Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Car-Less Adventure

So this past week, we sent Soeur Rasband to an area up by Lille and brought Soeur Waite back with us. We ran around this week visiting members and amis all around the area. We even went to the Branch President's home and helped work on a house project there and had so much fun painting rooms and getting their other young children involved doing little jobs here and there with us. And then Sunday, we sent Soeur Mozos off to Paris! By now she is on a plane heading to the Provo MTC. Please take care of her in the States for us! It was kind of sad seeing her leave and so Soeur Waite and I have just kept talking in french this whole time so that eventually we might reach a state of normalcy. 

And we are the oldest set up sister missionaries in the entire mission! She and I were joking around with our district leader that we need to find ourselves a cane and a wheelchair because we are the grandmothers of the mission. haha
And as a result, our licenses have expired and we are now traversing the streets of our sectors by foot, by bus and possibly by train. But hey, we are excited to see miracles and watch Heavenly Father help us find people that are ready to be taught!

Faith Like A Lion: The night before Soeur Rasband left, we went out to do some work in the area when Soeur Mozos picked up two copies of the Book of Mormon and said,"Tonight, I want to share TWO Books of Mormon!" And me, trusting the faith of a new missionary, was like,"Ok, let's do it!" And so we set out planning on passing by the home a man that we ported into a week before. He wasn't interested at all, but he was so kind and evidently going through a rough time with the recent passing of his father. So we decided to pass by to see how he was doing. 

As Soeur Mozos sonnered, an answer came over the speaker,"Oui?" And Soeur Mozos asked, "Tony?" Without any other words, the door buzzed open and we entered the building and waited. Eventually, he poked his head around the corner and was suprised to see that we'd come back. In fact, he had a visitor there, but welcomed us in for a minute to talk (And it was no chance that it happened to be a woman so we could come in to his apartment. There's a mission rule for sisters that they can't enter a home unless if there is another woman there. It's wise and for our safety.) We found out that he'd also recently had a fire in his apartment that had started one night while he was sleeping. Luckily, the neighbors called the fire department and he ended up being alright. So needless to be said, he was deeling with some baggage. And so we just talked. And eventually that led to the gospel. And then they started asking questions. And so we answered them and ended up talking about a variety of subjects. And we shared the Book of Mormon.

Soeur Mozos presented him with a copy and his friend with the other. And they both accepted them and said that they would read them (the french either say they will do something and they do it. Or they tell you straight up NON if they won't.) As we were leaving that night, we were filled with so much joy to have been able to lift their spirits and share a precious gift with them. Moral of the story: Never doubt the faith of a young missionary. Or your own. Heavenly Father will provide those miracles you are looking for. And if you ask Him, he will manifest His love for you over and over and over again. I invite you to do that by simply praying to Him. I know that he knows each of us individually, loves us and cares for us deeply. So much that He provided a savior for us, Jesus Christ. "For God so loved (put your name here), that He sent His only begotten Son.." Jean 3:16

Talk to you next week!

With So Much Love,

Soeur Hopkins

Monday, July 20, 2015

Tour de France, Goodbye to My Soeurs, Welcome Soeur Waite and Moving into 10!

I don't really know how else to fill you in on details except to give you a visual tour...

We had our last district meeting in Lorient just outside of a Chateau. Pretty good portaiture, right?

And the Tour de France came through Vannes! How incredible that was to see them take off in waves.

The Festival of Bretagne.

And our last companion inventory together with all three of us. I made Soeur Mozos and Rasband wear sticky notes on their foreheads that said, "Nous vous aimons." Or, we love you!

Much love,


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Spiritual Freedom

This week kind of took us all by suprise. After I heard about Grandpa's passing and also the tender mercy that he'd been to Vannes at this time of the year exactly 70 years ago, it made me take a step back and realize just how much Heavenly Father is in the details of our lives. He has a plan for us that is infinitely greater and more well planned that anything we could ever orchestrate. I love my Father in Heaven so much.
 Dear Family and Friends,

Another surprise of the week was when Soeur Rasband and I got a call from the Assistants of our Mission President informing us that we would have a VISA waiter coming to stay with us for three weeks. Her name is Soeur Laura Mozos and she's from Nantes. We have such a wonderful privilege of having her stay with us and teach us french! (It's gonna get reeeel geeeeood that's for certain!) And then she'll be heading off to serve in the Salt Lake City Temple Square mission. And Soeur Rasband and I already planing on going to visit her when we get back!
But the best part was that we met the Stake President, her and her family at our church building in Vannes for her to get set apart. I felt so privileged to be able to sit in on her blessing and watch as her dad and her brother joined the stake president in the setting apart as they placed their hands on her head. You could FEEL the love that they have for each other and the spirit was SO POWERFUL that it brought me back to when I was set apart as a missionary for Jesus Christ. I made promises and commitments then to serve God with all my heart, might, mind and spirit. I will never forget the power I felt wash over me in those very first moments. By the end of the blessing, everyone was in tears. Her brothers surrounded her in a big hug and Soeur Rasband and I couldn't help but be touched by them...and so we hugged each other. :)
On Saturday, we drove out to give a Book of Mormon to someone who'd requested one from Church Headquarters (free with representatives too, right? :) And it ended up being out in Quiberon which is right next to the beach. We took our lunch break there and spent most of our time taking these loving, fun and funny pictures.
Sometimes it amazes me how beautiful the world is, what kinds of things Heavenly Father creates, how marvelous His plan and works are, as well as how close we can sometimes be to heaven. I couldn't have ever imagined Heavenly Father sending me to this beautiful place where I've seen so many miracles, experienced some of the greatest heights and traversed some of the lowest lows. But now I can see more clearly the masterpiece He was creating. We sat there on the beach and offered a prayer of gratitude, thanking Heavenly Father for the freedom we celebrate, for the ancestors that fought for it and the heroes today that continue to fight for it.
After the activity a couple of weeks ago on the Plan of Salvation, we took our model of the galaxy that we made and hung it up in our apartment. Just recently, I added a sign and attached it to the ceiling which reads, "Garder La Perspective Eternelle" or "Keep the Eternal Perspective." Now, I'm beginning to understand just what kind of meaning that can take on. The knowledge of this plan can and will always help us to hush our fears and respond to our doubts in a way that is liberating.
I am so proud of my Grandpa who came and served here in France to preserve freedom. No doubt, he saw lots of atrocities and many more miracles. I admire how strong he was in spite of it and how he always just wanted to create better futures for his children and grandchildren. I am so grateful that he gave me his own approval and blessing before I left last year around this time. And now I see a lot more clearly how this work is a fight for spiritual freedom.
I hope that we all can, as family, work to honor our family and remember always our eternal relationships with each other and with our Father in Heaven.
With Love,
Soeur Hopkins
p.s. As seen below, my sense of humor has in no way, shape or form diminished in the past year. haha. The other image looks like I'm hovering above the earth. Can you say "Wall E?" Love you all and don't forget to smile!

I think she may be having too much fun!

Lots of love,