This week was AMAZING. Holy cow. We found SO many new amis and families! We had so many rdvs that we had zero time to do hardly anything else. Yay for actually teaching instead of just looking and looking and looking for someone to teach! Wanna know how much I tracted this week? Probably a grand total of 30 minutes. Booyah.
Roman and her son Biniame. They are from Ethiopia and speak English! YAY! New amis!
I saw all the pictures from the big zone conference in Paris! I love Paris. I think that is the one place where I absolutely must serve at least once during my mission. I need Paris p-days! I haven't even lived there yet, but every time I get on that train to go back to my home in Nancy, I have this renewed desire to live a more beautiful life. Anyways, rant about Paris. There was one picture where I am sitting with my arm around someone. That is Soeur Emilee Mackay! The Caddell's granddaughter. She was having a hard day, and we just talked and talked and ate lunch together and talked some more. She's such a sweetheart.
I keep seeing ads for 'Le Casse-noisette' (The Nutcracker) and I want to GO! It's my favorite Christmas tradition. I heard that some Soeurs got permission to go see the ballet Swan Lake last year. Hmmm...
Belgian fries. If nothing else,
eating these even once makes up entirely for every single mean person I will ever meet on my mission.
Also, reminder: TRANSFERS ARE NEXT WEEK! And... I am most likely being transferred, so if you were tempted to shower me with gifts and packages this week...wait a little bit. ;) Send them to me when they transfer me to PARIS. haha
This week was partially so wonderful because we had EXCHANGES. And not just exchanges, but exchanges with SOEUR GARRETT. (Her name is in caps because I am obsessed with her a little and every time I say her name in my head it looks and sounds like this.) Soeur Garrett is my Sister Training Leader in Torcy (Paris) and she is seriously the most wonderful missionary EVER. She just GETS missionary work. We see eye to eye on everything. We had the best talks ever and taught some rockin', love filled lessons.
At the gare right before beautiful Soeur Garrett had to leave to Paris.
Sometimes, It's really easy to lose sight of why you are here. There are so many people around you whose focus is OBEDIENCE OBEDIENCE OBEDIENCE or NUMBERS NUMBERS NUMBERS and it's so easy to caught up in it. Not that those things are not important, but if that is your motivation for being a missionary, you are MISSING THE MARK.
The biggest lesson I have learned on my mission is LOVE. Love is powerful. It's the reason behind all Heavenly Father does. It's the reason He created this plan for us, the earth, and sent His Son to redeem us. It's the Reason our Savior, Jesus Christ, performed the great atonement and made it possible to be happy now and throughout all eternity.
There are so many parts of missionary work that are so important, but if my motivation is fear of feeling guilty or what other missionaries might think, I am never happy. Even if I am being 100% obedient. Even if I am contacting everyone. Even if I am only staying at rdvs for 45 minutes. I am a MTC trained droid and I am unhappy. And who wants a message of ultimate hope from an apparently emotionless robot?
This is why love is so powerful. Love for everyone makes me talk naturally and easily with everyone around me, much more than 'they told me I had to' does. Love for my amis and a desire to understand their hearts makes me study well and learn my language far more than 'the other missionaries will judge my bad french.' Love drives me to talk out things with my companion even when she's grumpy. Love makes me bold in lessons because I am saying things that they need purely because I want them to be happy, not because preach my gospel told me to.
Arpin Sevoyan. SO stinkin' cute!
Love makes me pick my battles. I will NEVER be a perfect missionary. I will never be a perfect contacter, or teacher, or worker with the members. You have to pick your battles. It doesn't matter that I stopped at every red man and only crossed when it was green if we are going to be late for our first rdv with someone who had great potential. It doesn't matter that I contacted every single person I saw today if my companion didn't help because she is having a hard day and I have been ignoring her. Maybe I'm completely wrong, maybe I missed something. But all I know is I have never been so happy, felt so fulfilled, loved so much, taught so many lessons, received so many phone numbers, had such great relationships with the members, and just LOVED BEING A MISSIONARY.
I think everyone needs to pick what is going to drive their mission. What they want to look back on and say "I did that well."
I want mine to be love.
Speaking of which, I LOVE you all so much it's insanity.
Soeur Autumn Bradley