Monday, March 21, 2011

Week 23: Our Mother Left Us But We're Doin' Okay

Happy First Day of Spring!!!!

Well, Soeur England has gone the way of all the earth and left Soeur Williams and I to fend for ourselves in this charming city. It was transfer week this week and Soeur England hopped on a train at 6:40 a.m. Wednesday morning never to come back again. She successfully finished her mission in one piece, we are going to miss her. I don't know if it was the early morning but our parting was a lot less tearful and dramatic than anticipated. Which was alright by me; lots of hugging and crying on train platforms are better left for the movies. Though the walk back to the apartment was a quiet one, it was a little bit like being dropped off at the first day of school, exciting and terrifying at the same time. But Soeur Williams and I have survived!!  District Meeting on Thursday was really good and we met our new zone leader Elder McQuay, he seems like a very good sort of fellow. I am excited to get to know him better Other than that our district is the same sans Soeur England.
Friday was a super busy day and we got a lot of work done, go team! After lunch we took the 25 to a town called Ougrée. Our first two passbys were unsuccessful but the third one, two kids answered and said that their dad wasn't home. It wasn't much but it was a start, we at least know that they still live there; we will stop by this week later in the day and hopefully catch the whole family home. A family to teach is every missionary's dream, I hope they work out. The next place we tried was for a guy named Ano, he wasn't there but a woman named Josephine answered the door, we talked with her and gave her a Book of Mormon, and made an appointment for this Wednesday. A couple of houses down was another woman named Alphonsine who was also home and interested in talking to us. It was very exciting to have to prospect of new amis. Ougrée is very hilly, so we did a lot of hiking but it was definitely worth it.
Ougrée is famous for its steelworks. Image via Wikimedia.
Sunday was an adventure. Two weeks ago a member of the branch Presidency gave Soeur England a peice of paper with the assignment to give a 10 minute talk on Sunday, March 20th. She shrugged and said, sorry, I won't be here, and handed me the paper. So, yesterday I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting. The subject was Jesus Christ.  You'd think it would be easy to come up with things to say, but where do you start with a subject like that? I finally decided to talk about who Jesus Christ is to me. He is my Savior and Redeemer; He is my friend and my brother. I know him because I have spent time with him through prayer and reading the scriptures and He has healed my heart and given me hope when I had none. I know that He lives! I think that it turned out pretty well. The start was a little shaky, literally my hands were shaking, but I was able to calm myself down by the end and finished strong. I think it was for the most part comprehensible. Jacqueline also gave a talk, her first one ever, she did wonderfully. I was so proud. Sunday School was really good this week, and I understood what was going on. Usually I am totally lost, but I got it this week! The lesson was on the parable of the sower in Matthew 14. The part I liked best was about the good ground. The seeds, or the word of God that falls onto the good ground takes root and begins to grow. The good ground is those people who understand or "comprend" the word. The teacher said that "com" means to ones self and "prend" is to take. So, the people who are the good ground take the word of God into themselves. I love the scriptures!  It is so cool how reading the scriptures in another language adds a whole new level of understanding. The difference in word choice brings an new way of looking at the stories.
This week has been a good one, I am so glad that Soeur Williams and I get to stay together. We have very similar interests. We did transfer planning this week, and one of the rules we made was a mandatory 30 minute drawing session/sitting and thinking or doing nothing session every p-day. We also rearranged the apartment so the table is next to the windows so we can look at the view while we are eating. On Thursday we turned the lights off and ate dinner in the dark so we could see out the windows better. She is just as crazy as I am, or at least is willing to put up with my eccentricities. We had a picnic in the park across the street from our apartment for lunch today, baguettes and cheese, apples and yogurt. We felt so European. It was a pretty calm uneventful p-day, we did make cookies for FHE and found an art supply store. I think I know where my new favorite place is, I love art stores so much, I bought some brown pens and a couple colored pencils.  I think art supplies are one of the few things I impulse buy. Good thing there aren't too many around. 
I feel so lucky and so blessed to be here in Liège, yesterday was my 5 month mark, it is strange to think that I am almost a third of the way done, I have only just started! It is motivation to make every moment count, and I think that Soeur Williams and I are going to do that. This transfer is going to be legendary!!!
All my love,
Soeur Gaelin Turney

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