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Monday, September 28, 2015

My week was AMAZING!



The missionary work was hard, but I really learned a lot this week. I have really been able to use the atonement of Jesus Christ to strengthen me. It’s pretty crazy because we come on missions with such high expectations and we quickly discover that we are so incapable. We are called to be perfectly obedient and representatives of Christ, but ultimately we can’t do that without Christ. Ultimately we are just more of God’s children who are trying their best to help the other kids to find the way-that way being Christ. And we need Him to succeed. This is His work. He is the work. And the way that we become perfected (100% obedient) is through Him. We do our best and He picks up the rest. That’s why we are joint heirs with Him (Romans 8:16-17). Sometimes we as missionaries forget that we need Him as much as others, and that He is how we succeed in missionary work. He saves us after all that we can do. How amazing :) 

Mom, I truly felt the Savior so strongly this week. It’s weird because since I got to the mission, I was struggling because I felt like I was alone, and I really learned so much this week. I realized how before the mission, I was really dependent on verbal feedback. I struggled if you or Dad, or someone else wasn’t telling me that I was doing a good job. And I think to some extent that was a reason why I did things. Not with things spiritual though. I decided all that on my own, but when I got here, I had NO face-to-face real verbal feed back. Too some extent my motivation was based on that. And this whole time, I have been learning to really cut my motivation to please others and only do it to please God. And it has made all the difference! I have never been happier in my mission. I am so happy! I feel Him close, and I’m not afraid. He is the anchor for my soul. And what’s cool is that God wants me to trust me! To trust myself. I think one of the greatest reasons that He had me play football was to help me believe in me! And I am figuring it out! It took some time, but it’s setting the stage for the rest of my life. I am truly learning how to be independent by being dependent on God. How cool right?! 

The mission is truly an incredible blessing. I thought that I was coming out to invite others to come to Christ, but this whole time, it feels like God has just been inviting me to come to Christ. Before I left, I thought that I really understood the atonement, but I have discovered how much I had to learn. That’s the most amazing thing about being here in life; we always have so much to learn.

Quick really cool experiences from this week:

There is a young man in our ward that is having a REALLY hard time. He is the only member in his family. He converted when 17 and then served a mission. His parents are divorced, and he is working hard being a teacher, and has a time consuming calling. He is still single, which is hard for him, and suffers from depression and anxiety. We visited him and he just told us how he was feeling and let it all out. We were completely guided to know exactly what to say. We shared a Mormon message from Elder Holland, how for those that wait on the Lord, they prosper! It works out! Don’t quit!! And I was able to share how the mission was so difficult for me at first! I was totally alone with a comp that was atheist and then comps after that were difficult, and I felt totally alone. And how in retrospect, I see how it was PERFECT for me! They were my greatest blessing for they helped me to become what the Lord needed of me. We then gave him a blessing and will be seeing him tonight to follow up. The way that the spirit directs us to know people’s needs is absolutely incredible. I testify that the power of the priesthood works. It does.

I also went on an exchange with a bleu  (new missionary) this week! Super fun! It was cool to see how he was where I was a year ago, and I was able to let him know how much God believed in him. I shared what I wished a missionary had told me when I was a bleu. I testified of how God calls the weak and simple to confound the wise. We must never fear because of our weakness because it is the work of God, and if we simply believe, mountains will move!

Lastly, I talked with Elder Smith who is in Luxembourg and he told me that a woman who had been baptized a couple of months ago there (who I had taught on an exchange) had been really touched my what I had told her when I taught her. Apparently, what is said, changed her life exponentially, and she was expressing her gratitude. I didn’t even know when I taught her. We never know the good that we do!

I’m pretty stinking excited to see Auntie Rease! It’s going to be fun!


So any who, this week was phenomenal! I love you Mommo!! Always in your heart 

Jacob



Here is the Mormon Message...... Enjoy!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Tired Monday


Jacob and former companion elder Edmunds and the Sista Missionaires

Elder Lucas with the AP

Elder Lucas and Elder Gaule with the Blonde Family.

Elder Lucas and former companion Elder Karl.

Hey!!☺️❤️

I am super tired as well! My comp has been sick most of the week, and today I have been feeling a little sick as well. Hopefully I get a nap in before the end of Pday so that I can have some more energy for tonight ☺️.

