Well its hard to believe that we only have one more week until Christmas, it doesn't seem possible that I have been in Europe for almost a year now. Though getting to spend two Christmases in Paris is I must say more than I could have ever hoped for. The weather has turned nasty though, it has been windy and rainy and it hailed today. I just hope that we have a white Christmas, then it will be okay that it is this cold. Though I can't complain Belgium is a lot colder than France. We had exchanges with the Strombeek Soeurs, I was only in the train station in Brussels for 45 minutes and I was freezing, I didn't even go outside. Brrr, it makes me doubly glad to be in Versailles.
This week I got to meet Augustine; she is an amie from Africa; she is so cool. She met the missionaries through her friend Ann; who recently got baptized. Augustine loves the missionaries, though at the beginning she loved pestering them more than listening to their message. We had a really nice lesson about the Book of Mormon, she is ready for the gospel. She was on vacation in Italy and she said that she has been trying to read the Book of Mormon so she brought it with her on her trip. I know there are members that don't even do that. We were able to explain things to her and she is even more excited to read. She also said that she is going to be coming to Church!!!
We have been trying to get in the spirit of Christmas so we made some treats and called people to see if we could deliver them. We had at least four people say yes one of those people was Solange. She is so sweet. She told us to meet her at a bus stop and there she was just outside the Palace of Vesailles. It was the first time she had seen either Soeur Emilcy and I but she gave us a huge smile and a grosse bisou (a big kiss on each cheek) and we talked for a little. It has been a long time since she has talked with the missionaries and she is having a bit of a hard time right now, so I think that the fact that we called and that someone showed that they cared about her made a big difference to her. She couldn't stay long so we just gave her the treats and a Book of Mormon with a ribbon on it, but she had a big smile and she also said she would try to come to the Christmas party and church.
Alida is the other person we met this week, she is a member but hasn't come in a long time. She is married and has two adorable little girls. She too has been having a hard time and called us to get the number of a member. She gave her the number and then asked if we could come over to share a Christmas treat. We talked about her life and about prayer and how it is sometimes hard or awkward when we first start trying to build our relationship with God through prayer. But that if we continue the relationship will come. We promised her that if she keep starts praying personally and with her family God will bless her and help her. We also told her that scripture study and coming to church help too. She also said she'd try to come either to the Christmas party or to church. I hope that someone comes to church. I have a lot of people say that they will come but never do, I am going to do my best to help them use their agency and come to church.
I love Christmas time so very much, we watched the First Presidency Christmas Devotional last Sunday night, it was so wonderful. I love the prophet and the love and the wisdom that he has. I definitely had to stop and take a step back and ponder about my attitude and focus as to Christmas. I want to make this Christmas special and truly focused on Christ. I had a thought a few days ago that has made me ponder a lot. I was trying to think up ways to contact people and start conversations about Christmas and the question came into my head, 'What is the importance of Christ in your life right now, today?" I have been pondering that question, what importance do i give Christ? How much of my life do I allow Him to occupy?
I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and that it is a special one full of love and joy.
All my love,
Soeur Gaelin Turney