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Monday, January 26, 2015

Track is for Weenies!

Dad!! Heyyy!! Life is grand :)) It's amazing and we are so Lucky to be apart of it!!

As long as you don't get shot in the nuggies like Sam and Kale their first time paint balling, then I am okay hahaha :) (This experience happened 8 years ago when we first moved to Ftown. Jay got paintball equipment for his birthday last week and he and the boys tried out his new gear Saturday. No one was shot in inappropriate places but they laughed about the memories from the past....)

That's super nice of C Bradley to check up on me :) Haha I can see mom being like "fine" like nothing is wrong too hahaha.. He is a great man!

Track alone is for weenies! The true champions break their ankles and THEN recover WHILE doing track. Hahaha just playing :) Sam and Kale sound great!! Kale sure does love to compete and WIN, that is something that will never change :) Good thing he is good at winning :) And hey, even when he doesn't he learns more from it. It sounds like you are doing a great job with them :)

So, I need your help with telling mom that I know when her birthday is, but I knew that you were celebrating it on Friday so I wished it last week hahaha... I know that she may be reading this before you, hahaha so I don't know how this will work out hahahaha totally just playing around :)

Thank you for the story that Sean Farley gave. I have really been Learning to rely on the Savior's atonement for strength-read mom's letter- and it's sooo true! Christ really did come down and suffer for all of us and knows what we need!! He has been there for me every step of the way :)

Sounds like you are doing well and enjoying your calling.  It's always been such a blessing in my life, watching you lead. I got a front row seat to a great example.

I think that I will be getting transferred soon. The transfer is the 3 of Feb., and I will find out this Sat if I am or not. But no matter where I go, it will be where I need to be :)

I don't know if I have the Morrows' email... But I will keep them in my prayers. That is so sad. I can't imagine what they are going through.  I am so Lucky to be serving the Lord and also you and the family through my service here for two years. Those are the two most important things. God and family:)

This week was a bit more of challenge, but I am Learning a ton! Above everything else, I know that Christ lives! I know that families can be eternal. I know that Christ has suffered for ALL of us! Everything! And it is only through Him that we can find peace!

This week, we saw Vale and Lucie. He has some issues with getting baptized, because he was already baptized when he was younger, in a different church; and it was really interesting because the spirit guided me to explain how his question was really about the Book of Mormon. If the Book of Mormon is true, then Jospeh Smith is was a true prophet and we have the literal power and authority of God TODAY! And then everything we are teaching is true. With that he said that he would read the Book of Mormon everyday.

Marie Therese came to Church again!! :))) We taught her about priesthood and she then wanted a blessing. It was rather interesting because out of me, my comp who speaks fluently, and a french member, she chose me to be the one to pronounce the blessing. But, as the Lord always shows, it is by the small and simple things that great things are brought to pass. I mustered the best french that I possibly could and followed the spirit. At the end, she just sat there and talked about how at peace she felt. I took the opportunity to testify about the power of the priesthood and how it blesses our lives.

I know that God lives!! I know that we have His Church here on the earth today!! Dad, I love you! Thank you for all that you have taught me and given me to know this :) I love you!!

Elder Yo Lucas

Monday, January 19, 2015

"There's NOBODY here!"

Bonjour from way over here in France!! J'espère que tous est bien pour toute le monde (I hope everyone is doing well):) Life has been great here for me and my comp :)

