Monday, August 26, 2013

Why we're here.

We had interviews with President Poznanski and Soeur Poznanski this week. Wow, what WONDERFUL people. Sometimes I think I'm just lazy and I'm not driving myself hard enough, and if I ever do let myself relax and not stress... I think I'm justifying laziness and need to work harder still! I had no idea I was even like this until I went into my interview with the President and he just said "Soeur Bradley, RELAX. You are too hard on yourself. You were called to Paris France to be Soeur Bradley. That's all we want. Relax. Be happy. Love your investigators. Be Soeur Bradley. That's what we want. Ok?"
[Mom insert--the next 2 photos were taken by Soeur Poznanski and posted on Facebook]
Then Soeur Poznanski said something that put it all in prespective "You are opening this ville. That means that everything that is here now did not exist before you came here. Look at all that you have done!" And it's true. How can we measure success? I'm learning more and more how to measure by the Lord's measurement, and not worry about how other people think I should be a missionary. I'm seeing more and more why the Lord sent me here.
As Paul says it: "Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart." Ephesians 6:6 

We contacted this WONDERFUL girl named Beverly at the bus stop the other day. She had just recently moved here and didn't know which foyer she lived in, but gave us as much information as she could and told us to come find her. So a few days later, we did! It was dry when we left the house, but by the time we took the tram out to her part of town is was POURING rain. So we hopped on a bus that would get us a little closer and happened to run into one of the Elder's amis, Solomon. He is from Eritrea and lives in one of the foyers in that area and decided to help us look for Beverly. 
 And thus began probably one of my favorite memories EVER. He doesn't speak French, just a little English, so that just makes for miscommunication and hilarity. Then it was raining so hard we couldn't see clearly out of the bus windows, so we saw a big building, yelled "STOP!" and hopped off the bus... but it wasn't the right foyer!! So we ran as fast as we could to shelter with Solomon yelling "WRONG ONE! WRONG ONE! SORRY! SORRY!" and Soeur Rhondeau and myself hardly being able to run because we're laughing so hard. So we stand under a little ledge laughing and drenched and waiting for the rain to let up. When it does a little, we walk to the right foyer and begin to search.
 First we go to where Solomon thinks a lady from the Congo lives who matches Beverly's description. We ask in that part of the foyer, and in broken French (and lots of people yelling and chattering and discussing and thinking out loud in everything from Russian to Portuguese to who-even-knows-what) we communicate to them that we're looking for a lady from the Congo. Foyers are a little scary, but we have this big tall African guy following us around like a bodyguard and pep-talking us: "YOU CAN DO IT. YOU CAN DO IT. JUST WALK IN. WALK IN. ASK HER. ASK HER. NO, ASK HIM. HE'S BETTER. HE'S BETTER." 
 We ran ALL OVER that foyer. Asked EVERYONE and their dog. Then we started realizing that we were probably not being given very good directions: "No, there is no one from Africa here. Only Armenia, Russia, and the Congo." "Yes, the Congo. Exactly! Africa!" "No, no Africa. Just Armenia, Russia, and the Congo." hahaha I just love all these goodhearted people! Complete strangers who would come out of their homes and get so involved and determined to help us find this girl. 
Eventually, we had to give up for the day. But we'll be back!
Hanging out with the Albanians in the park last P-day.
Anna made us sushi!! It felt like home (probably because we ate sushi all the time growing up...
my Dad served his mission in Japan).
I just love those moments when you look around and you feel eternal. It's like you catch, for a second, a glimpse of your meaning. You catch God's vision of you and the work you must do. And I think I'm catching it.
It happens in those moments when smiles are exchanged between strangers. When foremerly unknown friends help with heavy bags. When you share a joke with someone over something so silly but just so human, no matter what country you live in. 
I know that in those moments, God is so pleased. Lifting, helping, listening, talking, caring, healing, just being there is bringing others to Christ. Even if they only take one step, it's a step closer than where they were before they met you.
The cross of Lorraine is EVERYWHERE. I'm so glad I know the significance now!
I love this scripture in 2 Nephi 26:33 : He inviteth them all to come unto Him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.
Nancy is STUNNING.
I know that Christ never ever ever says "Go away." All are alike into God. The invitation and his hand are continually stretched forth to everyone. No matter how far from home or family or God you think you have fallen, I know that God's hand is stretched out still with the invitation "Come, follow me."
I love you all an inordinate amount!
Soeur Autumn Bradley

No comments:

Post a Comment