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Week 68 "Happy Birthday to my Daddy"


Jason and Abby Baptism Day May 2005


Dad! Today is your birthday! November 20th! Happpyyyyyy birthdayyyy! I love you dad. I feel so blessed to have you as my daddy. Things that remind me of you.... Protein drinks, Freshly cut lawns and the smell of grass, Sunday walks, Hot tubs, Annoying animals and wandering dogs, Utah Utes and football games, Hawaii, Fall, Cool weather, Chocolate chip cookies, Carrot cake, Pollyanna and game nights, Going to bed early, and  Marathons. 
Dad, you inspire me to work hard and give me the confidence that I can do anything. You have a perspective that makes it seem like everything is going to be okay. I'm grateful for your advice you gave to me to "be present." It has carried me through these past 3 years of my life and certainly my mission. I hope you eat something unhealthy for your birthday! I love you so much daddy and can't wait to give you a big hug in a couple months. Happy birthday! 
This week we went down to Aix en Provence to pick up my legality. We went to a boulangerie for breakfast and I got a warm, flaky pain aux chocolate. I DIED! I forgot how good fresh croissants and pain aux chocolate taste. Here in Suisse, we sure do have good chocolate. But France really is where they have the boulangeries and patisseries. Oh man, I'm going to miss that when I go back to America. I also bought a Santon nativity in Aix. I have been dreaming about buying one my entire mission. So I did it! Oh it is so cute and will look so cute in my future home lol. It was also fun staying over with Soeur del Mundo. She cracks me up. She is so real and we just love laughing together. Oh... and I got my french legality! 



Manor cafe for breakfast this week.
  
So guess what? Last week we had a soirée familial with the family Volpecellis. We invited them to pray for missionary opportunities every day. So they did. Then, a couple days later, frère Volpecellis friend, "L", asked him if he could come to church with him. So yesterday, "L" and his daughter showed up for church! They are from Italy. It was such a miracle. AMAZING things happen when missionaries and members work together. So now tonight, we are teaching "L" and his family here at the church in a couple houses. Wow! This is the quote we shared with the Volpecellis: 
"Brothers and sisters, fear will be replaced with faith and confidence when members and the full-time missionaries kneel in prayer and ask the Lord to bless them with missionary opportunities. Then, we must demonstrate our faith and watch for opportunities to introduce the gospel of Jesus Christ to our Heavenly Father’s children, and surely those opportunities will come. These opportunities will never require a forced or a contrived response. They will flow as a natural result of our love for our brothers and sisters. Just be positive, and those whom you speak with will feel your love. They will never forget that feeling, though the timing may not be right for them to embrace the gospel. That too may change in the future when their circumstances change."
I invite you to do that! Pray for missionary opportunities. I promise you the Lord will give them to you. And oh what joy you will feel! 

Geneva Zone for our district meetings this week.

Sometimes I am fearful. It is still scary talking to people on the mission. Even after being here for over a year. I can understand the people and communicate. That is not the problem. But it is hard! I sometimes worry more about what people think of us. Or I doubt and say, eh, they won't be interested. Or I just get scared to be vulnerable and get rejected. Choosing to have faith over fear takes a constant effort. Faith is a living thing. We have to feed it. I think it is natural for us to doubt sometimes and think of the worst possible outcome. But Christ's way is always full of light. It is always replacing fear with faith. Even if that step of faith is so small. It is hard for me at times to see the results of my efforts here as a missionary. But I know this is where God called me to serve. So I will continue to take those daily steps of faith. To the very end of my mission and for the rest of my life to come. And I know one day, it will all make sense. 

Love Soeur Jones 



Making decorations for the Holidays

This is our house in the background. We live in the basement

Top of cathedral Saint Pierres





Week 67 "Old Ladies are the Cutest!"

I love being in Genève with Soeur Wilson!

Soeur Wilson is from Bakersfield California. She has curly hair. She likes to paint. She is a little angel that makes me dinner. SHE LIKES TO CLEAN. And fold towels like me. She was trained by my MTC companion, Soeur Goold. She is on her 9th transfer. She has really long pretty eyelashes. She is really patient and positive.

One of my favorite things to do as a missionary is visit widows in the ward. Old ladies are so cute and I just have so much compassion for them. They are so lonely and need someone to talk to. They are filled with wisdom and life experiences to share! They love their family and love to talk about them. This week we visited Soeur "G", an old widow in the ward. We read some of the Book of Mormon with her and sang hymns. Her daughter was there. She listened to the spiritual thought and was touched by the scriptures we read about Christ having compassion on the children. You could just tell she had so much love for Christ and still loves him so much. But she hasn't come to church in years because of members that offended her. That makes me sad because she has such a love for Christ but doesn't want to come back to church. 
It reminds me that we are imperfect humans. And as members, we will never be perfect members of the church. So we just need to forgive and know that even members of the church make mistakes. Because the reason we go to church is to strengthen our relationship with Christ and serve others at church! We also took Soeur "G" on a walk around her neighborhood after. We stopped by her friend "J's" house and took the two old ladies for a walk. I felt so much pure joy during that walk. Widows really need someone to listen to and love them.

