Monday, February 27, 2017

Overview - Weeks 89 and 90

Brief review for the past couple of weeks:
  • Visited a giant Catholic basilica that's super famous in Lyon for P-day and took some pictures. 
  • Went on an exchange with the Elders from Clermont and they have a car so I got to go drive around all day trying to find less actives that live far away. 
  • We had an open house for our new chapel here and the ward asked all the American missionaries to make a collective 1,000 cookies. Yup 1,000! (They really don't have cookies here so French people love American cookies.)
  • Sat at the church all day and gave tours and presentations and handed out cookies to people who came and visited the church. 
  • The Mahaffeys are leaving to go home this week so the ward had a testimony meeting kind of thing where everyone basically professed their love for them.
  • Since it was the last week of the transfer, we spent last P-day at President's house eating tacos with about 30 or so missionaries and played basketball and a bunch of other fun American stuff.
  • Also on a side note, there is a sister missionary named Sister Wilson and we've started up a joke where we're cousins and we've convinced a few people so we'll see how long it goes.
  • We had a member of our ward teach us how to do genealogy and cool stuff to do with it so we can use it better for missionary work. 
  • We made some sushi with a bunch of Chinese members and some missionaries. I have to say I've learned to really like it on my mission. 
  • We played basketball with almost a dozen missionaries and it felt good to actually play real basketball. It's been a while.
  • The Walkers went home yesterday so they invited us to dinner with some other missionaries and young adults they taught in Lyon. 
  • We went out to visit a couple of less actives who live a 30 minute train ride away. We saw the first one and helped him learn English for his new job and the second one, who is a professional rugby player, said we could at first see him but had to wait a bit so we went and grabbed lunch at McDonald's. He then canceled while we were eating so he could go to a water spa resort thing with his teammates so Elder Masters bought another meal to eat. 


That's really it. Staying in Lyon again for the next six weeks at least. 

Love, Elder Wilson

















Monday, February 13, 2017

No, I Don't Play Professional Rugby - Week 88

Well at the beginning of the week it seemed like it was going to be a promising week but 12 rendezvous that fell through later, it still ended up pretty solid.

We had Zone Conference this week and in the past I have had an interview with President Brown every 3 months but things have changed and now we have an interview every month and a half. So on Tuesday we were supposed to be at the church for interviews at 8ish but we got a call at 4:00 and they were like, "Hey you have an hour to get changed and come to the office for your interview." That changed our day a little bit. We later found out they moved them up so our mission President could take the new office couples out to dinner. I guess it was for a good reason at least. 

One of the sister missionaries in our ward has been sick all week so we've been helping them out by doing different things. They hadn't done any shopping for the week, so after Zone Conference they called us and asked if we could help them out and do it for them. We went over to their apartment and grabbed their list and this little rolling caddy thing that only old people use, and now us, to grab things. Luckily there is a big grocery store right next to their apartment. 

Here in France, rugby is one of the most popular sports so there are a lot of islanders from the Pacific who come to play here and since there are so many members who live there, there happens to be members who play rugby professionally. There is a less active in our ward who plays in a city not too far away. He has been coming to church the past few weeks which apparently hasn't happened for a while and last Sunday he was wearing these super cool shoes that I liked and so I complimented him on them. Then on Wednesday we visited him and talked for a bit and as we were leaving I saw those shoes and said they were sweet and so he told me to try them on and I told him I can't take his shoes of course so he then proceeds to grab them and put them in a bag and hands them to me. Well I don't know if you've ever tried to say no to a huge rugby player but it doesn't work so well. 

I'm not sure how many of you are well versed in your "I'm a Mormon" videos but there is one about a French guy who flies airplanes. Turns out he's in our ward here and we went and ate lunch with him this week. That was pretty cool.

We played more basketball on Saturday morning and people don't like playing with me because I'm so tall. So, looks like nothing has changed, but later that night we got a call from one of the Chinese members in the other ward asking us if we wanted to come and eat with his friends and some other members that night since they were eating Chinese food. Somehow whenever Chinese food is involved, we get an invite. This time we surprisingly ended up eating chili with these little rice ball things with sesame seeds inside. The more I eat Chinese food, the more I realize how westernized I am in terms of food that I think is weird. It was pretty good none the less.

That's about it for now. Have a good one!

Elder W.



video







Monday, February 6, 2017

Chinese New Year X 3 - Weeks 86 and 87

Good Morning!

Let's go all the way back to last Tuesday where we had the Elders from Clermont come in and we had an exchange. Luckily they have a car and my comp, Elder Masters, and one of them were able to take it out and go and visit some people who live in the country while I went with a British Elder. I was able to bring out all my English lingo that I learned from my time with Aitchison. 

