Monday, October 28, 2013

Well...they say good things can't last.

Well friends, it's that time of transfer again, the time when all the missionaries run to the computer like little kids running to the Christmas Tree on Sunday morning.  It's transfer time!  Some things are now official.  I will be finishing my mission here in Bruxelles.  But, sadly, my companion will not be Soeur Mataalii, like we had hoped.  A sister, Soeur Holmes, will be my companion.  I'm excited to meet her, but of course, Soeur Mataalii and I are super sad to part ways.  I love her so much.  This has been one of the best transfers of my mission, and Soeur Mataalii and I have had a lot of laughs, haha, hence one of the reasons we knew that we wouldn't be able to stay together for two transfers.  Like they say, Good things can't last (except eternal families and happiness :) ).  In other news, Soeur Mataalii and I have had an awesome week.  All sign's are go for Maria's baptism this weekend.  Her husband, Filipe, sadly, has postponed his date.  He simply doesn't think he's ready yet.  We talked about faith, and yet neither of us seemed to feel pushed to get him to recommit to Friday.  But I have faith he's going to follow in the steps of his wife, and our Savoir.  Also, here is another miracle, but... it's in french.  So go ahead and use Google Translate if you wish. :) :) Nous avons reçu une coordonnée cette semaine, une femme s'appelle Marie-Pierre. On s'est rencontré, et nous avons trouvé qu'elle est super! Elle a 25 ans, mais quand elle avait 16 ans, elle a habité aux Etats-Unis pour un an avec la famille de son père, qui sont les membres de l'église! Sa mère lui a conseillé de faire son propre recherche à propos de l'église avant elle décide de se faire baptisée. Donc, voila. Nous avons eu notre premières leçons, y compris une leçon avec les membres. Et hier, elle est allée au coin de feu avec les JA, sans nous! J'étais TROP contente! Cette semaine, nous allons avoir une Soirée Familiale avec Marie et une famille dans la paroisse.  Elle est incroyable.
   Soeur Mataalii is going to Torcy, so she'll be living in the same apartment as I did when I was at Nogent.  Hope you all have a great week!  I love you!
            Soeur Bracken

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My first funeral in a Cathedral

Hello everyone!
  Well, first things first- Alma 37:6-7- Small and simple things people!  Small and simple things!  When Naaman wanted to be cured of leprosy, he was asked to wash himself in the Jordan river 7 times, that was all!  It's amazing how the Lord simply asks us to do simple things in order to receive these amazing blessings.  As missionaries, He simply asks to bear testimony, and talk to one more person.

Haha, so this week-  I did an exchange with Soeur Stapley, which was awesome. We go all the way back to our MTC days.  Then, I did an exchange with Soeur Hilton, from Liège.  They both went well, except the fact that I locked us out of our apartment, so that was fun.  Of course, the best moments of the week were when we were teaching Maria and Filipe!  Oh my goodness, the lessons are just incredible.  And they came to church!  Soeur Mataalii and I literally fasted for them, to help them make this awesome goal of being baptized and later being sealed come true.  We love them.  Best line of the week goes to Maria - "I had a friend, but she doesn't believe in Christ.  I told her, 'When you die, and if you can remember anything that I told you in this life, remember that I told you to choose Jesus.  You can still choose Him in the next life!  Remember, if you can remember what I told you after you die, Choose Jesus!' ".  Haha, SO GREAT.  Well, unfortunately, I have to go.  I love you all!  Have a great week!
             Soeur Bracken
PS- There's a chance Soeur Mataalii and I may or may not have boughten matching cow footie pajamas. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Maria and Filibe!!!

Hello everyone!  Oh my goodness, Soeur Mataalii and I couldn't have come up with a better way to end our week.  We have an amie, her name is Maria.  She's known the church for a while now, and wants to get baptized, but has a hard time really understanding that means coming to church every week.  And it doesn't help that she and her family has been super sick recently.  But nonetheless, Maria is still serious about learning more and getting baptized, and her husband, Filipe, although not really interested himself, is fine with her getting baptized.  She had said that she would come to church yesterday, but then, yesterday morning, she sent a text that said she couldn't come.  Of course, we were SUPER bummed, and a little bit frustrated, but then she said we could come over at 5 o'clock.  So we went over to her house, and her husband let us in.  Filipe has always been super nice, but yesterday, when he left us in, he was super welcoming.  He then informed us that he would be joining us for the rdv.  So, of course, we adjusted the lesson, and decided to talk about the plan of Salvation, focusing on eternal families.  Soeur Mataalii eventually posed the question, if he wanted to be with Maria forever, for ETERNITY, and Filipe actually started to cry, and said yes, and that Maria was his other half and that he loved her so much.  Long story short, it was amazing, and we fixed baptismal dates with the TWO of them!  MIRACLE!!!
 I hope all is going well with everyone!  We couldn't be happier!  I love you all, pray for Maria and Filipe!!!
  Avec amour,
         Soeur Bracken 

A Week Of Conferences!

