Monday, October 6, 2014

Fresh Prince of Belair


Well, I made it! 12 hours of traveling later, of which 8 were on trains, I made it safely out of France and into Luxembourg. After a super hectic Monday and Tuesday of getting ready for the move, I hopped on a train Wednesday morning around 7. That one took me to Rennes, where I had to get off to pass off my comp to the Zone Leaders (to avoid him being alone) and then catch another train from Rennes to Paris (alone. Double standard...?). As Elder Lloyd and I separated, we did the "Hoorah for Israel!" thing from the Other Side of Heaven, which was pretty awesome. :)

Once I got into Paris, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet up with Elder Evans for what was probably the last time, since this is his last transfer. We had a good talk for a few minutes before he headed out to St. Brieuc. Eventually, I made my way through the crazy Montparnasse gare to the metro and got over to Chatelet, the main metro station. There, I said hey to Elder Beck, who also told me that you guys and his parents had met up, and then I met Elder Gomez. We had a train to catch on the other side of Paris that was coming fast, so we took off right away. After we got there (Gare de l'Est), it was all pretty much smooth sailing. We took a train to Nancy, got off there, got some fries, and then caught the last train from Nancy to Luxembourg. Not sure how far we traveled in total, but it was a lot. (Distance traveled was 862 km or 535 miles).

Getting into Luxembourg was an experience. Compared to sleepy Lorient and Calais, coming out of that gare into what felt like a rich version of Paris was breathtaking. There's a reason that all the missionaries I talked to on the way looked at me like "That's not even fair" when I told them where I was going.

Adam with a Classic Rolls Royce in Luxembourg
The first thing I noticed was the cars. The "average" car here, is about an Audi. My first day, I saw many, many Porsches, and Jaguars, 4 Maseratis, 4 Aston Martins, 4 Bentleys, a Lotus, and a Lamborghini. On my whole entire mission, up to now, I had seen 8 Ferraris, but in roughly 4 days here I have seen 3. That's just to give you an image of what it's like.

Walking around, you hear English, French, German, Spanish, Luxembourgish, Portuguese, and Chinese. It's hard to even tell what language to listen for sometimes. But, pretty much everyone speaks English and French, so I have no problems. But I'm now learning Spanish to teach our amis better, since Spanish is Elder Gomez's native language. Climate wise, just a little colder and less humid than Lorient, for now, but we usually have snow here in the winter, so that should be nice. The ward here is about 130 people, probably my biggest so far. Everybody, mostly, speaks English, but we usually do services in French, with translations in at least two languages running. We have a lot of RMs and youth, something that I hadn't seen at all up to this point. Because of conference, I have only met a few of them so far, and those that I did meet were American, Canadian, British, and a couple French. It feels surreal to sit in an American's home, watching conference, while being in Europe. And that's probably the word that really fits how life feels here. You can feel the magic of Paris, but much smaller and much richer. 

Sorry if there are any typos, I'm on a Swiss French keyboard, and it's really hard. For Dad, Elder Gomez is from Dallas Texas and yes, he is a Cowboys fan. :) He's in his 7th transfer right now, and I'm in my 10th (in case you guys lost count). He's super nice and loves the members, and knows them really well. To describe his personality, I'd say "relaxed". :) Both physically and when it comes to the work. Which is good in some ways especially since this city has really pumped me full of energy and I just want to go go go. He's got a kind heart, and he really wants the best for this ward. He's a big change from Elder Lloyd, who was a little too energetic for me. I was getting really worn out and I think it was a good decision putting me with Elder Gomez. 

As far as the situation with only having two missionaries goes, there was just a problem with the apartment of the Elders, and they ended up losing an Elders équipe and the soeurs équipe, and just moving one to the soeurs' appartment. So, yeah, we're the only two missionaries in this entire country. And technically, we have part of Belgium and part of France in our sector too, and we have special permission to go a little bit into Germany under certain circumstances. It's a small apartment, but quite nice, in the part of Luxembourg called Belair (no joke). We have a couch and a dishwasher (currently broken however), two things thqt are extremely rare in the mission. It's gonna take some cleaning up to get it to Elder Bigler standards though...

Overall, I'm super excited to be here! It's super clean, super nice, and has lots of potential. I'm already sure that I'll be sad to leave. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Be good and keep working hard!
Elder Bigler

Photos from the Missionary Apartment in Lorient - Apparently Transfer Time Affects "Elder Bigler" Clean Standards During Packing.

The Lounge - The Flag on the Wall is Signed by
Each Missionary Who Served in Lorient

Kitchen/Laundry Room

Pink Seems to Be the TP Color of Choice

Cozy Bathroom

Companion Study Area

Book of Mormon Inspirational Art Wall

No King Beds for Missionaries

The Living Room Complete with Fridge

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