Saturday, January 14, 2012

Week 63: Mohammed!!!

Hello again!

This week has been a super good one,  I think having a Bleue around that speaks French fluently and isn't shy about talking to people is a nice thing to have around. We got a lot of really good work done. We did a lot of contacting this week, and I think I am finally learning to enjoy it. I actually kind of look forward to it now. Obviously teaching lessons is much better, but Soeur Dremeaux and I get along super well and contacting just works for us. 

Tuesday was a miracle day, we went contacting and got the phone numbers of 4 people and gave out two copies of the Book of Mormon. And what is even better is that we have two rendez-vous from that, so cool. One lady that we contacted is a young mother with three kids and she is FRENCH!!! We are both really excited about her, I really want to find and baptize a French family before I go home,so we are hoping that she is the one. 

The other really interesting one is Mohammed. I didn't realize he was Muslim when we started talking to him, as we are not supposed to contact them. But he was super interested, he said that he was in the process of looking into Christian churches, so we gave him a pamphlet about the restoration and got his number. When we called him to set up a rendez-vous he wanted to know how long we could stay because he had lots of questions. It is really cool, but a little tricky because we have to get special permission to teach them because if they come from an extreme family they could be hurt or killed if they become interested and get baptized. So we shall see, he seems really cool and he has a light about him. We have a rendez-vous with him tonight and  I am interested to see how it is going to turn out. It would be crazy if he got baptized because then half my baptisms would be Muslims. 

We had a super lesson with Rita this week, she read in the Book of Mormon. It is amazing how happy I feel when our amis read. And she said that she would keep reading, YES!!! We also got her to pray with us for the first time. It was so precious, I love hearing people's first prayers.They are so humble and sincere. We also talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ, Faith repentance Baptism The gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. Rita already does the first two principles naturally and she has the desire to be baptized, I don't think she is quite ready yet to fix a date, but she has said that when she feels that it is true she will be baptized. It was just wonderful, she is so cute and sweet. 

We had another rendez-vous with a woman named Julia, she is Portuguese and a ray of sunshine. She met with the sisters before but things got crazy in her life for a while so she stopped. We asked if she had questions and she said that she didn't agree with tithing. It wasn't quite what I was expecting but we talked about how God has promised us blessing if we pay our tithing and that the sacrifice will be more than compensated for. We talked about faith as well. Julia has a lot of faith and she is very sensitive to the spirit. She and Soeur Dremeaux really connected. Julia said that she knew that the church was good and that it was the right one, but that there was fear keeping her from taking the next step. Soeur Dremeaux told her that she too has felt that kind of fear and that she prayed, and Heavenly Father took the fear away. I think that is really resonated with Julia and she said that she was going to pray, I could see the sincerity on her face and I believe her. I feel like there are a bunch of miracles waiting to happen and it makes me a little scared but also really excited. We have a lot of amis with a lot of potential and promise and I am excited to see how it is all going to turn out. 

Oh, how i love this gospel, I feel like i am starting to get how to be a missionary, and I know that I am going to finally get it and then I am going to be sent home, but I am so excited for the adventures and experience that I am going to have in the mean time. I love you all, 

Gros Bisous 

Soeur Gaelin Turney 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Week 62: French? French is Good

So, I think that having a bleue who is French is going to be a lovely experience.

A note of explanation: In the French army the uniforms are/were blue. So you could tell a new soldier because his uniform was still a bright vivid blue while the more seasoned soldiers' uniforms were faded. Hence the new soldiers are called blues, and since we are in France new missionaries are called "Bleus."

Her name is Soeur Dremeaux and she is from the south of France. She is 24 and super cool. She likes to laugh and to go contacting, both of which I don't mind at all. We are very silly together already, and since she is being trained we will be staying together for at least two transfers. She loves cooking so I am going to learn how to make all kinds of tasty French food, and get to eat lots of it too. Yesterday (Friday the 6th) was the celebration of the three kings visiting Baby Jesus, and traditionally there is a pastry that is eaten. It is called a galette and has a flaky butter crust with a almond based filling, delicious! Hidden inside is a small prize and whoever finds it gets to be the king of the party and wear the cardboard crown. I got the little figurine and was the queen for lunch and our weekly planning session.

Thursday was a bit interesting, we only had one copy of the Book of Mormon left to give away. The mission office has ordered more, but we are out of Book of Mormons, I didn't ever think that could happen to a missionary. Anyway, we had one book of Mormon to give to someone. We stopped a young man on the street and started talking to him. He said that he was not believing anymore but that he grew up in a believing family. Soeur Dremeaux testified of the Book of Mormon's power to help us know that God is there and that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.He took the Book of Mormon and said he would read it. I love meeting good people. There was a light about him already and I hope that someday he will accept our message.

