Another email from Bronte! Sorry it's a week late!
Dear Family and Friends,
So allow me to start off this week by explaining the kind of Sunday School experience I had yesterday.
It was Soeur Hansen's first week at church and so, while sitting in Sunday School watching her head explode from a french overload, I sat there trying my best to take notes and learn from the lesson Soeur Kehli was sharing. But then, catching me off guard, she asked me to read Isaiah 25:8 for her. Summoning up my best accent, I read off the very uncomprehensible verse in french. And then she asked me to share what I liked from it.
One second, I'm still translating..
And in my mind a certain phrase came off the page so I quickly responded that I really liked the phrase "l'armes des anges." And before I realized what came out of my mouth I figured out that the phrase meant "the tears of the angels." And then she asked me why.... Wow. Face palm. Isaiah in French. (The Elders were totally giggling their heads off from behind me).
This week was a week of firsts for Soeur Hansen! I took her to see the Cathedral in Tours and an organist was playing, she tried her first legitimate french pastry, drank fizzy water, ate french cheese and got an accidental bisous from a man (that happens more often than you realize). It was a beautiful week full of miracles and moments where the language barrier just seemed to dissolve.
We went and visited our ami Sonia. Soeur Bradley and I had visited her two other times and she is such an awesome girl who believes in healing. We shared with her the message of the restoration and gave her a Book of Mormon! Soeur Hansen shared the first vision and we talked about the promise in Moroni 10. She opened up to us about how prayer has deeply affected her in her life. Also music. One phrase she said stood out to me. She said, "La chanson louer Dieu." Song permits God. Sometimes there are things we cannot express with words that only music and song can.
In another one of our RDVs this week, we visited an ami of ours named Isabel. For a living, she runs a little day care in her apartment. Everywhere she has decorations, paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling and the kid's drawings posted on her fridge. She has so many questions about the nature of God and how we live our religion. Without hesitation, we jumped on the internet and took a look at mormon.org and the "I'm a mormon" videos and she just loved it! As we were getting ready to leave, I mentioned how her apartment felt so full of light and warmth. She smiled and told us that she'd named her daughter "Luche" because it means light. Light.
It's funny sometimes how you can get a little bit lost and somehow end up in the right place. The other night Soeur Hansen and I got on one of our regular bus routes and I just started thinking and writing down notes in my pocket journal. Before realizing it, I'd lost track of time and we ended up in a neighborhood next to an ami and a member we knew. So, we took it as providence and visited our ami and the member, Hadiza, who'd just gotten out of the hospital.
It was so good. So so good to see her. She was so grateful for us coming by and seeing how she was doing. Soeur Hansen and I sang to her "How Great Thou Art" and her face just lit up. I didn't even realize it at the moment, but I had no problems speaking or understanding her. What a blessing!
This past week might've been one of the most difficult one's I've had yet. Soeur Hansen and I have been traversing through new experiences together and helping each other out. I'm not sure who's training who!! Thank you for your prayers-- they help so much more than you even realize. Every. Single. One. They give us so much power and heaven sent help.
This week, I took a look at Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk, "The Hope of God's Light." And it was just what I needed to read. He talks about making the decision to face our fears and to look to God for light and hope.
"The very moment you begin to seek your Heavenly Father, in that moment, the hope of His light will begin to AWAKEN, ENLIVEN and ENNOBLE your soul. The darkness may not dissipate all at once, but as surely as night always gives way to dawn, the light will come."
"He knows that you will stumble-- perhaps many times. This saddens Him, but He loves you. He does not wish to break your spirit. On the contrary, He desires that you RISE UP and become the person you were designed to be."
I love you all. The hope and sunlight of God's love can and will shine on each one of you as you allow yourself to receive it and BASK in it.
The Cathedral in Tours and a cute street they passed by!
Sonia making an African dish of chicken and peanut butter Bronte didn't stay long enough to try it, but she says it smelt fantastic. The Light reflecting off of the stained glass windows.