How is everybody doing today? I hope that all is going well and that you all have had a great week. I believe that I have quite a few stories to write about this week, so I'll get right down to business. First off, I had another exchange this week, but this time Elder V* came to spend some time with me in Strombeek! So I'll explain some more about exchanges, because I now realize that everyone doesn't know about exchanges because..well because they aren't here with me! Sometimes I forget that the stories I tell will make no sense unless I explain EVERYTHING!! Haha, but thats okay, I enjoy it.
Okay, back to exchanges. We usually go on 2 exchanges during a transfer because each district leader has to go on an exchange with every Elder in the district, so naturally, you'll go on an exchange with the district leader, and with his companion, because the district leader has to go on exchanges with your companion as well. So Elder V* came to Strombeek this past week, which actually seems like so long ago! Anyways, that meant that I was the Elder that had the most knowledge about our area..yeah, scared me too! So we planned for some stuff to do, and I made the goal not to get lost. So we set out into the great unknown city of Brussels! (Well..somewhat unknown.) And I am very proud to say that we didn't really get lost! We found where we were going, and made it back safe and sound!
The next morning, while we were contacting, an interesting story came up. So first a back story on Elder V*. He was born in Paris, but has lived in France, England, and most recently Germany. So while contacting, he tells people he is from Germany. He stopped a guy, and introduced himself. The guy said, "Youre from Germany?" And that's all I got because all of a sudden, they were conversing back and forth in German! I just sat back listening, thinking to myself, "I have no idea what they are saying." I just waited patiently while Elder V* finished talking to this guy in German, before heading back to the apartment! So that was fun.
My next story comes from Italian man named Jim*. There's not much of a story behind him, just that he is a really cool guy. He was excommunicated like 15 or 20 years ago, and wants to come back to the church, so our job is to reteach him all of the lessons so that he can be re-baptized!
My next story comes from Mark*. I think I have told you about him? He's the less active member who first got baptized in Switzerland, but then moved here. So we were in a rendez-vous with him, and in the middle of the rendez-vous, while Mark was reading something, Elder A* starts trying to mouth something to me. And for those of you who know, I am absolutely terrible at reading lips..So I just gave up trying. Then Elder A* just stopped talking and looked at me..so I just decided to testify on church. After the lesson, I asked him what he was trying to mouth to me, and he said, "You didn't understand? I told you to testify on the church!" And I just thought to myself, "Hey, well that worked out nicely!" That was a really cool experience for me!
Okay, 3 more stories now! None of these stories have specific people, but just all happened while out contacting or knocking doors. The first comes from knocking doors. We knocked on the door, a guy comes to the little window and looks out. He sees us. We wave, and he comes to the door. He opens the door. We start talking to him, and then I realize..this guy has no pants on! He was just standing there in his underwear. Super awkward situation. He said he wasn't feeling the greatest, so he couldn't let us in. (Darn. Haha.) I was actually glad we got that rejection!
Okay, next story. It also comes from knocking doors. The guy comes out, and says, "Vous etes les Mormons?" meaning, "are you the Mormons?" and we told him yes, that was us. And that's when he started getting upset and told us to leave. He was quite an intimidating guy! For some reason we continued to talk, and we found out that he worked with a few members from our ward. He said he would never be Mormon because we never have any fun! I have so much fun! I don't know what in the world he was talking about! But then he said, "I drink, I smoke, I do all of these bad things, I will never be Mormon." We were about to move on, but then he offered us a coffee because, it being cold and dark outside, Elder A* and I both ha
So I accidentally pressed send before finishing! I didn't even get to title the last email! So continuing. We both had our hands shoved in our pockets trying to keep warm. We then informed him we don't drink coffee..he was quite amazed, and then told us his door was always open if we ever wanted a coffee. Haha! I don't think well ever take him up on that offer. Like ever.
And my last story comes from contacting. I stop this lady, and before I could start, she said, "Do you speak English?" And me, being able to speak English, tried to switch into English to continue the contact. It was weird because, usually people let us start the contact before switching to English, so I had never done a contact in English! The thought process that ran through my head was quite complicated at that moment. I had translated what I was going to say from English to French, but since the lady spoke English, I had to translate it back from French to English! I ended up saying things like, "I come from the United States." Which is the direct translation from French to English. So I've decided that contacting in English is super weird!! But it was fun.
Well, I think that is all for this week everyone! Oh wait, I actually thought of some things that I might want for Christmas..well two things. I would like some nice warm slippers like the ones I had before, and some dried mangoes. I think that I will be okay on shoes for the moment, because Elder A* has offered me one of his pairs that are still in good condition. He doesn't want to bring them home, so all the better for me! Thank you for all that you do! I love you and miss you all very much!! Until next week!
P.S. We listened to a talk by Brad Wilcox during lunch the other day about the Book of Mormon. I would highly recommend it to everyone. I think its called The Prophet and the Plates. But he shared a short poem from a first grader that I would like to share very quickly. It goes:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
You are as fun
As a park.
Once again, thank you for all of your support and love! Until next week!
*Names have been changed for their confidentiality.