Monday, April 16, 2012

Week 73: A Windy Week of Miracles


The weather has turned a bit chilly this weekend but that has not dampened our spirits one bit. It was a a little slower on  the lessons this last week but we kept working hard and we keep finding new people.
Bethina is continuing strong, she had a big test this week and was really nervous, she asked us if she could fast to help her with her test. How cool is that, we told her she could and explained a little more about fasting. We called the night after her test and she was happy because she passed and she said that she was surprised because she hadn't felt hungry or thirsty at all. She has a lot of faith and acts on it. She is such an amazing example to me, she is making so many changes, and the blessings are so evident, it is almost miraculous. She is praying to know if May 5 is the day she should get baptized, so pray for her!

Sunday Soeur Chard and I had some miracles. This entire week we have been having a hard time having the desire to go out and do contacting, we have done it and worked hard, but the desire wasn't there so it was more of a way to pass time as opposed to being really effective, so Saturday night we talked about why we were having such a hard time and what we needed to do to get the fire going. We decided that part of ot was that we hadn't been as diligent in our goal to contact on every train among other things. Our zone leaders had challenged us to set goals that didn't depend on the choices of others to accomplish, that were measurable by how we personally used our agency. So Soeur Chard and I decided that we were going to pray very hard for the desire to go contacting and that we were going to talk to 40 people. We got us early Sunday morning so we could meet Bethina at the bus stop and go to church together. We had to wait at the bus stop about 20 minutes before Bethina arrived so, Soeur Chard being the amazing person that she is started searching for people to contact. There aren't a ton of people out and about at 8 in the morning on a cold Sunday, but we managed to find seven people to talk to, none were interested, and several were really rude, including one woman who yelled at us and us how disgusted she was that we would dare preach the filth we called a religion. It wasn't a very encouraging start but our church meetings were especially spiritual and that boosted our spirits. After lunch we went out to do some finding, in about an hour and a half we talked to 32 people most of whom though not interested were very nice. We met one girl named Aurélie who took a copy of the Book Of Mormon and seemed interested. By the end we were thrilled by all the work we had done and that it had been enjoyable in spite of the lowering clouds and gusty wind. We had dinner and went out to do some porting in a 17 story apartment building close to where Rita lives. We started at the top and worked our way down, no one on the 17th was interested, but on the 16th we met a woman named Marie-Claire who took a Proclamation on the Family and set a rendez-vous. After she shut the door we realaised that she was the 40th person that we had talked to. Miracle! President Poznanski keeps telling us that God is a God of the fourth watch and that it is only after the trial of our faith that we see the fruits and miracles. We hadn't had a ton of success, until the 40th person. We still had about 25 minutes before we needed to start home so we continues porting, two floors down we met a Portuguese woman named Maria, who was very sweet, we talked for a good 15 minutes with her. She has had a lot of hard things happen to her and while she has lost confidence in man, she still trusts in God. We gave her a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and said that we would pass by next Friday after our rendez-vous. The spirit was so strong while we were talking to Maria, I felt so much love for this woman I do not know. I know that the atonement of Jesus Christ can heal all her hurts and give her the courage she needs. Maria was the last person that we contacted last night. Soeur Chard and I talked about it, I know that our experience yesterday was an answer to prayer. When the things we desire or ever desire to desire are right, if we ask in faith God will give it to us. But we must ask.

I love you and wish you the best of weeks!

Soeur Gaelin Turney

Monday, April 9, 2012

Week 72: Tired but Happy

This week was another amazing adventure. The work here is really starting to take off.

We set a goal this transfer to talk to one person every time we get on the train, which is very often. We haven't succeeded in every train but we have made an effort and are starting to see miracles. We have had a lot of really good conversations with people and a lot of really awkward ones too. But since we have started we have met at least five people who are interested in learning more. Soeur Chard is a miracle worker, whenever we have a few minutes she is contacting someone, and when I am tired (which is basically all the time) she keeps going, and says, "Let's contact this one last person." That person is almost always interested in learning more.

Monday night we passed by an ami that used to meet with the missionaries, Theliène. She had just gotten home from work and we told her that we only wanted to say hi and not stay very long, but she sat us down and gave us a drink and started making dinner. We asked if we could help, as her kids hadn't eaten yet, she said of course you can. She showed us how to make a fish pastry. It contained a sauce made of onions and fish wrapped ina flaky dough, and shaped like a fish. It was really cool. I have learned so many interesting cooking tidbits while on my mission, but not very many of them are French.

