Friday, July 25, 2014

My portion of mankind to love.

Bringing a little sunshine to France. ;) I love California.

This week we had exchanges and mine was with Soeur Cameron, my dear soul friend. She is my heroine in every way! I want to be just like her. Her mission had just been a legacy of LOVE. She makes everyone around them feel so good and so needed and so LOVED. Soeur Cameron just makes you feel so amazing. The world is possible. Missionary work is possible. I love her.
Soeur Cameron on our exchange this week. :) My absolute hero in every way.
There is a member of the church who lives in Metz but was visiting her non-member sisters in Tours last week. She asked them if they had ever been to church and they said no because they had never seen it and believed there must not be one. The member said there had to be one because there are members and missionaries in France EVERYWHERE! Then, just a few minutes later, the member spotted two white shirts with black name tags. She chased down the Elders and they set up a RDV with the two sisters. Then Tuesday the Elders called us and told us we had a RDV at 4:00 with two single sisters. So we ditched our other plans and ran over and met Stephanie and Prisca. :) We had the most wonderful lesson! We asked them why they wanted to meet with missionaries and they just kept saying "We just want to know who God is because right now we don't know." We talked about who God is and prayer and Jospeh Smith and at the end of the lesson we asked Prisca to say her first prayer. And she said one of the most heart-felt, gorgeous prayers I have ever heard. "Father, I am so grateful that I woke up this morning. Thank you for letting me live another day." What. Inspiring. Faith. I LOVE THESE PEOPLE! We invited them to baptism right there and they both immediately accepted. I LOVE THEM.
Stephanie and Prisca! And Jonan... who looks like he is crying but is actually laughing really hard...
Soeur Richards! She was with me in the north of France and now we are together again in the south. She is my favorite. So humble and so funny.
Soeur Lusty. OH LA. Love this girl. She was companions with Soeur Lefrandt so sometimes she says or does things that make me miss Soeur Lefrandt so much!
Caterina is one of our new amis! She is from Portugal and speaks just a little bit of French and English so everything she says is a mix of the two. But she doesn't even need to communicate with words. She is so sweet and humble and genuine and just wants to do what is right. She has a baptismal date set, but is getting a lot of opposition from her boyfriend right now. PRAY FOR HER! She came to church early yesterday morning and we had a quick lesson before church. She told us why she had been distant and explained about her boyfriend and how he doesn't believe in God. This sweet girl just sat crying about all the opposition she was facing, but so full of faith, knowing that church was where God wanted her to be. She stayed for all three meetings! I went and sat by her during Sacrament meeting and leaned over and asked her how she was liking it. I was surprised by the look of pure joy on her face when she turned, beaming, and said "I so happy. So happy. So peace. So good." I LOVE HER.
The Hopkins. 

This week I had a mini breakthrough about another aspect of love. (Surprise surprise.) It's this: We can't pick and choose commandments, which means we can't pick and choose who we are going to love. Period. God commanded us to love ALL MEN. Even the ones who are having a hard day. Even the ones who don't deserve your love. Even the ones who couldn't care less about your love. Even the ones who don't need your love. This quote from President Kimball says it all:

"We must remember that those mortals we meet in parking lots, offices, elevators, and elsewhere are that portion of mankind God has given us to love and to serve. It will do us little good to speak of the general brotherhood of mankind if we cannot regard those who are all around us as our brothers and sisters."
Anaelle. She's a member in the nearby ville of Angers.

Every single human I come in contact with is the portion of mankind that God has given to me personally to love. How beautiful is that? God sent them all my way for a reason. Every single one of them. My companion. Other missionaries. The people who reject me. EVERYONE. Not just the amis who are progressing and have baptismal dates. Not just the members who support me. Every one in my portion of the world. Every. Single. One.

And it's possible. God doesn't ever give a commandment without giving a way. (1 Nephi 3:7) Ask Him for some of His love and vision. Then LOVE! 

Sometimes I repeat this to myself when I have to remind myself to love: I love everyone. There isn't anyone I don't love, just those I don't fully understand yet. :) 

xoxo, Soeur Autumn Bradley

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