Thursday, December 27, 2012

The skype on Christmas Day

AT 11:45 (Utah time) on Christmas Day, the computer buzzed and several gasps were heard around the room. And then there Lexi was... smiling and saying hello to everyone. True...she might have struggled for a few moments to keep her emotions in check as she saw the whole family gathered around the computer to talk to her. However, she proved that she was strong and visited with almost everyone in the family personally. She looks great and seems happy.
Her Christmas day was a great one. She finally made it to the Coast to see the ocean. Although the Sister Missionaries live only 15 minutes or so away from the ocean, they have not had the chance to see it until Christmas. This was something Lexi had wanted for some time. Then back to the Lucas family's home for dinner.
As stated above she had a chance to visit with almost everyone. It was so great to hear her laughing with siblings, and she especially enjoyed when Jordan held up Chica (her dog) for an attempted visit. Though Chica could hear her voice..she just did not get the computer thing.
We speculated on what the next transfer would mean for her. We learned alittle of Sister Alves , her companion who is from Tahiti, and she told us how happy she was for the Christmas tree we sent for her apartment. We learned of her small branch(about 30 active members) there in Quimper. She loves the members, they are very good to the Sisters. She had received (and appreciated) all gifts and cards sent to her during the last few weeks. She STILL loves letters and cards..(hint, hint) and hopes they don't come to a end with the end of the Christmas Season. She thinks she will stay in Quimper until about the 3rd week of January. (Mail takes about 8/9 days to get to her).
She is trying to figure out how best to charge her new camera.  We hope she figures it out soon...we would like to see more pictures of the Quimper area. It was a good conversation.  It was hard to say good-bye and hang-up the connection
May is not so far away..right?

Monday, December 17, 2012

A nap would be nice for Christmas

Bonjour tous!
This has been a trying week.  I've been sick, and now Soeur Alves is having some ear-aches, so our performance has been a little sub-par.  On Thursday we passed by a lady named Delphine, and talked with her outside and had a prayer.  The next day, she called us with a referral!!!  We invited her to the Soirée de Noel, and she was planning on coming, but had to cancel at the last minute due to her husband not wanting her to come.  We still believe it was a miracle that she called us.  Another miracle is that Soeur Bourdon brought her family to church again (except the husband, who is not active), and they've invited us over to eat with them next week.  I feel like they might be the reason that I'm here in Quimper.  The Soirée with the Branche was wonderful, and the lights are beautiful here in Quimper.  Soeur Alves and I are excited to talk to our families on Christmas, and hopefully, if we pray hard enough, we'll be able to take a nap sometime on Christmas Eve or Christmas.  The work is still progressing slowly here, but as long as we can be led by the spirit each day, we know we're doing our part. 
   I was reading about repentance the other day, and was thinking about how repentance is really just another word for change.  Funny, huh?  Yes, there are other aspects that go into it, remorse, faith, and wonderful things like that, but really, all those things are just ways to help us change.  When we repent, we try to change the things we've done wrong and try to improve ourselves.  I don't know, I just thought it was interesting. 
                  Well, bonne semaine tout le monde!
                                         Soeur Bracken

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Happy Five month Mark

Lexi has a new Companion! Sister Alves.  (Lexi's dad says adjusting to new companions can be ....hmm....somewhat stressful).
And now from Lexi:
Soeur Alves is from Tahiti, from Papeete, she has 3 months left on her mission, which means she'll probably end here in Quimper (which means I'll probably leave in January).  Her parents are members, and she has a younger brother who should receive his call soon, and a sister who's about 9.  She's going to return here to France to study after her mission.  She's very very direct, which is cool.  She speaks english well enough, and helps me with my french.  However, she has lost her Tahitian accent, so that's too bad.  It's been very different this past week than what I've been used to, but I guess that's part of growing up and changing.  I really do believe we can have miracles this transfer if we work hard.  I'll try to send a picture next week.
 Yesterday, the Lucas family invited us to go to the coast with them the beginning of January.  I'm so excited!  They are one of my favorite families here.  Soeur Lucas just got back last week from spending 6 weeks in California with their daughter and her family who live there.
  This week's been a little hard, with so much change, but I'm hoping it will make me a better person. Today I was studying up on Faith, and it was just so amazing to read up on it again.  I read what it says in the Bible Dictionary, and really enjoyed it.  This life really really is all about Jesus Christ. I suggest reading it.  I love what it says about placing our confidence in the Lord without reservation.  Tomorrow we're teaching a woman named Amina.  Soeur Creager and I contacted her on the street last week.  I think she's the one.
                                                               Love da viken,
                                                               Soeur Bracken
(Da viken is breton for 'for always', it's not french.  Breton is the native language of Bretagne)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Bonjour tout le monde!

  Oh, crazy week!  Soeur Creager has persevered to the end, and has yet to have a mental breakdown about going home this week.  She is a wonderful example.  We know that all good things must come to an end (except the gospel and families, of course).  So she is going to go home with her head high, but also kicking and screaming the entire way.  'Atta girl.  And with change comes more change!  Enter the scene:  Soeur Alves!  I'd expressed my desire for a native french speaker companion to Soeur Creager (so as to improve my french and accent).  There are only 7 francophones sisters in the mission, and two are going home this transfer, so I wasn't sure if I would have one for a while.  Wrong!  I will be spending at least my next six weeks with Soeur Alves, who is from Tahiti!  I'm SO excited.  With any luck, I'll be speaking like her after a while. 
     The work here seems to be like a rollercoaster, but we've signed up to ride it for 18 months, so hold on!  We visited a less active family this past week.  The wife, who's mom is in the branch, still loves the church, but her husband is done with it.  We stopped by and talked, not so much of the gospel, but more of just being friends.  It was really nice.  Sometimes the wife would come to church, but not usually anyone else.  But yesterday, Soeur Bourdon came, with three of her children.  It was wonderful!  We are still teaching Mary, and we have a lesson tonight with another woman that we are really excited about.
         Well, that's about it for me right now.  I appreciate your thoughts and prayers!
                Avec amour,
                  Soeur Bracken