We had a baptism this week for the Bishop’s daughter and so Elder Bott and I volunteered to clean out the font because it doesn’t get used often and rust gets built up and turns the water red. That’s what happens when you're in an old country like France where everything is still built out of concrete and the pipes haven't been changed in a long time. We successfully cleanined that out with whatever stuff we could find in the cleaning closet at the church. The baptism was great! Little kids getting baptized is always the coolest.
We had some new missionaries come in from Lyon to live with us here in Valence and we had to pick them up from the train station of course to show them how to get to the apartment. The only problem was they got sent to the wrong train station and so we had to take a 20-minute bus ride out there to wait for them. It wouldn’t have been too bad but we were already in an outer city when we were told when they were coming in. Long story short, we got over to the station in time but their train was an hour late so I ended up beating Bott in foosball for awhile. Thanks, France, for conveniently having foosball tables for us to play with while we are waiting.
Thursday we went to this city called Romans, which apparently is the shoe capital of France and a couple members work there and they teach people how to make shoes. Our ward mission leader lives there also. I think I already mentioned this but he plays professional rugby here and is super cool. He ended up telling us some of his life story and how he ended up here and I explained to him how football works. Fair trade off I guess.
The super cool American family (where we had Thanksgiving), well the mom is American and everyone but the dad speaks English, invited us to come down to their place on Friday night because they were going to be having a Christmas party with some members and a bunch of their neighbors who aren't members. We got down there a little early to do a little bit of service for them and help get everything ready and it ended up being really cool because we talked to a lot of the non-members there and explained who we are what we do as missionaries. Don't worry it wasn't just like a random Christmas party that we went to. We still did missionary work.
After church on Sunday, that same half-ish American family invited a bunch of members down to their house to go caroling and to have dinner on Sunday night (after having already made us food to eat for lunch). There was a lot of miscommunication that went on so my comp and I got stranded in Valence (they live like a 40-minute drive south) 20 minutes before it started but luckily some people missed some exits on the freeway and so we were able to take a later train and get there and still sing. Now we are going to go back this week and knock on all those doors to see if anybody is interested in meeting with us.
Yesterday this guy came in the church right before church started and right when I saw him I knew he was an American. Turns out he's a BYU Professor who was a missionary here 25 years ago back when it was a little branch and now it’s a ward with its own chapel. We ended up talking to him for a little bit and he wanted to help us teach some people but since we had p-day today it didn't work out. But what did happen was this morning, Elder Bott and I went on a hike up to this ruined chateau, Château de Crussol, and no joke, 5 seconds after we started walking up the hill, this same American BYU professor turned up and gave us a ride to the top. Apparently he had just done that same hike and was on his way back down. This hike started in the middle of this small city a little distance outside of Valence and there he was! What are the odds? Pretty cool.
Excited to talk to my family next week on Christmas!
Love you all,
Working at the food pantry
Hike to the Château de Crussol