“She walked not in the borrowed light of others”

Bonjour tout le monde!

So this week was totally CRAZY TOWN.

We were so busy and running all over the place all week!

Last pday, we had a fun group missionary activity. All the missionaries in Lyon went to Parc de la Tête D’or and we played football and soccer. It was super fun!

Tuesday night, there was a women’s conference for the Europe area where the area presidency and their wives along with Elders Bednar and Ballard spoke to the women of Europe. It was SUCH a great conference! One of the women shared a quote that I really liked. It was said of Eliza R. Snow after her death, “She walked not in the borrowed light of others, but faced the morning, uninvincible and unafraid.” This was the theme of the talk and she spoke about how to become this kind of woman. It was really inspiring. I enjoyed the conference a lot. I’m not sure if it’s online, but if it is, you should all watch it!

We worked a lot with recent converts and less actives this week. We have three recent converts that we are working with: Diogene, Sika, and Nicole. Diogene was baptized most recently. He’s 18 and from the Congo. And he’s awesome! He loves missionary work and even went contacting with us this week! He plans on putting in his papers as soon as he can!

We worked with a lot of less actives that I really love, including Soeur Theroomy, a woman from Malaysia. She’s wonderful and she makes REALLY good Malaysian curries every time that we come. We love talking to her, because she’s a huge traveller, so she tells us stories about her visits to all different parts of the world.

Friday, we had zone conference. It was a big zone conference of four zones: Ecully, Lyon, Aix en Provence, and Nice. Which means….
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reunited.
We asked President if we could be companions for our last transfer and he said that while that would be really fun, we would probably hurt someone. Including ourselves. I’m taking that as a yes. I guess we’ll see next week!

Our zone conference was great! Elder Ballard came to Geneva and spoke to our mission, and we were able to watch a rebroadcast of it. He talked a lot about knowing the doctrine better and being sure to study it and feel confident teaching it simply. He left a blessing on our mission that as we studied Preach my Gospel, our teaching would be better and more powerful. We are working hard to merit this blessing!

In other news…

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There are lots of spiders in our apartment building…. really really big ones….

But it’s fine, because we just buy SSCN2513[1]
Ice cream from sit down ice cream restaurants to make up for it.

So, all is well. Our lessons with Diogene’s best friend Dan are going pretty well! He’s been at church the last three weeks in a row.  He just needs to get serious about reading the Book of Mormon and praying.

We are leaving tonight for an exchange with the sisters in Saint Etienne! Should be fun!

I miss and love you all!

Avec amour,

Soeur Jones
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All clear on the foot front!

Bonjour tout le monde!

 
This last week was BUSY BUSY BUSY.
 
We started off the week with an exchange with the Ecully sisters, which was fun! We went and visited multiple less active members and members who remembered me! Every time someone remembers me, I about die of happiness. 
 
On Wednesday morning, I had my appointment with the vascular doctor. I was a little nervous, but my favorite members from Lyon drove me to the appointment, and the sister went in with me to see the doctor.  This was actually extremely helpful because they yelled at the doctor like good worried parents would. I got an ultrasound of both legs and feet and the doctor assured me that the residue swelling is not a problem with my veins or arteries, so it must just be left over from the infection. So, he gave me the all clear! I’m thrilled. 
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This is a picture of me and Soeur Luthi (I served with her in Bordeaux) with the Pascauds, the couple that took me to the doctor. They are really wonderful and take really good care of us! 
 
We taught a lot of lessons this week, we didn’t quite make our goal of 17 lessons, but we felt really good about this week! We have lots of really cool potential amis. 
 
We had a special finding day with the Paris mission. On Friday, our goal, as the two French missions, was to find 1000 new people to teach in one day. So, from 9:00am to 9:00pm, we focused on finding and prayed all together every half hour. Our mission found 323 new people to teach (3 of which were from our equipe:)) and the Paris mission found 111. We didn’t quite hit 1000, but we saw how working for that goal produced TONS of miracles! 
 
