Reunited!

Yesterday, as we took the bus and arrived at the Ecully chapel, I had major déjà vu. It reminded me of my very second day in France, over one year ago. I took the same bus and arrived in front of the same small chapel. And I had laughed at the strange 70’s era light fixtures in the chapel, was totally freaked out by everyone who was kissing my face, and I hadn’t understand ANYTHING.
 
The 70’s light fixures are still there. And everyone was still kissing my face. But I understood everyone! That’s progress people!
 

As I stood by the doors to the chapel, greeting members, I wanted to cry as a good majority of them said, “Sister Jones???? You’re back??? We’re so happy to see you!!!”

The night before, I was a little worried thinking, “What if NO ONE remembers me? I’ll be so sad.” But my worries were for nothing (as most of my worries are) because I was able to see and talk to many many families and members who I love and who loved and helped me so much at the beginning of my mission. And they REMEMBERED me. It was a special cheesy moment.

Being back in Lyon, I’ve found that I actually remember a lot more about the ville and the members than I originally thought. I’ve been able to lead us around without getting us lost too many times:)

This week I was able to meet some of our amazing amis and recent converts including:

Eliette. Eliette is an 82-year-old French woman. She met the missionaires about 5 months ago and has been taught ever since. She’s preparing to be baptized in about 5 weeks. She loves history and art and literature. She’s a fierce mami.

Veronique. Veronique is about 35 and French. She met the missionaires about 5 years ago in Lyon, but wasn’t interested in learning more after a couple of lessons. Recently, Veronique found herself at a point in her life where she was looking for something more. She remembered the sister missionaries and set out to find us again. She found the old telephone number that she had for the sisters and called it. She ended up getting some Elders in another ville, who connected her with the Val de Saône sisters. She’s been taught for about 3 weeks now. In those three weeks, she’s managed to go from smoking 30 cigarettes per day to 4. She’s preparing for her baptism on the 27th of September.

Diogene. Diogene was baptized about a month and a half ago. He’s 18 and from Congo. He wants to serve a mission, so he teaches a lot with us and he’s a natural!

Anyways, so this week was basically great. It’s so fun to be back in Lyon!

I hope everyone has a good start to the school year!

Avec amour,
Soeur Jones

The Circle of Life

Well folks, I’m back in Lyon.

People always told me there was a Circle of Life in the mission. I didn’t believe them until President called on Friday and said, “Soeur Jones, we’re bringing you back to Lyon so we can keep an eye on your health. Also so you can baptize lots of people.” I was like…. “okay.”

So here I am. Back in Lyon. Sitting in the same internet café where I came on the first Monday of my mission, over a year ago. Weird.

I’ll be serving in the Val de Saône ward. After I left Ecully, the ward split. Val de Saône is the new ward that was created. So there will be lots of families that I know in the ward. There will be lots of people who probably tried to come and talk to me and I looked at them and didn’t understand anything and said, “oui. merci.”
So, this’ll be fun:)

This last week was pretty crazy. We had two exchanges, with the sisters from Nice and from Peripignan.

SSCN2472[1]

 I have the most beautiful mission. Sorry everyone else.

 
Then we got transfer calls and realized that our equipe was getting white washed (two new sisters), so we spent the entire weekend writing down everything about Montpellier and the members and less actives and amis and our sisters. And it was total crazy town.
 
But on Sunday, we took a break and went and had lunch with Fany and Bruno and their kids.
 
 

And they did my hair.Jordanhair

All at the same time. hehe.
 
My new companion is Soeur Frandsen. She’s great! She’s from Colorado Springs and in her third transfer of the mission. hehe. I just sneaked a peek at her screen and saw her writing in her email: “My new companion is Soeur Jones. She’s very outgoing and loud.” Well folks. There it is.
 
I think this transfer will be great. I have high hopes.
 
Bonne semaine tout le monde!
 
Avec amour,
 
Soeur Jones

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some troubles

[E-mail dated August 11, 2014.}

Bonjour tout le monde!

This last week was a little rough for us here in Montpellier.

It started out awesome! We had a picnic on pday with all the missionaries and played frisbee and football and enjoyed the nice weather. We also had a great district meeting on Thursday where we talked a lot about working with members to strengthen their faith and trust and eventually teach their friends.(I made the oven fried chicken for lunch… super good!)

We had two exchanges this week. On Monday night, the sisters from Cannes came here to Montpellier. I got to do an exchange with Soeur Hutchins! Ha! It was super fun! Then, on Thursday night, we took a train to Toulouse to work with the sisters in the Concorde ward which was also really fun!