Soeur Bonnamy is the new sister in the English Ward


A member named "J" did one of the most inspiring things I have ever seen on my mission this week. We went over to "J's" house to eat lunch and share a spiritual thought with her. Her family situation is difficult right now so we shared decided to share the "courage" video about Esther with her. Midway through the video she says, " Pause the video." And we were super confused. But then she says, "I need my friend to watch this video. She really needs this." And right then and there, she calls up her friend (who is her next door neighbor) and invites her over. Her friend "G" is going through some really hard trials right now because she found out she had cancer a couple years ago. As "G" sat down, "J" explained to her that this is something she has wanted to talk to her about for a very long time. She sat there with tears in her eyes telling "G" how much she loved her and how she wants to share the thing that is the most precious to her, the gospel. We started the video over. At the end, both were in tears and he spirit was so strong. I admire "J" so much. A- for having so much faith to invite her friend over. B- for acting on the prompting of the spirit the second it told her to invite her friend. THAT takes courage. Wow. It was so so inspiring to me.

Elise got baptized! She is the Elders Ami


This week was hard. Every single RDV with our amis got canceled. I felt discouraged. I felt like giving up. Sometimes, we give so much effort. We expect our efforts to have a certain result. And when they don't, it takes a lot of faith to keep going. To keep trusting that one day, we will see the results of our efforts. I had one night where I just felt so low. Like I was in a hole. And as I prayed to my Heavenly Father that night, I felt like Christ was the only thing that could give me light. The only one who could lift me up out of that deep hole. I thought of Christ during my prayer and he just gave me this feeling of hope. The next morning, I woke up feeling at peace. It was Sunday. And I just felt this feeling of a fresh start. Like a clean slate. I felt pure joy taking the sacrament and just an overwhelming feeling of love from my savior.
I also learned that most often, Heavenly Father answers our prayers through other people. Soeur Fidalgo was an answer to my prayer. On Sunday she got up and bore her testimony about how much it helps her family to have the missionaries come over. She explained how every Friday night she has the missionaries come over and eat and share a spiritual thought. And how it is always exactly what she needs to hear. That just meant so much to me because it helped me see that we are affecting so many people's lives that I don't even know. It is a miracle to be the answer to someone else's prayer.

I love this month of November. I have been trying to be more grateful this month and I am just so much happier when I remember all my blessings. I love this video: https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2017-02-6300-principles-of-peace-gratitude-princeofpeace?lang=eng

Love Abby


Christine was baptised! She was our ami from Montpellier with Soeur Poissinnier.
Right after she was baptized, she requested to FaceTime in with all the old missionaries who taught her. 

Soeur Poissinnier from Montpellier was facetiming with us. 





RAIN

Drinking Hot chocolate in the cutest vintage café






Friends from Nice. Fileberton and Christinne!


Week 66 "No One is Ever Poor by Giving"


Another transfer down. And a new transfer begins! I will be staying in Geneva! I will be receiving Soeur Wilson. Soeur Goold trained Soeur Wilson last year so this will be crazy being comps with Soeur Goold's Bleue! I am currently just waiting at the gare right now for Soeur Wilson to get in. I don't know a ton about Soeur Wilson other than her
hair is so cute and curly. And she is a great person and missionary!

This week we saw our ami "K". It was sooooo cool. She has a cousin who is a member in Texas. We were able to skype he and his little boys into the lesson. She hadn't talked to her cousin in 10 years and we were able to get in contact with him and tell him his cousin was being taught by the missionaries. So it was so cool for her to see him and they talked in Spanish together. He testified about how the gospel has blessed his family. The little boys even told how they
know the Book of Mormon is true. It really was a testimony to me that the most important missionary work we will ever do is the work within our own family.



We also saw "F" after a lonnggg time this week. She says that since she met with us, she has had a better relationship with God, has been teaching her boys to pray, and even found a job! I  looking forward to seeing her again this week.


This week I had a monumental moment. I have a goal to be more selfless. It is sooooo completely human to be selfish. To not want to share. To think "it's mine." To think of what would be best for us first rather than best for others. It's natural. It's human. But I want to be better about it. So last night about 6 other missionaries stayed at our house. No one had eaten. And the food is so expensive here in Suisse. So me being human, didn't want everyone to eat our food. But then I remembered my goal. And I saw my peanut butter in the corner....peanut butter that you never find in Europe. 

