Holy cow. I think that this week has been one of the weirdest weeks in my whole mission... and that is saying something considering the people that we have come across. This past week, we had actually decided to focus on working on patience AND of course, our patience was tested to the maximum... because that is just how life works when you decided to try and improve something. Suddenly it gets super hard. So here it goes:
LES FOUS ET LES MALADES
So! Because both Elder Karras and I had our birthdays this last week, we had a lot of dinner appointments with members because they wanted to give us some birthday love. On Wednesday, we went over to the Grattepanche Family's house and ate some really good food with all of their super funny children. When I was there, the family really reminded me of us and how we acted when we were younger. Lol. They are too much. Anyway, they made us a cake with a "2" candle on it because they didn't have any other candles and it was just a really good experience.
So, at the Grattepanches, I realize that we should probably go because it takes us close to 45 min.- 1h to get our apartment and it is around 8:30 already. So we head out, and are on our way to the bus stop when a man in a car pulls over, gets out, and waves us over. At this point I am thinking, okay usually if this happens they are either crazy or really elect people looking for the truth. Well, I will have you guess which one he was.
He tells us that he just drove past our church and asked when the hours were or whatever and we tell him and then he starts asking some really pointed, doctrinal questions that are blatantly insincere. We stay and are very patient and nice with him but we really have to go, but he won't let us go and he keeps talking and whatever. Then we are starting to get a little angry because he is seriously being super rude until finally we just start walking away without even saying goodbye.
This man is probably 5'4'', 50ish and has huge glasses. Not scary. haha. So, as we start to walk away he LITERALLY starts running after us and is saying "Stop, Elders, two minutes PLEASE, TWO MORE MINUTES!" At this point he is in front of us and he tries to stop in front of me so I just walk around him. He writes me off as a lost cause and goes in front of Elder Karras to try to stop him. He keeps grabbing his arm and trying to block him with his tiny French man body. Elder Karras keeps saying "STOP TOUCHING ME!" "STOP TOUCHING ME" and the man says "IM NOT TOUCHING YOU. DONT GO!" lol. Anyway, after about three blocks, he finally gives up and starts yelling at us from afar, "WHY DIDN'T YOU SAY GOODBYE!?" Then we yell goodbye back to him and he says "LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF!" We then yell "WE LOVE YOU!"... Which provokes him to say "NO YOU DON"T, YOU’RE A LIAR!" hahaha "DON'T STOP AT JOSEPH SMITH!" "YOU AREN'T CHRISTIANS.... YOU'RE JUST MORMONS!"
... At one point when this was all happening... when he was running back and forth between us trying to stop us I just started laughing hysterically and said "IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING?!" A little tiny French man was trying to block me from walking away so he could tell me that I needed to repent and accept Jesus... I really was just beside myself at how hilarious the situation would be to an outside viewer... lol Goodness.
After a different RDV with some members we had to wait at a bus stop and there were three guys waiting there for the bus as well. Two were really drunk and one wasn't. There is one with swimming goggles on and a jar of olives and another that has a big bottle of whisky, the third one is sober and watching out for his buds. So, the one with the whisky goes up to the side of Elder Karras and says "On fait COMME CA!" (We do like this!) and he bumps shoulders with Elder Karras really hard. The sober guy was like, "Bud, leave him alone... I'm so sorry for my friend, he is drunk." So, still waiting for the bus and the man stands back up and comes up to Elder Karras, face to face and for a second he is just standing there until he says, "uhhhhhBAHHHHHH!" and tried to push him over but almost fell over doing it. His friend grabbed him and told him to stop being dumb and then he said "But they are talking about... about... JESUS!" hahaha. Again, I was just beside myself.
They ended up leaving the bus stop before the bus came and the one wearing the swimming goggles (which are crooked.. one on his eye one off) says "Don't worry... we will NEVERRR forget!" bahaha... Moral of the story: drugs and alcohol are bad.
Well, that is enough about crazy people.
REUNION DE DISTRICT
We had district meeting this last week (day of Elder Karras' Birthday), which was awesome. We talked a lot about how important it is on following up and that as members of the church, inviting isn't enough. We need to follow up on our invitations with our friends.
District meeting lunch was a big birthday lunch. We ate really good tacos. Elder Karras' mom sent a bunch of birthday stuff, so we used it at district meeting. I'll send some photos, which are pretty self-explanatory.
LES MIRACLES DE LA SEMAINE
For some reason we had been having a really hard time meeting with our amis this week or not even amis but just anyone in general aside from the members that set something up with us on Sunday. A lot of people are on vacation right now and our amis were just kinda being flakey. Honestly, I am amazed at how many miracles we have had this week despite all of the weird crazy people and the fact that we couldn't see our amis as much as we would have liked to have.
Let me tell you something about going door to door. It is the LEAST effective way to find people, aside from sitting in your apartment and not doing anything. To be honest, I could have a better attitude about porting. It is fun to see who opens the door and what lies BEHIND the door but I don't really feel like much good ever comes from it. But this week, something great came from it! It truly was a miracle. We had been porting for about an hour and were finishing up and there were just a couple more doors to do. We had been joking throughout the porting session that "A hundred door slams is worth a golden ami!" So, we knock on this door and a normal person answers. We are talking to him and suddenly he is like "Hey, do you want to come in and talk about this over some water?" I was so surprised! hahaha We were able to go in and teach a lesson to this man that we had just ported into and he was normal and nice! It was such a cool experience to have.
Another miracle, we received a phone call from one of potential amis who told us that he was ready to meet with us. I found out that he was actually an inactive member who wanted to come back to the church. We end up going to his house and the whole time I'm thinking, please don't be weird, please don't be weird. The area of the town we were in wasn't the most "normal" or "nice"... so I had my doubts but he was actually super cool and has been waiting to come back to church for a long time! He said that because of his work, he hasn't been able to but now he has some time off and wants to focus on church and building his relationship with God. Pretty awesome.
LES AUTRES CHOSES
Honestly, I feel just so blessed to be a missionary. It literally is a dream. Despite all of the weird people, the disappointments, and the things I wish could be changed, it all so worth it. I haven't been happier in my life. Logically it doesn't make sense. The life of a missionary is hard and sometimes not fun but I am SO happy.
I wish everyone could feel as happy as I do. I know that the happiness I feel only comes through the gospel of Jesus Christ and following His example. I know that through Him we can become clean and improve ourselves. I know that He lives.
I love you all! I really do. I am so blessed!
Que Dieu vous benisse!