Tuesday, February 04, 2014

for the books

Well hello there another beautiful week in the ghettos of the city de l'amour.

I just LOVE how much happens in one single week on the mission. It is overwhelming in every single way to try to update y'all on everything, but know that whoever wants the whole story just has to throw on sweatpants and read my mission journal with me while eating bluebell cookies & cream. those are my only requirements.

This week started with Soeur Hosking's first mangez-vous. OH man. WHAT A NIGHT. There is a soeur in the ward named Laurinda who was baptized in August, she is portugaise and only speaks portugaise. On monday we were invited over to a portugaise member's house for dinner with Laurinda, Laurinda's husband who is not a member, and another member to eat & give a little spirituel thought. Let's just talk a second for the phenomenon we like to call the French Forcefeed. Which ironically has nothing to do with food. In France, and I'm sure across the rest of the world as well, the members are terrified of sharing the Gospel. However, if you bring them anyone who is in the least bit interested, or even just willing to listen, they will spend 3 hours skipping straight over the PMG basics and diving straight into exaltation, reformed egyptian, and temple logistics. And that's basically what happened Monday night. What started with a simple spiritual thought on Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ turned into a deep doctrine debate. It was a disaster. And to make matters worse Soeur Hosking got sick in the middle of it, but we couldn't leave because they just kept talking and talking and talking. Half in French, half in Portugaise. We are just praying that Laurinda's husband will get amnesia and let us over to teach him again.

Members aren't always awful to teach with though. On Tuesday we taught 2 lessons with a girl named Shainy who is AWESOME and helped us so much. We started out by teaching Audrey who is coming along slowly but surely, and then Catherine Michelle who is ON FIRE and is getting baptized next weekend! We taught her about the Word of Wisdom and she was already living it! I just love people like that. She kept saying over and over again how grateful she was that she found the church because she "didn't think that that many people like her even existed in the world." She feels right at home in the church and wants her entire family to be a part of it. Pray that we can meet her husband soon! That night we had a really amazing experience with following the Spirit. Our RDV fell through so we decided to hit the streets and talk to people. We started walking down the street and talking to everyone, but no one was really excited about us. All of the sudden I got the feeling that we were not in the right place, or doing the right thing. I fought it for a while because I thought that maybe I was just sick of getting rejected, but then I told Soeur Hosking and she was feeling the same way. We turned around and literally seconds later we met a lovely women who we stopped and talked to for a good 10 minutes about the Book of Mormon. She was super open and told us that she was excited to read it and try out the promise! I sure hope we hear from her soon. Then we decided to continue following our gut and we felt that we should pass by an ami who lives close to our house. On the bus ride we saw a woman who we had met the night before, but didn't get a chance to really talk to because she had to get off the bus. Soeur Hosking had specifically said, "if we need to see her again, the Lord will provide a way." Annndd He did. We were able to give her a Book of Mormon as well and invite her to pray about it. Even though the ami we had originally planned on seeing was not home, I know that the Lord was guiding us to her through the Spirit.

On Wednesday we had a special conference with Elder Kearon from the Quorm of the Seventy. It was amazing. General Authorities have such a REAL power. Everything he said, and how he said reminded me of Christ. I felt his love for us as missionnaries and gained so much insight from his words. It was amazing. Then we had a lesson with Jimmy and Sarah who informed me that they ARE THINKING ABOUT BREAKING UP. Dang adversary. Not cool. I am so worried about BOTH of them if this happens. But as of Sunday they were still together, and Jimmy passed the Sacrament, so I think it's okay...for now. We also had a lesson with Noah and family and the twins joined us for it!! Finally!!!!!

Thursday...Madame Cherif...oh boy. So you remember that first door we ported, well we went back this week and had a lesson with Madame Cherif. During the lesson she expressed to us about how she was contemplating suicide and then proceeded to pull out everything she would need to do it. I hope this is the first and last time I ever have to talk someone off a ledge. Needless to say we helped her dispose of all of those materials and expressed to her how much the gospel message and the church can help her find joy in her life. She is willing to do what ever it takes and agreed to come to church with us on Sunday. Later on that day we saw Catherine Michelle, Alicia, and Rose and they are doing great.

Friday and saturday...lots happen, but I'm getting bored of writing this email. We are, however, in the process of getting missionnaried by a baptist lady named Mme. Bernard. She agreed to have a RDV with us, but then made us come meet her at a market and tried to get us to help her hand out flyers for her church. She now calls us almost everyday to ask how we are doing and invite us to church. Oh so wierd to be on the other side of things.

Sunday was again SO STRESSFUL. Madame Cherif and Catherine Michelle at church at the same time gave me another run for my money. But it was great, and went super well. Best part however was during a lesson on the temple in Relief Society when a lady raised her hand from the back and said "I'm not a member, actually this is my first time in the church, but what do I have to do to go there and how long do I have to wait?" Ahh yeah, you better believe we are meeting with Olga and her HUSBAND and her FAMILY this week :) Here we comin' eternal family.

Y'all I miss you. I really do. But I know that before I blink I'll be back in your arms, eating real hamburgers and milkshakes, and running as long as I want with headphones and music blasting. Until then I'm going to be baptizing these amazing French, Algerian, Guadelopean, Italian, Phillipino, and African people.

Avec amour, Soeur Johns 
Here is the picture of the first conference with elder Kearon
Voici la photo de la première conférence avec elder Kearon.

empty sea district reunion! 


the whole fam bamily 

at the opera house! the phannnnnttttoommmmmm of the opera issss herreeeeeee 

 well whoops 

CHIPOLTE. Its a weekly occurance. 

we found milkshakes in france. they were sub par. 

 sometimes I fall asleep with the area book...