Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Grumpy Cows & Ginormous Slugs

Real spiritual sounding, I know. :)
Some weeks are just a little hard. And those end up being the weeks where you and your companion bond the most. Life just gets so ridiculous you find absurd things to laugh about!
Like the grumpy cows you see on the way to the bus stop... who then start following you along the fence.
Or maybe the many bus stops named Repentir.
 Or perhaps the GIANT slug outside the big battement.

We have a lot of really hard amis right now. I mean, they are all WONDERFUL. They all seriously LOVE us and we LOVE them too. Every single one of them fed us and was so excited to see us this week!
They just have hard lives and concerns which may or may not include 1) completely convinced God is a woman or 2) thinking we don't need scriptures or churches and saying they should be thrown in the fire or 3) having severe depression and not being home because you are living with a friend.
We try so hard every day to show people that the gospel is for EVERYONE. It really can improve your life and help you with all of your daily problems! And sometimes when people don't get it or just don't care, it's heartbreaking. But I have to remind myself every day that I just have to do all that I can, let people use their agency, and trust that if they're prepared they'll accept this message.
And really, what do I have to complain about? 
I live in Nancy, France.
I plan to build one of these when I get back to Provo. Soeur Rhondeau and I are determined.

I have an art museum,
Beautiful sparkly room in the modern art section of the museum!!

an old world famous square, and a huge beautiful park a few blocks from my home. I love my companion, our amis, the mission president, and the other missionaries SO MUCH. I have a family back home who prays for me and sends me e-mails and letters every week. I am serving at the same time as my best friend in China. I get to walk up to complete strangers every single day and share a message that will change their lives.
WOW. God is too good, and merciful, and kind to me. This little 20 year old girl in the middle of France.
I studied patience and charity this morning, and realized some things about God.
Becoming like Christ is important for more reason than one, and a big one is becoming like God. Heaven will not be heaven for those who have not chosen to be heavenly. Heavenly Father is trying to make sure I will be comfortable in his presence.
The point of repentance and changing is to shape me into what God knows I have the potential of becoming. I have to learn all these lessons at one time or another, so why not just submit my will and learn them now? The more I submit to God and say "They will be done" the faster and more completely he can change me into who he sees me becoming.
This is where patience comes in. Because waiting on the Lord can be hard. The Lord's will and timing is so difficult for my mortal brain to comprehend, but God knows exactly what he is doing.
Every single scripture that mentions patience is mind blowing, but this is my favorite one right now. Luke 21:19-- "In your patience possess ye your souls." The footnote on possess says 'Greek: preserve, win mastery over.' So, if I patiently submit to the Lord's will and endure well, and let the Lord change me, the devil will have no possession over my soul. Just the Lord. Just me. 
And this is why the gospel of Jesus Christ is liberty! You can either serve the devil, who deserts you and offers you nothing. Or you can serve the Lord Almighty! Who will always be there for you, and loves you perfectly. He asks that you give up some worldly pleasure right now, because he can see the bigger picture and knows how to keep you safe. He lovingly tells us things we must do, things he knows will change our character and shape us to be like Him. And finally he offers innumerable blessings that bring us fulfillment, peace, and real happiness in this life, and in the unending life to come.
I know I'm only seeing such a smart part of this merciful, happy plan but this small part is changing everything.
I can't believe how wonderful God is. I hate when people distort the character of God and make Him seem like some big scary "holding a whip and waiting for you to mess up" kind of person. When in reality, God is kind. God is justice. God is happiness. God is freedom. God is love.
I love you all so much! I promise you that God loves you too. SO MUCH. He loves you in your sins. He loves you when you say something stupid. He loves you on your bad days. He is beckoning always. I promise you it's worth it.
Love, Soeur Autumn Bradley
Animal hats. I think I'n being turned into an animal person.

The cat obsession here is SO FUNNY. I'm catching it.

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