We have Sister missionaries in our ward, since that's what usually happens when you are in a big city with a decent sized ward, and they wanted to do a Valentine's thing for all the ward members. We had FHE together and we put together these bags of candy with cut out hearts for every family in the ward. Can't say I can take credit for that one. We're still in the process of handing them out. 

There is this restaurant here in Lyon that is famous among the missionaries. It is called Master Tacos and missionaries have been going there for years and all the people who work there always know the missionaries. They have this food challenge where they make this burrito, and by burrito I mean French burrito which is just French fries, meat, sauce and cheese for the most part, but the challenge is they make this burrito that's about the same size as the length between your elbow and about the middle of your hand. Or about the same size as Shaq’s shoes. Or a little bigger than a $5 foot long at Subway. Anyways, you get the picture. Basically if you finish one of those by yourself, you have bragging rights among the missionaries. My comp and one of the other guys actually did eat one and didn't move until the next morning once we got home. 

That Wednesday we had the missionary broadcast which was fun. The changes didn't really affect our mission. Not sure how much you have read about the changes. At least President bought pizza for us. Just another advantage of being in Lyon. 

Way back in my first stint in Lyon, we were with the Chinese Elders often and so we became friends with the Chinese members who are here in Lyon. Of course they still remember me and so last week we got a call from one of them inviting us over to make dumplings for Chinese New Year, which was last week for all of those who didn't know. We basically only learned how to make them so we could help about 50 young adults learn how to make about 200 of them. So that's what we did last Friday night. We went to the store and helped them get everything they needed to make them and all night long we learned how to make the dough and cook them in boiled water and all that good stuff. 

Saturday morning, the Sisters called us and asked us to go and buy some things for them because one of them was sick and needed medicine and tissues and chocolate of course. We ran by their place and gave them everything they wanted and needed! After that, we headed over to the church to start preparing things to make the 200+ dumplings for later that night. Basically long story short, we got them all made after a while and then one of the Chinese Elders and I sat and cooked them all for a while in boiling water as the power kept going out in the building. Woooooohhhh! Chinese New Year! 

Now for this week ...

We had another exchange on Tuesday here in Lyon. Wednesday we got a call from the same Chinese member inviting us over to his house that night to eat something called hot pot. You'll only know about it if you really know your Chinese culture. Basically they cook meat and vegetables in water for a few hours and then take it out and then they boil the water and you cook a lot of different foods in the water and eat it. The funny thing was, while we were eating they wouldn't tell us what it was we were eating and by the end of the night I had it all figured out. Between just regular beef and cow stomach and octopus and lettuce and other Chinese things, it ended up being pretty good. Apparently it's a pain to set up so that was super nice of them to invite us over. Funny how the Chinese members who aren't even in our ward keep inviting us to eat and do things and not the actual Chinese Elders. 

The next day we had district meeting which was all good of course. They changed the schedule up recently and so now we only have two missionary meetings a transfer instead of the six we had before. Well, we only ever had four but Trevor in his mission had six. I feel bad for the people out in the small cities because sometimes just getting out of the city for part of the day is what helped out at the beginning of my mission. 
Besides that, we've been trying to get out and visit members so I can actually meet then and find out who they are. It's not like the branches I'm used to where I can meet everyone the first Sunday I’m there. It's an actual ward. 

We did end up playing basketball for a few hours on Saturday with some members and other Elders and man, it's been almost a year since the last time I played and honestly I'm still a little sore all over my body. Now I understand when Dad says he's sore after doing sports like five times a week. But we got it up and going where we'll play every Saturday. Maybe I'll get back into decent shape in the next few months. 

Also I'm not sure I mentioned this before but I do the translating for one of the senior couples in the ward. The church is so fancy that I have a microphone and they wear headphones and I just sit towards the back and translate everything for them, but since only they can hear I make jokes every once and while and so they turn around and laugh at me sometimes. You have to keep sacrament interesting right? 

Hope you have a great week!

Blake



Master Tacos


Snow!






Dumplings anyone?








Elder Zhu, Carlson and myself were all in the MTC together, served in Lyon together the first time and Elder Zhu and I are back together again in Lyon (we miss Carlson). Funny thing, we all have the exact same jacket that we bought separately in different cities without each of us knowing! I guess it's the great minds thinking alike thing.




View from the back balcony of my Lyon apartment. It looks over a soccer field that is in the middle of all the apartments. It's like a Central Park kind of thing.