Hello again dear world.
Yes, the title of this email entails a story. A very weird story about a French entrepreneur named Jean. He’s super French.
We met him a couple weeks ago while street contacting in the city and he stopped us. At first, we thought he was trying to bash with us, but then he asked us about family history. He told us he has these massive collections of records of his family history and wanted us to help him get started working with family history through FamilySearch.org. We set up an appointment for the following day.
The next day, we got to the address. It was a hotel. Needless to say, we were confused. So we walked inside and he was sitting behind the reception desk. He was busy at the time, so we set up a time to come back later. That day was this week!
We showed up at the hotel that night and we came to find out that he is the manager of this hotel! He lives there. So we went up to his apartment and he sat us down. He then disappeared into the other room for a minute. While we were sitting there in silence, we noticed a strange pile of boxes completely encompassing one side of the room. These boxes were filled to the brim…with spoons.
Anyway, completely ignoring the existence of the spoons, we get talking about family history work with him and try to set up a time to go with him to a family history center in Oakland or San Bruno. He went on to tell us he would be in Vietnam the following week, so he would be unavailable.
This is where the spoons come in.
Apparently, Jean was going to Vietnam to oversee the manufacturing of spoons. These are not just any spoons either. They are spoons made from a mollusk-produced material called Mother of Pearl. He went on to tell us everything there is to know about these spoons, saying, in his thick French accent, “There are traditions in which you can’t eat certain foods with metal spoons.”
Though, admittedly, his accent made it sound like he said, “There are religions in which you can’t eat certain foods with metal spoons.”
Those certain foods were caviar. So, he then went on to tell us EVERYTHING he knew about caviar. He showed us pictures of caviar, told us why we can never eat caviar with metal spoons, and showed us the place where he sells these spoons.
That’s right he sells them for $10 a spoon.
He gave us a postcard with his whole life story on it. First off, who keeps their life story on a postcard to give out to people? It was truly, very strange. Honestly, few moments quite meet the strangeness of this one in my life. Elder Barnett and I left thoroughly confused and incredibly entertained by the weirdness of it all.
Oh, and before that, he instructed us to go to France to become French carpenters. Don’t ask me why because I don’t know.
Now, that’s just a slice of the San Franciscan pie that I am experiencing here. LET IT BE KNOWN that this is a very strange place full of strange people. But that’s what makes it fun! We encounter so many oddballs and wackos that it’s not even surprising when it happens to me anymore. Such is the life of a missionary in the city.
As for this week, nothing from the work was truly noteworthy. Just a lot of street contacting. Most of our appointments fell through again this week because these people are absurdly busy. It’s a joke how busy they are. Our ward mission leader sometimes works from 6 AM to 10 PM. But only sometimes.
But then, nobody should work that long. Ever. It’s dehumanizing.
As for a spiritual thought, I think I will reflect on the subject of my talk yesterday (I spoke in church):
“Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Is it through Christ and Christ alone that we can find true life and joy. We must turn to Him in order to be saved:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”