So the news for the week is.....
I'm staying in Tours!!!! And I totally pulled a Mulan this past week and cut my hair-- suprise mom! And then Soeur Hansen walked into the room the other day smiling at me and said, "I gave in and finally cut my hair too." Trend setters. I don't recommend doing it all the time though because sometimes your hair ends up looking miss-shapen.
This Wednesday, Soeur Hansen and I went into Paris for her legality and then had exchanges with our STLs Thursday and Friday here in Tours. And on top of that, the Fitts missionary couple came the morning on Friday for a cleaning check. I'm not quite sure how we managed to schedule that all as closely as we did.
I must admit that after being in this area for 4 1/2 months, I'm really coming to love our branch so much. They all have names, stories, faces, and a lot of personality. I count myself among the blessed to have spent as much time as I have with them already.
On Tuesday night, we had FHE at the church and it ended up being us, the Elders, Soeur Taylor, her grandson and another ward member. And the other member was the only native french speaker there, but we gave the spiritual thought in french while the elders translated. It's kind of funny hearing yourself be translated to someone else.
We shared our message from Ether 2 and 3 about the Brother of Jared making their way to the promised land. As they are making their way through the wildnerness, the Lord leads them along the whole way. Then they get to the ocean and are wondering, "Ok, what next? Any brilliant ideas?"
And so God instructs them on how to build barges.Problem. They don't know how to get there. Then he tells them that he will direct their barges in the right direction. Problem. No air. Then he tells them to cut a hole for air in the top. Problem. No light. And, interestingly enough, Heavenly Father turns around the question to the brother of Jared and asks in Ether 2:23, "What will ye that I should do?"
We talked about how, sometimes, there are those moments when we just don't know the next step and want Heavenly Father to reveal it to us. What do I do for work? Where should I go to school? Where should we move? Where should we go to teach people? What's next?
Yeah, at this point in the lesson, we were still working on translating what was going on and listening to everyone share their personal experiences.
"What will ye that I should do?"
And so the Brother of Jared decides to go into a mountain, mold some rocks and give them to the Lord to touch them so that they light. And I love how the Lord just accepts his idea and helps the Brother of Jared to fulfill it.
So, I reached into my bag and placed on the table a huge pile of rocks I'd collected from earlier in the day. (I don't usually do things like that, but we needed a little bit more of an object lesson to get the point across). Like many of my efforts, they are somewhat comparable to a pile of rocks. Heavenly Father looks at my desires to serve, to lift and do His work of sharing His blessed gospel and he accepts them. He accepts every offering and makes something more of it. Of that, I am confident!
Another day this week, we were visiting a less active member in our ward who's from Tahiti!! She was teaching us some tahitian dancing and pulled up a couple of videos online. Knowing that I'm a dancer, she said to me, "I wish I could see YOU dance." And I thought to myself, "Yeah, me too." And then I thought that maybe I'd give it a slim chance and try finding her a video or something of BYU dancEnsemble.
First search. "Byu dance ensemble" and there it was. The only video posted on youtube under the search was of me in Mikayla's dance this past year. What??? I didn't even have an actual copy of the dance for myself and there it was. So, of course we watched it!
And I might've cried a little. Inside and in my eyes too. It was so beautiful to see that and share that personal, unique side of me with our sweet friend. And it was a beautiful reminder to me how much God loves us. You can try looking it up if you like too, but may I remind you that it's never easy watching yourself perform so BE NICE!!
Here's some pictures of what the week looked like. I hope you all know that I love you and as Clarence, the angel, would say in the classic Frank Capra film, "It Really is a Wonderful Life."
Avec Tout Mon Coeur,
Soeur Bronte Hopkins
Sacre Coeur in Paris and the view from the top! While their bleus were doing legality, they went out and saw the Arc de Triomphe as well as Sacre Couer. Breathtakingly beautiful!
Service at Rachel and David's (their California raised member). They ended up helping out with a couple other small projects too! They are the cutest family!
It's kind of really, really cold sometimes and so they do their studies wrapped up in their comforters.