This week really grew a ton! Church was so great this last week! I understood the whole lesson in Sunday school :) and was able to feel the spirit testify to me again that this Church is true! Then I gave a 12 minute talk in Sacrament about the basics of the gospel. I spoke about how we can better learn the gospel of Christ and it comes best as we live it! It doesn't do us any good to know what He taught, unless we apply it to ourselves. And I spoke about how we must each use the points of faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of Holy Ghost, and enduring to end everyday. Even, the Brother of Jared, the great prophet of the Book of Mormon who saw Christ had to repent. In fact, he was chastened by the Lord for 3 hours for not praying and calling upon him enough. But then after he had repented, his faith was strengthened and THEN he had the great experience of seeing the Lord face to face. And it says that the Lord did this so the brother of Jared might know that He was God. And I believe that God wants that for all of us, and that we can all have expériences where we come to know the Lord personally. We may not see Him, but we DEFINITELY can feel Him. I know this to be true! I have felt his spirit and love again and again! The base of the first principles of the gospel is the atonement and how we become ONE with God by having faith, repenting, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and then keeping the Spirit with us. Obviously we don't get re baptized or receive the gift of the Spirit, but when we repent we can recommit to what we promised to do at baptism, and then we can have His spirit with us again :)

As far as the work, ça va (ok):) Unfortunately, most of our amis haven't been doing super hot, BUT we talk this man named Jullien Creteur, twice this week and it has been going splendid! He is single and comes from a family with a Protestant mother and Catholic father... Hard situation right? He, like Joseph Smith had the same question of how we can know which Church was right. And when we shared the experience that Joseph Smith had with prayer, the spirit was soooo strong :))))) BOO YEAH! I'm sooo excited about it!

We have been sharing a lot about the plan of salvation with people here, especially because people got really freaked out with the terrorist attacks. They Wonder why there are such terrible things in the world. And we have the remedy! We are here to grow, and everyone has agency, and it's not that God wants to punish us, but that situations will occur based on others' agency, our choices, and the natural consequences of living in a Fallen world. BUT that is why we have the Savior! Through Him, all our problems and difficulties can be made right! We can find peace! People struggle here a lot with deaths in the family. I know that my family is eternal! We will live together forever! And that is why I am a missionary: to share with all the other families that I can that we can have this great joy in this life!

Interesting story: we were tracting one night, and like every other door, we simply walk up and Knock and wait for someone to answer. And what I thought only happened in movies, happened to us. Someone literally shouted, "There's nobody here!"... Yeah... The things that people do to missionaries hahaha

Have a great week! Love you guys!

Elder Jacob Lucas

Monday, January 12, 2015

Time! Where did it go?

Mom and Dad!! Sorry, I don't have a ton of time so this is to both of you! :)

I hope that all is well back in Farmtown. This week has been a lot of ups and downs. So at the beginning of this transfer it has been really hard because my comp was just soooo Moody and grumpy all the time.. And I have given my all to stay happy and live in the moment and make the best of it and I have done really great and this week he has lightened up and is laughing and making jokes and it's going soooo much better :) I got to go on an exchange with my district leader this last week, in Lille and it was soooo much fun!! His name is Elder Stucki and I love being with him! He is super funny and just way happy :) We had a blast! So quick weird story, we were trying to find this inactive member in Lille, and it's 8:30 and dark, and as we come out of the apartment complex building (we are in the ghetto fyi) we see this African peeing on the building..; He sees us, gets all embarrassed, tries to hide his manhood and apologizes. Elder Stucki and I tell him no worries and keep walking, and once out of hearing distance, we started laughing. 

Elder Stucki gave a really great lesson in district meeting last week and talked about Numbers 13 & 14 and the difference between the reports of the Joshua and Caleb and the other spies. The other spies saw the land of Canaan impossible to conquer because of the people there, including the giants!  But Joshua and Caleb rather saw it as an opportunity for the Lord to show forth his power and overcome all these people! And he talked about having a positive Outlook and looking at our trials just as opportunities for the Lord to show forth his power in our lives! I heard a quote that said that, "Trials are what we see when we aren't looking at the Savior;" And that's sooo true. Elder Stucki and I had a chance to talk about testimonies, and he told me some really interesting things. He said that every missionary will come to a point on their mission where they really have to come to the point on whether or not they believe this gospel is true. And he said that the result of that experience will either make or break your testimony. And it's good to ask questions, because if we didn't, we would just be brain-washed all this stuff. And mom, I learned when I was Young that this was all true. I relearned it again in high school and then right before my mission, and then here on my mission, it has become founded and apart of me. And mom, I know that this is all true! I have learned it again and again! It is the greatest knowledge that we could ever carry with us in this life! Today I was praying and just told Heavenly Father everything that I was feeling and I just felt the spirit come into my heart and confirm how I truly needed this experience to make me strong and firm in my faith. It's crazy because it seems like you come on a mission and then once you hit the field, you immediately learn EVERYTHING that you need to learn and improve on hahaha. I wanted to ask you and Dad: When did you learn for yourself that this gospel was true? I have heard you both say that you know it is true a million times, but when did you know? :)

