Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mission Memories

I have many regrets stemming from the time I served as a missionary in France. I didn't work hard enough, that's for certain. I didn't work as diligently as I should have to learn the language, love the people, and do so many of the other things that missionaries do. Oh, I'd never give up the chance to have served -- I loved France and I still love it, and I have many fond memories of not only the country but of the times when I did work hard and when that whole learning another language thing was really, really working out well.

But after Mom handed me a small envelope of photos I took while on my mission, I certainly regret not having a better camera with me at the time. Here's the album.

And here's an example; this is even one of the better ones.

That's me playing the traditional French game petanque -- you can see one of the croquet ball-sized balls being hurled through the air in front of me -- while my companion Elder Jackson (Michael Jackson of Astoria, Oregon) and Elder Vance watch.

For all you missionaries getting ready to go out: Work hard. Learn the language and learn to love the people you serve. Also, take a good camera.

I actually went through three cameras in France, none of them any good. The first was a little Kodak jobbie that took that old 110 film in the little cartridges. It always took very grainy photos and, after a trip to see some cheateaux outside Perigueux, it fell in the toilet. Luckily, the film popped out and floated.

My second camera fell out of my jacket as I was riding my bicycle in Toulouse. It might have survived had the bus not run it over. Fortunately, it was also filmless.

The third camera I don't remember, but I do know it didn't come home with me. Very happy now with the suite of digital cameras we've got.

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