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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Mission is going by so fast!


Go Marc!!! (Jacob's cousin Marc was married this past weekend) Atta boy! I'm happy for him. It sounds like everyone else is doing wonderful as well  that's fantastic! That would be sweet if I could be there for the reunion! But hey if not, that okay. I believe that my return date is August 3 or 4... Wow.. That's scary... I've been saying it since week 3.. "My missions is going by so fast! I don't have enough time!" It really does fly by... It's pretty weird because my comp is finishing his mission too... Next week at this point, I am so glad that I have all the time that I do! I LOVE this ward and city!! This last week we have done all that we can to serve the members. That has sort of been our goal this transfer is to really focus on member work because the ward was struggling and the missionary work on Nancy was struggling somewhat as a result. 

We have really been able to connect with the members and it has been the biggest blessing. The ward is really growing and becoming so much more willing to work with us! We have been trying to find ways to serve and that can be hard in France, because people don't like to ask for help, but we have really been figuring out ways how to get to them. We have been writing the members letters and notes, thanking them for rendezvous or for a testimony they shared or for dinner etc. amd it is making s huge difference. We also have been making them no bake cookies and it has been fun so they can eat some "American food", and they love it! They feel like we are more their friends and not just there to eat their food at dinners (it's much harder with the language barrier to really connect- but we are making it happen) 

There are 400 people on the ward roster and there are only 70 people max who come. So we have been less active searching like crazy, and visiting all the members possible to support them in their callings and seeing how we can help them in their families. And it has been miraculous! This last Sunday was the most full that I have ever seen it. An older inactive couple that we visit came for sacrament, for the first time in s couple of months :) sister Bertrand, a single, less active mother came with her son who is less active and her nephew who is not a member. The just had their dog die too, which was a HUGE trial for them, but she came anyways. In fact, we gave her and her son both blessings today of comfort so that they could be comforted with the loss, and it went phenomenal! The spirit was so strong. The blessings talked about how pleased God was with them taking this path and the reality of how they could be make it to the temple as a family. Earlier this week, we had dinner with her and she made the BEST meal I have eaten here in Nancy. It was fantastic :)) she knew from previous times that I had never eaten Quiche Lorraine (and Nancy is in the region, Lorraine, and so it is famous for the quiches here) and also that I had never eaten escargot in France. She made it for us! Soooo good!! I have pics :) Also, many of the members that come have seemed to be on the verge of going inactive, and much of our focus has been on helping them, and they are really growing. It was one of the greatest feelings being at church, in France, looking around and knowing that I was surrounded by friends, with people who loved me and I loved them. One of the greatest things in life is to love and be love :) is I'll include more in moms letter :) 

Hey now! I have learned to overcome fatigue! I have accepted the fact that I will always be tired! Whether I get up early or sleep in.. So I have accepted that I might as well get early and enjoy more of the day and love it. The mission teaches you weird things... 😉

Dad, I love you so much. Thank you for being a consistent writer and always looking out for me. You are amazing and I am so grateful for your love and example. Know that I know that this work is of God. He guides it. There is no better feeling than knowing that you are doing exactly what He needs of you. Thank you for teaching that to me! I love you!!❤️

Elder Cobja

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Meeting with the President!

I'm so proud of my brothers. They are both just incredible. I couldn't have
asked for anyone better to be by side as my siblings:) I am so excited for

Coach Dalton is very good at getting kids to want to play football and just
welcoming anyone and everyone. However, if you don't run track.. Like
someone named Jacob.. Senior year, he may or may not seem to shun you
hahahaha just playing... Sort of.. Yeah, he will be incredible!

That's a bummer about Xander and Tyler having trouble with school and
football. But I'm excited that Xander came to church! I've tried to write
him a couple of times, but I don't know if he has received them. He's such
a great guy!

I miss Melynda! She's awesome! She was so much fun to see everyday! I hope
that she is doing well :)

I just had my interview with my president. And I was asking him about how to work
with people in our district who have a hard time to always be obedient, and
he started to explain the personalities of people in the district and how
with their needs and problems it makes sense why they struggle with this
level of obedience. He then said (in French), "And that's why you're there
Elder Lucas!" "You can help them!!" Oh thanks a ton President!!! That's
just what I want to do! Be the bad guy! Hahahaha I'm totally kidding
around, but it was pretty funny haha :) but all in all, I felt honored that
he respected me with a situation like that.

