Friday, April 29, 2011

April 19, 2011

April 19, 2011

Okay, let's try this again, but for real this time. I know I say this ever week, but this week was packed.

For starters, as I mentioned last week, we ran off to the Eiffel Tower last P-day. Some days I'm still weirded out that I live in Paris, and along the same lines it's just weird to me that last week I was standing on the Eiffel Tower! Now of course, if we were going to the tower, we HAD to climb it. (None of this wimpy elevator business ;) ) Over 700 stairs latter...that elevator started to look really good ha ha. But we did it! Wow, it was incredible!

On Wednesday, Soeur Thompson was on exchange and was working in the Paris Visitor Center. Oh my gosh, I love that girl! I can't even tell you how amazing it was to be able to see her before she heads home (next week!) 

Mom, you asked about the two girls. I'm assuming you meant the Mongolians. We didn't get to finally meet them until Sunday afternoon, but they are so cute! I love them already. They're going to take some serious work as far as the gospel goes, but that's just because they have virtually no religious background. But they're willing to keep meeting with us and have been reading the Book of Mormon. So there's hope. =)

We had kind of a funny/random experience in meeting up with them though. We were meeting them at a park/metro station. When we got out of the metro stop, we couldn't cross the street to get to the park because the road was full of literally hundreds of roller bladers! I didn't have my camera, but Sister Rowley went and talked to some random kid who we saw take a picture and asked him to email it to us. The picture turned out a little doubled and was just at the end of the group, but works all the same. Most of the time I wish rollerblading was a kosher in America as it is here. EVERYONE either has roller blades, roller skates, or a scooter. I'm still surprised every time I see some very nicely dressed businessman or woman happily racing down the sidewalk on a scooter. It's completely normal here.

On Sunday, we initially were going to have up to four English speakers at church. Our church doesn't translate like they do in the Paris ward or in Brussels. So Sister Rowley and I were going to have to translate. Knowing that, we ended up taking all of our French and English scriptures, plus each pamphlet in both languages. At the last minute none of our four English speakers could come, but we had five Americans walk in! With a quick change of gears, Sister Rowley stayed in Relief Society with Philomene (our amis with the baptismal date) and the woman from California, and I went to Primary to translate for the ten year old girl from Idaho who is here with her mom and aunt. And after church we had an impromptu lesson with Philomene. So we weren't able to go home before our appointment with the two Mongolian girls. So while we were at first disappointed that none of our four amis made it, and kind of frustrated that we had to lug around very heavy bags all day, it turned out to be a blessing. Had we not planned on the first four coming, we never would have taken our English books, which would have made translating a nightmare! Once again proof that God knows what he's doing. We just have to go with the flow and the blessings will show themselves to us.

As for Philomene, I flipping LOVE her! She's just adorable and the ward is being fantastic about fellow shipping her. She works cleaning hotel rooms after guests leave. So tourist season isn't exactly her slowest time of year. So she hasn't been able to come to our ward until last Sunday. She stood up in Relief Society and told everyone that she's coming now though because she's going to be a member of the church and this ward. She's just cute. And like I said, the ward already loves her and they are taking such good care of her. Our bishop is from Congo (like Philomene) and so they started bonding over that connection. After a few minutes he said that he knows the bishop and stake president down there and could send them her children's information directly to get the ward/missionaries working with them. They went into his office for a bit so she could give him the info. They ended up being in there for over half an hour. But when they finally came out, the two of them ran up to us practically giddy and talking over the top of each other. Bishop Hitoto not only took the info, but called Congo right there. They spoke to either the stake president or bishop (we couldn't tell which - they were talking far too fast in their excitement) and he knows Philomene's daughter! Philomene was absolutely ecstatic! =)

Other happy news of the week: we've got another baptismal date!!! =) It's not until May 29th, but she's going out of town for three weeks. So we couldn't set it any sooner. But by the 29th we should be in great shape. Now Soeur Rowley and I are just both really hoping that we can both stay here another transfer to see the baptisms through.

If I remember right, I told you about that man in Brussels telling me that I'm Polish, becuase "no Americans have hair like that." Well, I got a new nationality this week: Swiss. Go figure. Tons of people read my tag and label me as either Swedish or Dutch, my hair makes me Polish, and my bag makes me Swiss. Ha ha Once people hear my accent they generally know I'm either American or British, but...not that time apparently. ;)

Guess what Mom, we finally went to the cemetery! Oh my flip you would LOVE it!  We went yesturday for a couple of hours before we had to leave for our rendez-vous. The cemetery in Brussels was absolutely caked with moss (which I loved - everything was SO green.) This one has a totally different feel to it, but is still incredible. Pictures can't even show how cool it was. We're probably heading back next week too to try and see a couple more graves than we missed yesturday. If you ever visit Paris, it's a must!

Well like always, I don't have loads of time. So, have an awesome week! I love you!