Famous MTC Statues
[Mom insert here: Below is my translation of the above—she can correct this all when she gets home, since she’ll be speaking better than all of us! I did add accents to her French, since she couldn't.]--
I love you a lot! I am sorry for my imperfect French. Here’s my testimony! I know that the church is true. I know that Joseph Smith was called of God. I know the Atonement of Jesus Christ has changed my life. I love the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Because of the Atonement, we can return to live with God again. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
My district is progressing so quickly! It's amazing to be a part of. :) We finished teaching our investigator, Christopher, and found out he's from Draper, Utah and served his mission in Paris. He came in and told us what he liked about our teaching. Apparently, Soeur Hutchins asked him out in their second rendez-vous. "Sortir" is to leave, but to "sortir avec" or "leave with" is asking someone out. haha Lock your heart, Sister Hutchins! haha
Our teacher keeps teaching us slang. haha Well, not really slang...it's not weird or gross or anything. He said his mission president said it all, too. It's just particular to each region, and he served in Lyon. So if I try to say any of it in Paris everyone will think I'm a freak. Here are my favorites:
-"tap-la!" high five!
-"aller-la!" literally: that goes! means "oh, yeah right! come on! sure!"
-"mon oeil!" literally: my eye! (some things don't change. :)
-"buu oui!" literally: buu yes! like "but yes! but of course! buu yes!"
-"donc" so... (I use donc ALL THE TIME. haha It's my teacher's go to word, and it's rubbing off.)
-"ca marche" literally "that goes." means "that works."
-"cool haricots" this one...I made up. :) because my favorite expression is "cool beans." My teacher laughed at me and said the people in France are going to think I'm a weirdo. :) haha They don't say cool beans.
-"cette claque!" literally: that claps! means "wow! that's awesome!"
-"cette decoiffe!" literally: that decoiffes my hair. means "that was so amazing, my hair decoiffed."
I've been really working on being kind and giving more to others, and it's been harder than I thought. I just didn't know where to start. I already give some, but how do I give more? How do I start to change my character? Well, I was studying my scriptures the other night and was thinking about this. I finally wrote in big letters on my notebook "WHERE DO I START?" So I could remember to pray about it. Then I decided to open my letters from home. I opened Amber's letter first, and this is what it said: "I read a book that was really good...I wanted to share some with you...This girl says she was in college and wrote a sob story letter to her Dad, and he wrote back and said "Stop looking in the mirror and start looking out the window." She was so mad, until she realized her problems were nothing to other things. There are givers and takers in the world and she made up her mind to be a giver. To start being a giver, we just have to make a decision to give. Jesus didn't just come down and heal everyone in the world at once. He spent individual one-on-one time with people and touched their lives like that. That's how we should live our lives - sharing split seconds of ourselves. A smile; a hug; a kind word; carrying someone's groceries; etc. Making the choice to give 5 split seconds of ourselves everyday will make a difference in our lives" BAM. TEARS POURING DOWN MY FACE. I don't know how Amber knew to send me something so inspired, but I've been carrying around that dearelder for days and it has helped me so much. THANK YOU!! Talk about a perfect answer to my prayers. :)
And thank you to everyone who sent letters to Sister Swenson. :) She wrote me a note later and said how grateful she was for them. You guys really helped her. THANK YOU!
Brie from Brick Oven is going to Washington D.C.
Thank you, Amanda Amakasu, for your letter! I loved your advice. I don't think you all realize how much I appreciate your letters and your kind words. I went from being in a wonderful environment where my best friend and my Mom told me everyday how great and funny and wonderful I was, to being in an environment where I can so clearly see my faults and how far from the Savior I am and it can be discouraging. I am finding a balance of being willing to change to progress, while realizing that change takes time. So sometimes when I'm being too hard on myself, remembering that there are people back home who know me and love me really brightens my day. THANK YOU, EVERYONE!! :D YOU are building the Lord's kingdom by keeping this missionary motivated.
A few people asked what type of snacks I would like, so I though I'd just put it here. Don't feel like you need to send me anything! haha This is just what the MTC is lacking. :)
-Jerky. My companions and I ate mine so quickly. The meat here is all rubbery...and it's weird....
-Sour candy like sour patch kids, sour gummy worms, that sort of thing.
-Baked hot cheetos. I don't know why the baked ones are so much better than the regular ones. And why I can only ever find them in South Cali.
On the note of food...one of the Elders in my district legit started choking this week. (He's 18...) Elder Westwood jumped up and gave him the Heimlich Maneuver! Or whatever you call it these days! It was crazy! He's alive. haha
My favorite scripture this week: 1 Corinthians 14:19. My super mega awesome best friend serving in Hong Kong sent this one to me this week. It's all about the gift of tongues. :) It's amazing. Check it.
I also read an amazing talk from Elder Eyring called "That we may be one." It has changed my mission. I was looking for ways to strengthen my relationship with my companions, and Elder Eyring hit that nail on the head.
Another Temple Walk
I leave for Paris 3 weeks from today! Crazy talk! :D I know I still have so much to learn, but I'm ready to get out there. I love this place, but I was called to the people of France and I can feel it. I want to go out and spread the good news! I love you all SOOOO much! THANK YOU for the support! Remember: The Lord knows you personally. Pray about anything and everything. :) He's your father and he wants to hear from you. Read the Book of Mormon everyday. It is the word of God and will change your life. I PROMISE. I was told this week that because I'm a missionary, I was set apart with the authority to make powerful promises when the spirit prompts, with full confidence that the Lord will fulfill it. Well...I PROMISE YOU THE BOOK OF MORMON WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE IF YOU STUDY IT. LET THE POWER OF GOD CONTAINED IN THAT BOOK HEAL AND STRENGTHEN YOU.
SOOOO MUCH LOOOOOVE!!! Soeur Autumn Bradley
(p.s. You can call me Sister Autumn, or Soeur Autumn or whatever. :) It's not distracting. But I do like the Sister part. haha)