Monday, September 26, 2011

Week 49: We Don't Have any Orange Juice!!!

This week was really good, though poor Soeur Ingraham was sick with some nasty stomach something. This week we taught Savitri and her kids about the Plan of Salvation, Soeur Ingraham was sick for most of the day, so I made a Plan of Salvation visual aid. Funny that is took me ten months to finally make one. It was so helpful to have, it was cool because we taught them and then they taught Savitri. The gospel is amazing, even in the three weeks since I have met them she and her family have changed for the better. They are just little differences but they are there.

On Saturday on the way to a rendez-vous we met a really cool old guy. He was just leaving his house to walk his dog. He speaks seven languages, and he learned most of them while listening to people on a ham radio. I felt really cool that I knew what Ham Radios were. He has a three or four big antennas and he has talked to people in all 50 states. I should have asked for his call sign, but I know where he is so if anyone wants to get in touch with him just send it to me and I can give it to him.

There is a lot of talking around me so I am having a hard time concentrating. So sorry for the disjointed stories.

On Sunday we came home after Church for lunch and a made some phone calls. I called Rusty, he said that he was babysitting and that he had a cold, Soeur Ingraham yelled into the phone that we could bring him orange juice. Rusty was like that would be great. When I hung up I was like" We DON'T HAVE ANY ORANGE JUICE!!!! There was some on the table but she had just finished the carton. Of course it was Sunday so we couldn't go buy some. So we called the senior couple, the Halls, to beg orange juice. Luckily they had some and let us have it. We took it over to him and he was really grateful. I hope that he will come to General Conference this weekend. He started school so he is super busy.

Soeur Larsen says "Hi" She is in the other sister companionship in Brussels.

Today for p-day we had a picnic in the big park by our house with all the missionaries. We played American football; it was really fun. Though I was trying to catch the ball in the end zone but I missed it, and biffed it. I ripped a hole in my pants and skinned my knee, yeah battle wounds from the mission. I didn't catch the ball but it was cool all the same.

I love you so much,

Soeur Gaelin Turney

Monday, September 12, 2011

Week 48: Referrals are pretty much my favorite thing ever.

Some cheese Gaelin has been eating this week

I got us very lost again or rather I knew where we were but the place we were looking for wasn't where I thought it was. In my defense there are in fact three different streets named Leopold in this city. I took us to Rue Loepold I instead of Blvd Leopold II, the address just said Blvd Leopold, I think I looked at the wrong page number in the map book . We wandered around for about two hours before we found the place, only to find out that the lady we were looking for didn't live there anymore. It is starting to become a joke that I can't find anything. I do however know how the get to the important things, gaufre place, frite shop, church, home.

We met two amazing families this week, TWO!!!!! They were both referrals from the Church Headquarters referral system. The first family is from California, it is a mom, Savitri, her 4 kids and a grandmother. They live in a beautiful part of Brussels, it is a treat just going to their house. We take the tram for about half an hour. The last ten minutes or so the tram travels through a wooded foresty area that is so magical because you are riding public transportation in the middle of a forest. It is all deciduous trees and it looks like a fairy forest, the first time we tried to find their house we got off at the wrong stop, so we had to wait about 15 minutes in the middle of the woods. There was a little brick waiting area with a tram sign next to the rails and that was it, it was just Soeur Ingraham and it was so peaceful. I love nature, it is always such a pleasure to get to spend time outside of the city.

So Savitri's family. Her house is huge, so we weren't quite sure if it was the right one, but we knocked anyway. When she opened the door she was a little surprised and very excited, she said, "Come in, I've been waiting for you guys for three weeks, I am so glad to see you." That is the first time that that has ever happened to me, I kinda liked it. We talked and waited for her kids to come home from school so we could meet them. She is a member, but none of her children or her mother are baptized. John is the oldest, he is almost 12, and plays the guitar drums and piano very well. Soleil is 10, and is a little wild, but that might have only been because she had a friend over. There is another little girl who is about 2 I think. And the littlest, who is one, is named Jaguar. They had us over for breakfast Sunday morning and then we all went to church together. She has an Expedition, which is a ridiculous car to have in Europe, but it was fun to ride in, and we only had two near accidents. Elder Helvey and Elder Garcia were standing outside when we drove up, they were very jealous that we got to ride in the Expedition. We didn't get to talk after church but I know John had a good time as did the grandma. I am so excited about them. And the ward was amazing, and helped us a ton. Members are so important.

