Being a missionary makes you get bags under your eyes. . .

Bonjour all!

This week was rather eventful, fairly difficult, but a good week overall.

On Monday, we met the Elders from our ward down at Parc de la Tete d’Or. It was beautiful. It’s this huge park in the middle of Lyon with a free zoo and a huge botanical garden. There were hundreds of Frenchies there just hanging out in the park. We walked through the zoo and played some American Football as passers-by looked at us with the “They must be Americans” look on their face. (We get this look a LOT).

On Tuesday, we met with our ami François. He’s from Cote d’Ivoire and an older man and he’s super cool! He loves the Gospel and loves taking the lessons from us. He’s told us that he’s really committed to being baptized, however, he isn’t keeping all of  his committments. He believes that since he already believes the Gospel is true, he doesn’t need to do anything else. It’s very frustrating, but we’re doing everything we can.

We also met with Ludmilia (who was baptized two weeks ago). We taught her about eternal marriage and at the end of the lesson, she said the prayer and prayed for us all to find husbands. LOL. It was all I could do to keep from laughing in the middle of the prayer. Ludmilia is such a amazing person. She loves the church SO MUCH. She is going to do really great things for the church in her lifetime, I just know it.

On Wednesday, we had an exchange. Soeur Stevens went to Saint étienne and Soeur Russell from Saint étienne came to spend a day with us. We spent most of the day contacting. Contacting is the big focus in the Lyon mission right now. It’s all about contacting at least 50 people a day. Contacting is NOT my favorite thing in the world, but I’m trying to love it. It still just feels a bit awkward to me, and usually people don’t want to listen to you anyways, but I’m working on it. Contacting really helps my French, so that’s a plus!

We also met with one of our amis, who asked us to call her Maman Hélène. So we do. Her husband is a member of the church and the missionaries have been working with her for a long time. She’s a strong woman, and very stubborn which makes it hard for the missionaries to get through to her. But our lesson was great! We were really able to address some of her major concerns about the church and the Livre de Mormon which was great. At the end, she offered a very heartfelt prayer to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet and to know if we really need a prophet today. It’s a little stressful, just because as a missionary, you spend so much time worrying about whether or not her answer came, or whether or not she’ll recognize it when it does, but I’m trying to learn to better leave it all to the Lord and trust he’ll do what’s right for her. Then, she told us we were too skinny and gave us ice cream. This happens a lot with people we visit. If it keeps going like this, they won’t be able to tell me I’m too skinny for much longer…

On Thursday, we had district meeting in Saint étienne. It was my first time to travel out of Lyon, so I was pretty excited! We took an hour long train ride into Saint étienne, which is a beautiful, beautiful city. It’s much smaller than Lyon and it’s exactly what you imagine the south of France looking like. It’s all rolling green hills with little villages of white homes with red tile roofs nestled in. We met in the church building with our district and talked about the work in our area, practiced contacting, and made lunch together. It’s always a good time when we get to meet with other missionaries. We have a lot of fun together.
 This is the lovely district. (From left to right: Elder McCarty and Elder Petek (the zone leaders), Elder Nelson and Elder Wheat (the district leader), The Greens (they are missionaries at the LDS youth center in Lyon), Soeur Hills, yours truly, Soeur Stevens, and Soeur Russell and Soeur Modersitzki (the sisters in Saint étienne).

ImageSometimes you leave district meeting to find pictures like this on your camera.

On  Thursday, after we got back to Lyon, we had a first lesson with a lady named Nicole who we contacted at Gorge de Loup (our favorite contacting area). The lesson was pretty good. Nicole had a lot of questions, but didn’t seem as interested to hear about anything else. However, we are visiting with her again this week, so hopefully the second lesson goes well!

On Friday, we woke up to find the nastiest rash on Soeur Stevens’ feet. It was nothing that I’ve ever seen before (and I’ve seen a lot of rashes, as you well know). So we went into the pharmacie, which here is more like a doctor, and they gave her some medication to put on it and see if it goes away.

We were able to see our ami, Sy for the first time in FOREVER. Sy is 26 and from Senegal.  He has a baptismal date and thinks the Gospel is just the best thing ever. We know he could be baptized soon if he would just meet with us! We taught him the  Plan of Salvation lesson and he loved it. He says that everything in the Gospel just makes sense, that it appeals to logic and to heart. This is so true. All of our questions (or pretty much all) can be answered through the Gospel.