Anyways, sorry about the rant. Things are okay here :) I got sick this week and have been fighting a headache for 3 weeks now... I could really use some prayers. It's hard because I just keep going. I'm not going to stay Inside because of a headache. But yeah, I could really use some prayers of strengthening, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I feel like I have been fighting Satan everyday of this mission so far, but I do feel like the trial is close to an end and then I will be able to work without him constantly pestering :)

Marie Therese came to Church again!! Boo yeah!! I am sooo excited about it :) We will be seeing her on Tuesday! We still haven't been able to see the Stile Family :( We passed by and got to talk to Marie-Claude, the wife, and she said that we could visit Eric in the hospital. So we went by the hospital and he wasn't there... So we passed back by the home and found out that he had come home, but was resting. So we made an appt for Sunday, and yesterday when we passed by, they weren't home :((( Bummer, but hey it'll work out!!

We had another rendez-vous with Albert and he didn't listen at all... Like, just looked in the index while we were trying to read 1NE 1 with him.. So we are no longer seeing him.

Vale and Lucie are doing pretty good! They weren't able to make it Church, and we didn't get to Schedule and appt with them this week but hopefully we will be able to see them this week :) Vale shared a really cool story he heard. He said that there was a man who was getting his hair cut and the barber said that he didn't believe in God. They talked a little bit about it, and the barber gave his reasons for not believing in God. After his hair cut was finished, the man went outside and found a man with extremely long and ungroomed hair. Long story, short, the long haired man walked into the barber shop and declared to the barber, "I don't believe in barbers!" The barber a little stunned and confused asked, "Why?". The man replied that it was because no one had never cut his hair. The barber then replied, "Well, if you would have come to my shop I would have cut your hair..."; And it is the same thing with God! People don't believe because they haven't seen or felt Him in their lives, but they haven't put forth the effort either. God let's us choose. We are the ones who limit our Relationship with Him! I know that He lives and loves us :)

Speaking of hair... Well I tried to cut mine... End of story hahahah and well yeah... You see, Elder Ericson had cut his own and it turned out okay... And I didn't want to waste a Pday on going to the barber so I gave it a shot. Let me just say that the sides and back were spectacular!! I mean WOW :) (Clipper power hahaha) And then I realized that I had 5 minutes until bed and had to hurry... and I don't know why but I made the rash decision to use the clippers on the top too... And well it was going okay, until the clippers stopped working completely... And I had a lock of hair just left on the top of my head... SO... Guess what I did? I threw some gel into the hair and made the best looking spike ever seen. It was like a unicorn with a horn on the side instead of the front hahahaha. I will show pictures... They are just for you though! So yeahhhh today we went to the barber and he cut it crazy short! Like almost a buzz... SO yeah it's probably the worst hair cut of my life... But hey, I'm on a mission, I'm not trying to impress anyone hahaha. But sooo moral of the story: SAM AND KALE, learn how to cut hair!!

But on a side note, I have no idea how I would had it cut any different from the barber anyways because being specific in french about hair will take some work hahhaa. But hey, at least it's just hair :) ...Let's just say that I will be wearing a beanie ALL THE TIME for the next couple of weeks hahaha :)

I still haven't gotten any photos.. But I hope they come soon :) And guess what? It's solds!! (Solds is like black Friday in France...when everything goes on sale----he's been waiting to buy some needed clothing until now) Meaning I get to buy stuff!! Anyways, I love you guys so much!!

