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Monday, July 25, 2016

Final Countdown! 10 days left.

Helloooo!!


Life is soooo good :) being on a mission is so much fun! And you can
be on one even if you aren’t a full time missionary. There are simply
missionaries in the field and not :)

1. I don’t know if I shared this in an earlier email, but we found an
investigator not last week, but the week before and it was GREAT!! We
were about to pass by another investigator and were walking up to her
door and I turn and see this older lady carrying her groceries. I walk
over and offer to help. She accepts (not super common for people to
accept here), and my companion and I grab a bag. She later tells us
that she has health problems and needed to do her groceries and prayed
to God for help. She wasn’t sure how she would be able to carry her
groceries home, but she went to the store. We were literally a pen
answer to her prayer. We then taught her, and have recently shared
with her the power of the Book of Mormon! Hopefully, we will be able
to see her tomorrow :)) she is super open and interested! I’m so
excited!!

2. Tuesday this last week, we were in Mons. And Brother Fernandes-our
AMAZING Elder’s Quorum President (he bought me Belgium shoes in
Brussels a few weeks ago.. He is one of the nicest men that I know)
asked us to try to visit a specific family. He said they needed it, or
something along those lines. We called them, but said that they
weren’t available. While in the areas surrounding Mons (a city 25 or
so minutes from a Nivelles), we received a called from Brother and
Sister De Lauw, and older couple in our ward-two of the sweetest and
most kind-hearted people I know-asking us to visit that same family.
We then felt promoted from the spirit telling us to go by-even though
they had said that they were unavailable. So we did. (It so happened
that this family lives by Mons-and we don’t go down extremely often-so
the timing was perfect. Heavenly Father knows what He is doing.) We
knock on the door, and had decided on a message to share about how God
helps us through trials, and it so happened that they were all there.
All there that is, except the husband. The mother had recently been
remarried, and her husband of four or so months, had left the house
Sunday and hadn’t come back. It was now Tuesday. This mother who was
trying so hard to be strong and was supporting her three children was
in a moment of great need for a spiritual boost. We arrived just in
time to help her feel of God’s love as the spirit directed our words
and testimonies to address her specific situation. In the closing
prayer, she said something along the lines of thanking Heavenly Father
for the missionaries, who are angels in our lives... We are all
missionaries, and we can all be angels. Listen to the still, small
voice that will tell you what to do. Follow courageously, even when
certain people have said they “aren’t available”. People need you. God
needs you.

3. An interesting approach that we have been using in contacting
people if introducing ourselves as volunteers who are here to
serve-whether that be in the yard, the house, or any other type of
work. It’s been really interesting to see how people’s hearts are
softened as we try to help them. After that initial approach, we are
then able to do a normal contacting approach and they are much much
more open and kind. So don’t forget to serve!! It does wonders :)))

4. I went on an exchange with an elder from Tahiti this week. It was
amazing how much he believed in the power and authority that he had a
missionary when he spoke. He 100% trusted God to be there with him,
and the spirit was there. We had some amazing lessons together as we
testified in unity and in power to our friends here in this beautiful
country.

5. Alright, AWESOME EXPERIENCE!! I mentioned earlier something along
the lines of how our Elders’ Quorum President is amazing, right? Well,
for the first time in his whole life, he invited a friend to come to
dinner with us present, and we taught him!!!! And it was SOOO GOOD!
The friend is atheist (for the moment.. We will see when he reads The
Book of Mormon ;) ) and he has a ton of questions. We were able to
testify clearer and answer his questions with the scriptures. It was
sooooo awesome! My companion and I were really excited about it. Wow,
the church is sooo true! I hope that you all know it! It’s amazing and
I am soooo grateful for it in my life. Anyway, back to the experience.
:) what’s really touching about that is that the fact that he brought
his friend over with us shows his trust in us as missionaries. I’m
proud to be a missionary, and in a companionship where the members
have enough confidence in us to bring us their friends. What a
blessing :)

6. The spirit is phenomenal. Spiritual promptings are real my friends.
Follow them! This week while preparing to teach a specific member in
our ward, I had a specific prompting to share a video with her. I
didn’t know why, but I know it was right. And so we did. In the
lesson, we ended up not having a ton of time, but enough for a
scripture and the video. I don’t know all that is going on in her
life, but she expressed to me that it truly touched her. God cares
about all of his children. He knows our needs and our desires! Never
forget it!! He knows you and He loves. And often it is through another
person that He answers your heart’s questions :)

7. Super weird experience. Think BIG. And FOOD. What’s the first
thought? America. Well, we were invited to an American Branch’s
barbecue. We help an American Branch once every couple of months. It’s
the Americans from the military camp here in a city southwest of
Nivelles. And they invited us. SO WEIRD! Weird in a good way. Weird
because I was with Americans in very American cultured environment for
the first time in about two years!!! Wow, it was almost like home. It
was a good preparation for what’s coming in a week and a half... :O
but it was amazing. We were able to talk with a family who is less
active! The children were playing a lot of games.. And this one 3 year
old had water gun and was literally trying to shoot everyone for about
and hour and half straight! It was hilarious. He would make the little
sound effects with his mouth at the same time as his gun would make
the normal squirting sounds hahahah. Oh wow, it’s been too long since
I’ve seen American children. It was really funny. And then came the
pie eating contest.. They were asking me to join, and I had to say,
“Nooooo... Thanks...” And I’m glad that I did. It was crazy! People
were sowing their pies-oh and the rule was that you couldn’t use your
hands. So to eat the crust, people were using their chins and
foreheads to bang against the crust to break it and eat it. I’m glad
that I didn’t participate in that one. My companion did though :)))