We taught François with Ludmilia. We had an entire lesson just about reading the scriptures. Ludmilia is a lawyer and she LOVES the Book of Mormon, and she just went at him. She was basically like, “All of your excuses are stupid. If you wanted to read, you would.” It was hilarious. And a little terrifying. Hopefully, he got the message.

We also had our ami Mercy’s baptismal interview at the church. It was very hard, because it ended with her not being able to be baptized this Sunday. She is from Nigeria, she doesn’t read, and her comprehension level is very low. We teach her like a child, but sometimes she still doesn’t understand. The Elders felt that she needs more time to better understand the Restoration and the Book of Mormon before she is baptized. That was a really hard thing to explain to her and we were so worried she would feel like she did something wrong, when it really wasn’t her fault at all. It was a difficult night for all of us, but the seven of us missionaries talked a lot about what we could do to better prepare her for a future baptismal date.

Then, Soeur Stevens’ foot rash was spreading and turning purple, so we stopped by the Roney’s house to have Soeur Roney look at it. (She’s a nurse). She was quite worried about it. She thinks it’s some kind of bacterial infection that is causing it. (Perhaps from her grody blister problem last week).

So, Saturday morning, we went to the doctor. French doctors are kind of… different. He was old. And wearing jeans and sneakers and a plaid shirt that was unbuttoned down to his belly button practically. It was so freaky. He prescribed Soeur Stevens some antibiotics and we just took the prescription and ran… cause we were a little freaked out.

We got the prescriptions filled and stopped at a little patisserie across the street and got some pains au chocolats. I’ve had many a pain au chocolat since I’ve been here, but this one was the BEST EVER. It was flaky on the outside and soft on the inside. It was filled with chocolate chips and “mystery cream” (It’s this cream that is inside most pastries here… and we don’t know what it is. . . but it’s tasty!) And it was covered with almonds and powdered sugar. We scarfed those things down and decided we would definitely be coming back soon.

Because Soeur Stevens could barely walk, we spent most of the day in the apartment. We did our weekly planning (which usually takes about five hours) and started making our own streetboard! Which I loved! Cause I got to be crafty! I’ll send a picture next week when we finish it!

On Saturday night, Soeur Hills and I were out in the main room writing in our journals. All of a sudden, like four bugs landed on my journal. I looked up and there was a thick, black layer of bugs covering our walls and ceiling. We realized we had accidentally left the outside door cracked! It was so barfy. So we grabbed the vacuum and spent about an hour vacuuming our walls/ceiling.

Here’s a really attractive picture of me vacuuming the ceiling:

Yesterday, Sy came to church for the first time! And he LOVED it. He said he can’t wait to come back! Whoop! We visited some older ladies in the ward that can’t come to church because of health reasons.

It rained today, so the weather was really nice and cool for the first time since I’ve been here! I was not prepared for it to be so hot here! So the rain is nice!

I hope everything is going well at home and that everyone is healthy and happy!

Love, Soeur Jones

PS. My companions are dorks.


la deuxieme semaine a Lyon

Bonjour! This week has been pretty eventful!

Last Monday, we searched out this Mexican restaurant that some other missionaries were talking about. It was supposedly a French version of Chipotle. I didn’t hold high hopes because… ew… it’s mexican food in France. However, we found it and tried it and it actually wasn’t too bad. It of course doesn’t hold a candle to Chipotle or even to Cafe Rio, but it was nice to have some guac and black beans. (Both of which don’t exist here otherwise.)

On Tuesday, we had a lesson with our ami François. We taught him the Plan of Salvation lesson and at the end I ASKED HIM IF HE WANTED TO GET BAPTIZED on August 25th. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I thought I was going to throw up on his shoes. But he totally said yes! He was surprised that we thought he’d be ready by then, but he said that baptism was what he wants in the end. So yay! François is really cool! I’m so excited to be teaching him! 

After we taught François, we had RCM at the church where we meet with the ward mission leader and talk about our amis. Anyways, Frère Kodo (the WML) asked me to give the lesson in the investigator Sunday School this week. I was like… um… I don’t speak French!!! Then he said… Well I guess you’d better learn! Yeesh.

