Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Because nothing says France like the Eiffel Tower, a crêpe, a beret, stripes, and a mustache.


Here's me with my first escargot!
Also, everyone in Québec loves poutine, which is fries and brown gravy, topped with squeaky cheese.  We had to improvise with the squeaky cheese part.  Still pretty good!


Monday, February 25, 2013

A Request...

Dear Everyone,
 Lexi's birthday is March 9th. If you can find a way to send her a note or card it would be great!
Here is her address as a quick reference:

Soeur Lexi Beth Bracken
Les Missionnaires
33 Maximillien Robespierre
94120 Fontenay Sous Bois                

Mail seems to take 7-10 days to get to her.
Liz Bracken                                                               

March Can't Come Soon Enough

Dear everyone,
This has been a COLD week!  I've heard the snow in Utah is massive, but I'll let you know, it's still pretty cold over here, even though we've only gotten about 4 inches of snow.  We are praying that it starts to warm up a little bit.  Here is an awesome miracle we had this week- The elders in Paris had contacted a lady a few weeks ago, and given us her information, because she lives in our area.  We had tried to contact her, but to no avail.  Then, randomly, on Wednesday, we got a text from her, apologizing for missing our calls.  Of course, we called her up tout de suite, and set up a RDV for that afternoon.  Her name is Christine, and she is from the Philippines!  She's super sweet and nice (and not to mention she prefers to speak english), and is open to learning a lot.  Our main concern is that she seems really open to learing, but not necessarily changing.  But we know that the spirit can touch her and change her mind.  This has also been the first week of Soeur Thibault's and my second transfer together.  We're both still doing great.  Both of us have a sister/sister in law that is having a baby in June, and both of us are still waiting to hear if we're having nieces or nephews (hint, hint, mom).  Soeur Thibault bought a cookbook today full of nutella recipes, so of course, the next logical step will be to start buying clothes that are 3 sizes bigger than what we wear now... 
  I was very blessed in the mail this week, by receiving a super great letter/picture from April, and the world's cutest/longest letter from Craig's mom (you're the best Sis. Hebbert!).  If anyone is looking for a reason to write me, I will inform you that my birthday is coming up in just a little bit (*cough cough* 12 days). 
  Dearest mom, I started laughing when you told me about The Beadle's grandson!  I will tell you why I laughed.  Last night, Soeur Thibault was talking on the phone with one of my favorite missionaries/District Leader, Elder Beckstrand.  He is training this transfer (*please see quote from last week about the eternal missionary salvation hanging on his shoulders).  Last night, I asked Soeur Thibault to ask Elder Beckstrand what his bleu's name was.  Lo and behold... Elder Stoker from Roy, Utah.  I couldn't help but smiling when I learned his grandparents were (are they still?) in my homeward.  PS, he and Elder Beckstrand are having a baptism this week!  We'll be there!
   Also, random side note, I've come to really love pigeons over here.  I love seeing them all over the place.  Also, one again, my boots have started leaking, so my feet are once again all wet.  I'm super ticked about that.  But aside from that, the work is going well.  We keep finding new potential investigators, and see miracles everyday.  The Lord is with us! 
 Love you all!  Don't forget, Dr. Seuss's birthday is on Saturday!
        Soeur Bracken


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Soeur Thibault and Soeur Bracken Part Duex

Buenos Dias!
The sun finally came out this week, so life is feeling pretty great right about now.  This past week has been awesome.  On Wednesday, Soeur Thibault and I had our awesome combined-with-Lyon-Mission, nothing-but-finding day of contacting.  We were able to fix 3 RDV and a few other families told us we could come back another time.  We're very excited!  We were also blessed with someone that the elders found for us.  We felt very unified throughout the day, knowing that every 30 minutes, all the missionaries in France and many of the members in France and throughout the world, were taking a moment to pray for us.  The power of prayer is amazing!  I wanted to thank everyone for their love and effort to help us here in the mission field, I really honestly felt your prayers!  This week has also had some other adventures, including having a birthday party for Soeur Soares, who lives in our Apartment (her dad is a member of the 70).  And since she loves escargot, guess what we bought?  And guess what I ate?  Yep!  Escargot!  Turns out, you can make anything delicious if you cover it with enough butter and garlic...even snail.  

Today Soeur Thibault and I managed to take a small trip to the Tour d'Eiffel for a few minutes, so you can look forward to those pictures next week.  This week is transfer week, so last Saturday we got the email with the information as to where everyone was going.  Soeur Thibault and I are staying put.  Our best friends (The Nogent Elders), however, are not.  Our dearest Elder Horton is going to St. Omer, where he will most likely die, and Elder Garcia is going to train here, in Spanish!  He's as giddy as all get-out.  One thing that bummed me out was learning that they're putting Elders back in Quimper.  I count myself lucky to have been there 3 out of the 4 transfers that sisters were there.  I would love for sisters to still be there, but Elder Horton (who also had served in Quimper previously) pointed out something to me.  The Branche in Quimper really needs the priesthood.  I know he's right.  My Zone Leader here in Nogent is going to go out to Quimper next transfer- I told him he doesn't know how lucky he is.  

Another funny story-  One of the first missionaries that I met out here in the field was Elder Beckstrand, who was serving in Brest.  But he is now my district leader here in the Paris-Est Zone.  He just found out he's is also going to be training next transfer.  As I was talking to him, I asked if he was excited, to which he replied, "Yeah, I'm excited, no pressure.  It's not like I'm supposed to teach him how to be a successfull missionary and his entire mission salvation rests on my shoulders.  If that was the case, I might be a little stressed."  It made me chuckle.  Well, I've got to go, but I hope you all have a great week and continue to appreciate all the little miracles that the Lord gives each of us every day.  The work is really progressing here!
 I love you!
          Soeur Bracken

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Get Ready to Pray!

