Serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in northern France, southern Belgium and Luxembourg.

Monday, July 6, 2015

I am so hot

Seriously though. It is so hot here. I don't really know how I have survived long enough to write this email to you guys.
This Wednesday, the 1st of July, it got to FORTY DEGREES Celsius. There is also no air conditioning in this lovely country. So yeah, for Canada Day this year I celebrated by putting on a shirt and tie with full-length slacks and hiking through the hottest day in France in this the 21st century. (Seriously though--it broke the record that was set in 2003.) It's hovered above 35 degrees for the past few days. Even the Africans are saying this is the hottest they've ever been, because in Paris there is no wind, plus lot of roads and pollution and such. But at least I'm getting a tan--from my elbows to my hands, that is, and on the part of my neck that the collar doesn't cover.
Even the clouds were burning this week!
Funny experience: we contacted a guy on a bus about a month ago, he turned out to be super Muslim, but still asked for our number. He actually called us up this week to set up a rdv and talk about we gave him a shot. Super nice guy, didn't want to bash at all, which was nice. His name is Mohammed. But anyway, we were talking with Mohammed in this park, where there was this festival thing going on. We had chosen a spot away from the festivities. As we were discussing, we heard this jazz music start to play, and I started thinking "great, can you guys please turn your speakers down?" Then it started getting louder. And louder. And then the marching jazz group rounded the corner and started walking down the path toward us. It got to a point where we couldn't hear each other, so we just sat there and waited for them to pass...and they didn't. They stationed themselves 20 feet away from us and proceeded to stand there and play jazz renditions of popular songs for about 10 minutes as two white Mormons and a black Muslim looked on. At one point the trumpet player had this solo thing, and he rocked out and fell to his knees and everything. I couldn't do anything except laugh. That was one situation I never expected to find myself in.
Today I also witnessed my first public transit fight. They shoved each other, cussed, one guy got kicked was great. Afterward, this African lady was like "Stuff like this doesn't happen in Africa" and then this white guy was like "Shut up, nobody cares about Africa!" and then this third guy jumped in and yelled "Hey, there are children on this bus!" and a whole 'nother fight started.

Finally, a cool actual missionary experience: we found a dope new ami, super sincere, who asked all the right questions. "What is the true church?" "How do I get the spirit in me? What does it feel like?" "How did you guys gain your testimonies?" "What's this baptism thing all about?" SO COOL. He said he's never felt the Spirit in his life before, but he's willing to give the Book of Mormon and prayer a shot. Great lesson.
Love you all! Be good!

Elder Stanford

The street we live on

Back in Chartres

A lovely place called Parc de Sceaux
A lovely place called France

I call this one: "African men on a sleepy afternoon"

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