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