8. Anywho, my dear friends, know that my mission has been amazing and
it’s not over, and I am sooo glad that I have been able to serve it
here. (My mission is going on for life! I’m always a missionary!!) For
those of you that don’t know where the best mission is, it’s in the
France Paris Mission. Don’t ask me why it’s “France Paris” and not the
normal way... Some things just don’t make sense;... Like how fast two
years goes by!... But have a wonderful week!! Love you all! See you
soon!!!

Loves,
Your favorite ;)
Elder Jacob Lucas

 

P.S.


It seems impossible until it is done. Change the world. If you can dream it, you can create it. You’re the children of The Creator. Create beauty!!

Monday, July 18, 2016

3 weeks left!

Hello everyone... I have three left of these things... It’s sort of weird... And to be quite honest, the mission has gone by a lot faster than I had ever imagined it to... Super weird...

It’s interesting because I feel that naturally, we have fear of the unknown. We fear things that are not familiar. However, the Lord has told us that if we are prepared, we shall not fear, and that with Him, all things are possible. There have been some moments in the past week and throughout my mission, where I have been tempted to fear. To fear the future. To fear the past. Recently, I was tempted at times to fear that maybe I hadn’t done enough on my mission. However, we can be certain that a fear that keeps us from being truly happy and from progressing is never from our Father in Heaven. He never wants us to be discouraged or afraid. Even when we sin, He wants us to come boldly to Him in repentance. Our Papa in Heaven wants to forgive. He wants to fill us with His love. He wants us to reach our goals, live our dreams, and rejoice everyday to be alive. He loves us. It’s for that, that Satan, who opposes him, will do all that he can to prevent us from feeling of this love. He will stop us from the feelings of security and peace that we can find in God’s presence. And so he incites us to fear. To fear failure. To fear the future. To fear to come back to God when we sin. To fear that we aren’t enough when we are trying hard. To fear... And of course, we are to do our best, and to work hard, but God is cheering us on and will fill us with positivity, hope, and light. Don’t ever give up. Never ever give up.  Because God isn’t giving up on you. He cannot, for as Elder Holland quoted this last conference, “It is not in His nature!”. Don’t let the adversary stop you from feeling your worth in the eyes of God, simply because he is jealous of you, because he will never be like you. Your Father loves you :) and this last week, as daggers of darkness and darts of fear have been cast at me, to make me fear for different reasons at this point in my life, I have seen how the spirit and love of God truly casts away all fear. As I look to my Master, I know that there is nothing to fear as I continue with my life and as I finish my mission. For if we come unto Him, He makes us whole :) so for all you out there, who are like me and become a little afraid at times, look to the Savior and approach Him confidently. Let Him fill you with a peace and love for who you are as a child of God that will cast out all of your fear! I know that it works because I have lived it again and again.

Anywho, I’ll get off the soap box and here are the tops of my week!!

1.First off, life is just gorgeous :) whether it’s Belgium, Alaska,

New Mexico, or South Africa, we are so blessed. Life is gorgeous. This week, it was a lot more sunny than normal and (it rains so much normally),  it was really a blessing to be able to see all of that :) so wherever you are-even if you have lived there for a century and have seen it all, find the joy in its beauty. It’s a gift :)

2.We had a sweet miracle this week!!

We were on an exchange and weredoing door to door-porting- as we call it in the better missions of the world ;) and well, we weren’t quite sure which doors to knock on and where to go. So we say a prayer and not long a after we finish, a woman-probably around 20- walks out of a house on the other side of the road. So we stop her and tell her that we were volunteers doing service to help people-whether that be garden work, construction in the home.. Etc. and she said that she wasn’t sure, so we always explained  that (what our first goal really is), which is to share a message about families, and how God has restored truths for our families. (We share service first because it opens people up and it softens their hearts and they are usually more willing to share how they feel about our message.) she still wasn’t sure and told us to talk with her step father, who was inside. So we did, and long story short, he was super interested! And we will be seeing him this next week :))) AWESOME!

3.Another miracle. Another exchange. 

We were going to pass by an investigator, and as walking, we saw an elderly woman who was carrying her grocery bags and was walking pretty slow.  So like some real scouts, we offered to help. And she accepted. We walked her home and she talked to us about her problems with her health, in looking for a job, the difficulties in coming from another country (she is from Africa).. Etc. We were able to share with her about why we have trials and how God will help us. When we arrived to her house, we shared parts from the Book of Mormon that answered her questions. It was really amazing! The Lord has many prepared :)

Have a great week!
Elder Lucas


Monday, July 11, 2016

Brian Farley is home!!!! What!!!