Bonjour tout le monde!
So, this week has been awesome.  We didn't get the baptismal date that we were looking for, but we've felt your love and seen miracles nonetheless.  This week we had a lesson with a woman named Blandine, from Camaroon.  She was contacted by the Elders of Torcy, and we fixed a RDV with her.  She's wonderful!  I really feel like she's going to progress really well.  We have another RDV with her tomorrow.  We also met a girl named Emily on the street.  When we talked about Jesus, she said, "I'm believing, but I haven't been baptized yet, but it's something I've been meaning to do."  We were like, "Hey, we can help you with that!"  We have seen a lot of other miracles too.  Last week, we taught a woman named Kashmira, who is a friend of a member. She has two sons, who sometimes go to church with the member.  We had a lesson last night with her, and we found out that Kashmira has been reading a little bit, but that her son, Dany, who's nine, has been reading everyday!  And he's prayed!  I was so happy!  This upcoming week, something really cool is going to happen.  On Wednesday, our mission is going to combine with the Lyon mission for one giant day of finding!  We're not going to teach any lessons, we're just going to contact people, and every thirty minutes, we're going to have a prayer.  So on Wednesday, Soeur Thibault and I are going to spend the entire day talking to women and knocking on doors, with the promise that we will find the people who are ready for the gospel, and every half hour, we're going to stop and have a prayer for both of the missions here in France.  Now, here is where you come in.  This is REALLY important to us, and there are no limits for the power of prayer, especially spatial limits, which means that YOUR prayers can really help us, even though I'm on the other side of the world.  I know that this is an inspired decision by our leaders.  So, our invitation for you is to pray for us on Wednesday.  As much as I would love to have you pray every half hour, I'm not going to expect you to do that.  But please, pray for us, I know it will help.  Thank you so much for your love and support, you are the best!
     Avec amour,
Soeur Bracken

Monday, February 4, 2013

Luxembourg, laughs,and lots of potential missionaries

Bonjour toutes,
  A short recount of the week.
This week has been great, as always, except that Soeur Thibault and I have both fallen prey to the horrid beast of 'being sick'.  It started out with a stuffy, runny nose for me, and a sore throat for her, then we kind of switched, and by 'switched', I mean, she got a runny nose, but lost her sore throat, and I got a sore throat and still managed to keep my runny nose.  Luckily, I think it's slowly getting better.  It's really not super bad, it' just really really annoying.  This week was sister exchanges, so Soeur Thibault got to go to Luxembourg!  Ugh, living the dream, right?  Luckily, to make our exchange a little easier and better, the both of us stayed the night in Luxembourg on Wednesday, so I can officially mark that off my 'to do list' in life.  Spend the night in Luxembourg?- Check!  I spent the next day with Soeur McGhie here in Nogent.  It was awesome.  Soeur McGhie is so tranquile and easy-going.  One of the things that I love so much about her is her humility.  She asked me one time throughout our day together if I had any advice.  I replied, "'re older in the mission than I am."  She just smiled and said, "So?  You can still give me advice if you have some."  It really hit me then that advice and learning can come from any one and anything.  After all, aren't we all supposed to be like little children, meek, humble, and teachable?  Saturday was a day-long mission prep class for all the youth in France (and some in Belgium) who are preparing to serve missions soon.  We had about 70 kids there.  Totally awesome, right?  I got to see my dear sister Calves, who served with me for a couple of days in Quimper, and also some of the older youth from our ward here in Nogent.  The spirit was so strong.  We showed them how to teach quickly and simply, and then split them into groups and allowed them to do the same.  It was great to go around and listen and compliment and give advice.  Later, Président and Soeur Poznanski talked to everyone, and we ate.  Later that night, Soeur Thibault and I had an AWESOME RDV with our amie, Françoise, from Togo.  We read the 3 Ne 27 together, and talked about the name of the church, baptism, and prayer.  The spirit was so strong!  She promised us she was going to read every day this week.  We have another RDV with her on Wednesday!  I bore my testimony (in french!) yesterday at church, which was great.  And the best thing at church was that Donna, one our amies, showed up!  I was SO excited!  This is one of the first real investigators I've ever had come to church!   I honestly was ecstatic.  We also had a great RDV last night with Fatoumia, a member, and Kashmira, her friend who is from India.  Kashmira is so sweet and kind, and her kids went to church with Fatoumia yesterday, too.  Fatoumia's less active daughter participated in the lesson also!  Dreams come true in the France, Paris Mission!Our mission goal is to have every companionship have a baptism before a member of the 70 comes and visits us in March.  We are all working really hard, but sometimes the fruits aren't immediately evident.  I would like to ask each and every one of you to please pray that Soeur Thibault and I (as well as all our Zone, and Mission) can find someone who is ready to enter into the waters of baptism and make that amazing covenant with the Lord.  The power of prayer is amazing, and I know that if you do it, that Soeur Thibault and I will feel it's power throughout our week.  Thank you very much! 
   I know this church is true.  I'd like to leave you with a scripture that touched me this morning- Jean (John) 24:32- "Did not our hearts within us burn?"  After I read that, I thought to myself, "Do I feel that when I learn from the scriptures?" I then said to myself, "Do OTHERS feel that when I teach them?"  The Holy Ghost has the power to change lives, and touch the people around us, all we have to do is be humbe enough to let it.
  I love you all very much, and I am so thankful for your love and support!
                       Avec amour,
                          Soeur Bracken