Bonjour tous le monde!!!
Now that I have a French speaking companion there might just be more French in my letters; or not as the case may be. This week has been a good one, France is different that Belgium, other than just the architecture, but I am having a hard time naming what it is. I think maybe it is the pace of life, things are faster here. I am still getting used to it. Soeur Emilcy laughs at me when we go contacting because I don't speak fast enough or get to the point, so people brush me off. She tells me I just need to talk faster and not to pause or they will leave.
I had my first official rendez-vous with a Jehovah's Witness (We call them TJs for short) this week, it was an experience. Soeur Emilcy and Soeur Jorgenson contacted a girl named Aurelie before I got here and we set up a rendez-vous with her. Sr Emilcy told me that her mother was a TJ and that she wasn't officially but showed signs that she was in accordance with them. When we got to her house Aurelie, her mother and her mother's TJ friend were there to have a "discussion" with us. The beginning wasn't too bad and we actually got to talk a little, but her friend started telling us a little bit about what they believed and went on for about 2 hours, I think that Soeur Emilcy and I were able to get about eight sentences out about what we believe. I was surprised at how blatantly they bashed on the catholic church and said that basically everyone else is wrong for believing in what they do. I was very uncomfortable and I'm not catholic and we also think that they are corrupt in many of their doctrines, but they still have truth and do a lot of good. By the time we left Soeur Emilcy was fuming, for me I think it was a good moment to take a step back and think about how I approach other people and their beliefs and present my own. The TJs it felt like were bashing me over the head with their doctrine to make me believe that they were right. For me, that is the wrong way to get someone to join your church, we are here as missionaries to invite others to come unto Christ and read the Book of Mormon and to learn for themselves that it is true. I cannot convince anyone that the Church is true, that is not my job. That is the Holy Ghosts job. I just have to make sure that the Holy Ghost can be there.
We had another cool experience on Friday afternoon. Normally we had our Missionary coordination meeting on Thursday nights but this week it was cancelled, I had planned on looking at the baptismal clothes at the same time, but forgot because we didn't go to the church. Friday morning the Elders for who I was checking out the clothes for called and i told them I forgot and would check that afternoon. So, Friday morning we went and helped a member who has 7 kids, 4 or 5 of whom are autistic and all of whom are home schooled clean a bit around the house. We are still figuring out how to get places and were an hour later than we meant to be. We helped Soeur Moulin and then went straight to the church after we were done. We found the clothing that was needed and were about to leave when a group of 5 high school girls came timidly into the church. They said that they were doing a project for school about the Mormons and wanted to know if they could ask a Mormon some questions. We said, sure, we are Mormons and would be more than happy to talk to you about the gospel. We had a really good talk, they knew quite a bit already, but it was obvious that they had read a lot of anti-Mormon stuff. As we talked they commented on how much false stuff there was about our church, they asked why. I should have said because it is the truth, but I just said that is has always been like that. We gave them a tour of the church building and invited them to come on Sunday, at least two of them seemed interested and said they'd come, we also invited them to a baptism that is going to be happening Sunday afternoon, which they were intrigued by as well. We gave them two copies of the Book of Mormon and some other reading materials. It was a really cool experience, especially to see how God worked to make sure we were at the church at that exact time. I am so grateful that He is in charge. I don't know if anything will come of our meeting, but I do know that the knowledge of the truth is rolling forth and is filling the whole Earth. and I am a part of helping it grow.
Here are some pictures I hope you like them, isn't Soeur Emilcy the cutest!
Soeur Gaelin Turney