Elder Jacob Yo Tyler Lucas :)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year!

Hello Everyone!! Sorry it has been a while since I got out a mass email!! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Years Day Fête!!

Overall, this week has been really great! Unfortunately, the Stiles are still unavailable because Eric, the dad, is still in the hospital.. I really hope that he is okay. New Years was sooo much fun! We ate some crazy food! We had Coquille St. Jaques, which is this incredible clam stuff with a really good sauce over it. AMAZING! And we also had a cow tongue! ANd it was surprising really good! I enjoyed it! :) That was at the Pierache's house. He is our DMP, or ward mission leader :) Such a cool guy!! For New Year's Eve, we went to the Brenders' house! And it was sooo much fun!! The speak English and which made it much more enjoyable for me hahaha :) Since we get to Watch a Disney movie, they used their porjector and we had a mini cinema! And we watched.... Ratatouille!! I know weird right? Watching an Amercian made movie about France, in France, in French... Wow :) It was great!!

We also went back to see Marie Therese and we got her to come to Church!! First person to come to Church on my mission!!!!! :))) It was so great!! So was really touched my some of the speakers and even got emotional. I feel so evil saying that I was happy that she was crying hahaha, but I was glad that she was touched :) It was a little awkward because after Church, while waiting for her ride, she wanted to go smoke... That will be an interesting lesson, that word of wisdom haha :) We have another appt with her on wednesday. Albert isn't doing too good. He doesn't believe that there can be another true book besides the Bible. We found a Romanian family and they are doing awesome!! We are really cruising with the lessons. They are struggling with a wayward child, and we were able to show how we can find answers thorugh the Book of Mormon and showed them the story of Alma the Younger and how his father prayed for him and the Lord, through the faith of the father was able to help the struggling son. It's so true! The Book of Mormon really can help us with all our challenges!

I have also been Learning a lot about faith! It's a lot like being a QB. It's impossible to complete a pass if you don't beleive that it can happen or that you can do it. And sometimes with the gospel we feel like we have to KNOW that it is all true before we believe. And even though we have these feelings of great hope and peace that it is true, we just don't know. But that's where wehave to believe. Even though the play hasn't happened and the you haven't thrown the pass yet, you have to believe that you can do it and that your receiver will be there to catch it! Quite literally you have to step out into the darkness before you will see the light of the truthfulness of the gospel! And it's not blind faith because you trust the spirit-or those feelings that tell you it is true!! And it can be hard at first, but once you see that Heavenly Father is there-that the pass did get completed- you begin to believe a little more and you try again and again. And each time it works out, you have more faith- more belief- until you KNOW that it will work out. You know that you can step out into the darkness because you KNOW that Heavenly Father will be there to catch you if you fall. You know that the Book of Mormon is true, because you have felt the Spirit confirm it again and again and you have seen how it has blessed your life! You KNOW that you can complete that pass when it's time to be clutch in the game and all the pressure is on. There have been a lot of times on my mission when I feel like I came here so that I could have specific challenges that would force my testimony to be put to be tested. And I have learned to believe. I have learned to step out into the darkness, because I BELIEVE that this gospel is true, not because I knew it was in the moment. And it was there at that moment that we jump off the ledge of doubt and fear, knowing that if Heavenly Father won't catch us, we will fall, And then the miracles happens. He doesn't just catch us. He enables us to fly! The pass is completed. You took the risk and you won the game because of it! And I know that this gospel is true! I have had to jump again and again into the darkness of fear and uncertainty and EVERY time Heavenly Father has made me fly. And that's why we are here. To learn how to fly!! Heavenly Father wants us to be able to fly! He wants us to become strong in faith and hope! Seeing isn't believing; Believing is seeing. Most great things in life happened because someone took a risk and ventured into the unknown and tried to see what had never before been seen, and achieve what had never before been achieved.

