Souer Jones' celebrating her 20th Birthday in Sete, France!!

First of all, we are going to Sete today with the other missionary elders because this is my birthday week!
 Also, tomorrow for my birthday we are going to Palavas with
Soeur Poissionnier and our amis Christine!! She is taking me out to eat again and says she has a "suprise." Isn't that soo nice of her? It will be an awesome birthday full of lots of rdvs with amis and members.

Yesterday at church, I had one of the best moments for me on my mission. After stake conference, Soeur Poissionnier and Christine were talking with me. And they kept talking about how excited they were to celebrate my birthday with me. And then at the same time, they each kissed a side of my cheek for literally 10 seconds. I was just squished in the middle of them as they hugged and kissed me. I was literally enveloped by LOVE. Such a sweet little moment.

This week was a rollercoaster. I had moments during the morning and afternoon where I just down and unmotivated. I started comparing my mission to the other missions in the world. Sometimes I am like OH MY GOODNESS, FRANCE IS SO HARD. We talked with a member who served in
Arizona and she was saying how she had 10 lessons a day and couldn't stay too long for RDV's because everyone wanted to see them and they were too busy all the time. She said how they would always have meals paid for when they went out to restaurants because they were missionaries. It basically sounded like she was famous as a missionary. HA!! And I was like.... euhhhhhhh. I may have to say our mission is a little different. But you know what? This is the mission
Abby Jones was called to and I love it. I love France.

After some down moments this week, I had soooo many happy moments. We had a RDV with a recent convert, Laura. She is from China and I just loveeee her. She has the best Asian/ French accent. She made us a quiche. Little cutie. Then we had a RDV with the Elder's ami, Brenda
(from Africa). The spirit was so strong in the lesson. That was a blessing to me to feel the spirit so strong. She bore such a simple, pure, genuine testimony. We talked about prayer and watched the prayer video from the "Prince of Peace." She said, "I love God. He is the only person I have in my life right now. He is so faithful to me. God is love." Then on the bus ride home, we were with all 6 missionaries. There was this energy and light on the bus. A guy from New York started talking to us. Then some French man joined in trying English.
The gospel was being shared with whole bus and I just felt this excitement. This gospel and Jesus Christ bring REAL joy. I love being with other missionaries because I can see and feel the light of the gospel. Let's all try to be better examples of having joy in the gospel. Show others that the gospel really is joy!

Finding genealogy names with Soeur Carrado! Prepared for the Paris Temple.

Yesterday was such a miracle. I was feeling unmotivated to go out and go talk to people and do missionary work. I felt like angles were just pushing me along saying, keep going Abby! We are holding you up! 

Genney, Daniel. We are with them with the family Charles.

week ago we received a referral for a girl named "P". She is from Spain but is here in France for 2 months. We tried calling her but the number never worked. So we decided, okay, we will just try and pass by her house and see if we can find her. The problem was, we had no last name, no house number. Only her first name, street name, and telephone number. We said a prayer when we got to her street and decided we would try over 100 buttons on the building to find her. We were so determined and my faith was unshaken. We started sonning all the buildings asking, "Is there a "P" who lives here?" The answers were "no. no. no."  After sonning a few, we decided to call her ONE
more time. And guess what? She picked up the phone! We were all, "uhhh hola?" We explained to her that we were actually outside of her building. She said she was home and that we could come in. We got to know her a little bit and she asked us where the church is. She explained how the missionaries are teaching her family right now in Spain and how she also wants to learn more. Maybe moments like this
are normal for other missions, but for us we were literally in a
dream. We fixed another RDV with her for tomorrow (April 25th). It was such a miracle for us. And now we have a new ami from Spain. I know that when we show God we have complete trust and faith in him, he fills our life with miracles!

Service project in Relief Society. Joshua helping me tape boxes and the other children doing my hair. They made a dreadlock and I ripped out a good portion of my hair.

Funny moments:
-After our RDV with Noemi, a member in the ward, Soeur Bonnamy and I were walking down the stairs and I slipped all the way down. Soeur Bonnamy and I were laughing so hard we could not breath. As I just lay there at the bottom of the stairs like a dead potato. (It reminded me of when Hez and I were at the Moa last year at BYU and I tripped over the chairs and Hez just laughed and laughed at me on the ground:)
- I had to go to the bathroom so bad yesterday and Soeur Bonnamy and I were sprinted/ wobbling home. Hahahah.
- Soeur Bonnamy and I had 3 mattresses in the apartment we were going to throw away. So we decided to put them on the balcony. And now we have this sweet chill out couch thing on the balcony that we eat on every night.

