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Sunday, September 28, 2014

PARIS HERE I COME!

Hey Momma! I get to write a quick email here before I leave :) So first off, this week has been so much fun! I love my district soooo much! It will be sad to say goodbye, although I am sure I will see them all somewhat often because we are all going to Paris :) Anyways, I am SOOOOO EXCITED TO GO!!! We have a direct flight from Salt Lake City to Paris. It's about ten hours long. And we leave at 5 ish on monday :) don't worry I am already mostly packed. No procrastinating this time haha! It is going to be so much being in France and sharing what great news I have about life and who we each are!! I feel like I just swallowed a rainbow!! :) hahah jk ;) Thanks for the packages! I love them! I sent Kale a bday package. He should be getting it soon. 

But it has been an amazing experience here! On the second day of the MTC you are assigned to mock teach a non member of the church... IN FRENCH! And it has been such a journey since then! Elder Alvarez was so nervous and afraid those first few weeks that he hardly spoke in lessons, even when I would give him opportunities. And yesterday we taught our final lesson and it was amazing! When we started, I began to speak and Elder Alvarez cut me off and started the whole conversation! I was so excited! We were mock teaching an inactive member and Elder Alvarez said (all in french) "I have been here for 6 weeks and haven't seen you at church and it has made me so sad. I know that if you will come to church you will feel the love of God and He will bless you in your life...". He then continued to bear testimony and the spirit was amazingly strong. It was so awesome! I am so grateful that I was allowed to witness him transform and watch Heavenly Father change someone's huge, impeding weakness into a great strength, tool, and asset. He will be a great missionary! I hope we see each other later in the mission when we are both fluent in french and really have a legit conversation! That will be so cool! 

Anyways, I cannot wait to talk to you and the family! I will call the home phone first... So please pick up haha.... That would a maximum on the lame scale if you didn't answer haha :) 
 I love you! 
LOTS!! 

Elder Jacob Lucas :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Last days! Week 5

Momma!! Why are you so beautiful? :))

   It is amazing that I have only one week left here! It feels like I got here yesterday. Every day has sort of just mushed into one mega MTC journey... Hahah I sometimes forget what day it is! 
   This was the most difficult week yet but the most rewarding thus far! :) So we role play teaching our instructors just like real life missionary situations, and our instructors act like real people interested in the church. Usually, they act like a legit person that they met so the experience can be more real. Anyways, our instructor, Sister Coleman, has been role playing as a friend she has back home who has been interested in the church. And sometimes while here at the MTC, it seems like it's never going to end, and life gets a little discouraging.. And I was having one of those days. I was just struggling to find energy and having been trying to be the motivated one all the time in the companionship (my companion easily gives up because of the difficulty of language) I was just giving it my all. And so we role played with our teacher and the girl she acts like is named, Kenix. And Kenix is married but her husband is atheist who is anti all religions. And she really feels that the church is true but is worried and so discouraged because of her husband's attitude against it, that she doesn't want to cause a barrier in the marriage. Well, of course we treat the role play like it is real life, and I felt the spirit lead me to say in my very simple french that Heavenly Father loves both Kenix and her husband, and if she prays she will know how to go about the situation. She asked how she will know and we explained the spirit and how it gives us thoughts and inspires us to know what is true and act in accordance to that truth. And the best way to gain to gain the spirit is to be baptized. After you are baptized you are given the Gift of the Holy Ghost which means you can have that guiding influence with you throughout all your life! You can have those feelings of love, peace, and joy, ALL the TIME!! And every sunday at church, you renew this covenant during the sacrament so that when you mess up, you can repent and continue to feel this incredible love! And what was so cool is the real Kenix was going to be baptized that weekend, and was having some trepidation and fear and trials prior to the baptism, especially because of her husband, and when we testified of the the spirit and how it will bring her peace and help her in her problems, Soeur Coleman (playing Kenix) felt the spirit whisper to her that the real Kenix actually needed to hear this. So after the role play, she called Kenix, explained what happened and passed along the message. It's amazing how the spirit works!! And it was an answer to my prayer because hearing that I actually helped a real person, not just a role play, gave me increased motivation to continue on! Oh and yes Kenix did get baptized that weekend :)) 
  So one of the best parts of this week has been just diving into the Book of Mormon! And I have always loved reading the Book of Mormon, but have really strived to make the stories come alive! And know that these were real people!! And I was reading in 1 Nephi and his get angry with him again for trying to be obedient, and what's crazy is that they try to kill him! They tie him up and then leave him there to die! And I have heard this a million times, but take a moment and just imagine yourself being tied up by those you love and left to die in the desert! And he eventually gets free, and they come to tie him up again because they are that mad! (Seriously they needed some medication) but one of their wives stops them and comforts them so they calm down. And then they feel guilty (like any person should for trying to kill someone.. especially your brother..) and they ask for forgiveness. And what I love is Nephi forgives them just like that. Can you imagine that? In an instant he let's it all go. And he continues to ask them to ask forgiveness of God, because that's what's most important. In Hebrew culture, it's an eye for an eye with the law of Moses, meaning he could kill them and be justified, but instead he forgives. And how often do I hold on to minor things that don't matter and keep it over someone's head? How often do we all hold grudges? Nephi was almost killed, but decided to be like that Savior and forgave :) I want to be more like that! Really not forgiving is dumb! You make yourself feel bad for other's mistakes. Hahaha, and we have been asked to forgive, just for the other, but for ourselves. I challenge you all to do forgive more quickly and love more readily, because THAT is what the world needs today :) I love you!!! 
Love, Elder Jacob Lucas

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Week 4. Time Flies!

