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Monday, February 22, 2016

Why is Life Soooo Great?

Mom AND Dad!! So I am combining my letters to you!! Dads is the one
following:

To the MOST BEAUTIFUL and dearest Mother,
Hi :) ...that’s weird that you’re doing homework... My, my things have
changed haha!

It sounds like Kale did phenomenal in basketball :) I’m proud of him!
I think that I am going to look into the Come Follow Me format and
read about it a little bit :) I bet that it can really help me in my
district meetings.

Anywho, so I know that in weeks past I have said that I will write
more about that week at a future time or something like that... But I
can’t remember exactly what I had intended to write about and all
that, so I’m sorry that I forgot to do that.. BUT with that, I am
going to really try to better explain how everything is going here in
Arras. So here are the TOP 15 of the week!! ..they aren’t necessarily
in order of best to worst or anything like that.

1.   THE WARD IS AMAZING!! I LOVE this ward. I am the closest with this
ward than any others so far on my mission! I really feel like a part
of my family and I have so many friends here. It’s AWESOME!

2.   I know that it may seem like the work isn’t going too great here,
but that’s not true! The work is DIFFERENT here ;) but I’m serious!
These last couple of transfers we-the Arras missionaries, and the
Bishop and our Ward Mission Leader- have really tried to find out how
to progress the missionary work here and it’s all through the members.
Too often a lot of missionaries just get stuck with contacting and
tracting, and there is a better way to finding, and it’s the through
the members. In fact, we had a missionary broadcast that explained
that we as missionaries needed to be working with less actives and
members and trying to teach the people that they know. It was a HUGE
confirmation that the plan that we had established here in Arras is
what we need to be doing!! And it’s been taking time to get this going
because before, missionaries didn’t necessarily have the trust of the
ward and so we had to make some way before things will start. It’s the
foundation! But the trust is back and there are miracles happening and
about to happen! I’m certain of it! One of the ladies in our ward- who
we were working with- talked with one of her friends about the gospel,
who felt lost and was searching. This friend then had an incredible
rendezvous with this sister and the sister missionaries about the
restoration! Another family, with whom I really love-the Rulence
family- (the mom) is planning on giving us a referral for one of her
friends. Another lady in the ward is having us over for a message this
week, and then we will be serving her daughter and her husband, by
helping them with their house, and they are less active and not member
:) it’s really cool because we are changing the way that missionary
work is done! We are creating a missionary army with the ward and we
will all be working together to share the gospel! It’s so important
that the members do the work with us, because they are the ones who
are staying! I couldn’t tell you how excited I am! Truth be told, the
missionaries in the future will be profiting from our hard work-but
hey, we all have our roles to play :) it’s not that we are planting
seeds, but helping the people here harvest with us. I firmly believe
that there are people ready NOW, and although I do think that
missionaries will prosper in the future from this, I know that
miracles will happen everyday if we believe and go out expecting them

3.   One example of what I just mentioned is that this last Saturday, we
had 4 groups of members-one missionary in each group- and went up to a
town north with the goal to visit the less actives up there, invite
them to church, see if even the information was right about their
addresses and phones and so forth, and ask them for other people that
they know that we could teach, and it was really great! (That was
organized by us, the missionaries :) ) In fact, I was with a member
couple and although we couldn’t find the less  active’s address, we
spoke with a kind, young man and we shared with him about the plan of
salvation. The members were able to see how to be missionaries and it
was so neat! The spirit of missionary work is really growing :)

4.   Fought for a fire! This one is really random, but every two weeks,
we go serve our DMP (Ward Mission Leader.. In french). Yes, that was
who I helped with the geese... We actually killed those geese and ate
them in goose pie the next week... I believe that I failed to mention
that I killed a goose in that email... With a hatchet.. When I left on
a mission, I never would have thought that I would be killing goose
and eating them the following week... It was really interesting.. (WHAT!!)
ANYWHO! This last week, we helped clear trees and vines and hedge-like
things that were blocking the sunlight from his garden.. And then we
burned the little twigs of them. Well it turned into us fighting for
the fire- trying to get the twigs burned. It had snowed the night
before, so we were struggling to get the fire going.. And we had to
constantly move the huge pile of twigs and wood-like substance to burn
it- I mean a HUGE PILE- like taller than me.. The pile really didn’t
want to die, and well... It didn’t play fair... Twigs were poking in
places that twigs should never be poking!! So to fight back our DMP
out some oil on it... Take that twigs...

