Monday, June 13, 2016


June 13, 2016
Finding day in Blois
Left to right:
Elder Hamilton, Victor Liebard, Elder Smith, Andrew, Frere Brouillet,
Elder Durant, Elder Jones

This week didn't go as planned.  We thought we'd go to Bourges twice but we ended up staying in Blois all week, but we had a good week with a district finding day scheduled in Blois and we found a couple new amis.
So Andrew is still progressing really well, I'm just putting his name because he reads my blog and knows that I abbreviate my amis' names with the first letter of their name, ha.  So we taught him twice, and went out working with him too!  We said, "Hey, Andrew do you want to come with us to talk to people on the road?" "Um, sure why not?"
Contacting with Elder Smith and Andrew

That's pretty cool seeing most people I have taught would have apprehension, but Andrew's pretty relaxed and confident in a simplistic sort of way, so he accompanied Elder Smith and I without any problem.  I think he helped make the people we talked to less stressed, just some normal kid hanging out with two Americans really
helped people see we're trying to help them, not make life more complicated.  Andrew came with us twice, and the second time he was dressed all nice in a suit, cool to see because it makes me think he's gonna be a good missionary one day.    On the other side of the spectrum, I've got nine days left as a full-time missionary. It's weird, but pretty normal at the same time to see I'll be finishing up soon, wow France is such a fun place to serve a mission, ooh I've got an idea I'll tell you my top ten things I think are most fun about serving in this country.

1:  You're in FRANCE, the fact that you're in a country that's been posterized throughout history as this amazing place; rolling hills,cobblestone streets, big open skies, etc.
2: You're eating Baguettes - French bread is SOOO Good
3: You're bound to see the Eiffel tower and other stereotypes; well groomed poodles, accordion players on the streets, and old men with Berets.
4: You're working with strong strong members, people who have held down the ward for the last twenty years, and they have great stories, distinct personalities, and cook really well.
5: You're eating at member's houses.  I learn that any food tastes good (even food I didn't like before) when it's made by a French grandma.
6: You're almost always teaching people from foreign countries like Romania, Congo, French Guyana, India, or Vietnam
7: You're taking the train, metro, or bus everywhere.
8: You're rushing to clean your apartment on Pday so you can see a castle or famous museum that afternoon.
9: You're observing French people's way of living all the time; their classy dress, quiet, cool comportment, and their genuine love they have for their close friends and family.
10: You're serving in a hard country to share the gospel, which means each time you take courage and go outside to do missionary work, your Heavenly Father will give you spiritually strengthening experiences, and if you work you will see miracles.  You're working in a place that builds your inner faith, because outer manifestations of success proportional to personal effort are infrequent. As one of my favorite poems says, "The harder you're thrown, the higher you bounce!"

      Man, there are so many cool things about serving here, I'm grateful for this time and all the support I feel from you folks back home, or wherever you are, and especially the help I get from on high. And the district finding day we did this week was another demonstration of God's love.  What is a district finding day? Every six weeks we get together with all the missionaries in the district and contact people on the road with the ward members.  We invited Andrew (he's almost a member) and wow it was super cool because we walked out of the chapel and the first guy we talked to was interested.  We taught him about the Book of Mormon, and he agreed to meet with us again, talk about miracles from working with Andrew.  We also chased down and taught a couple other people that afternoon, and we had fun.  When we finished and met up with the other member-missionary teams, Frère Brouillet bought us all ice cream, woohoo. The Bourges Missionaries worked with Victor Liebard and Frere Brouillet, and they found us a new person to teach, so that's exciting. That night after the members had left we went to work in a city called Vilneuil, and ended up giving surprise visits to two members, and they were both really appreciative of our stopping by, one sister even gave us a referral!
Flooding going down, gives the pathway a cool effect!

      What else to say about this week? So Elder Smith has a new diet...and it's better than the last one or we hope so.  His tests at the lab showed that the problem isn't super serious, so we think all of his pain is caused more by poor diet than anything.  We honestly haven't been eating that badly but Elder Smith's gut must be sensitive.  So the new diet is more of a vegan-all-natural one.  I decided not to follow him on that one because I want to enjoy lots of food for the last week of my mission.
We Made Sushi

 The Gospel is such a powerful tool for changing lives.
Unfortunately many people don't see that, either because they refuse to look, or they don't believe in themselves enough to change.  I know the job we do is hard, but if people would just listen they'd be so happy!  So our job is just to keep going and working, because you will meet people who are ready if you're working to the best of your capacity.  These people that area ready come from sources you never expect.  Just keep going!!! The Lord needs you, he needs me.  He wants you to come to him, to learn of him, to use his strength, because it's there.  This is His Gospel and I love it.  I'm glad the mission presents so many challenges because we can grow from all of them.  We'll grow if we trust in the Lord.
I love you all and wish you a good last full week of my mission!
Elder Jones

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