Monday, April 16, 2012

Week 73: A Windy Week of Miracles


The weather has turned a bit chilly this weekend but that has not dampened our spirits one bit. It was a a little slower on  the lessons this last week but we kept working hard and we keep finding new people.
Bethina is continuing strong, she had a big test this week and was really nervous, she asked us if she could fast to help her with her test. How cool is that, we told her she could and explained a little more about fasting. We called the night after her test and she was happy because she passed and she said that she was surprised because she hadn't felt hungry or thirsty at all. She has a lot of faith and acts on it. She is such an amazing example to me, she is making so many changes, and the blessings are so evident, it is almost miraculous. She is praying to know if May 5 is the day she should get baptized, so pray for her!

Sunday Soeur Chard and I had some miracles. This entire week we have been having a hard time having the desire to go out and do contacting, we have done it and worked hard, but the desire wasn't there so it was more of a way to pass time as opposed to being really effective, so Saturday night we talked about why we were having such a hard time and what we needed to do to get the fire going. We decided that part of ot was that we hadn't been as diligent in our goal to contact on every train among other things. Our zone leaders had challenged us to set goals that didn't depend on the choices of others to accomplish, that were measurable by how we personally used our agency. So Soeur Chard and I decided that we were going to pray very hard for the desire to go contacting and that we were going to talk to 40 people. We got us early Sunday morning so we could meet Bethina at the bus stop and go to church together. We had to wait at the bus stop about 20 minutes before Bethina arrived so, Soeur Chard being the amazing person that she is started searching for people to contact. There aren't a ton of people out and about at 8 in the morning on a cold Sunday, but we managed to find seven people to talk to, none were interested, and several were really rude, including one woman who yelled at us and us how disgusted she was that we would dare preach the filth we called a religion. It wasn't a very encouraging start but our church meetings were especially spiritual and that boosted our spirits. After lunch we went out to do some finding, in about an hour and a half we talked to 32 people most of whom though not interested were very nice. We met one girl named Aurélie who took a copy of the Book Of Mormon and seemed interested. By the end we were thrilled by all the work we had done and that it had been enjoyable in spite of the lowering clouds and gusty wind. We had dinner and went out to do some porting in a 17 story apartment building close to where Rita lives. We started at the top and worked our way down, no one on the 17th was interested, but on the 16th we met a woman named Marie-Claire who took a Proclamation on the Family and set a rendez-vous. After she shut the door we realaised that she was the 40th person that we had talked to. Miracle! President Poznanski keeps telling us that God is a God of the fourth watch and that it is only after the trial of our faith that we see the fruits and miracles. We hadn't had a ton of success, until the 40th person. We still had about 25 minutes before we needed to start home so we continues porting, two floors down we met a Portuguese woman named Maria, who was very sweet, we talked for a good 15 minutes with her. She has had a lot of hard things happen to her and while she has lost confidence in man, she still trusts in God. We gave her a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and said that we would pass by next Friday after our rendez-vous. The spirit was so strong while we were talking to Maria, I felt so much love for this woman I do not know. I know that the atonement of Jesus Christ can heal all her hurts and give her the courage she needs. Maria was the last person that we contacted last night. Soeur Chard and I talked about it, I know that our experience yesterday was an answer to prayer. When the things we desire or ever desire to desire are right, if we ask in faith God will give it to us. But we must ask.

I love you and wish you the best of weeks!

Soeur Gaelin Turney

Monday, April 9, 2012

Week 72: Tired but Happy

This week was another amazing adventure. The work here is really starting to take off.

We set a goal this transfer to talk to one person every time we get on the train, which is very often. We haven't succeeded in every train but we have made an effort and are starting to see miracles. We have had a lot of really good conversations with people and a lot of really awkward ones too. But since we have started we have met at least five people who are interested in learning more. Soeur Chard is a miracle worker, whenever we have a few minutes she is contacting someone, and when I am tired (which is basically all the time) she keeps going, and says, "Let's contact this one last person." That person is almost always interested in learning more.

Monday night we passed by an ami that used to meet with the missionaries, Theliène. She had just gotten home from work and we told her that we only wanted to say hi and not stay very long, but she sat us down and gave us a drink and started making dinner. We asked if we could help, as her kids hadn't eaten yet, she said of course you can. She showed us how to make a fish pastry. It contained a sauce made of onions and fish wrapped ina flaky dough, and shaped like a fish. It was really cool. I have learned so many interesting cooking tidbits while on my mission, but not very many of them are French.

We had a really good rendez-vous with Bethina, we had spent a really long time trying to figure out what to teach her, and we weren't coming up with anything. So, we picked a topic and some scriptures as a back up plan and decided to follow the spirit and ask inspired questions. We had a really good talk and were able to better understand where she is, and the things that she worries about and her desires. It was really amazing how questions to ask just came to mind and we were able to figure out how we can help her. The process of receiving revelation while teaching is such an incredible experience, I am going to miss it.

