Monday, February 21, 2011

Week 19: Oy, the Time Flies!

Happy Monday everyone! It is funny how I look forward to Sundays and Mondays now, and Fridays and Saturdays are just like every other day. Yesterday was four months of being on a mission, and as of today I have been in the field more days than I was in the MTC. It is a little crazy to think that I only have 14 and a half months left! Time is such a strange thing, I think I start every email out like this but it just blows my mind. It is just barely starting to sink in that I am actually in Europe, you'd think that it would have hit me sooner considering I haven't understood anyone for 2 months, but there you go.

This has been a rockin' week. Tuesday and Wednesday we went to Brussels for training. It takes about an hour by train to get to Brussels from Liege. We got a ride on Tuesday morning from Brother and Sister Skousen, the Senior couple in charge of the Jeunes Adulte centers in Liege and Brussels. There was a bus and Metro strike so the traffic was terrible. But we got to the church at the same time as President Staheli so we weren't late. Tuesday's training focused on receiving and helping our amis receive revelation through prayer and scripture study. It is a little hard for me to describe but it was amazing how powerful the spirit was. There were talks and practice teaching and movie clips from the Preach My Gospel training DVD, and President Staheli talked a lot. He is an amazing man, and Soeur Staheli is wonderful too. After the training a group of us walked to Grand Place to get gaufres, the Belgian style. It was so good; I got one that had bananas, strawberries, whipped cream and chocolate sauce on it. Belgium is a truly wonderful country where even the chocolate sauce is equivalent to American gourmet chocolate. I took a picture but I forgot my camera cord, so, picture will come next week.

Wednesday we had to be in the train station at 6:40 am, so we could get to the church by 9:30. Wednesday we learned about receiving revelation by attending church, asking inspired questions, teaching people not lessons, and inviting amis to keep commitments. I love how simple the gospel of Jesus Christ really is. Praying, reading the scripture and going to church really are how we can know what God's plan for us is. They taught us something that we can do with amis to help them come to church, and it is something that will work for you every time if you sincerely try it. Write down a question on a card that you want the answer to and if you pay attention at church you will receive an answer. It is as simple as that, it can be any kind of question really. In one of the practice teaching sessions one of the missionaries said something I really like, He said "God has blessings waiting for you and He wants to give them to you, but you have to do what He asks or He can't give them to you." I love that idea, and it makes me want to do the best I can.

Friday there was a bus strike in Leige, the buses were running but not as many, and so to avoid the uncertainty we took the train to Vervier to do some pass-bys we did a lot of walking and no one was home, but it was a very beautiful city. We take turns as to who is in charge of the phone, keys, and map book. It was Soeur Williams day for the map book, she did a wonderful job, I felt a little bad for her though, because none of us knew where we were. We passed a really cool old house that had all the features of a haunted house in a movie, including crumbly stairs and chandeliers with candles, real candles, it was a little odd but really cool. I hope my feet get used to walking on cobblestones soon, because they were tired by the end of the day. We had English class but we weren't sure if anyone would come because the buses were so weird. We waited for 45 minutes for the bus that goes to the church. Luckily Rita came, she live close to the church, I think she was a little intimidated to have 3 teachers and only one of her. After English class we asked the Skousens to give us a ride home because we had no idea when the next bus would come, if there was another bus at all. They said yes, after institute, so we got to stay for institute. The lesson was on sexuality in eternal marriage. Quite the day for the sister missionaries to stop in. It was a good lesson and I learned a lot of new vocabulary that I probably won't be needing for a while. It is a bit odd but I think a mission is the best marriage prep class I could ever have, I have already learned so much about myself and relationships and love and trust and a whole bunch of other things, I am really grateful I have this time to figure things out first.

Saturday we had Samedi Sports at the church, my first ever. We decided to play soccer. It was a little weird to ride the bus in sweat pants, its the first time I've been in public in pants since I got to Europe that it wasn't dark outside. The only other time is the 6:30 running, and that doesn't happen as often as it ought. I played goalie for most of the game, even though we weren't keeping score I am pretty sure my team won. Though Elder Weber was by far the best player on either team. The next day at church we were all waddling around like old grandma ladies. I think everyone except Elder Weber was very sore.

Sunday was a lot of fun, there was a linger longer after church, and Sister Fonicello had wanted us to go to her house to eat but instead she brought food for us at the linger longer, then we went to her house for dessert. It was really good. We gave a short spiritual thought, well, Soeur England did. She gave everyone a random object and had them relate it to the gospel somehow, and then she read Alma 30:44, which says all things denote there is a God. Because God created this whole earth everything in it has His mark on it and proves that there is a God. It made me think about artists and how everyone has there own style, and the work that they create is unique to them and you can tell who painted or drew it just by looking, all artists put a little of their personality into the art they create. I think that is the same with us. There is a bit of God in each of us because we were created by him. I like that.

Today we went to a cool museum called Le Grand Curtius, We only went to see the temporary art exhibit because it was only 2 Euros and it is the end of the month and we don't have any money. My favorite part though was the section that was about the house that the museum was in. Jean de Corte, known as Curtius (1551-1628) lived in Liege. He owned coal mines and made gunpowder and artillery for the Spanish who were fighting in the Netherlands. He was really rich and built this really big house. He eventually moved to Spain to set up weaponry factories and he brought lots of workers from Liege with him, but he died before it got really successful. The fireplaces were my favorite part, they where huge and carved all cool like. They had some of his stuff in the museum including three tapestries, they were the first real ones I have ever seen, it was really cool. I also remembered why I like going to museums by myself, I am always the slowest person, and can spend all day looking at stuff. The others always had to wait for me, ah well. We will be off to FHE soon, thank you for your prayers and love!
Le Grand Curtius, courtesy 

all my love,

Soeur Gaelin Turney

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