“Qu’ils sont beaux sur les montagnes, les pieds de celui qui porte de bonnes nouvelles”

I’m kind of freaking out right now. Because the mission sent out an email saying transfer calls will be made TOMORROW instead of Friday. WHAT? I’m freaking out. I hate transfer calls. They make me so nervous. President Roney always makes fun of me for being the “freakiest transfer day missionary in the whole mission.” 

So. As of tomorrow, I’ll know if I’m being transferred or not. Pray for my sanity.
 
This week was good! We had lots going on. 
 
On Tuesday, we had our weekly streetboarding session with the Elders. About an hour into streetboarding, I wasn’t having much success getting people to stop. I said a prayer that I would be able to just find someone who would answer our questionnaire. The next guy I contacted stopped. He answered the questionnaire and we got into a conversation that turned into me teaching him the Restoration lesson on the street. He’s from London, and so I was able to give him a Book of Mormon and show him how to contact the missionaries near him. It was amazing! 
 
Tuesday was also Soeur Cherry’s birthday. The district threw a party for her at RCM and then, when we went to the sister training leader’s house to start our exchange, we had another little birthday party.
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We only had a really big candle, so Soeur Hutchins had to hold it on top of Soeur Cherry’s cheesecake.

On Wednesday, we had an exchange with the sister training leaders. Soeur Luthi and I worked in their area. In the morning, we contacted into two young students who were interested in learning more about our message of a living prophet. We were able to schedule a lesson for later that day. The lesson was… very tiring. One of the people was obviously just there to fight with us. I had to hold myself back from smacking him. The amazing thing was that.. despite this guy’s rude comments, his friend was totally touched and really interested! The Lord doesn’t let anything get in the way of people who are prepared!
 
On Friday, we had our district meeting. It was great! We went over our notes from the Elder Andersen conference and made some action plans for how we can better apply what we learned into our missionary work.
Then… we had a pizza party. We made homemade pizza! It was super fun and YUMMY!
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Not really sure who let them be in charge of the dough…
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PIZZA PARTY!!!
 
Totally a success.
 
Here’s another of my successes:
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World’s best foot tan line. I’m probably never going to get rid of it…
Soeur Cherry jokes that this is the reason for the scripture: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation, that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” (Thus the title of this email).

This next week will be TOTALLY crazy! Wish us luck! (And pray for my sanity during this week of transfers;))
 
Avec amour,
 
Soeur Jones

Transfer 9, Week 4

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In addition to Jordan’s regular Monday e-mail, I received a cool e-mail from Neil L. Anderson and he included this picture!! 

Soeur Jones’ e-mail dated June 23, 2014:

Bonjour tout le monde!

This week was slow slow slow.
But it was great!

I think it was slow because we’re still coming down from the Elder Andersen conference high.
But it was great because we are working towards some great goals as a mission that are being accomplished through tons of miracles!

We are continuing to teach our good friend Vincent Winston Churchill. This guy has a LOT of faith. We taught him the Restoration this week with an emphasis on the Priesthood. It went really well and at the end he offered a very sincere prayer asking God if the Book of Mormon was true. We are hoping to see great things from him soon. Surprisingly, teaching in english… is a struggle now. Vincent is very confused by my franglish.

On Friday, I left for an exchange to Agen. Agen is a small town about an hour train ride away from Bordeaux. I was there for two days with Soeur Koyle, who I served with back in Chalon, so it was fun to see her again! We had a lot of fun! We taught quite a few lessons to some really cool people! Being in Agen made me remember how much I love working in small villes.

Saturday was a national French holiday: Fête de la musique. So, the entire city had music groups playing everywhere. There were free concerts in every park and every square. It was so cool! (Of course we didn’t actually listen, but it was a cool thing to see quand même.

Saturday night, we had a ward activity- barbecue dance party. WHOOP WHOOP! We’re talking Tahitian barbecue. And old French people dancing. So obviously, it was a good time.

So, in our mission, last transfer, we set a mission goal to have a mission wide baptism on July 5th. I think I wrote a little bit about this goal just after we fixed it. UPDATE: As a mission, we currently have around 100 people scheduled for baptisms on July 5th. This is AMAZING. This would double our baptisms for the year! We are so excited for this day. We will be having a baptism in the Eysines ward. The Elder’s ami, Stephane, is going to be baptized and he’s SO great! We are stoked!

The Lord is blessing the France Lyon mission in so many ways right now! I am so blessed to be here during this time of growth for the church in France!

I love you all! Have a great week!
Avec amour,

Soeur Jones

Nice!!!!!

So, WE WENT TO NICE!!!!!!

