Now I know that many of you think that I am in France, but you are going to have to think again!! My first area is in Strombeek, Belguim. And the keyboard is slightly different here, so forgive me if there are any typos...Well so much has happened since I last wrote an email!! I don't even know where to start! I guess I'll start with the flight over here.
It was good. I think everyone on the plane was kinda overwhelmed with all 31 of us missionaries boarding the plane! Plus I'm sure that all of us had one of the same goals on the plane, which was: place a Book of Mormon. And I was pretty proud of myself because I placed a Book of Mormon, even if it was probably one of the most awkward placements of a Book of Mormon. So the guy was from Southern France, but was talking to me in English, but I gave him a French Book of Mormon.. He said that he would read it; but it wasn't very convincing to me. I know he at least kept it until after he got his luggage, so I'm taking that as a good sign!!
They took us straight to the Church building in Paris, which was built in the 1600s. It was an amazing building! That was probably the building in which you saw those pictures. At the church in Paris, we had our first meal, which was KFC. I thought that was funny, but more ironic. We had pain au chocolat before, but I'm not really counting that as a meal! So that first day we arrived, we got mothered, we got fed, we got oriented, and we got interviewed. Mothering is the mission slang for the first time we go out contacting. I got taken contacting by Elder Nielson. It was super scary, not only because I can't speak their language, but also I was super jet lagged and exhausted. It was fun though! That night, because the mission home can only house 8 people, the majority of us went to a nearby hotel for the night. Let me just tell you this, I slept like a rock that night. We were all so exhausted that we were all sleeping before we even laid down. The next morning, we went to this hill that overlooks all of Paris. The APs called this Consecration hill, because they've found so much symbolism with the hill. The related it to Lehi's dream, and found a symbol for just about everything we saw. It was really cool! Then they took us back to the church in Paris, where we ate lunch, which just happened to be Pizza Hut.
Yeah, the food here is pretty weird. After that is when we got to meet our trainers and find out where we would be servingµ; My trainers name is Elder Anderson. He has been here 20 months, and I will get the honors of killing my father in 4 months. Killing means that you were their last companion, for those of you who are lost right now.. I won't actually be killing him. But soon after we found out who our trainers were, we hopped on a train and headed for Strombeek, Belgium. A lot of my area looks very familiar..because I was in it just last summer! I saw the hotel that we stayed in, and the street we walked down like every day! It was pretty cool! My companion is from the one and only Boise, Idaho.
So..funny story. There are about a million different languages here in Belgium. Let me just say that that isn't helping my French! Sometimes someone will talk to us, and I'll say to Elder Anderson, I didn't get any of that, in which he will say, because that was Dutch. Yeah, its rough. Haha, we have Books of Mormon in French, Dutch, English, Romanian, Spanish, Turkish, Chinese, and we even gave a Book of Mormon out to an Iranian guy who spoke Persian. Yeah, Persian. It is truly amazing to see all of the different languages! When contacting, sometimes people will just give us blank stares, in that case we try English. Most of our lessons have actually been in English..which is good for my head in comprehension, but not good for my French. The president did say that they speak weird up here in the North!
We've met some pretty cool people! We met a guy from South America who speaks English, but it's so hard to understand that it could be a different language..he's a member. He went to visit us, and he gave us a croissant filled with something that tasted like gold! Not literally, but figuratively. That was delicious. Another cool story was as follows. I shared a scripture during companionship study, and later that day, it was a perfect scripture for a guy we contacted who thought that there was no hope for a world with so much corruption. The scripture said otherwise! It was a cool experience.
Let's see.. church was one of the most interesting experiences..because it was half in English, half in French! Elders quorum was in French, amis class was in French, and sacrament was split.. I made a game of trying to guess what language the person was going to speak. I was very surprised with some!! We had talks in English and French, and prayers in French and Dutch. The way they make sure everyone understands is, if the person wants, can wear a translator headset. They have two translators sitting on the front row, translating into whatever language isn't being spoken! Its really crazy! I don't know if I'll ever learn French up here in Belgium..sigh. But I will learn eventually! Well, I sure hope that I haven't forgotten anything to tell you...I think I've answered all of the questions? Probably not, because just so much has happened! Thank you so much for your emails and your support! You are all amazing! Until next week!
Lots of Love,