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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Prompted by remembrances!

Dad!! It's so great to hear from you! This transfer here is just flying by... It's sort of scaring me to be honest haha. I have a feeling that I will be out of Nantes in two weeks, but you never know. Thanks for all the updates! The family sounds just incredible!! This week has been rather interesting. 

We really didn't have a ton of time in our area this week. So, as you know Monday is Pday, so we weren't working, but on Tuesday we went all the way to the very bottom of the mission to la Rochelle!! We had a double exchange over there, meaning both Elder Young and I went down there. SUPER COOL!! I loved it!! I went on an exchange with a first transfer "bleu" and it was so much fun. The greatest part was at the end of the day. We had about an hour left and prayed to know where we were needed and both felt like this specific park. We followed the spirit to know which people to talk with, and after talking with different people, we realized that we only had 10 minutes left and we both felt like we needed to talk to this man sitting all alone on the bench. We introduced ourselves, and he blatantly said he wasn't interested. But, when I looked into his eyes, I could see a deep sadness and the spirit prompted me to sit down next to him and stay. So I did and I asked him as to why he was sad. He explained how he felt completely alone, and that he didn't have anyone there for him. He said that he simply came there that night to drink some beers to escape the reality. (He has already downed one, which is probably why he was a bit more open than he probably would have been otherwise). But the spirit brought back to my memory an instance when I felt completely alone in my life. It was a day in middle school and I felt like a complete failure. I had been bullied again, and my confidence and desire to try had hit point zero. And I just came home and fell on my bed and started crying. Mom came downstairs and just held me for a while and listened as to why I was so depressed. I asked her, "Why is it so hard?" And, then she told me the following. She told me that God LOVES me, but that He can't always be here with me. But THAT'S why He sent me her and dad, so that I could feel his love through you two. I shared that experience with this man and told him that Elder Clegg and I were there so that He could know that God loved him, that we loved him. I testified o him the immense amount of love that his Father in Heaven has for him. He was very touched and then repeatedly told me that my french was incredible. (Nicest intoxicated man I have ever met hahahaha! Usually they mock my french.) However, then I asked if we could say a prayer for him. He said that we could. I prayed for that man, asking Father to be with him, and that this man would feel it. At the end of it he was so grateful. He said that he will still not believe but that he felt something; and that he found comfort in OUR belief and faith in God. He thanked us for the prayer and we then left him. It was incredible. Although, he didn't accept the message at that time, we helped an extremely lonely and afraid son of God. And he felt something!! He didn't want to name what he felt, but he knows that he felt something special. My job is to invite and to love. And, at the end of the experience, the Spirit confirmed to me that I did my job. I did the work that Father had for me. I didn't get an email from Mommo, but I am sure tat she will read this: Thank you Mom for helping me on that terrible day in middle school to feel Father's love through you. You indirectly were the reason that that man on that night was able to feel Father's love as well. 

Now, Dad, don't feel left out!! I remember another time when I came home completely depressed from Heights and you did the same for me. You listened to me, rubbed my back, and then you played the WWII with me and some other games. I don't know if you remember that, but that really changed me. I saw how much you loved me. You came down to my level to let me know that you were there for me. Thank you so much!! 

Mom, Dad, thank you so very much for always loving me. Even when I put a hole in the kitchen wall... (We don't speak of that). But, I hope that you know that it is through what YOU did for me, that I can be the missionary God needs me to be today. For these lost children who are completely afraid and alone and just need His grace and peace. Truly a mission is a family affair! WE will bring the world His truth :) 

I would have to say that my mission has greatly changed me. Really, it has changed everything. It's making me a man, a man of God, and a man who will be strong to follow what He needs and to follow my heart. The mission has been the greatest blessing in my life. (In retrospect hahaha!!) Sometimes it's hard, but it's SO great!! If it wasn't hard it wouldn't be worth it! I am beginning to love the times that are hard; sort of like you learn to love the burn when working out. The pain IS GOOD!! You want that!! That means you're growing!! And its the same in life.

But as far as those two are doings, BOO YEAH!! I am so pumped for them!! it's so cool that Kale is MR. MATADOR :) And Sam is tearing it up on the weights! STUDS!!!! Tell them that I love them and I am their biggest fan :) I will have to take a day when I get home and paint up for them with the green wig, just chanting their names, to make up for all the awards and achievements they have received. Hahaha :) 

Comp is GREAT!! We are best friends. It has been such a great time being with him. I am so lucky!! The language is coming along. I have been having to speak English more because of all the exchanges that I go on. It's interesting because I only get one exchange to get know each member of the district, so sometimes I will use English to have a better connection and show them that I care. Usually, it's in the native language that one can feel more love from another :) 

For Sam and Kale to prepare, I would say, think about questions non believers and nonmembers would have about God, and then figure out how to answer those. The Book of Mormon is KEY!! If they don't know the answer, pray, go with faith to the Book of Mormon, PMG, true to the faith, etc, and I ^promise that God will answer the question. If you ask in faith, believing that you shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you. :) It's pretty cool! 