Crazy nasty story! So we are pretty sure that Elder 
Gaule has a virus. He exploded BIG TIME out of both 
ends... And guess who got to clean up the puke...? 
This guy.... I took my scarf and drenched it with
my cologne and then wrapped it around my face, 
somewhat Muslim style, but it was covering up my 
mouth and nose so that I wouldn't die from
the stink. He barfed up French cheese pizza... Yeah 
French cheese already stinks, imagine it like that... 
It was siiiick!!

However, since he was sick, I took the opportunity to do some serious deep cleaning. The apartments for the most part are usually gross because missionaries 
don't take good care of them... We had two missionaries that finished their 
missions last transfer and left a ton of their junk... So there was a TON of work 
to do, and I had already called everyone in the area book, so literally didn't havemuch to do. I got to work, and cleaned for like 5 straight hours.. I cleared out 
so much junk and got in touch with my Katauna interior design side, and 
rearranged everything so it looked tons better!! I actually feel
comfortable and relaxed in there now. So the part in dad's blessing came true 
when he said that I would learn to clean. But in all honesty, the mission has hada huge impact on me wanting to be clean. I feel like I am always cleaning the 
apartment when I am in it now. It just feels so good to have everything all put away. It's stress relieving.

I'm super glad that Shuttleworth is helping the boys. He is a great coach.  
really enjoyed his motivational speeches before games.

We had our zone conference this last week, and ElderGaule and I taught about 
being heroes. The theme was, "Zero to Hero, Our Sacred Call and Commission We were able to share parts of Hercules, zero to hero, like where he saves Meg. And we discussed how a real hero is someone who sacrifices 
themselves for someone else. We then talked about how Christ didn't become 
the Savior until He gave Himself. And we as missionaries are giving of 
ourselves for others-all in all, we are called to be heroes! And we talked about 
how to be those heroes. Ultimately the way is to come to the One, who makes
heroes out of all of us-Christ. He changes us to make us into the people/
missionaries needed. And we discussed how to come to Him. It was really 
powerful!

We also taught all the elders of 4 zone about the 
importance of being morally clean. President said 
openly how impressed he was with how Elder Gaule 
and I presented the information, and how incredible 
the lesson was. It was a really great conference ☺️

Mom, I love you so much! I am doing my best to 
serve the Lord, and the Lord is making me into who Ineed to be. 
I know with all my heart that Jesus is the Christ. He lives. I could never deny it. I love every day I have to serve with Him in this work☺️

I love you!!❤️
Love, Jacob

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Surprise Stake Conference Speakers......

Hey Momma!!☺️☺️

Glad to hear that your sabbath day was great! Mine was.. Interesting to say the least. We too had stake conference. And guess who spoke at it?!? This guy! Yeah, it was crazy. Let me explain. Since it was stake conference, all the missionaries in the stake came, and we had 12 missionaries staying in our apartment the night before, including Elders Divis (MTC buddy), Pumford (buddy from when I was in Nantes), elder Karl, and tons of other guys from parts of my mission. There are two zones of missionaries in our stake, Elders Pumford and Divis are the other two zone leaders, and Sunday morning before the conference, we-us 4-'had a meeting with the stake president, so that we could present our idea of having a mini MTC. It went great!! He is 100 % in support of it, and will be talking to the ym/yw presidents, so we can work directly with them. President Rodriguez is incredible ☺️ he even took extra time to give us ideas and tips for working with the members. Anywho, conference starts the chapel we have here in Nancy is like the chapels in the states, and we had the chapel and gym filled. However, on the stage, are the most comfortable couches, so Elder Gaule and I had the best back row seats on the stage with the couches! Oh yeah!!! He conference was amazing! Some of the most moving talks that I have ever heard in France. However, there is a family that we visit often, that doesn't have a father figure, and as a result, the kids are pretty wild at times. The two kid are around 11 and 7 years old. The 11 year old is a girl, and the other is a boy. And they were running around the entire room, and decided to come and sit by us. It was really hard to focus because they kept stealing our name tags and kept getting in our faces. It was unfortunate because the talk that was being shared was AMAZING! And I really wanted to take the opportunity to be strengthened spiritually, but was struggling with the kiddos. While one of the kids steals my tag and is making a ton of noise, the speaker finishes and the stake president stands up. I can't hear him at all with being at the back with the two kiddos being so loud. And out of nowhere, I hear, "Jacob!!!". I look up and Elder Karl is staring at me... But he's not the only one! Everyone is looking at me and Elder Gaule and I see Elder Pumford and Divis walking to the front. What had happened was that the stake president had asked for the zone leaders to come to the front, and had asked a couple of times, but we hadn't heard. A couple of the elders had called my name, but I hadn't heard until Elder Karl called me by my proper title of, "Jacob" 😉. So we scurry to the front, and Pres. Rodriguez says how he loves surprises and has had the opportunity to work with us four missionaries and has been extremely impressed with our work and desires to further the work. He then says that the times ours to take and to express what we wish to the members of the stake. So since Elder Pumford had been standing closest to the Stake President, he started. I was third. While waiting for my turn, the little kid who had been taking our tags ran up to the stand and literally started to take all of our tags and run around.... Eventually his mom came up and got him, and while speaking I was given my tag back.. That was interesting... But, it was really incredible feeling the spirit direct me to know what to say. I expressed how in talking with everyone, we see how evident it is that the world is lost. And the members are the lights. Their testimonies and personal experiences with the Lord are the lights for the rest of the world. And I then testified of how I know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. That He came not in a general sense for the world, but for every single one of us, individually and personally. We all need Him! In retrospect, I wish I would have been able to have more time to think about what I was going to say, so that I could have used the opportunity to its fullest, but I did my best :) I enjoyed it! 

