around to doing a weekly email so here's me trying to do two weeks at once, again. 

If you remember a few weeks back, a member gave us a 30 pound box of apples so we spent last Monday going around visiting all the members and less actives and anyone else we could think of around Gap to try and share the apples. We actually got to spend a few minutes with every single one of these apple recipients. A few people we actually had been trying to see but it's been really hard to set an appointment with them. Guys, you just have to randomly show up with something to give them and they like you. 

There is an American family who lives up in the mountains right outside a ski resort. We've been trying to go and visit them too for a while and finally were able to. They have this tradition that whenever they have missionaries over to their house, they make Mexican food. So we had a nice dinner of enchiladas together. They also stocked us up with American mac and cheese. Plus all the time at church, they always pull out some American candy to share. 

Thursday night we took a train to Avignon, that one city with the Popes' Palace in it, to spend the night so we could make it over to Nimes the next morning for a multi-Zone Conference. We were taking a bus the next morning to get to our train and we got stuck in traffic on the way there so we just decided to leave the bus and start booking it to the train. I would imagine it's a pretty funny sight to see eight young dudes in suits running towards the train station. We actually ended up not even catching the train but at least we got some crepes for breakfast.

Apparently Nimes is a really famous city in Roman history. There is a Colosseum there that is the best kept one in the world and they still use it for concerts and bull fighting events and stuff. As part of the conference, President Brown bought tickets for everyone to go inside for a bit. If you're ever in the area, definitely somewhere to go and see. After spending the night in Nimes with my old comp Elder Aitchison, we got up early to catch our train back to Gap where we had a full day of rendez vous around the city. We were running around all day! Busy is good.

At church last week, the Branch President blessed his new baby and so there were a lot of families there since all of his family came up for it. I have to say, it was nice having almost twice the amount of regular people at church and there is something about children running around that makes it feel like a real ward.

This was the first week in awhile that I actually stayed in Gap all week long. Pretty sure it is the first time in a couple of months. But because of that, we decided to take advantage of it and get a lot of work done in the area. We visited a member who is 90 years old next month. When we got there, she had baked us a cake and showed us all the pictures of her family and told us everything she could remember about her trips to Utah. People love to tell us whenever they've been to America. We were talking to this guy last week and he said he was going out to Utah to go skiing next month. And he was like "Yeah I'm going to, you know, where all the Mormons are from." Not realizing we were actually Mormons. 

This last Friday we went to see the American family again and they picked us up in this car that apparently used to be a French firetruck. Complete with couches in the back of it. Definitely have to add that onto the list: Something I Need to Get Sometime in My Life. But they literally took us on a 30 minute drive straight up a mountain. Pretty good stuff.

And if anyone sees Trevor around this week, wish him a late happy birthday. I'm only two days late though. Happy Birthday, kid! 

Well that about wraps up the weeks. I hope you all have a great week. Love you all.



In the French Firetruck


The American Family

Monday, October 3, 2016

Apple Country - Weeks 68 and 69

Well this week's email is basically just going to be a long list of bullet points of things that happened in the last two weeks. If you want any further explanation, feel free to email me and you'll get a response in 7 to 21 business days. 

All the way back to September 19th-
  • We gave a less active member a blessing because he is getting surgery and giving blessings in French are still different but it’s a lot easier when you're not actually the one who is saying the words.
  • We went out to our Branch President's house to do some service for him and we cleaned out his pool and I mowed his lawn with one of those lawn mowers without a motor that you would find in the corner of your grandparent’s garage.
  • Later that day we took a train down to Manosque because we had to go all the way up to Avignon the next morning. 
  • To get to Avignon on time we got up at 4 a.m. Yup That’s a 4.
  • Luckily we got there early so we were able to look around the city and there is this huge palace that a Pope built. The city has a long of history with the Catholic Church. I'm sure Google can help you out with some more information because sadly, I was unable to gather a lot of info because of lack of time.
  • After the meeting we drove back to Gap with the Senior Couple, Elder and Sister Walker, and we drove through the French countryside and bought some salted caramel ice cream cones. Those things are way underrated.
  • Friday night we took another train down to Manosque to help the Elders there move the next day.
  • I discovered that throwing pillows and mattresses from the 4th floor of an apartment is a lot more effective then carrying them down the stairs. All the neighbors enjoyed the Americans be effective movers.
  • Last Monday the Manosque guys came up to Gap and spent the day with us for P-day because we were going to do an exchange the next day.
  • As part of the exchange I went with the older missionary from Manosque and we sent the two younger guys together. They're combined missionary experience in the field was 10 weeks.
  • On Tuesday we knocked on a bunch of doors together and for both of the new guys it was their first time knocking doors. Basically if you just use the fall back plan of saying you're new in France and don't know French, the people you meet will talk to you and practice for a bit. 
  • Wednesday we went out to the Branch President's house again and this time we took apart his whole trampoline and set it up in a different part of his yard. He has this thing where he really likes to practice English with us and what makes it funnier is he has a super French accent with it but actually speaks really good English. 
  • I also happened to bring some Pop Rock candy with me, sent from Momma Wilson, and since they have five kids, I let them experience some American Candy. Surprisingly they loved that stuff. Definitely a good idea to give to people not from America.
  • Apparently Gap is known as apple country and so when you drive anywhere outside of the city, there are apple orchards everywhere. 
  • We went out the outskirts of Gap to this city called Embrun. You should definitely look that one up on Google. It's a city on the shore of a lake with a huge mountain right next to it. Beautiful. We did some service with six other members and we cleared out this member’s yard that was probably 3/4 of an acre with grass that was waist high. Using all the trimmers and lawn mowers we could, we cleared it out in like 5 hours.
  • Later that night, the Manosque guys came up and we had a district meeting with the Walkers in their apartment based on the talk by Sheri Dew called "You Were Born to Lead, You Were Born for Glory." It's a BYU speech. Go look it up for a good read. And then they made us some French dip sandwiches. Seemed pretty fitting.
  • We watched General Conference in the office at the church and on Sunday some members came and made us some sandwiches and brought a huge 30ish pound box of apples that they picked from their neighbor’s apple orchard and wanted us to deliver the apples to all the members around. I have to say, freshly picked apples are pretty good. 

Well that about does it for this summary of the couple of weeks. Take care everyone.


Elder Wilson


 Training time

Enjoying some Pop Rocks