Monday, September 1, 2014

Week 8 "Week 2 in Lille"

Hello, everyone! Good to sit down at the computer again and send out an email! I love hearing that people love hearing these, because I'm really feeling a lot every week, so just want you all to know how much your care is helping me through this experience as well.

Home Cookin' with Elders Jones & Johnson

     We started off the week with exchanges.  After our district meeting, I went out with elder Jacobson, he is a missionary that's full of fire, always ready to teach someone.  I got some great advice from him concerning the language, and just how to be a better missionary in general.  We talked to a lot of people, and he gave me some confidence when, after I was like, how are you so good at this, said, "It'll come Frere (brother)." Man, I sure hope so.  We took a train to an area called Villeneuve d'Asaq, Pronounced  French are crazy.  We went there to teach a family and prepare a kid for his baptism, and taught about the, well I can't remember, but It was a good lesson.  After, the family fed us, and it was awesome because we had Croque Monsieurs (Grilled cheese w/ham) and salad.  Just a side note...French food is SO good! Even the cheap things at the supermarket missionaries buy. After we talked, or my companion talked with the family and I half understood, half nooded and agreed, which doesn't always work.  For dessert, we ate grilled banana nutella sandwhiches, and chocolate cake.  I sad, "this is good that we have cake because It's like we're celebrating my birthday"  They wished me a happy birthday, and sent me back with some cake and a candle.  After I was back with my companion elder Johnson, we got back to work with the Lille area.

Elder picking up birthday breakfast for the crew

Jamison's birthday breakfast...all sugar and a baguette!

     Sometimes the mission is birthday cake and grilled cheese, and other times It's the standard missionary work of knocking doors, contacting people on the street, and just doing the Lord's work. I'm so grateful for my trainer, Elder Johnson who's helping me so much here at the start.  Sometimes he'll quiz me on who our investigators are, and what I remember we're teaching on, which I forget half the time.  He's really responsible, and has a very caring personality, which just goes to show that the Lord watches out for us here on the mission.  As district leader, he makes calls to check up on the companionships every night, and I can tell he cares about how everyone is doing.  Since I come from a family of all sisters, there's a lot of emotion and a lot of time for caring for each other, and having only Elders I just met to talk to, I don't have much of an outlet to share my feelings.  Sometimes I'm just frustrated, or tired, or just bothered that I don't have my family to be there right next to me, but that's just growing up.  I don't feel like a mission would be a real mission if you came out, endured for a little while, and then said, okay, now I know what a mission is like and I can go home.  Nope, not really.  I feel that I'll be able to say I know a mission when it's over.  Running a race bears great similarity to a mission.  You prepare before, then you're out running and it's tiring, but you have to keep going till you reach the finish line at the end.  Don't walk, but don't sprint either, because bothreally show that you didn't think 
through the race well.  Hey, maybe, just maybe, I'll make it to the end of the race.  But for now, I'm just running.

Museum of Natural History across the street from Jamison's apartment

     I love my mission because although inwardly, this all feels very hard for me, I know that good will come out of it, If I'm working hard.  I could always work harder, and one problem I have is learning how to know if I'm doing all that I can, and giving my best effort.  I know I'm tired at the end of every day, but I don't yet recognize what my full effort is.  I'm trying, and sometimes I feel confused and sometimes I understand, and that's a mission for me right now.  I don't know exactly where I am or what I'm doing, but I know that this gospel has brought me closer to my family, and has grown me into a more patient, loving person.  I know that deep down all of this feels good, and sometimes it can be hard to recognize that when you're on a metro, stressing out about how to start a gospel conversation with the old lady across from you.  But I know it will work out soon.  The Lord shows us miracles and the sun comes out after each storm.

Elders Johnson & Jones eating Kababs

   Now on a fun Birthday was this week! I woke up saturday morning, and (accidentally? :) slept in for 20 minutes.  Then I walked over to the bakery across the street with another elder and bought a baguette, Fruit tart, Millefeuille, Merveilleux, Croissant and two other things, and spend eleven euros.  (Just like my dad would, I went over the top in a good way to celebrate) We had crepes for breakfast with all the pastries, and I felt happy to celebrate my birthday the French way.  Finishing crepes, we metro-ed over to the soccer field, and we were happy to have some of the people we had contacted on the metro the day before come to our soccer game with the missionaries.  I think it is crazy that we have people here in france that speak so many languages, but we can still all play soccer together and have a good time.  Also, I scored a goal and that was awesome because I mean, hey it's my birthday.  After a couple hours of that, we hurried over to a couple of appointments with investigators (called "amis" (pronounced AAh Me) in France) and had some really great lessons, and one of our investigators is committed to baptism, so we'll keep praying that she stays with it! The night finished at the church, where we had another investigator activity.  Playing ping pong and eating watermelon were a perfect way to finish the night.  I'm so greatful to the Lord, who in awesome ways, every time, comes through for us.  When we feel tired or just confused and fed up, look for the good things, because they're there. 
Have a good week, love you all!
Elder Jamison Jones
Jamison catching up on emails on P-Day

Selfie in front of Jamison's apartment

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