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Monday, January 25, 2016

Quite a week!

Dearest Mother,

Unfortunately, this week, we don’t have any progressing investigators, BUT I believe that here will be many soon!! The members have been sharing the gospel a lot and we just need to take the next step with all of them! It’s going to be sweet :)

What are you learning right now in your French class? Photography sounds SWEET! I don’t know how feasible it will be, but I hope that I can take some fun classes at BYU to expand my interests, along with the normal courses.

That’s crazy that Sam is doing rugby! I still don’t even know all the rules to the game.. Are there a lot of kids who play? Kale told me that he can almost dunk... What the? That’s insane...

It’s interesting that you ask how things are going with Elder T. because it’s been quite the week. So, I have mentioned before that he was not at all prepared to come out on a mission. He barely read the BOM when was 17 or so, and doesn’t really know the gospel at all. And he didn’t really know how to motivate himself at all. He just sort of floated along with life. And it was really difficult because it was all on me... No matter what I would do, he would do. It was becoming really exhausting. I had addressed the subject several times in a very kind way, but this last week, we actually had interviews with President. He told me that more or less, he was concerned about Elder T. because he doesn’t seem to be concerned at all with where he is with his level of French (and it’s not going well with his French- even though I speak French to him more than 90 percent of the time. He told me that I need to help him to see where he really was and the situation that he was in. Elder T. would just rely on me a lot, and not take responsibility to improve or create situations. So, I had a long talk with him this week about how he was not where he needed to be. We talked about how he needed to catch up, in several aspects, including French, gospel understanding, teaching ability, but also just reaching out as a companion. It was hard because I would reach out to help him, to be his friend, and to love and serve him, but he rarely did anything for me. So I told him how it was- I wasn’t rude at all- but stressed how he was not doing well at all. And it’s getting better!! I’m not going to lie, this last transfer and a half has been exhausting because at times its felt like I haven’t had a comp... But I’m working with him on it. His paradigm was really shifted and it seems to be kick starting him. He’s learning how to have a drive and really go for something. He’s learning how to “attack” a day.
Me, personally am working on attacking as well, but with my whole heart and letting out my fun side into it. Sometimes, I become too serious and I need to let my humor help balance out the situation. It’s been fun to see it come!

I have no idea if I will be in Arras or not. We still have about 3 weeks left of this transfer, so we will see. Interviews with President were GREAT!! He really helped answer a lot of my questions about the mission and with needs in my district. I really admire him and am grateful to have served under him.

I taught a district meeting this week and it went GREAT!! The mission right now is trying to change the culture of the mission to help missionaries become more faith filled, obedient, and hardworking. And I was really able to connect with the district and help them feel empowered to make changes in their personal missionary efforts, but also in their lives. I used the analogy of David and Goliath, and how he had to RUN and ATTACK his giant. We too need to attack our goals and not let them come to us. If we are going to change, we have to put forth the activation energy first to ignite the process. I just hope that I help missionaries see that everything is literally possible!

Today is the first day of the rest of your life, and you have the power, as a child of God to make that day however you want to make it! Too often, we let the excuses of, “It’s always been this way”, or “I’m tired, I’ll do it when I feel good”, or others to stop us from really achieving our potential. And I want to change that within myself and help other missionaries believe in the miracles! It’s already, and is going to be a fantastic transfer!! I’m so excited!!

I will look for some souvenirs :) I bought some pants today because the other ones for my gray suit were fried. I hope that they will go okay with the jacket. I also bought two new scarves that I really really like..

Speaking of girls, this one girl gave us her number this week... So we were going to our Mission Ward Leader’s house to do service (gardening and stuff), and we realized that our train was in 30 minutes, so we take off to our home to grab a change of clothes and haul to the bus stop... No bus was coming... Oh no... So we literally just take off towards the train station. It’s probably about a mile or so away... Uphill. And here comes two suited men in an almost sprint just going through Centreville. WE CATCH THE TRAIN!!! We ran that close to a mile in about 5 to 6 minutes. It was nuts. So, then I go to the bathroom on the train to change into my service clothes, and come back out. Elder T. does the same. We decided it was best to use our time to plan, so we get to it, and this girl across the aisle-probably 17 or so, just keeps looking at us.. We were speaking French, but at times I would explain in English things that my companion didn’t understand.
And she finally interrupts and asks us if we were lost or searching for directions. I tell her that we weren’t and she told us that she noticed that one of us didn’t really understand the other and asked if we were English. From there we told her that we were American and missionaries. Unlike most, she didn’t seem weirded out that we were missionaries (haha), so we talk a little bit. Right before her stop, she turns to us again and tells us, “Well if you ever need anything, don’t hesitate to text Me.” and puts her number down on our table... It was pretty funny. So we will probably text her and set her up with the sisters!!