Soeur Bonnamy and I laugh so much. I love her. She is such a genuine, fun, real person. I feel so blessed to have her as my companion.

Love, Abby (last day being 19.... weird)

Elder from Torcy who Jamison knows.

Erica and Jade

Family Brunet!! Ate tacos chez eux this week

Sharing a video about the atonement with Russell, a member and her kids

Cute Ali Critchfield made my week! She sent me the sweetest letter!


Week 36 Joyeux Pâques! Happy Easter!

Joyeux Pâques! Happy Easter!

Some things from this week:
-This week I was sick with a fever so I slept a lot. But now I am better so ça va.
-Yesterday we (us 6 missionaries) sang "He Sent His Son" in Sacrament meeting for Easter. It was cute.

 I always have looked up to missionaries since I was young. I thought the Elders were so old and handsome when I was young. And now I am here as a missionary and I see the REAL side of Elders. Hahahah. No I'm kidding the Elders here are awesome. But we are definitely 19 year olds still and like to laugh and have fun... and work hard and be good missionaries too:) 
I just keep thinking, what! These missionaries are so young. I AM SO YOUNG. But indeed, we are missionaries.

We had our RDV with "S" this week. She was the one who was with two of her friends and they stopped us last week because they saw our missionary plaque. "S" is super super believing. When we walked into her apartment there were quotes from the Bible that she had hanging up everywhere. She is 22 and is originally from Africa.

Her sister and best friend were also there for the lesson. She has a lot of questions which is good but also requires REALLY following the holy ghost. And not going too fast in the lessons. But just teaching a little piece at a time. So after the RDV, the craziest thing happened. "S" and her best friend wanted to walk me and my companion home.
But we told them that we were going to contact people for a little bit on the street before going home. Then "S" says, OH I would love to talk to people about God with you too! Her friend looked at "S" like, "what, you are crazy!" Her friend pulled out her cigarette and started smoking. And "S" says, "You can't start smoking right as we are about to go contact people." So her friend hid behind a car as we kept walking. "S" really wants to go on a mission and teach people
about God so she really wanted to try contacting people with us. We were not going to say no, so for 10 minutes she walked around with us. It was so hilarious because she would see someone on the road and yell at them across the street, "Heyy! Excuse me! Do you have a second to
talk about God? These are missionaries here!!!" I was seriously about to laugh it was just kind of the most bizarre experience ever. But so cool at the same time! I hope that "S" is ready to hear our message and accept the restored gospel because she will seriously be such a killer missionary one day! CRAZY miracles happening!!

We did some service for Soeur Bouoli this week by helping her make food for a party she was helping with. Service as a missionary is so much fun. We also ate lunch with her at the chapel. I love how much time and detail French people put into their food. The difference between American cooking and French cooking is the TIME that French people put in. Oh I love France! The other day on the tram, I saw two
men with French bérets and I was like WELL I AM IN FRANCE.

I have been thinking recently how important it is to be patient with ourselves as we stumble and learn through this life. Some days, I am like, "yes! I am finally getting it. I am improving. I am learning. I am doing awesome!" And then other days, I feel frustrated with myself. I have weaknesses. I feel like I am just having a BLAH day. But every day is part of the process. It is normal to mess up and not be
perfect. We won't be perfect in this life. But as we just keep trying, even on the BLAH days, things will work out. Things will be okay.

Last night I read the Book of Mormon before going to bed. Not for my studies. Just to feel happy. And as I sat there reading, I was filled with the peace of the holy ghost. And as I lay in bed waiting to fall asleep, I just felt so much joy. I thought, "what is this feeling? I literally feel so much JOY. And I can't even tell you why but I just feel pure joy." I love reading the Book of Mormon because it talks about eternal truths. Things that really matter. Things that will not
just end after this life but eternal things! I love the Book of
Mormon. I am so grateful for our living Prophet Thomas S Monson, who reminded me of how important it is to read. The Book of Mormon is pure. When I read it, I am filled with joy and peace.

