Monday, April 07, 2014

my mind has been blown

It's only been about 4 days since I last emailed, but as always so much has happened. So I could talk to you this week about how we had an awesome lesson with our new portugaise amie Sandra, or how Soeur Maigret fed us healthy food and then gave us sweaters so we wouldn't be cold on the walk home, or how Jean François baptized the love of his life, or how we ate free Chipolte. But let's be real: GENERAL CONFERENCE.

I really felt the overarching themes of this round were pure discipleship, the blessings of burdens, and storms. As always, all of my questions were answered and I have about a million new self improvement projects going into action. I find it hard to answer the question, "What part of conference did you like the most?" because let's be real, it's 10 hours and that's a lot to remember and I love everything. But I can say that my favorite part is the feeling of edification and uplift that it brings. I don't remember everything, but I remember how I felt. I think this principle is why people ever even join the church after meeting with the missionaries. The Spirit is the one doing the teaching. I was having a fear of missing out every time I saw the #LDSconf pop up in the corner of the screen, alas my conference tweets:     

*Thomas S. Monson: You gotta finish what you've already started before you can take on more. #parisfrancetemplecomingsoon
*Jeffery R. Holland: Rejection is a cost of discipleship. Yes it is worth it. #dontiknow #mashedpotatosforlater 
*Ronald A. Rasband: Love. Prayers. Appreciation.
*Carlos H. Amado: Christ heals us one by one. #newfoundappreciationforthickaccents #heyitsme
*Linda S. Reeves: We must make sure that our personal filter is the strongest. #keepitclean 
*Neil L. Andersen: Marriage is not only designed to satisfy adults, but to create families which are the treasures of heaven. #traditionalmarriage
*Henry B. Eyring: Oh, things will work out. #motto
*Russel M. Nelson: Courage not compromise brings the smile of God's approval. #50millionpeoplecanbewrong #totallywrong
*Richard G. Scott: Always seek to strengthen families. Always try to help families be sealed in the temple. #workingonit #janenneshoutout 
*Robert D. Hales: Obedience motivated by true love is what the Lord is looking for and what we must strive for. #ctr #comewhatmay #sensingatheme 
*Claudio D. Zivic: One day we will fall in love with the Gospel and we will no longer run away from lessons, but enjoy them instead. #washescottishorsouthamerican?
*W. Craig Zwick: Let's be real, I probably would have jumped out of the car too. #whatareyouthinking 
*Quentin L. Cook: And the prisoner shall go free. Isn't this a glorious doctrine? #baptismsforthedead #firstcorinthiansfifteen 
*Deider F. Uctdorf:  There is something in us that resists endings because we are made of the stuff of eternity. There are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings. #gratitude #probsmyfav 
*M. Russel Ballard: If we follow-up the Lord will not let us down. #rmdatinghabitsmakesomuchsensenow
*Jean M. Stevens: The Gospel is not weight, it is wings. #heartwrencher #sheissandrabullockofftheblindside
*Gary A. Stevensen: The 4 minute race of life. #goforgold #iwaswaitingforakatehansenshoutout
*David A. Bednar: Is the load I am carrying allowing me to create spiritual traction to get back to my Heavenly Father? #happybirthdayjesus 
*Thomas S. Monson: I've never yet felt a tinge of regret for being a little too kind. Amen to that. #ourbelovedprophet #LDSconf

I am so grateful we have a prophet on this earth. The entire time I was watching conference I was just thinking, "what would we do without him?". Ah, it is just a blessing to know what we know!

Otherwise, I am doing great. Transfers are coming up next week. I kissed the Eiffel Tower goodbye this morning, and went and saw the Tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte at Les Invalides. I am already bracing myself for my next companion because I don't know how I could have more fun with anyone! We are a dream team. But I know that anything is going to be great and I am ready to take it on. :)

Love you all. You are always in my prayers! 
Love, Soeur Johns

 les invalides. the french museum of war
les invalides. 

the tomb of little nappy himself
the beautiful soeur hosking 
I'm going to miss ma fille. 

