Monday, May 9, 2016

Week 96 "Happy Mother's Day"

May 9, 2016
It was fun talking to Jamison on Mother's Day. He looked so happy! He was excited to tell us that he will be with Elder Smith for this last month and a half of his mission. We were able to meet Elder Smith over the Skype call. We are grateful that they work so well together and that Jamison can finish with Elder Smith. Today they went to Chambord Castle for Pday. In his letter, I have included some of the photos. 

Letter from Jamison May 9, 2016

Fun things we did this week.
Family Home Evening with our Ami A and the Liebard Family. A is only seventeen but he seems pretty intelligent and open to everything we've taught so far.  Since his schedule is completely open right now we've invited him to every event we can think of.  There's been a lot of A this week, but I don't mind, it's great.
Chambord Castle on Pday

        I saw, another Ami a couple of times as well.  We had a pretty funny lesson.  We were discussing some of his difficulties with money and looking for a job; many people like him come to France and have
problems legalizing.  As we're talking in the tiny one-room apartment he motions over to his new TV, saying, 'Isn't it great? It only cost €100.' Then we had a talk about how in life you can only control your attitude and effort, and part of effort included using money wisely, If you have no money left to eat then you shouldn't have bought a TV. Well people have got to make their own decisions and even though our Ami made a dumb choice it's another one of those experiences he's bound to learn from.  Live and learn.
Inside Chambord Castle

        We're probably opening up an Arabic-speaking branch in the next couple weeks, haha.  I say that because we have found seven people over the last six weeks from the middle east/north Africa and they love meeting us.  I don't know if they'll progress all the way to baptism, but they really enjoy learning about the Book of Mormon, and I'll take any chance I can get to teach people about that book.

Chambord Outside of Castle

Friday we hosted a Finding Day in Blois.  Talking to people during their vacation time (Ascension) in a tourist filled city proved a lot more difficult than I thought.  Well, most the people we met were on vacation from other parts of France and I don't know what made people say no so much other than that.  We did, however bring six members of the branch to help us contact and we enjoyed working with them.  

Chambord and croissants

I got to contact people with the Branch President, and even though he's confined to a wheelchair we still got him out on the streets talking to people, super fun.  I wish I had a picture but I forgot to take one.  Oh well just imagine Elder Jones strolling along the French Riviera with a cool guy in a wheelchair talking to atheist French tourists.  What a fun time!
Modern Art Inside Chambord 

        We painted a celing all Saturday morning, pretty tiring but I haven't painted in a long time, so it was fun. 

 We spent the afternoon
finishing preparations for the Missionary-run activity, "An Evening With The Mormons', which involved games, food and an inspirational thought.  We designed an invitation for the activity, which we handed out during the finding day.  Handing out invitations on the road wasn't so effective, but a church member Carlos brought his friend, and A came as well, so the 'Evening with the Mormons was definitely successful.

Let's close out with the best part of the week, the end of the
Saturday activity.  We thought a good way to close things out would be by watching The Restoration.  I've seen the movie countless times but I thought, you know I could learn something new by watching it again, never know. I've also been pondering a lot of the truth of the restoration. There are so many churches and the question that's come up in my mind has been, is this church that I belong to the only real,
true church? So the movie plays through the story of Joseph Smith, how he had a question and asked God for the answer, kind of the same thing I had always remembered seeing each time.  I was thinking to myself, hoping that I could learn or feel something by watching this time that would strengthen my testimony of these things.  Then I had a really unique experience; Joseph smith, in the video prints the Book of
Mormon, gives it to his Dad, and he reads Moroni 10:4 - 5.  When he said by the power of the holy ghost you can know the truth of all things, it just hit me really hard, just the feeling that all the little impressions I have felt over my life lead back to the book of mormon, and I just had this spiritual moment of realization, that these things I believe are the truth.  The Book of Mormon is from God. Joseph Smith is a prophet.  He listened to God, following His instructions to re-establish His real church.  And all this, this feeling the Holy Ghost, acting on those feelings, and seeing and experiencing the results is real! It really is!  That's what I'll leave with you, may God bless you all.
Have a great day!
Elder Jones

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