Love Abby

Soeur Poissionnier when she was young

Hike, picnic and ice cream with the Boualis. So beautiful and felt so good to wear my chacos and be in my element


Week 35 "I'm Staying in Montpellier"

Bonjour! So transfer calls happened. I will be staying in Montpellier for another transfer (this will be my 3rd here). Soeur Bonnamy and I will stay together. Soeur Thompson left this morning for Neuchâtel (in Switzerland). I am happy about staying here. I feel like there is more I want to do and I want to become even closer with the members so this is a great opportunity. 
I will not lie, the beginning of Montpellier was rough. My companion and I were super different and learning to work together took a lot of effort on both our parts. But something I have come to better understand- is there is always something you can do better on your part. It is never 100% the other person's fault. I have grown so much these past few months. I have become less reactive when something bugs me. I have learned to let things go that don't matter. I have learned to be more open-minded and try and see where someone is coming from before assuming I am right. I am more patient. I like zucchini more. I have learned that we all express our emotions in different ways. I have learned to be confident with my personality but to let the Lord change my weaknesses. And I have learned that charity always works. No, I am not perfect at any of these things. But I have become a lot better at them. Because I was pushed out of my comfort zone and the Lord loves me enough to give me experiences that will make me grow. 
This week I had very contrasting experiences with wearing our missionary name tag. Our name tag says the name of our church on it. But in big letters that are clear to see, Jesus Christ is written. It always catches people's attention to see someone wearing a name tag with Jesus Christ written in the center. It isn't every day that you see 19 year old girls and boys proudly wearing Christ's name on their clothing. This week, two girls from England were sitting next to me on the tram and I heard them loudly mouthing to each other in English to look at my name tag. I am assuming they thought I didn't speak English. But I did. 
Later this week, a drunk man yelled super loud and ran up to Soeur Thompson and ripped her name tag off her shirt. I yanked it away from his hand. Ha. But THEN.... yesterday when we were walking home, a group of 3 girls stopped us saying, "TJ's?" (Témoigne Jehovah, Jehovah's witnesses). And we almost ignored them but said, "nope, Mormons." They told us how cool it is to see people that wear Christ's name. They told us how much they admired us for being missionaries and preaching about Christ. One of the girls ended up giving us her number and told us she would like to talk more with us. So pretty contrasting experiences. But I know that it is always better to be respected than to be popular. That is something my dad taught me when I was high school and I am practicing the same principle 2 years later. I love wearing Christ's name on my chest. It feels so right to stand for Christ rather than follow the world. 
Visit with the family Roman last night. We played a game with these little girls, Emma and Joanna. It was kind of like duck duck goose with the princess shoe.

Have you seen the new Prince of Peace video the church released for Easter? It is magical. We have been using it in all our lessons. I love the peace Jesus Christ gives us. I know we don't have to wait until after this life to have peace. We can have peace today. Despite how hectic, busy, hard, or depressing our lives may currently feel. We can have peace DURING these trials. I feel a lot of peace when I say sincere prayers and read the scriptures. I know that Jesus Christ can give us peace of mind. I have had things in my life before that I just couldn't quite get peace of mind for. We sometimes try to distract ourselves and avoid repentance because it seems hard and means we will have to change some things and be honest and vulnerable. But I know that when we are honest and let Jesus Christ help us, he fills our live with peace of mind. When we let Jesus Christ in, he fills us with love, help, encouragement, hope, and peace. I know this because I feel this peace in MY life. 
Yesterday in sacrament meeting, our ami "C" gave her testimony. She spoke from her heart. Although she wasn't able to get baptized this transfer, I have seen the miracles faith can work. The biggest miracle to me is how much her testimony has grown this transfer. She is courageous and full of faith. After much prayer and fasting,  it was so rewarding to see her up on the stand bearing her testimony that she knows she has done her best and trusts the Lord will help her get baptized soon. 
Who is getting STOKED about the Paris temple opening this month?!? I AM!!! The members here are practicing a lot for the temple spectacular. Oh I can't wait. These people here in France have been waiting so long for a temple. And it is finally here. I wish I could go to Paris to be there. But I will have to wait until after my mission. I love the temple. I miss it. I love the peace and clarity I feel there. I can't wait to go back with my FAMILY prettttyy soon. :) 

Gros bisous
Soeur Poissonier brought me home this pin from the ward temple trip to Swiss. 
Oh, I love her!
Family Wong from Chile
Morgan and her mom, Sour Orsoni. Morgan served her mission in the SLC temple square mission.
Gros bisous

Dèjuner chez family Wong

Week 34 "Zone Conference in Toulouse"

This week we had zone conference in Toulouse. Every French town is different, and beautiful in its own way. That is something I love about France. It was so fun to see other missionaries at conference and to talk with President and Sister Brown. I LOVEEEE SOEURR BROWWNNN. She is so flipping funny. She loves diet coke so of course the missionaries bought her diet coke... 18 to be exact. When they brought her all the diet coke she said, well I didn't need THIS much but accepted it gladly. 

