Friday, April 18, 2014

Apparently, I'm a MANX woman!

We were sitting in the grand place in Lille eating our lunch one day when we heard the cutest old couple sitting near us and speaking in English. So naturally... we leaned over and asked them where they were from. They were both from England and were just passing through on their way up to Belgium to visit the war graves. I told them lots of my ancestors are from the Isle of Man and the gentleman looked so excited and said "We call them Manx, M-A-N-X. You're a Manx woman!" Cute, huh? I'm a Manx woman. :)
Bonjour tout le monde! This week went by so fast and was just crazy. We went to Paris twice (once for the Sister Conference and then for Soeur Elliott's legality) thus the million and a half pictures I took of the Eiffel Tower. Soeur Elliott is leaving Lille. :( I guess it was just too good and God knew we needed to move on and grow. My new companion is Soeur McOmber! Cool name, right? I am so excited to welcome this new Soeur into this gorgeous ville.
Our first class tickets to PARIS!!
The keychains Soeur Elliott bought us right underneath the tower.
The Soeur Conference was wonderful! We have so many sisters now it's easy to go throughout your entire mission and never meet some of them, so it was nice to spend a day with them all. We had training in the morning, then an extremely sister missionary-ish meal of apples, croissant sandwiches and chocolate macaroons. Then we had different stations where you could do crafts and learn and how to put on make-up and learn how to dress. In the make-up one they had a French make-up artist come in and show us some stuff.
All the Sisters in my MTC group, now almost a year later!

Part way through her thing she says "I don't believe any girl should ever wear red on the lips." And there I am... with not only red...but fire engine, emergency siren, cherries and apples and blood RED on my lips. Woops. But then one of the Senior Sisters leaned over and said "She doesn't know your personality, and you just have a red-lipstick personality! You keep wearing that red!" Well, the grandmother approves. I have the style of an 80-year-old woman anyways. Rock on.
We revisited Consecration Hill, the spot where they take you the first day you arrive in France.
It's called Consecration Hill because we came here and set our mission goals
and consecrated our lives to the Lord.
This is the place where I caught my first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower
and what would soon be my favorite city in the world.

Then they gave us a bunch of accessories that were donated by woman of the church all over our mission. Isn't that the sweetest? I now have this big red scarf and gold earrings from an old French lady.

Waiting for our bus at the Paris Prefecture and picking dandelions.

Speaking of style... this week Soeur Elliott and I were walking down to the metro and this man started harassing us and then asked if we were orthodox. We told him we were Mormons and he said "Oh! The Amish? Wow... vous ĂȘtes bien habillĂ©e!!" ("You are dressed so well!!")
So good to be back.
Does this bridge look familiar!? It's in the film Inception! In the beginning when he is trying to convince her to be their architect. We had heard it was in Paris... and we happened to get off at this stop on the Metro and accidently ran into it!

Paris is magical.

Moral of the story is if you can get approval from grandmothers and creepy men you are obviously doing alright.

Both Soeur Nielson and Soeur Elliott weren't feeling too well this week so we commanded them to sleep and then Soeur Foster and I hit the streets. We went and taught the most adorable French woman ever named Angie! She is an incredible artist and speaks to us in English. We talked all about prophets and how God still speaks to us and she soaked it all in and bore such beautiful testimony. She already believed everything we were talking about!
Angie!! The Villeneuve D'ascq Soeurs amie who I really want to steal...

Then we got to see Sam again. I LOVE SAM. Just so open-minded and honestly searching for some more truth and light. We sat in her sunny attic apartment and talked all about joy. We asked her what the meaning of life was to her and she said "I think it's all joy." Then we talked about the plan of happiness and how the whole point of life is joy and love. Her face filled with light and she said "I believe exactly the same thing! I love that. It all goes back to God's love."
The gorgeous tower.

I never cease to be amazed with these beautiful people whose hearts are so softened that they would be willing to give up and change anything and everything to be right with God.

I have met and taught so many people out here who have the tiniest things, which feel like the grandest things, which are keeping them from having all of the blessings of the gospel. Countless times I have sat in people's homes and just wanted to shout "But, it's just coffee!" or "But, it's just one day of the week! Is it really worth it?"

But I do it too. We all do. Everybody has their thing. Different things have different value to different people. The question is: What are you willing to give up to know Christ? What are you willing to sacrficie to know God?

For a long time this prayer from King Lamoni's father has meant so much to me:

"O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a God; and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee, and that I may be raised from the dead, and be saved at the last day." (Alma 22:18)

I want to be like that. I want to quit indulging myself in my little bit of sinning and just hand over my will thoroughly.

I am so far from perfect and sometimes I feel like I am so far from even good, but I know that God's arms are still stretched out for me. I want to know Him better. What more will I give up?

Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven.

xoxo, Soeur Autumn Bradley

Seriosuly though, isn't the tower just a babe from every single angle?

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