It was amazing! Well… I mean I could’ve done without the hours and hours and hours on a bus, but the conference with Elder and Sister Andersen was well worth it!

Sunday night, all the missionaries in the two Bordeaux zones came into Bordeaux. We had all 12 sisters sleeping in one apartment, so that was the start of our adventures. We woke up early to be at the church at 7:30 the next morning. The bus (which was actually really nice) pulled up at 8:00 and we loaded up and headed out.

Then…. I’m not really sure. I blocked the next 10 hours after that out of my mind. But it looked something like this:
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It’s a good thing Soeur Cherry and I brought LOADS of candy!

Once we started driving through the Côte d’Azur (French Riviera), the drive was beautiful!!! Cannes, Nice, St Raphael. After the drive, I totally want to get transferred down there!

But we got there eventually-
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And we were locked into our hotel rooms for the night.

The next morning, we were up and in the lobby by 7:00. We loaded the bus and headed to the conference center. When we got there, we quietly studied and practiced the musical numbers for the conference.

Just before Elder and Sister Andersen and Elder and Sister Kearon (of the seventy) arrived, about 12 companionships were called out into the hallway. Soeur Cherry and I were one of them. We were standing out in the hallway waiting, and all of a sudden, Elder Andersen arrives! And he’s right there! And he says that he somehow has a connection to all these missionaries he’s pulled out, so he wants to get a picture with them and their companion.
Luckily for me, Soeur Cherry’s grandparents served a mission in Bordeaux when Elder Andersen was the mission president here. So, Soeur Cherry and I got to take a picture with Elder and Sister Andersen! It was so cool! I’m hoping this picture will get to me somehow and I’ll send it on!

Then… the conference was just the greatest! President and Soeur Roney spoke and were great like always! Then the Kearons spoke and talked a lot about how we can fully submit our will to the Father’s to see miracles in our missions. Elder and Sister Andersen spoke about faith and miracles. A long part of Elder Andersen’s message was how to be a good missionary in France. It was great to have his insights because he was a missionary here and a mission president and so he knows exactly what the work is like here. He talked about the reasons he believed the work was progressing so slowly here and then told us to GET OVER IT. He said, “We can baptize more in France.” Then he said, the catch is that we have to stop forgetting that our God is a God of miracles (Moroni 7). It was just really cool and really inspiring.

After the conference, we got back on the bus and started back to Bordeaux. We stopped in Montpellier for the night, and then got back about 3:30 on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, we taught our new ami named Vincent Winston Churchill. He’s from India. And he’s really cool. And very funny. We have high hopes for Vincent Winston Churchill.

On Friday, we visited our less active friend, Bernadette. Bernadette has a giant german shepherd. I am totally scared of him. ‘Cause he’s big and stinky. So every time he comes near me, I say, “help help help!” and Soeur Cherry pulls him off of me. Well, halfway through our lesson on Friday, Soeur Cherry starts whispering, “help help help!” and I look over and the dog is chewing on her arm. And she keeps pushing him off and he keeps coming back and biting her. We were really freaking out. And Bernadette wasn’t doing anything. So we had to end our lesson and leave so that her dog wouldn’t chew off my companion’s arm! Yeesh.

On Saturday, we had a fun night! Earlier in the week, the Chinese Elders in our ward received a call from an American family that was visiting Bordeaux for the week. They wanted to invite us over for dinner! So they invited all 6 of the missionaries from our ward to come over on Saturday night for dinner! We went to the apartment they were renting and we had chili and cornbread (the husband was from Texas). It was really fun to be able to socialize and have fun in English!

Church was great yesterday! Soeur Cherry and I taught Young Women’s. We taught a lesson about how women can use the priesthood. That was a really fun lesson to teach. Then we also taught our Principes de l’Evangile class. We made cookies. That’s why everyone likes it best when we teach.

This week was overall super great!

Oh yeah, also, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! I have the best dad EVER!

avec amour,

Soeur Jones

To Nice!

E-mail dated June 7th.

Bonjour tout le monde! I am emailing today, because on Monday we will be on a 13 hour bus ride to NICE! AHH!!! 

I am so excited to go, but so not looking forward to the 13 hour bus ride there and the 13 hour bus ride back… yuck. 
 
Anyways, I don’t have a TON to report from this week. We’ve mostly just been preparing to go. We had a zone training meeting yesterday that was entirely focused on physically, mentally, and spiritually preparing ourselves for the conference. President Roney promises us that if we prepare adequately, this conference will not just be a cool experience where we saw an apostle, but he says that it will be a LIFE CHANGING experience, that it will assuredly change the way we approach missionary work and the way we are after our missions also. Pretty cool promise n’est-ce pas? 
 