Saturday we had a mini rendez-vous with a woman that lives in the next building over. She could only see us for about ten minutes. The last time we saw her we gave her the Proclamation on the Family, she had read it and really liked it. We told her that because the family is an essential part of God's plan for His children He has given us things to help us and our families, one of which is prophets. Then we talked about the Book of Mormon and gave her a copy. She is stuck inside her apartment for a week because of a hurt ankle so we figured it was a perfect situation. She said she would start reading.

Yesterday was amazing, all our meetings were about the atonement and resurrection of Christ. It really helped me reflect about the importance that Jesus Christ has in my life. I feel like my love for Him grew a lot yesterday. We had a super busy day. We taught three lessons, passed by someone's house, and went to church. It was wonderful and we were exhausted but in the best way possible. It was very interesting because the people that we taught lived fairly close to each other so there wasn't too much time in between rendez-vous. It was so much easier to keep the Spirit with us from one lesson to the next. I felt that we were blessed and guided especially last night.

I am more tired than I have ever been, and we have more missionary work than I have ever had before. I know that heavenly Father is helping me through everyday. I don't want to be a "dead" missionary at the end of my mission. I am so grateful for souer Chard, she has such enthusiasm and helps me keep going even when I don't want to. I feel like this transfer is a lesson on enduring to the end. I hope that if my mission is a foreshadowing of my real life that I will be surrounded by good  people as I am now, and that I will stay strong until the very end, it is the hardest and longest part, enduring to the end. But I am learning that we just have to take one day at a time. For my planner cover for this transfer I picked a quote by President Monson, "There is no yesterday to remember if we don't do something today." It is so very true, all we need to focus on is right now is what can I do with my time today? 

I love you and will see you soon!

Soeur Gaelin Turney

Monday, April 2, 2012

Week 71:Wasn't General Conference AMAZING!!!!

This week was transfer week and my Baby, Soeur Dremeaux has left the nest and flown or rather taken the train to Brussels. My new companion is Soeur Chard, she is from Holiday and really sweet. She contacts everyone, all the time, I have lots to learn from her. She is starting her four transfer which means she has been in the field about 5 and a half months. She plays the piano and has a nice smile. It is a little strange to be able to talk in English and be 98% sure that my companion will understand.

This week we have a new amie, named Solange. She is African and a young adult. She was a referral from a mamber, Anne, who had brought her to church twice. The second time we met her and fixed a rendez-vous at Anne's house. It went really ell, Anne shared her conversion story a little and told Solange that you can meet with the missionaries for years and not get anything out of it, but when you read the  Book of Mormon with a real desire, something happens and you know that it is true. It was a powerful moment. Solange said that if she feels that it is true she will be baptized! Soeur Chard was super excited because it was the first time she has had an amie say that the first rendez-vous.

On the way home from our rendez-vous with Solange we sat down across from a woman in the train. Soeur Chard started talking to her and she looked at us and said "You guys are Mormon missionaries," in English. The woman's name is Margareth and she is from New Caledonia, she has a cousin who is a member. She said that every time that she goes over to his house they talk about God and the Bible. We set a rendez-vous with her for next week. It was so cool; I have a feeling that I am going to see lots of miracles with Soeur Chard this transfer.

I loved General conference so very much!!! I am amazed at the spiritual strength that I get from listening. It was interesting to look over my notes and see the common themes and ideas in the different talks. I am so excited to study the Ensign. I loved Elder Nelson's talk about gratitude for the temporal and the spiritual. That is something that I feel very strongly, Gratitude is such a powerful force, and it chances the way we see the world.

I am excited for Easter this next week and for the chance I have to study the life of Jesus Christ and the Atonement. He truly is the center of everything even if we don't always realize that He is. I am so grateful for Him and his love, sacrifice and resurrection for me and for everyone. That is the beauty of Easter!

Much love,

Soeur Gaelin Turney  

Monday, March 19, 2012

Week 70: The Beginning of the End?

Happy Monday!

We had a talk with Soeur Poznanski on Tuesday, it was really helpful and put things into perspective. That's one cool thing about being in Versailles, we get to see the Poznanskis at church and around. She talked to us a little about her mission, she served in the Paris France Mission too. She read us the first three verses of Doctrine and Covenants 98. We talked about gratitude and the power there is in being grateful in all things. She also made the point that the has sworn with an oath that he will answer our prayers, his just didn't specify when. So we need to have faith and patience, even when it doesn't seem like Heavenly Father is listening to us, he is and he will bless us, when the time is right. 

