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Monday, March 28, 2016

Hello from the outside!

Hello everyone!!

How is everyone out there? :) Sorry about the last two weeks for not
writing and possibly forgetting to write about certain things that I
had said that I would talk about... I forget... Anyhow, this week has
been interesting. I will start out with talking about what’s on many
of your minds-the incident in Belgium. Know that I am 100% safe and
accounted for. I do know 3 of the 4 missionaries who were injured.
Elder Wells, who has been on television, was in the MTC with me, and I
have served near to him earlier in the mission. Everyone seems to be
recovering well. It is a miracle that they are all still alive. But
all prayers and fasts have been greatly appreciated. Elder Wells said
that he has felt them. So thank you :)

As far as the rest of my week has gone, here are the top 10!!

1.First off, I discovered that I am staying here in Arras for the

next 6 weeks!! My new companion will be Elder Oldham.. I’ve never met
him, but I am positive that it is going to be a wonderful experience!!

2.MIRACLE!! We had two investigators at church this week!! It’s was

sweeeeet! So one was actually an online referral who lives in a
neighboring town. It so happened that we were going to that town, and
the sisters told us of an online referral that lived there. So we had
the members that we were visiting write their testimony in a Book of
Mormon and visited the referral with the father of the family! And it
went GREAT!! He was so excited to see us, and started to show us all
of his markings in the Bible! It was SO cool. The second rendezvous,
we show up, and he tells us that he has read some of the book. We ask
him how much, and he shows us that he’s in Alma now!! What the?!? It
had been like 3 days!! And then says that he really enjoyed it!! It
was all about prophets prophesying about Jesus Christ. He then says
that he wants to know how to repent because he feels guilty for the
past, and felt like every time he sinned, he has hurt the Savior. He
then said that after he can repent, he wants to be baptized because he
has never had that experience!! WHAT?!? That was in the first 5
minutes. So we taught him how to repent and will be setting a
baptismal date this week!! It was soooo cool :) he came to church and
seemed to really enjoy it :) the Lord IS hastening His work!

3.The other investigator is one from a while ago, named King. We had

lost contact, but called hi, recently and set a rendezvous. He was
really interested and he too said that he would be baptized!! So we
will hopefully be setting a date with him this week as well :) he was
a little more hesitant towards church, but when he found out that
there was a young adult activity and dance this weekend, his interests
were perked. He then came to church with the member that we were
teaching with :)))) I’m soooo excited about it!

4.I threw a football today!! First time in FOREVER!!! I still got it

:) it was weird, I’m not going to lie, but every football player needs
that every once in a while :)

5.So for those that don’t know, I actually switched companions about

two weeks ago. There was a situation that’s private that needed to be
addressed, but it has been a neat experience with Elder Van Tonder! We
have seen some amazing miracles, being directed by the spirit. The
other day, we were contacting, and we said a prayer to know what to
do. And he turns and looks at me, and says that we need to talk with a
man walking away from us. So we bee lined right towards him, and had a
sweet conversation with him! He was Catholic (it was right after the
attacks in Belgium) and told us how he felt that many were lost in
the world. It opened us up to talking about that for that reason  that the
 world is lost, God has called a prophet in this time
frame. He doesn’t change, and He WANTS to help us! It was touching and
the spirit was strong. We will be seeing him this week :)

6. I was able to talk with an Elder in my district that was having a

hard time, and it was interesting because one of his problems is that
he struggles with comparing himself to others. And it’s interesting
because ultimately, that only results in us feeling really good
because we are better, (pride), or really lame (loss of hope), which
neither are desirable mindsets. One thing that I am learning out here
on my mission is how to judge myself by my efforts. Efforts meaning my
belief and faith that what I want to see happen will happen, and then
my actions supporting it, and my optimism and belief throughout the
process. We can’t control how others act. But, we CAN control
ourselves and the best that we do!! Too often, we try to control what
we can’t, or judge ourselves by things in which we ultimately, cannot
affect. I can’t force anyone to accept this message. I could be a
Perfect missionary and still have no one accept. But I can control how
well I teach, and how I have the spirit. It’s interesting because the
key to everything in this work is the spirit. We are promise to always
have it with us when we keep God’s commandments and always remember
Christ. I am striving to remember Him and follow His commandments
always. That’s something that I can control. :)

