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Monday, October 27, 2014

Fall Colors and cold Nights!

  Hello everbody! I hope that everyone's week has been splendid :)
This last week was more challenging. We had a lot of people drop us and not show up to their appointments with us :((( But each rejection means that we are one person closer to finding those who are ready to hear the gospel!!
I had some cool thoughts about the sacrament this last week :) For those that don't know the sacrament is where we take the bread and water in symbolism of Christ's suffering for us and we promise to remember Him always. The bread represents his body and the water is his blood and all the pain He felt for us. We beleive that He felt every pain, trial, hardship, fear, and sin in our lives. For each person perfectly and personally. That way He can help us when we are weak because He knows everyone in and out. For example, if you break your leg, He doesn't know what it feels like to break a leg as well. He knows what it feels like to break your leg! And in french the word bread is "pain" and water is "l'eau" (low). That is sooo cool. Literally we are partaking of His pain that He felt for us to be strengthened and remembering how He descended be-LOw all things just for us.
Some wanted to know some détails about my day: Alright, so in the morning I get up at 6:25 and then we run to a park about half a mile from the appt (our appt is in centreville or the town square by this outdoor mall) and then we workout and come back. We then eat breakfast and it's awesome having your own food! I mean who doesn't like getting to eat out of the peanut butter jar with just a spoon and double dipping because it's all yours?? hahaha just kidding :) 
(No he's not!!) We then have studies until 11 and then go out and do contacting to find people in our area to teach and we have luch at about 1ish; Go back out; language study at 4:30; dinner at 5; then tracting until 9; yeah :)
We had our first dinner appt at a member's house this week! (He has been there 4 weeks, one meal a month! He mentioned that he is becoming quite a good chef! Hooray.) We call them mangez-vous; And it was awesome!! They have been sharing the gospel a lot but live an hour away from the Church and so do all the people that they have been sharing the gospel with.  So no one wants to come to Church :((( so we fasted sunday that these peoples' hearts would be softened :)
Oh and for all who are wondering, our plumbing got fixed!! Thank goodness!! :)))) I know that everyone says that if mom's not happy then no one's happy and I'm sorry but that's not right. It's if there's fecies in the bathtub no one's happy hahahhaha just playing :)
We have one really awesome investigator named Kmel (it's Arab) And I don't have a lot of time so I have to go, but I will tell you all about him next week :))) Love you all!!
Elder Jacob Lucas :)

Jacob mentioned in his family letter that his companion is really struggling and invited anyone who felt inclined to fast for him this coming Sunday. His companion is Elder Cutshall. He is searching for some answers and could use some extra prayers. Jacob loves to hear from you all. Thank you for sending your love and letters his way! If anyone would like to write him: Please send your letters to : Elder Jacob Lucas, 19 Ave Albert 1er, Valenciennes 59300, France. It takes 3 "Forever" stamps to send to France or one international stamp $1.20 ea, these can be purchased at the post office) or email at jlucas@myldsmail.net.


Elder Cutshall waiting for the bus....a cold evening.

Monday, October 20, 2014

I'm Still Alive!!!!

Hello all my friends!!! 
Thank you to everyone who wrote me :) It feels so good to talk to you all in the States :) AMERICA! Haha :)
So this week was really sad and also really miraculous! So unfortunately, a bunch of our appointments this week fell through :( The kids we were going to play soccer with had to reschedule so hopefully we still get to meet with them!! But with each appointment falling through, came the opportunity to find other people who are ready to hear this wonderful message :) And we found a lot of great people this week who I am very excited for!! However what I want to talk about today, is that when people kept not showing up and mission life was beginning to get difficult this week, Heavenly Father always came to my aide to comfort me and help me! On one particular day where I was struggling a lot, I came across the scripture DC 128:22; It is Joseph Smith speaking and he is writing to the saints from difficult circumstances, and he says, "Brethern, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward not backward. Courage, brethern; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice and be exceeding glad; Let the earth break forth into singing. Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained, before the world was, that which would come enable us to redeem them out of their prison; for the prisoners shall go free." And this scripture completely changed my focus!! Missionary work is the greatest cause there is!! It is THE greatest message to share as well! And although it is sometimes difficult and we all come to rough patches, we must have courage. Courage to do what's right because it is right! Courage to share the gospel in a language you haven't quite mastered. And of course onto the victory :) for there are people here in France-in this city that I am in- that truly need this gospel! They may not even know that they need it but they do! And then it says to rejoice! I have the happiest message to share! Christ lives! HIS church is on the earth again! You are sooo loved by your Father in Heaven! And the prisoners will go free! The people who are bound and only the gospel can loose them will go free! And that is why I am here in France! This gospel is the key to their escape from the the antagonizing difficulties of this world. And I am so very grateful for this opportunity I have to be a missionary now :) 

Some funny stories from this week: Last night we were tracting and there were about 20 kids in the neighborhood and they started following us from door to door! Hahahah might have been a little confusing to answer the door to two missionaries and their army of minis :) Haha and there was one kid who even tried to speak with us at a door! What's really funny is that he was Muslim :) 
Hahaha it's also really funny to watch people just cross the street when they see us walking on their side of the street, so they can avoid us.. It's also really sad because we just want to tell them that God loves them! 

