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Monday, November 30, 2015

The attitude of Thanksgiving

Brother Saint Germa-Nancy France
New companion - Elder Tibbits
L'homes Family- Nancy, France

Nancy Ward Mission Leader- Ronan


Mooommmmoooo!!! (I was singing that :)

So, the trip was well...
Interesting.. I rode by myself because my new son (companion) missed the train...
We had met up at Paris and I loaded my luggage on the train with
another missionary and he just didn’t get on in time... But it worked
out, we met up 3 hours or so later in Arras. It was interesting being
alone. I talked to a lot of people on the train and explained a lot
about the Restoration. Being a missionary is so much fun!!
My new apartment is not bad!! It’s way big for just two and I really
like it!! Arras is a super pretty little town. It’s a mix of the
Belgium brick architecture and the lighter French stonework. It
reminds me a bit of the eastern US, parts like DC and others like
Columbus.

So, I am trying to find stuff to buy you all for Christmas, but I’m
struggling.. I found a gift for you, Mother :), but we can’t go to any
Christmas markets or anything because we aren’t allowed with all the
scares going on right now. So, would Sam or Kale like a French sweater
or some thing like that? And what about Dad?? So if they do, I need to
know ASAP so I can send it by next p-day so it arrives on time.

Here is the address:
Elder Jacob Lucas
Les Missionaires
10 Rue Saint Maurice
62000 Arras, FRANCE

I am not going to lie, it’s weird coming back to the north! It’s been
a year! At times the town resembles Valenciennes, they aren’t too far
a part from one another actually. But honestly, I couldn’t be happier!!
The ward is AMAZING!! So many speak English! Our Mission ward leader
is getting the ward involved and they were all so kind and open to
talk to me. Speaking of which, do you have any info on where in France
some of our ancestors come from? And how far back are they? Some
members were wondering.

Thanksgiving for me was GREAT! It was my second day here and there is
an older couple in the ward, in which the wife is American and the
husband is French. They fed us an amazing Thanksgiving meal!! It was
so nice of them. I already love it here in Arras!!

Our goal is to really get working with the members and I think that
the work is about to take off! Yesterday, we visited a family who had
lived in the states for several years and the father already gave out
a BOM and is working with the sisters to have this lady taught. It was
so awesome! Also, the ward mission leader has two objects that are
passed around from week to week in priesthood and relief society, and
whoever receives the object for the week has to give out a BOM. This
last week, the young man who had it, have out 3 BOMs. The ward is
really functioning super well! It’s so great to come to a ward that is
ready to work with us :)

So, this week, I came to discover that Elder Tibbitts had lost his
passport and we had to run back to Paris to get him legal again for a
bit! It was quite the experience. We ended up navigating through Paris
and the Versailles area, based on a little help and what I remembered
from an exchange with the APs haha. But hey! He is legal now so all is
good :)

I have been thinking about gratitude lately. And I believe that
gratitude is so critical for anyone who is trying to become like Jesus
Christ. When we recognize what we have we are able to experience life
to its fullness. Also, I watched a Mormon Message that talks about a
young man, who was going to commit suicide and what helped him was
first recognizing what is around him and those who loved him. He had
to become grateful for those who were there for him, and realized that
he wasn’t alone. I feel like depression and stress can sometimes be
cured through the principle of gratitude. When we don’t express the
gratitude that we feel for others, it’s like wrapping a gift, but not
giving it. We need to show our gratitude by serving and loving
everyday. After all, the Lord asks us to live in gratitude daily :)

Momma, I love you soooo much!! You are the greatest!

Love, Elder Jacob Lucas





Monday, November 23, 2015

Transfers!

Dearest Mother,

I am being transferred this Wednesday to Arras! It's south of Lille...
Close to Valenciennes, where I started my mission. I will be finishing
the training of a new missionary. His name is Elder Tibbits and he has
already been trained for 1 transfer, actually by Elder Meng, my old
comp. Elder Meng is finishing his mission, so I'm replacing him. I
will also be the district Leader for about 8 missionaries or so. I'm
super excited to do it! It'll be a nice change :)

I did receive my package!! :) thank you so much!! I have been sharing
the candy with the frenchies and they love it. 

So, here is the address to my new apartment! 10 Rue Saint Maurice. 
We all need to fortify our testimonies every
day. Not just the weak need to be stronger, but we ALL do. Here in
France, people's hearts have been cold at times, but Heavenly Father
has been preparing the elect to receive the Word. This last transfer
has been difficult and we haven't been able to find hardly anyone- as
far as investigators go- who will listen, but we have had great
success in helping those who have fallen away (less actives). Doubts
will be present- we all have the attack of the adversary at times- and
in those moments, we can either stay true and stand with what we know,
or allow what we don't know to scare us. It ultimately comes down to
faith, and remembering the experiences that we have had that have
built our testimony. We must hold onto that!! If we do, God will
always come through for us! That I know with all my heart :)

