UH . . . one week?

Bonjour tout le monde!

I’m so confused. How the heck did this happen? Everyone keeps saying, “Have a great last week!” Last week? What are you all talking about? I JUST got here!

I’m still in denial apparently.

This week was AWESOME!

It was mostly awesome because of our super amazing zone conference! We were so blessed to have the Kearon’s come for our GIANT zone conference. And when I say giant, I mean giant. We had 6 zones there at the Ecully chapel, so more than half the mission! We went up the night before (with literally everyone else) and we were 26 sisters in the same apartment. 26. I kid you not. It was crazy town. We had to wake up at 5:30 to get everyone through the shower in time to leave at 8:00. But the conference was TOTALLY worth it! It was amazing!

The theme of the Roney’s talks was the story of the Stripling Warriors. The other theme was perpetuating your mission into your life. We read the story together and talked about how we are The Stripling Warriors of the France Lyon Mission. We’ve been talking a lot about families lately– our future ones. Which was kinda weird for me at first. President Roney keeps telling us to think about our future spouses and children. If we want to have stripling warrior children, we have to be Anti-Nephi-Lehi parents. Which means we can NEVER break our covenants!
Why is everyone trying to force me to think about the future? It’s so rude…

The Kearon’s talked a lot about choices. How it is our choice to be good missionaries, our choice to act, our choice to change. I would share more specifics, but I’m saving some of the good material for my homecoming talk. See… I say that, but then I laugh like it’s a joke. I have not convinced myself I’m going home yet…

Anyways, point is: The conference was GREAT! I learned a lot and was extremely edified. It was a great last zone conference. Although, as we sang our mission song, “Les Anges dans Nos Campagnes” (Angels We Have Heard on High), I totally started hyperventilating. Yikes. My companion is more or less worried that I’ll totally lose it this week. We’re planning on buying LOTS of Swiss chocolate at the store today…

With our work load, plus having to take care of the Elder’s equipe also, we are busy, busy, busy. But we are so excited for this next week, we have lots of good stuff planned! Also, everyone wants to feed us because it’s my last week. So I might come home weighing double the amount I did when I left…

So last week was Halloween! I told you I am so disappointed with France’s lack of Halloween spirit. The whole day of Halloween I saw two children in costume total. What a bummer. So, since everyone else was being lame, we decided to be the fun people and we went reverse trick-or-treating. We mixed up a batch of pumpkin/ghost shaped sugar cookies and went around to 9 less active member’s homes to deliver them. And wait for it, this is the biggest miracle of all: ALL 9 OF THEM WERE THERE!!! Some of these people are people we haven’t been able to see in months and we were able to see them all on Halloween and get return appointments with many of them! Halloween miracle!

Well, I hope everyone enjoys their week and I’ll see you soon!

Avec amour,

Soeur Jones

Two weeks to go . . .

Bonjour tout le monde!

This week was really GREAT!

We were so busy and running from one end of Chalon to Lyon to Beaune to Le Creusot. We did a LOT of traveling this week.  And it looks like this next week should be similar.

We went up to the zone pday activity last Monday and it was fun! Everyone loved the cookies. I didn’t even get a chance to snap a picture before all 99 of them were gone! After decorating the cookies, we played a bunch of group games, our favorite of which was Lougarou (Werewolf). You know that one game that’s like murder in the dark, but there are villagers and werewolves and seers and witches and stuff? That’s the one. We played about three rounds of it and all twenty of us were practically in tears from laughing so hard! It was a great, relaxing, fun pday.

The next day, we stayed in Lyon for an exchange with the Portes des Alpes sisters. While I was there, I ran into Dan! Do y’all remember Dan? Our engagée from Val de Saône? I was so happy to see him. I talked to him a bit and he’ll be getting baptized this Saturday! How great is that? He said he’s really been reading the Livre de Mormon and has been gaining a firm testimony of the restored gospel. I am so happy for him!

Wednesday, we were back in Chalon and we got to teach english class again. I LOVE teaching english class. It’s so fun! This last week, we taught them the song Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. It was HILARIOUS.

Thursday, we were back in Lyon for district meeting which was great! Then that night, we took the train to Beaune to teach our recent convert, Alain, who is doing GREAT! And he always makes us chocolate mousse when we come over. Yum!

