Monday, January 31, 2011

exchanges and tacos and amourous africans.

This week was different than usual... My first exchange was on Tuesday! We did our exchanges with the évry soeurs (évry is about a half an hour outside paris), Soeurs Pobst and Turney. It was so fun to get to see an MTC soeur again! They arrived in Liège around lunchtime, so first thing we took them to get a Liège gaufre. That's what everyone wants to do when they come here :) after that, we split up, which was weird. Soeur Pobst is really nice, and I learned a lot from her, but she's just not Soeur England. It was weird how much of a difference it makes. It's so amazing how the Lord knows exactly where I need to be and who I need to be with. Every aspect of missionary work is just so inspired.

Soeur Pobst and I went to see Isabelle, a less-active blind lady in our branch. She lives alone; her husband passed away some years ago. Whenever we're there, we cook, we wash her hair, mend her clothes, etc. She is a sweet old lady and she is now active!

On Wednesday night we had a "mangez-vous" with Rita. She is just so sweet and warm. Usually she cooks dinner for us, but this time we made dinner for her... tacos! she LOVED them. hispanic food is basically non-existent here, so it was really a treat for her. We taught her how to make tortillas and she was just mesmerized. It was really cute. :)
Rita is less-active. When she comes, it's usually just for sacrament meeting. She comes to soirée familiale on Mondays and english class on Fridays. So, we talked to her about the importance of relief society. It was a great lesson- the spirit was very strong. We read exerpts from Julie B. Beck's talk she gave in the 2010 Relief Society meeting about the history of Relief Society. The spirit just kept building and building, and then she said, "I need to go to Relief Society on sunday." It's so amazing to watch the spirit speak to someone.

We went to see Célia on Saturday afternoon. Have I told you about her? She is just darling. She's 11 years old and was just baptized in April. Her dad is a member, her mom isn't. We've been teaching her the recent convert lessons and she just does so good. She always has her little Livre de Mormon and a picture of President Monson out and ready on the kitchen table when we come over for our lessons. We let her pick the hymn we sing together, and she picks "O Little Town of Bethlehem" every week. So cute :)

On our way to the bus stop after Célia's, this African guy walked straight up to me and said, "You're really beautiful." I was sort of taken aback, but I finally managed to say thanks as we started walking again. He yelled after me, "can I make your aquaintance?" Hah. Oh, the life of a sister missionary. Every week in district meeting, the elders always say, "so, Sisters, what happened to you this week?" The men here are crazy! We always have at least one story like that to tell them every week.

On Sunday we had a little surprise... Amadou came to church with us! He was Soeur England's first baptism. He just moved from Brussels to Germany and since Liège is only a half an hour from the Germany border, he came to visit us :) We LOVE him. He's 27 and originally from Niger. He looks like he's straight out of the 70's! He's tall and lanky with an ever-so-slight 'fro and a mustache. He's always dressed up in a pinstriped suit, colorful tie, and pointy shoes. He is just hilarious.

After church, he came with us to have lunch with Sidonie. She fed us SO much food. I thought I was going to die. Or explode. She always cooks enough food to feed a small army. She had some family there too- two twenty-something guys. One of them, Patrick, was asking me what I'm studying in school. I told him Literature, and he said, "you look like someone who likes to read. you wear glasses and you're really calm." Hah. High compliment! :) THEN. He got out the camera and started taking pictures of everyone. He went around taking a picture of each person, then when he got to me, he said, "Why do my hands start shaking when I point the camera at you?" he kept taking pictures of me (eventually I just stopped looking at the camera. I was so uncomfortable. yuck.) and calling me his "star". Super creepy. When we left, I stuck out my hand for a handshake. He took my hand, then pulled me in for a bise. Ew! Soeur England had told me that will happen a LOT. After I pryed my hand out of his, he said, "I think I'm going to cry." Um okay. Needless to say, I couldn't wait to get out of there.

We have a new family we're going to start teaching! Bright, Eunice, and their 1 yr. old daughter Brianna. They're from Ghana, which means they're English speaking! It's going to be SO weird to teach in English. I'll let you know how that goes. They are so sweet and, so far, really receptive to the gospel. Pray it works out!

As we were riding on the bus today, I thought back to one particular night a few weeks  ago. We were heading home after a long day on a mostly empty bus. Soeur England and I were chatting about something or another when a cute little african family got on. Their little girl, about 9 years old, bounced into the seat opposite us. She was handicapped and absolutely adorable. We found out pretty quickly she couldn't talk, so instead I reached out my hands to her. She was a little unsure at first, but soon enough her little laugh was ringing throughout the bus as we played little hand games together. Her eyes were sparkling as she smiled at me. She was absolutely radiating the light of Christ. She had such a special spirit about her. We got off the bus and she smiled at me from the window as I waved goodbye.

It's incredible to me how I can just feel the Savior's love for the people I meet here. Some of them have no idea how much they are loved. I wish I could just instantly transmit what I'm feeling from my heart to theirs. But, they have to choose to accept that love or not. Isn't it just so cool how it all works?

I love being a missionary.
and you know what else? I love you too. All of you! I have the best family and friends a girl could ever have. I'm so very lucky and happy and blessed. Thank you for your support! Keep those letters coming.

soeur williams

ps - the following email came from Lindsay a few days ago telling us of the first "transfer" - though she didn't get transferred...

HI! We just got the transfer email. I'm staying in Liège with Soeur England! There's a little twist though.... We're getting ANOTHER sister with us. We'll be in a threesome! That should be interesting. Ask Katie if she was ever in a threesome. The third sister is Soeur Turney... we were in the MTC together. We're SO excited! This is Soeur England's last transfer though, so after that it will be me and Soeur Turney as co-comanions here. In our third transfer. kind of scary! But I'm sure it will be great. So I will for sure be in Liège for this transfer and one more. Can't wait!

1 comment:

  1. Jon Paul started in Liege! He really loved it. Does she know a new convert named Jacquline? She was his first baptism He Loves her!