Monday, August 31, 2015


Baptism of "S", Elder Jones, Elder Gunn and her son
Well the biggest and greatest news of the week is to come, but to leave you in anticipation for two paragraphs or so, let's start with Monday.  We visited a less active sister named Sister B. She is so much like me! She is very into cool impressionistic oil paintings, which are all over the house, and she loves classical piano music, like Gershwin as well.  When I told her she played, she said, you're not leaving this house until you play me something.  We have been going over to her house consistently every week, and helping her to feel more loved, because she's going through a very difficult period in her life.  Well that made for a fun night, oh and we opened the packages.
          Tuesday marked the very last district meeting of the transfer.  I felt very inspired to give a training on what it means to really give our best.  The basic idea was, that our best is always improving, and only with the Savoir can we give our best.  I loved giving the training, and really felt the help of heaven in presenting the message, so it was really good. It was fun to go around at the end of the meeting and tell everyone why we were grateful to have them in the district.  We didn't get home till late that night.
     Wednesday we taught our ami J.  He has been really struggling over the last couple months to read the Book of Mormon.  Once again, Elder Gunn went hard core on him, which I loved seeing because it's cool to see him making progress and getting fiery with people.  He said look, read the Book of Mormon, or you're not going to go anywhere with you, if you don't read it wastes your time and our time.  A sixteen-year-old member, Yves Pettitt helped us out a lot and we, once again, committed J. to read the Book of Mormon, with the hope he will do it.

     Thursday through Saturday we prepared for the baptism. We created a program, cleaned the font thoroughly, and the morning of, filled the font!  S. our investigator had some worries about the baptism: one, that I wasn't strong enough to lift her back out of the water, and two, that Elder Gunn would lack vocabulary to confirm her.  We took the worries into consideration; I did a bunch of squats and pull-ups every morning in hopes of getting a little stronger, and wrote out a list of things Elder Gunn could say during the confirmation.  I am happy to say that both events went through successfully.  The wearing complete white and the whole experience, as cliché as missionary experiences come, was so surreal and amazing.  I have confidence that S. will continue to progress and have the opportunity to go to the France Paris Temple when that comes next year!
Decorating for my 20th Birthday
     As you know yesterday was my birthday.  Sooo, elder Jones, what did you do for your birthday?  Well I had a very very fun birthday.  I would like to say my birthday started Saturday with the baptism, and ended Sunday with opening presents. 
Thanks for the letters!! These are from John, Mary and kids

 As soon as the baptismal service and the little after party ended we had to leave directly to the heart
of Paris for a big 'Book of Mormon fireside', hosted by our mission president, his wife and all the Paris-central missionaries.   We brought one of our investigators named A. who we met on the bus a month ago. She loved it, and we're seeing her again this weekend.  I pray she stays interested.  Walked down the streets of Paris on a Saturday night just taking in the air and the people and the culture. Sunday morning we woke up and went to church like usual, but the unusual was that we confirmed Sidonie a member of the church. Although Elder Gunn struggled with the words at the beginning, he got the hang of things and finished well.  Then we went home and I opened the presents my family sent. Just want to let you all know the highlights so when you send missionaries packages you know what to send: beef jerky, ritz crackers, socks, birthday candles and a HAPPY BIRTHDAY sign, recipes from chez moi (home) and the cheese in Macaroni and Cheese packages, which is pretty rare in France.  For all the hundreds of fancy cheeses it's difficult to find powdered synthetic American cheese.  
Inside the Package that my Family Sent

THANK YOU FOR ALL THE LETTERS AND KIND MESSAGES!  I don't think I've received all of the family's letters yet but I've loved what come so far. Mom, your letter was so kind, it made me cry.  Dad your letter didn't make me cry but it was good.  Abby, thanks for giving me the updates on your life, love it.  Eliza keep going strong with all that's happening in life, so proud of you in cheer.  Madeline I thought SpongeBob comics were so funny.  Man those letters will be saved forever. After letters we had to finish up planning, and then...nothing else in our schedule.  All day we had things going and, yeah, I just wanted to go contact people all day but we didn't have much time.  I tried to make time after church but we did have to get back and plan.  So four hours later I said Elder Gunn I just want to go out contacting for my birthday.  With as much enthusiasm as I expected him to have, haha, he accepted my request and we went out for the last hour of the day looking for people who need the Gospel.  We found two people who were interested to speak with us, and we gave away two Books of Mormon!  That was the best part of my birthday, just feeling I have  - in large part - overcome the fear of contacting.  Feels so good.  No cake, no candles, just sharing the good ol' gospel. haha it was the best.
Opening the Double Decker Airplane from my Grandma and Grandpa Hughes

     Which leads me to the best spiritual experiences of the week. Context you have to know before reading: my goal for this day was to stay positive and happy. A potential ami never showed up at the lesson we set up, and we were determining plan B, when I felt like we should head to the church about fifteen minutes away.  Suggesting that we do our weekly planning there to elder Gunn, he accepted and we headed up there.....only to meet J. our investigator from earlier. We didn't set a meeting with him, but he was used to meeting with the missionaries at that time so he came without thinking twice about it.  He read The Book of Mormon chapters we left him with,  and beginning to climb out of his plateau progress.  Very cool; next as we finished the lesson I had a strange feeling to cancel our meeting with another investigator we had that night, as I sat there thinking about that feeling she called us, telling us she couldn't make it.  I felt like I should invite her to the Book of Mormon event going on in Paris, though we live about an hour away.  She admitted she actually lived in Paris, and that she comes up to Cergy to visit her family, and she would meet us at the activity the next night, which she did.  As we left the church building I felt like we should go back, for whatever reason, and I'm sure by this point I left Elder Gunn feeling confused at my decisions, but we went back, and I found his watch, which he had accidentally left.  So there you go folks, there's the inspired three-pointer, game winner of the week.  So cool;  there are so many blessings everywhere we look out here, we just have to recognize them and STAY positive because the Lord works through positivity.  Thank you for all your prayers and help out here.  This would be much harder without your help. I had a very good birthday, and I'm doing great.

My New Birthday Gift Floating Above My Desk

Abby's College Friends Singing Happy Birthday to Jamison  

Sending a Letter to Stephie on her Mission (Perth Australia)

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