This last week I was in Luxembourg on an exchange and let me just say that
I LOVE it there. It may be my favorite city (Luxembourg, Luxembourg)
because of how pretty and magnificent it is. While there, I met two
different men. One was homeless and desperate. The other had sufficient
money and had a job. The first, however, was the happier! In fact, he
literally started to praise God in the middle of our rendez-vous with him
because of how blessed he felt from God. This man literally had nothing. He
was an immigrant from Africa, where both of his parents had been killed in
the war, and who had a sister who died a couple of years ago. Despite all
of this, he praised God for what he did have. He knew that God loved him,
and the fact that God had given him life was a miracle in and of itself.
The second man had what he needed, but still felt cheated in life. He was
making enough money and had a job, but wanted more. He wanted to be rich
and have all the luxuries. He also was highly addicted to smoking, and
spent much of his money on cigarettes. He was angry that God hadn't given
Him more, and felt if God was doing His job right, then he (the man) would
have more money. It was incredible to see the comparison between the two.
The first man understood what is truly important in life. It is what money
cannot buy, and bread cannot fill. It is the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is
having the bread of life, our Savior. Through Him, death has no sting and
the pains of life are wiped away. The luxuries and values of the world,
such as money and things can't fill us the way we need to be filled. I am
so grateful that God would bless a 19 year old boy from NM to have that
experience to see the comparison and effect of gratitude on a life, that to
the world seemed like he had nothing, and another who had enough, but was
empty inside.

Dad, I love you!! Have a greeeaaat week!!
Yo :)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Rainy ward activity!

Happy Anniversary!!!!

So happy for you!! I'll be home for the next one😱😳.. That's crazy! I can't believe that's it has already been one year!! Where has time gone? Haha my wardrobe is okay.. I need to go shopping but we literally have no time... But I'll find some... Hopefully haha!! 

Gooooo Marcus Lucas!!! That's sweet ☺️ Please tell him congrats from me!
Message to the Rick Lucas Family:

Hey y'all!! (I said y'all just for you guys ;) ) I am so excited to hear
how Marc will be getting married. The last time that I saw him, he told me
about how he almost won the one girl's heart at an EFY he went to with his
pick up lines. He will have to tell me which one he used to win this one's
:) But with all jokes aside, congratulations to Marc!!! You're awesome!!
And for everyone, I hope that all of you are doing great! All of your
testimonies that you sent me for the Christmas package, that my mom put
together, meant the world to me. It was a time where I felt alone, and
having a part of you all there with me, really made a huge difference. And
that's what family is all about. One of the greatest things about being a
missionary is sharing with people how the gospel has impacted our family. I
am so grateful to know that we are all apart of an eternal family. And I'm
so excited that Marc is taking that step to start his eternal family:) It's
what everyone needs to have in their own lives. As far as things are going
here, life is great! The French only know about 3 places in the USA. They
are L.A., NYC, and Texas :) the great Texan reputation exceeds the USA.
Anywho, stay strong and know that I and love miss you all so much! Congrats
again to Marc!

Love, Elder Jacob Lucas

So! All those pics I sent you were from this ward activity that we had this week. It was a mile and a half walk to a park where we sat and ate and talked. It was such a nice change up of things!! Unfortunately it was planned on the one day it rained this week haha! And we didn't bring anything to protect us from the rain, so they gave us ponchos and well, little, dwarf men sized rain jackets (as you see with my comp). I felt like a giant rubber ducky... And hey it was Disney brand so I guess you could call me Donald😉 sorry, bad joke haha... But it was really fun! I'm getting really close with a lot of the members here. The Bishops is super cool! We will be going to his house on my hump day!!! It'll be super fun!☺️ he speaks fluent English and even went to BYU for a bit. He's awesome! This last week, we spent a ton of time visiting less actives and members. We have contacted and tracted everywhere in Nancy and we felt prompted that the most important thing to do right now was to strengthen the ward, because most of the recent converts are struggling after being baptized being the ward is hurting. With that, we have seen some incredible miracles. We visited a less active lady for the second time yesterday and the spirit guided us to know exactly what to say to help her come back to church. She was struggling to come to church because some of the people at church had had problems with her in the past and we were able to help her see that her ultimate wish is the temple for her family and that we have trials of faith along the way. Nephi failed twice, was threaten and then beaten almost to death, robbed of all his money, and traveled possibly a couple of weeks in the desert just to get the plates from Laban. We so often wish to be lead by the spirit and forget the struggles that Nephi had before the spirit guided him. I think that we all go through times where we feel like we keep falling. But if we give our all to God, realize that we don't know what else to do, and just lean on Him, He will never let us down. I know that to be true. There have been times out here where I have felt like I am like Nephi the first two times. But God was just testing to me to see if I would continue to believe. And then, the times come after where the Lord delivers Laban into our hands. 

I will actually be talking to President in a couple of hours! I have an interview with him:) we did have one activity two weeks ago with our zone, sharing miracles. However, Elder Edmunds and I prayed a lot over what type of activity was needed and we felt that a runner activity actually wasn't the best idea, based on the needs of the zone. 

