Monday, September 29, 2014

(No Subject)

Another email!! 

So yesterday, Sœur Bradley and I were on the bus watching as two little boys, sitting across from each other, went back and forth making each other giggle until they were both in tears laughing. It was the funniest thing to watch!
I hope you're all doing so dandy and have been having your fair share of laughing bouts and smiles.
This week we had our district meeting in Bourge--an hours train ride away from where we're at. And it was such a wonderful day and afterwords, we stopped by the Cathedral. I am in awe of all the beautiful things we've been so blessed to see.
At the district meeting, Elder Smith invited a member to come and share her conversion story. Her name is Sœur Kotecka. Her family first met the missionaries in 2008. When they knocked on the door, her daughter opened the door, and shocked to see two huge boys at the door, she slammed it and ran away. Her husband made her daughter open the door again to apologize. And they let them in...Her daughter was baptized and then, in 2012 she followed. Finally her husband was baptized last August, but he was diagnosed with a serious health condition and passed away in January. Her daughter is serving a mission in Lyon. When she got the news, she came home for 2 weeks and then decided to return to finish serving. She'll be coming home this November.
It was amazing listening to her story about love, perserverance and experiencing the Atonement.
Later, when I was speaking to her, she looked at me and Sœur Bradley and said, "You have to persevere through your mission. You must!" I could see that she felt so strongly about having the gospel in her life then and especially at this time in her life. "The Gospel is not weight, it's WINGS--it carries us."
The other night, we went out to visit a new area in Tours and do some "finding." While we were traveling on the bus, we passed by a certain bus stop. An older, African man was sitting at the stop and almost missed the bus until he ran and flagged it down. As soon as he got on, he smiled at the bus driver and went to sit down. I saw that he had some pretty severe scars on his face, maybe even facial reconstruction. I could tell he had a story and I really, really wanted to talk to him. I hoped that maybe he would contact us (in our mission, sisters aren't allowed to contact men). But he didn't. 

So we went to our batiment that we'd started that week and began going porting. And, believe it or not, we ended up finding him there! As soon as he opened the door, I was so suprised to run into him again! Just as I'd hoped, we were able to talk to him. His name is Henri and he's from Congo. He was the nicest older gentlemen I've ever met and told us about how he grew up Protestant. We got to pray with him and set up a Rendez-vous with the Elders for next Sunday. It was the happiest experience of the night for me. I knew that Heavenly Father put him in our path for a reason!
Grace. Grace, grace, grace, grace. Graceful. Gracious.This week has been one of Learning to accept grace. Sœur Bradley and I stumbled over a BYU Devotional called, "Healing= Courage + Action + Grace" by Jonathon Sandberg. I'm kind of becoming a fanatic over the topic of love and receiving God's love. But even after everything is said, done, worked and toiled over, I have to accept the fact that there is no such thing as a perfect missionary or a perfect person.
When we finished our visits the other night, we went to catch our bus and discovered that it was raining and the sun was setting at just the right angle to reveal a full, double rainbow. I'd never seen one before in my life. But they're there! I promise! It was a reminder to me of all the things we are capable of seeing if we are in the right place, at the right time, looking at the right angle. :)
Bonne Semaine! Have a good week!
Sœur Hopkins

They went to Borge for their distric meeting this week and made sure to stop at the Cathedral. So gorgeous! 

So gorgeous Bronte is so glad that we have beautiful places to worship too! 

Bronte's words,"Here's the classy post office there! Bourge is one of the cutest villes I've ever seen!
New mission rule is that we can't mount anything on walls that have wallpaper. So Sœur Bradley and I got a little creative...we tied shoe laces together, attached them to the bookshelves and hung paper on them. Briliance. At it's finest."

Here is the view from the most recent building Bronte has been porting. It started raining and the sun was still shining, reflecting off the side of the building producing the most gorgeous warm color. Then they saw a full, double rainbow. PURE BEAUTY.

Bronte's wise observation: "Somehow, I don't think PR thought this add through all the way."   
(At one of their bus stops.)

Lots of love,

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