5.   Quick note- it’s BEAUTIFUL here! I’m pretty sure that I have the
best mission because it it truly lovely here :) the architecture is
stunning and we had one gorgeous day here last week. The day or so
after that it snowed, but we don’t talk about that ;) I may or may not
have briefly thought about my love for snowboarding that day :)

6.   One of the less actives that we work with came to sacrament with
his two children!! It’s been really cool to work with them! We are
finding ways to serve them and will actually be (more so the sisters
than us) teaching the kids English. The dad is a single man and
doesn’t get off work until 7:30, so we are putting together a plan so
that the kids can go to a different member’s house (preferably one
with kids their same age), one night out of the week, so that they can
have good influences, make friends, and get away from the video games
that swamp their minds.

7.   The Tongan less active that we work with came to church this week!!! :)))

8.   COOL NEWS! The Bishop really trusts us and has been working really
hard to help us. We have a sweet ward mission plan and Bishop asked us
to run/plan a whole sacrament meeting-however we want- to present it!
SO SWEET!! I’ll keep you posted on that one :) it’s in two weeks :O

9.   Random story- last night, we got home and were exhausted and were
planning.. And all of the sudden we hear what sounds like a door
slam... Then what sounds like foot steps coming up the stairs... We
had thought that we had locked the door!!  I’m not going to lie, I was
pretty scared.. But I got up the courage to go and look- and it was
just the door to our bedroom... Flapping in the wind of the window..
Thanks a lot bedroom door...

10. I wanted to share a thought about how we need to live our prayers.
I heard in sacrament meeting last week in a talk about how when we
pray, it is then our responsibility to go and make that prayer come
true. How cool is that?!? Too often we pray, but we lack the faith-
because faith is an action- to go and make it happen. By praying we
read the directions for how to turn on the lamp, and God shows us
where the switch is, but WE need to be the ones to switch it. I
thought that was pretty cool :)

11. Miracle! So throughout my mission, one of my biggest struggles has
been feeling like I am different than a lot of other missionaries.
Unfortunately, because our mission is harder, missionaries have not
always worked as hard as they should have... But I have stayed true to
my committee to give my whole heart. I contact on trains, buses, and
trams. I strive to use all of my time to share the gospel :) and
President is now pushing that the whole mission start to talk to
people on busses, trains, and trams now too!! He is trying to change
the culture and amp the faith and obedience of missionaries! I am
sooooo happy about it :) we are out here to represent Jesus Christ,
and give our whole hearts!! :)

