Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Slow down, you crazy child. (Bayonne, France: Week 2)

So I come to France, guns all ablaze, ready to talk to people and teach people and be courageous and so on. Then this funny thing happened where I realized I cannot communicate with a single person. In the MTC, they really emphasized the importance of talking to every. single. person. And I took that to heart. But after a week of really badly bungled conversations and wearing myself thin trying to be the missionary I want to be in a year and a half, immediately, right now, from the beginning, I realized the following: perfection is a process! It takes many many moons and sometimes in life, it is the time simply to watch and learn. I think in my mission, that time is now. In short, I realized this week that I don't have to know how to do everything right now. Right now my job is to learn the language, to love people as best I can, and to smile.

My companion and I have been learning a lot about talking to people on the streets as well. Here is what we've learned: as soon as you say the word missionary, they say, "I don't have time" and walk away. This is understandable, considering we're strangers, and there are lots of weird people out there. So we've tried things like, "We teach that God has a plan for your life." Sometimes people nod and go along with it and let us explain a little more... more often they say, "That's nice. I respect all religions. Au revoir." and walk away. The best reactions this week though were when we went up to three adults by a park and asked if they'd like to hear more about the plan God has for their lives and for their families. They said, and I quote, "We don't have time. We're talking about football." And then there was the guy at the bus stop that rejected my offer to learn more, so I, being persistent and everything (I hate being persistent bleh) was like, "Maybe I can just leave you with our card, in case someday you are interested in learning more" to which he replied, "No really, I don't even do sports teams!" Hahahaha, me either, dude, me either.

I realize everyday how badly people just wanna feel loved. So instead of trying to push our message so quickly on everyone, for fear they'll walk away, we're asking them questions, about what they believe, about why they believe that, about what their life is like. We're joking around with people and complimenting them, and if nothing else, making them smile.

Also, since a lot of people think we're part of some crazy sect, I've busted out the hot pink lipstick this week. Amazing how a little lipstick can make people think maybe, just maybe, you are normal. Sheesh :)
P.S. Did I mention I live 10 minutes from the beach? Cuz I do.

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