7.We, Arras missionaries, had a ward music talent show!! And I found

out the day of that I would be the MC... Haha, yes, that would be in
French... I’ve never been to a French concert! Haha it was fun
figuring out how to say certain things and learn new vocabulary for
things I would have probably never learned! And it went really well!!
Members brought friends and everything :)

8.I had an interesting thought today about gratitude and what we

focus on. Do we see the world as a gift from our Father? Do we take
time to slow down and notice the trees, the flowers, the sky, and how
beautiful it is? Do we enjoy the food that we eat? Do we live life to
its fullest? Full of love? I know that there have been times when I
haven’t been the best at it. And I’m striving to be better :) we are
here to have joy! And it’s what we focus on. I was in a hard situation
today, but I found myself able to still have joy as I focused on what
I was grateful for. And we have been given much :) there will always
be problems, but it is our job to out them back in their place :)

9. Seeing, that it was Easter, I want to share with all of you about

how I know with all my heart that the Savior lives. I find new life in
Him every day. I promise each and every one of you that He has felt
what you felt. He knows your pains! He knows your hopes and dreams.
Earlier this week, I was reflecting on how I have had hard times
throughout my mission, and I realized that it wasn’t just me who
suffered. Christ did too! And if God sent Him to suffer for me, and we
suffer together, and God ONLY wants my fullness of joy, then that
suffering was worth it. I don’t always know how it will help me, but I
can stand assured that all things will be made for my good as I come
to the Savior. There is no sound that He cannot heal, no stain that
cannot be taken away. I’m not saying this because it’s my job as a
missionary. I’m saying this because I have felt Him literally lift my
burdens and they became light. I know that He lives for several
reasons, and one of them is that I have felt and seen the effects of
how He can strengthen, nourish, and aid me, and all of us. No matter
what your problem is-if it was caused by you or not-go to Him. He will
never leave you comfortless. God sent Him for you! Even if it was only
you to come to earth, Christ still would have come for you :) I know
that to be true.

10. My last thought is for all future missionaries. When you’re on

your missions, don’t worry about the visible results. The Lord will
perform His work. What He asks of us is to give our heart, might,
mind, and strength. If we do that, we are successful. Abinidai didn’t
see the fruit of all his labors. But he had them. It’s the Lord’s
work, not ours. We are the tools! But we can stand firm in the
knowledge that his work will come forth. I know it will, because it’s
happening now :) I love you all!! Have a splendid week. Feel loved.
Christ came FOR YOU! :)

Elder Jacob Lucas

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Brussels Blast

Jacob was doing well, when he emailed on Monday. He received a new companion mid-week Elder Von Tonder. They were working hard. Tuesday, the bomb exploded in Brussels sending Elder Wells and Empey his MtC buddies into the hospital along with a Sister Missionary and and Older Missionary. We didn't receive and direct word from Jacob, but Arras although near Belgium was still far enough away to not be effected. Our thoughts and prayers have been with all those who lost loved ones or were directly affected by the blast. Here is an article about Elder Wells.

Elder Lucas and Von Tonder
Arras, France

Elder Mason Wells shares details of priesthood blessing and missionary work done in aftermath of blast

 Chad Wells served his LDS mission in France and returned to the area on Thursday to be with his son Mason, who is one of four LDS missionaries who was hurt in the Brussels airport attack.