Then, when we got back from Toulouse, we got some sad news that the old bishop of the Montpellier ward, who is also the first counselor in the mission presidency, fell, went into a coma, and passed away on Saturday night. This was a huge shock to the ward, as he was really young and had no health problems. We’ve all been praying a lot for his wife and children. Luckily for us, as members of the church, we know that this life isn’t the end, and through the gospel of Jesus Christ, families can be forever.

We are pretty happy that two of the less active members we’ve been working with are officially in reactiviation! They are two sisters from Peru, Edith and Roxana. We’ve been working with them a lot this transfer, and both have started coming back to church! Yesterday was the fourth Sunday in a row that they’ve both been there! We are so happy for them!

This coming week is the last week of the transfer! I can’t believe it. This transfer was so crazy that it seems to have gone by in approximately 6 seconds. We still have two exchanges left to do: one with Nice and one with Peripignan. Luckily, we are staying in Montpellier the whole week. We will receive transfer calls and Soeur O’Connor will be leaving the mission! It’s so sad!
To make up for the sadness, we are having a big BBQ (french style heh) at Fanny’s house with all the missionaries and our favorite members and investigators! I am making a Texas sheet cake today for it! We are pretty excited about it!

Sorry for this short and lame email, but I love and miss you all!

Avec amour,

Soeur Jones

MORT.

[E-mail dated August 4, 2014. Note: MORT means ‘dead.’ I told Jordan never to e-mail that to her mother EVER AGAIN. Particularly after a four day hospital stay.]

I have probably never been so tired in my whole life. But it’s that kind of tired that feels really good at the end of the day, so I’m okay with it.

This week was a whirlwind. On Monday night, the Toulouse sisters came in for an exchange. I got to work with Soeur Bardsley, who is brand new in our mission! It was really fun! We had some great lessons with some less active women that we are working with who are really starting to progress.

On Wednesday morning, the Toulouse sisters left, and in the afternoon, we hopped on a train to go to Nice. I know right? NICE. My mission is so cool. I did an exchange with Soeur Johnson, my MTC companion! It was the first time I’ve seen her since the beginning of our missions! It was really funny, because we taught a lesson together and it went SUPER well! Then, we thought back to the first lesson we taught in the MTC in French, which was a total TRAIN WRECK. And we were like, “YAY! We’ve progressed!” Nice was beautiful, of course. I took some pictures, but I can’t get these danged computers to upload my photos….

On Friday, we came back from Nice (a 6 HOUR train ride… the worst) and in the evening, the sisters from Carcassone came for an exchange. I was with another of my old companions, Soeur Metsatahti. We had SO much fun! I have really missed her! We went out contacting with Fany, our recent convert and it was so cool! Fany is probably the coolest person ever! She was just walking up to random people in the streets and telling them that the church is true and that they should read the Book of Mormon.

We had a cool miracle on Satuday. Soeur Metsatahti and I were on our way to see a less active woman from Peru who recently moved to Montpellier. We were discussing what we thought would help her the most to feel the spirit again. We were like, missionary work! We totally should ask her to teach with us!
Anyways, we started contacting on the road coming up to her apartment building and we contacted into this guy named Michael. We did the questionnaire with him and he was super nice and really interested! We were able to teach him briefly about prophets and get his phone number. At the end of the contact, I asked where he was from (cause he had a slight spanish accent) and he said, “Peru!” WE were like NO WAY!!!! We are on our way to see a member of our church right now who is from Peru! And then he was super excited and he was like, “I’ve never met anyone from Peru since I’ve been in France(like 12 years)I would love to meet them!”

Miracle: We will see Michael with our less active member from Peru.

Take that Satan!

We also had a super cool FHE with our favorite members, the Clarks, and our ami Elodie! The Clarks have been really great in helping integrate our investigators into the ward. Then after the lesson, the Clarks found my mission call opening video on Youtube. And we watched it. And it was super WEIRD. I was really chubby. How come no one told me? Seems like it was a lifetime ago!

Well, we are off for a district picnic/game day!

HAve a great week tout le monde!

Avec amour,

Soeur Jones

French Hospitals

[E-mail dated July 28th. Jordan was in hospital on July 21st (which would have been her last p-day).]

Well folks,
This last week has been a bit rough to say the least.
Due to an unknown source, I contracted an infection in my foot that spread throughout my entire leg. I will now recount to you the adventures of the French medical system:

Friday morning I woke up with terrible pain in my foot and the lymph node in my hip. And a 104 fever. And nausea. It was just all around pretty terrible. Then my foot started swelling up like a rugby ball and it was REALLY red, so the mission nurse advised us to go to the emergency room. Which we did…

I layed on a stretcher in a hospital gown for 7 hours before being brought in to see a doctor. And then the doctor diagnosed it as an infection of the skin and gave me some antibiotics. We got home about 3 in the morning, but overall we were just relieved that it was over and seemingly going to be fine.

