Yup, I heard right. Mantes-La-Jolie is not the prettiest place on the
block, despite its name. Rather than the streets being filled with
pastry, flower and chocolate shops, it is instead loaded with dumps,
rundown houses, dirt roads, dead rats, dead bodies, and gunshots that
riddle the air.
Ok, no, it’s not that bad.
But it really isn’t the happiest place on Earth (that’s to the East of
Paris back where I used to work when I was in Meaux: Disneyland
Paris!!). It’s got some nice and decent places and then there really
are the dumps. From what I understand we’re not allowed in certain
areas at all unless we’re teaching someone. But we have a car so we
don’t have to worry too much about getting mugged on the streets. And
the places we do walk around and contact are clean and alright.
The thing about our area is that it’s HUGE. Mantes itself is very
small. Our area is loaded with countryside and little French
villages. We decided to take the GPS out and “port” (tract) some of
these small villages that are about thirty minutes out of Mantes.
It’s honestly GORGEOUS out there. The way the meadows shine of soft
greens and yellows in the sunlight is amazing. Better yet is when
thick, dark clouds are draped over the countryside and fog looms off
the hills. It’s amazing.
Little French villages are pretty cool too. Most are basically
composed of houses and maybe a church and that’s about it. I don’t
know where they do their shopping. I guess they go into town for
that. But it’s sometimes surreal when you’re knocking on those doors
and you think, “I’m in France!” all the while when a grumpy old bald
man is furious and screaming from his window that you dared knock on
his door when the sun is down. I don’t even know what he was saying,
really. It was something like,
No, I don’t dare drive the car. That’s my worst nightmare, driving in France.
But all in all it’s been pretty good. It’s a lot of getting used to.
Being in a trio is certainly something different. And it’s harder to
get people to stop and talk to you here than it was in Brussels. The
few numbers we’ve gotten haven’t worked or when we call they decided
that they’re not interested. So right now we’re basically just
(Rebecca Black: Finding! Finding! Got to get out for Finding!
Everybody’s looking forward to Finding! Finding! Finding! Got to get
out for Finding! Everybody’s looking forward to Finding! Finding and
Finding and Yeah! Finding and Finding and Yeah! Fun fun fun fun.
Looking forward to some finding!)
Wish us luck. We need people to teach!
Elder Saul Marquez