Hello MADRE!!
   So I don't know about you guys but the time here flies by!! It's crazy! I'm pretty sure yesterday was the day I left to come here! I love it here :) This week has been amazing!! We have this activity called TRC, and well honestly I don't know what it stands for, but it where we get to have a 20 minute conversation with a member of the church in french, and Elder Alvarez and I walked in and the first thing the lady said was that we were illuminated with the spirit! Initially I was just so excited that I understood what she said, but then it hit me how cool of a comment that is! I hope that the people of France can see that there is something different about the missionaries- about the members! We have the fullness of the gospel of Christ! We should look different because we have the greatest joy the world knows! 
   Last thursday, my brain pretty much imploded with french! I was french fried! It was so bad I couldn't even read english right any more hahahha :) I thought that the word "principle" said "pringle"... That did happen to be right before lunch too soooo ;) hahah but don't worry, the spirit is helping me tons and my french is really growing! 
   There have been some amazing miracles this last week :) One of my teachers, Sister Coleman, told me that Elder Alvarez and I should read the Book of Mormon together out loud in comp study, but he should read in spanish, and I in english, and then discuss in french! And since we have, our companionship has grown so much stronger! We have become great friends :) Heavenly Father knows what He is doing with companions. :) And the Book of Mormon is incredible! If you have not read it, READ IT!! And pray to know if it is true. I have and I KNOW that it is true! It will fill your life with peace, joy, and love, which we all need! Give it a chance :)
   I got some sweet packages from the Austin Lucas family :) Thank you!! That was great! And I got a hat from from Grandma Dixie :) Thank you! The hat says #Awesome Future. And that's so cool because as a missionary I am bringing others the information to having an awesome future!
   I have been assigned as District Leader :) and I love my district! I have had the opportunity to give several priesthood blessings in the past week for those that are sick and overwhelmed and it has been incredible! I had the impression to offer them to the sisters and when I did, one of the sisters just turned to the other and asked, "How did he know?". The other replied, "The Church is true". And it is. She really needed some strength from Father in Heaven. At the end she said that it was exactly what she needed to hear. As a priesthood holder, you are just stating the words but it is the from the Spirit! I am so grateful for the priesthood power of God being back on the earth!
   The coolest part of the week was when I was called as district leader, I had some impressions to share with the district. I compared us to Enoch in Moses 6:31-34. 

 31 And when Enoch had heard these words, he bowed himself to the earth, before the Lord, and spake before the Lord, saying:Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant?
 32 And the Lord said unto Enoch: Go forth and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good.
 33 Say unto this people: Choose ye this day, to serve the Lord God who made you.
 34 Behold my Spirit is upon you, wherefore all thy words will I justify; and the mountains shall flee before you, and the riversshall turn from their course; and thou shalt abide in me, and I in you; therefore walk with me.
 And it's amazing how much we each are like Enoch! We are lads, and the French may hate us, for we may be slow of speech. However! We are promised that if we open our mouth it will be filled! We are commanded to declare the gospel, and if we do, the Savior of the World will walk with us! I know that is true! His work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man! He wants each person to taste of the delicious fruit of his gospel!! And here is what we will become if we walk in faith: Moses 7:13. 

13 And so great was the faith of Enoch that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spakethe word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountainsfled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him.

 He will justify our words for He loves us and the people we are teaching! I then had them turn to Moses 7:18, and challenged our district to be united and not have any poor in spirit! 

 18 And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of oneheart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.

 For these are the final days and people have this chance now to hear the word of Christ! And I am so grateful I am apart of it! We are His warriors! And you don't have to be on a mission to be His warrior! Go and let your'e light shine! Share the gospel because there are people who are waiting for YOU! I love you!! The Church is true :) See ya in two hahahaha sorry lame rhyme! Love you :))))
Love,
Elder Jacob Lucas
   

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

MTC Week 3! Hump Day 1/2 way there!

Hey Beautiful Momma and Famille :) 

Okay so I just sent the longest letter ever to you guys. You should get it on friday!! Thank you so much for the package! It was great! I loved it!! And chip sunday... Best thing ever!!! You guys are helping me reach that goal of hitting 270 post mish! JK, don't worry I'm staying in shape :)

Anyways!! This week was full of ups and downs. My comp hit rock bottom emotionally this week :( He was really struggling with the language and not being able to communicate with anyone. He would just get so angry about everything and it was really hard. Literally, there were probably hours spent in prayer this week for him. I just begged that God will fill the needs that Elder Alvarez was needing. And of course Heavenly Father (HF) always comes through, and yesterday he was in the best mood ever!! He was confident, understanding the language, and was laughing! I was so happy!!