On Saturday, we had a small geneaology party at the church. Laurent came (who is now an avid geneaologist) and he helped our friend Madame Fistarol work on her geneaology. Want to hear a cool story? So, Mme Fistarol has Italian ancestors from a little ville called Termini Imerese in Sicily. Well, just before going to help her, we were watching a movie called “How Rare a Possession” about the Book of Mormon and this guy in Italy who was one of the first converts there. And he was baptized in Termini Imerese!!! What are the odds? Mme Fistarol’s ancestors probably knew Vincenzo di Francesca. Maybe he talked with them about the church. When we recounted this story to Mme Fistarol, she wasn’t nearly as excited as we were, but she agreed that it was a very cool “coincidence”.

Yesterday was stake conference. Luckily, we were actually able to get it shown at the Chalon building for the first time thanks to the Millers! So, we watched conference there and it was so great! We had lots of great speakers. Our stake president launched a challenge to all the members to, this year, focus on Elder Ballard’s challenges: Study Preach My Gospel, prepare one name to take to the temple, and invite someone once a trimester to take the missionary lessons. They gave every member of the stake a little satchet with one yellow stone, one blue stone, and 4 red stones in it.  The yellow stone represents PMG, the blue stone represents the name prepared for the temple, and the red stones represent 4 friends invited to take the discussions. They placed three jars in each church building. Whenever a member meets one of these challenges, they place their stone in the jar. Next year at stake conference, they will collect all the jars and we will see how much we were able to do as the Lyon stake towards meeting Elder Ballard’s challenges. It was a really cool and motivating idea! We in the Chalon branch are excited to get started! We know that Elder Ballard is an apostle of the Lord and that if we follow his counsels, we will be blessed!

This week is Halloween! The frenchies aren’t much for Halloween, but I’m trying to drum us up a Halloween activity anyways.

We will be traveling to Lyon this week for zone conference with Elder Kearon of the seventy! We are so excited to have him and his wife coming to speak to us. It should be pretty cool! Stay tuned!

Have a good week!

Avec amour,

Soeur Jones

le motier

Bonjour tout le monde!

This week was really great! We had lots of fun stuff happen!

On Monday night, we went out to Beaune to do a FHE for the members that live out there (it’s too far away to drive to the Chalon FHE every Monday). So, we gathered in our recent convert, Alain’s, apartment and sang and had a little lesson on obedience and for an activity, we made thank you cards for all the people that had borne their testimonies in sacrament meeting the day before. Plus, Alain made us his famous chocolate mousse. So it was good times all around.

On Wednesday, we spent lots of time at the church. We have this little old lady (a non-member) who comes every week and we help her do her geneaology on Family Search (’cause she doesn’t know how to use computers). We sit there and enter things into family search and do research on geneological websites for her. She never knows what’s going on though. She just sits there and randomly points at the screen and says, “1928. Yes. That’s my grandfather.” Even if it’s a totally random unrelated person. We’ve been working with her for a while, and we’ve been hitting a dead end the last couple of weeks. However, this week, we hit the jackpot! We found birth and baptismal records for an entire line of her family from Italy! Soeur Andreasen and I were so excited! We were freaking out and little ol’ Madame Fistarol was just like, “what?”

Then we taught english class. This is one of my favorite missionary activities. I LOVE teaching english class. It’s so much fun. This week was especially fun, because Soeur Andreasen and I taught our class, “Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree.” And the hand motions. 🙂 It was so funny to watch them all, concentrating really hard to sing “Spreeng as brot me sutch a neece supreese” and do the hand motions at the same time. Then we talked about holidays and the difference between certain holidays in America and in France. At the end, one of the people asked, “Ees all you americans do ees eat?” And I said, “Oui.”

Thursday night, we had dinner at our ward mission leader/collector/building a museum in his backyard-er’s house. And it was good times. He’s building a museum in his backyard where the first exhibition will be about the Bourgonian vineyards.

So today, we are supposed to have a zone pday in Lyon. But, by the time that Satuday evening came, we still didn’t have any information about it other than our train tickets. So, I called the zone leaders and figured out that it was a giant unorganized mess and they didn’t know what to do. They had some activity ideas, but it was too late on Saturday for them to try to call everyone to bring treats and everything. So they were stressed. But since we live right next door to a Carrefour, I said, “We will take care of the snacks!” So we ran to the Carrefour and yesterday afternoon, I made 99 sugar cookies. And about 1 kilo of frosting.

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These boxes are FULL of cookies stacked up like that… Hope we have enough.
I’ll take some pictures of the finished, decorated cookies today and send them out next week!
Have a great week everybody!
Avec amour,
Soeur Jones

Chalon, week 2

Bonjour tout le monde!

Well. We spent this week running around like crazy hooligans because we have SO much to do.

I feel like we spend our whole lives on trains.