Well, everyone, this email will be a relatively short one.  To be brief, Soeur Mataalii and I have some AMAZING amies.  One of them, Claudine, we are hoping can be baptized in the next couple of weeks.  We are going to try to fix a date with her this evening.  We also have Maria, who is Brazilienne.  She wants to be baptized, but unfortunately, she's just been so stinkin' sick this week, that it's affecting her progress.  But I have faith that the Lord will make it happen. :)  We had Zone Conference, where Soeur Mataalii and I had to give a 15 minute presentation on how to 'Spiritually Create our Day'.  Luckily, all went well.  And of course, we LOVED General Conference.  Hey people, in case you haven't gotten the clue, MISSIONARY WORK IS THE COOL THING TO DO!  Working with the members is the absolute best, so never be afraid to call up the missionaries and ask how you can help them!  Eler Holland's talk I found super touching, as well as President Eyring's.  This week is full of exchanges, with Liège, Valenciennes, and CHARLEROI!  Wish us luck!  I love you, and pray for you, and I'm actually dreading the time when I will have to leave the mission field and come home.  But for the next couple of months, I'm going to just keep keepin' on!  I love you!  And for those of you who have served missions (Tacy, Courtney, Dad, Soeur Pace), I would love some advice on how to make these last months the best months ever.  
       Love you!
           Soeur Bracken

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Mulhouse, Lille, and Villeneuve D'Ascq...what more could you ask for?

Hello one and all,
So, Soeur Mataalii and I had a crazy week, that's for sure!  We took a forever long train down to Mulhouse, so that Soeur Mataalii could remain legal in France until the end of her mission.  It was fun to be in France again.  We managed to contact one of the girls working at the post office. :)  Then, we came up to Lille, where I stayed whilst I did an exchange/ relived my entire Nogent experience, that is to say, I did exchanges with Soeur Thibault and Soeur Wynn!  Haha, how great is that!  I absolutely loved it.  Soeur Thibault and I laughed at how easy it was for us to teach together again, even after 6 months.  Wow, can you believe it, it's been 6 months since I was with Soeur Thibault!  One of my other favorite moments was when I commented about how obsessed she is with teeth, and she was like, "How do you know that?"  And I replied, "I lived with you for THREE MONTHS!!!"  Soeur Wynn is still on fire!  She loves life, and we fixed a baptismal date for their equipe!  I told them that our goal is to match their date, Oct 19th.  But I'm not going to lie, I was super happy to come back to Louise (Brussels).  While on exchanges, Soeur Mataalii and Soeur Francis had a great rdv with Karolina, an amie from Poland.  Oh, I'm so excited!!!  I already love her.  Also, we visited an amie, Maria, who wants to get baptized, but just needs to understand what it actually means to be baptized.  Maria also came to church!  Haha, also, speaking of church, I got to give a talk yesterday during Sacrament Meeting.  I talked on prophets, hoping to get people psyched for Conference (We're SO stoked!), then, in our class for our amies, it was an interesting situation.  We didn't know beforehand, but the teacher had to hold a meeting with the missionaries during that time, so he took one member from each equipe and left the other 4 to teach the lesson for the class.  Haha, I was totally oblivious to the entire situation until I saw the very worried look on Elder Platt's face in the class, and I was like, "Is there something I can do for you?" His reply, "Yes, you can help us!"  So then he, Elder Christensen, and I taught an impromtu lesson on Eternal families.  Then, moving on to the third hour, it was a combined lesson on missionary work!  So of course, Soeur Mataalii and I had a small portion to contribute also.  I felt that by the end of the day, I was very known throughout the ward.  Tomorrow is combined zone conference, and Soeur Mataalii and I have been asked to give a small presentation on How to 'Spiritually create our day'.  Wish us luck!   Well, life is good.  We continue to see miracles everyday, and we love life!  I love you all, and hope life is going well.  I've decided that I have to change my attitude about going home in December.  It used to make me sad, but I've decided to best way will be to just live it up, accept the fact, and work as hard as I can until the very end.  That's what the Lord expects from me, afterall!
Avec tout mon coeur,
       Soeur Bracken
PS- Studied obedience this morning.  Isn't crazy how being obedient really does make us happy, AND it allows us to have the spirit?  Why WOULDN'T we want to be obedient to the commandements from a loving Heavenly Father?

PPS - My address
             Soeur Lexi Bracken
             118 Avenue Henri Jaspar
             1060 Saint-Gilles