Soeur Autumn Bradley, France Paris Mission, May 2013 - November 2014.
Monday, July 14, 2014
OH LA LA
A few weeks ago, Soeur Hawkes and I were sitting at a bus
stop when a group of drunk men walked up and started talking to us. When we
looked at them, one of them stopped, stepped back and drunkeningly said
"OH LA LA, VOUS AVEZ DES BEAUX YEUX!" (Oh wow, you have beautiful
eyes!) I would have started laughing if we didn't have to jump on our bus to
escape the men. Afterwards, if anything ridiculous happened, Soeur Hawkes and I
would turn to each other and roll our eyes and say "OH LA LA!" in a
really deep, man voice. Now... I have Soeur Hopkins saying it, too.
OH LA LA, what a gorgeous week. Here are some highlights:
-Sitting at a cafe with Lenaig. We didn't have anyplace to
go, so we sat in the sunshine and sipped our drinks and talked and talked. She
asked me about my career and when I told her I want to be a self-esteem coach
for girls she asked me to practice on her. So then I got to try to coach a
French girl en Francais. And it was definitely one of the most beautiful moments
of my entire mission. Sitting in the sunshine beside an alley of people and
talking to a French girl about why she has infinite worth.
Lenaig! (pronounced Lan-Eye-Eek. If you ask her why, she says "Because I'm from Bretagne"
as if that is an explanation for having the pronunciation of your name so very strange.)
Our sweet recent convert friend we met at a cafe this week.
Oh, what a dream. teaching lessons sitting at quaint cafes on cobble-stoned streets.
Last photo in the gare with Soeur Hawkes. Miss her so much. (Elder Heath in the background. ha)
Picking up Soeur Hopkins at the mission home in Paris!
-Sitting in Montparnasse gare about 20 minutes after I met
Soeur Hopkins and being pleasantly interrupted by an older muslim man. He said
he was muslim and his wife is catholic and then showed us pictures of his
5-year-old daughter. We talked and talked and he taught us French and we taught
him about Jesus and it was beautiful. His name is Maleck and we will be sending
the Paris missionaries his way.
Our very first night of knocking on doors together!
I LOVE knocking doors in big apartment buildings. I am going to get this girl addicted for sure.
-Soeur Hopkins and I knocked on a million doors with no luck
and then had to go back and catch our bus. Then she mentioned that she had
never had a bueno bar before, so we hurriedly ran to a little nearby market to
get her one. But before we could step in we saw this sweet old lady named
Madame Bouchet. We stopped to talk to her and ended up having a lesson right
there outside this little market. We talked and laughed and then prayed with
her while standing on the street. We are going to go see her again this week!
Very first bueno bar.
We live... in a forest. Literally.
This morning we went to our beautiful cathedral.
(Soeur Hopkins is the best selfie taker I have ever met in my entire life.)
The gorgeous train station of Tours.
This week some health problems I haven't struggled with in a
while flared up with a vengeance. I woke up Thursday morning feeling just so
weak. My normal reaction is to not be as loving towards others as I should be
and not turn out, because after all... I'm the one suffering here. But
something hit me really hard this week:
"He shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger,
thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto
death." (Mosiah 3:7)
I don't know why this has never really hit me before now.
Christ suffered low blood sugar. He suffered anxiety. And He still turned out
and helped others. He still ministered. And because He did, I can too. I can
turn to Him and call upon His infinite grace to strengthen me to love and
minister and turn out and do good in the midst of me feeling overwhelmed and
engulfed in my own dark cloud.
And I saw it work. I'm not saying I'm Jesus. But for the
first time I began to see some of the literal physical strength that is
promised to us when our own energy sources have run out. And it was incredible.
The Atonement is so so real. It can change every aspect of your life in ways
that were before unimagineable. Let it change you.
I love you all so much it's a little bit ridiculous,