Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Week 57: Sorry that I didn't write yesterday, I'm not dead I promise!

I am very sorry that I did not write yesterday; it was a strange p day because of Thanksgiving. Our zone got together to have a Turkey Bowl and have a Thanksgiving dinner. The reason it was strange is because we also had district meeting yesterday too, so when we would normally do emails we were at the church. The reason for having district meeting on P day is so we could take the hours from 6 to 9 that we normally use for proselyting and have and extra long p day. It was a lot of fun, I really love playing football I've found. I even scored a touchdown yesterday. For our Thanksgiving dinner we had a bunch of rotisserie chickens instead of turkey; there was one per companionship, so we are going to be eating chicken for at least two more days.
I am loving Versailles; it is so pretty; I have started taking lots of pictures and I will send them next week because the computer I am on is very slow and I don't trust it. But I live super close to the Palace of Versailles; we walked past it at night and I got some lovely pictures; though as amazing as it is, temples are so much more beautiful.
The ward here is wonderful, there was a relief society activity on Saturday and we helped set up and prepare food; it was so fun, it is so nice to be in a place where things function smoothly. We have a new ward mission leader and he has some big plans that he is putting into place, I am excited to be a part of it.
It is so nice to have a companion that speaks French fluently, I can already feel my French getting better, it is easier to speak; and I am starting to think in French too. It is fun because she is trying really hard to learn English, and her accent is so cute! So we mostly speak French but there is a little English thrown in there. The transition from English to French was really easy for me and I am grateful for that. I think Heavenly Father has blessed me a lot because I had two people ask me if I was French; and they were French people that asked!!!! It definitely helped me have more confidence.
I am sorry this is so short, but because we are in the same district as the office Elders our P day is usually on Saturday, so I will be writing again on Saturday.
Love you lots,

Monday, November 21, 2011

Week 56: I'm Going to the Promised Land for Christmas!

Hello Everyone, BIG news this week, I am leaving Belgium on Wednesday because I am being transferred to Versailles, France!!!! Yes, the home of the legendary Palace of Versailles build by none other than Louis 14, the sun King himself. It is probably one of the most beautiful areas and soooo French. I did exchanges there just a few weeks ago and I cannot wait to go back. It will be interesting because the Mission Office and Mission Home are in Versailles as well so there are about 8 elders plus the Mission President in our Ward. That means I have to behave myself. My companion is going to be Soeur Emilcy, she is from Guadeloupe and speaks French and a little tiny bit of English. I am happy that I get to go to Paris for Christmas again. Hazzah!

This week has been a really good one as well, I feel like we really helped people this week, we met with a lot of members as well as amis. I love helping people, and I feel that we did a lot of good this week. I think sometimes all people need is for someone to show them that they are loved and remembered. That is the beautiful thing about love, the more you give the more you have.

We visited Lili and she was just glowing. We talked about Priesthood and the Auxiliaries of the church, she had lots of good questions. Her husband was there too, they are so cute together. We asked her if she felt different since her Baptism and she said that she is much calmer and that she doesn't get as angry as quickly. They are so full of light, I just love them. I always leave their house so uplifted and happy. Seeing them gives me hope for the future. It makes me want to try even harder to find families that are ready for the gospel. The happiness is multiplied when it is shared in a family.

We went and visited an American member on Tuesday, she gave us A&W Rootbeer to drink and a can to take home. I think the last time I drank Rootbeer was January so it was a wonderful treat. Europeans don't like Rootbeer, they think it tastes like cough syrup. I, however, adore Rootbeer it was a heavenly to drink it again, I do love America.

