Monday, February 7, 2011

Week 17: Liege is Lovely

Bonjour from Belgium!

This week has been so long and crazy I have a hard time remembering what happened last Monday, it seems forever ago. Oy! Anyway, my last p-day in Paris was also Soeur Flood's last P-day ever as she went home this last Thursday, so we had a party for/with her at the Eiffel Tower. Soeur Pobst and I met up with the Melun Soeurs (Soeurs Flood, McClain, and Thompson) at 2:30 so that Soeur Flood and I could go up the Eiffel tower, everyone else has already been and missionaries are cheap and 11 Euros is too much to pay more than once to see one of the most famous monuments in the world. However when we got there it was closed! There were some technical problems and they weren't letting anyone up. So we waited and talked at the base for an hour and waited for the others that were coming to arrive. When they did we drank Champomy, the French version of Martinelli’s that is I imagine as close to drinking champagne as I will ever get. It was a lot of fun, but it was freezing, I haven't been that cold in a long time, and of course we were out for several hours and drinking cold drinks, not the brightest but still fun.

Soeurs Turney and Pobst at the Eiffel Tower
Wednesday was transfer day, being a sister I am supposed to have help moving my luggage. But as usual things go crazy and there is a lack of communication and the planned schedule is blown to pieces. I was told to be ready to go at 8 o clock sharp. And I was, at 8:10 we received a call telling us that they were behind and would be picking me up later. I was supposed to be the first stop, so I don't know how one can get behind when you haven't started yet, but that is neither here nor there. I decided to make brownies while we waited, which I did, they were very tasty. At about 10 we got a call saying they were on their way to get me, at about 11:15 they showed up, and we were off. We were then supposed to go to the mission home to pick up the luggage of the new missionaries and take them to the train station but just as we were getting the mission  home we got a call saying the missionaries had already left with all their luggage. This was problematic as I was supposed to meet up with them, because they were going to Brussels and I go through Brussels to get to Liege. So, we race to the train station by the mission home and we find them. It is decided that I will go with them and that we all will go by train with our luggage to the big train station Paris Gare Du Nord at catch our train to Belguim. We were quite the spectacle; 7 missionaries all with at least 1 suitcase and bag. My train ticket was purchased later than the rest of the missionaries so I was at the very end of the train, it was so nice to have a little time by myself. I was very glad to have made the trip only the week before I  would have been freaking out a lot more. I realized I had about 12 minutes from the time our train got into Brussels until my train left for Liege, it was rather stressful but I made it in plenty of time after dragging both suitcases up a flight and a half of stairs to get to the right platform. It is about a 50 minute train ride from Brussels to Liege, on this particular train I was on the area with the seats is separated from the doors were you get on the train there wasn't room to put my luggage next to me in the seat area, so I sat on my big suitcase in the outer area. There I was completely alone, it was so nice, I didn't realize how much I like being alone, and how much I missed it.

So, I finally got into  Liege at about 6:00 pm. My new companions Soeur England and Soeur Williams met me and we dropped my luggage off at the apartment and then hurried to a rendez-vous. Rita is a less active member that we see every week, and she feeds us dinner. We had a really good creamy soup and a potato string bean bacon vinegar dish that were both really good, for dessert we had crepes. Rita is so sweet and very funny, she also comes to English class, which we hold on Fridays. Though every time I hear her name I think "Lovely Rita met-ah maid," I hope it stops soon, I am not going to take myself seriously if I don't.

Soeurs Williams and Turney eating gaufres

We have district meetings on Thursdays and I got to meet all of the amazing people in our district. Our district leader is Elder Hall, he is amazing and is training this transfer, I hung out in the Paris train station with him and his blue, Elder Anderus. I am excited to not be the youngest in the mission anymore. Our zone leaders, Elder Duarte and Elder Weber, are so cool and are also in our district, they are serving in the other half of Liege and are in the Liege 2 branch, we are the Liege 1 branch. Elder Duarte is from Portugal and Elder Weber is from Germany. We also have a senior couple in our district, the Skousens. They are in charge of the young single adult centers in Brussels and Liege, they are like having grandparents around all the time.

After District meeting we went and did pass bys, we have a list of less active J.A. [(Jeunes Adultes) young single adults] We also stopped by a grocery store to try and find pop corn, it is a tradition for Soeur England and Soeur Williams to have pop corn during the Sunday weekly planning session, and the store they normally go to stopped carrying it, but we found some so all is well. We then went back to the church for the weekly JA meeting, Soeur England wasn't feeling well so after we gave our information we were going to go home so she could rest, but as we left the building Soeur Williams wasn't paying attention and fell down the two steps in front of the church and rehurt the ankle she sprained this last July. So we went back into the meeting and Elder Skousen gave us a ride home. We were told by the mission doctor to stay inside and rest, so we did on Friday, we had to cancel English class. Saturday, we probably should have stayed in, but Soeur England and mainly Soeur Williams refused to stay in any longer and we went to a Celia's a recent convert we are teaching, who is 11 and super cute. She made us bracelets. There was also a baptism for a boy named Noah in the Branch. It was so fun to go, I got to meet a lot of the  branch. I haven't been to a baptism since Caeleb got baptized, I forgot how cool they are and the amazing spirit that is there. I had my first real taste of African food, they had bignettes (fried dough that is kinda sweet) chicken wings, little flat egg roll things, quiche, and pizza with the crust cut off. It was all very good greasy kinds of food. Some how all the missionaries ended up at the end of the food table talking so I don't know how many of the little egg roll things I ate but it was too many. After the Baptism we had a rendez-vous with our ami Maurice, he is a JA from Camaroon and plays soccer. We watched The Testaments with him, and then talked about how just as Christ appeared to the Nephites, he will come again. He said he felt something.  It was pretty cool.

When we woke up Sunday, Soeur Williams was sick and Soeur England hadn't slept at all, so we didn't got to church so they both could get more sleep, So far I have been okay, but it has been quite the start to the transfer. They are both feeling better this morning, but they both still sound terrible, I keep trying to get them to take it easy, but they are both stubborn and keep insisting they are "fine." I am beginning to not like that word.

Leige is a beautiful city, I feel so lucky to get to serve here. It is the only sisterville that has hills. I am glad, I was getting tired of flatness. I didn't think I would miss mountains that much, but I do. So it is nice to have some elevation. It was Elder Weber's birthday yesterday so we are having a party for him today and are going to watch Joseph Smith Prophet of the Restoration. It is gonna be good. Though I have the feeling that p-days in Liege are going to be a lot simpler than P-days in Paris. I am glad, hopefully I can get some good drawing time in.

Much love,

Soeur Gaelin Turney

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