Chad Wells served his LDS mission in France and returned to the area on Thursday to be with his son Mason, who is one of four LDS missionaries hurt in the Brussels airport attack.
Elder Mason Wells did seven media interviews from his hospital bed in Brussels yesterday, but he hasn’t seen his face on any TV screens because he is keeping the LDS mission rules. Mason has been serving for 19 months and his family was scheduled to come pick him up when he finished his two-year mission in August. Plans changed on Tuesday when Mason sustained burns and flesh wounds, and his parents arrived two days later at his bedside.
“The first moment we saw Mason was awesome,” Kymberly Wells said. “You could see the relief on his face and he said he was glad we were there. It was wonderful to see him, but also hard because his injuries were worse than we had originally thought. Since I arrived, Mason has wanted to hold my hand as much as possible, and he isn’t normally a very affectionate person.”
Mason was just coming out of surgery and waking up when he first saw his parents. “It was surreal to have my parents there with me — it was very, very nice to see them,” he said.
Kymberly slept in his room with him the first night so she could put chapstick on his lips and help him get drinks of water. The second night, the staff didn’t allow her to stay so Chad and Kymberly slept in a nearby hotel room.
Local LDS members have showered the Wells family with love, including the local Relief Society president who is from Cottonwood Heights. She brought the Wells a basket of fresh produce, including cucumbers, carrots and tangerines. Former BYU basketball star Lee Cummard (who plays on the Brussels team) visited with Mason before Chad and Kymberly arrived and has continued to offer help and support this week.
“He has shared some beautiful things with us that have gotten him through this experience, and I think he will share some of them publicly over time. He has felt close to God and that’s why he’s doing OK. We all know this is the Lord’s plan — there’s no other way to reconcile what has happened.” —Kymberly Wells, mother of injured missionary
Although the burn treatments and surgeries on Mason’s ankle have gone well, Mason has been in pain while his right hand has been scraped and cleaned to address the second- and third-degree burns.
“They weren’t able to completely put his arm to sleep, so Mason experienced horrible pain and a really rough night,” Kymberly said.
Despite the physical and emotional difficulties Mason has experienced, he has kept positive and shared his faith in person and in multiple five-minute interviews from his bed with international media.
“He has shared some beautiful things with us that have gotten him through this experience, and I think he will share some of them publicly over time,” Kymberly said. “He has felt close to God and that’s why he’s doing OK. We all know this is the Lord’s plan — there’s no other way to reconcile what has happened.”
Mason was about 10 meters from the first explosion at the airport, where he was injured from the flame and the shrapnel. When his companion, Elder Joe Empey, found him, Mason was standing in a pool of blood and Joe told him to lie down. A passerby put a suitcase under Mason’s bloody ankle. Both missionaries were on the ground when Joe offered to give Mason a blessing. Mason pulled out his vial of consecrated oil but his shaky hands dropped it. Mason pulled out a second vial of consecrated oil and Joe gave Mason a priesthood blessing that he would return home whole. Mason offered to give Joe a blessing, but Joe said Mason was too hurt to expend energy doing that. Emergency personnel were putting lanyards on the wounded to indicate the severity of their injuries. Mason was more badly hurt than Joe, so they had different colored lanyards around their necks. The companions were soon separated and taken to different hospitals. They haven’t spoken since.
“I’ll see him back at the University of Utah Hospital, and we’ll talk then,” Mason said.
Mason tells of a 24-year-old Moroccan woman who was beside him during the priesthood blessing. She also came to Mason three times throughout the ordeal, even as he was moved to multiple locations. She held his hand and was a distraction for him.
“Mason told us that he taught her the restoration amidst the chaos around them,” Kymberly said. “We hope that through Facebook we can find her and thank her for showing care for him.”
Earlier this week, Chad and Kymberly Wells did media interviews and followed their son’s story from their Utah home (pictured). Now they are at the bedside of Elder Mason Wells, but they are no longer watching media coverage because Mason wants to keep mission rules and not watch TV.
Mason and his parents have praised the medical personnel for their efforts on Mason’s behalf. Plans are in the works to transport Mason for more procedures and treatments at the University of Utah. The Wells live in Sandy, and they previously resided in Cedar Hills where Mason graduated from Lone Peak High School in 2014. He was on student council and the football team.
Much of the media focus has been on Mason’s proximity to three terrorist attacks — the Boston Marathon in 2013, the Paris blasts and now Brussels. Chad was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer during the Boston ordeal, but Kymberly has preferred to be more private. “I didn’t wear my Boston Marathon jacket or my medal because I didn’t want to talk about it,” she said. But the Wells have become the most famous American family this week as they’ve consistently shared a message of faith, hope, love, appreciation and Christianity.
“We have felt the prayers and love from around the world during these unusual circumstances,” Kymberly said. “We see the Lord’s hand and we want to do our best to continue to be guided as we make decisions and move forward.”
Chad recalls the words of Elder Jorge Becerra, the Area Authority Seventy who visited with the Wells in their Sandy home on Tuesday. “He told us that if we kept our eyes open the next few days, we would see the hand of the Lord. And he was right. We’ve seen miracle after miracle, blessing after blessing. The saints all over the world are incredible and full of goodness. It’s been powerful and real to watch it all unfold.”