We had a really good rendez-vous with Bethina, we had spent a really long time trying to figure out what to teach her, and we weren't coming up with anything. So, we picked a topic and some scriptures as a back up plan and decided to follow the spirit and ask inspired questions. We had a really good talk and were able to better understand where she is, and the things that she worries about and her desires. It was really amazing how questions to ask just came to mind and we were able to figure out how we can help her. The process of receiving revelation while teaching is such an incredible experience, I am going to miss it.

Saturday we had a mini rendez-vous with a woman that lives in the next building over. She could only see us for about ten minutes. The last time we saw her we gave her the Proclamation on the Family, she had read it and really liked it. We told her that because the family is an essential part of God's plan for His children He has given us things to help us and our families, one of which is prophets. Then we talked about the Book of Mormon and gave her a copy. She is stuck inside her apartment for a week because of a hurt ankle so we figured it was a perfect situation. She said she would start reading.

Yesterday was amazing, all our meetings were about the atonement and resurrection of Christ. It really helped me reflect about the importance that Jesus Christ has in my life. I feel like my love for Him grew a lot yesterday. We had a super busy day. We taught three lessons, passed by someone's house, and went to church. It was wonderful and we were exhausted but in the best way possible. It was very interesting because the people that we taught lived fairly close to each other so there wasn't too much time in between rendez-vous. It was so much easier to keep the Spirit with us from one lesson to the next. I felt that we were blessed and guided especially last night.

I am more tired than I have ever been, and we have more missionary work than I have ever had before. I know that heavenly Father is helping me through everyday. I don't want to be a "dead" missionary at the end of my mission. I am so grateful for souer Chard, she has such enthusiasm and helps me keep going even when I don't want to. I feel like this transfer is a lesson on enduring to the end. I hope that if my mission is a foreshadowing of my real life that I will be surrounded by good  people as I am now, and that I will stay strong until the very end, it is the hardest and longest part, enduring to the end. But I am learning that we just have to take one day at a time. For my planner cover for this transfer I picked a quote by President Monson, "There is no yesterday to remember if we don't do something today." It is so very true, all we need to focus on is right now is what can I do with my time today? 

I love you and will see you soon!

Soeur Gaelin Turney

Monday, April 2, 2012

Week 71:Wasn't General Conference AMAZING!!!!

This week was transfer week and my Baby, Soeur Dremeaux has left the nest and flown or rather taken the train to Brussels. My new companion is Soeur Chard, she is from Holiday and really sweet. She contacts everyone, all the time, I have lots to learn from her. She is starting her four transfer which means she has been in the field about 5 and a half months. She plays the piano and has a nice smile. It is a little strange to be able to talk in English and be 98% sure that my companion will understand.

This week we have a new amie, named Solange. She is African and a young adult. She was a referral from a mamber, Anne, who had brought her to church twice. The second time we met her and fixed a rendez-vous at Anne's house. It went really ell, Anne shared her conversion story a little and told Solange that you can meet with the missionaries for years and not get anything out of it, but when you read the  Book of Mormon with a real desire, something happens and you know that it is true. It was a powerful moment. Solange said that if she feels that it is true she will be baptized! Soeur Chard was super excited because it was the first time she has had an amie say that the first rendez-vous.

On the way home from our rendez-vous with Solange we sat down across from a woman in the train. Soeur Chard started talking to her and she looked at us and said "You guys are Mormon missionaries," in English. The woman's name is Margareth and she is from New Caledonia, she has a cousin who is a member. She said that every time that she goes over to his house they talk about God and the Bible. We set a rendez-vous with her for next week. It was so cool; I have a feeling that I am going to see lots of miracles with Soeur Chard this transfer.

I loved General conference so very much!!! I am amazed at the spiritual strength that I get from listening. It was interesting to look over my notes and see the common themes and ideas in the different talks. I am so excited to study the Ensign. I loved Elder Nelson's talk about gratitude for the temporal and the spiritual. That is something that I feel very strongly, Gratitude is such a powerful force, and it chances the way we see the world.

I am excited for Easter this next week and for the chance I have to study the life of Jesus Christ and the Atonement. He truly is the center of everything even if we don't always realize that He is. I am so grateful for Him and his love, sacrifice and resurrection for me and for everyone. That is the beauty of Easter!

Much love,

Soeur Gaelin Turney