Monday, February 17, 2014

"Soyez la lumiere!" ("Be the light!") -Frere Lasa

Happy Birthday, Tyler! I have a story for you. (Is this too violent to tell a 6-year-old?) I was talking to some of the Elders last week and they told me that they once taught an African man who had been punched in the face by a GORILLA. Seriously. The man was in his little village and a gorilla bounded into town and somehow or other he ended up getting punched in the face. And I was LOSING IT. The funniest thing I have ever heard in my entire life.
With our bishop's family for Family Home Evening.
Ok, so aside from the Latin Quarter, Montmarte is my FAVORITE place in Paris. Seriously MAGICAL. It wasn’t even really Sacré Coeur that I loved. It's just the feel of it, you know? There are certain places that open up my soul and I feel more alive and like myself.
That's how I feel about the Latin Quarter. And that's how I feel about Montmarte.
And... Moulin de la Galette! Which won't be super exciting unless you like art.
It's where a famous painting by Renoir was done. 'Dance at the Moulin de la Galette.' 
["Dance at the Moulin de la Galette"]
Sacré Coeur basilica
Adorable sweets shop on the way up to the basilica. AMAZING cookies.
This week was AWESOME. As Soeur Anderson said to me this morning as we were walking along the river Seine: "Even if this week had been absolutely horrible, guess what?! WE'RE IN PARIS!" And this week was pretty great on both sides so we were just extra blessed.
I just love these green fountains that are all over Paris. They are Wallace fountains and were donated to the city by a rich British man around the turn of the century. The water is still potable!
The home of Van Gogh when he lived with his brother for two years!
Picasso's studio! This is where modern art was born.
My Mom sent me these adorable little 'artist trading cards!' In case you find yourself someplace beautiful and want to sketch but forgot your sketchbook, voila! Little mini sketch pads that you can then later put in your journal. They have come in SO handy! I adore them. Thanks, Mom!
I have these all in my journal. My sketches of Notres Dame, The Eiffel Tower, and Sacre Coeur.
Charline is getting baptized the 6th of April! We had such a great lesson with Sister Kusseling (the Relief Society President) who is also a convert to the church. She bore such amazing testimony about how she received her answer about Joseph Smith and then Charline said: "Actually, I have something to share. I got part of my answer this week! I prayed to God and asked if I should continue on this path and if all of this was possible. Then I read part of the Book of Mormon and the words spoke directly to ME! In Nephi 10 it talks about how God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And it all makes sense. Of course God can talk to this boy. God is always the same!" Isn't she adorable? Just so prepared and so faith-filled.
The family Kusseling with our amie, Charline.

Soeur Anderson is pretty amazing. I am learning SO much from her. I also realized something really cool this week. The color white is whiter and brighter when compared to black, than if it's compared to grey. (I might have just blown you away with my wisdom, just hang in there for a second.) I am white. And a lot of my friends are grey. They are more similar to me than a lot of other colors and we have lots of things in common but that also means that our strengths are sometimes not super apparent because we have a lot of the same strengths. But when someone is a lot different than you, your strengths stand out a lot more! So yeah. :) I'm white. And I am learning so many things about how to be a missionary using MY white strengths. Not anyone else's. Just mine.  Because God sent these strengths here for a reason.
The red lipstick is spreading... one companion at a time. ;)
Well, I hit halfway this week. WHAT? Just craziness. Hitting halfway and talking to President Poznanski has made me think a lot about who I am becoming and start to set goals for who I want to be after my mission as well.
 Erica and Asiah!!! Erica was my valentine. :)
My WONDERFUL sister Amber sent me my favorite red lipstick this week!!
So, naturally, I put some in my journal with her little note.  

One of the biggest things I have been thinking about is being an example. Some of the people I love and look up to the most are good examples and make me want to do and be better and better. They don't even have to tell me to change. They just show me by their actions the better way, and that has more influence on my mind than anything. My Mom, my sister Amber, my Mom's best friend Karen, my sister Jasmyn, my best friend Kaity, my Dad, my little sister Giselle (I could go on for a while...) all just live such beautiful, Christ-centered lives while still loving and accepting the humanness and weaknesses of others. And I really want to be like that.
Elder Uchtdorf said: "Declaring our testimony is good, but being a living testimony is better."
The family Adamson! CUTEST. KIDS. EVER.

I read the talk 'The Moral Force of Women' this week and there was one part I loved so very very much. He talks about a woman who was loving and righteous and had a huge impact on everyone she met. Everyone just felt so loved and cared for. Then he ended with this phrase: "She was love personified." Isn't that beautiful?
I found this scripture in Proverbs that I just LOVE so much: "The path of the just is as the shining light." (Proverbs 4:18)

At the gare, Nation. I have passed these red chairs a million times
and always wanted to sit in them for no good reason.
So, I did.  

I want my path to be a shining light for others to follow. I want to be love personified.

xoxo, Soeur Autumn Bradley

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