To finish off Monday night, after updating referrals and contacting, we were on our walk home and stopped to say bonsoir to our friends who own and work at the quaint sidewalk café on the corner of our street (the café is called Le Comptoir). We walk past it multiple times a day because it is how we get to the RER/métro. I started saying hello to them every time we walked passed my first transfer here in Paris and has since then turned into a friendship after stopping longer one day and introducing ourselves and becoming acquainted. It has become a highlight of my days every time we pass, to say bonjour to those who work there. Ahmelle, super cute smiley Parisienne lady with curly long brown hair, is the manager/owner, and is basically a best friend now. I don't remember if I've told you of our little lesson we had with her and two of her friends one day two ish weeks ago after stopping and saying hi. We chatted for a bit and told them of our message and left them with a prayer. That was awesome. Well, Monday night, even more awesome. We stopped to say bonsoir and Sœur Tippett then told them it was my birthday... Well Ahmelle jumped up and said, "je vais te chercher un chocolat chaud!" She ran into the café, and made Sœur Tippett and me our own little special hot chocolates in tiny espresso mugs. They invited us to sit for a bit and chat, to drink our hot cocoa and little homemade pastries one of the chefs made. It was magical. There we were, sitting with the locals in our neighborhood, drinking hot cocoa while they smoked and drank coffee as Parisiens do, and ended up sharing all about missionary work, half of the Restoration, Plan of Salvation and to bring the spirit back after one neighbor went on a tangent about extremist Muslims, we finished off the night with "Because of Him". It was magical. Absolutely the best birthday of my whole life. Ahmelle, Delphine, Ibrahim, and Aurelien. Best friends and neighbors. I suppose the word spread in the staff at Le Comptoir of our spiritual chocolat chaud sesh because now everyone that works there knows my name and says bonjour every time we have walked past this week. #locals
Tuesday night we had one of the most touching lessons of my mission. Anna the amazing is going through some pretty tough opposition as she nears her baptism. Satan is real. He does not want this strong and faithful woman to follow Christ, that is for sure. She's facing a lot of difficulty with Parisienne culture, friends, and family, but is struggling to hold on tight. We threw our lesson plan out the window to address what she needed and oh was it so much better than we even hoped. She really opened up and expressed her worries, fears, and feelings. We were able to testify, relate, and comfort her with experiences, scriptures, and our feelings. As does my dear father, I cried as I testified how much she is loved and how much I know God places people in our lives for a reason. I know she was meant to find the church how and when she did. She has come so far and simply cannot give up. I told her, "before you give up, remember why you've been holding on for so long." It is a quote, of its origin I'm not sure, that has helped me in times of need. I know it is applicable to us every day, no matter our situation. Don't give up. Keep holding on.
Needless to say, it was an awesome beginning of the week. Wednesday I woke up with a sore throat and head ache. Not cool, Robert Frost. Sœur Tippett and Soeur Bernhisel ran to the 24 hour pharmacy and bought me some throat spray, so nice of them, I know. It was Transfer Day, in which we spent all day in gares welcoming, directing and giving tickets to missionaries. I got to see some good friends and wish them all the best before heading in to new adventures all over France and Belgium.
The rest of the week was fine, nothing too spectacular. Lots of planning, meetings, and more planning. Lots of lessons cancelled and frudged appointments, mais bon, it's been good. Today went with a member, Sœur Allépo, to Chateau Rouge/Saint Denis, basically little Africa in Paris, and got measurements for our very own handmade Côte d'Ivoirien Boubous!!! Super stoked. I'll end photos when they're finished. We start exchanges again this coming week! Off to Mulhouse and Toul soeurs will come to Paris. Miracles lay ahead!
I wish you all the best. Remember how much you are loved. Remember you can always start again, because of Him, Jesus Christ, our Savior and brother. I know He lives. I know this is His work and I am so happy to do it. It brings me true joy. What are you going to do to bring true joy to someone this week?
Sœur Kate Simpson