Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Week 11: Happy Christmas, Harry

Joyeux Noël from France!!!

This first week in France has been amazing!! Though the weather has been rather wet. Tuesday it rained and Wednesday and Friday it snowed quite a lot, I was glad to have a white Christmas though. 

I got to meet both of our progressing investigators, we only have 2 at the moment but we have quite a few new ones. Yué is a student from China and is so cute. She has an amazing testimony and if we can get her to church more I think she will be ready. Nathaly is African and super cute as well, she is a little more frustrating because she had a baptisimal date for November 6th but cancelled it. We are working with her to try and get her ready and help her know for herself. We are meeting with her tonight and will be going to FHE in Paris with her. I am really excited for the holidays to be over, it is hard to do missionary work when everyone is out of town.

Dispite that I had a lovely Christmas. We received 2 invitations to dinner for Chrismas Eve and Christmas both were English speaking for which I was most grateful. For dinner Christmas Eve we went to a French family's house (look I found the apostrophe!) French meals have several courses which I should have known but forgot and which my companion also forgot to mention, I was quite full by the end. We ate the traditional French Christmas feast including raw salmon with lemon ( I ate mine on a baguette, very tasty) Coquille Saint Jaques (scallops on a half shell) mashed potatoes called purée which I also learned is an expression like shoot or dang. Poultry that is not chicken or turkey but tastes like it, salad, green beans (the french style of course), cheese: Roquefort a fairly strong variety that I liked, goat which I did not like at all. And of course a bouche de Noel. We played a couple of games before dinner and we sang Petit Papa Noel, they were very impressed that I knew it, thank you Pete Seeger Christmas album. 

Our Christmas dinner was with a British family, the Camilles, which is slightly amusing as my companion's first name is Camille. The food could not have been more different but is was also soooo good. I had a lot of firsts: yorkshire pudding, eggplant, and parsnips; all of which were covered in gravy. The Camilles have 2 children, Finnley who is 7 and goes by Finney and Felicity who is 4 and loves barbies. My companion played Just Dance 2 on the Wii with Finney, it was so funny. 

Church on Sunday was an adventure, I didn't understand a whole lot of what was taught, our RS lesson was on the life of Christ which I was able to follow pretty well because she had a lot of pictures. We talked (and by we I mean Soeur Pobst) to a couple of members during Sunday School. Sacrament meeting was interesting, the musical number by the choir was awful, but the Primary song was okay. I knew the topic was Jesus Christ but beyond that I am not really sure. It doesn't help that I fell asleep  a couple of times, I tried so hard to stay awake, but alas I did not succeed. Not only were we in the second row, one of the members brought some friends to church for the first time and they sat next to us. Great first impression, no? They seemed excited about church in spite of the fact I slept through it though. 

Today [Monday] is p-day of course, we are going to Paris to the Louvre and the Arc de Triophe. I am so excited. I hope your New Years is wonderful!!!

Love always,

Soeur Gaelin Turney

Friday, December 24, 2010

Week 10: Arrived in France


I am happily situated in France in a Paris suburb called Evry. My companion is Soeur Pobst. I hope you know how to make international calls because I dont. The key boards are different here and I dont know where the apostraphe button is. We will be able to talk for about an hour. I love you lots and am excited to hear from all of you. I will tell you all about France then because there is just too much to say because it is amazing!!!!!


Soeur Turney  

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Big Ol' Christmas Post

Soeur Turney called from the airport briefly Tuesday afternoon before leaving for gay Paris and sounded happy, excited, and bit nervous. Here are a few assorted tidbits to tide you over the holiday weekend until we hear from her again after she's settled.

Some MTC Harry Potter Shenanigans

Sr. Turney is learning to sing alto with the help of her companion Sr. Wiseman

And finally, the Christmas card our Jedi Missionary sent us

Merry Christmas, and God bless us, every one!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Week 9: Two Days and a Half!

So this has to be quick because I didn't leave myself any time to write this, as we just got back from the temple. I had a really good temple experience for which I am glad as I won't be going for 16 months.
BYU Men's Chorus fireside:  Last Sunday we had the best fireside ever! The BYU Men's Chorus came and gave us a musical fireside. For a group of 19-21 year olds who haven't been able to listen to music for 2 months it was heaven. I was also fun because I knew at least 3 people in the chorus. Neil Elsworth was singing and it warmed my heart to see some one I knew. There were a lot of songs I wasn't familiar with but i loved it all. It also made my think of all my friends who used to be in Men's Chorus and so any of you who have ever sung at BYU, THANK YOU SO MUCH, and know that you were thought of.
4 square: So, the favorite sport to play at gym in our zone is 4 square. Which when I got to the MTC I had not played from 6th grade. It is very silly to play with the elders because they usuaslly go easy on sisters. If they do happen to get a sister out then they are usually given a lot of flack and are pronounced "cursed" and the next round everyone tries to get them out. Whatever, it is still fun to play. Yesterday was out last gym and I played 4 square for most of it. I got to be queen twice so I felt that is was time well spent.
France pictures with Frere Quinn:  Yesterday was Frere Quuinn's last day as our teacher. He brought his laptop with all his mission pictures on it. We had a slide show and he told us lots of cool stories and about all the people he met, it was so cool. It made me so excited to leave and to go to France and get to work. He served in Toulouse so I wasn't even seing pictures of places I will be but I was excited all the same. YAY FRANCE!!!!
P-day Christmas: So this morning the Soeurs all had a mini Christmas morning. Soeur Wiseman's parents sent her a little tree and we decortated everrything all Christmasey. Most of the other's had their presents already so they opened then and we talked about all our Christmas tradtions. They thought our nativity reecatment was very funny. And they liked the idea of santa mouse. I am excited to have my presents on Christmas in France. 
Thank you all for writing letters, I love mail. I love you all very much and I hope you all have a very happy Christmas!!! Make a snowman for me, 'cause they won't let us touch the snow here. 
Love always and I will talk to you soon!!!!
Soeur Gaelin Turney <3 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Chickens