goodbye my love.  
it was on my bucket list to lick it. it tasted like little Asian fingers. 
look the eiffel tower...again. 
the Poznanski's and I at General Conference 
Sister Andersen and I at the baptism

the day jimmy drowned scott

As you may have noticed I did not email home on Monday. Wellll. It's because we got permission to change our P-day in order to go see the Palace of Versailles. I promise I am not trying to invoke jealousy in your souls, but I may or may not have driven a golf cart around the Gardens. And it was perfect. Not only that but the workers loved us and let us skip all of the lines and get in free and drive the golf cart even though I was supposed to be 24. It sure pays to speak French. :) 

Basically, I haven't had any time to write my email home this week, so I am just going to send the one that Soeur Hosking sent to her family. This is great because, a) you get to hear about my week, and b) you get to get to know my companion. Right? right.

Our week from the mouth of Soeur Hosking: 
This week has been quite a crazy one. So crazy that I had to bring my journal to remember it all. As you may have noted, I did not email Monday. We changed our P Day to Thursday so that we could see the Palace of Versailles!! Oh man was it worth it, but that is the end of the week. All things must start and the beginning *cue really awesome going back in time music*

TUESDAY: This was a struggle morning. We just seemed to be forgetting EVERYTHING. I think we made it out to the bus stop three times before deciding to just leave with what we had for District meeting. We rolled up like 30 minutes late. On the train I told Soeur johns, "Watch this be the day the Zone Leaders come" I am basically a psychic. SO naturally they gave us a hard time for not only being late but forgetting one of the Sodas. Well Whoops. Good thing we are their favorite. For our meal we had hot dogs, I don't know if anyone really knows thig but I LOVE hot dogs. My mom only every bought the healthy kind so when I am presented with regular, I go ham. Elder Eldrige and I have a bond as we basically ate our selves sick to "take one for the team" and finish the hot dogs off. I love hot dogs. Then we got to teach Scott the lesson on Chastity... That was fun... Talking to an 18 yr old about chastity... Good thing I'm not awkward at all! (please note the sarcasm)

WEDNESDAY: Just another crazy day here in Saint Ouen. It was a sack lunch kind of day where we left our house at 11h00 and weren't home until 9h30. But it was a day full of so many amazing people. I feel so blessed to be able to be in the lives of these humans as they come unto Christ. There is nothing better than that. Nothing.

THURSDAY: Soeur Johns had to sign up for her BYU classes. This means we were in Paris by 7h00 to get to a computer. I just want to point out that the McDonalds by our Internet Cafe lies. Their sign says they open at 7h30 but we stood there until 7h45 and nothing came of it. All we wanted was the Breakfast of Champions, is that so much to ask? Then we went home to do some baking for the baptism before meeting up with the Elders for Scott's interview. This kid is such a gem. Thursday night was CRAZY AWESOME. So we had dinner at the Stake Presidents house, of the Paris Stake. Still unreal to me. But anyway, they are just so funny and they spoke in English a bit so I could actually joke with them. Plus for some reason they thought everything we said was the funniest thing every, not that I am complaining. If that were not enough their daughter invited over her best friend and she was ADORABLE. I have no doubt she will take the lessons one day, I just hope to be the missionary! Best night.

FRIDAY: Not a ton went down Friday. Soeur Johns and I got matching sweaters and we basically got stalked by one of the crazy members in our ward, the norm.

SATURDAY: SCOTT'S BAPTISM!!!!!! Oh my gosh it was the best. Scott doesn't show much emotion normally but he was just BEAMING when he showed up to the church, it was so amazing to see. So if that couldn't get better Jimmy preformed the baptism. Recently Baptized, this is his first baptism he has been to after his own Jimmy. I was DYING. Oh Jimmy is the best. Picture this: Our two ami's in the faunt together. Jimmy doing everything so right then placing Scott into the water. On noticing he is not all the was under he pushes him down more! Then he looks  up and goes, "C'est bon?" (good?) Scott was still in the water!! I seriously thought I was going to have to jump in and do CPR on Scott(Don't worry I always carry my CPR mask in my bag) But it all turned out all right. Catherine Michel gave the talk on the Holy Ghost. I could not stop smiling and giggling the entire day. It is so amazing to see this family coming, they aren't all there yet but I know they will be.