I thought and then made a decision. I told everyone they could eat my peanut butter and any food in the house they wanted. Hahaha. I know this sounds silly. But for me it was a step just a little closer to becoming more Christlike. I shared my peanut butter!

I am inspired by my Dad. He is so giving and never stingy. I am trying to be more like him. He shared with me a quote that says, "No one ever became poor by giving." So I challenge you- whoever is reading this- to give something this week. Whether it is your time, listening to someone even when you are tired, playing with your little sister when
you don't want to, letting your mom borrow your favorite shirt, giving your best friend the bigger half when you split the dessert.... just give something! You will walk away feeling like you have more! I love this season of thanksgiving. Super hard to believe I only have 12 more weeks of the mission. I'm just going to let the end sneak up on me.

Love,

Abby

Halloween

 

Winter is coming in Geneva



Week 65 "The Little Things"

Bonjour!

     This week we had Zone Conference. Soeur del Mundo and I presented and the subject we chose was "joy." A lot of missionaries forget that they are supposed to have joy. And there are a lot of young missionaries in our zone so we felt like we needed to remind everyone. Literally all the sisters were in tears as we presented because they are sometimes so hard on themselves. They compare themselves. Missions are hard. But there are so many reasons to have joy. Not just seeing people come unto Christ. But the pain aux chocolates, the flowers, being with other missionaries, eating raclette!

      I loved my interview with President Brown. I asked him what advice he would give me for these last 2 transfers. He sat there for a while thinking. Then he looked and me and said, "Let it sneak up on you." As in, let the end sneak up on you. Because you are so in the present, you don't even see the end coming. Then he said, "Savor every day. The desserts. When you walk down the street... soak in all the flowers around you. The members who are filled with the Holy Ghost. Every time you get to speak in French. Go outside, and seize the day. Every day."
       

       I loved this advice. President Brown and I are really similar in that aspect. We love and admire and appreciate all the little beautiful things in life. Sister Brown said sometimes the president will sometimes just stare at the sky and say, wow, isn't the sky just so beautiful. Haha. Just like me! So it is really nice having a mission President and his wife that I really relate to.

        This week we were able to see "K" twice! What a blessing. She is so sincere with her questions and is just so sweet. She had been reading in the Book of Mormon but hasn't come to church yet.  I'm really praying she comes to church this week. "L" also wanted to see us again. Even though we passed her to the English elders. We went and got hot chocolate. She is doing so well and has read a ton in the Book of Mormon. Her baptismal date is set for the 2nd of December. Can you believe it? We only met her on the train a month ago. And now she will be baptized. Even though the English Elders get to teach her, I am just happy that I got to be some part of the process for her. Whatever part God needs me to do, I'll do it.

        For pday this week, we went to a Chinese restaurant and then to the parc with the other sisters and elders. One reason I love the mission, is any free time we have, we just really make the most of it.

 We were hitting pine cones with a stick and just throwing around a soccer ball at the park and it was so fun. I am content with where I am in the mission right now, and in life.  I know the future will come before I know it. So I am content where I am.

      This week I had a pretty... annoying hard... moment. I have been praying to have more charity and practice charity this week. So I was on the train. And I told God, okay... I'm going to talk to whoever you need me to talk to right now. I'm going to just open my mouth and do it. So I sat across from this lady. I told her I liked her scarf and she said very loudly back, " J'AI PAS ENVIE DE PARLER AVEC VOUS." (I do not want to talk to you.)   
 I just told her that, oh sorry, I just like your scarf. And then I sat there just silent for a few minutes praying asking for charity. Then I turned to her again and I said, are you from Suisse? And she just started yelling at me. That she didn't want to talk to me. It was the my stop for the train so I said have a good day and I left. I felt so heavy and down after. But I felt Heavenly Father telling me, you did everything I asked you to do. It doesn't matter what her response was. So I prayed for that woman. To feel loved in her life. Love from others and love from God. I learned from this experience that God gives us what we need to grow. He gave me a chance to try and love someone even when it was hard.

Raclette at Fidagol's home. Rosie's daughter trying on my hair




 I hope you have a great week and spooky Halloween!!!! 👻
 I LOVE you!



 LOVE Abby

 

This was my mission announcement photo! "The Change" LOLOLOLOLO

The Wooley's came to visit some family in Switzerland. 
They are my neighbors from SLC

"CHRISTMAS CARD"



We finally found breakfast food. They don't serve scrambled eggs in France. It's usually hard boiled and not always for breakfast.

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