Monday, May 19, 2014
Oh la la, where to begin?
They imported palm trees and put them in the place by the metro stop in front of our home. CALIFORNIA!!!
Sometimes... we stand in the very very front of the metro car (all the metros are automatic and have no drivers...) and sing the theme song from space mountain and pretend we are on a roller coaster. That's what we did last night when we got on and the whole car was empty. It's incredibly fun.
Exchanges with my old companion, Soeur Lai.
I got to be her very last exchange ever. She goes home in a week and a half.
Brussels at 6:30 in the morning. :)
We got real Belgian waffles and fries and durums (the tortilla wrapped sandwich thing)
and they were all SO DELICIOUS!! All the rumors and legends are true.
I got to teach a lady from Slovenia!
When I told her I had a great grandmother who was a Slav she was so excited!
Mimi! Another amazing girl I got to teach in Brussels!
I was at Annie's this week and was trying to speak English but kept accidentally throwing in French words. (We always speak in Franglais so I am just not used to it at all.) I accidentally said a French word but caught myself and said "Oh la la, sorry. Covenant not alliance..." And she said "Um, not only did you say alliance... but then you said 'Oh la la.' You're ruined!" It's true. Oh la la is a very normal thing to say now.
This GINORMOUS skirt. haha It's actually not that big...
but it was originally a grandma skirt from DI so it STRETCHES.
This week we knocked on a man's door and before we could even finish our sentence he told us to hang on and ran back into his home... and came back with a Book of Mormon! He said he had visited Salt Lake and had met missionaries in the past. He said he believed in something... but wasn't exactly sure what. We asked him if he believe there is life after death. His eyes welled with tears and he told us his story. Many years ago he had been diagnosed with a terrible illness and his doctor told him he had 15 days to live. He was blind sided and didn't know where to turn for answers and so began asking his doctor questions. His doctor told him he believed in God and life after death and gave him a book to read. The illness was resolved and he is ok now, and he told us he is positive there is something after! We just beamed and handed him a plan of salvation brochure and told him that we get to live with our families forever! He was so sweet and kind and asked the best questions ever. Right before we left we asked him if we could pray with him. We prayed for him and his family and asked God to bless his home and his quest for happiness. After the prayer he just looked at us amazed and said "Your prayer... you just... said that. Out of your heart. It wasn't memorized, was it?" "Nope! God is our Heavenly Father and he wants us to speak with him like he is our father. It's a conversation. He cares about you. He loves you." And Monsieur Gassmann just beamed!
This week I thought a lot about positive energy, negative energy, and humility. Let me explain:
I really admire the bishop here in Lille. He is one of the wisest and most loving people I have ever met in my entire life. I never knew what it was but every single conversation I had with him I knew that he loved me and that he loved the members in the ward and our amis and that he would always do all in his power to help. You want to go out of your way to talk to him and to help him out.
Then it all clicked during ward council this week. We started with a spiritual thought and the bishop shared his testimony and then asked everyone to think about the way they teach people. He asked us to make sure we are teaching with pure love and focusing on the positive. He said something that I love so much: "We don't keep the word of wisdom because we are afraid of falling ill. We keep the word of wisdom because we want to run and not be weary and walk and not faint and because we love God!"
Someone told me while ago that I have the reputation of the hippy of the mission. Not just because I never went to school or a doctor or because I love nature. As someone described it "Everybody, just love each other. All you need is love. Just love. Let other people do their thing. Just love them all." It's very true. I think love heals all. Sometimes I stand strong in that opinion... and other times I doubt myself and wonder if I need to be harsher with people and call them to repentance more forcefully.
But then I read this quote from George Albert Smith: "Your mission ... is to ... warn the people ... in as kind a way as possible that repentance will be the only panacea for the ills of this world."
I love that. As kind a way as possible. You can call others to repentance in a happy and beautiful way. Positive energy is always more powerful than negative energy.
xoxo, Soeur Autumn Bradley