Tuesday, December 24, 2013

"We're standing in a room with a dead guy!" -Muppet Treasure Island

Well... I am going to speak to you face to face in 2ish days, so this will be pretty short and sweet.

Thanks for the fun Christmas cut out, Mom! 
 Scary local manger scene. I hate mannequins. So Soeur Lefrandt got a picture.

This week we had so many random and magical moments:

We carried on with our attempts to bring a little America and Christmas spirit to our Parisian neighbors via Christmas caroling. We found an adorable lady from Ireland who is married to a French man and lives right by our church. She has a 4-year old boy and is pregnant with twins! ADORABLE family! She said we can come back and sing this week. YAY!
We also found ourselves standing in a public square, with a girl our age who doesn't believe in God, singing silent night as people walk past us staring.Just magical.
We went to Chipotle and the catacombs of Paris last P-day! While at the restaurant, I heard the man next to me in line speaking english. I asked him where he was from and he is from Fontana! I was SO excited! San Bernardino county representing in Paris! Then we walked through lots of dead people...it was pretty weird, but a really cool experience. At the exit, there is a lady who checks your bag. We were trying to imagine how that would have gone down if we had tried to bring along some souvenirs. "Lady, I TOTALLY had this skull when I came in." Silly lady smashing all my wannabe Hamlet dreams.
We discovered there is a Chipotle in Paris. I KNOW.
We were sitting in Chipotle, eating the first spicy food I have had in months, listening to        American music and people around us speaking English. ‘MERICA!

We went and visited the CATACOMBS!
This is above the door right before you enter the tunnels of dead people.
“Stop! Here lies the empire of the dead!”
Mile long tunnel lined with human bones.  : )
 There is a girl named Emma in our ward. She is from North Dakota (first person I have EVER met from this state. Bucket list check off.), but is a nanny here in Paris. She is our favorite! She is adorable and colorful. She tried to take us out to lunch this week, but it kinda didn't work with the owners of the local cafes who all decided they needed a break and closed shop. But we walked around searching and talked about life and missions and the strangest experiences we have had here. We're going to try again next week. haha Isn't she adorable taking the sisters out?

Our ami Kashmira is from India, and has this entire shrine to her ancestors and gods.  
But look! She added Jesus. Progression?  We hope.

We had a breakthrough with Jackie Palmer! She has never been one to talk very much at all. She never goes off and hardly asks questions. One day we were sitting in her living room and we finally just asked her "What questions do you have? Do you want to learn more?" And she said "no." And my heart sunk. And then she hesitated and said "But... if you have something you want to tell me, I am ok with hearing it." We asked why she didn't have any questions. Why she had no desire to know if these things were true. She finally responded "I have some hard feelings against God. I just can't inderstand why he took my husband away." And I'm crying. And we pull out Plan du Salut pamphlets and testify of the truthfulness and hope of this message. Then my companion is crying. And bears awesome powerful testimony. Then we ask her if she'll read the brochure and if we can talk more about it the next time. She replies "Yes, I promise" as she breaks into a smile.

This week I thought a lot about the Atonement and absolute change. If there is one lesson I have learned, it is this: "Once a ______, always a_____" is false. Change is real. Absolute, complete altering of your very nature is possible. It doesn't mean it's easy or simple. But it's POSSIBLE.
I see it every day. I've seen it in our amis, other missionaries, and even me. When I was in the MTC one of the Elders was freaking out because he was so scared of losing his personality. I remember feeling sympathy and wanting so badly to not lose myself like I had seen some missionaries do.
But since coming into the field, losing myself completely, refinding myself, and going through major trials by fire, I have never been so grateful for a Heavenly Father who loved me enough to break me down.
God was never trying to break my spirit. God was just breaking down the parts of me that wouldn't have fit very well up in heaven.
I know I have a long long way to go and this perfection thing is going to take a very long time, but I'm grateful and amazed at how real and all encompassing that atoning blood of Jesus Christ, our Savior, can be.
Well I love you all to the top of mount crumpet! Have an incredible Merry Christmas and I'll see your faces in 2 days!!
A shirt that my bestest Chinese friend sent me! Thanks, Kaity! Do I look Asian?

xoxo Soeur Autumn Bradley

The death of my trusty boots. I think maybe I should go buy some new ones…maybe. 

No comments:

Post a Comment