Ohkay. I love being a missionary. You can't really describe the lifestyle, but it is SO FUN. You live in a place for a while, move to a different place, become an expert on whatever city you live in, have the BEST people around you, and love love love it. I love France and I love Paris. I live all the missionaries.
First things first, I'M GETTING TRANSFERED TO BREST :) It is the very North Eastern penninsula of France (the closest I'm ever going to get to the U.S. on my mission). Apparently it is gorgeous, like my mother. It is a 6 hour train ride from Paris. Talk about a big mission. So... we are on the coast out there, we have a car, and the branch is about 30 members. We are whitewashing Brest, which means my companion and I are both going to be new there and the old elders are out. So, we kind of have our work cut out. I like that. Basically I've heard nothing but good things.
I will be sad to leave Evry, but I have wanted a change for a while. Elder Hann will be staying here for Christmas to claim our 4 dinner appointments (I don't know how its going to go in Brest with such a small branch). Elder Hann will be training a new elder here in Evry. Evry must be getting sick of "bleu" missionaries. Hah, at least the bleu will have lots of Christmas love to welcome him :)
I went to Versailles twice this week. Once for mission conference, and once for a stake christmas concert.
Mission Conference. Best day of my life. I was literally smiling the entire day. 150 missionaries from all over France and Belgium in the same room. The whole mission only gets together like once a year, if that. It is so expensive to get the hundreds of train tickets that the mission has to get permission from the Area Presidency (its like 150 euros for an average missionary to get there. do the math). Anyhow, it was the best. We talked a lot about how as missionaries we were forordained. We talked about the chances of being one of 150 "brave and noble ones" in the Paris mission, out of a world of billions of other people who don't yet have the call that we are blessed with. I think this is going to be the best Christmas I've ever had :) I have never felt so tangibly the love that the Savior has for me than I did while sitting in the middle of that room listening to the Spirit. That is the meaning of Christmas. I have a goal to give out a Book Of Mormon everyday until the end of the year as a Christmas present to someone on the street, in a train station, or anywhere. It's working really well so far.
On Friday night Elder Hann and I made tacos. Good, normal, tacos. Well, after I put the emmental cheese on my taco, I noticed that itwas actually a little moldy. Like, blue and fuzzy. Well, I've been in France for a while and I like to think I'm not scared of moldy cheese anymore, so I pulled off the bigger blue parts, said "to heck with it," and ate it. FAIL. I woke up a stinking two in the morning and threw it up. I haven't thrown up since I was like in junior high. Eww, eww, eww. I guess there are some types of cheese that aren't supposed to be eaten moldy.
One of our dinner appointments this week was with a beautiful French family. We had tartiflette (best thing of my life). Thats beside the point though. They have a 2 year old and a 4 year old girl. Of course we played barbies the whole time. Victoria, the 2 year old ran around the whole night yelling "missionaire!!" whenever she wanted me. Then she would always laugh and act embarassed. When we were leaving Victoria tried to bisous me on the cheeks. I died on the inside because I wasn't allowed. A few days later I had a dream that I bisoused her and it was the best. At church Victoria kept running down the isle to me during sacrament meeting loudly wispering "missionaire!" I told her parents about the dream then they tried to tell me missionaries were allowed to bisous if it was little children! Ugh ugh ugh! Well, somebody might be getting a bisous next week before I leave Evry.
One more thing. Elder Schwind just became the an Assistant. He was my zone leader before and I've been on several exchanges with him. Yesterday at the Christmas concert he told me about when the decision was made to send me to Brest. He said they were talking about where to send me and he told President "Elder Coburn has the ability to talk to someone on the street, and have them immediately like them." Then President said "Brest." That really touched me.
All my love,
Elder Benjamin Quinn