Monday, March 19, 2012

Week 70: The Beginning of the End?

Happy Monday!

We had a talk with Soeur Poznanski on Tuesday, it was really helpful and put things into perspective. That's one cool thing about being in Versailles, we get to see the Poznanskis at church and around. She talked to us a little about her mission, she served in the Paris France Mission too. She read us the first three verses of Doctrine and Covenants 98. We talked about gratitude and the power there is in being grateful in all things. She also made the point that the has sworn with an oath that he will answer our prayers, his just didn't specify when. So we need to have faith and patience, even when it doesn't seem like Heavenly Father is listening to us, he is and he will bless us, when the time is right. 

We had exchanges this week, We were paired with the Blois sisters (Pronounced kinda like Blah but with a w in the middle, Bl-wah) I stayed in Versailles and got to work with Soeur Williams. I was so happy to see her again, she was my companion in Liege and is the same ''age'' as I am in the mission. It is super weird because she is going home the early transfer so she only has one week left. It was a lot of fun to reminisce together and to see how we have changed. It was funny because I had forgotten how similar our personalities and interests are. We got to teach together again, it was cool, The last time we taught together was about a year ago. I know a lot more French now. 

Tomorrow is my 17 month mark, I do not feel like I have been here for seventeen months. I am glad I chose to stay until may, I am not ready to come home yet, I love you all but the thought of going home makes me very nervous. 

This week was a little rough, all but one of our rendez-vous got cancelled, but we met some cool people. and this week is looking really good. Bethina is doing well, she called us Friday night with a question about personal revelation. She told us that her brother is going to get baptized in three weeks. She is amazing, she told us that last Sunday she didn't study at all, and that she rested and kept the sabbath day holy. When we saw her the exam was the next day, but she said that she didn't feel nervous at all, and that she felt positive. We testified of the blessings of obedience and promised that Heavenly Father would help her. She is so good! 

I hope that you have a wonderful week and that all your wildest dreams come true.

Love always,

Soeur Gaelin Turney

Monday, March 12, 2012

Week 69: Life is Beautiful


We had a pretty awesome week. Tuesday we had a district finding activity, we all met at the church and then went out contacting at the same time. We had about 40 minutes, and Soeur Dremeaux and I talked with two amazing women. The first was named Florence, She said that her belief in God was complicated, but we testified about God and the Book of Mormon. She took a copy. It was an amazing conversation, she told us there was something special about us. She wouldn't give us her contact information but she lives close to the church, so I hope that someday she will come. The second woman was orthodox, when we started talking about the Book of Mormon, She said Ooooh, the Mormons, I am not interested they are polygamists and their women are badly treated etc. We explained that we are NOT polygamists, and we both testified of the divine role of women. We told her that we had never felt inferior to men, and the church teaches that we are equals, that we have different roles but that we are equally important. We also told her about Relief Society, that we have our own organization that is part of the church, with leaders that are women. We talked with her for about twenty minutes, in the end she wasn't interested, but she told us that there was a light about us. We testified of a lot of things to her, but the part that she really listened to was that we are daughters of God and that we are just as valued as the men in our church. As we headed back to the church, Soeur Dremeaux and talked about her, and we both felt that our meeting her was to clear up misconceptions so that maybe in the future she will listen to the message. 

This week we started teaching a 9 year old boy named Amaury. He is autistic and wants very much to be baptized. It was a lot of fun coming up with activities that would keep him interested and help him understand what we were teaching. His parents are active and very sweet. We talked about the restoration and the Book of Mormon, and we challenged him to read from the picture Book of Mormon every day, and gave him a coloring page with numbers. Everyday that he reads he gets to color in all the shapes that have that number in it. His mother told us Sunday that on Saturday he started crying because he forgot to read the day before. So precious! I think I should be more like that when i realize that I am not doing everything that I promised Heavenly Father I would, I should cry. Sometimes I do, but I think that I need to have more godly sorrow when I repent. 