We had exchanges this week, We were paired with the Blois sisters (Pronounced kinda like Blah but with a w in the middle, Bl-wah) I stayed in Versailles and got to work with Soeur Williams. I was so happy to see her again, she was my companion in Liege and is the same ''age'' as I am in the mission. It is super weird because she is going home the early transfer so she only has one week left. It was a lot of fun to reminisce together and to see how we have changed. It was funny because I had forgotten how similar our personalities and interests are. We got to teach together again, it was cool, The last time we taught together was about a year ago. I know a lot more French now. 

Tomorrow is my 17 month mark, I do not feel like I have been here for seventeen months. I am glad I chose to stay until may, I am not ready to come home yet, I love you all but the thought of going home makes me very nervous. 

This week was a little rough, all but one of our rendez-vous got cancelled, but we met some cool people. and this week is looking really good. Bethina is doing well, she called us Friday night with a question about personal revelation. She told us that her brother is going to get baptized in three weeks. She is amazing, she told us that last Sunday she didn't study at all, and that she rested and kept the sabbath day holy. When we saw her the exam was the next day, but she said that she didn't feel nervous at all, and that she felt positive. We testified of the blessings of obedience and promised that Heavenly Father would help her. She is so good! 

I hope that you have a wonderful week and that all your wildest dreams come true.

Love always,

Soeur Gaelin Turney

Monday, March 12, 2012

Week 69: Life is Beautiful


We had a pretty awesome week. Tuesday we had a district finding activity, we all met at the church and then went out contacting at the same time. We had about 40 minutes, and Soeur Dremeaux and I talked with two amazing women. The first was named Florence, She said that her belief in God was complicated, but we testified about God and the Book of Mormon. She took a copy. It was an amazing conversation, she told us there was something special about us. She wouldn't give us her contact information but she lives close to the church, so I hope that someday she will come. The second woman was orthodox, when we started talking about the Book of Mormon, She said Ooooh, the Mormons, I am not interested they are polygamists and their women are badly treated etc. We explained that we are NOT polygamists, and we both testified of the divine role of women. We told her that we had never felt inferior to men, and the church teaches that we are equals, that we have different roles but that we are equally important. We also told her about Relief Society, that we have our own organization that is part of the church, with leaders that are women. We talked with her for about twenty minutes, in the end she wasn't interested, but she told us that there was a light about us. We testified of a lot of things to her, but the part that she really listened to was that we are daughters of God and that we are just as valued as the men in our church. As we headed back to the church, Soeur Dremeaux and talked about her, and we both felt that our meeting her was to clear up misconceptions so that maybe in the future she will listen to the message. 

This week we started teaching a 9 year old boy named Amaury. He is autistic and wants very much to be baptized. It was a lot of fun coming up with activities that would keep him interested and help him understand what we were teaching. His parents are active and very sweet. We talked about the restoration and the Book of Mormon, and we challenged him to read from the picture Book of Mormon every day, and gave him a coloring page with numbers. Everyday that he reads he gets to color in all the shapes that have that number in it. His mother told us Sunday that on Saturday he started crying because he forgot to read the day before. So precious! I think I should be more like that when i realize that I am not doing everything that I promised Heavenly Father I would, I should cry. Sometimes I do, but I think that I need to have more godly sorrow when I repent. 

We have the most amazing amis! Bethina is so good. We had a lesson with her on Saturday, and after she asked us if she should study on Sunday or not. She has a two weeks of really intense classes and tests and she is really nervous. She said that all the other students would be studying on Sunday and there is so much material that she is scared she is going to miss something. We talked to her about keeping the Sabbath day holy and about trusting the promises that God has made us. We both shared experiences of how we were given help from Heavenly Father because we chose to keep the Sabbath day holy. She was very nervous but she said that she was going to keep the Sabbath day holy. She also said that she hadn't read the Book of Mormon because she has been studying. We talked about how even if it is only one verse it is important to read every day. While we were talking she realized that she did have time, she said I find time to call my boyfriend before I study, I do have time to read the Book of Mormon. I am so amazed at her desire to do what is right, she is so good. I don't think I have had another amie quite like her. She came to church again, She lives really far away so she has to take the bus at 7:30 to get to church before 9. That is two weeks that she has done it, there are so many members that are inactive because the effort is too big to come to church, she is so incredible, I love her so much!

Thank you for all your prayers, I love you all very much and have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day/ 170th Birthday of the Relief Society!


