This week has been so amazing I had a lot of firsts. The first of which is lovingly called the Belgian Squats. In order to get a Belgian visa they require a blood sample (to check for syphilis) and a stool sample to check for parasites. All the missionaries in my District who are going to Paris along with me got called down to the Health Center to be given the infamous White Paper Bag that contained all the materials necessary to complete said task, the nurse who explained the process to us was hilarious and I would imagine that having to explain how to poo in cup three times a week would do that to you. The Elders in my district of course had a hard time talking about anything else for a couple of days but we got through it. And don't worry everything came out alright.
Every Tuesday all the missionaries gather in the Gym made into a stadium for a Devotional. This week Elder Richard G. Scott was the speaker. He talked about being guided by the spirit, and he made a handout of about 40 different principles that he has learned from a lifetime of learning to follow the direction of the Holy Ghost. I will make a copy and send it to you because there is so much amazing information on it. He also gave us 6 different apostolic blessings 3 of Which were just for the sister missionaries. He blessed us with a Shield of Protection, the Gift of Tongues, confidence, health, and to remember that Joseph Smith is a prophet for all our lives. He also made it a requirement for the Sisters to take care of themselves, he told us to not work as hard as the Elders, that we do not have to put in as many hours as they do, and that we need to get enough rest. He told a story of how his wife had to be sent home from her mission for a couple months because she worked too hard and got sick. So he told us to take care of ourselves.
This week I also went to the Teaching Resource Center (TRC) for the first time, it is a place where volunteers come to be investigators so we can practice teaching. We contacted 3 people in french. Which is talking to people briefly for the first time and sharing a short message and setting up an appointment to teach them more. We also taught the first lesson for the first time. It was a 30 minute lesson, and I think we did okay, we have a lot of work to do to improve our skills but i think we have a good start. I have been practicing making small talk and getting to know people, because I am not very good at it. My companion Soeur Wiseman is really good at talking so I am learning lots from her.
I get to fly to San Fransisco next Tuesday to go the French Consulate to finish up visa stuff, I am really excited to get out and see the real world for a little while. Time is the MTC is a rather strange thing, it doesn't work like time outside. It goes so slowly, but there is never enough of it to do what you feel you need to. I am doing well and I am loving it, I learn so much everyday and there is so much spirit here you can't help but be inspired. Thank you for the mail it is great!
I am doing great, I am loving it here. I live with 5 other sisters who all speak French. My companion is Soeur Wiseman nad she is amazing. We both know French quite well already and yesterday during our first ever companion study we spoke French for a full hour straight. I love learning French so much!!! So I found out that Wednesday there were 424 new missionaries at the MTC. and thee are 14 MTC's around the world. The Provo MTC has about 2,300 missionaries.
My schedule is so crazy I feel a bit like I am running all the time but it is exhilarating. The first 4 days are supposedly a little more crazy than the rest because ourt schedule is different than the rest of our zone. Oh, let me explain that. There are 12 people in my class, which as large as they get, we have 8 Elders and 4 Sisters we meet every day and that class is our District. There are other classes that are learning French and they make up our zone, but our zone is also our branch that we meet with on Sunday for church. Starting monday we will be on the same schedule as our zone, where as right now we are not.
The cafeteria is so cool, they always have 3 or 4 different entrees to choose from and on sundays and Wednesdays they serve BYU icecream! The dish return place is my favorite part. it is this huge conveyor belt thing that you place your tray with all your dishes and extra food and everything on and thats it, it looks super cool.
P-day will be on Fridays but I can get mail any day and read it that night. If you send me mail through DearElder.com they print them out so I can read a hard copy, I think that might be easier for me.
I love it here and I have already learned so much and have felt the spirit, the edesire I have to teach and learn just keeps growing. I know this is were I need to be and I know that Heavenly Father is taking care of me. Thank you for your support and love and prayers. I love you all so very much and I want you all to know that I know that this is the work of the Lord and it is already blessing my life. I am so happy.
On Wednesday October 20, Beverly, Dan, Paige and Mark drove Gaelin down to Provo to the MTC. We had lunch at the Olive Garden (delicious raspberry white chocolate cheesecake) and then drove over to drop her off. Gaelin was glowingly happy and also pretty nervous.
The proud parents with their missionary
There were lots of "New Missionary Hosts" running around waiting to escort the new Elders and Sisters and their luggage. After we each gave her a hug, and we took a hurried snapshot, she was gone! Good luck, Sister Turney!
The new Soeur Turney right before she leaves for her new adventure