Monday, March 14, 2016

Finding Day

I won't be able to send out a top ten this week, but I hope that my
other letters explain a lot of my week. 

We had an amazing finding day this last week!! We found an overall of
5 new Amis on Saturday and we had about 12 or so members who came out
to work with us. We had all the members on splits with the
missionaries!! It went great :) it's been fun to learn how to plan and
grow. I feel so much more confident in my ability to connect and
communicate with adults as where before the mission, it was intimating
at times to talk with church leaders :) now I am friends with them
here and teach them at times haha!!

Another highlight, I was able to hear a Elder Christofferson speak
yesterday!! It was incredible :) he is phenomenal! He hit on tithing
and the sabbath day- both points that I knew will GREATLY change the
atmosphere here. And it was by the spirit that he gave the talk if I
understood right. It was fantastic.

Dad, I LOVE YOU!! I'm sorry that I didn't get out a mass. I will next
week :) I love you!!

Smile big, because today is the best day of your whole life!!

Love, Me

Monday, March 7, 2016

Shake it Up! Shake it up!

Hello everyone!! This week was fantastic!! There is so much that I have to tell everyone, that I don’t even know where to start :) so, let’s dive into the top 10 of the week or so! 
Remember, these are not in order of best experiences... It’s more a random line of awesome memories that came to me as I reviewed my week :) 

1.   First off, we had a MIIIIIRACLE! On Saturday, we visited a family who hasn’t been active for probably 5 years or so. They live in SO far away.. It takes them around an hour and 15 minutes to get to church. But, they were offended by someone at the church, an had been putting off coming back for a while.. We have visited this family once before, with their home teacher, who happens to be our Ward Mission Leader, and they gave us the run down of why they aren’t active. So this time we talked with them about forgiveness. And when the were open, our Ward Mission Leader (who doesn’t speak very good French- he is from England), declared to them that he was going to give them a challenge! He then said that he wanted them to give him a date that they would go to the temple. It totally surprised them, but he was serious!! They made a goal to go to the temple by Easter of 2017!! We then asked them what the first step was to get there, and they said that they needed to come to church. They came yesterday to church!! And tons of members talked to them and they seemed to really have a great experience :) it was amazing to see how the BIG perspective of what really matters (the temple-eternal families) makes the little decisions (church every week) so much easier to make. I feel that that is a lesson that we could all use. 

2.   Today we went to a museum here in Arras. And it was SUPER cool. And since we are in France, they had signs and posters in French.. Well, I was using my iPad to define the words. One of the words was, “Préciosité””... So I’m looking for the translation, and the New Oxford Dictionary thing gave me, “Preciosity”... Hmmm... Well that gave me a great boost for my self esteem in English.. Haha I can’t even speak English ;) 

3.   Another note about the museum! A part of it talked about the Chateau de Versailles. It spoke about how the gardens, the sculptures, the foundations.. Etc.  were actually to show how much power and rule the King had. It was really interesting to learn about because often times we see that people who had this much money during these times really weren’t happy. It brought me back to Christ’s teaching in Matthew. “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” If we truly want to have peace and happiness in this life, we will come to Him who gives us all. And then, we will go and forget ourselves in serving others. It may see, paradoxical, but as we lose our lives for Him, we will find them :) I know that to be true!! Serving others and loving them as God would have us do, is incredibly rewarding! 