We’ve been taking the train out to Beaune, a small ville about 25 minutes from Chalon, twice a week to visit our recent convert, Alain, and his next door neighbor (who is a member), Soeur Ziveri. Going to Soeur Ziveri’s to teach Alain is always fun because Soeur Ziveri’s apartment is like a boarding house. There’s always new and random people living there. Also, she has 8 cats. Less fun, but equally as entertaining. However, Alain is doing great! He loves the gospel and is preparing to receive the Aaronic Priesthood. Yay! Take that Satan.

We were also on the train to Lyon again this week, going to zone training. Zone training was AWESOME! One of the best I’ve had my whole mission! So, a few weeks ago, President Roney, in the mission newsletter, told us that he had been inspired recently by the story of the Title of Liberty. So, in his attempt to be all Captain Moroni like, he rent one of his white missionary shirts and wrote on it:

In memory of our God, our religion, our mission, our pleasantries, our homes, and our families (present and future). REMEMBER. Trust in God continually. France Lyon Mission.

And then he signed it. And called it the Title of Baptistry. And then he invited us all to do it too! So, in our zone, we all made titles of baptistry. And we talked about sacrifice. It was a touching meeting and I had the opportunity to do a musical number with another sister in the zone. We performed “Come Unto Christ”, the youth theme music for this year. It was really fun!

On Saturday morning, we had a fun young adult activity that we planned. We had planned on going out and playing football, (as in soccer….) but it was raining (it’s been exceptionally rainy here lately), so we had an indoor game day with Laurent and his sister and some other JA’s from the branch. It was super fun!

It was fun going to church yesterday. Because of General Conference, we didn’t have normal church last week, so this was the first week that I finally got to see everyone. The sister missionaries are now the young women’s presidents of the branch, so Soeur Andreasen and I get to teach our one young woman every Sunday, which is good times. I’ve been reading through the new youth manual and I think it’s so great! But it was fun to be back. It was just like coming back to my home ward. I’m pretty sure some of the older members didn’t think that I ever left…

This week is looking to be a super busy week as well. Wish us luck!!! (Especially with our 20 lessons!)

Avec amour,

Soeur Jones

Chalon chalon chalon

I AM SO HAPPY.

I love Chalon Sur Saône so much. As I’ve been getting back into contact with the members of the branch and old investigators this week, I’ve felt SO much love! I am so blessed to be back in Chalon for my last transfer.

Unfortunately, we were rarely in Chalon this week. We were in and out of Lyon every other day! Wednesday morning, we got a call from the office saying, “WHERE ARE YOU?” I said, “Uh… we’re in Chalon…” They said, “You are supposed to be in here in an hour and a half for Soeur Andreasen’s legality appointment!” This is grave because legality appointments CANNOT be missed… or the governement gets mad at the mission. However, we had never received any tickets or notification that we were supposed to go that week. So, the office told us there was a train in 15 minutes that could MAYBE get us there on time. So, we RAN out of the house and SPRINTED to the gare and we caught the train. And made it to Lyon. And were only 16 seconds late for her appointment. We were pretty proud of ourselves. So, we spent a surprise Wednesday in Lyon.

Then we were back in Lyon on Friday for Blue’s Conference. It was super fun! Soeur Andreasen got to reunite with all of her blue friends and I got to see lots of cool missionaries that I know from all over the mission! We spent time being taught about the important principles that trainers teach in the first 12 weeks and did LOTS of awkward role plays. It was great!

And the time we were in Chalon was even BETTER! I’ve been so thrilled walking around and realizing that Eric the street cleaner and the guy with the big moustache that works in the kebab shop still remember who I am. It’s super fun. Chalon is blowing up with missionary work too! We have LOTS of amis and less actives we are working with. Sometimes I wonder how we’re going to fit it all in in a week!

ALSO, we had General Conference. Which was really just the best. Apart from the serious technical difficulties. The church had a hard time getting conference on the Internet in different languages, so on Sunday, we were only able to access conference in English… So. I had to translate. Conference. I never noticed before, but those guys use lots of big words that I don’t know how to translate in French. But I did the best I could and I think everyone caught the drift. I felt so uplifted by conference! I loved the emphasis on personal revelation and introspection. WE ARE SO LUCKY to have a living prophet and apostles on the earth today and to have the opportunity to listen to them share the will of God for us!

We are looking forward to another VERY busy but VERY great week here in Chalon! Hope everyone else’s weeks are equally as great! If you didn’t get a chance to watch all the sessions of conference, you totally should find some time to do it this week! They were all SO great!

Avec amour,

Soeur Jones

Sorry about the total lack of photos. I’ll repent and do better next week.

