Sunday, March 8, 2015

Sweet Renunions

Another email, I am finally all caught up!

Dear Family,

Just a few beautiful happenings from the week. On Monday, Soeur Walker and I adventured into Paris and I took her to go see le Sacre Coeur cathedral. It is one of the best views of Paris from the top! And so well visited. I think I must've heard at least 8 different languages walking from the bottom of the hill to reach the top. Imagine the classic scene from Marie Poppins when she is on the roof top looking over the city and that would be a little bit of the image you could picture in your mind.

This last week was Stake Conference! The Adult Session was here in Evry and the general session was in a stadium seating performing arts center in a small ville just past Melun (not too far from here). And I was able to see my lovely branch from Tours! They had rented a huge bus and drove up earlier that morning to make it there. The Anthenou's (Rachel from California), the Kehli's, and, yes, the Taylors, our lovely Tahitian sister and all the rest of the branch. I love them! It was like no time had passed when we saw each other and I got a nice little run down on the news of the ward. 4 babies to be born this year!
Elder Kearon, one of the presiding general authorities for Europe, spoke to us at the conference. He's from England and grew up in Saudi-Arabia (is that cool or what). So it was kind of fun hearing british humor and, quite frankly, being able to hear his talk twice through! (English and French translations). He talked about changed and he shared two very powerful experiences from his life. One of them, he talked about vacationing in Saudi-Arabia next to an oasis. He learned that the oasis came from a natural pipe line leading to the source. When they drill in just the right spot, the water, under its own pressure, will come up out of the ground. He likened this to ourselves and how we can be sure, spiritually, we are drilling in the right spot.
The other, He shared about a weekly call he made home to his family while out for another meeting he was attending. His wife was telling them about their week and how they went out for a walk one day and his little daughter fell and scraped her knees. The first thing she did was cry out and say, " I want Daddy! He would be SO sad right now!" 
He said, that, one, he WAS so sad for her. But that, first, he was so happy that she cried out for him. Because she knew that her Daddy loved her.
The analogy was very clear and powerful. He talked about us, in our need, crying out for our Father in Heaven. And although, he is not physically right there for us right now, he feels what we feel with us. "We believe in a God that weeps." And he wants to heal us. Which is exactly why he has given us simple, clear, directions to guide us. Pray, reading our scriptures, going to church..."It has always been the simple things. But sometimes, we try to complicate it. Don't complicate it. Understand that you are a child of God."
That same day, Soeur Tehoiri and her companion came in and we met up with them to visit an old ami that she had met when she was first serving in Evry. Her name is Candida. She was actually the first person she contacted when she was here in France and she'd been taught for the sisters for a while, but when they took the sisters out for a few months after, she'd gotten a little lost between the cracks. And so we met up with and she was so so so happy to meet us and couldn't wait for us to start teaching her again. I still wonder just how that happens to work? I don't know! It's obviously divine intervention.
And she came with us to the conference! Both of them! She loved it! After the adult session, I went up with her to Elder Kearon to thank him for his talk and to help translate for her. He asked how she'd come to meet the sister missionaries and I explained to him that she was here because of a sister missionary that had remembered her.
Needless to say, the conference was pretty life-changing. Elder Kearon's also going to be speaking at a mission conference for us at the end of April-- yessssss!
Things are finally starting to warm up a little here and I'm praying for a no scarf day sometime in the future. I love you all! The Church is true. And time flies by-- 9 months out and 9 months to go! Try not to blink for too long!
Living and loving Paris! Soeur Hopkins

​It's the shoe that makes the photo all the better....



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