Anyways, I love you all! Thank you for all your support :) The church is true! 

Elder Jacob Lucas :)

These pictures are from his first few days in Paris. They stayed at a hotel down the street from the mission home. 

His companion Elder Cutshall. In Valenciennes. Typical Street....

              Elder Lucas and the mini Army! aka Fan club for the day!

                            Beautiful park in Valenciennes.

                                  Waiting for the bus!

   New Elders are called "Bleus" so his companion go him a Blue book cover!

                                           You're guess is as good as mine!

                          Pday  (Preparation day) sight seeing!

                        Another Apartment roomate.

                       Elder Cutshall and Elder Lucas in their apartment.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Bonjour tout le monde!!! Hello everyone!

Bonjour tout le monde!!!
Anyways!! Crazy and well.. really gross story first! Our toilet and shower line connect... And well somehow, the toilet clogged or something, and there is poop coming out of our bathtub drain!!! GROSS!!! You can say it's a sticky situation hahaha sorry terrible joke! yeah sooooo that will be fun... (I can't believe He started with that....)
Miracle of the week! We were going to an appt with some people who may or may not have been super interested.. and so we get on the bus and behind us is this huge group of teenagers! And typically I get a little trepidated to talk to teens because they will just make fun of you and be rude because I can't speak the language super good yet, but I kept getting this prompting to talk to them! And I sort of pushed it away.. But it came again and again!! So I finally stood up, said a quick prayer in my heart for the spirit to be with me and I started talking to them. And before I went back they were all loud and obnoxious but when I went back there, they calmed down and actually became very nice to talk to-which is not normal for the french- and I found out that they loved soccer!! And on saturdays we play soccer for an hour with the people we are teaching, so we exchanged numbers and are set to play soccer this coming saturday!! Now what's crazy is that we accidentally had gotten on the wrong bus and were on the complete opposite side of town than were our appt was! And then these french kids (it's so weird saying that becuase I still feel like a kid hahaha) helped us find our way back! So I am super excited to play soccer with them and then hopefully we can then tell them what we do and teach them about the joy and love God has for them!!
But this is a time of miracles and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be the Lord's servant in this time!
The ward here is awesome!! I love all the people sooo much!! They are so nice and patient with my franglish :) jk :) ..my french is coming along very well!! I am understanding the accents, which was the hardest part! Heavenly Father is hearing my prayers and helping me so much! I am so grateful for Him! Just like Ammon and the sons of Mosiah from the Book of Mormon, I will be patient in my struggles, for I know that the Lord will give me much success!! There are people here who are ready to hear His word!! And our message is one that everyone needs! Whether they know it or not! God loves them! In fact He loves us enough to have given us a prophet in this time just like in ancient time! And you can know the truth of it through the Book of Mormon! So read it!! Anyways I love you all!! Hope that all is well back in the states! AMERICA :) Thanks for all the prayers!
Elder Jacob Lucas

In response to my letter:

Did you receive some packages from Amazon France? I have received one pacakge from uncle jeff! Please extend my thanks!! It was a a nice surprise!

