Monday, May 26, 2014

The Beauty in the Beginning.

Hello hello!
Yesterday was Mother's Day in France so we went and visited Soeur Brychcy and got her a card and some roses we may or may not have picked from an unsuspecting bush near our apartment.
Well, it's the end of another transfer (or mutation as they like to call them here in French. Weird, right?) and I am leaving my lovely Lille. :( I thought I would definitely stay with Soeur McOmber for another transfer so I was not even thinking about it at all. I am so sad to leave Soeur McOmber. She has grown into one of my best friends of all time! This is the happiest I have ever been on my mission. This area is taking off! We see beautiful and incredible miracles every day. All of our amis are so prepared and sweet and humble and I was so excited to see them every day. I can't believe I have to say goodbye so soon. But I am so grateful God let me come here and learn and grow in this ville that makes my heart sing and with companions that let me be a silly human and love me anyways. Soeur McOmber told me: "It's because they had to share you with more people! They have to spread the love around." I'll just keep repeating that to myself until I believe it.

Last district meeting! End of my 8th transfer... crazy talk!
We wanted to get pictires with our district leader... but there are rules about taking photos alone with boys... so we had Soeur Williams stand really really awkwardly in the background. Doesn't she look so sad and pathetic? haha I was dying. She is hilarious.
My beautiful and wonderful soul friend Soeur Cameron.
All the soeurs in the district

Well, on to the next! This transfer will be an adventure and I am excited to see my 4th ville and my 9th companion. :) I am in the ville of Tours (below Paris...farther west) and I am with Soeur Hawks!

My new address is:

Les Missionaires
Soeur Autumn Bradley
4 rue Horizon Vert #205
37170 Chambray-Les-Tours

This sign says you are not allowed to pee here. Sad thing is these signs are very very necessary...
but I don't think ever obeyed.
Aren't French mailboxes adorbs?
My Chinese planner that my best friend in China sent me!
Even though I didn't realize it was my last week in Lille, God knew and he filled this week with tons of miracles and tender mercies. Letting me know I came here for a reason and that maybe that reason was fulfilled.

Soeur McOmber and I realized something really beautiful this week: 

We were discussing what it might be like to serve in South America or Africa and have people lined up to get baptized. And we realized that a lot of places where baptisms are soaring are places where a belief in God already exists. So the missionaries get to find and teach people who are nearing the end of their journey to baptism, and that's beautiful! We also realized that most of the people we meet here in France either don't believe in God or don't believe in Christ. So maybe sometimes it feels discouraging that there is a lesser number of people who are nearing the end of their journey... but instead we get to be the beginning. We get to help people start their journey! We get to help people feel the love of God for the first time in their entire life. And that's just as beautiful! The whole process - the whole journey - is beautiful. No part is better or more important. 

Love continues to be the reason for everything I do out here and my favorite thing in the world. Especially the love of God. The more I learn about that pure love the more I want to spread it like crazy. I read a talk this week that may have just become my favorite talk of all time. It's from Elder John Groberg and entitled 'The Power of God's Love.' My favorite part was this: "Never underestimate the power of true love for it knows no barriers. When filled with God's love, we can do and see and understand things that we could not otherwise do or see or understand. Filled with His love, we can endure pain, quell fear, forgive freely, avoid contention, renew strength, and bless and help others in ways surprising even to us."

And... my very last pictures of the GORGEOUS Lille. :( 
I am really going to miss beautiful Rihour and Republique Beaux-Arts.
When I was coming back from exchanges in Brussels I was on a train all alone and ended up talking the entire way with the French lady who was sitting next to me. She was from the south of France and was so vivacious and genuine! We talked about everything and she gave me a whole list of her favorite haunts in France that I "absolutely must visit before I leave Europe." Then at the end of our conversation the topic turned towards what this 21-year-old American girl is doing in France. She told me she doesn't believe in God. And it gave me the opportunity to tell her that I know there is a God and that he knows her and loves her. And her face lit up and she smiled so big. And it was beautiful. I am so grateful God sent me here to France.

xoxo, Soeur Autumn Bradley

1 comment:

  1. Good Luck in your next area! I love how you LOVE every person and place you go =) Your positive attitude is contagious!