Monday, August 25, 2014

How Precious is the ONE.

Happy Birthday, Kaity! My best friend who just returned from her mission in China this week. Crazy.
This is what we did for P-day last Monday. Champs Elysees and the Arc de Triomphe!
We walked up and down in 3 times.

We found a plaque in front of where Thomas Jefferson used to live on the Champs Elysees!
Tomb of the unknown soldier.
Winnie the Pooh. I love gummie bears.
Sometimes I ask Soeur Hopkins to brush out her hair so I can take a picture.
This incredibly obese zucchini that the Devinck Family gave us! They had their whole trunk filled with them and started passing them out after church!
Ghislaine is from Tahiti and was on vacation there. She just came back this week so we got to meet her! I LOVE TAHITIANS. Made me miss Soeur Lai so badly. Their French is beautiful.
This week we got to see our new amie, Bich! She is from Vietnam and moved here when she married a French man years ago. She left everything else behind, her family and her friends. And then... it didn't end up working our with the French man. She was left completely alone. Then her Father died. Her Mother died. And then her sister. We happened to stop by on a day when she was feeling especially alone. She opened the door and just broke down into tears. She let us in and we talked and prayed. And we knew God had sent us there as an answer to her silent pleas for solace. God was trying to let her know that he has not forgotten about her. We left her with a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and then got to see her again! This time she took us out during dinner time and showed us the best Asian food. And she kept saying over and over again "I am so happy to be here with you. And so happy to speak English with you. So happy." And she was BEAMING. One of my favorite memories I will always cherish. She also taught us a Vietnamese expression: "Do you have a 2-footed cat?" It means: "Do you have a boyfriend?" I asked her what animal I look like... and she told me cat. YES!!!!
Our new amie, Bich! (It's pronounced beek. Like a bird beak. Or the Bic pens.)She is from Vietnam and this week she took us to this ginormous Asian food store and we ate these really weird but strangely delicious dried pieces of fish on sticks.
She also introduced us to these sheets of rice paper with sesame seeds that you can put in the microwave and it makes this big fluffy rice snack. Also, amazingly delicious.

We also ran into our friend who gave us medallions at the bus stop! We hopped on a random bus one day and she practically yelled "Bonjour!" She seemed so excited to see us and we talked until our stop. But before we got off, she leaned over and whispered "You know those medallions I gave you? Well, they were blessed so that whoever wears them will always remember that God loves them. And after I saw you the last time, I really wanted to see you again. So I prayed and told God that if He wanted to show me He loved me, would He please let me see you girls again? And here you are on my bus!" Beautiful. I love those moments when I realize God used us in a simple way to be the answer to someone's prayer.
My new planner!

This week I learned A LOT. I will try to be brief and express even an iota of this novel.

I read a talk from Elder Ballard that has completely changed they way I view, well, everything. It talks about the importance of the ONE. How God does not not send us out to preach the gospel to the entire land of France in one day. But rather, how we are sent to minister to these people individually, one by one.
I read this scripture in 3 Nephi 17:20-21: "And He said unto them: Blessed are ye because of your faith. and now behold, my joy is full. And when He had said these words, he wept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them."

And it hit me harder than it ever has before: Christ didn't come down to earth and heal everyone all at once! He spent individual, one-on-one time with individuals, and touched their lives and healed them. Personally. One person at a time. And if that's the way the Son of God lived His life, we should probably take it as a pattern and stop panicking that we aren't making a difference because the whole of France hasn't been converted yet.
After Mother Theresa founded the Congregation of the Missionaries of Charity, the BBC sent their top journalist to go interview her. And all he had to report was that the suffering in Calcutta was far beyond what these missionaries could provide He even said: "Statistically speaking, what she achieves is little, even negligible."
In response to the criticism of her "insignificant" work, Mother Theresa said: "Welfare is for a purpose--and admirable and a necessary one--whereas Christian love is for a person." She knew that the work she was doing was only a drop compared to the ocean of what was needed, but she never doubted that what she did mattered. She got it. She knew that God always uses small means to bring about great things. She knew that God had called to her love people and heal them in her area of the world, and that God never asks us to do things that are insignificant or of little importance.
And I want to be like that. I want to live my mission and my life knowing that my offering may be small, but God is not a God of comparison. He can magnify and use it, however humble it may be. He has called me to love these people and bring them unto Him one. at. a. time.

"Fathers. Mothers, and missionaries play before very small audiences. Yet, in the eyes of the Lord, there may be only one size of Audience that is of lasting importance -- and that is just one, each one, you and me, and each one of the children of God. The irony of the Atonement is that it is infinite and eternal, yet it is applied individually, one person at a time." (Elder Ballard)
atONEment. it's pretty significant.

xoxo, Soeur Autumn Bradley

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