SUNDAY: Day light savings. Ben and I are NOT on good terms. We were dragging the entire day. We can not afford that hour. But we lived. I had this moment on the way to church when we were on the train. On stumbles two really drunk girls who sit accross from us. They look about our age and have obviously not been home yet. It was crazy to see the paralell. We are at the same stages in our lives but we don't even live in the same universe. I wonder if that would have been me without the Gospel. Thanks to the Gospel I was sitting on the other side, on my way to church in a country that is not my own where I came to share the gospel. The gospel blesses our lives in so many ways that sometimes we forget how lucky we are. So during Sunday school this rando shows up and we have her sit with us. Afterwards she turns to us and goes "Wait, you guys are the Mormons? Bye" and like runs out. Kay bye! Catherine was made president for our Ami class!! Oh that was the best. Accidentally crashed an African Birthday Party and Doris's house. Oops.

MONDAY: Just another day in the life. Not P Day. Pretty sure members think that we starve because they ALWAYS try and laden us down with food. One of them even tried to give us shoes. Are they trying to say something? I mean I know we look kind of homeless sometimes....
A really recent RM sent us to her sister and there is some serious potential!!!!!! RMs are the BEST.

TUESDAY: APRIL FOOLS. Soeur Johns and I matched HARDCORE. Down to how we did our hair. It was so fun. District meeting meant everyone was on their guard for pranks. So fun. I am loving this place and this district. So much laughter and I love it.

WEDNESDAY: DAY OF FINDING. Our whole Zone took this one day to just go out and find. We prayed for each other every 30 min and it was amazing. You could feel the prayers and support of the other missionaries. We went contacting with this member who we actually thought was really shy. WRONG. She was on FIRE. She had no fear and would stop everyone, no matter what. It was so amazing!!!!! We also had some cool miracles.
           Miracle of the Magnet: Soeur Johns lost her tag. So she was using the magnet of my second tag to hold up her only one left. This means we were both down to only one badge. Walking down the street her badge falls off and the magnet is gone. We can no find it anywhere. that night I was lying on the floor. I know for a fact that it was not there before. That was a miracle. 
           Notebook Miracle: Heading out the door for Ward Counsel I just felt like I needed to bring my notebook. I never bring my notebook. I rationalized that I might want to make a list of something. It sounded so dumb and weird but I felt like I needed to. Turns out a list I had in it was actually needed. Not a miracles are big, a lot of them are small, regarding a notebook or a magnet. But I know if you keep your eyes open that they are there. 

THURSDAY: Now for today. BEST DAY EVER. So basically the Palace of Versailles is so amazing, we could hardly take in all the beauty. The line to get it is about a million years long, but we were asking a guard guy if our passports would work (as our visas generally get us in places free) and he had to ask his supervisor, so he took us to the front. Not only did they work but he said there was no point in going back to the end of the line. SCORE. They like it when you speak French to them. Then we were in awe as we walked through the Palace. Could our day get any better? Yes. Yes it could. WE RENTED A GOLF CART TO DRIVE THROUGH THE GARDENS. It has been my dream to drive a Golf Cart. Today, today that dream was realized in the Versailles Gardens. The man said that you had to be 25 to rent one, but that he could make an exception for Jesus. Literally everything went right today. So we are just driving around, making friends with other Americans in golf carts, basically living the dream. We come to this path with a ton of students and these potholes on the sides. So we have to go other the potholes. they are more like little hills with ditches on the other side. We are driving over them and acting like we are in a huge roller-coaster (but lets be real this was the slowest golf cart ever) To make things better the students begin to cheer us on as we go over these. Yea, we basically had our own fan club.

Hey, it's me again. Soeur Johns. So yes, basically this week was wonderful. Especially the fact that Scott Michel is now a member and that it was Jimmy who baptized him. I am just beaming with happiness and the good kind of pride for all of our recent converts. They are so strong and nothing could make me happier.

Soeur Johns
the palace.

living the high life. 

just some more in case you miss my face. 
yeah no big deal just driving my golf cart around the palace of versailles. 

jimmy and scott!!

after the baptism Jimmy took one of the sheep and said "scott" and put it into the fold side. that kid is a crack up. 
another day in the life
these shoes have served me well.