Here is your copy and answer section:
Do do the french people celebrate Halloween? They just do regular trick or treat as far as I am concerned.. Haha Elder Buxton said that last year they thought that he was dressed up as a missionary when they went tracting on Halloween; hahaha they were super confused and then frustrated that someone would do that on halloween hahaha
How did the grocery shopping/ cooking go this week?
Good! I ate a lot of things from tators; they are cheap and provide a ton of options! So you can just send me recipes on here and I will right them down;
Did you finally get some bedding? Yes :))))) So awesome!!
How did the follow up appt  go with the younger guy from last week? Great we taught plan of salvation! and its going well :))
Chayton is disappointed that you haven't written him a letter yet....I will get on that! hahaha
How goes the companionship? I love the guy! he is awesome!! Still working on getting to that exact obedience but we will make it! It's hard because he won't contact on the trams or busses because he thinks that it's awkward, so I do it alone and- you'll read about it later- but I had some success on a bus!!! yeah it's frustrating because he has the french and I have the desire so together we make a team... hahha, but I know that it will be okay :) I have been serving him and he is getting better and more hard working!! Just gotta love em to death because if not you won't be able to teach anyone!
I have been learning so so so so much from Heavenly Father here! He has helped me so much! I am so grateful; There are so many different opinions here than in the US, and if your'e not ready it really could rock your testimony, but I know with all my heart that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Christ and that THIS IS CHRIST'S CHURCH!!! And that testimony is what you have to keep close to you at all times. Just like Leh's dream; we must continually press forward to the tree. I was thinking and one of the best things that you could do to help Kale is maybe read the Book of Mormon with him; Make it come alive and liken it to football, because if you can get him to read them- and see that these were real people and they really had to go through these things AND that their experiences can help him then he will always be able to find the love of God! For example, I think that you reading "Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites" really helped me. Maybe do it with Kale? And have Sam share with Kale about how much he loves the war chapters!! Sam reads the scriptures like it's HIM in there and it's AMAZING!!! And look at how strong Sam is now!!! Oh before I forget, ask Dad for me: Where did Lehi get the priestood?
But I love you soooooo much momma!!! This week was so much better than last! Heavenly Father said my trials right now are like I am skydiving and each trial is like going thorugh the clouds. You can't see the ground or the safety in the cloud.. just like sometimes you can't see or feel Father in a trial! But you must trust that it is there and He will catch us at the end and we will be safe! I love you!!! SOOOOOO much :) Give Sam and Kale my love! I will write some letter letters soon :)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Survived the first week!

Hello everyone!!!
Alright, I survived the plane ride!!! FYI the keyboards here are differnt than the ones in the states so if I have terrible speeling or grammar that's why :) Anyways, I don't know if you all have been getting my previous emails, but for those of you who don't know, I just arrived in France last... i think it was monday? No tuesday? It's too hard to tell haha! The time zone threw off those two days so they sort of just melded together haha! But I am sooooo excited to be here!!! Even just on the way to the airport, getting out of the MTC I was sharing the gospel with everyone I could! And it was so cool, because I sat by a man on the train going to the airport and he help with homemess people, and we started talking about God and his beliefs, and he believed in the Bible and the prophets in it; so I asked him, how he would feel if there was a prophet today. and he said that there had to be! And I was able to bear to him my testimony that there is one today! His name is Thomas Monson. Just like God loved His people enough back in those times to guide them with a prophet, He has given us a prophet today as well. Yes, a prophet with that same authority of God. And it is so amazing that we have that great blessing today!!! Just think about it! A prophet of God, to guide us, so we can know exactly what God wants us to do in this day and time. And you can know for yourself that he is a true prophet, by getting on your knees and asking your Father in Heaven. I was able to continue the conversation and give him a Book of Mormon and testify that God has restored His church today on the earth! He loves you!! For you are His child and He wants you to be happy!!!
Anyways, as the plane left for Paris, I made sure to put my hand over my heart for America because I won't be able to do that really for two years hahaha; America!!! But it was difficult to say goodbye to all the great friends I made at the MTC, especially the other elders who were in my district. They were some of the coolest guys and some will definitely be my lifelong friends! But I was in Paris for about a day and a half; and it is beautiful in parts.. and really dirty in others haha. But even while I was there, all I wanted to do was share the gospel! It's what these people need! I am not here to be a tourist- don't get  me wrong, on Pday I will see some sites- but I am here to help these people come to Christ!
I am serving in a city in the north-eastern part of France, near the Belgium border. It is called Valenciennes. And we got right to work! And it was really difficult at first with the transition. I felt so out of place and was really jet lagged, and I am trying to undertstand evyerone. But Heavenly Father always gives us little tender mercies when we need them most, and most of the people this day didn't want to listen to us at all! And then we started talking to a young man, and right when we started talking, he got so excited! We asked him why he thought that he was here in this life and where he thought that he was going, and he said he had no idea. We were able to share our beliefs with him, and it was so cool to see the spirit testify to him that what we were saying was true and we made an appointment to continue the conversation later. My friends, don't let life's challenges get you down! Your father in Heaven knows you perfectly and will always comfort you and answer you every time you ask!! So don't wait! Get on your knees and I promise that you will feel His loving arms surround you and lift you. They help me every day out here. It is not always easy, but with His help, it is possible and you will see miracles in your life if you do it! I love you all!
Elder Lucas :)

Jacob sent 2 emails this week, one to all of you and one to the family. He mentioned how excited he was for Logan Welling to start on his journey to the MTC and then onto South Africa! He's been a little jet lagged and homesick, but he is doing well. He is living in an apartment with another set of Elders- Buxton and Polyfreman. His companion is from Canada and only has 2 more months to serve. He says he's been very patient with him so far, but is rather trunky!  :) He only gets member meals twice a week, so he asked me to send him some recipes. This ought to be interesting...

