Bonjour tout le monde!!!!!
Well, it has started being fall. The past couple days have been very wet and windy and I wore my thick tights and boots yesterday. I am not sure I am ready for it to be really cold and be dark at 5 o'clock yet. But c'est la vie. It just means that I don't have to pay as much attention to my outfits because I just put the same coat over it everyday, it really simplifies my mornings.
Its transfers this week and Soeur Ingraham and I are staying together in Brussels! There were a lot of changes to the cities that sisters are working in. Before sister missionaries have served in big cities, especially in and around Paris. But they took both the sister companionships that were in Paris and opened up several cities that are small and in the middle of nowhere. Lots of crazy happenings, I will probably move to one more city before the end on my mission. I hope it will be in France, it will be a little strange to tell people that I served in the Paris France mission but was only in France for six weeks. Though I would enjoy seeing their confusion.
Anyway, enough blather, This week was interesting, in that we did a lot of contacting and visiting members.We had exchanges this week. Soeur Ingraham went to Liège to work with Soeur Judd and Soeur Woodward came here with me. We went to Liège to change companions and it was so strange to be back and the train station. It brought back a lot of little memories. I liked it, but it made me a little sad too. When Soeur Ingraham came back she was so excited about contacting, Soeur Judd is a contacting fiend, and Soeur Ingraham was fired up and ready to go. I have a hard time getting excited about contacting, so I am grateful for Soeur Ingraham's enthusiasm, it helps me be better.
We eat at a member named Regina on Thursday, she is from Zambia and super cool. She speaks English and is the Young Women's President. She talked about how one of her friend's daughter's is on a mission and writes letters home every week about the people she see. She wanted to know if I was going to write about her, so I figured that I should. She gave us a box of Taquitos, which is very exciting, she also has connections at the Military base and so gets American food. It was so strange to see a bunch of boxes of Lucky Charms and Fruit Loops. We talked about Jeremiah 18:6, "O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel." I find so many ties to this scripture, having taken several ceramics classes. We need to be clay that is soft and moldable. If clay doesn't have enough water in it is is hard and breaks and you can't throw it on a pottery wheel. The water that makes us soft is humility and meekness. To get clay ready to be thrown you have to knead it kind of like dough, this gets all the particles going in the same way. God gives us trials that kneads us and helps us, if we have humility, to be soft and ready for God to shape us and change us. It is through trails that we can align ourselves with God's will. When the clay is finally ready, you smack it down exactly in the center of the wheel, it is isn't in the center the sides of whatever you make will be wobbly and not straight. If we are not centered in Christ or lives get wobbly and it is difficult keep the important things in perspective. When you throw a pot one hand is always firm guiding and stabilizing the clay while the other hand does the shaping. God is constant in out lives, we truly are in his hands as he guides and molds us. I love making connections in the scriptures to things that I know. It was a really nice rendez-vous and Regina is pretty cool.
Friday night there was a baptism. Elder Helvey and Elder Smith's ami Merland got baptized. It makes me happy because not only is Merland solid in the gospel already, I have a part in his story. You see, Several months ago when Soeur Cope and I were in Liège, we were out contacting one day and an African guy stopped us and asked if the book we were carrying was a bible. We said no but it was like the bible would you like to learn more about it. We talked a bit and he ended telling me that I was very beautiful and if I would consider marrying him after my mission, as flattered as I was I dodged the question and we got his name (he told us it was Sarkozy) and number and left. We gave his number to the Elders and they talked with him, he was only kind interested but after a couple weeks he came to church. The next week an African guy came in to the church and sat down. I started talking to him and he said that he has been looking for a church and that his friend (Sarkozy) told him that he should come to our church because it was good. HE started meeting with the missionaries and I left Liège. I think my second Sunday he came to church with the Elder's, it took me a second to figure out who he was. He met with the elders and he got baptized. As a missionary you do a lot of things that you don't necessarily see the results of, so it is special that I can see the fruits of contacting and how the little things we do every day really can make a difference.
Fast and testimony meeting is so interesting in our ward because there are so many languages. We already have translation for French and English, but there were several testimonies in Spanish and Portuguese that were translated to French and then to English. Savitri came one last time and thanked the ward for being welcoming and kind. She is sad that she has to switch wards. It was sweet to see how much the church means to her. We talked to her after and she said that she feels protected now that she has come back to church. It was really funny, towards the end of Sacrament meeting a girl came up and whispered something in the Bishop's ear, then he went out. A few minutes later he came back in and said that the police were outside and whoever had this license plate needs to move their car because it is badly parked. It was Savitri's car. I can only imagine how difficult parking an excursion in Brussels would be. Plus there really isn't parking at our church which is even more difficult. I am so glad I don't have to drive. Jean, Savitri's son, was so cute, he was wearing a suit and a tie that he had tied himself, he was so proud. I am excited for them to get baptized.
One of my favorite things to say when something good happens is "THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!!" I believe it with all my heart, I hope that you know it too. I love you so much! Have a wonderful fall week!
Soeur Gaelin Turney