The adventures of Soeur Gaelin Turney of the France Paris Mission
Monday, March 28, 2011
Week 24: There is Sunshine in Liege Today, So Glorious and Bright!
I feel bad for all the people that still have snow at their houses, because it is spring here and the weather is beautiful. We changed our clocks forward Saturday night, it was a bit of a brutal adjustment, but it is light outside until 8 now, so can't really complain.
Family Home Evening last weekend turned out interesting, Ewoma the girl in charge of FHE called us an hour and a half before it started and asked if we could do the game and the lesson because she was sick. Of course we said yes, we tried calling the Zone Leaders but they were going to a member's house for FHE. So, we ended up doing the Lesson, the game, and refreshments. Our numbers were small, Manu, Jacqueline and Maurice showed up, and Beauty came after we had finished everything. We decided to give the lesson on gratitude and used President Monson's talk from the last conference, it was short but I felt alright about it. We all shared the things that we were thankful for. I love hearing what other people are grateful for; it helps me remember even more things I am grateful to have. We played charades for the game, and ate our cookies. We had so many left over, we made chocolate chip cookies and chocolate chocolate chip cookies so our resolve not to eat sugar this week was killed before it even began.
We had a really good lesson with Christiane on Tuesday, we've been reading the book of Mormon with her almost every night for the past three weeks, so we wanted to see if she had seen a change in her life and if, with the change she wanted to try to stop smoking again. When we asked her if she thought reading the Book of Mormon together was helping her she said, no not really. She doesn't have the motivation to do anything and she reads the Book of Mormon because she knows she is supposed to and because we call her, not because she wants to. She went on to explain her problems and how she was feeling. She said she has questions she is looking for the answer to but doesn't know where to look. I shared with her the card experiment that we learned about in training, to write a question down on a card and then got to church looking for the answer with a sincere heart. I testified that Heavenly Father loved her, and that He was waiting to answer her as soon as she turned to Him. The Spirit was really strong and we asked her how she was feeling. She said, "I am feeling more appeased than I was." I think that is good, or at least a start. We had another lesson with her Saturday night, she was pretty sick. She was kind enough to make us dinner that we didn't want but ate anyway. Sausage cooked in a lake of butter, mine wasn't cooked all the way, mushrooms which were actually pretty good, bottled peas and carrots, and mashed potatoes from a mix. Christiane is so nice and well intentioned, but her cooking is something else. She was feeling well enough to sing us several songs in Wallonese. Liège and the surrounding areas have an old dialect called Wallonese and there is a lot of cool culture and history about the Wallone people. It sounds a bit like French but its spelling is apparently crazy, and it is hard to read. I am searching for books about Wallone, because I think it is very interesting. Christiane didn't come to church but we are going to see her this week and commit her to come to hopefully all three sessions of General conference that are broadcast in French.
Wednesday was a bus stop disaster of my own making. I was in charge of the Map Book, which means I get to figure out where we go in what order and how we get there. This includes when we get off the bus. We started the day by going to Ougrée to follow up with Josephine, and finish the pass bys. Alphonsine called and said she wasn't going to be there but come by next week, we ended up dropping a note in her mailbox with the time and address of the church, she didn't come, but we are going to try to see her again this week. Anyway, We are riding the 25 to get to Ougrée and we are talking and enjoying the lovely day, and a miss the bus stop we are supposed to get off at. We get off three or four stops later, and we have to walk a bit of a ways to get to where we wanted to be. No one ended up being home and Josephine said that she was in the middle of something so come back another time. We went home had an early dinner and got on the bus to Jupille to find 2 young single adults that live out there. The bus to Jupille only comes once or twice an hour, and Jupille is much more countryside-like, meaning fewer bus stops and more space in between. We were riding along quite nicely until I realized that yet again I had missed our stop, this time by only 2 but the distance was significant. Luckily it was a beautiful evening. We started walking back along the side of the road, there weren't really sidewalks and the ground was uneven. Soeur Williams ankle started hurting about the time we reached the next bus stop. We still had a long ways to go until we got to the street and the house number was 7 hundred and something, and we weren't sure which end of the road the numbers started on. So after discussing our options we decided to head home so that we didn't make Souer William's ankle worse, because she still needs it. It wasn't the best sort of day as far as work goes, I think it might be a good thing I only have the map book every other day.
Friday we went to Brussels to do Soeur Williams' Belgian legality, we were a little confused as to why I wasn't doing mine too, but it was just her this time. Brussels is only an hour train ride away so we left at 9:48 and met the group from Paris at the Brussels-Midi train station. There were a bunch of missionaries from our MTC group, including 4 of the Elders from my MTC district. It was a happy reunion, it was a lot of fun to see everyone. Soeur Larsen, Soeur William's MTC companion was there too. Belgian legality is lots easier than French Legality, you go to the commune and sign a paper and you are done. We made it back to Liège with enough time that we didn't need to cancel English class, yay!
On the bus back from Church on Sunday an interesting thing happened, we were contacted by a lady instead of us doing the contacting. She was standing next to our seat and looked very intently at our badges. She then asked if we had a brochure we could give her, to which we said "oui!" She then asked if we were Jehovah's Witnesses, after assuring her that we were not in fact Jehovah's Witnesses and we were Christian, but not Catholic, she seemed okay; and asked if she could gives us her number and we could talk. We said, "oui!!" It was really quite amazing, she seemed like a normal person, and I am excited to talk with her, we gave her a pamphlet on Joseph Smith, so we shall see how it goes.
Today, we wanted to have a picnic for lunch again, but it was a bit too cold, so we spread a blanket on the floor and ate our very French meal on the floor, we didn't have goblets or juice, so we used grape Crystalight, it was the first and probably the last time I have grape Crystalight, yeach. We went shopping and I bought a very lovely scarf. We draw people at one of the major bus stations, Place St. Lombert, it was so fun. I am glad that Soeur Williams likes drawing too.
I am so excited for General Conference this weekend!!! You all better watch it, and tell me about it! The prophet is going to speak to us so pay attention.