Dear Dad!

I’m glad that the reunion was great!! It sounded like it was a hit.  It’s great that Brian is home and doing well!! I am sure that he served an amazing mission. Isn’t the mission just absolutely wonderful, as we only have to focus on serving other people? It’s beautiful, absolutely beautiful and I love it.
I’m doing great and my mission has been amazing and will finish in a beautiful way.  I truly am so grateful for this mission. I am learning how if we commit, and believe in the Lord, we can truly do all things.  Interesting because that’s what a covenant is. It’s based on our faith in Christ and a promise to serve Him.

We had some miracles this week. A member family that we have been working with very diligently to strengthen and help invited their grandparents over for dinner with us last night. We shared a message on how God strengthens us in our trials, which transformed into the Restoration. I testified of its truthfulness and afterwards a member did as well. And they said that they would take us up on another rendezvous!! Woooooo!!!! That’s this weekend.

To be honest, I’m super excited for what’s been happening and what’s coming. This last week was crazy with a ton of stuff going on, but it has been miraculous. For example we did a TON of service on Saturday and came home exhausted, and after planning I still had to do a ton of calls and district work for the zone leaders (it’s like 9:45) at this point, but then I feel that I need to take some time with my companion. So I do, and he tells me some things that he was struggling with and I was able to help him out a lot. Around 10 I get a text from the elder’s quorum president asking me to teach priesthood for elder’s Quorum. I still needed to prepare for my talk because I wasn’t able to really during the week because I was preparing for a district meeting and other things. But I take it on. I prepare for both of them and the talk went really well! Who can go wrong with a motivational football story with a connection to the Savior :) (Read Kale’s email for details). The priesthood lesson was on less active work. And it was AWESOME. I did it like seminary/come follow me and had them get a companion, read scriptures, answer questions in the companionship, and then switch companion..etc. we would then come back as a big group and discuss. It got everyone talking and amazing comments were made and it encourages everyone to do their home teaching and seek out lost sheep including those in their families and themselves. It was moving!  (Home teaching has been a goal for our ward). It was amazing.  I have really learned how to work with people and leaders on the mission. Before, I would be afraid with meetings with Bishops at times, and I have learned to really grow in self-confidence and know that I got this. Cool life lesson.

I taught district meeting this last week (like basically every week), and I taught about getting the spirit through prayer. Have you ever done the prayer activity in PMG chapter 4? “Prayer with faith section”.  SUPER EYE OPENING!! I realized how I often am self-centered when praying and how I need to think more of others. And Heavenly Father has really given me some great tender mercies this last week. He has poured out his love for me and let me know of how I am doing well. I am recognizing where I worry about things that don’t matter (like if I am doing all that should-when I am..) ha-ha it’s a good problem to have. At least we know that I won’t really ever be slacking!! Hahaha.

I got a new suit thing for home!! If I have time I will send a picture of it. It’s not for the mission (it’s a light blue and the pants are not the same color, but I really like it).

I had interviews this last week and it was really interesting. I talked with President about how I had done my best but felt like at time that it wasn’t enough, or along those lines. And he told me how we all have moments where we feel that we could have done better. It will always happen because we will always have been able to do better, but we can be grateful for the new information that we have and we have a “second chance now”. We can’t relive the past, but learn from it, and apply it for the now. That’s what true gratitude is.

I will write more to mom and Sam, but know that all is going well and that I love you soooo much!! You’re amazing. Keep the faith. Know that I know that this work is true. It is and I love it. We are so blessed to be apart of this glorious gospel! Keep the faith. God is with us, so who can be against us? I love you!

Elder Lucas



24 days left and counting...

Jacob and companion


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Happy 4th of July!!!

Alright everyone!


HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!

For those of us who are American, I just have to say that we are sooo
blessed to live in a country that allows us freedom of choice. I love
being American. God has truly blessed us.

Here are a couple of highlights that I had recently for you all!!

1. Blessing for Therese a we gave one of our Amis a blessing for her
back and in it, it talked about how she would healed spiritually as
well. It was really interesting. The day after that she prayed in a
way that she had never before prayed. She was filled with faith and
the spirit. It was truly amazing.

2. Raphael will be coming to church! We invited one of the less
actives that we work with and his wife who is an investigator to come
to church this next Sunday. Awesome!!!

3. Service was the key! The Bonny's home and the Bishop's house! We
are really trying to serve the Members a lot to help them. We are
discovering how we can't really clean the outer vessel until we
cleanse the inner. The members have to be strong to take in less
actives and new converts, and we are helping them have strength in
their testimonies.

4. My comp is Bane.

5. Everyone is super buff in the scripture photos... Funny thought...
Why are all the heroes from the Book Of Mormon huge In the pictures?!? Abinadi
is crazy ripped Santa Claus! It's like he's the dad of Tony Horton!

6. Brussels exchange! It's beautiful there. Elder Young and Elder
McBride are my zone leaders and we had sweet moments of remembering
Nantes! I really love those two :))