CHALON SUR SAONE

Did the subject line give it away?

Yep. I’m back in Chalon.

President called me on Friday and said, “Soeur Jones, you’re going home!” I said, “Oh no President, you’re mistaken, I still have one more transfer left!” He said, “Yeah I know, and you’re going home. You’re going back to your people! You’re going back to Chalon!” And then I screamed. A lot. With joy.

So here I am! Back in Chalon! And I am thrilled out of my mind! Not many missionaries get to spend their last transfer in their favorite ville of their whole mission! From what I’ve heard the branch is pretty excited I’m coming back too (especially Laurent). So it should be a happy homecoming!:)

My new companion is Soeur Andreasen. She’s in her second transfer, so I’ll be finishing training her! We actually just figured out on the train ride here that she was in my freshman ward at BYU! How weird is that? The world is small.

Here’s another small world moment I had this week: Soeur Frandsen and I went to a family in our ward’s home for dinner. As we were walking toward the table, I saw a wedding announcement on their table. It was my cousin Steven’s wedding announcement. I said, “Wait wait wait, how do you know these people?” They said, “Oh Aryan is the daughter of one of my husband’s mission companions!” I said, “Hey! That’s my cousin!” How crazy is that? So… the Cuche family says hi to Steven and Aryan! haha.

We had a great last week in Lyon. Our investigator, Dan, received an answer to his prayers! He says he knows that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet! He wants to be baptized next month! He was very sad that I wouldn’t be able to attend, but we were SO happy for him and his decision!

On Saturday, we had another mission wide baptism. We had 20 baptisms in the France Lyon mission! We had four in Lyon, and were able to attend the group baptism! It was so great!

We spent Sunday eating. And eating. And eating. The last Sundays are always like that. We had lunch at Joy and Yves’ house and dinner at the Pascaud’s. I thought I was going to explode.

Well folks. This is it. Transfer 12. I am so excited to be back in Chalon for it! I have a feeling that we are going to see crazy miracles this transfer!
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I ate these snails last week. Yep. I’m a real frenchy.

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​Look who I found! ERNEST! Remember ernest? I taught him when I was brand new in Lyon?  And he got baptized after I went to Chalon for the first time? (Wow. It’s starting to get confusing how many times I’ve served in all these places.) He’s doing great! And he was so happy to see me!
Have a great week everyone!
Avec amour,
Soeur Jones

Seven weeks to go!

Bonjour tout le monde!

This week was good! We started out with an exchange with the sisters in Saint Etienne. That was fun! I went to Saint Etienne for the day with Soeur Pape and we had a great time! Saint Etienne is booming with miracles! We had a great day!

We were also in Saint Etienne for our district meeting on Thursday. I made chicken tortilla soup- it’s a favorite. Everyone always requests that. This week, for district meeting I’m making a traditional french dish called Tartiflette. I’ll let you know how it goes next Monday.

Speaking of next Monday, I start my last transfer OF MY MISSION next Monday. I’m freaking out a little. We have transfer calls this Friday and I’m already getting anxiety about it. I have no clue what will happen! Though I’m pretty sure I’ll stay here in Lyon.

OH! Here’s an exciting thing- there was a stake priesthood meeting at our chapel on Saturday, and we were there at the chapel teaching a lesson at the same time as the meeting. And guess who was there? Laurent! It’s the first time I’ve seen him since I left Chalon! He’s doing great and his mission papers are almost done! He will be sending them in next week! He was really excited to see me and he updated me on all the goings on in Chalon. Things sound like they’re great! So that was a fun moment!

Our ami Dan, who is the best friend of our recent convert has a baptismal date! YAYYY!!!!! He’s started reading the Book of Mormon and he’s really progressing! He’s been to church the last 4 weeks in a row. He asks lots of good questions and takes everything to the Lord. We’re hoping for an October baptism!

We had a pretty fun movie night last night at the institute. We watched 17 Miracles. All the missionaries in Lyon were there plus their amis/recent converts/ less actives/ members. It was funny because it isn’t dubbed in French, there are only french subtitles. So we watched it in English with french subtitles and the french translation was….really funny.

In other news, I’ve mostly forgotten how to speak about gospel subjects in English. On exchange in Saint Etienne, Soeur Pape and I taught their ami from Nigeria… in english. It was laughable how hard of a time I had. Even saying the prayer was a huge struggle…. I’m worried for my future… I kept blanking on the english words for things and saying english words in french grammar construction… it was super awkward.

Well. I can’t believe it’s week 6 already! Wish us luck!

avec amour,

Soeur jones