Soeur Gaelin Turney

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Week 68: Freedom


This week we had Zone Conference, it always gives a huge spiritual boost, I wish you could all come to one. It was amazing the first half was a answer all the prayers that Sister Turney has said in the past two weeks. Soeur Poznanski talked about the power of baring testimony and the importance that it has in the conversion of our amis, President Poznanski covered lots of subjects, but the one that stuck out to me the most was about the power and authority of our calling as missionaries. He told us sisters that we were also acting with the power of the priesthood because we were set apart by someone who holds the priesthood and that as such we have the same blessings but also the same responsibilities as priesthood holders. It was very interesting to me, and it made me think of the scripture that talks about every man learning his duty and fulfilling it and those that don't are in a lot of trouble. I think I might study the Doctrine and Covenants a bit more...

The Assistants to the President did a training about contacting that they entitled ''Get the Glow'' There are lots of stories about people who see the missionaries and there is a light around them, they are shining and angelic. They talked about how we do not even realize the presence that is with us because we are missionaries. It is not us that is doing the glowing. However it is very important for us, especially when we are contacting to have that glow because it makes people want to know more, and it is the elect, the prepared people that will recognize us. They said that the way to get the glow is by developing Christlike attributes. There is an entire chapter in Preach My Gospel about developing Christlike attributes. I counted and there are the same number of attributes as I have weeks left, so I set the goal to work on a different one every week. Soeur Dremeaux and I talked about it and we both had decided individually to work on Diligence. So, we have been trying very hard to be diligent in all things. 

Saturday we had a very long day of contacting, and beginning is always the hardest. But we tried very hard to have faith and hope and a good attitude. We found three people, gave out two copies of the Book of Mormon, fixed two and a half rendez-vous and got two phone numbers. All three were during the last part of the time blocks for the specific areas that we were in. It is amazing that Heavenly Father gives us experiences that teach us and help us in our efforts to progress and become like him. I am learning how to include Him in my plans and goals for myself. I find that there are moments throughout my day that I need to pray. There is a quote from President Monson that talks about how he would be literally lost without his relationship with God through prayer. I think in a small way I understand what he means. 

I have been thinking a lot about the progression that I have made spiritually during my mission. It is amazing to see how far that i have come, and yet i still have so far to go. I want so much to continue, I am so happy. This morning I read in Helaman 14:30-31. I love part that says ''ye are free',' because I feel free. I don't know that I have ever had more rules or restrictions about what I can or can't do, but because they are from God, they make me free. I know that freedom is what many people are searching for, and we are so lucky to truly have it. ''The truth shall make you free,'' we have the truth and as I apply the truths I learn in my life I become free. That is the message that we have to share, true freedom and pure love. We are seriously so blessed. ;) 

All my love and prayers,

Sister Gaelin Turney

Monday, February 27, 2012

Week 67: I Believe in Christ!

Bonjour tout le monde!!!

Happy Monday! I think that winter is over and spring is coming because it has been really beautiful this week, if that is the case then winter lasted a week annd a half. I am not going to complain. I don't know what the weather is like at home, but I hope that you're not all freezing to death. 

We went to Lille again this week to pick up my French ID card, I really like Lille. It is funny that I like it so much having never served anywhere near it, but I think I've been about 7 or 8 times. We stopped at the patisserie that all the missionaries go to and since it was my last time I got a 'Brazilian' and an 'African.' Both are delicous and chocolatey. I have got to start finding recipes for bread and patisseries because I am going to miss them terribly.  

We had two really good rendez-vous with Bethina this week. She is reading the Book of Mormon and loves asking questions. We taught her the Plan of Salvation and she accepted it easily as making sense and natural. She is so cute, she and her brother are both investigating the church, and I guess her cousin told them about the importance of geneology. She said that she and her brother had started to research their family but she wanted to know what we did with the names after we found them. It is amazing the faith that she has and the desire she has to do what is right. She also came to church this week!!! It just makes me so very happy to see people progress in the gospel!

Yesterday we had a lesson with Madame Garcia, I had met her once before and Soeur Emilcy and I had taught her daughter once. She is from Peru, and is short and very sweet. This past year has been super hard for her, with basically every trial a person could have, but in spite of all of them she has an enormous faith in Jesus Christ. She has a lot of worries for her two children and isn't sure what to do. We talked about Jesus Christ and the healing power of the Atonement. We told her that peace and comfort come through accepting Christ as our Savior, and that we do that by keeping the commandments and living the gospel. We talked about how when we are obedient that God can bless us and the Holy Ghost can bring us the peace that we need. We shared a lot of scriptures with her about Christ and his promises of peace. One of my favorites is in Matthew 11,   ''Come unto be all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you , and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.'' The spirit was very strong and she seemed better at the end. We are going to be having a rendez-vous with her and her daughter this week. I know that I cannot do anything to help them but I know that God can, and that if they start living the gopsel they will find peace, because that is the power of the Atonement. The gospel changes lives, I see it every day, in my own life and in the life of those I  teach. I am so very grateful for the knowledge I have and the light that it brings to my life. 

I love you and wish for you the very best week ever!

Soeur Gaelin Turney