Our food list is mostly bananas, apples, oranges, hamburger meat, chicken meat, beans, oatmeal, canned and frozen veggies, spinach, lettuce, tortillas, eggs, milk, carrots, etc. I do need some more menu ideas!! 

Thank you so much dad!! I love you! I love you Sam! I love you Kale! I love you Mom!! :) You are all so great!! have a wonderful week. Know that you are in my prayers and in my heart.

Elder Lucas

Monday, May 18, 2015

The sky is not the limit but should be our point of view!

Hello Mom and Dad!! 

I am writing this one together because it will a lot easier for me because of how short time is. Life is going much better. I am learning so much and I love it!! 

Dad your letter really helped me!! I am figuring out the whole balance thing and it's going well :) This last week I really felt the spirit strongly and Heavenly Father was able to give me the advice I needed on how to become better. The coolest part was that he told me that what's amazing, is that I have had struggles with stress and different emotions all throughout my life, BUT for the first time, this last week, I overcame it, WHILE in circumstances completely foreign, feeling alone, and truly depending only on Him; and myself. If I can do that, I can do anything! I am learning how to master myself and to truly make my dreams come true. The sky IS not the limit but should be our point of view (yeah that's a reference to a Beiber song... don't judge hahaha ;) ) And then I thought about Moses and Enoch and how they both felt completely inadequate and afraid, BUT the Lord made it to their strengths! For who hath made man's mouth that it should speak? The Lord. The Lord gives us weaknesses and in reality they are our greatest blessings :) I love learning everyday on how to become better. 

What's been a huge help has been focusing on everyone else and lifting everyone else. Forgetting me. If you haven't yet, watch the mormon message, "Lift". It's amazing :) It helps you take a hard look at yourself. As I truly love others, my fears and stresses melt away. After all, perfect love casteth out ALL fear! And the rules of the mission are there to help us LOVE with a greater capacity, not to micromanage us! But we must always remember that with all the commandments, they come AFTER we love the Lord our God with our all, and then we love others as ourselves, or as he would, as the Savior taught. 

I have also been really realizing the importance of not caring what others think. If you can't control it, then WHO CARES? Hahaha :) Almost all of my stresses have been about what others think and I have discovered that sometimes I even get confused and start to place fear as the core of my motivation, even thought that's not really why I do things. Sometimes we forget that it's not that I HAVE to follow the rules, but I CHOOSE to because I love Heavenly Father. If we can focus on the real why of what we do, we will find what is truly important. (Not saying that I don't follow the rules :) Don't worry I do haha) And I really like that part of the ZONE book when he talks about judging by your effort, because so often we only see by our results and that's not really how it works. The most important is the process, which can be defined by our effort. SO my new motto with whatever I am doing is to 

1. HAVE FUN and find ways to love Always 
2. Define what you can and cannot control. And follow. 
3. Judge by effort. ..

What's so cool about the effort thing is that if you didn't reach your goal, and you reflect on your effort, and you saw that actually mentally you weren't all inot making it happen, you realize that it is still in YOUR control to change that result. We are agents to ACT! Not be acted upon. Oh man, Heavenly Father is helping me learn so much :) I love life :) 

SO! SUPER COOL MIRACLE!!! Heavenly Father gave me a real sweet tender mercy with helping me to realize that I am doing well and am helping people here. We have been working with and serving a man who is about to go through a divorce and his world is sort of falling apart. I believe that I talked about him last week. Anywho, two weeks ago, I gave him a blessing of comfort and the spirit was extremely strong and inspiring. SO, this morning I was gracefully, and peacefully showering in our paradisaical shower...And I hear the deep voice of Elder Young say to me, "Elder Lucas!" At this point I had finished showering and started to dry off and replied, "Yes,". He then says that phone needs me. I get my towel around me and still confused, he then hands me the phone. It was David (that man) and he proceeded to ask me if I remembered the blessing. I replied that I did, and he told me that I stated in it that he (David) should speak with his family about his divorce situation, and that they would understand more than he thought they would and they would help him. 

Now, David's dad has been divorced 5 times, so for both David and his dad, it was going to be a touchy subject to discover that David and getting divorced. But he decided to skype his dad, and told him was had happened. His dad was frustrated and reacted poorly and said things that were unkind towards David's wife. BUT, then his Dad's wife-who he is married to now- said that actually she did 15 years ago what David's wife is doing-left the church and went to discover the world, and has since come back to be fully active in the church and the things that David's father said were probably not right. She then helped David and his dad presumably understand more of the situation from a different perspective and helped them to better understand. SO COOL!!!