He also said for me to thank Grandma and Grandpa Lucas and Roberts for the packages they sent to him in the MTC and also Rick and Joann, and Derick and Lindsey! You made him feel loved and special! Thank you. 

Some of his MTC District

French Fried!

His buddy "Omo"

He made some great friends!


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Called to Serve in......

The new sisters and elders and their companions who are serving in the Paris area. Elder Lucas is 4th from the left in the back row.

Serving in Valenciennes ,  new companions, Elder Cutshall and Elder Lucas

Jacob arrived in Paris Tuesday morning. All 28 of them had a direct flight  leaving from the Salt Lake City Airport to Paris, France. Upon arrival they were greeted with chocolate croissants! They were assigned to companionships the next day and sent on their way! I spoke with Jacob briefly on Monday. He called from the airport. He sounded excited to get to Paris and has enjoyed his time so far. He said his french was coming along nicely. He taught 2 discussions on the train ride to the airport with Elder Omohundro. It was really great to hear his voice and to feel of his excitement. He sends his love to you all.

Please send letters to Elder Lucas for the next 6 weeks to:
Elder Jacob Lucas
Les Missionnaries 19, ave. Albert 1er
Valenciennes, 59 59300

or email at jlucas@myldsmail.com

We received an email today from his mission president. This is what he wrote:

To the Family of Elder Lucas
Sister Babin and I were delighted to welcome your son , Elder Jacob Tyler Lucas , into the France Paris Mission on 30 Sep 2014. He and his MTC companions were enthusiastic and all arrived in good health.  He spent his first day eating some good food, visiting with me, contacting non-members in the heart of Paris, and sharing testimonies.  We enjoyed his spirit.
The next morning, after a mission orientation, Elder Lucas left for his first assignment to work in the Valen. 4 Area with Elder Palfreyman|Cutshall|Buxton , who will be his trainer.  Their apartment address is:
Les Missionnaries 19, ave. Albert 1er
Valenciennes, 59 59300
Any packages or letters you would like to send will reach your missionary at this address.
We feel very privileged to work with your  son .  We also realize the responsibility we share with you to help him continue to grow spiritually as he faithfully performs his duties.  May the Lord inspire us all to sustain him in this challenging and exciting assignment.  We hope you will join Sister Babin and me in praying each day for your son , his companion, investigators, and all of us serving in the France Paris Mission.
A positive, supportive letter from home every week does wonders to sustain a missionary’s morale.  Proverbs 25:25 states:  As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.
Frédéric Jean Babin
President, France Paris Mission

Dear Families of our Missionaries,
I am pleased to be able to send you this little E-mail to announce to you the creation of the Facebook of the Paris France Mission Babin.
We hope to be able to place photos of the events that take place here in the mission every 15 days so that we might share with you the Spirit that animates our mission.  Your comments are welcome, but we hope you understand we will not be able to respond to each one individually because of time.
We are very grateful for the support that you give through your prayers and the E-mails for your children. It is very precious.
Some amazing things are happening in this mission thanks to the faith, the perseverance and the desire of our missionaries to better fulfill the reason why they are here on mission. They are continually putting amazing efforts into raising the bar and to see the fruits of their labors.
We are very grateful for these chosen youth who have been place in our care and we assure you that we are doing all that we can to make sure they are taken care of. We love and care for them dearly.
We invite you to join our group, so that you might be able to participate in the great moments unfolding in each photo. Here is the name : “France Paris Mission Babin”
Sister Babin

As you know, the missionaries cherish the letters and packages that they receive from their families and we are well aware of the time, effort and sometimes even sacrifices that these packages are for you.
To be sure they arrive in a timely manner and in the best conditions, please follow these recommendations:

1 - Make sure your shipment is properly stamped and paid for.
2 - Verify that the address of the sender and the recipient are written legibly. 
Write clearly:
Les Missionnaires
Elder … or Sister …
3 - On the customs declaration write:  Missionary Personal Supplies  
4 - Do not forget to write the country of destination and of origin.
5 - Make sure your package is securely packed.
6 - Never send cash by post. It is prohibited under French law.
7 - Remember that the bigger the package, the greater the risk of it being damaged.
8 - Send the package to the address of the apartment of your missionary and not to the mission office. Packages sent to the mission office will not be forwarded to the missionaries by mail.
9 – Don’t send packages within the 15 days before a transfer. Transfers are every 6 weeks. Ask your missionary to keep you informed of transfer dates.
10 - Remember to send Christmas, Easter, and birthday packages at least 3 weeks early.

11 - If you can, it would be very nice to include in your package something for your  missionary's  son companion. In fact, some of our missionaries receive no support or packages from their loved ones and this could be a support for them, as well as very beneficial to their relationship with their companion.