Monday, January 23, 2017

Do They Make Songs for Car Elevators? - Weeks 83, 84 and 85

I had my last week in Valence and it consisted of me eating at a lot of members houses. Like it wasn't until Saturday when we had to make our own dinner. The mission is rough sometimes. 

After getting transfer calls, we were busy all weekend so I didn't have time to pack until Sunday night, and after having packed a few times on my mission, I've become pretty efficient at it. I'm honestly just impressed I was able to fit everything in suitcases. I accumulate more and more stuff every time I change cities yet I always manage to fit everything in my bags. Then the next morning I headed out for the city of Lyon again. I was there about 9 months ago when I was working in the mission office. I also realized that Porte des Alpes (ward name) will now be the fourth city that I've served in the Lyon stake. Also, I have always had the dream to finish my mission in Lyon. And well look, here we are. 

On the train ride up to Lyon we went through this huge snow storm and so it was looking like I might actually have a cold winter. But when I actually got there, there actually wasn't any snow, just wind blowing for four straight days. And I don't know how many of you have walked around in the cold while the wind is blowing, but you just feel like a giant icicle walking around. Luckily though, one night we were out trying to go and visit a few members and one of the older couples were home and gave us some hot chocolate and cake. 

But back to Monday. After getting in, we ended up just walking around for a while with some other Lyon missionaries. Since a lot of missionaries don't ever get to serve in Lyon or really see a lot of it, it's fun to look around when you have the chance on transfer day. We went by the office on Monday and the Mahaffeys were pretty excited for me to be back around. Too bad they're only here for another six weeks before they go home. I do the translation for Sister Mahaffey during sacrament meetings every week. Since apparently sitting in an office all day speaking English isn't the best way to learn French. 

The church that we use here in Lyon is brand new. It was dedicated last November and is in the middle of the city so instead of deciding to build a normal building and making it one floor and pretty big they just decided to make it five floors. Can't say you see those around all the time. And they didn't have a ton of room for parking, of course, so they actually put a car elevator that goes down another floor to have more parking. Cool. Cool cool cool. And yes I did ride in it. 

Also funny thing that happened on Sunday. There was a baptism from another ward that we ended up going to. It was for a girl from Africa who knows a ton of people and a lot of her friends that came were members, but a lot were not. Well right when she was baptized you could hear one of her friends that was in the back yell "One more time!" and then all the members who know what's up just sat and laughed to themselves. And then after the baptism, there were three different African ladies stand up and preach about Jesus. Definitely not a normal Mormon baptism in Utah. 

It's pretty fun just to be in Lyon because there are people everywhere and seeing missionaries around all the time. I'm excited for the next few months and to see what else happens while I'm here.

Have a great week!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Where's Dory? - Weeks 81 and 82

Well I'm going to try and quickly just tell you a few exciting stuff from these past two weeks. Between Christmas and New Year’s, there are a few things to talk about. 

After P-day last week, we took a train to Grenoble to go on an exchange with the guys there. There is a member that we went to go see and she is known for this cake that she makes for the missionaries whenever they are over there. She said that she gave away her oven to her neighbor because theirs broke so she figured out how to make cakes without an oven. Basically it’s just fudge that is in the shape of a cake and she tried to get us to eat the whole thing. Now I don't know how many of you have tried to eat a piece of fudge about the size of my hand, but it’s not the easiest thing. She was super nice though and just kept feeding us whatever she had. Older ladies love when young missionaries come and visit and I feel like they almost empty their cupboards trying to feed us. 

Random funny story for the week. Later that night, we saw a billboard that said if you go to KFC and buy a bucket of chicken, you get one free for the holidays so of course we took advantage of that. All six of us headed out and took this bus that we thought would drop us off right next to the KFC but we were a little off. Turns out there was a stop not too far away but the other guys thought there was one closer and so we stayed on but the next stop was actually several miles away. There was a guy behind us who was laughing because he thought it was pretty funny to see a bunch of Americans that seemed lost in the middle of France. He tried to explain to use in English what to do to get back. But of course after a few seconds we told him we spoke French. And yes, we made it back and ate our KFC. 

The next day we were up in Lyon and since it was the holidays, of course some train conductors decided to go on strike so we didn't get back to Valence until late that night. 

Earlier in the week, a couple in the ward invited us to go with them to visit teach a some families that live about an hour and a half away in the middle of nowhere. We have been trying to see them for a while so we gladly agreed and we ended up spending like 8 hours with this couple driving around and visiting people. We learned that they were the first converts in French Guiana in South America. Pretty cool.

Christmas Eve came and we were really excited because we were actually allowed to watch Finding Dory. It turned out to be a pretty solid movie. Being a Disney movie, it was basically an emotional roller coaster for a missionary who hasn't watched a movie in a year and a half. Afterwards, we headed down to a member's house to spend Christmas Eve with them. The mom is actually from Canada but made all the typical French Christmas food for my companion since it was his first Christmas in France. Eating oysters is a pretty typical one and so they made him try one. They're not too bad. You just have to make sure to kill it with enough lemon juice. 

After Christmas on Sunday, we headed up to this little city a few miles outside of Valence with this family from New Zealand. He's the one that plays rugby professionally. He got all of his friends together and they made real islander food. Apparently they had been cooking since like 7 am and they cooked a pig on a spit for close to 6 hours, manually turning it over a fire. If you ever have a pig sitting around and a few hours to spare, I'd recommend doing it. It’s some pretty great food. 

Being the week between holidays, not many people were free to meet so we spent a lot of the time just talking to members and going through a lot of the papers about people who used to be taught and got in contact with a lot of them so we'll see how that works out. Pray for us. 

New Year’s Eve was spent with a single member who made us some food. He really likes to sing hymns so we spent a little time singing and just talking and eating, basically the normal French way. Later that night though, our neighbors decided to take their party outside at like 1 a.m. Thanks for letting us enjoy your music.

That’s basically a brief summary for ya. Hope you all had a great holiday season. It was good time video chatting with the family!