This weekend is totally crazy town because tonight we have a ward activity, a talent show! Soeur Cherry and I are singing “Va Ne Crains Pas” (Be Still My Soul) with two of the Elders in our ward, a capella in four part harmony. So that’ll be exciting! 
 
Tomorrow, we have stake conference. Elder Andersen and President Uchtdorf are currently in Switzerland and we will be having their conference translated into French and broadcasted out to our building for stake conference. Whoo hoo! Then, we have to get ready to leave. We have to pack and make food and all that crazy stuff, then we will be sleeping in the Talence sister’s apartment with 12 sisters… I will most assuredly be sleeping in the bathtub. 
 
We leave at 7:30 on Monday morning for Nice. Tuesday is the conference, then we start to drive home, stopping in Montpellier for the night, and then arriving back to Bordeaux on Wednesday night. It’s going to be crazy!!!
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That’s why I bought this much candy to help me get through…
 
WISH US LUCK!
 
Here’s one more random picture to finish off the email: I finally got around to taking a picture of the art piece that they call the “monumental work of Bordeaux”: 
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It’s a weird giant head that is flat, but looks 3D from all directions. Weird huh?
 
Well, I hope everyone has a great week! I’ll be back next Monday to report on the Nice trip! 
 
Avec amour,
 
Soeur Jones 

Transfer 9, Week 1

Email dated June 2nd.

So this week started out a little crazy with transfers. Soeur Hutchin’s companion was coming from Lyon, so didn’t arrive in Bordeaux until Tuesday night. As a result, we had Soeur Hutchins with us in a trio until her companion came. So Tuesday, we went out with all the missionaries in our district and did some streetboarding, which is one of my all time favorite finding activites! 

That night, after our missionary coordination meeting, we left for the train station with the Elders, who were also in a trio with someone waiting for a companion. When we arrived at the gare, the screen showed that their train was going to be THREE hours late. It was scheduled to come in at 8:30, so we knew this three hour delay would pose a bit of a problem with our curfew. So we freaked out. And sat in the gare for three hours. And didn’t get home until 11:30. So that was exhausting.
 
To make matters worse, the next morning we had to get up early to catch a train to Mont de Marsan, where I finally got my legality turned in! I should be receiving my titre de sejour in a few weeks! 
When we got back to Bordeaux from Mont de Marsan, it was raining (normal Bordeaux weather) and the day wasn’t looking too great for us. However, the Lord blessed us with some cool miracles! 
 
I had felt impressed the whole transfer to go try to pass by this less active member’s home. We’ve tried several times, but never been able to catch her. We decided to pass by her apartment building this night. When we called her on her sonnerie, she didn’t answer.  We were sad. But we decided to do some porting in her building. We ported the whole building until we finally got to her door. We didn’t think she’d be home, but we knocked on the door and she answered! She was really nice. She introduced us to her non-member husband and two young children. She invited us back! We are so excited to see her again!
Then, on our way back home from visiting this less active lady, we were walking on the sidewalk next to a giant park, when all of a sudden, someone stops us and says, “Are you the Mormon missionaries?” We say yes and this man introduces himself as Pedro. He’s half argentinian half french. He studied with the missionaries in paris for a few months before moving to Bordeaux. He said he wanted to start meeting with us again! We got his number and set a rdv with him for this week! YAY! Pedro! 
 
On Saturday, we helped out with the stake primary activity that was being held in our building. It was a family activity- all the families of primary aged children in the stake versus each other. They had a million little minute to win it type games set up. It was really fun! And then we had a crepe bar afterwards, so we were happy campers.
 
Sunday was fun. Here’s the highlight of our Sunday: We taught a lesson to a man from Guadeloupe (sp?). He met us along the riverside. We taught a short lesson on a bench. There were a MILLION people around. At the end of the lesson, he stands up (he is a BIG guy) and he says, “I have a surprise for you sisters!” We were wary… as we should have been. All of a sudden, he starts singing us an operetta in his LOUDEST singing voice. Everyone on the riverside stopped and was staring at us. Soeur Cherry and I were biting our lips trying not to laugh. He finally finished and says simply, “I want to move to America to be a famous singer.” So. That was great.
 
I love you all! 
I’m not sure when I’ll be able to email next week, as we leave early Monday morning for Nice to see Elder Andersen! YAY! I am so excited! But we’ll be gone from Bordeaux from Monday morning until Wednesday night… so the schedule is still a little iffy. 
 