What's cool is that I wasn't even afraid at all! My confidence has impressively grown over my mission in so many situations. I feel like simply allowing ourselves to seem confident and look confident in ourselves by our body poster and the way we hold ourselves makes a big difference. In fact, another interesting thing is that I was talking to elder Gaule earlier this week, and I asked him if had I seemed timid or unconfident in a certain situation, and he told me that I hadn't. And I had felt unconfident in that situation, but I am realizing that if we simply put off that we are confident, it works. It's sort of like Kung Fu Panda. The secret is us! The dragon scroll is our reflection. If we believe that what we are doing is important and awesome, then it will be presented as such. And mom, do you remember that before my mission, I was sometimes insecure in social groups and groups like that, and I am really figuring it out :) 


So I did say that one day this week was hard and it was after my exchange with the APs. They weren't very obedient and focused on the work... And that was frustrating to me, because I have been around soooo many comps that really don't care too much for the rules. To have the APs in the same boat was frustrating. However, once again, the Lord helped me to see that it is because He trusts me and has a plan for them. They are where they are for what they need to learn, and it will all work out. 

I really liked Br. Eddy's explanation of the liberal Christians. That's sweet! 

That's too bad that Kale lost, but it will only help him out. We all fall. And it's not important how many times we fall, but how many we get up. As long as we keep getting back up ☺️ those games seem to teach us the best. It can be hard to get out of our heads, but if we can figure out that we are our own worst enemy, it makes it easier. Kale is an incredible qb. I'm so proud of him. And I'm so glad that he received the Eagle Scout. He's amazing! 

The most awkward thing is happening.. These girls that are Kale and Sam's age are staring at me and Elder Gaule in this MacDonalds... They don't know that we understand French and keep talking about how they are trying to get our attention... Then one girl said that she knew what would get our attention, and then almost stood up and started to wave her hands in the air like one of those air people things that are in front of the car dealerships... Weird... If Satan is trying to tempt us, he needs to send someone a little older and more mature... Hahahaha totally kidding hahahaha...well. This one 14 year old is seriously staring into Elder Gaule's soul... It's been like 5 minutes. I hope that she doesn't drool... 

Anywho! The work is okay. We didn't get to do a lot in our sector this week because we were on exchanges in Epinal and Versailles. In Epinal, I went on an exchange with an elder who is really having a hard time. And the spirit promoted me to sit him down and talk through his problems. I was able to testify to him about how much God loved him, trusted him, and was there for him. It was so amazing to know that the Lord trusted me to help him☺️ 

We will have a rendez-vous later today with a less active and hopefully have enough time to find new people! We have no progressing investigators which is really hard.. But I will keep working hard to find them!! 

Mom, it's ALWAYS a good time for a package 😉☺️☺️☺️ haha, I would love one ☺️

Thank you so much mom for what you said to me today mom☺️ it means a lot.  I love you so much momma! Your love helps me everyday. Thank you for being my best friend, and for helping me to always be my best self. You are incredible!! I love you❤️☺️ 

Love, Jacob❤️

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Elder Lucas and Elder Gaule from England
Hey everyone! I know it's been seriously FOREVER since I sent out a mass email. My bad, I haven't had tons of time... BUT! I wanted to let you all know how much I love you and miss you!! Here are some highlights of my week. I love you all and hope to hear from you!! So first things first, I LOVE my new comp!! He is soooo sick! We are already super tight and have a blast!! We laugh all day long! Literally, life has been a party ☺️☺️ his accent is super cool! We are super similar and get along great! 


