Monday, December 9, 2013

"Buzz, your girlfriend. Woof."

Soeur Lefrandt and I like to quote Christmas movies at each other. She is HILARIOUS and absurdly good at it.

Soeur Garrett drew this. I unsmilingly and unjokingly told her I would date him. I think he's adorable.

Last night Soeur Lefrandt and I were kinda freaking out. We were so afraid they were going to call one of us to train. And I had forgotten to write my habitual letter to President saying "I can handle anything the Lord thinks I can handle... but I REALLY REALLY don't want to train. Please don't make me train unless there really is some specific girl that absolutely needs me."

Last district meeting. :(
But time passed...and we didn't get a call. And we were relieved. But then there was still the possibility that they would move Soeur Lefrandt! And I was so scared and sad. I LOVE Soeur Lefrandt. I wanted to stay with her during Christmas! I mean, it's Christmas!! It would be perfect to be with someone who has the same vision of our work here, who is just as obsessed with Christmas as me, and thinks it would be the best thing ever to spend Christmas laying around our cozy apartment in our Christmas pajamas while eating absurd amounts of chocolate.
Well... we just got the transfer e-mail. AND SHE'S STAYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm a little excited.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! It's the most wonderful time of the year. The spirit is contagious.

 SHAKESPEARE & CO. Amazing bookstore.
This week was SO FAST. We had a million RDVS. And not just RDVS, but meals included. Which means that our little goal of not getting fat before Christmas so when we skype our families they really will think we are doing well for ourselves and not be scared for their little chubby daughters in France... was completely destroyed by curried chicken, couscous, donuts, fried bananas, smoked salmon, cake coming out of our ears, and rice rice rice rice rice.

La Famille Lam Yam. Our Mother from Tennessee who invited us over for a belated but REAL thanksgiving dinner! "Now girls... if those are going to be real mashed potatoes you need about 3 sticks of butter..." haha LOVE HER!!

But there really is nothing quite like being an American missionary sitting in a rdv/Hindu birthday party surrounded by people from India, Pakistan, and Madagascar. Talking about Jesus and Christmas and why we're here on earth. Or going over to an old classy French ladys' home and eating a 3 course meal while in her wallpapered sitting room, listening to French Christmas music from 1930. Or visiting our recent convert friends from the Congo and talking about the temple...and then eating the most delicious African food I have ever tasted, which they constantly warn us is "REALLY spicy!" because normal French people can't handle spice at all... but these girls raised in the west are doing alright. You'd be proud.
Jackie Palmer and her classy classy home.

Oh... just Paris. Standing in my FAVORITE part: The latin quarter.

 Gold painted men syanding in random squares. He kept smiling at us and posing. HAHA
Last week I was having a hard time and losing sight of why I am here. Sometimes I lose sight of the beauty of missionary work. I get too caught up in the numbers. Or the technicalities. And every time I do that, I am miserable. Then stressfule things that I used to let fall to the side... are big and blaring and debilitating. 

And I remembered that talk from Elder Cook last conference. He shared a scripture that is now hanging next to my desk. The Lord is speaking about the children of Israel and he said "my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit."

And I thought so so much about what that means. To change your glory for that which doth not profit. And I realized that when I am letting myself be stressed out by little things (that in the grand eternal plan mean nothing) I am exchanging my glory for things that DO NOT MATTER. When I am ungrateful for the things the Lord has already given me and the little amazing miracles and moments I already see and share, I am forsaking my glory. 

When I look at encounters with people on busses and trains as "Did I say everything right? Was I bold enough? Did I give the right pamphlet?" instead of "I just talked to a complete stranger about our loving Heavenly Father and bore my testimony about why we left our families to share this happy news. This doesn't happen in real life!" I am forsaking my glory.

I can't baptize every person I meet. C'est impossible. But I can invite others to come unto Christ. And a big way I can do that is helping people catch the vision of their own eternity. Helping people feel eternal. Helping them feel like children of a Supreme Creator. Helping them know that there is a God and that HE LOVES THEM!

Because that matters.

On the way home from Paris last week I sat next to this adorable classy lady. And then she said the word "sorry" instead of "desolee" and I turned to her, beaming, and said "Where are you from!?" And she was from Nevada. In Paris with a friend. And we talked about Paris and how magical and beautiful it is. Then she showed me all of the pictures she had taken that day. Then we talked about our families and how much we missed them. Then she asked me all sorts of questions about what this California girl is doing in France. And we talked about God. And Jesus. And hope. And I left her with a card with the church's website.

And it was a beautiful moment. And it mattered.

xoxo Soeur Autumn Bradley

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for continuing to share with all of us your experiences on your mission. I still have just under 8 years before my first will leave, but being there with you gives me some perspective and thoughts on how to support my children when the time comes.