Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Paris Mormon Style -- The One and Only True Tour

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Sister Millie Loomis, self-appointed ward media and culture critic
Subject: My life in France

When the See Zion First's Temple Trip For Gals capped at 200 within the first hour of registration, I instead chose their tour of Paris. Why not? All of my life I've longed to see the marvelous City of Light through the protective lens of the LDS Church. I testify to you, brothers and sisters, that See Zion First delivered all of that and inside of a week.

Friday, Day 1: We disembarked our plane and were met curbside by Europe Second Branch President Pierre Sorenson who whisked us to his picturesque meeting house with its sweeping view of the Charles DeGaulle Airport. After vacuuming the carpets and scrubbing the bathrooms, we unrolled our sleeping bags on the cultural hall floor and slept off our jet lag.

Saturday, Day 2: We got a taste of the Latin Quarter when we helped the Maxwell family move into their charming flat in a fifth floor walk-up in the 6th arrondissement. They graciously treated us to a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Then we returned to the branch meeting house for a genuine Parisian revue performed by the Mia Maids.

Sunday, Day 3: Since church started in the afternoon, we spent the morning collecting Fast Offerings, then attended to our various assignments in Primary, Relief Society, Sunday School and Priesthood. I had the good fortune to be stationed in the Nursery. After church we enjoyed a scrumptious "Break the Fast" meal of cassoulet de tater tots, citron vert Jell-o, and Mormon pommes de mort.

Monday, Day 4: We introduced ourselves to the locals by going out on splits with the missionaries. We were amazed by how many Frenchmen left their doors unlocked, and by how annoyed they were when we walked through them. We discussed this phenomenon over Rice Krispies Treats after our Family Home Evening French Hymnal Karaoke.

Tuesday, Day 5: We headed to the stake cannery where we happily donated our time for the welfare of others. The result? Two hundred quarts of haricort verts for the French saints.

Wednesday, Day 6: Sightseeing! Elders' Quorum President, LeVar Lafitte, sprung for a one hour bus rental from a local U-Haul and gave us a whirlwind tour. I did my best to capture it on film:

The glass sculpture outside of the Louvre inspired President Lafitte to describe his latest business venture.

As a result, I am now a distributor of Frere Featherstone's Miracle Hair Grow.

After returning the bus, we stopped at a genuine Parisian cafe, where we ordered omelettes stuffed with stinky cheese and fizzy French water. Hate to say it, but the meal was something of a let down. The food paled in comparison to the French cuisine served at Sunday's Break the Fast. Also everyone around us was smoking and drinking and eating chocolate. The Metro ride home turned out to be a harrowing ordeal, as we found ourselves surrounded by the Parisian non-member community. Sister Jamison nearly passed out after witnessing something shocking. Luckily the Priesthood was on hand to give her a blessing, and we were soon back in the loving embrace of the saints from the Europe Second Branch. The testimony meeting that evening was c'est magnifique.

Thursday, Day 7: We said tearful good-byes to our French brothers and sisters, then boarded the plane for America. Not a one of us slept on that flight, as we were too busy reminiscing about the sights we saw, the people we met, the food we enjoyed, and the wonderful time we had thanks to LDS owned See Zion First.

After all, only the church could send us on a trip like this.

If you would like to stop receiving these e-mails, we'll alert a distributor of Frere Featherstone's Miracle Hair Grow.


  1. We need to get you on the blogroll over at Main Street Plaza. You've got all kinds of win going on here. Too funny.

  2. Donna, you've outdone yourself this time!! Love the Pyramid nuance. You have no idea how close you are to my mother and sisters visit to London. They traveled abroad and spent nearly two weeks in the dank basements of various old town halls looking for records of very very dead ancestors or people with somewhat similar names.

    My sister went to Germany and was so excited to see a KFC nearby so she could find something to eat.

    I made the mistake of going on a church history tour with my LDS siblings. You nailed every aspect, even down to the sleeping bags on the floor and doing splits.

    What the LDS love to proclaim, "The church is the same wherever you go" is a bit like a self condemnation. It's like saying, We are the McDonald's of Religions. McMormon nuggets, all lined up and pasty fatty white, deep fried, overcooked, pressed meat like and completely tasteless. MMMM, McMormons!

  3. Ah yes, I'd forgotten the whole "the church is the same" concept. Very funny comparison to McDonalds!

  4. The tour bus reminds me of going to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC and seeing this group of Japanese tourists, all wearing the little recording device that tells them what they're looking at. They were more intent on following the numbers and staying in a tight pack as they went from sculpture to sculpture than they were interested in the actual art. I'm sure not all Japanese tourists are this way but sometimes I think the group think mindset really takes over for tourists and they don't really step outside the lines to make it a personal experience.

    I went to Hannibal Missouri one time while in the Midwest, after a two day excursion to Nauvoo, Illinois. The only difference was that one was based on mid 19th century fantasy and one was based on a great writers hometown.

    Even though Tom Sawyer is clearly stated as fiction it was so funny to see this group of tourists get off a bus and everyone was hell bent on crowding in front of a white picket fence to get their picture taken because of the sign that displayed the little blurb about Tom Sawyer painting a white picket fence and duping his buddies. I wanted to yell, "It's fiction, it's a fictional fence!!" but the illusion was too important.

    Same thing in Nauvoo. The Mormon tourists and silly Mormon missionaries were so hell bent on telling this sugared up Disnified version of the events that it would have been mean to suggest that it was all based on fiction.

    At least reading Mark Twain doesn't come close to the boredom of reading the Book of Mormon. Chloroform in Print, he was spot on with that.