On Wednesday, we had dinner with a less active member who just moved into our ward boundaries. We actually found her on accident. We randomly contacted her on the street and she was like, I’m a member! She’s from Canada, but she’s married to a man from Lyon who is not a member. She made us Thai food (which was really good!) And then we had the cheese/yogurt courses for dessert, and I had to eat Roquefort. It was the strongest cheese I have ever tasted… It was kinda yucky. I’m not a fan, but I guess I’d better saddle up…. ’cause everyone here LOVES Roquefort. We shared a small spiritual thought with them, and she said she was really grateful that she met us on the street and that she missed the church in her life. So, we invited her to church, but they didn’t come:(  She’s really cool though, so I can’t wait to keep working with her!

Soeur Stevens got a blister yesterday, and today it got totally infected. Her entire leg is swollen and red and the blister is like the most mutated, disgusting thing you’ve ever seen. We went to the doctor, and he cut out the infection (barfy) and said she needed to keep her foot elevated for 18 hours a day…. yeah right! So, we’re just trying to take it easy and drive as many places as we can.

Thursday was zone conference, and it was really fun! There are so many amazing missionaries here in Lyon! Soeur Roney announced to the whole group that she and I are “almost related.” Mehe.

On Friday, we had weekly planning, which takes like 4 hours. 4 hours of planning. Yeesh. Honestly, the end of our week was fairly uneventful because Soeur Stevens’ foot was about to fall off… lol.

On Saturday, the Elders in our ward and us Sisters fasted for our mission goal, which is to have 50 baptisms in the month of July. We’re hoping that we reach it! We taught François again, this time the Gospel of Jesus Christ lesson. He said during the lesson that he is fully committed to the church and to being baptized, so we have another engagée! It’s so exciting! The best part of teaching on Saturday was seeing François get that light in his eyes that means that he understands and he wants to change. It’s amazing. Being a missionary has some low lows, but the highs are the highest highs ever! (I’m not entirely sure that sentence made sense, but I don’t really speak English that often anymore… I think I’m losing my touch.)

On Sunday, I taught investigator Sunday School and I was really nervous! The lesson was on the Word of Wisdom. In the middle of my lesson, these two investigators got in this huge argument. I didn’t know what to do! The Elders were trying to break it up, but neither of them were listening to anyone. I almost cried. lol. not kidding though… But it turned out okay. I had the Elders help me with an object lesson that everyone got a kick out of. I had the Elders both put on their empty backpacks. One I left empty and the other I filled with cans that I labeled as different things that are against the Word of Wisdom, and I had them see who could do more pushups. The amis thought that that was the most hilarious thing they had ever seen, so at least that turned out well.

We had another baptism in the ward! Elder Petek and Elder McCarty’s ami Paul got baptized! 

ImageHe looks kinda angry here, but he’s really the nicest guy ever!ImageThis is the whole group. Sorry it’s so blurry. That’s why we’re all laughing, cause I asked Frère Kodo to take a picture and he was having the hardest time figuring out how to work the camera.

ImageHere’s a pic of me and my lovely companion Soeur Stevens. Sometimes we accidentally coordinate our outfits very well. And we think it’s really funny.

ImageThis week, we traveled out of Lyon and into the more rural part of our area. We visited a city called Villefranche. It’s pretty much the most beautiful place ever. If you want to live in Southern France, move to Villefranche. This is a picture of the city hall. It looks way prettier in person, I promise!

This week was great, and went by so much faster than the first. Missionary work is hard stuff, but I’m loving it! 

I miss and love y’all!

Soeur Jones


Week one

Bonjour ma famille!

This week was so crazy. I don’t think I’ve ever been so tired in my life. If I don’t get used to this working/sleep schedule, I’m going to come home a crazy in 17 months. Yep! Only 17 months left now! My one month missionary birthday was on Friday. Apparently mission birthdays are a big deal. So we had cake. I made Texas Sheet Cake for Soeur Hills and Soeur Stevens and they LOVED IT. Soeur Stevens says it’s the best cake she’s ever had. Score one for Soeur Jones.