As far as investigators go, it's struggling. Our African friend, William is still out of town (French people like to go out of town for a whole month. It depends on their preference on whether its June, July, or August.. It makes it hard to find people because everyone who lives in Nancy is gone and everyone in Nancy is from other parts of France haha). 

But have a WONDERFUL anniversary!! Have tons of fun☺️ you guys deserve it! I don't think that I could have gotten any luckier to have you two as my parents!! 
I love you Momma!!
Love, Jacob❤️

The Nancy ward activity, Bishop is the man in the far left corner. He invited Jacob and his comp over for his Hump day on thursday!

The Soeurs (sisters) in the front, crazy face middle, and the rest of the district behind.

Waiting at the train station with no one to talk to..

Elder Edmunds got the small jacket....

Captain Mickey!

Jacob and the DL 

The Nancy ward! 

Monday, August 10, 2015

What it means to be a missionary in hot sweaty France!


This week has been really interesting :) I have really been thinking a lot about what it means to be a missionary and how to act. I was thinking back to when I was home and what I wanted from the missionaries. I definitely wanted them to be much more confident and bold with the spirit when teaching. What's interesting is that I thought that also a lot of the missionaries were really not very good at relating to us at dinner. Like they didn't always seem comfortable. And they were talking in English haha!! But I have been trying to figure out to better connect with the members and serve them to their needs and become like their family. It's a hard balance because they may feel your spirit, but here in France the culture is different and they typically want to know who you are more than that, meaning it's not just the message but really who you are. So they like talking about real life.. If that makes any sense haha. I was just wondering if you had any thoughts... I want to be the most spiritually powerful missionary possible, but also make them feel like my family which is super hard in just like an hour. For some reason there is a culture here in the mission that we have to be super serious to be a missionary and I really feel like I have a personality for a reason and I am going to try to use it more.  So how do I show my spiritually strong side and also get on a fun and family level. Ugh, it's an interesting balance.. Any thoughts?

This week I had an amazing experience. My companion and I are the leaders of a zone, meaning we help different missionaries who are in the cities around Nancy. We had a special zone activity on Thursday. We brought in all the missionaries from the neighboring cities who are in our zone. 

In France, everyone uses the trains, and so a couple of missionaries had gotten in, and they were waiting at the train station for the others and my comp and I to get there. When we arrived we saw that we had some extra time, so I grabbed one of the other missionaries and asked him to come with me so we could use our time to teach someone. We talked to a lady who was sitting outside of the train station. She was really kind and really impressed that we had given up two years to come to France and talk to people about God. She then asked how we knew that God was there. I told her my experience of the first time that I felt the spirit when I was younger and how from that moment on, I knew with all my heart that God existed. My experience was actually when I was young, and mom was teaching me about Nephi and she shared how she knew that God was there and that we needed to do what we could here to be obedient, and I truly felt the spirit tell me that it was true. And this feeling only grew as I prayed and read the Book of Mormon. I was able to use that experience and testify to this lady how I knew, and she was ready because she wanted to to know as well. She needed to hear that message. 

 When all the missionaries arrived we went to the church and had the zone activity.  We just told one another miracles that we had seen during our missions. Elder Edmunds and I had felt like many of the missionaries had lost perspective that it's possible to see miracles. And we wanted them to have a renewal of faith. And it went super well!! It might even impress you to know that we planned it all out- the lesson, the meal, the contacting activity after-the whole shibang! 😏 it was cool, and made me miss having a smart phone because we had to walk everywhere, like walk to Pizza Hut to preorder everything instead of just calling.. Haha! But it was great to see all the miracles! And it seemed to boost every one's faith! It was sweet! 

On the funny side, in preparation for another meeting, we both know that I sweat A LOT....well...it is SUPER hot here and there are no AC's anywhere! And...barely any wind and no cold water! I get out of the shower in the morning and I'm already sweaty! hahah And so my comp and I are walking to the bus stop to catch a bus for district meeting and we see that it is about to leave. But we are on the other side of the street! And there's a ton of traffic in between us and the evil bus! Noooo! So right as soon as we get a chance, we bolt across the street (I'm wearing a backpack and carrying a bag of food for district meeting...and I'm already a walking shower of sweat, haha, and right as we get to the bus, it leaves! I'm pretty sure the driver saw us and was busting a gut with laughter....so what do we do? WE sprint to the next stop to try to make it there on time, And THE SAME THING HAPPENS! Right when we get there, the bus guy leaves! I mean come on!! And I'm drenched!! Swampy gross!! But, in our determination, we decided that we would not loose...and sprinted a third time!! Let me just say that the third time is not the charm! He pulled away as soon as we got there! So ...it was already hotter than that fourth kingdom that we don't like to reference at the end of the plan of salvation, and we had a long walk of straight incline to the church! hahaha We were late and I was a sweaty monster! I don't know why no one wanted to sit by me during the meeting...weird.....hahah! 

