We've had beautiful weather here in France. The temperature has been in the 70s and has been very pleasant for walking and being outside.
Most French people shop every few days to have fresh fruits and vegetables as well as a loaf of bread. We have been doing the same. There is a twice weekly farmers market as well as a small discount grocery store near us. For more variety, we have walked about 25 minutes to a larger store.
This past Monday on our P-day, which is purposely on Monday when the Paris temple is closed, four of the five missionary couples took a bus and train trip into downtown Paris. We saw La Defense, which is an enormous modern shaped office building patterned after the Arc de Triomphe. Around it is a very large plaza with unusual shaped buildings and a gigantic mall.
We also walked by the Paris Opera house and went into the Galleries Lafayette, which has a very large dome with various levels with stained glass windows.
It was fun to see the busy streets and crowds of people there as we ate our sandwiches in the park.
We would like to mention a few more people we have met at the temple. The first day Karen had five minutes to sit down in the open area in the temple by the winding staircase. A gentleman came and sat down next to her. He had tears streaming down his face. He said, "Five years." She asked him what he meant. He said it had taken him and others five years to do the stained-glass windows for the temple. She asked him if he was Tom Holdman and he said yes. He had been very touched by the session and then to see how the windows turned out. Every window is stained-glass or white-etched. As we looked up at the large angled gorgeous window up above, his wife came up to us. She was the last person to get in the crowded session. We are glad she made it!
Karen also has served with a very faithful African French woman. She has been here every day for three weeks as a temple worker. Her name is Soeur Lenecerot. It is hard to understand her language but she will act everything out and then give a big smile. Another stately looking older African French woman always gives Karen a kiss on each cheek (French tradition) and then kisses her hand. These people are so happy to be there to do the work for their ancestors and they appreciate us helping them. It is very touching to see groups of people coming with a handful of temple cards for their family's work to be done.
One last person was Elaine Dalton, former general Young Woman president of the Church. She had been to the open house for the temple and she told Karen she needed to come again because the Spirit is so strong here at the temple. Karen helped her do the initiatory work for an ancestor and get her into the endowment session. She asked about our background and what it took to get on our mission. She then threw her arms around Karen and told her she loved her very much.
At church last week we saw Cherise and Tyler Williams and their children. Cherise was our daughter, Cherilyn’s college roommate. They live in Centerville, Utah and we see them in church in France!
We have met many church members from the States as well as those who live in a France. The Spirit of the Lord is touching the people here and helping the gathering to continue in missionary work and temple attendance.
We have a testimony of the importance of this work.
Elder and Soeur Bradford