Monday, April 4, 2011

Week 25: I Love General Conference!

Hello Hello Hello!!! Yes, you get three hellos this week.
I must start off by saying General Conference was awesome! More on that later however, I have to start at the beginning of the week.
Elder Duarte and Elder McQuay had the FHE lesson on Monday, they shared the story of Gideon and his 300 soldiers. They had as a visual aid a bunch of plastic army guys. The Israelite army started out with 21 thousand soldiers, and were eventually whittled down to the 300 that Gideon used to destroy the innumerable host of the Mideonites. To represent the difference there was one army guy against an army of thirty other plastic men. It is interesting to think about the faith that the 300 must have had in the Lord and in Gideon as their leader. We need to have the same kind of faith in the prophet and the Lord. This life is hard but when we trust and follow the guidance of the prophet we will conquer all the enemies in our way, even the ones with plastic grenade launchers.  

Liege's Angel Bridge (from Soeur Williams' blog)
We had interviews with President Staheli this week. At interviews all the missionaries in our zone come together and we have training, lunch and an interview in which we can talk about anything we want, problems, doctrinal questions, advice for now and after the mission. Elder Duarte made lunch, Portuguese pasta and soup, delicious. I had kind of a cool experience during training, I have had some questions and little concerns that I have been trying to figure out for a couple weeks, and during the course of the 40 minute training I received all the answers to all the questions that I had had. During my interview I asked for clarification, but it was truly a miracle and a tender mercy. Heavenly Father is so kind and loving and He knows each of us so well, He knows our strugglings and worries. He answers our prayers.
This weekend we got new curtains. In order to get new things for the apartment you are staying in, the protocol is to call Elder Haas in the mission office and ask permission to buy such and such, Once he approves whatever it is you want you then contact the nearest elder who has a "blue card," a separate credit card than the personal one each missionary has, and you get them to buy whatever you need with the blue card. Our apartment needed several things one of which was curtains, it is one of the rules that every window have them and we have a wall of windows that didn't have any. Elder McQuay and Elder Duarte are the ones with the blue card and they came and measured our windows and our stove( we need a new one but that is proving tricky to replace) and then they went off to Ikea. They came on Saturday morning after studies to install the curtains, it was very funny to watch them try and figure out the best way to install them, after a couple hours and a trip to the hardware store they succeeded and they are very nice. Elder Duarte is very proud of them, as he also picked them out. He has asked us how the curtains are every time he has talked to us since; They are doing quite well, if you were wondering. I of course forgot to take a picture, so next week you can see the lovely curtains.
General Conference was by far the best part of my week. Because of translation time and the time difference, the schedule is a bit different. Saturday at 2 was the young Women's session, which we didn't go to, and at 6 was the Saturday morning session. On Sunday at 2 and 6 we watched the Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning sessions. The priesthood session was at 11 o'clock Sunday morning. Normally they project the French translation in the chapel and they have a separate room that has it in English. They were having transmission problems so they were only able to have it in French. I understood more than I expected I would, my brain hurt a bit afterwards though. While I didn't perhaps get the finer details of the talks I definitely noticed some patterns and things that I want to study further, I cannot wait for the Conference Ensign to come out! It was interesting as I watched, I found myself thinking this would be perfect for Christiane, or Jacqueline could really use this talk. It was cool to have inspiration about how to help other people in the middle of taking notes of things for me. There really is something for everyone during general conference. We had an ami come to the Saturday session, his name is Stephan, and he moved to Liège from Brussels a couple months ago. The Sister missionaries in Brussels found out and gave us his information. We met him briefly on Friday and invited him and he came and he took notes. It was really exciting. We explained a little bit about what conference is and who all the people were. When President Monson walked to his seat, Stephan said,"so, that is the Prophet, he is a simple man." When we asked for clarification he said, " He is carrying his own binder.   He is like Jesus, who washed Peter's feet." I think that is so amazing that that was what he noticed. President Monson is a simple man, and a humble man, and I know that he is a prophet. I am excited to talk to Stephan about what he learned and what he felt. I am so grateful that I got to see conference, I am so grateful that we have a conference to watch. The church is true, and there is a living prophet on the earth!!!
I love you all,
Soeur Gaelin Turney

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