I know that you can know that this gospel is true. Don't hesitate to know! Go read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it is true and I promise that by the spirit, by the feelings in your heart, you too will know! And sometimes it can be hard, but trust me, if you choose to believe, Heavenly Father will make you fly! I love you all!! Until next time :)

Elder Lucas
French pastries! Oooo La La!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Christmas Skype


It was sooooo nice getting to see you :)) It was amazing!! I have a feeling when I come home that we will just talk for hourse because of just everything that has happened hahaha!! That hour went by wayyyy too fast!
I really felt of your love and the family's love on Christmas :) You guys are the best!! Dad seems like he has been able to relax a lot better!! He seems like he is doing great!! :) I am soooo glad :)

That soooo cool that you did that with the mission statement and the pics. The mission statement is actually hanging on my wall!! 

Don't worry about the tears! They were coming out of me eyes also :) Really it was amazing getting to talk to you!!

For New Years I get to have the day off and hang out at a member's house and watch a Disney movie. Ah man, I forgot to buy black eyed peas!! Make sure that each of you eat one for me!!

 I want to tell you about how grateful I am for the article that you sent me about gratitude back in November. It has been such a great help for me!! I have been striving to be more grateful and I am Learning how to really be happy! In the past it has been, as  you know, a struggle at times, but I am seeing how important it is to find joy in the little things!! Thank you SO much for being my mother :) You are one the greatest sources of joy in my life :) I have the best family in the world and everyday I think about how much I love you all!! Talking to you was amazing :) And that's what it is going to be like in eternity :) Just full of joy that we are all there and feeling how much we love eachother!!

I really like the quote that I read in that article that "The man who forgets to be grateful has Fallen asleep to life." And it's so true! We are so blessed! Even though you are way on the other side of the world, I can feel you EVERYDAY in my heart. And for that I am sooo grateful!

Now that I have left home, I see how right you and dad alwys were hahahah. I am just glad that I listened even though I didn't always see the big picture. It's amazing because you always think about leaving home and what it will be like, but you really have no idea what is going to happen until it happens. And I am sooo Lucky to have you and dad!! You truly have taught me how to succeed!! If I have God, I can do anything!! ANYTHING!! 

Thank you mom, for loving me like He loves me, so when I am here on my own, I know where I can go to feel His love. And through Him, I can feel your love as well!! I love you so much Mom!! You are so beautiful! Thank you for everything!

Oh and funny story hahaha! The "cheater" hit again!! Yesterday in the middle of sunday school someone asked me how to say "cheater" in English and they tried to say it, and well.. it wasn't cheater hahahaha. Oh the language fun hahaha! (the French have a hard time saying the "Ch" sound instead they use the "Sh" sound.

I love you mom!!

Love, Your boy :)  

We were able to skype with Jacob on Christmas day. He went to a members home for Christmas dinner, he ate Fois Gras (duck liver), duck and frog legs. He said that was his best meal so far. :) He also mentioned that his language is coming along nicely. We asked him if he was becoming french.....he said "Yes! Accept I still shower!" hahah....he also said that the the sterotypes of the French are all true. They drive small cars, have small mustaches, don't care for Americans.... He is still in Valenciennes and will be there until the next transfer in February. He spoke mostly "franglish". He had a french accent speaking english, it was great! He looks the same, happy and in shape. It was nice to see his face and hear his voice. For one hour it felt like we were a whole family! That was the best Christmas present to be had. He sent his brothers each a French "skinny tie"....they will wear them to church on Sunday. He mentioned that the French take their weekends seriously! They start Friday and end Monday so on P-days most site seeings opportunities are closed until later in the day. So he does his laundry, goes grocery shopping and that's about it. He plays a lot of soccer.