Marjana and myself at our church building
A boy walked onto our bus this week with the word FREAK across his shirt. Are we missing something? Was there a clothing fad in the states that we missed? HAHAHA
I used to always always always worry and wonder if I had the spirit with me. It would stress me out! How did I know if I was being guided? Then I heard a talk in the MTC from Elder Bednar about the Holy Spirit and he said something that has changed everything: "If you are being a good boy or a good girl, you ae being led." I'm here to tell you that is TRUE. I see it over and over and over. This week we travelled all the way out to Seichamps to go visit an ami. We didn't know her exact address so we basically knocked on a million doors, asked a million people, and FINALLy figured out which door was hers. And then she wasn't there. So we travelled home. And on the way home, Soeur Rhondeau's back was hurting so we stopped by a pharmacy to grab some patches. And the man who helped us asked us who we were. And then we shared a short message. And then he GAVE US HIS TELEPHONE NUMBER AND SAID HE WANTED TO LEARN MORE. The timing and perfection of the whole thing just lets me know that God set that up so perfectly. Don't freak out about whether or not you have the spirit. If you are being a good boy or a good girl, you are being led.
Elder Murdock's last day in Nancy!! :( (Elder Murdock, Elder Withers, Me, Her)
The Book of Mormon is AMAZING! I keep watching it work wonders in people's lives. This week we challenged two different amis to start reading the Book of Mormon. And this week those two amis went from sad hopelessness to the happiest, full of so much light, people ever! All because of the Book of Mormon. Never take it for granted. Read it.
This week, Soeur Rhondeau and I lay in bed one night talking about how we focus too much on our weaknesses. Instead of walking in from a long hard day and thinking "Wow, I just knocked on strangers doors and didn't become discouraged when that man slammed the door in our faces. I woke up on time even though my body hurt so badly all I wanted to do was sleep forever. I walked through the blistering heat all day long and didn't whine about it." I would think something more along the lines of "I'm not a good missionary. I should have contacted everyone on that tram today." Sad, isn't it?
We talked and talked and finally fell asleep and woke up the next morning wondering how to change that. Then we both happened to study the same talk. I flipped open my conference Ensign intending to study a talk from the general young women's session and instead came across Elder Holland's talk entitled "Lord, I Believe." (If you haven't read it, read it. If you have read it, read it again.) I decided to look at that talk from the angle of Strength instead of Faith and started to read. AND IT WAS PERFECT.
I live in the most gorgeous city in the world
Elder Holland talks all about how we must focus on the ground we have already won, and not the ground unconquered. And I thought "Well, duh! Of course! Why would you ever focus on the ground unconquered?!"
But the thing is... we do. We always do. Why do we as human beings always assert our weaknesses first? When we do that, we let our weaknesses define us! How ridiculous! Elder Holland said "what we know will always trump what we do not know" and I say "WHO YOU ARE WILL ALWAYS TRUMP WHO YOU ARE NOT."
"Do not start your quest for [strength] by saying how much you do not have, leading as it were with your [weakness]. That is like trying to stuff a turkey through the beak! Let me be clear on this point: I am not asking you to pretend to [strength] you do not have. I am asking you to be true to the [strength] you do have."
And...we love porting on Sunday afternoons!
Elder Holland is right. Positive energy is stronger than negative energy. Every time. You start your quest for strength and change by focusing on who and what you are, not focusing on who and what you are not. "Hold the ground you have already won, even if that ground is limited." And then, I believe, that by focusing on strengths and making them stronger and stronger and stronger, you will naturally overcome your weaknesses. I believe that in our quests for change, if we start with "I want to focus on this value so I can strengthen it" or "I want to strengthen this attribute in me" then the part of us we think is lacking will naturally be conquered by the part in us that is strong.
We were porting the other night, and a man answered the door and we gave him a short message. Wanna know his response? "I am actually not believing. But, wow! You girls are COURAGEOUS!"
And we are. Knocking on strangers doors is COURAGEOUS. Making meals for your kids every day is COURAGEOUS. Biting your tongue and not snapping back at someone unkind to you is COURAGEOUS. Going to work every day is COURAGEOUS.
You are not your weaknesses. You are your God given strengths. "Stir up the gift of God which is in thee" (2 Timothy 1:6) And remember, WHO YOU ARE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHO YOU ARE NOT.
YOU ARE COURAGEOUS.
I love you all to the moon and back!
Soeur Autumn Bradley
very creepy plastic babies all over this garden we walked by...