The adventures of Soeur Gaelin Turney of the France Paris Mission
Monday, January 31, 2011
Week 16: There and Back Again, A Transfer Tale
February second will be the last day of my first transfer, I cannot believe one is gone already. The older missionaries keep telling me that it only gets faster, which just blows my mind, I already feel like time is in hyperdrive mode.
Last p-day we had a rendez-vous with Annie and Nawang, I think there was a miscommunication about
the time because they said they had been waiting for us for a long time and we thought we were on time. Naawang wasn't there again but there was a Buddist monk there. After lunch of a noodle dish with beef and wavy mushrooms we tried to review the Godhead and continue on to the Plan of Salvation. The monk spoke very good English and we were excited because he translated the scripture we shared with them into Tibetan for Annie. But then he started talking and about how Buddah and Jesus were the same. I think he knew who we were and was a bit angry that we were talking to nuns. We were already unsure about continuing to teach them because we are pretty sure that while they like Jesus and his teachings they aren't going to give up Buddism, since they are nuns and there are a lot of things lost in translation. So, it was a bit of a dishartening meeting, and it ended a little awkwardly. After the rendez-vous we went shopping at the mall. I finally got me a pair of winter boots. I am a fan of Soldes, the boots were originally 99 Euros ans I got them for 50, woohoo. They are black and nice and warm.
Tuesday we went on exchanges. Sister exchanges are a little different than exchanges for the Elders, because there are so many fewer sometimes travel is involved. We were paired with the sisters in Liege, Belgium. So, Tuesday morning bright and early we went into Paris hopped on a train and headed to Belgium. It was my first real train ride ever, and it was so beautiful. It was still a bit foggy, so cute farms and French towns would appear suddenly, it was a bit magical. Everything you would imagine a French countryside to be. Except for a castle, I was hoping to see one but no such luck, ah well. Our train was having some sort of problem so we had to make a stop in Lille for half an hour to fix something, so we missed our connecting train from Brussels to Liege. It wasn't a problem except that our cell phone is country blocked, meaning it doesn't work at all in Belgium. So we borrowed a cell phone from a very nice man who was sitting next to us to call the sisters in Liege to tell them we were going to be late. When we finally got to Liege we dropped our things off in the apartment and went to get lunch, it only takes 2 and a half hours to get from Paris to Liege. We had bagette sandwiches and Belgian waffles.
I will now take a moment to try to derscribe to you the glory of a Liege gaufre. They look like the kind of Belgian waffle you find anywhere but when you take a bite you are transported to another world. They are warm, I got a chocolate one, meaning they stick little sticks of chocolate into the waffle and when you take a bite it is melty and crunchy and happiness. Soeur Pobst had three and I had two. She said that this was the only time that she had ever been sad she would never get to serve in Liege. The waffles would be worth it. We then went and bought Chocolate, real legit fancy Belgian chocolate. And Belgians like dark chocolate too. I wish you all could experience it with me.
After this we split up. I went with Soeur England and Soeur Pobst went with Soeur Williams. Soeur Williams was in the MTC with me it was so fun to see her. Soeur England and I went to a member's house, Christian, she called them earlier that day to say she had fallen down the stairs and that she wanted someone to stay with her until the doctor came. When we got there the doctor was already there and we ended up going to fill her prescription. It was an interesting visit. After Chris we met back up with the other two and went to a less active members house. However she was sick so we called the Elders to come and give her a blessing which they did and then we left so she could sleep. We went back to the apartment and they made us the most wonderful macaroni and cheese I have ever eaten and we just talked. Soeur Pobst and Soeur England were companions for one transfer so they had lots to talk about and Soeur Williams and I talked too. It was so good. The next morning we hopped on a train back to Paris.
On Thursday we taught two lessons one with Nicolyn and the other with Fatilha. We brought Marianne Mcgee, one of the most amazing sisters I have ever met, and the lesson was good except that Nicolyn isn't ready to change her life. She wants answers but isn't prepared to follow the ones she gets. It is hard to see, and I hope we will be able to help her. The lesson with Fatilha went well also, I think. Ines is Fatilha's 14 month old daughter who is very distracting, so, Soeur Pobst taught the lesson I and distracted Ines. So I didn't catch most of what was going on, but it was so great because the whole family, mom dad and son were reading the Book of Mormon together and talking about it. It made me so happy to see them like that. I want them to realise how good their life can be! So, I don't know if they got anything out of the lesson but I did, it makes me want to work even harder to help families find the happiness that I have with mine.
Saturday morning the transfer email came out telling everyone where everyone is going for the next transfer. Normally as a new missionary you stay in the same area with the same trainer for 2 transfers. Soeur Pobst and I had at first had a hard time and thought that a second transfer together wouldn't be the best, but since exchanges things between us have changed. I think we were both really excited to do a second transfer together, especially as it is Soeur Pobst's last one. But as we looked at the list my name wasn't next to hers, Soeur Edgerly's was. So then we searched for my name. We found it, I am moving to Liege Belgium to be in a threesome with Soeur England and Soeur Williams. Soeur Pobst was rather distressed and she actually called President Staheli because they had talked a few days earlier and she had thought that we would be staying together. He told her that it is because there are so many sisters that are going home in the next 2 transfers that he is preparing for when they are gone. All the sisters that are training right now will be "dying" this next transfer. So, in March, in my third transfer, I will be co-companions with Soeur Williams and we will be in charge of Liege together. I am slightly terrified, but excited for the adventure. It will definitely be a learning experience.
I am a little overwhelmed but very excited, I have learned a lot here in Evry and I will be sad to leave, but new adventures and people await me Belgium so off I go! I am already finding ways that being a missionary is changing me for the better and changing my future. This truly is a marvelous work and a wonder.