Monday, December 2, 2013

His Labor

Sometimes... I get a little bit tired of France. Sometimes I over fantasize America and I just want a burger and to be able to understand everyone perfectly and drive in my van to get where I need to go.
Making cookies with our amie, Christianne, and Lilliane, a member.
Yes I know... the cookies look super weird. French ovens are weird.
Cookie dough.
But then I get on the train... and there's a French man playing 'la vie en rose' on the accordion. And I walk past 10 people, all of whom are carrying baguettes (sometimes sticking out of their backpacks or strapped to their bikes). And then I walk past a building with Christmas lights on... and read a plaque that says it was built in the 18th century.
And then I get lost in it again and I am SO grateful I live in France. And Paris.
Soeur Lefrandt and me and beautiful Nogent in Autumn time.
Now we live in Centreville! Which means Christmas decorations EVERYWHERE! It's magical.
We are the luckiest girls in the world.
This week was so good and so hard. We have had so many RDVs that we have zero time to do finding, other than the people we talk to on trains and at bus stops. We have been working on working with the members. We have been visiting, challenging, and serving them every chance we get! 
When I opened Nancy with Soeur Rhondeau, we had nothing. No area book, no place to start. So we did lots and lots and lots of door to door. I didn't realize it, but somewhere deep down I only felt like a good missionary if I was porting or contacting. Because for some reason I was only doing real missionary work if I didn't really like it. After all, this is missionary WORK.
But since coming to Nogent I have really been able to see what President Hinckley was talking about when he said the better way was through the members. Porting is not wasted, and I have seen SO many miracles come from it. But missionary work is not just for the missionaries. We are the teachers. The members are the finders. We are here to help the members fulfill their purpose! We're here to help THEM do missionary work.
Our amie Celine and the two sweet members who came with us! Maria, and Cami. Cami is waiting for her call. Maria is a recent convert who wants to serve a mission too!
Our amie, Jackie Palmer. Our food critic grandma. :) 
La Famille Lasa! Our African parents. Soeur Lasa is a recent convert. They are my FAVORITE people ever. They just make you feel like...humans. 
And I have LOVED working so much more with the members! When the members know us and trust us, it's way easier for them to think of friends they want to refer to us to teach. And as I sat in a rendez-vous with our Amie Kashmira and her member friend, I was blown away by the power of her testimony. Grew up Muslim and knew hardly anything about Jesus Christ. But then found a bible. And then found the sisters. And now she is a member of the church with her two sons. And she was so unlikely. She was very strong in her religion and was never ever going to change.
But then she did. And when it comes down to it, it had nothing to do with the sisters. God was preparing her long before the sisters ever arrived. But they were in the right place at the right time.

Soeur Garrett and myself at our Thanksgiving fĂȘte
The four Soeurs... that lived together last week...but don't anymore. :(

This week I was in a funk and wondering whether or not I was a failure as a missionary. I kept praying to see the fruits of our labors. And this week, we had SO many people contact US! People who were interested in what we were doing, and prepared to learn more.
And as we were walking home one night I was thinking about all those little miracles and seeing the fruits of our labors and the spirit whispered in my ear and chastised me. "This isn't your labor, this is my labor."
I am not really doing anything. This work is beyond me. I am doing my best, but this has nothing to do with me. Everything that comes out of my mouth, everyplace we are, everything we teach has nothing to do with me. This is the Lord's work. And If I am doing my best, I am an instrument in His hands.
And I am so grateful that He is the one in charge.
Cheerfully do all in your power and then STAND STILL and wait, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of the Lord and for his arm to be revealed. (D&C 123:17)
xoxo Soeur Autumn Bradley
Thank you for the snowflakes, Dad!! We hung them on our study room door!

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