David said that he wanted me to know that I was inspired and that the blessing was 100 percent correct. Also in the blessing it talked about how it would all work out for David and the Lord had a plan, which I know to be true. The Lord will make it all work out for that man. But when David told me that this morning, the spirit whispered to my heart how EVERYTHING that the spirit has told me in the past will all come to be as well. All will work out for me. This is HIS work. He will help me in life and I know that He is there for me :) 

Pday is going great! We went to this mall and looked around. I didn't get anything, but it was fun :)  My district is great! I love them so much. We will have zone conference so you should get to see pics of me on facebook. I will be wearing my new suit :D

Mom and Dad, Sam and Kale, I love you all! Thank you for your prayers; I know that you have been praying for my stress and I have felt it. That was one of my impressions as well, is that you are praying for me and it truly is making a difference. I love you all!!! Proverbs 3:5-6 Know that He's got this :) 

Love, the one and only Cobja Elder

Monday, May 11, 2015

New Suit! French style!

HEYYYY!!! It was sooooo great to see you!!! :))) 
So we actually have a LOT of those ingredients so this will be great!! Thank you so much for all the ideas. I think that that will really help us make it work a ton better! You are so great :) 

I really loved all your ideas for the district and for having fun. Thank you so much. Sometimes I just get into work mode and forget to let loose. I'll get it back :) 

SO! I am pretty excited because I went shopping and got a new suit!! And some sweet pants :D I wish I could send pics but every time I try, my camera stops working. I will try to get a lot of pics to you next week!! But so you can imagine it, it's a french suit-darkish gray- and slimmer fit- looks pretty darn stylin :) The pants I bought are soooo comfortable! It felt good to shop. (Last week he decided to form tackle his companion and split his suit pants from belt loop to zipper-Um hmmm...irreparable hahahahah) 

We also threw the fb around today which was super fun!! It was more like ultimate fb because it was just two on two, but it was great. I also tried out the 7 min workout thing and it was really awesome!! I was super impressed with how well it worked :) Thanks for all your incredible ideas :) 

COOL EXPERIENCE! So, like I said, I gave a blessing to a man who is potentially going to be divorced, and he is actually from Canada. The blessing had advice that he needed to return home to Canada for a time to be with his family and that while there he will be able to further find himself. It said that he should counsel with his parents, for they know more than he thinks and are ready to help him. And he asked me a couple of days after the blessing if I knew much about his family back home. I said that I didn't. But he said that normally, he would not be going back home, because of different reasons and hardly ever visited there. However, he then said that a couple of days before the blessing he had planned to go back to Canada for a week because his brother is getting married. All in all, if his brother would not be getting married, he would not be going home any time soon. And what was interesting is that while giving the blessing I was a little hesitant, because I knew for some reason that he didn't really want to be going home any time soon, but the spirit persisted, so I spoke the words it said. And WOW! He  will be there in a couple of weeks!! The Lord MAKES it work out. We just have to follow, even when we don't understand!! I love you Momma!!!! 
Thank you soooo much for the advice, and for the love you send me. I love you!! Next week I will let you know how it goes being relaxed more :) Love you! 

Monday, May 4, 2015

I get to see you in just quelque jours! Whhhaaaattttt!

Heyyyyyy!!! I get to see you all in just quelque jours!!! Whhhhaaaaatttt??? 
I am soooo glad that my brothers wrote me!!! I am working on some letters, but like I said last week, it's hard because I don't have a ton of time.. But things are going well! 
I am sooo impressed with Kale!!! I will write him specifically about it :) That's so funny what you said about Sam hahaha! He is a lot like you :O 

GO MASON!! Oh man, I won't see him for a long time... That's terrible. You should have him write me. That would be great :)

My week was really good. Things are going really wonderful!! Laure-a woman that I found on an exchange-got baptized!!! SO COOL! I found her on an exchange with Elder Beane and I got to interview her for the baptism. She also asked me to give her that Gift of the Holy Ghost. SO although, I haven't baptized anyone yet, I have given the spirit to people two weeks in a row :) ...The microphone worked this time.... It was terrible... Hahahaha just playing :) It was great! It all went well and I spoke perfect french :) The spirit was amazing and Laure was extremely touched. It's so cool because with her and Agathe, I technically didn't teach them but I feel so close to them and they always make a point to talk to me every time I see them. It's really neat :) 

Funny: Elder Young is working on making his prayers more sincere, which can be hard when they are in french. And you should know that I have been working with him with how to use the phone and, so this one particular instance, he almost said, "Notre Père Céleste... Je vous appelle...". Meaning, "Dear Heavenly Father, I am calling you...." It was so great! :) 

We had many miracles this last week. I will share more of them in the other letters:)

Know that I love you so much my mother!! 

I still have a room there?? Hahahaha just kidding :) 

I would like to know what I can buy to amp my metabolism and I need some more workout ideas. Sam said that he has a new workout that he is doing? How does that work? :) France's food is expensive and not always a ton of options.. So I have been eating a lot of the same stuff and I think that's why my metabolism isn't as good.. But it'll all work out :) Sam will whip me into shape when I come home :) 

As far as it goes for Sun, I will talk about whatever Q's you have :) I have a TON of great stories to share :) Funny and spiritual so whatever you want. I know that Sam and Kale didn't get a ton of time to talk last time, so make sure that have whatever they want to talk about ready as well :) I love you!!! See you in a few :)

Bisous :) 

ELDER! Lucas :)