We had an amazing miracle this week! So Wednesday night, elder Gaule, my comp, and I were planning and we felt like we needed to go contacting in a certain park the next morning. The next morning we arrive at the park, and the first lady that we meet is a mother from Africa with her baby boy. We explain that we are helping people find peace in their lives and families, and how God will help us. She looked very surprised and explained that she came into that park that very morning looking for God. She wasn't sure if He was there and needed help. She had been searching for a job in France for several years, and after searching for so long, she thought that she had won a position as an employee for an organization. Unfortunately, at the last minute they rejected her and she didn't get the job. She felt totally helpless and alone. She was wondering if God was there, why did all these terrible things happen. We explained how it wasn't a coincidence that we met, that in fact we had prayed to know where to be to help people, and had specially felt that this was the spot we needed to be right then. She instantly asked us if we could sit down and talk. We did, and were able to explain to her how God does love us and watches over us, and in fact sent Jesus Christ, His own Son, for all of us. We explained and testified of how Christ had felt all that we had ever experienced and that through Him we can gain strength and peace in any circumstance. She started to cry and said that she felt a huge comfort and peace that she hadn't felt in so long. We helped her to understand that it was the spirit. It was incredible!! Hopefully we can see her soon! 

I heard that FHS football is tearing it up!! I wouldn't want it to be any other way!! 

On the note of football, here in Nancy, they had a sports day, and on the way to the bus stop, we saw a couple of guys trying to throw a football! We had a few minutes so I ran over and started to throw with them! They instantly started to ask if I was an American QB and I taught them how to throw while doing it, shared about what we do and asked if they were interested in God. This HUGE guy who plays linebacker for a team here, said that he actually is searching for God and would love to talk! One of the guys asked if I could be their QB for their team hahahaha 😂. 
I wanted to say yes.... haha, but I couldn't. But we found a time to throw the ball this coming Saturday and to talk about how to find direction in life! Soooo sweet! 

Anywho, I love you all! Thanks for all the prayers and all your love!! 

Love, Elder Jacob Lucas

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

New Companion Elder Gaule from England!

Madre!! 

Heyyy❤️ kale was writing plays?? That's an honor for a freshie!! I remember that I was doing that as a sophomore. I may or may not have enjoyed it very much though haha! I'm so happy for Sam with his first game! When I was going to bed Friday night, I realized that it was about 3:30ish for him and he was probably on the bus headed there and trying to mentally prepare! And I really poured out my heart in prayer for him and kale to play well:) it's hard that I can't be there supporting him on, but Heavenly Father assured me that they would be okay and I had a really good feeling that they would win :) 

Go Mase!! He will be such an amazing missionary :) 


So I have only ten minutes left of time so this will be short but I'll put out what I can. If I don't get to write dad this week, let him know that I love him tons and his letter was very touching! 

We have had an extremely busy week this last week. Elder Edmunds is packing up and we leave to go to Paris tomorrow. My new comp is Elder Gaule. He is English!! From London! We will see how good my mock English accent is 😉 I've heard he's incredible! 

So last night we had an amazing lesson!! We are taught a less active lady who fell away because she never gained her own testimony. She wants one and we taught her a couple of weeks ago about how to develop one. And yesterday she told us how when she had prayed the first time, she felt so incredible afterwards but since then, it hadn't been quite the same experience. And I had no idea how to address the problem, and while she was explaining her experience, I was pouring out my heart to know what to do. And when she finished, I opened my mouth, not exactly knowing what I was going to say, and it was filled. The spirit prompted me In the moment to talk about trials of faith and I knew exactly how to explain it all the way she needed it. It was incredible! 

I have learned a lot about myself this week, and have really grown in figuring out for myself how to analyze my emotions and thoughts. Heavenly Father let me know that a lot of me coming on a mission was to help me be able to help myself, because until now, I had always had you. And mom, I'm really getting it!!! It's amazing ☺️☺️☺️ anywho, know I love you soooo much!! I'm sorry this was so short. 

Tell dad, that his words about the spirit helped me tons!! I love you all!!!😘😘😘😘

Love Jacob!