To answer your question mom, yes, we do run every morning. We run along the Saone River in the mornings (about a mile), which is an easy distance, but my companions are in REALLY good shape. They run SOOO fast. It’s a struggle for now being a fattie missionary…

It is HOT HOT HOT here. It’s been in the high 90’s almost every day since I’ve arrived. I was not prepared for that. Thanks for getting my mild summer hopes up Southern France. The weather’s about like Texas, except there is NO AIR CONDITIONING ANYWHERE!!! It’s so hot and we spend most of the day in the sun, so I am developing the foot tan of all foot tans. I think by the end of 17 months, it may even rival dad’s tiger stripes.


This is it’s progress so far. Sorry to those of you who are grossed out by feet. This tan is just too good to not share. (Fisherwoman shoe tan).

So, we do SO much contacting. We contact on the bus, on the metro, walking on the street, streetboarding. I’m still not really over the awkwardness of it all. Our goal is to contact and talk about the gospel with 350 per week, but this week we talked to 570 people. Being in a threesome does have it’s advantages. (Though I’m not super helpful yet as I can barely understand anyone I talk to). Streetboarding is my favorite way to contact. We go to one of the squares or plazas in our area with this giant board that has a google map on it of Lyon and it says “You are here….. WHY??” mahahaha I think it’s soooo funny. (Oh no. I’m already weird and I’ve only been a missionary for one month…) But then we just talk to every single person that walks on that sidewalk. Sometimes people say really funny things when we try to contact them like..

“Hi, we’re missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

Random man: “Me too.”

We were caught so off guard that he just ran away.


“Hi, we’re missionaries and we’re here to share a message centered on Jesus Christ.”

Random man: “Oh great. I’m having him over for dinner tonight. I’ll tell him I saw you.”


“Hi, we’re the missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ- What are your thoughts on God?”

Random old man turns to me and says, “Vous avez les yeux d’une Spaniard.” (You have the eyes of a Spaniard.)

The other Soeurs think it’s kind of exasperating. I think it’s hilarious.

People also always say really funny things when I tell them I’m from Texas. Texas is pretty much the only state you can just say without saying that it is in the US, cause everyone knows about Texas. Like this one guy in the ward asked me where I was from, and I said Texas, and he said (in a really thick french accent) :  Howdy y’all! And I just started laughing. Or one of the ward missionaires, after finding out I was from Texas, proceeds to explain to me (for like 15 minutes) that he watches french reruns of Spongebob Squarepants, and Sandy the squirrel on Spongebob is from Texas, so he knows all about Texas. LOL. French people are great.

We had our first dinner appointment this week! We teach a less active member named Soeur Theroomy who is from Malaysia. She used to own a Malaysian restaurant in Grenoble. So, she came to a member’s home to make us some Malaysian curry for dinner. We invited a few of the Sisters from the ward to come: Soeur Anderson (She’s from the US, and her husband is working here), Soeur Cuche (the Bishop’s wife), and Comfort (a young law student who is my favorite). Anyways, she made a few kinds of curry and rices and it was SOOO GOOOD. But the best part was this: Soeur Cuche brought her daughter who just turned eight to the dinner appointment. Soeur Anderson had made a strawberry shortcake with cream cheese frosting for dessert (very American and with tons of sugar.) French cake is more like bread…. so this cake was strange to all the Frenchies. Anyways, Soeur Anderson gives the little Cuche girl a piece of her cake. This little girl takes a bite and promptly spits it back out on her plate and yells “EWW Sucré!!” (ewww too sweet). It was so funny to me. French people have such different palates than us. Then, her poor mother was mortified and so she eats her daughter’s piece too (even though she was struggling to choke down the first one). Mehe. I enjoyed this spectacle a little too much. You don’t get this kind of excitement too much on the mish.


This is  Comfort and I at the dinner appointment. She is the best. She’s going to law school right now, and is also pregnant with her first baby. She speaks perfect french and english, so she helps me with my french a lot. She also says that I’m too skinny, so she gives me chocolate whenever she sees me.


It was Ludimilia’s baptism yesterday after church. She’s a golden ami. When she came to church yesterday morning, she said she didn’t sleep at all the night before because she was so excited to get baptized.


Here’s the companions and I with Ludmilia right before her baptism! She’s the cutest ever. She was so afraid of the water. But it was so great and she was so happy!