I promise to take lots of pictures and share some cool stories from the conference next week!
 
Happy Summer!
 
Avec amour, 
 
Soeur Jones 

Transfer 9!!

E-mail dated May 26th.

Bonjour tout le monde!

Today marks the first day of my ninth transfer, which I will be spending in Bordeaux with Soeur Cherry. No changes here. We are excited for this transfer and hope to see some cool miracles! 
 
This week wasn’t super intersting. On Tuesday, Soeur Cherry and I traveled to Mont de Marsan to start my legality process. We got in at about 10:30 after taking the EARLIEST possible train out of Bordeaux. The legality office closes for lunch at 11:45, so we were already pressed for time. Then, when we got there, we realized that my packet was missing several important photocopies that I needed. So, a really nice member couple came and picked us up from the Prefecture and took us to the church to make the photocopies. Unfortunately, by the time we got that done, the Prefecture was closed for lunch. So, the members invited us over and fed us lunch and took us back to the Prefecture two hours later when it reopened. When we walked in, one of the workers told me that they only serve international relations in the morning. So… all that and I didn’t even get my legality started. And it rained the whole day. It was a major bummer. We’ll have to go back and try again this week. yeesh.
 
On Wednesday, we had our district meeting. We reviewed all of Elder Andersen’s talks from the last three General Conferences. The mission is so hyped about Elder Andersen coming! We are so excited for the opportunity to get to see him as a mission! Especially because he served his mission here and was the mission president in the Bordeaux mission! So, it’s a special opportunity to hear from an Apostle of the Lord who has a special love for this country and the people here. 
I made lunch for our district like normal- we had tortilla soup and apple cake with caramel sauce that I learned to make when I was in Chalon. It was a hit!
There won’t be many changes in our district this transfer. Both Soeur Cherry and I are staying, the zone leaders are staying and only our district leader is moving. Elder Yeung is being replaced by Elder Yang. We all laughed a little when we heard that. 
 
We are still working hard to find new investigators! And we’ve set some good goals for this transfer that will help us to be really consecrated so we can see some really cool miracles! I found a quote this week from Elder Neal A. Maxwell that I really liked. He said, “Consecration is the only surrender which is also a victory.” 
 
Yesterday was La Fete des Mères (Mother’s Day) in France. We sang a special musical number in sacrament meeting with the young men and young women to celebrate. Then, our ward gave all the mothers roses. It was nice! 
 
This next week should be fun. We will be traveling to Mont de Marsan again on Wednesday, and doing a LOT of street contacting and street boarding. Wish us luck! (More like, pray for God to bless us). 
 
Have a great week everyone! 
 
Avec Amour,
 
Soeur Jones

May 19th

Bonjour tout le monde!

I hope you are all doing well! We had a great week this last week!
 
We started off the week by going to Arcachon (I think I mentioned that last time.)
 
And thanks to my lovely mother who sent me a new camera cord, I can attach this picture of Soeur Hutchins with her souvenir of Arcachon and the Dune du Pyla:
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Thursday, we had a district meeting, for which I made lunch again. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, and green beans. The Eysines district Elders are SO lucky. We have our second district meeting this Wednesday. I think I’m going to make tortilla soup. I’ll let you know how it goes. 
 
Thursday and Friday, I went on exchange with Soeur Hutchins, which was fun. We had quite a few lessons fall through, so we did LOTS of contacting. Here are my two favorite conversations we had:
 
Soeur Hutchins: “What would you do if Moses was right over there preaching to us?”
Random Guy: “Well, I’d tell him to get out of the way or he’ll get hit by a tram. Those things are dangerous you know.”
 
Me: “Do you think it is possible to have a prophet on the earth today?”
Random Guy 2: “Well. Yeah. I think Steve Jobs was a prophet.”
 
French people are so funny.
 
We rewarded ourselves for all our hard work by buying pastries. 
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This was a good one. It was filled with chocolate mousse.
 
On Saturday night, we had a special opportunity to assist the Young Women’s evening in excellence. That was really fun! We sang a special musical number with the three young women and it was super fun! It made me homesick for the young women’s days. 🙂
 
Our Sunday was GREAT! Church was awesome and afterwards, we had dinner with a young Tahitian girl who is studying here. She made us traditional Tahitian food (raw fish) and we ate with four of her friends from Tahiti who are not members. It was a cool and super fun experience to get to know her friends and answer their questions and share a small thought with them. 
 
Our transfer calls come this Friday. I’m not entirely sure what I think will happen, but it’s very possible that Soeur Cherry and I stay here for another together.
We will see! 
 
Avec amour,
 
Soeur Jones