We also had an EASTER EGG HUNT at conference (led by Soeur Brown). While waiting for interviews, me and a bunch of other missionaries sat and talked with Soeur Brown. Soeur Houkin, from Tahiti, decided to tell us a story in English so she could practice speaking in English. Soeur Houkin is hilarious and so crazy. She went on to tell Sister Brown how she visited California when she was 17 and went to a club with her aunt. We DIED laughing. Just the fact that she told the story to the wife of our mission president is hilarious. Oh how I love to laugh. Especially with Soeur Brown.

We talked about hope in conference. Hope is something the world is lacking in. But I realized if I want to help other people have hope, I have to emulate hope myself. I also loved my interview with President Brown. He gives every single interview ALL his energy, ALL his attention, and ALL his love. He is inspired. I realized during my interview with him, that even though I haven't had any baptisms on the
mission, I have had an impact on many lives. And much of the success of my mission, I will not see until later down the road. But I trust God. I know that I am where I am supposed to be in life. I know that I am having a happy, successful mission. Even if it isn't in the way I thought I would have success as a missionary. I know I have had a happy successful mission, because I am becoming what the Lord wants me to become. I am serving his children. 

Soeur Zamori....every time she gives us apple juice and Madeleines. 
She is waving goodbye to us over her ivy hedge. "Au Revoir mon petit chou chou" 

Before the mission I thought that success was only about helping investigators progress and come and be baptized. But now I know that success is so much more than that. Maybe I needed to come on a mission to be a good example to a younger girl back home who is struggling with their testimony. Or maybe I needed to come because there is a lonely member who needs to be visited here in Montpellier. Whatever it is. I know I came because I felt I needed to come on a mission. Because I love the gospel. I love sharing it. With non members AND members. I loved what Elder Holland said in conference about one type of service is not above another. Service is service!

On that note. I loved General Conference. I received personal revelation. We can all receive personal revelation if we listen to what the Holy Ghost is trying to tell us. Conference uplifted and renewed me. I know that President Thomas S Monson is our Prophet on the earth today. I love this church. I love the gospel.

Veronique that I taught a couple lessons to in Nice, just got baptized last week. I love her!

Hey mama bear, Mimi Jones... HAPPY BIRTHDAY this week! (April 5th)!!!!
Mom, I love you so much. I am grateful for your example to me of someone who is positive, speaks kind words, looks for the best in people, is sensitive to the needs of others, and knows what is most important in life. I think back to all the times in my life that my mother has been so very dedicated and patient with me. My mom gets to see me at my very worst times and my very best times. I would not be
who I am today without my patient, angel mother. I love you mom, I hope you have the best birthday. Order an expensive meal and a giant diet coke to treat yourself. Oh and maybe get your nails done and a fabulous massage. I love you!

Love Abby

I bought "Ossau Iraty" at the store today! This is the cheese Mom and Jamison told me to try and I Loved it!!!

Being super french and eating baguette, saucisson, and fromage.


Watching general conference

Here is a letter that was sent to Abby from a member in Nice. I thought it was so sweet

Dear Sister Jones,
I hope you are enjoying and loving Montpellier. I am sure members are kind with you. I hope you are loving your companions even when sometimes is hard.I am sure you are doing a wonderful job.

So, we went visit Soeur Carbonne with Lilo last wednesday and she, of course, starter talking about you and about this letter you send her couple of weeks ago. She red me the whole letter and told me how much she misses you. My heart was touched when I saw by the end of the letter that you are sending us a "bonjour". Thank you for remembering our family. We miss you badly here. Things are not the same without you. We miss your visits and Lilo would love to play with you. She grows so fast.

But the first reason why I am writting is to thank you for the missionary you are, you truly undesrtand the essence of the gospel and of missionary work: LOVE. I realized that when Soeur Carbonne was telling me that you visited her once a week, and when she was describing me how you would hug her and hold her in your arms. She told me: " I am a member since 60 years and I have known and met tons of missionnaries, but I havent met such a missionary as Sister Jones, so full of love". Be sure that you have done the Lords will here in Nice, you loved and took care of someone  who feels lonely and oldy, at least for that, the Lord  must be proud, not counting how much you have helped me and I guess others members and amies too.
Thank you Sister Jones. Visiting her this wednesday was a blessing to my soul because she is such a treasure but also because I could see in her eyes all the love you have given her.

We miss you and love you and will be praying for you so that the Lord continues to bless you with strenght, courage and Love,

Enjoy general conference,


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