Mom, I love you so much!! I’m glad that I still am set up for at the table. Either it’s me or Elijah ha-ha! Know that I am doing great and that I know with my whole heart that this church is true. Christ lives. HE IS THE MESAGE, and I’m so honored to be able to do a small in this work with Him. You’re amazing!!

Love,
Elder Jacob Lucas


Battles are won!

Mommo!!

It was a great week!! It’s been really fun and eye opening :)
We learned about that same lesson in priesthood yesterday, and it
really touched me as well! I hope to be a missionary that has a peace
inside of me like the Savior so that I can help others feel at peace.
I hope that people will be able to recognize this in me as a
representative of Christ.

This last week, I had an interesting battle with the adversary. He was
telling me how I wasn’t worthy to be out and brought up things from
long ago, telling me that I may not have fully repented or things like
that, and I went to my Father to know what to do, He told me that I
was clean. That I am pure and worthy to be here, but also that I
needed to call my Mission President and talk about it. So I did. And
we had a really amazing conversation about as we grow in spirituality,
we can feel that we may need to more fully repent of something than we
had felt at an earlier point in life, and also how the adversary tries
to take advantage of guilt and try to distract us from the work that
we are called to do. It was interesting. With that, I have had AMAZING
spiritual experiences this last week in feeling close to HF and in
strengthening my testimony of this true and living church, the BOM,
and the Savior. I know that it’s all true Mom!! And I love telling
everyone about it!!! It’s amazing :)

I have been working on being grateful and looking outside of myself. I
have found that to be a way to combat stress. Stress is looking inward
and at things we can’t control, while gratitude is looking outward,
and then we can better see our situation around us and internally.
It’s really neat :)

I appreciate how you tell me what is happening in the family. It
really teaches me a lot.

It sounds like you gave Dad a perfect birthday :) I’m sure that he was
thrilled. You’re always so thoughtful and kind with your gifts!
You won’t believe it! I got the package!!! :))) .. It’s actually
pretty funny because it was the 13th or 12th of January and Elder
Tibbitts and I were talking about how it was finally Christmas!! And I
was so pumped! We go to the post during lunch AND!! The post was
closed!!! What the?!?! LAME!! We had to wait until dinner but that was
okay :) I got it!! And thank you so much!! I got the other ones as
well, with the bands, and cap :) Thank your or the clothes, snacks,
protein, bands, candy and love :) you are so good to me :)
You’re taking a French class? I can’t wait to speak French with you on
Mother’s Day :)
This last week, I was really able to serve my comp. He was having a
rough time with the language and with initiative and we have had some
really good conversations. And what was weird was that literally
everything that I have been talking to him about what said by Elder
Kearon at the mission conference! It was crazy!!

At the Kearan conference, I reflected a lot on the type of man that I
want to be. I want to be a faithful follower of Christ in all aspects
of life. I want to be a man who is grateful and loves moments. I want
to be a man that believes and has confidence, and that never gives up.
I could go on and on about the attributes, but it’s summed up pretty
well, that I want to be like Him :)
We have a new ami!! The wife of a less active!! I’m so pumped!! We
will be teaching her tomorrow.

Sorry, this is getting cut short, but I love you!!!!! :)))) You are AMAZING!!

Love Elder Jacob Lucas :)

Monday, January 11, 2016

I am GREAT!

Hello!! Mom and Dad!!!

I am GREAT!! 

This week was crazy! We went to Paris for two days- one for my comps
passport and the other for a mission conference for leaders. THAT
conference was AMAZING! President talked about the mission's culture
and how we need to change it. And that was something that I was really
praying for. Manny missionaries are disobedient and don't really want
to be missionaries and it's soooo lame!! And so this theme of changing
the mission was a reply to my prayers. And I'm sooo pumped for it!
This transfer I really plan to change a lot with my district. It's
going to be cool!!

We are working with about 12 to 15 families in the ward who are trying
to talk to their friends about the gospel!! The work is really picking
up!! Unfortunately, many of our friends who were on vacation haven't
called us back, but we will find others!! :) since our DMP doesn't
really have a huge mission plan, I had a really huge promoting to make
one and this Friday, I will present it with the other missionaries to
him. It's really cool!! I'm really proud of it.

I have a lot of goals this transfer. One is that I am sick of
missionary apartments being dirty and this one was nasty getting here
and so we are going to go all out on fixing it up! We have been
working on it last transfer too.

Elder Tibbitts and I are really wanting to make our apartment our home
and we want to be so united, that we are a family. Dad will be pleased
to know that we made our own family mission statement! It incorporates
all our goals and how we will carry them out this transfer!!

I am so sorry that This is so short... I feel awful.. But hey, know
that more than anything else, that I LOVE you both SO MUCH!! The work
is going great and I am doing wonderful!! Thank you for always loving
me!!

Elder Jacob Lucas

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Years and New Hairs......UGH!

