This week has been especially wonderful, Soeur Emilcy and I had a MIRACLE but I will save it for last.
Monday a member, Soeur Holdrinet, invited us over to her house for dinner. We had a wonderful little moment together. She fed us duck. That is the first time that I recall eating duck, it was divine. She is middle aged and lives alone, she has traveled all over the world, so we got to sit on her fancy leather sofa and look at her pictures of Egypt and Vietnam while listening to Christmas music. It was a treat. She lives in down town Versailles really close to the Château, her apartment is 300 year old! It is bea-u-ti-ful! The only downside to the evening is that we missed the last bus home so we had to walk 45 minutes in the dark to get home, but it was worth it.
Wednesday we had our Christmas Zone Conference. It was a lot of fun, Soeur Emilcy and I wore Christmas colors just to be festive. We read Luke 2:8-14 and President Poznanski compared us to the angels announcing the good tidings of great joy. I have always like that phrase "Glad tidings of great joy" For me, the gospel is just that, joyful and glad, and as a missionary my job is to share happiness. Each companionship was given a Christmas stocking, in the stocking there was a jar of Nutella and a hard sausage. The Posnanskis said that they wanted to give us things that our parents probably wouldn't send us. They were right, I can't really see my dad sending me sausage, but it was delicious. The best part was the letter from my parents, just like at girls camp, there was a special letter telling me how much they loved me, and of course I cried and felt warm fuzzies all over, it was wonderful. Then we had a Christmas treat of hot chocolate and sweet bread and a White Elephant gift exchange. It was interesting trying to explain to Soeur Emilcy why we had to find a strange present for less than 5 Euros. I got a lint roller and Soeur Emilcy got a massage thingy that vibrates. I think the best gift of the day was the gift Soeur Woodruff got. Her present was a calendar of an Elder making the Zoolander model face as the picture for every month. It was really funny that it was a Soeur that got it, especially because he is kinda weird, but very nice. We also got the rules for the Holidays, it is going to be a wonderful Christmas. Especially because of what happened Thursday morning.
So, Thursday morning while we were in the middle of companionship study, the phone rang. I answered it was from Soeur Pelous. Soeur Pelous is one of our amis, five years ago she married a member and since then has come to church basically every Sunday and has met with the missionaries consistently the entire time. Before I got here the sisters hadn't really been meeting with her, but my first week, we saw her at church and taught her a lesson during Sunday school. When we had planned what to teach her we decided that she probably knew everything that she needed to know, now she needed to get a testimony of it. We decided that the Book of Mormon was the way to go. So, we talked about how the purpose of the Book of Mormon is to help us gain a testimony, she has a testimony of prayer already so we read Moroni 10:3-5 with her and told her, you know that God will answer your prayers and the key to knowing if the church is really true is by reading and praying. She told us that she and her husband had started reading together in the mornings, so we invited her to pray before and after they read to know if it was true. Then, right after out lesson, her husband gave an amazing talk about the Book of Mormon in Sacrament meeting. He talked about the Book of Mormon being the key to having a testimony. He held up a key and said this is not a key because I can't use it because I don't know what door it opens, he compared the Book of Mormon to the key saying that the Book of Mormon ceases to be a key for us if we do not read it. It was amazing! So, Soeur Pelous had a double whammy of the Book of Mormon, last week we didn't see her, and then Thursday morning she called and told us that she has decided that she wants to be BAPTIZED!!!!! Even cooler she wants to be baptized on Christmas eve and Confirmed on Christmas day, how cool is that! After we hung up the phone Soeur Emilcy and I jumped our of our chairs and danced around and probably shrieked with joy, then we fell to our knees and thanked Heavenly Father that we were a pert of this experience. I think this is probably the best Christmas present I could ever have. We don't know what changed and how she came to her decision, we will find out Sunday, but I am so happy, their family is so cute and now they can be together forever!!! It truly has been a wonderful week.
I hope you are all catching the Spirit of Christmas and that you have peace and good will towards men.
Tout mon amour et JOYEUX NOËL!!!!
Soeur Gaelin Turney