Hey y'all. How's it going?
If I could summize this week into one experience, I'd have to center it around around Halloween Finding Day in Tours. President knew that we were in need of a little bit of help, so he gave us the go to bring the entire zone in for the day. Just imagine 10 sets of missionaries walking around for the day-- it was awesome to have all of that power here for the day. I also had the chance to go on exchanges with two other Soeurs in the zone. Their love, support and encouragement was Life-Saving! I can't express enough love for Soeur Lusty who forced me to sing outloud with her as we walked through the streets talking to people.
This week I admit to feeding Soeur Hansen flour cakes. Yes, I am the best trainer in the world, right? It's what the pilgrim's did! We have been laughing off and embracing some of the experiences that have just been occuring time and time again. This week, we had a member come with us to teach at an ami's house. This ami is very artistic and has portraits hanging all over her house-- even of her 'au natural.' She was so excited to show the member all around her house and I was somewhat hesitant of walking into that room. But as soon as I walked in, our ami smiled at Soeur Hansen and I because in place of the portrait she normally had hanging up was a lovely painting of a desert camel.
Also, miracles happen when you are just going about looking to do good. Soeur Hansen and I took a day this week to explore a bus line that we hadn't yet taken. We rode it all the way to the end and then got off to look around for a minute. Imagine the cute little french houses in the countryside that you see in Disney's Ratatouille. Except, no one is ever home or outside. So, we were getting ready to find the next bus time when a large white gate caught my attention. I thought, "I REALLY want to go ring their gate bell." So, I did.
And much to my suprise, a young french girl in her 20's came to the gate and we started talking. As soon as we told her we were from american and we wanted to talk to pray with her, she broke into english and said, "Sure! Why not?" Coolest experience in my life. Her name is Julie. She is studying engineering and climate change. She went to Australia for 4 months and learned English (I've been in France for how long and am still not as fluent as she is in another language??) She is passionate about acting and making a difference in the environment. So cool.
The other experience Soeur Hansen and I had this week where we were just going about doing our best was on Saturday. We'd just come from a lesson that we'd had to reschedule. So were walking around figuring out what we could do for the time we had before lunch. We decided to just start talking to whoever we passed by. But seeing that we were in a Muslim neighborhood, I kind of figured we might not have anything "too crazy" happen. But who knows until you try?
Right then, there was a young girl in her 20's that was walking towards us wearing her earbuds. I started to talk to her and she took out her earbuds. As soon as she heard that we were american she said, "You can speak English if you want to." Haha. Ok!!
We introduced ourselves to her and then, for reasons I'm still not sure, I asked her, "What do you like to do? What's your passion?" Turns out that she's a dancer too. She french, but loves english and spent 6 months in India. (Once again, how do people pick up a second language that easily?...) After a moment, she just looked us, smiled and said, "You know, right now I feel a little bit lost." I've never felt like I could connect with someone so instantaneously. We shared EVERYTHING with her about our identity as children of God, the plan he has for us. As soon as we started talking to her about the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives, she looked at us and said, "I want this."
No words can express my utter happiness sharing my testimony with her.
We prayed with her right there on the street. We prayed for her and asked that she be blessed with God's love, light and direction in her life. Her eyes welded up with tears. As we were exchanging phone numbers and contact info, she told us, "You don't have to say anything it's all in your eyes." Nafissa lives in Reignes and so we are anxious to hear from the Soeurs who will be contacting her this week.
Even if I was only here for 18 months just so I could run into Nafissa, I think it would all have been worth it.
I found this awesome, fantastic quote this morning. (Ok, so Soeur Hansen found it and I stole it.) The imagery is what stays in my mind.
"Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey towards it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.'...Hope sweetens the memory of experiences well loved. It tempers our troubles to our growth and our strength. It befriends us in dark hours, excites us in bright ones. It lends promise to the future and purpose to the past. It turns discouragement to determination."
This past week, the song, "This little light of mine" has been playing over and over in my mind. "This little light of mine, I'm gonna LET IT SHINE." A little light makes a lot of difference in a dark room. So too do each of us in a world of craziness around us. Let your light "shine, shine, shine, Let it shine!!!"
I love you all! Have a fantastic week.
Bronte's words: "FHE sports night. We took the opportunity to get our sport on and wear pants. Later that night, as I we were taking timed pictures, Soeur Hansen asked me what we should do. I told her, "JUMP!" And somehow we caught this perfect mid-air photo. Nevermind our faces. haha"
Bronte with one of herr amis, Phillipe and her daughter, Yakina. And her daughter is holding a Plan of Salvation pamphlet! Pretty perfect!