4.   This last Sunday, a young lady bore her testimony, and shared an experience of which I was a part of.  She was having a really hard time with a job, and wasn’t able to be as active in the church as she had wanted with the job. She was praying and didn’t know what to do, and asked me for a blessing. In the blessing, she was directed to look for another job. She quit her job, and yesterday she shared that since quitting her job, she has been able to go to temple, where as before she wasn’t able to. She shared about how much of a huge difference it is to her, and how much it has helped!! It was really amazing to be apart of that. God wants to be a part of our lives- even in the decisions like that. It’s up to us to make Him a part of it :) 

5.   So, we have these amazing iPads, and I’m so glad that we do! There is a feature that is on here, which is when you shake your iPad, it undo’s what you did... Well, I think that Apple may have out this in here just to make people like me look like a fool. I was on a train, and needed to use this “undo” invention, and well I’m trying to shake my iPad.. And the undo isn’t coming!! So I look like fool just waving this iPad around on a train... Yes, lesson learned haha.. Just find the “undo” button itself.. It’s sort of like when you’re trying to get the electric hand dryer to work after you was your hands in the bathroom and it just not coming... So you’re left doing this weird swiping dance, and you’re moving your body in a way that you normally wouldn’t- shouldn’t - haha.. Oh technology.. I hope that I’m not the only one with these problems ;) 

6.   Another Miracle!! We, as a district of missionaries (missionaries from Amiens, Arras, and St. Quentin) had a finding day in St. Quentin, for the elders and sisters that are there. And it was SWEET! Miracle central!! We found 10 new investigators there in about 4 or 5 hours!! I was on exchange with a zone leader, and we were with a member, and we had been contacting for a little bit, and out of the blue, he says that he has friends that we could pass by! And they were GOLDEN!! We taught them Restoration and two of the three, accepted the invitation to be baptized, in knowing that it was true. It was soooo cool!!! This next week, we will be having one of those days here in Arras :) so, don’t hesitate to pray for us!!

7.   During the finding day, we had district meeting, and one of the zone leaders had a really great comment. He talked about putting our faith to the test. How much faith do we have to see miracles? How much faith do we have to find people? And out that faith to the test. Go and ACT with that faith. Exercise it. If we really have faith, we will lean on it and rely on it, and let it push us!! It was touching :) 

8.   Miracle!! We spoke with a lady at a bus stop who had just come out of the hospital, in Arras, because she was visiting her friend, who has cancer. After talking about her friend, we talked about if the lady believed in a life after this one. She said she did, but then asked us if Christ was really there. We promised her that He is, and I promise everyone who is reading this email, that He lives. He is our Savior, the Son of God. I know that to be true! I have felt of His redeeming love, and enabling power. And we were able to give some hope for this lady in this hard time in her life. We met with her the night following, and will hopefully be seeing her this next week :) 

9.   For service this week, we went to our Ward Mission Leader. We were working on a huge Book of Mormon stand that we willing be using for proselyting. While it was drying, he asked for help with the ducks. We helped him, as he killed the ducks.. Last time, it was the geese, and now it was two ducks. I never saw myself doing that when entering the mission field... But the new experience was plucking them.. We plucked two ducks... That was interesting to say the least... I had feathers all over.. It literally took about 15 minutes or so to get all the feathers out of my hair haha.. 

10. I had a really cool prompting this last Sunday. I was pondering on what the Lord would have of me, and I felt promoted to really focus on preparation. If the Savior Himself, asked me to do a special mission for Him right now (yes I know that I am on one for Him right now :) ) would I be ready physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually to just get up and go? I reflected on how I needed to be ready at all times to do His will! I need to be more prepared and trained spiritually to carry out His work. It really touched me. I hope to always be ready for when He calls my name-no matter where I may be. 

11. Know that I know that this church is true :) 

Love you all!!