This week has been AWESOME!! So much fun! And I have learned sooo much!! I have some fun stories. New Year’s was a blast! For NYEve, we were invited by two single members who are from the ages 24-26- to have lunch. And it was mostly for one of the members who is a convert of 6 years and just got a new job at this restaurant and so she took us and Kevin out to it. The restaurant was American style-like Fuddruckers- it was super weird being there. I felt like I was back in the states!! Going into the rendezvous, we had a prompting that we would need to take some time to really help Siabhon- at this point; we knew that she was stressed with her job and was trying to find balance, but didn’t really know the problem. So we get there, eat, laugh, and share our message, and talk to her about finding time to read her scriptures and pray to help her balance her work life and spirituality, and then she brings up how she was having a hard time because at work she has to wear an outfit that doesn’t match her standards, or allow her to keep her temple covenants.  She wasn’t allowed to not wear the dress because it’s a chain restaurant and it’s mandatory for all people who work there. And they have no problem hiring someone else, if she doesn’t comply. But she has been looking for a job for a really long time and is afraid to lose it. We were able to be directed by the spirit to help her know how much God loves her- she had felt really alone- and how obedience simply allows us to feel more of His love. It’s not to limit us. We encouraged her to pray to Heavenly Father and ask Him if what she was doing was right, and if not, then what could she do. I, personally, am sure that there are solutions to the problem, but the most important thing to solve is that she needs to make sure that she is being true to Heavenly Father. It went well.

French "American style " Diner

Jacob and Elder Tibbits

Fewou Family New Years Celebration



For New Year’s Eve, no one had invited us, until the day of! It was the Fewou family, and we are good friends with 3 of the boys. Two are return missionaries and one is leaving in 6 months. We work with them all the time! It was SO MUCH FUN! We ate a lot, and were allowed to watch a movie, so we watched a bit of Frozen. It was weird just having hang out time! It’s been a while haha.
New Year’s Day we went to an older family’s home and it was such a blast!! I really enjoyed it. I feel really quite confident in my French and it’s so much fun knowing that I can connect on a spiritual level, but also on a friendship level in another language.

So interesting story- sad story. Our day today, was going great! And then we decided to get haircuts... I was really happy with how my hair was looking long, but it needed a trim. So we find this salon and it’s only 10 euros for a cut.. Most are about 20.. Well we should have paid more attention and thought about why.. I tell the man that I want just a little cut and leave it longer on top, and then he says, “Well how about a nine on the sides?” And then just practically shaves a part of my hair off on the side! “How’s that?” he asked me... And I’m thinking, “what if it’s not okay? What are you going to do now? I have a patch in the side of my head??”. I told him that it was too short and so he put on a better guard. He then just took of all the hair on the side of my head.. I told him that I wanted it to have a fade so it wasn’t like the gangsters who have it way long on top and buzzed on the sides. No thanks for me! And I didn’t want a mushroom head. But he cut it was short all around the sides, the opposite of what I asked him, and then proceeded to cut off my lovely locks on top :((( I happened to look over at elder Tibbitts during his haircut and they had slicked back his hair and had done the same to him, but no fade... And longer on top.  So he has one of those modern cuts.. When I saw it I started to laugh during the haircut because it was so funny.. So long story short.. We are wearing beanies for the next month-no matter what ;). But all is well.. It will grow back…someday……

I am staying in Arras for another 6 weeks with Elder Tibbitts. I’m pretty happy about it. I didn’t want to leave haha. SO SUPER WEIRD- Elder Pumford is my new zone leader... What the heck?? That means that I will go on an exchange with him this transfer. Weird things are happening.

Really cool experience to share with you!! You remember how I was on an exchange a couple of weeks ago and another Elder and I visited a family who was struggling and talked with them about the atonement and the love of God for them? We gave them the challenge that Dad gave to me. Well the man stood in sacrament meeting and talked about how he and his wife were struggling, and we came by. (He explained the whole experience). He then testified that from this experience of us coming by in a critical moment, that his testimony had grown and that God looks after us and that he knew that this church was true. (Along those lines). It was amazing. God leads this work. This area is about to explode with missionary success! All of our friends (investigators) will be back from vacation this week so we can see them! We are also going to be working very closely with the members so that they can see the work expand as well. Yesterday I felt prompted to try to invite ourselves over to see a family who we had talked with just a bit. They said that we could come yesterday night. The father has made a plan to Reactivate and baptize an excommunicated member and wants to work with us. We said that he is available everyday after 5 and wants us to call him. The wife is working with 6 of her friends that could potentially be coming to church in the next month or so. (The sisters will have their hands full). And. Many other members are working. We are working with about 15 member families to get them to share the gospel. Could you imagine if every family shared the gospel with one person?? How much that would do?? The ward is key to the missionary success. We can’t do it without them. This transfer we are going to try to do EVERYTHING with members!

Mom, I LOVE you!!!
Love, Jacob!!


Beanie covering bad hair cut! Arras, France