12. And well, to be honest, I wasn’t sure of this one was going to be
on the list, but it has turned into one. I went to Paris on Wednesday
and got my new companion. I asked him about his goals and expectations
and all he said is that he wanted to work hard. Sweet! So do I :)
..Well... It seemed like it would be going okay, but then his attitude
plummeted...  And it was just like how it was with my third transfer
companion in Valenciennes... Like almost twins. They were grumpy,
never smiling, had an attitude, not nice in their tone of voice, and
clearly depressed... He wouldn’t really talk to me- was super angry
and ...yeah... So I was been praying for him a ton, and I had tried to
talk to him and he just got really angry at me... But it was clearly
about something else and he was taking it out on me. Mom, I didn’t let
myself get stepped on and told him that I had done nothing wrong and
he needed to it take it out on me. But he didn’t really want to talk
after that. He just wanted to stop talking... It was really weird...
Well Saturday night, he just went to bed early, so I decided to shine
his shoes... Sunday it was a little better, but I could still tell
that he was not doing well... His attitude wasn’t really the best...
Then this morning it was bad again. We were planning during comp
study, and his attitude and participation was really quite terrible. I
asked him what was going on, and he was so angry. Like Anikan eyes.
And he became so angry. I told him that he had no reason to be
treating me like this. But he would really talk. He wouldn’t really
talk at all, and during it, I was praying to know what to do. I
blasted hymns during cleaning to help bring in spirit (he also likes
hymns so it was good), and finally felt prompted to go and talk to
him. He had told me a few days earlier that he just wanted to be work
companions. And so I reminded him of how he had told me that, and then
asked him if he felt like he had even been a good work companion. He
started to cry and opened his arms up for a hug. I hugged him and he
said that he was so sorry. I told him that I forgave him, and he
started to tell me what the problem was. He had been  struggling with
serious anxiety and it was really scaring him, and he was really
scared about what it would mean because of pressures from home. I was
able to talk to him about experiences that I had had where the
adversary was really close and how the blessing from Elder Webb really
helped me. He then said that he felt like the adversary had been right
there- and that I had seen. When he was angry, it was clear that
someone else was constantly influencing him. I was able to give him a
blessing and he has been doing better since. Mom, this week, I have
been doing a TON better spiritually and I feel like I am becoming the
missionary that was spoken of in the blessing that was given to me
from Dad before I left. I am overcoming all the things that before
were really difficult for me, and I feel that the adversary knows that
and he was trying to stop us. I know that this work will go on, and
the field is white here, and I feel that the adversary has been really
trying to stop that as well. How cool is it that my difficultly with
him in the past has helped me understand how to better serve another
of God’s children?! So the last couple of days have been interesting
with my companion, and I would love it if you will keep him in your
prayers.

13. Really quick, I have found that one of the keys for me in times
when I have felt spiritually lost is to remember my relationship with
God. I am a son of God! God is my Father and He loves me. I just need
to take a moment and remember that. That’s all I need to focus on for
a bit and then think about how I can show Him that I love Him. That’s
the gospel! The first commandment is to love Him. He wants us to “fly”
and “touch the sky”. He cheers us on to “go the distance”! We are
never alone! We just need to remember this and come to Him! Even if we
are like the prodigal son, He will come running to us and hug you and
rejoice for thou hast returned!! He loves each of us all so much! We
should never fear Him. Satan would have us fear Him, but we should be
strong in the knowledge that He is LOVE! When I remember that, it can
help out things back in perspective :)

Mother, I LOVE you. I’m shining my light and LOVE it here!! Thank you
for teaching me to be grateful and for helping me to feel loved. You
are splendid in every way, and know I am always in your heart!

To the best father in the whooooole world!! (That’s you!)

Daddo!! So, know that the top 10 part of mom’s letter is written also
to you as well.

I was reading your thoughts on charity this morning while my companion
was not talking to me and in a really interesting mood. That was
ironic haha... I hope that I don’t come across negative with my
companion. I wanted to present the situation for how it is, but in all
honestly, I feel positive about it. It will work out! I just want to
make sure that I’m not being negative or degrading towards him at all.

Send my love for the Cahoons and Hazel and Lisa. They are amazing.
I really enjoyed what you said about the talents and missions. However, this is a 5 talent mission ;) we will be having some success!! :)

Dad, I couldn’t tell you how much I LOVE it here!! I love the people!
I love the culture, the ward, the food, and we both know that I love
the challenge!! This mission has helped me in so many ways and I can
see how it is the one of the greatest blessings of my life.

This has to be the greatest mission! I mean it’s PARIS!! The France
Paris Mission! (I don’t know why it’s backwards...) but you can’t beat
that!! I am so blessed. I feel like Ammon who boasts in his God! I
blast of my God in blessing me with this mission :) one day, I will
bring you all back and introduce you to all of my friends here.
Know that I love you!!! I could never be where I am now without you
and mom :) thanks for everything!! And thank you for the package that
is being sent!! :) I am so lucky to have you as parents:)))

Don’t hesitate to write me a letters;)
Love, Elder Jacob Lucas


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