We had some miracles this week with a woman named Jacqueline, a single mom from Brazil. We were at a rendez-vous with a member, who hadn't been to church in about 2 month because her husband was sick. We had a really good discussion about the power of the Book Of Mormon. She is the gospel principles teacher and she said that she was going to be at church on Sunday. As we were leaving the rendez-vous we got a text saying someone needed to talk about Jesus, we had no idea who she was but we only had some porting planned so we went to her house. Jacqueline is having a lot of struggles because she isn't legal to work. She said that she didn't know what to do, and something told her to call the us, so she did. She hasn't had contact with missionaries for about a year and a half. The Spirit was very strong as we talked about the prayer and the Book of Mormon and healing power of the Atonement. We saw her again Saturday and talked about agency and forgiveness and about baptism. We shared the passage from Isaiah about Christ being a man of sorrows and antiquated with grief and that with His stripes we are healed. It is amazing to me the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Even just sharing about it brings the Spirit. Jacqueline and her 4 year old son, Alexandre, came to church on Sunday. Soeur Kabango came to church and taught an amazing powerful lesson about the nature of God. Afterward she talked with Jacqueline and gave her her phone number. It was just what Jacqueline needed to hear. I am grateful that God is in charge and that He trusts us enough to let us help one of His daughters. For me the miracle was how everything fell into place to bring us all together so that we could each get the help we needed.

I feel like I say this every week but I am amazed every week just how much I love the Gospel. It truely is the source of happiness, I see the change it makes in people's lives. I am so grateful that I get to see the change and help share the light.

I hope that you Thanksgiving is full of happiness and too much food. I'm not sure what I am going to be doing for Thanksgiving... If we don't get invited anywhere I am totally going to make my own, Soeur Emilcy won't know what hit her!

Much love always!

Soeur Gaelin Turney

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Week 55: Wonderful Wonderful Week

Hello everybody!

This has been a rockin' week. Last Monday we went to the planetarium and watched a show about the violent universe. I love planetariums, it was fun to see how much I remembered from my astronomy class, quite a bit actually. I did learn that in 2036 it is possible that the Earth will get hit by a large asteroid. Isn't science great! I think my favorite part was the free star chart with the winter constellations, in the mornings we go running in a huge park by our apartment, and I can actually see the stars, I can usually find Orion. The order and grandeur of the universe makes me even more sure that there is a God and that He is in control of my life.

Wednesday we had Zone Conference in Lille, France, with Elder Kopishka, the European Area President. He and his wife are from Germany and they both talked with us. Soeur Kopishka is super sweet and very smiley, she had us sing "I am a Child of God" and think about what the words mean to us. I am a child of God and He has sent me to Belgium, He gave me an earthly home with parents kind and dear. I was fulled with gratitude for the family that I have and the opportunity to be here in Belgium teaching people. At the very beginning Elder Kopishka had us write down questions we had or desire of what we wanted to get out of the Conference. He promised us that if we were open to the Spirit, then we would receive answers. Then at the end he had us read over what we had written down, all the things that I had written down, I got answers to or I learned. It is amazing how that works. He also challenged us to promise our amis the same thing when we invite them to church.

He also talked about our dreams, our vision of our mission before we came, what we saw ourselves doing in France. Then he asked us about our vision now, how it has changed as we have come in contact with reality. Then he challenged us to remember our dreams, to not bury them, but to hold onto them. He gave me a lot of things to ponder on and to assimilate. It was a very powerful spiritual day, and it helped me a lot.

Saturday was Lili's baptism. It was so wonderful. Elder Garcia and Elder Marquez helped us a ton, they got the font ready and printed the programs. Lili was cute she was nervous about wearing the baptismal clothes in front of everyone, but she soon got over it. We were able to get a lot of members to help us with the program, and even more came. She asked if there were always people at the church on Saturday nights and I told her that they were there for her, I think that she was touched.Lili's husband, Jean Claude gave a really good talk about baptism, I was so happy to see them together. I am excited to see them grow together in the gospel. I think the baptism helped more people than just Lili, I know that it helped me. Their family is so cute I cannot wait for them to be able to be sealed together for time and all eternity. She was confirmed Sunday, I love this gospel so much. It brings me so much joy!

I love you and with the the bestest week ever!

