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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

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