Then, we had a big goute afterwards. Many of the members in Lyon are from Africa, so there was soooo much African food (basically fried chicken and fried bread). It was great! The ward members really took Ludmilia under their wing and showed her how much they cared about her, which is so important for amis. The missionaries come and go, but the members are there for that new convert even over missionary mutations. (They call transfers mutations here… weird huh?)

But it was SOOO cool. Ludmilia’s greatest dream in this world was to have a Livre de Mormon with the gold leafed pages. So we got her one for her baptism and she totally freaked out. It was the funniest thing. She went on and on about how beautiful the pages d’orée are.

Sunday night, we had ice cream with this adorable couple in the ward. Their names are Pierre and Pierette. (I know right??!!??) They met when they were in their late 50’s and got married. She was a member, but he wasn’t. He got baptized when he was 87 years old and they went to the temple when he was 88. Now he’s 92, and they are the most adorable thing you will ever see.

We are teaching a man named François who came to church for the first time yesterday. There was a lesson on tithing in Priesthood, and he came to us afterwards and asked when he could pay his tithing. He loved the baptism and told us that that was why he was meeting with us, he wants to get baptized. So we may have another baptism coming up in the next month or two!!

There’s another baptism in our ward next Sunday. The Elders are baptizing this really cool ami named Paul. The work is moving so quickly in écully! They just announced that they will have to split the écully ward soon because it is getting to be so big!! They’re also going to be building a new stake center here, because the old one isn’t big enough! The Lord is truly preparing this country for a temple. It’s amazing!

My companions and I are getting along so well! We have a lot of fun, and we are dreading mutation day (in just three weeks) because Président has already said that the trio won’t be together for two transfers… YIKES! So this means one or more of us are getting moved in three weeks… but I guess we’ll just have to wait until then to find out. I hate waiting.

I miss and love you all a lot!

Avec amour,

Soeur Jones

E-mail, 8 July 2013

Bonjour ma famille!

So I know that you’re all wondering where I am serving, so I’ll tell you that first thing!

I am serving innnnnn…..
LYON!!! Right here in the city!

I am serving in the écully area in the écully ward which happens to be the ward the Roneys attend as well as the APs and the zone leaders… maybe they just wanted to keep an eye on me cause they think I’m a troublemaker.

