Dearest Familly, I love you so. You're happy smiling faces brighten my every waking email session and I can't help but giggle out of glee when I see those three words "You've Got Mail."
I'm so sorry for all of the corniness of that last paragraph. There's just certain things a mission does to you and one of them is make you a goofball. Thanks for understanding.
So this past week was full of beautiful places, beautiful amis and lots of tender mercies. One day this week, we were having a particularly difficult time getting ahold of some of our investigators and decided to take a dinner break. As soon as we walked into the local grocery store, my eyes caught sight of a huge Coca-Cola display that had soda cans with one word printed off in big bold letters, "SOEUR."
"That's me!" I thought and realized that Heavenly Father hadn't forgotten our efforts in the slightest bit. And We HAD to buy them. :)
Another day, we went over and taught our English speaking ami, Joy, and her daughter, Hope. (I know, how ironic. Where's Charity while we're at it?...) We were able to teach the Restoration of the Gospel to her while her daughter sat in the room. Her mom had told us at our previous rendez-vous (lesson), that her daughter sings beautifully. Before we left, we asked her if she would sing something for us. At first she was real hesitant and then she decided she would. I was sooo glad.
As soon as she started, I was so taken aback. She sang the song "When I'm Gone" from Pitch Perfect. Her voice was b-e-a-utiful, controlled and she sounded great. But it was a little reminder to me of home and all things familiar. How'd she know Soeur Bradley and I love that song??
Friday, we met up with an ami named Anias just outside the Hotel de Ville (city hall). She started walking with us and telling us more about herself and her relationship with God. She's a super beautiful french girl that grew up in Angers and Tours, went to college and is now a businesswoman. When she was about 15, she experienced a major crisis in her life and she felt all alone. One day she decided to go to a church and pray for the first time. She said that as she sat down to pray, she told God, "If you're there, you need to let me know right now." After that she told us that she had an indescribable feeling come over her and she knew that someone was really listening to her prayer. From there on she's always believed in God and allowed him to lead her life.
As we were walking through the town, she took us past old town Tours which is filled with 13th century Dutch architecture and cobblestone roads. (I about died because I gasped so hard in awe). And then as we headed out of that area, we came across a secluded Park/Outdoor Zoo that we walked through. It was beatiful sitting on a bench, talking to her about her life. She was so cool and loved talking to us. Such an open minded, inspiring person. It made me crack a smile when she said, "My first conversion was to God. And my second was to techno music." No worries, she likes sophisticated techno music. Haha
Life is beautiful. Something I've been learning this week and really taking to heart is that We Are Capable Of Being So Much Happier Than We Allow ourselves. So often we set conditions on our terms of happiness. "If I do this...If I had that...or if I was more...(please insert your answers because they're...)." Wrong. We must start being happy and happier NOW.
I was thinking about Uchtdorf's 2012 talk, "Of Regrets and Resolution" when he talks about what most people who are at the end of their lives regret the most. "I wish I had spent more time with the people I love.. I wish I had lived up to my potential and.....I Wish I Had Let Myself Be Happier." There it is. I figured out that even in our imperfections, we need to focus on all the good we are doing and then look forward.
I love you all so very much and wish you the greatest of happiness--even JOY!!!
So Bronte and Sister Bradley stopped into a grocery store to grap some snacks for dinner and came across these Coca-cola bottles that say "Share one with your SISTER" in big bold letters. And they just HAD to buy them. Coca-cola's doing this add campaign in France where they print off names on cans so that it's more "personal." She thinks they couldn't get everyone's name, so they made these. Coca-cola is the ONLY brand of soda they sell in France.
Bronte heard that licorice is a stress reliever, so they have been eating a lot of it!
It's so great hearing from her and sorry again for the delay!
Lots of love,