The people here are okay. A lot are really startled and afraid. We
have shared a couple of spiritual thoughts with members about hope and
how to overcome the fears that plague them as result of the attacks.
It has been really neat to see the spirit work through us for their
specific needs. With one less active family that we visited last
night, the mom was very startled by the whole scenario and was really
worried about what to do. The spirit directed us to talk about how
Moroni must have felt at the end of the Book of Mormon. His family was
all killed. Friends all dead, and now he was being hunted by a raging
nation, all while he is trying to preserve a record that he knows will
bring the means of helping many. And how does he express himself in
Moroni 1:1? He says that he is writing this record FOR his BRETHEREN,
the Lamanites. He was filled with LOVE. We know that perfect love
casteth out all fear. And through the atonement of Christ, he was able
to let go of the anger, fear, and despair that I'm sure surrounded
him. This specific mother was scared for the future of her children,
and we showed her how the stripping Warriors were all protected
because of what their mothers taught them. We helped her to see that
she can reinforce her children in strength and hope by studying the
scriptures with them. What better way to confront the challenges that
await us? Now, remember that up to this point, she had been struggling
to come to church or even to study her scriptures with her kids. But
at that moment she boldly stated that she would read every day with
her children. She then had them commit to the invitation as well. What
a miracle! This huge trial truly became one of the greatest growing
moments for this family :)

As far as the rest of the people.. Many are afraid, some are angry.
I'm sure that you can imagine. The reactions vary. The People of the
church have had a very different reaction I must say. They are hopeful
and reside in the confidence of God, because of these disasters were
prophesied hundreds of years ago. If we follow the counsel of the
apostles and prophets, we will be protected. I know that to be true.


One family that I will keep contact with is Luis Escalante's family. Etienne, 
the oldest boy cried when I said goodbye to him yesterday. It was super sad... 
They are a great family, and may be going through the temple in a year :)

This is the fourth quarter- it is the time of the great harvest before
the Lord says it is finished- and I will work in whatever capacity He
asks of me. There is no greater joy that can be found other than
sharing the gospel and living it within families. I know that this is
the Lord's work and that He supports me and lifts me. 
This one is a bit shorter, but I wrote a lot to the family, which will explain more of my week :) I love being a missionary :)!! It is the greatest work! Sharing the gospel brings us so much joy. I love you!! Jacob
Elders with Luis and Family

Jacob and Guillam

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

All is well

Hiiii!!

We had zone conference and it went really well!! We learned a lot
about interacting with the members, which is one of my favorite parts
of missionary work.

I'll find out on Saturday if I a, being transferred! Transfer days are
a week from Wednesday (so in 9 days). It's hilt likely that I will be
moving, which will be nice for a change. I feel that I am finally
learning the lessons that I needed to here in Nancy, which usually
means that it is time to move on. I told Luis's kids that I might be
leaving and they were super sad :(

I gave a baptismal interview this week and it was a really spiritual
experience!! It was so great! The spirit testified to me that this man
was ready for the covenant of baptism. It really was a spiritual boost
that I needed. It's cool how in serving, we find the strength that we
are often searching for :)

I hope to better be able to become the instrument that God needs of
me. I know that I have been prepared for this work and that God will
support me in all things.

I love you,
Jacob

Monday, November 9, 2015

Hey Hey Hey

Hey hey hey!!

Life is wonderful :) this week has been really what I needed!! For
Christmas, this year, President Babin asked us to do a 40 day fast...
Meaning one gives up something everyday to make one's self a more consecrated missionary. I am way excited for it! I like the idea of our missions or even our lives as our gifts to Heavenly Father, and we can make that gift better or worse depending on what we do with it. I hope that I can continue to give Him the very best me that I can be. I want to give my whole heart to God and to this mission. I love it so much! The opportunity to lose oneself completely in the gospel is one never to miss. I'm super pumped to see what more I can give to help Him in this great work. What better Christmas gift than that to give to our Father in Heaven, than all my heart, might, mind, and strength? I have done my best up to this point, and I hope to just keep on getting better and better. It's an amazing progression. If you and the family want to, I would encourage you to do a similar fast, but to be more of a person of God. Ask God everyday what you should give up and He will tell you. It's like the talk, "What Lack I Yet?". Speaking of talks, are you ponderizing as a family? If so, I would like to do it with you all!! :) let me know!

Personally, I think that I will be leaving Nancy. I've been here for a long time and a lot of spots are opening up in other cities, so I'll
probably be transferred. So I would wait on the package.

I had an AMAZING moment with Heavenly Father. I was
able to understand better why at times it feel like there were
barriers in between me and Him. Even as His missionary, there are times that we feel closer and farther apart. And I was able to
remember how Joseph in Egypt was cast into prison, made a slave, a servant, and was sold by his brethren. Joseph Smith was tarred and feathered, mocked, jailed, had his children die, and was eventually killed. I'm sure that they both felt at times that there were barriers
between them and God. But it was for their good. And God told Joseph Smith how they would be for his good. And I too, feel that mine were for my good. I understand so importantly how I need to balance. God helped me to really see how I need to laugh and have moments to just have fun more often. Joseph Smith was a full time prophet, but also ran around with kids. And of course, I will continue to be as obedient as possible, and as hard working as needed, but during breaks or times appropriate, I can loosen up and laugh and have fun :) Heavenly Father told me how that me having fun helps me to better use my talents and they will come out as I have more fun IN the hard working :)


BISOUS!


Jacob❤️
The Nancy Zone

The Nancy District