Monday, January 17, 2011

Week 14: I Know Where Nicholas Flamel Lives!

am not really sure where to begin this week was crazy!! I suppose starting at the beginning would be the most logical...

So, last Monday we went to Paris to celebrate Soeur Pobst's birthday. A group of 9 missionaries went to Angelina's for hot chocolate and patisseries. It was rather expensive so Souer McClaine and I shared, she bought the hot chocolate and I bought an Afrique Chocolat; I am not entirely sure what it was, but it tasted good; It was almost like dark chocolate truffle filling covered in a ganache.  Then we all went to the Arc de Triomphe, on the way we stopped at McDo (also know as McDonalds) to use the bathroom and because tiny pastries weren't sufficient for several members of the group. The Arc de Triomphe is a lot bigger than I thought it was. I got to sit down and draw a little bit, it was so nice. I realized later that the only picture I took with my camera was a weird side one of the statues I was drawing... I figure I can get a postcard that will have a real picture on it. 

Tuesday we had our manger-vous (a little missionary play on words, "manger" is "to eat" and so a rendez-vous were the people feed you is a manger-vous, oh yeah!)  We got there and Annie and Nawang were still cooking, so Souer Pobst and I sat in their living room and talked while they finished, because in France it is sort of offensive if you offer to help, still getting used to that. For appetizers we had tea, in large quantities, peanuts, chips, and some very tasty chocolate. We then had a mushroom spinach egg drop soup that was really good, then we had a lot of salad and momo, a traditional Tibetan food that are very similar to potstickers. They were delicious, but they made about 60 of them for the 4 of us, and kept piling them on our plates no matter how slowly we ate. Then for dessert we were given a half of a canned peach with a cherry in the pit indentation. Annie told us how it is good luck and will help us have children. Which we were grateful for but felt it a little preemptive. Nawang had to leave for work before we started the lesson, but we had a good lesson with Annie. We taught her about the Godhead and that there are many different churches that belong to the "Jesus traditional" but that we all believe slightly different things. She really liked our understanding of the Holy Ghost. Annie knows a lot of Catholic people, some of which I think are nuns, and  I think that she was confused about the Trinity and how Jesus could be inside her. So, when we explained that Jesus has a body and that it is the Holy Ghost that she is feeling, she liked that and it made sense to her. Tomorrow we are going to teach the Plan of Salvation. Towards the end of our lesson, we asked how she and Nawang had met, because she said that they weren't sisters. She said they met in a convent in Tibet and have lived together in India as well. Soeur Pobst asked, "Annie, are you a nun?" The reply was yes, both she and Nawang are Buddhist nuns. Soeur Pobst and I looked at each other and the question that crossed both our minds was, are we allowed to teach nuns? As far as we can tell there aren't any rules about it and they are really excited to learn more, so we are going to keep teaching them. 

Wednesday we had our shift at the Visitor’s Center. I can't remember if I have said anything about it, so a brief summary: the Visitor’s Center is the first small Visitor’s Center ever that is not at a temple or historic site but serves the same purpose, a place to let people know more about our beliefs. All the missionaries around the Paris area have weekly shifts, ours is on Wednesdays from 12-4. The Visitor’s Center is in Paris in the same place as the chapel and institute. End of commentary. So, we had our Visitor’s Center shift in which no one at all came in, except 2 gypsy girls who wanted money. Half the shift is spent in the center and half is spent outside contacting. In our wanderings during our contacting we stumbled upon the Rue Nicolas d Flamel. So, cool, Harry Potter is real!!  Afterwards we went to the city of Melun to do and exchange with the sisters there. They are in a threesome and Souer McClaine was really sick and they had some rendez-vous they did not want to cancel. Soeur Pobst's back is still bad so she stayed in and I went out with them. When we got back we realized that there weren’t any more trains that would take us back to Evry, so we had a sleep over in Melun. Which we really aren't supposed to do, and that we had been joking about earlier in the day and then it really happened, very ironic. We then had to go to district meeting in the same smelly clothes we wore the day before, but we survived. Lunch at district meeting was crepes, I like crepes a lot. 

The last exciting thing that happened this week is that I gave a talk in church this last Sunday, as did Elder Livingston, the other new missionary. The meeting was as follows: a 7 year old girl gave the first talk, then I gave my garbled message, the primary sang a song, Elder Livingston gave his talk, Soeur Pobst was supposed to give a talk too, but as she got up to the stand the Bishop pulled her aside and asked that she just bear her testimony so the High Councilman could have a full 15 minutes for his talk. When I planned my talk it had a point, but when I gave it I have no idea where I was going, I hope everyone will write it off as poor language skills as opposed to a lack of preparation on my part. At least I won't have to do it again for a while and I can improve my French in the meantime. Side note: stake conference is March 13th and the Teixeiras are coming, he is one of the Area Seventies for France cool, huh! 

Thank you for your letters and prayers! Much love,

Soeur Gaelin Turney

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