Week 8: Liftoff in T Minus Ten Days

Bonjour from the MTC!
We got our travel plans yesterday, meaning I really am going to Paris. It hasn't really seemed real yet. I don't think it will really sink in that I am going to France until a get there, though. I am leaving December 20, the Paris people (of which there are 20) leave the MTC at 1:30 and our nonstop fight to Paris leaves at 5:00pm. I am so excited for the plane ride, as it is my first international flight, and there will be 20 eager missionaries. I almost feel bad for the other passengers. We arrive in Paris at 11:25 Tuesday morning. I makes me laugh a little because the people going to Toulouse have to leave the MTC at 5 am and have a layover in Texas before going to Paris and then Toulouse. We leave 8 hours after them and we arrive at our destination 20 minutes before they do, heheheh.
We have been having some really great teaching experiences with Pierre, one our investigators. He is one of the most authentic investigators we have and our first couple of lessons were really rough. But Soeur Wiseman and I have been working really hard on improving how we approach lessons and simplifying a lot. It is finally paying off. Our last two lessons have been really powerful. We taught about Jesus Christ and the power of his atonement and about baptism and ordinances of the gospel. In the teacher's log he said that it was a wonderful lesson and he understood everything we taught and even some stuff we thought we did a poor job explaining. He said he felt the Spirit very strongly and was excited to have another lesson. The Lord is so wonderful, Soeur Wiseman and I have finally figured out how to teach with the Spirit and with each other and we only have 10 days left to do things together. But that is how the Lord works, once we are comfortable where we are He switches things up on us. I am excited for the next grand adventure!
On Monday the French sisters had a tea party. Soeur Harline's grandmother sent a tea party in a box complete with doilies and tiny "silver" cutlery. We sat on a sheet in the common area, dressed in our pyjamas and our fine jewelry ( I had an up-do) and spoke in very bad very high pitched British voices. It was a lot of fun, and there was a lot of good food. Her grandmother sent apples and bread with fancy cheese spread, tea cookies, and there was lots of chocolate and crackers. We were very silly, the irony is that we had taught about the Word of Wisdom earlier that day and that night had a tea party. :)
We also learned how to give directions in French and for an activity we have to direct our companions around the building in French while they had their eyes closed. My companion almost ran me into Elder Shumway, who is much larger than I and used to play football. Elder Shumway was also being lead and my hand bumped into him before either of our companions could yell "arretez, arretez!" I am quite sure I would have been the loser of the impact, so be grateful I am still alive to be telling you this.
I love this gospel and the experiences I am having. I am so excited so start sharing this with the people of France! I love you all very much and have a very Joyeux Noel!!!
Soeur Turney

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Week 7: Pull Up Your Socks and Get to Work

Bonjour everyone!!!
We watched an old devotional by Elder Holland this week and my favorite quote is the title of this email, "pull up your socks and get to work." That is my new motto. For devotional this week Sister Julie B. Beck came and talked to us, yay! It was another of those moments when the sisters got really excited and the Elders looked around in confusion asking "Who?" Silly, Elders. She talked about the growth and expansion of missionary work that she has seen in her life time. It made me think of D&C 4:1, a marvelous work is about to come forth among all the children of men. I realised that a marvelous work and a wonder is going forth and that I am a part of it. I read Elder Nelson's talk from this last conference about missionary work and I am so excited to be going to France at helping people come unto Christ.
I only have 17 days in the MTC left, AAAAAAAGH! I am so not ready to speak French. On Wednesday we had a zone PVL (Parlez Votre Language) day, everyone who is learning French had to speak French all day, it went well but I am not sure a am ready for real French people. All the lessons we are teaching now are in French and they are going pretty well, we are teaching 3 people now. We had a FHE with George. George is another elder and his wife is a sister, and it was so fun coming up with activies for them.
There was a bat in the Gym during the Fireside on Sunday, it was clinging to the ceiling. We were sitting directly under it, Soeur Wiseman was a little freaked out, but I thought it was awesome.
Sundays we have a district meeting with a lesson, and after we dicided to have an activity. This week we played the Fruit game, where you can't show your teeth. Except we chose names from the Book of Mormon. I was Riplakish and Soeur Wiseman was Pagag, we won/tied. It was so funny and the Elders were unsure of what to think. Yay for girls camp games.
We got new French missionaries on Wednesday, some of them are going to the Congo, the Ivory Coast, and French West Indies. So, cool!! We also got 2 new sisters.
Thank the ward for the letters they sent they made me so happy!
Love always,
Soeur Turney