We had another really amazing experience Friday morning while we were contacting. We decided that we wanted to try to get our English class attendance up so we had a bunch of flyers to give people. We got to the bus stop right by our house and there was a woman sitting on the bench, I sat down next to her and asked if she was interested in free English lessons, she said yes but she works late, we talked a little bit and it turns out she is the daughter of a member that has been inactive for about ten years. The woman said that she had been to church a couple of times with her mom and that she had like it. We talked about 30 minutes about the Book of Mormon and faith. She said that she had been baptized Adventist and that it was a good experience but that she knew it wasn't the right one, and that she was still searching for the right one. When we hinted that ours was the right one she said that she wasn't ready yet but that we had made her curious about the Book of Mormon. We invited her and her mom to church and she said she'd see. It was a really amazing moment, and I know that it was no accident that we ran into her. I feel like the Lord has been working on her mother and perhaps her as well, and I hope that was the push that was needed to get them moving.

I love this gospel and the work. When I work hard I am happy, and when i don't I am unhappy. It is true that wickedness never was happiness. Not that I've been doing wicked things as a missionary but when I start being lax with the missionary rules things are just harder. I am excited that Soeur Dremeaux is here to help keep me in line and help me work hard. If the last four days are any indication of what the next 11 weeks has in store there are going to be some miracles happening in Versailles.

I love you all and remember, THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!!!


Soeur Gaelin Turney

Week 61: Christmas at a Glance

I am so sorry that I haven't written in ages, the Holidays were wonderful and crazy and even though we had a lot of p-days we didn't have time to email. Please forgive me!!

Christmas Eve was amazing, probably the best Christmas Eve of my entire life! The baptism of Soeur Pelous was so spiritual and joyful. Her husband baptized her, she was radiant and so happy. I think once again my favorite part was Frere Pelous, he is an amazing man and you can tell he loves his wife very much. The joy that showed on his face was magical. There were a ton of people there even though it was Christmas Eve, and as Soeur Pelous has basically been a member of the ward for five years, you could feel the love that everyone had for her. 

After the Baptism we went to the Family Selinas, they fed us traditional French food including Foie Gras, smoked Salmon, which sounds like it should be cooked but is not in fact. We had turkey and a Bouche de Noel. We sang Christmas songs and read the Christmas story in Luke, it was very simple but perfect really. 

Christmas was amazing as well. Soeur Emilcy and I opened presents and I made crepes. then we went to church, the talks were really good. Elder Causse of the Seventy was there as Versailles is his home ward and he was the last speaker. After he bore his testimony he played What Child is This on the piano. It was so beautiful, half the congregation was crying by the end of it, it was heavenly. Then we went to the Family Magnon's house for dinner, we were there with some of the Elders. It was really fun. Of course we ate way too much and told lots of crazy mission stories. Then when we went home we got to call home, definitely one of the best parts about Christmas for sure. 

The first all the missionaries in our ward, there are ten of us, got invited over to the bishops house for dinner. It was delicious, there was a green salad that had a meat mixture that you ate with it, I am not sure exactly what it was, but the words duck and neck muscles were used in the explanation of it. I don't really know but it was sure tasty. The theme of the talks during Sacrament meeting were about desires and our vision of things and how they shape our future and what we do and the goals that we have. It really started to make me think about what I want really and what I need to do, to change, so that i can be who I want to be and do what I want to do. One of the speakers talked about not only just making resolutions on New Years but on other important dates in your life, like birthdays and anniversaries. I think that it is a great idea. that is one thing that I have really appreciated about the mission schedule, I get the start over every six weeks and re evaluate my goals and check my progress and really start over. 

So, I am training. Normally you don't know who your ''blue'' will be until you go and pick them up. But as there is only one sister coming in and we have district meeting in the room where all the information on the missionaries coming in is kept I already know a little bit about her. She is French, and 24. She studied film I think, or at least has made at least one film and won an award for it, she knows a little English. And according to a girl in our ward she is fun and crazy and I am going to love her. I am excited and a little nervous, but I am determined that we are going to have fun, and that we are going to work our guts out. When you are a trainer you stay together for two transfers so that means I get the hang out in Versailles for at least another three months, WHOO! I am also excited because this means I can really learn how to cook French food. I love you all and I hope that you have had the very best Holidays ever and that this new year is off to a good start!


Soeur Gaelin Turney