Then on Saturday, the redness of the infection started climbing up my leg, up to my knee. So, we called a doctor that visits your home at like midnight. He came and said, “Those antibiotics you’re taking aren’t strong enough!” So he gave me some new ones.

So we went to search these new antibiotics and when we got to the pharmacie, they told us that both of these new antibiotics DON’T EXIST. What?

By then, the redness was up to my thigh, so we went back to the emergency room. Five hours later, after lots of screaming and complaining by me and the mission president and the church medical director for the area of Europe, they hospitalized me and put me on an IV of antibiotics.

Then, long story short, I spent four days in the hospital with an 88 year old woman named Jeanne who called me Joanna. It was pretty lame. Now, I’m working on recovering (but there doesn’t seem to be much time to do that.)

So there it is. I’m so tough now.

Because of the hospital situation, Soeur O’Connor and I missed our zone conference, so we traveled up to Avignon to go to another on Saturday. It was a great conference! When President Roney got up to speak, he said, “Soeur Jones. Stand up.” So I stood up and he said, “Soeur Jones was in the hospital for four days with an infection in her leg. Okay, you can sit down now.” Thanks President.

During the conference, we talked a lot about faith and trusting the Lord. We also talked a lot about how missionary work is hard. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be fair to us, because we need to fight through trials to become true disciples of Christ. That’s kind of a cool thought. I was kind of hoping these trials wouldn’t come in the form of a deadly leg infection while in a foreign country, but hey, the Lord knows what He’s doing.

I’ve really learned to trust the Lord on my mission. Luckily, because this last week required a lot of trust on my part. It was kinda scary and horrible. However, I had several blessings and each of them reminded me to rely on the Lord in my trials as I do when everything is going well. I was thankful for this reminder. “Two people can do anything as long as one of them is the Lord.” (I think this quote comes from a Neil L. Andersen talk?)

Well, I was really hoping to upload some pictures, but the computers in this internet café are the WORST.

Have a great week everyone!

Avec amour,

Soeur Jones

Montpellier

[E-mail from July 14, 2014}

Bonjour tout le monde!

I… am… so… TIRED.
I’ve never been more tired in my life.
The work is HOPPING in Montpellier, so we are constantly running around like chickens with our heads cut off.
We’re busier than a one-armed paper hanger.
#steelmagnolias

So, I’m like… kind of unpacked. And I found my camera cord and I brought it… but this computer won’t let me upload pictures. So I switched computers and this one won’t let me either….. This is a bummer. And no one is helpful here. Sorry folks.

Well, today is Bastille Day (the national holiday for France)! Duh duh duh duhhhh!!!! So… everything is closed. We were lucky the internet café is open. But, as a present from President Roney for our 22 baptisms last week, we get to stay out until midnight tonight to watch the fireworks! (And then sleep in tomorrow morning). So, we are going down to the seaside with some members and amis to watch them! I’m super excited!

This week was so crazy! We had about 55000000 lessons and planned about 29281782 exchanges. Turns out that with all of our exchanges, Soeur O’Connor and I will be together in Montpellier only about two days a week. But that’s okay, because we’ll be traveling to lots of cool places (Carcassone, Toulouse, Nice, ect.) and working with lots of great sisters! I have a feeling that this transfer will FLY by.

We have some really great people that we’re teaching here! In Montpellier, the ward is GREAT! They LOVE missionaries and they all do missionary work all the time! Both of our recent converts, and all of our current amis have come as referrals from members! Montpellier is living proof that members and missionaries working together IS the best way to hasten the Lord’s work.

We have a really great recent convert here named Francine. She’s from Togo. We went to her house, because we are teaching her husband, Guy, and her friend, Marina. She asked us to stay for lunch and offered to make us some traditional African food. I’ve eaten African food lots of times, but this time, we got to see how it was made (which was both cool and scary.) She made us foufou- it’s like this potato mixture that has the consistency of chewing gum. You eat it dipped in like a fish sauce or something like that. She made the foufou and then put it in a BIG wooden bowl. Then she put the wooden bowl on the ground and started WHACKING it with a giant wooden stick. It was cool. And frightening.

This week we will have exchanges with sisters from Carcassone and Peripignan. We have zone training this Saturday. We are also traveling to Lyon for mission leadership council (known by missionaries as: The Jedi Coucil), so it’ll be an exciting week!

Wish us luck!

I love and miss you all!

Avec amour,

Soeur Jones