Monday, January 18, 2016

Week 80 "JUST SMILE"

January 18, 2016
Elder Trotter and Elder Jones in  St. Germain En Laye

Highlights from big meetings included our mission conference with Elder Patrick Kearon, and the young adult video broadcast fireside featuring Russel M. Nelson.  Both speakers reminded us of our limitless eternal potential and the value of sharing the gospel through our happiness. That means that when we want to help other people accept the teachings of Jesus one day we can simply smile, and speak lovingly to people every day.  During mission conference, Elder Kearon had some sister missionaries approach him as if they were about to talk to him on the street, and in the audience we saw what a big difference it makes if you smile approaching people as opposed to if you just look bored or miserable.  That same night I went on a short exchange and my companion and I tried to show people through our countenance how important this gospel is to us, and hey, we met and taught about four people in the course of an hour.  We didn't teach all those people lessons, but I still felt very effective as a missionary by smiling more; such a simple thing that makes a significant difference.
We Helped the Prada Family Move

        Can I reiterate what my cousin Willy (Anziano) Hogan said in his last email.  "I love being a missionary!" I feel beyond blessed to teach people about Jesus Christ, and that teaching goes past mere words. Christ taught through his actions, comportment, and words; I hope that before people hear our message they feel a little bit of his spirit when we're around, doing what we're supposed to.  Though we share Christ's spirit daily, not a day goes by that I don't feel stressed
and anxious, but hey that's okay.  I want to let you all know that I've felt of your prayers and your fasts on my behalf.  Times come when all our plans and expectations that fall through but despite that, I feel like I have this spirit with me, this comfort, I still feel peace, kind of like God's saying, "I'm with you don't worry". How cool is that feeling?!! So I'm kind of like a rocket riding on prayer power and wow it's a fun ride!

        So we'll review a couple of people we're visiting, or started visiting.  There's J (girl version)  She's not baptized but she wanted us to give her a blessing for her pregnancy.  We hope to go back next week and bless her home too.  We saw D our nine year old Ami, and he may be baptized in a month if all goes well.  After we taught him about the priesthood he seemed to be thinking about something.  We asked him what it was, he told us that he was worried that death would be painful.  I had sort of the same thoughts when I was little and I was happy to tell him that death may be painful but our life after will be so good that death will be just a small moment.
Finally bought my first French skinny suit

        So an interesting part of the week I haven't gone over; a conversation between me and Elder Kearon during the conference.  He asked a couple questions to the audience regarding the ways investigators feel the spirit, and I answered that one of my
investigators (namely T from St. Quentin) said he felt a 'soulagement' or relief when he felt the spirit. Then Elder Kearon continued to ask questions about T. and made an example of him. We talked about how to help Amis experience conversion, and how to help Amis stay active after they have been baptized. I got some great advice and I hope to be able to do my best to keep active those who have been baptized. Keeping people active in the church is equally important as having people come to baptism, so everyone let's keep those who got baptized active!

        We visited the E Family this week! They're actually progressing and the Dad asks lots of questions, you can see in his eyes he really wonders what the point of life is. We visited Y again, and he also continues to progress.  It was so cool and Elder Trotter had a really
cool insight that Y was not feeling what he needs to experience conversion, and we just talked about how he can feel the spirit.  He said that he's felt 'liberty' ever since he's started to meet with us, so we're sending him a chapter every other day to read, hopefully he'll really start to feel how true these things are and turn his life for better.
        Wow, so much went on this week.  The cool part of today was, I finally used all my cash back at a store to buy a suit on sale! 180 euro suit for 80 euros, so over 50% ain't half bad...I also found a tie 'Burberry' at 90% discount - 200 euros to 20 euros. Today was a
day of deals.  And speaking of good deals a mission is a pretty good deal that Heavenly Father makes with us too.  I'm happy I accepted his challenge to come here to France because he gives me lots of happiness in return.  Lots and lots.
Love You, 
Elder Jones

PS: if you're wondering how my health is, I can respond and say it's
great.  I'm exercising, eating lots of food, and wow it's freezing
here.  We have a great apartment and we definitely eat enough food,
we're going to try eating just burritos this week, haha.  In addition,
I want to thank the Maxfields and the Saffords for sending me letters,
as well as Sister Wiest!

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