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

Monday, September 21, 2015

Random thoughts from a random week

Hey all!

Stuff is good here. Honestly there's not much to report though. My comp and I have taken turns being sick so we've spent two days inside, which kind of sucks. I went to a lesson while I was sick where we taught the Word of Wisdom and I was like "Today we're going to talk about a commandment that's here to help us keep our bodies in good health." But I could barely even speak when I said it and I kept coughing and stuff. I hope nobody noticed the irony. (Is that what irony is? I keep forgetting the real definition. I just know that most people use that word wrong.) but yeah, we go to our rendez-vous but instead of contacting we've just come in and slept. So we haven't been finding new amis to replace the ones that inevitably fall off the planet. But we're trying! We just found a dope African couple (he's from Burundi and she's from Rwanda) who seem promising. They're not even living together! Which is pretty rare for couples here in Europe.
More updates to follow.

There are fruit flies everywhere in my apartment and they can't die. I trapped one in the microwave and turned it on for 15 seconds...and then I opened the door and it just flew right back out. Dunno what the microwave radiation did to it. Mutant fruit flies in the future? But we found one of those giant bug-eating bugs in our apartment (you know the ones that look like mosquitos but they're like the size of a golf
ball) so we're keeping it alive and hopefully it does some work.

My area is huge! Most of it I'll never even get to see in my 24 weeks here, just because of the amount time and money it would take. We called a potential ami in the phone who was like "Oh I can't see you guys, I moved to Waremme." Well Waremme is in our area...but sadly he's right. It would take too much time for us to get to his place and back (we have no car, just trains and buses) and so unless he's willing to drive into Liège to see us, it can't really happen. And as huge as our sector is, the zone leaders who live with us have an area about 3x the size. It touches Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
The stake is the Brussels Belgium stake, and it covers all of French-speaking Belgium. So I go into Brussels for zone conference and stuff which is kind of cool.

A couple funny stories (well more like funny quotes from investigators):

1. We were in Priesthood class with our investigator, Hugo. Hugo is very...sincere. And he speaks his mind. So we were talking about the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and the teacher said "When the Priesthood holder tells the person to receive the Holy Ghost, the person receives it at that moment. Are we all in agreement?" And everyone said yes, except Hugo. He just raised his hand and said "...skeptical." And Elder Orton and I just busted up.

2. We were teaching an Arabic-speaking man named Jamaa. He was telling us in broken French that he wanted to be a missionary like us and go around talking to the Arabs about the Book of Mormon. So to make sure he understood, I took the iPad and spoke into it, "Jamaa, if you want to be a missionary, you have to be baptized first." And when the iPad spoke it back to him in Arabic, he looked at us and just said, "...c'est juste." (That's fair.) Ok then! He's in the ZLs' area so they're working with him. We really do think he believes the Book of Mormon. (Side note: The guy converted to Christianity from Islam and had to flee to Europe for his life, so he's already got a pretty cool

3. We were teaching a man about fasting and how he can fast for strength to overcome his smoking addiction. And he said "Two meals? Ok so I'll fast for three...and if this works, that means the Mormons are right."

Anyway. This email had about as much cohesion as my week. That's all for now.

Love you all! Write me big letters!

Elder Stanford

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