Soeur Frandsen and I created a new mission for our equipe. President has been encouraging us to try to further out family neighborhoods and knock doors. So, we started Operation: la branche de mont d’or. Mont D’or is an area with about 9 different family neighboorhoods about a 20 minute bus ride from Lyon. We decided we were going to create a branch in the Mont D’Or area:) So, we’ve been spending our free nights porting in these neighborhoods looking for branch presidents, relief society presidents, primary presidents, youth leaders, ect. On Saturday night, we went to St. Cyr au Mont D’Or and ported for about an hour and a half. We weren’t having much luck, when we knocked on a door and a middle aged man came out. We started talking to him and he expressed interest, but said he couldn’t invite us in that night because it was family movie night and his kids would be sad. So, we gave him our number and he said he’d call us. We continued walking down the street when all of a sudden we heard someone yell, “Attendez!!!” (Wait!) We turned around and it was this man running after us. When he finally reached us, he said, “Wait! I have a question. Why are you the “Latter-day Saints?” So, we were able to take the extra time to talk a little more in depth about the restoration. It was so cool and he promised to call us soon! We found our branch president! HA:)
 
We are looking forward to another great week! We have zone conference on Friday, and Soeur Hutchins and her companion are coming to stay with us on Thursday, so I’m excited! 
 
Have a great week everyone!
 
Avec amour,
 
Soeur Jones

20 lessons

Bonjour tout le monde!

 
This week was exceptionally busy, but it was GREAT!
 
President Roney has launched a new challenge to the mission- 20 lessons a week. This is… hard. But so cool! I’m so excited about it! Last week, Soeur Frandsen and I set a goal to teach 15 lessons. (We’re working our way up.) And we worked really hard. And we prayed a lot. And we laughed out loud fairly often. And we taught 11 lessons. This is… not 15, but still REALLY exciting! This doubled our amount of lessons taught the week before! Just goes to show what a goal, some hard work, and a lot of prayer can do for you! 
 
On Tuesday night, we had a really fun dinner with a family from the Ecully ward that I worked a lot with last year. Soeur Stevens and I got really close with them, so when they found out I was back, they were so happy and invited us over for dinner! It was so much fun! I recounted to them the story of my foot problems, and they offered to take us to my doctor’s appointment on Wednesday. And they said if they don’t fix it, they will yell at the doctors. So, I feel hopeful about this one! 
 
Mostly we spent our time running around like mad women trying to teach 15 lessons. We saw a lot of cool miracles! We started teaching the best friend of our recent convert, Diogene. His name is Dan. He is a member of the Baptist church, but he is interested in the gospel and in reading the Book of Mormon. He came to church yesterday and he liked it! We are excited to keep working with him. It’s incredible how fast missionary work moves with people that already have friends in the ward who are with them to help them! We were also able to start working with the friend of another member named Edith. She’s really cool and has 3 adorable children! She came to church with her friend yesterday and loved it! We are going to have a FHE with her and the member family this week! 
 
MEMBER MISSIONARY WORK IS THE BEST. HELP THE MISSIONARIES.
 
Here’s another miracle:
 
On Friday night, we were doing our planning for Satuday and I had the distinct feeling to go an try to pass a referral that we received through the church website. We had already passed by once and called a couple of times without hearing anything back, so we figured he wasn’t interested. But, I felt like we should go, so we planned to go out to his home on Saturday afternoon. As Saturday progressed, I started questionning if we really had time to go all the way out there. We almost wrote it off, but the feeling returned that we should go pass him. So we went. We arrived at his apartment building, and I called his sonnerie, but no one answered. LAME. So we prayed for a miracle, and I sonned a second time. AND HE ANSWERED! He opened the door and we went up.
It was a little FAMILY! A french guy, his wife, and a little kid. AWWW. They met the missionaries in the north of France, but then they moved and lost contact with the missionaries. They then decided they wanted to see us again, so they referred themselves through the church website. He said, “It’s really lucky that you passed by today, because we are leaving tomorrow for Russia. We’ll be there for about a month. If you would’ve come one day later, you would’ve missed us!” Of course, we knew it wasn’t luck— it was the SPIRIT that told us to come! We will be getting back into contact with them when they get home! 
 
Yesterday at church, we got to teach the sunbeams at church. THEY ARE SO CUTE. We taught a lesson called: I am thankful for food. Yeah right? Perfect lesson for me. At one point, I asked, “Who should we thank for the food that we eat?” And one of the little girls stands up and yells, “PERE NOEL (Santa!!!!!)” I was like… “uh… no.” but it was so CUTE! 
 
Anyways, we are stretching ourselves again this week with a goal to teach 17 lessons! Pray for us and our goal!
 
Picture of the week: 
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When the week gets tough… the tough buy diet coke. 
 
Have a great week! I hope everyone’s first week back at school was great!
 
Avec amour,
 
Soeur Jones

 

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.

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 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