So... we got the call last night. Soeur Lai is training! YES! Called it. She didn't want to, but I have been telling her all transfer that she can do it. She is so loving and kind and patient. That lucky bleu (we call them bleus because here in France you wear blue when you are starting a new job) is going to learn SO much French!
Enora Blonde got baptized!!
The wonderful Blonde family!!
I knew I was leaving, so where I was going wasn't pressing on my mind too much. So today Soeur Lai cleaned our apartment while I packed and we just let the time pass and didn't worry about doing e-mails. Then we got a phone call.
It was Soeur Garrett. Half screaming she says "YOU"RE COMING TO LIVE IN THIS APARTMENT WITH MEEEEEEEE!!!!! YOU’RE NEW COLLEGUE IS SOEUR LEFRANDT!!"
I'm going to Paris. Nogent, to be exact.
And I'm living with Soeur Garrett.
And my new collegue is Soeur Lefrandt. Soeur Garrett just can't say enough good things about her.
(NEW ADDRESS: 33, rue Maximilien Robespierre 94120 FONTENAY SOUS BOIS)
This past week I decided I was ready for a hard transfer. I decided I found myself as a missionary and was ready to love the hardest collegue, find fulfillment in the hardest area, and learn, learn, learn.
Maybe that will all still happen, but I have to remember that God isn't trying to break my spirit. Sometimes he lets me learn new things from good things happening, instead of really hard trials.
Wow, though. God is so good to me. I have had an amazing transfer with Soeur Lai. I can't believe how much my French improved in 6 weeks! I can't believe how much she taught me about being a good missionary! I can't believe how much I learned to love someone so different from me.
This last week together was eventful. It started with her almost leaving me in Nancy one day. We were getting on the tram, and there were SO many people. We were pushing our way in and Soeur Lai was completely in when all of a sudden the doors started closing. I couldn't fit, and my panicked self just looked at Soeur Lai through the glass with wide eyes realizing I was about to be alone for the first time in 5 months. Soeur Lai got this crazy fierce look on her face, yelled in English "COME ON! YOU CANNOT STAY HERE!!" shoved the doors back open, grabbed the front of my jacket, and dragged me inside. Comp Unity. Win.
Last district meeting!
And then a few days later... Soeur Lai turned on the stove and began heating oil for us to make some fries. We were in the other room talking, and Soeur Lai decided to go see if it was hot yet. Then she began shouting my name from the other room. I run in, and the entire pot of oil WAS ON FIRE.
The flames are huge and near her hands and arms, so she sets the pot in the middle of the kitchen floor and starts calling everyone we know. I search frantically for a fire extinguisher, and we don't have one. I begin to open all of the windows and doors, as our apartment is quickly filling with smoke. I'm thinking 'don't put water on it. Bad idea. Get rid of the oxygen. Oxygen. Cut off the oxygen. With what?' I'm running around searching for something to smother it with, and Soeur Lai is panicking because nobody is answering their phones. The elders answer. "Get over here right now!" Then she calls the bishop. "Put the lid on it!" he says. Smart bishop. The lid worked. Soeur Lai and I are laughing from relief and hugging each other.
So now, we have a huge burn mark in the middle of our kitchen floor. And our comp unity is really good. :)
This week I thought a lot about desire. I had been noticing a pattern with so many of our amis. They had enormous belief in God, the bible, and families. They could be baptized if they just got one thing. And that one thing is DESIRE.
Ice Cream and Orchid!
And this is a hard one for me. Because how do you give someone desire?
I got part of my answer this morning. Desire is coupled to faith. Because faith is something that leads to action. But you can't give someone faith. They have to get it on their own. How do you get faith? Begin to act. Take the step. Consider the evidence, and then try it for yourself.
When I realized that the way people gain desire and faith starts with their actions, I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I had been so concerned with something that is out of my power. And I'm doing all in my power.
We invite everyone we meet to do something. Whether they are unbelieving and just say "Someday, if you have the desire to know if God is there, I know that God answers prayers. I promise you God is there. I promise you if you just ask "Are you here?" God will let you know."
Or whether they are completely open and faith filled and we invite them to learn more and see us again in 2 days.
Or whether our really progressing ami accepts the invitation to be baptized.
Primary kids. The best!
All are successful. People have their agency. And INVITING is fulfilling my purpose.
We are currently teaching the mother of a recent convert, Guillaume. She has had such a hard life, and has hardly any belief that God is there and that he can hear her. But she is our most progressing ami. Why? Because she has the desire to know. She wants to know SO badly. And desire is more powerful than anything else.
Hope this jumbled up crazy letter made sense. I'm moving to Paris in 2 days. Can't think straight.
Soeur Autumn Bradley
Trying to take a picture of ourselves with the timer. And then realizing it's about to take the picture and panicking and I make a face and those are her fingers. haha
The circus is in town. We asked her if she was part of it. She said no. We asked if it was for Halloween. She said no. WELL. I have no idea why this girl is dressed like a joker.