The other family is the Kabambas, they are from Africa and the husband is a member. She is not, and they a six year old girl and a five year old boy and a little tiny three week old baby girl. They are so sweet. The mom's name is Lili and she has met with the missionaries several times before. They live out in a Dutch speaking area. We had a rendez-vous with them after lunch, just as we were about to leave our apartment it started pouring rain. I had my rain coat and an umbrella but my feet and the front of my skirt got soaking wet in the two minutes it took to get to the Metro station. The rendez-vous went really well, we talked mostly about the Book of Mormon. They committed to read it together as a couple. She said that the missionaries had told her many times that she needed to pray about the Book of Mormon but that she never had, but she said that she was going to. We read Moroni chapter 7 together, it is amazing how the Holy Ghost leads us to the perfect things to say and share. Chapter 7 had everything that we had talked about in it and it made sense to her and she was like, "I know this is good because it says the same things as the Bible." She is so ready. She said that she doesn't want to come to church until after the baby gets vaccinated, but that she does want to come. I am so excited to start teaching her. As we headed home there was a beautiful double rainbow, we were standing at the corner of a street and the rainbow arched over the buildings onto the corner, it was so picturesque and beautiful. It was the perfect end to the evening.

Thank you for your prayers and love. May the spirit be with you, always,

Soeur Gaelin Turney

Week 47: Out with the old, in with the new companion

This new transfer is off to a good start, I've only gotten us lost twice! The beginning of this week was a bit crazy and a little sad with Soeur McClaine getting ready to go and packing and all that. Everyone was very sad to see her go, she had been here for about 6 months and she is practically perfect so you can't help but love her. I was pretty nervous that she was going because I don't feel very comfortable finding my way around. Soeur McClaine knew everything so I didn't have to worry about getting lost and only kind of paid attention to where we were going, bad idea. It was very sad when she got on the train to Luxembourg because it is very likely that I won't see her again before she goes home. Alas, life goes on.

My new Companion arrived about 15 minutes after Soeur McClaine left so I didn't even have time to miss her hardly. Sister Ingraham is from Farmington Utah and is going to Utah State. She likes sports and reading books. She is pretty funny and is excited to do everything about missionary work. This is only her second transfer, but she already speaks French super well. Her train was french and doesn't speak much English so she got some intense French training. It feels like no one wants to talk to us now that Soeur McClaine is gone. So we are going to be doing some hardcore finding. We have gotten several referrals though which I am excited about. I got us lost trying to find one of them. I must have read the directions that I wrote for myself wrong because we got off the tram at the terminus, which is where I thought we wanted to be off. But as it turns out that part of the city isn't in our map book, so we started walking in what I hoped would be the right direction. After about 35 minutes of walking and stopping at every street sign to try and figure out where we were I realised in contemplating the metro map that we wanted to get off the tram 4 stops before the end of the line. So we had to turn around and walk back to the tram, by that time we didn't have enough time to go find the house before our next rendez-vous. So, we had a very lovely walk along a foresty road in a dutch part of the Brussels suburbs. It was a beautiful day so it was pleasant, but i don't know that it gave Soeur Ingraham much confidence in my abilities as Senior Companion.

The other time I got us lost was trying to contact another referral in another dutch speaking area. We had to take a train, which is always a little nerve wracking when you've never been there before. Maiden voyages on trains are always stressful because there is always the slight chance you are on the wrong train and you that you are going to end up is Zurich or Eupen or something. We got on the right train and we got to Hal, which is the town we were looking for. We got on one of the streets on my map but i turned too early so we wandered up and down the same street a couple times before we finally made it. Dutch is a crazy looking language there are tons of consonants all stuffed into the same word and some of the words are twenty eight letters long and have three vowels. But is kind of sounds like English is you can only sort of hear what people are saying. It throws me off every time. The lady we were trying to see ended up not being home, we headed back to the train station, I realised that all of the trains and destinations were in Dutch and that every city has a French name and a Dutch name, I was pretty sure that Zuid Station was the same a Gare du Midi, but there was definitely a little moment of panic, we hopped on a train that was leaving right then. Luckily is was the right train and we got back to Brussels with no problem. I don't know why anyone would want to be senior companion, it just means you have to do a lot more work and be more stressed out.

The testimonies during fast and testimony meeting on Sunday all had the same theme of change and holding on the the constant rock of the gospel throughout the storms of life. I love that the gospel helps everyone, no matter their age or the problem. The gospel is a source of hope and help when you don't know where else to turn. It is hard sometimes when I meet people and learn about their lives and problems, I know that the answers and the help that they are looking for is the gospel. But they often don't believe us, or won't try it long enough to see that its true. Reading the scriptures, prayer, and going to church really do hold the answer to every problem that you can experience in this life. I wish more people could see how putting God first and trusting Him to take care of you is how to overcome the hard things in life, and that the miracles come after the trial of our faith.

I hope you all have the best week ever!


Soeur Gaelin Turney