The adventures of Soeur Gaelin Turney of the France Paris Mission
Monday, January 24, 2011
Week 15: I am Legal Now, Woo Hoo!
Howdy everybody, So the craziness never ends, I don't think I realised before I left all the unexpected things that happen to missionaries. Surprise! It is hard to believe that I am in the last week of my first transfer and that I have been in France for a month and three days, oy, time flies. Anyway, last Monday wasn't terribly exciting as far as sightseeing goes, Soeur Pobst had a doctor's appointment at the infamous American Hospital. It is where missionaries go to get medical treatment and while it is a terrifying experience it is supposedly better than French Hospitals. Soeur Pobst was diagnosed with, and I quote "pain" and given pain killers. She was not pleased, but the medicine is working, and her back is feeling better. We had two Visitor's Center shifts this week the first was really good the second was ridiculous and I am still not really sure what happened. We covered the Paris sister's shift because Soeur Rowly was sick on Tuesday. We had a girl come whose brother was baptized a year ago. She said that she has seen a huge change in him and that he is so happy. She was visiting Paris and her brother told her to go see the missionary who baptized him. He went to institute and she came into the center to wait for him. She said wants to meet with the missionaries and learn more. She hadn't before because there are only Elders in her city and she wasn't sure if she could meet with them. She and Soeur Pobst talked for about and hour, there was a member that came in that I talked to for a bit but it was really good. Wednesday started out with shining promise. Soeur Pobst had a really good contact on the way into Paris for our shift of Visitor's Center. We go out contacting for the first 2 hours, we've never really done any contacting so we had a good talk about contacting and did some practices and one actual contact. It sounds kind of lame as I write it, but it was a really good experience. I also had my first patisserie, it was called a joyeux, translated it is called "Joy", and it did in fact bring joy to my soul. I forgot my camera but I will hopefully have a picture next week. It was chocolaty and delicious. Then we went back to the visitor's center and and the day exploded. Let it suffice it to say that there were several very loud and angry exchanges between one of the other sisters and a member in the center and one with an ami which if Soeur Pobst had not intervened would probably ended up with the Sister punching the kid, who was 17 and trying to apologize for an earlier argument. The other sisters went home, and things were starting to not be tense when an old man with 7 teeth a Russian hat and what looked like grandma Mop's fur coat came into the center and started talking to the Christ statue. We approached cautiously and he smiled at us and said "Incroyable! Premiere droite, duexieme à gauche." He told us that a voice had told him to take the first right and the second left and there was the visitor center and the Jesus statue. He looked at a couple paintings and we played the sound track that reads a couple of scriptures with Christ talking. He smiled and nodded a lot. Then he crossed himself touched the foot of the Jesus statue and left, saying "Premiere droite deuxieme à gauche incroyable!" Soeur Pobst and I just looked at each other speechless. It was one of the bizarre-est hours of my life. But our wonderful zone leaders, who have the shift after ours, brought us McFlurries, and that comforted our souls a good deal. I had my French legality appointment this last Friday. It was in a city called Creteil which from Evry is 2 RER train rides and 2 bus rides, and would take at least 2 hours. My appointment was scheduled for 8:30 am and we were not excited about the trip. So, we arranged to stay in the Paris Sisters' apartment, and by so doing cut out about an hours worth of travel. There are 4 sisters living there already so it was a bit squishy but fun. I was in the MTC with 2 of them, so it was nice to catch up and see familiar faces. The appointment was really a medical visit to make sure I am not bring any diseases into the country or some such nonsense. I now have an x-ray of my chest, which I am tempted to hang on the wall, but won't, maybe when I get home... They weighed measured took my blood checked my vision and my breathing and said that there was nothing seriously wrong with me and sent me out to the receptionist. To pay for the appointment you have to have bought a special kind of stamp, I am not really sure about them, but they look about the same as normal postage stamps, except they were worth 340 Euros. They then pasted a yellow thing inside my passport that means I have been deemed fit to stay in the country and can now get into museums and monuments for freeeee! I am excited. On Friday night we had a good lesson with Yué. We sang Souvien-Toi, it is a hymn that is only in the French hymn book and it is so beautiful. It is like Heavenly Father is talking to us about remembering our relationship and returning back to him. The last line says something along the lines of "remember that we promised through love and faith we will be reunited again on day." We talked about faith and the things that we promised to do, like going to church, that will help is keep that promise we made to our Heavenly Father. It was so good, and she committed to read and pray and make a greater effort to come to church, yay! We have exchanges this week, we are going to Liege, Belgium for our exchange, I am so excited. We are leaving tomorrow morning and will be back Wednesday afternoon. Everyone says Leige is one of the most beautiful parts of the mission and they have the best waffles, I can hardly wait. Much love always, Soeur Gaelin Turney