Pretty busy today so this is going to be a relatively short one, just some highlights of the week.
On Thursday this last week, we went to Lyon with about 75% of the mission to have a Zone Conference with one of the members of the Europe Area Presidency, Elder Sabin. Usually with missionary conferences like this, we have a general meeting for about 2 hours then have lunch and then have another 2 hours of the conference with the guest speaker. But usually they're a little shorter when important people like Elder Sabin come to them. I was expecting pretty much the same thing this time because you know how those General Authorities are, busy. Turned out I was wrong and Elder Sabin ended up talking to us for close to 3 hours. Yeah that’s about the same amount you spent in church in a given week. And I don't know how he did it but he kept it really interesting (at least for me, some other people dozed off a little) the whole time by telling stories about his life and different lessons he learned. At the end of the whole thing, he let some missionaries ask him some questions. Luckily I was one of them. I asked him if he could give advice to himself when he was our age, after all the successful business ventures he's had and being a general authority and all, what would it be. He told us that he wished he took the scriptures more seriously. He gave some really interesting insight about it afterwards and said that someone once asked him what he can attribute his success in business to and he said the Book of Mormon. Basically it was one of those you had to be there kind of thing but I thought it was really interesting and insightful. General Authorities are the coolest.
On Saturday we had a ward party where every auxiliary, i.e. Primary, Relief Society, etc. did a little skit/song thing. The Priesthood took the easy way out and just stood up front and sang a couple of hymns of course. My comp and I found ourselves at the table with all the other English speakers and we got to enjoy our entire night in English. My comp was pretty grateful since his French is still coming along.
Funny little experience for the week. Today we were doing our grocery shopping at the store and this elderly lady came up behind us right when we were checking out and she was holding three decent sized bags and so I decided to help her with them. See mom, I did listen to you. She pulled out this little jar of Skippy Peanut Butter from one of the bags and I commented how it’s hard to find real peanut butter here in France and that it's usually expensive. I was really impressed because she even knew there was a difference between crunchy and creamy peanut butter. She preferred crunchy of course. Like a normal French person, she said to us the few English words she knew and said she had seen our plaques (name tags) before. Anyways, I didn't think much of it afterwards and we wished her a Merry Christmas as we were leaving. We'd probably then walked 20 feet or so when she yelled to us and tried to run (more of a shuffle) over to us and handed us the peanut butter and said, "This for Christmas. Happy Christmas!" and then she turned back to pay for her stuff. I love nice people.
This week is going to be a little crazy since we'll be between five different cities and doing exchanges and zone training but at least we'll be spending Christmas and Christmas Eve with some English speakers.
Talk to you guys on Christmas!