Miracle! So we were supposed to pass by a less active family's house and unfortunately we had the correct address, but the wrong city. But while there, we decided to talk to the people there with the time we had. I had a feeling to talk to a lady who was approaching us with her dog. I stopped her and she quickly told us that she really wasn't interested in a Christian message that she had lost hope for God. Before she could get away, I quickly asked her as to why she felt that way. Surprised that I hadn't started to immediately disagree with her, she stopped to talk and explain. She explained how she had lost many people in her family and she felt like If God was there, He wouldn't do that to her. It was then that I was able to tell her how we actually aren't just here to share a simple Christian message, but to field that question specially. I explained how we all ask similar questions sometimes and that the reason we are there was to help people find peace and understand that actually there is plan so that we can have our families after this life. She told us that she would give anything to have her mom just for another day. I promised her that she could. The conversation went from there and at the end of it, she was asking us for our number and a website. She hasn't yet contacted us, but I feel at peace knowing that we gave her the opportunity to know that death is not the end. God DOES love us. And that is why I am here in France. People live in such hurt and pain, and they don't need to. The knowledge of the plan of salvation can truly change everything. It was a miracle. Seeing the relief on her face made it all enough. Even if I just came to France for that one conversation, and that's it, it would be worth it. These people are too precious to God for us to just let them go and not know His love. It was incredible. I know that God loves and that His plan of happiness, with Christ being the center of it, is real. It is. It is. It is:) 

The Webbs will be amazing!! I am sad that they won't be in Farmington, but it will be what's best for them. They will be amazing at the temple. (Perry and Cindi Webb are moving to ABQ to serve in the temple presidency)

Alright funny story!! (There is a funny one in Kale's too☺️) well it's not a funny story, but it's a funny moment that you can imagine. So to start out, let's just say that you are so lucky to not have to wear a collared shirt everyday. Let me explain. First off you get a tan line. Second off, every time you turn your head to smile at someone, your neck skin piles up on your collar making this quadruple chin thing! Heyyyyy fatty smiling over here! Cheesing!!! Hahaha it's awful hahaha! So count your blessings!! 

I love you so much momma!! Thanks for everything and for helping me through everything😘 you are the greatest! And to Dad: 

Voilà!! J'espère que vous sachiez combien je t'aime bien mon chère papa! C'est toujours une grande bénédiction, sachant que je suis votre fils. Je porte les deux noms si important: Jésus-Christ et Lucas:) je t'aime!!

Love, Jacob

Elder Lucas and Edmunds

Guillaume Olivier and the crazy zone leaders!

Messing around, cuz we like that!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Waddle Walk....



This week has been amazing for me!! I have really been able to progress a lot! It's soooo incredible how much Heavenly Father is blessing me. Heavenly Father told me the other day how much Satan has been trying to destroy me throughout my mission and how pleased He is with all my work. I have done well and He is proud. I get the amazing opportunity to give another year to Him. I am just excited to see the miracles that He performs. 

This week I had an incredible experience!! It was at the very end of the day and we had been working hard all day long and as we were coming home, I had a very distinct impression to go to a specific place right by our building and that there I would find a man who needed me to talk to him now. So I told my comp that we HAD to go and we took off. As we were walking up to the place that I had seen in my mind, a man walked out of a the building with a lady. The lady was on her phone, but the spirit told me that this was the man. I stopped him and boldly told him that my companion and I were sent by God to share with him the importance of prayer. He looked rather shocked. He shared that he believed, but had stopped coming to church (he was catholic). He said that he had stopped feeling God though. I testified that God had sent us there that night to share with him how God was anxiously waiting for him to pray and how much God wanted to share His love with him. The man told us that he believed us, and was very grateful. Unfortunately he was here on vacation, and so we gave him the website of the church, but there is no greater feeling than the spirit telling you that you did your job. It was really incredible! 

And quick question. Have you ever had to do the waddle walk when your bladder is going to burst?? So it's soooo hot here, and I down water all day long with my nalgene... And that's great unless you have back to back rendez-vous! I had to hold a full on pee for like 3 hours! Try testifying with that! That in and of itself is a miracle! And then I did the waddle walk all the way back to our apartment! It may or may not have been the hardest part of my mission. Hahaha so if you haven't yet, count your blessing that you haven't had to do the embarrassing waddle walk pee hold in front of all the frenchies hahaha!! 

I know this one is short. I am running out of time. But mommy, I LOVE YOU SOOO MUCH! And hey, I wanted to try the iMessage thingy. What would your number be with the area code and everything? Anyways have a splendid week!! Bisous! (Spell check wanted to say "Bisons"... Bad iPad!) 
Love, Jacob😍❤️😘