This morning we got to do one of my favorite things: attend church in a foreign country. I love hearing the messages I’ve heard so often in English in a different language. Last week it was Danish, this week German. Plus, before the service started I got to meet dozens of locals who were all very warm and welcoming, asking about out trip so far and where we would go next. I also love seeing the missionaries in foreign countries, because it is a nice reminder of my own 2 years as a missionary in West Africa.
Well, as the title suggests, it was raining quite heavily in Berne today. So when we left church with our backpacks on, all we could really do was head for the train station. Before we left though, I wanted to see at least one thing: the LDS Temple. For my non-Mormon readers, temples are different from the churches where we attend services on Sunday. Temples are considered much more sacred and inside we make serious promises with God to live righteously and follow Christ’s example. This particular temple was the first one built by the LDS church in Europe, back in 1955. For a long time it served as the nearest temple for Mormons from France, Germany, and Italy to attend.
Well from the nearest trains station it was about a 15 minute walk to the temple, and as I said, it was raining pretty hard. My shoes are not great in the rain either: they are basically completely open, and my socks quickly get soaked through. Plus, neither Sam or I wanted to risk water soaking through our backpacks. So we went to a gas station looking for ponchos, but all we could find were trash bags. So I did a little MacGyver-ing and turned trash bags into backpack covers. But I still had the problem of my shoes. This was my solution:
Well our trash bags worked, and we made it to the temple relatively dry. When we got there, the neighboring church building still was filled with people at the service, and I got plenty of weird stares. An elderly couple invited us in out of the rain, but the bags took so long to tie on I didn’t want to take them off, so I ended up traipsing loudly through the church building with black garbage sacks up to my knees. But hey, we got to see the temple, and it was lovely.
After that we made our way back to the train station and boarded a train headed for Geneva. No point in sticking around in the rain, right? Upon arrival we checked into a hostel, which was actually more like a hotel with bunkbeds. There was zero social activity, and I actually think I saw more adult business men there than young backpackers. Oh well.
During the afternoon we took a fun (and FREE) bikeride through Geneva. We got to see the city’s many parks, the UN building, the Cathedral, a huge water jet, and even the Geneva Apple Store. (I know, I know, not actually that cool. And besides, it was closed.) Then for dinner we splurged and had the obligatory Swiss cheese fondue. I’m not much of a cheese person, but I will admit that it was tasty (but way over priced). We then made our way back to the hostel, did laundry in the sink, and passed out.