Soeur Gaelin Turney

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Week 54: Oh What a Week!

I don't even know were to begin with this week, it has been so strange and very busy. Tuesday we had district meeting and exchanges. The zone leaders gave a training on acting with faith the things that our mission president tells us. I guess there are some missionaries that are having a hard time adjusting to the changes that President Poznanski has made. We read in 1 Nephi 17, I got a bit of a different message. I need trust in God and in His power. He has given me commands as a missionary and I have to have the faith that I can do them and that he will prepare a way for me. When I don't have faith I am limiting God's power to help me succeed.

After district meeting I we went to the train station and met the Versailles sisters. Soeur Emilcy and I went to Versailles and Soeur Jorgensen, Soeur Woodward and Soeur Ingraham stayed in Brussels. When we got to Paris we had an interesting time getting to Versailles, we had to go from Gare du Nord to Chatellet to La Defence and then to Versailles. Soeur Emilcy has only been in the area for four weeks so she didn't really know her way around but she had directions. Together we managed to get on the right train to get us to Versailles. It was dark on the train ride out of Paris and we could see the Eiffel tower all lit up, it was so beautiful, I felt like I was coming home. We went to the church for a lesson, but the man didn't come and didn't answer his phone, so we walked home. The streets were misty and it was like every movie you've ever seen about France, quaint misty streets lines with trees. It was chilly but not too cold, the perfect fall evening. I was basically overcome with happiness. The next morning we went contacting and met a really cool Chinese guy named Ling. I then made Soeur Emilcy take me to a real French bakery and I got us a baguette and pain au chocolates for lunch. Then we headed back into Paris to catch our train to Brussels.

Later that evening we had English class and we had two new people come, Jacob and James. They are from Nigeria and really nice. We taught them the first lesson and they are going to come back next week for English class and another lesson.Yay!

Thursday we went to Lille, in France, to renew my French legality, we spent quite a while waiting for the Namur Elders who have very bad luck with trains. It was very strange to thing that I have been out long enough to need to renew my legality. On the train home Soeur Woodward got a call from President Poznanski telling her that she was going to be leaving the next day to go with Soeur Dawson back to Liège. We were very sad, so we went home so she could pack and she left at 10am on Friday.

Saturday our ward Relief Society had an activity about using beans and lentils in food storage and we were fed four or five different dishes made from dried things, including split pea soup, which was delicious. Then the other ward was having an open house so we went to help, we went out and handed out flyers and tried to get people to come in, a few people actually did. After the open house they showed a movie about Joseph Smith and the translation of the gold plates. It was good, but I was a little weirded out by the fact that Hyrum Smith was played by a guy in one of my singles wards at BYU.

Yesterday was amazing! We invited our amie Laura to church, and when we went to pick her up she had a young man with her. She said he was a friend of her sons and that she had run into him on the way to the bus stop and asked if he wanted to come and he said yes. His name is Marcello and he is from Brazil. He really liked church, testimony meeting was especially good, with no tirades or strange proclamations. We had a mini lesson with him after because he couldn't stay for all of the meetings. He is amazing! What is even cooler is that we had a rendez-vou with Laura at 7:30 and we met him again right outside her apartment. He is actually going to be moving in with them for a little while so he was there for that lesson as well. He is the kind of person that you can look at and you know that he is good.

Lili was at church with all her family again, and she passed her baptismal interview so she is ready to be baptized this Saturday. I am so happy! Souer Ingraham was talking to her husband, who is already a member and he said that he was so happy too, She has met with many missionaries before and she decided that she was going to listen to us. I am so grateful to all the other missionaries who taught her and prepared her for us. I know that it had nothing to do with me. There is a quote from the restoration movie that comes to mind. It is Joseph Smith Senior who says, "The Lord answers in his own time but He does answer." I know that that is true, the Lord's timing is sometimes hard for me to accept but I know that He know what is best and that if I trust Him things will work out for my good.

Love and Blessings!

Soeur Gaelin Turney