Sunday, January 18, 2015

Welcome to Africa

Sorry it has taken me so long to update the blog, school just got crazy!!!

No worries family, all is well here in Paris and we are all safe.
Just the bits and peices that made life flavorful this week...
Last week we went into Paris and visited the Chateau de Vincennes. It was the most "worth it" place I've ever visited. The grounds were huge! It was its own independant city in the days that the kings and queens lived there. We hiked all the way up to the top of the tower of the Chateau and looked out over the rest of the city and the cathedral and the rest of the fortress. It was like being at the castle from the movie Ever After (with Drew's a classic.)
Our STLs (sister trainer leaders) came to Evry for exchanges for a day. Soeur Hoskings and Hopkins and Soeur Waite and Walker...obviously it was meant to be because our names start with the same letters, right? haha. We had an awesome exchange and I was laughing my head off by Soeur Hoskings outrageous jokes..
And then our heating and hot water went out this week. So we got creative, borrowed a portable heater and boiled water to pour over heads to shower. "Welcome to Africa" as Soeur Hoskings would put it.
Honestly, things are going so well here in Evry. I've had some absolutely incredible experiences this week teaching and I've been writing them down in my journal to hang onto. I've been finding out that I've been finding out what my talents are in the process of using them.
This week, we were visiting a member's home and had dinner with them. After we shared a message with them, they turned to us and asked,"Is there anything More that we can do to share the gospel with our friends?" I was totally taken back at first by their directness. I had to think about it for a moment. We told them about how they could pray for experiences and opportunities to share with their family and friends. They could serve others, reach out to a friend, invite others to family home evenings, post messages on facebook, give a friend a Book of Mormon with your testimony inside, be prepared when the moment comes to talk about a principle or aspect of the gospel that has blessed them personally. There were so many ideas!
As soon as we got home, I sat down and started writing down all the ideas we could come up with. But I thought about it and realized that there are so many ways to share the love and light of gospel of Jesus Christ with those around us-- and there isn't a wrong way. But I wanted to start applying these things myself. I will be praying for those opportunities to share my knowlege of the gospel with my friends, family and those right around me. I Challenge You to do that too! Because you will find that you will be filled with so much JOY and so much LIGHT and so much LOVE that you will not being able to contain it. You will want to share it with everyone. You will find solutions to the problems that you are facing in life by going back to the basics of the gospel, sharing it and LIVING the blessings.
That is a promise that I can guarantee you.
I love you all and want to share with you my love and testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. There are events that happen all around us that are out of our control, but the our relationship with God and Jesus Christ will forever be the rock and base that fortifies us and strengthens us in moments of peril and in moments of peace. I am so blessed, so blessed to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ and I am so proud to wear the name of the Savior over my heart every day during this time I have here in France. God lives and loves all of His children. It is evident that there is no way that a group of young adult missionaries as young as 18 could go to all these nations, learn to speak languages and change people's lives in the way they do-- save it were that it was actually true and that God is with them and guides them. There is a living prophet today. His name is Thomas Monson. God continues to speak to us and love us and guide us through His prophets. That is our message and that is why I am here, right now. I invite you to know for yourself.
I hope you all have a fantastic week and remember to be grateful for the simple things-- like peanut butter (you can't really find it here...).
haha. As usual and Avec Amour,
Soeur Hopkins

Unfortunately I can't get the pictures that Bronte sent me into a good format to put on the blog if you want to see the pictures add yourself to her email list.

lots of love,


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