I have been reflecting a lot this week on the plan of salvation and how needed it is in our lives today! So many people are lost in this world and don't know why they are here, where they came from, and where they are going. And it's such a blessing to know that I have that knowledge and know those answers!! We are loved by a Father in Heaven who knows us each by name! It's so simple, but powerful! Whenever your'e feeling down take a moment and reflect on that. God wants YOU to be happy!! It's amazing!! I can't wait to share that with the french.

Funny story of the week! Seriously here at the MTC our brains explode with information! I'm not kidding. And one day in the middle of the lesson, Elder Merrill leans back, drops his pencil, and says, "I'm french fried!". Haha it was great! 

I have the best french teacher in the world! His name is Frere Pistrious (Brother Pistrious). He is so excited about the gospel. He honestly reminds me of Ammon in the Book of Mormon who just rejoices in the truth of Christ! And he is such an example to me! I want to be like that, especially because that's what this gospel is: JOY!! It's amazing knowing we can have pasts erased through Christ, that families can be ETERNAL, and that no matter where we go, what we choose, nothing keeps us from God's love. I promise that I know that this true! Heavenly Father loves you! If you don't know this, ask Him. It might be a bit scary, but truly get on your knees and pray to Him. Ask him to feel His love, and I promise you that He will answer! You are His child and he will not leave you hopeless. I promise!

I am so excited to be here on this mission! It is the right thing to do!! This is a time of miracles. Too often we miss out on the miracles because we forget to have faith. I promise and know that God lives and that He wants to hear from us. So if you haven't, get on your knees and pour out your heart to Him. He loves you! And so do I!!!! 

Love, 
Elder Jacob Lucas

 France, Paris  MTC Zone

 Elder Lucas and Alvarez with Elder Alvarez's cousin!.........hahahah
 Show off...Elder Lucas
 Chip Sunday......a Lucas Family Tradition...

 Elder Alvarez and...Mr. Muscles in the back :p
Crazy comps!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Deux Week!!!!! (Week 2)

Heyyyyy Momma! 

I hope that your week has been amazing because mine has been full of miracles! The beginning of the week was extremely difficult. My companion was in a terrible mood.. I can't imagine how difficult it has been for him. I think it's amazing how he is strong enough to withstand the stresses of being at a place where nearly no one can speak his native tongue! Anyways, so the first couple of days were tough. However, like always Heavenly Father gives us a trial of faith before our witness (Ether 12:6)!! And I kept praying for help and looked for opportunities to serve him, whether it was picking up things he dropped, getting him a refill at lunch, helping him in french, smiling- anything! And Thursday was incredibly difficult as he had a melt down and got extremely frustrated with anyone and everyone he talked to. I was totally lost and devastated because I couldn't think of anything else that I could do. I came to the resolve that it would have to be the Lord's doing, and only He could speak to Elder Alvarez in the way Alvarez needed it. The next day, we finally had a legit conversation-like one that lasted more than 3 minutes and we were able to understand each other- it was such a blessing to my prayers! I shared with him about Enoch in the book of Moses.

6:31 And when Enoch had heard these words, he bowed himself to the earth, before the Lord, and spake before the Lord, saying:Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant?
 

6:32 And the Lord said unto Enoch: Go forth and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good.

7:13 And so great was the faith of Enoch that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spakethe word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountainsfled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him.


 (Moses 6:31-32 and Moses 7:13) ..  and I told him that he is Enoch! He and I both feel inadequate and unable to speak but it is the Lord's work and I know that the Lord will move spiritual mountains in us and the people in france as we have faith! Then, randomly Elder Alvarez asked me to give him a blessing. I did later that night and he was blessed to be able to hear the multiple languages and speak them as well. He was blessed to learn not only french, but english! And the very next day he taught better than any other time! It was amazing!! His attitude improved and he even made some jokes! 

He told me that before he joined the church (He has been a member for 3 years) he had hair to his shoulders. I said, "Oh really?", and he said, "Yeah! Like Osama bin Laden!". That wouldn't have been my first person to compare myself to but whatever floats his boat.. 

In class one day.. I don't know which because the days are all the same, but our teacher was teaching us about stress and asked, "What does stress feel like to you?". It took all I had to not say, "The feeling you get before the doctor says turn your head and cough!". 

On page thirty three in the Missionary Handbook we are told not to flirt, so whenever we see anyone flirting we yell, "Flirty-three!" \

OH! Sundays was amazing!! We watched the Testaments, and like always it hit me so hard! I am soooo excited to teach the people of France that Christ not only lives but has restored His church to the earth! We are not meant to live this life lost and afraid, but rather in love, confidence and joy, which we can all gain through the Savior! HE knows you by name and wants to help and heal you of all your problems! I know that this is true because I have felt the spirit of God testify to me that is true! 

Oh and mom, tell Kale and Sam I will write them soon! I haven't gotten the package yet because we no mail on sat or sun and mon was a holiday! I love you all!!!!

Elder Lucas