We have the most amazing amis! Bethina is so good. We had a lesson with her on Saturday, and after she asked us if she should study on Sunday or not. She has a two weeks of really intense classes and tests and she is really nervous. She said that all the other students would be studying on Sunday and there is so much material that she is scared she is going to miss something. We talked to her about keeping the Sabbath day holy and about trusting the promises that God has made us. We both shared experiences of how we were given help from Heavenly Father because we chose to keep the Sabbath day holy. She was very nervous but she said that she was going to keep the Sabbath day holy. She also said that she hadn't read the Book of Mormon because she has been studying. We talked about how even if it is only one verse it is important to read every day. While we were talking she realized that she did have time, she said I find time to call my boyfriend before I study, I do have time to read the Book of Mormon. I am so amazed at her desire to do what is right, she is so good. I don't think I have had another amie quite like her. She came to church again, She lives really far away so she has to take the bus at 7:30 to get to church before 9. That is two weeks that she has done it, there are so many members that are inactive because the effort is too big to come to church, she is so incredible, I love her so much!

Thank you for all your prayers, I love you all very much and have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day/ 170th Birthday of the Relief Society!


Soeur Gaelin Turney

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Week 68: Freedom


This week we had Zone Conference, it always gives a huge spiritual boost, I wish you could all come to one. It was amazing the first half was a answer all the prayers that Sister Turney has said in the past two weeks. Soeur Poznanski talked about the power of baring testimony and the importance that it has in the conversion of our amis, President Poznanski covered lots of subjects, but the one that stuck out to me the most was about the power and authority of our calling as missionaries. He told us sisters that we were also acting with the power of the priesthood because we were set apart by someone who holds the priesthood and that as such we have the same blessings but also the same responsibilities as priesthood holders. It was very interesting to me, and it made me think of the scripture that talks about every man learning his duty and fulfilling it and those that don't are in a lot of trouble. I think I might study the Doctrine and Covenants a bit more...

The Assistants to the President did a training about contacting that they entitled ''Get the Glow'' There are lots of stories about people who see the missionaries and there is a light around them, they are shining and angelic. They talked about how we do not even realize the presence that is with us because we are missionaries. It is not us that is doing the glowing. However it is very important for us, especially when we are contacting to have that glow because it makes people want to know more, and it is the elect, the prepared people that will recognize us. They said that the way to get the glow is by developing Christlike attributes. There is an entire chapter in Preach My Gospel about developing Christlike attributes. I counted and there are the same number of attributes as I have weeks left, so I set the goal to work on a different one every week. Soeur Dremeaux and I talked about it and we both had decided individually to work on Diligence. So, we have been trying very hard to be diligent in all things. 

Saturday we had a very long day of contacting, and beginning is always the hardest. But we tried very hard to have faith and hope and a good attitude. We found three people, gave out two copies of the Book of Mormon, fixed two and a half rendez-vous and got two phone numbers. All three were during the last part of the time blocks for the specific areas that we were in. It is amazing that Heavenly Father gives us experiences that teach us and help us in our efforts to progress and become like him. I am learning how to include Him in my plans and goals for myself. I find that there are moments throughout my day that I need to pray. There is a quote from President Monson that talks about how he would be literally lost without his relationship with God through prayer. I think in a small way I understand what he means. 

I have been thinking a lot about the progression that I have made spiritually during my mission. It is amazing to see how far that i have come, and yet i still have so far to go. I want so much to continue, I am so happy. This morning I read in Helaman 14:30-31. I love part that says ''ye are free',' because I feel free. I don't know that I have ever had more rules or restrictions about what I can or can't do, but because they are from God, they make me free. I know that freedom is what many people are searching for, and we are so lucky to truly have it. ''The truth shall make you free,'' we have the truth and as I apply the truths I learn in my life I become free. That is the message that we have to share, true freedom and pure love. We are seriously so blessed. ;) 

All my love and prayers,

Sister Gaelin Turney