Okay so now that that’s out of the way, I’ll start from the beginning.
Soeur Johnson and I arrived in Lyon at about 2:15pm on Saturday to find that the airline had lost one of each of our bags… yeesh. And the baggage lady was grumpy and French.
But then we met the Roneys and the APs and they were very nice and bought us lunch at the airport and drove us back to the Mission Office in the middle of Lyon. They took our pictures (even though we looked very haggardy after 21 hours of traveling.) And then they sat us down in a small meeting and assigned us to our first areas. I got assigned to Lyon and I’m SOOOO excited! Lyon is so beautiful! I got to meet my companions right then because they live so nearby. And yes, I have companionS. We’re a trio here in écully now!
And here they are! The Soeur on the left is Soeur Hills. She’s from British Columbia, Canada and she’s my <<mom>>. She’s an awesome trainer! I love her already! She always makes sure that I have something to say during a lesson even though I can never usually understand the amis (that’s what you call investigators in French).
Soeur Stevens is on the right. She’s from Palo Alto California and she’s super cute and fun. She’s obesessed with Tim Riggins and fresh mozarella, so we get along well. She’s only been out for 6 weeks, so Soeur Hills has to train us both. President Roney says this is happening more and more because they’ve gone from 30 to 80 Soeurs in the last few months. There aren’t enough trainers to go around!
Anyways, after we met at the office on Saturday night, they took me to a small café for dîner where we had baguette with fresh mozarella and tomatos on top and pain au chocolat. It was SOOO good. And so Frenchy.
Then they took me back to our little french apartment. Did I mention we have a car? We are one of two équipes of Soeurs in the whole mission who have a car. Our area is too big to get along without one. Lucky us! But I probably could use some walking… Anyways, our apartment is SOOO cute and tiny. But fun. It is right along the Saône River, so it’s beautiful! Here are some pictures! (And yes… our bathroom is bigger than our kitchen).
Here’s our front room. That’s my Ikea desk (on the very right) that Soeur Hills and Soeur Stevens built for me! In the left corner is our dining table where we plan and eat meals.
Here’s my desk where I study and such. I still haven’t unpacked completely, so it’s a little bare. And yes, that sign says <<Bienvenue notre bleue!>> In France, they call new missionaries Bleues instead of greenies. No one seems to be able to tell me why.
Our tiny kitchen:)
That’s my bed on top!
Our front door. In the apartment complex, everyone has a nice golden plaque on the front door, except for us. We have this paper. On which Les Missionnaires is spelled wrong. lolzz
Anyways, so Saturday night, I got to come home early and go to bed early (which was nice because I was exhausted)
Then I was awake at like 5:00. Yeesh.
The next morning, we had church at 9:00am. My first day in the ward! French people love to mingle, so Sociéte de Secour (Relief Society) started kinda late. The scariest thing was that eveyone bisoued each other. (They kissed on both cheeks). We don’t have to bisou the Frères, but we have to bisou the Soeurs otherwise it’s unpolite. Frankly, it was kinda strange. I just wasn’t at all prepared for the bisouing.
But the church building is adorable.
And guess what??? My companions have a baptism next sunday that I get to be part of since I will teach her with them this week! Her name is Ludmilia and she’s AWESOME!!! So take that everyone who told me I would never see a baptism on my mission! I’ll be part of one my first week!
The church members are really nice. They love the missionaries! The écully ward is one of the biggest wards in France. The Roneys think they are about to split it. But it’s great. The Bishop speaks so fast I never understand a word he says. During Sacrament Meeting, he called me to the stand in front of the whole ward and made me bear my testimony IN FRENCH. I almost threw up. Then, as a reward for giving a understandable testimony, he gave me a referral that came to him from the Saint George visitor’s center! He said, “Here’s your first mission miracle Soeur Jones” (cause they almost NEVER get referrals). We are going to visit her tonight! We planned a short lesson, so hopefully she’s there! It’ll be my first real lesson with a real ami!
 Here’s a not very good pic of the church building. I’ll try to get a better one later. But isn’t it cute??
We were at church an hour and a half after sacrament meeting because french people love to mingle so dang much. It’s great though. We set up a meeting on Wednesday night with a less active member from Malaysia. We’re going to the relief society president’s house with the relief society presidency and the less active is teaching us how to make malaysian food. I’m pretty excited for that!
Speaking of food, I am eating pretty well because both of my companions love to cook. So basically my life is good. We eat a lot of tomatos and mozarella. We are making Texas sheet cake on Thursday because it is my one month birthday! And also because the Sister Training Leaders are coming to visit. Since we live so close to the mission office, Soeur Hills says that we often have Soeurs from all over the mission staying with us… which is awkward because our apartment is soooo tiny. But it’s fun.
After church, we had chicken with mozarella and tomatoes (lol I was serious about eating that every meal) and finished our studies. Then, the Soeurs and I did some role play contacting because we are doing a lot of street contacting this week. That a huge thing in our mission.
SEND ME MAIL! My new address is:
Les Missionaires
Soeur Jones
13 Quai Pierre Scize
F – 69009 Lyon
Make sure you write Les Missionaires on the top, cause that’s what it says on our mailbox. All packages have to be sent to the mission home. They’ll call and tell me if I have a package to pick up. So packages go to the address I previously gave out.
I love you all and I miss you!
 This is what we see when we walk out of our apartment. Need I say more about how Lyon is the best place ever???
Lyon is amazing and so are my companions. We have lots of work to do and a very busy week, so I’m excited!
Today, we’re going grocery shopping and maybe to the park/zoo in the middle of town… we’ll see!!
Tonight we’re going porting (door to door) and visiting our referral, so wish us luck!
Soeur Jones

In country!

I received word (via e-mail from the mission office) that Jordan arrived in Lyon today, July 6th at around 2:00 pm Lyon time. She’d been traveling nearly 24 hours by that time. She was met at the airport by President and Sister Roney.



Visa approved!

Jordan e-mailed yesterday that she received her visa and travel plans. She leaves Salt Lake Friday morning (July 5th) and is flying to Lyon via Chicago and London. She is slated to arrive in Lyon at approximately 2 PM on July 6th.