Friday, February 18, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

February 14, 2011

I feel like I don't even know what to tell you about this week. It has flown by!

On Wednesday, we had to catch a train at 6:37 a.m. -which is a terribly gross hour to be awake and running around, especially since we had to be out of the apartment far earlier to try and catch the right bus and tram to get us to the train station on time! Soeur Thompson had to renew her French legality. So we had ;) to spend the day in Paris. The only problem was that we were exhausted. So neither of us had a ton of energy to really do anything, but it was still neat.

When we first got in, we had to wander around for awhile until it was time for her appointment. So we strolled around Notre Dam. That building is amazing! I have officially decided that we have gotten extremely lazy in our building ha ha. The details of the buildings here (like that one) are just incredible.

After her appointment, we went to the church's visitor center. It's right next to the chapel in Paris and the missionaries run it. While we were there, Elder Liao and his companion walked in (they serve in Paris.) And Elder Liao kind of freaked out when we saw each other. To be honest though, it really was great to see him. =) We were chatting for a bit while Soeur Thompson was talking to his comp. He was feeling almost exactly like I had been all week. It was so nice to feel like I wasn't totally off base and that we were normal in our shared stress, homesickness and in missing our MTC district a lot. And, it was just nice to see a face I recognized. If for no other reason, and despite how tired we were, I'm SO glad we went into the city, just so Elder Liao and I could catch up.

Knowing we had a few hours until our train would leave for Brussels, and not wanting to spent all day in the visitor center, we went out exploring. So we walked and walked and walked. Again, just like Notre Dam, the buildings everywhere are amazing! We finally ended up at the Louvre. We didn't go in, but we hung out on the grounds for about an hour, people watching, and eating French pastries. was a good day ;) And technically we saw the Eiffel Tower too...just from a really long ways away ha ha.

One of the absolute best parts of that day was right after leaving the Louvre. First off can I just say I love hearing the police here speaking in French? They just can't sound tough and speak French! So, my feelings towards them got about 1000 times better after seeing two Parisian cops, outside the Louvre, speaking French, wearing gold painted roller blades!!! ha ha ha I absolutely died when I saw them! =D I really want to see them running after somebody. Especially with the cobblestone roads all over. It would be EPIC! =)

On Thursday we had a dinner appointment with an American member named Jan Noyes. Oh my heavens, her house is gorgeous! I seriously am in love with it. It used to be an old farm house, but it doesn't even kind of look that way. It's been super modernized and it honestly looks like a model home. It's incredible. However, the trip to her house was a bit...interesting. I'm so glad we weren't alone though. We went with the two companionships of elders in our ward and we got SO lost. And even worse, we ended up on the Dutch speaking side of the city. So we couldn't even get help easily. Wow, it was a crazy night, but SO much fun. We were seriously just laughing the whole time. I love elders. =)

On Saturday, we went to the ward house to play basketball and soccer for a few hours. Soeur Thompson and I ended up on the same train as the elders on the way. So we were all laughing and talking for the entirety of the ride. There was a woman sitting in the middle of our group just watching us the whole time. Once we reached our stop and got off, she exited as well and walked up to me and said, "Excuse me, but are you from some sort of church?" I told her that we were and which church it is. She told me her name is Claudia, and that she's from Transylvania and is "normally" Catholic, but disagrees with their teachings and would like to find a new church, took our number and gave me hers. I am absolutely certain, I would never have the guts to walk up to random strangers, ask what church they belong to and immediately want to go with them. I don't care what church it is, that's a huge leap of faith into the unknown. However, I'm glad there are people like her that are so willing to give it a go. We didn't want to be creeping and call her right back. So we've given it a couple days, and are planning on contacting her today. So keep your fingers crossed that it goes well. =)

Once again, I'm running short on time. So until next week, have an awesome week, and try to stay drier than we are here! ;)

Love you!

I keep forgetting to tell you to tell Cayden happy birthday. I realize it was last week, but I forgot to say it in my email last week, this week, and the letter I sent you. Ridiculous, no?!

Happy Valentines Day!
Love (again)