Week 56 "When you have a bad day... you buy yourself flowers"

Missionary Leadership Conference....these are all the people that came into the mission with me!

Saturday I was so tired. It was muggy hot. We finally were able to get outside and then waited for our bus for 30 minutes and Soeur Cusick lay down behind the bus stop and we almost fell asleep. And then we went to our next RDV, but the person had forgotten we had a RDV so we left. Went to our RDV with "S". We taught her about how much God loved her. It was a good lesson I thought. Then at the end, she dropped us. Told us it is complicated with her boyfriend right now as he is skeptical with religion. 
 Then we were waiting for our bus. And Soeur Cusick looks at me and says, okay we are going out to eat and I'm paying for you. So I said, what a perfect way to end the worst day ever. And we literally started laughing. Because it was almost funny with how hard the day was that we just had to laugh. We walked past a flower shop and Soeur Cusick and I both look at each other and are like, why not. So we go inside and she buys herself a potted cactus and I bought myself a bouquet of flowers.  Then we ate pizza by the Soane river. 
We got facebook finally! This will be an amazing tool to use as missionaries. We can now easily connect with our amis daily. We can also do video/ skype lessons. We can share videos and posts and spread the light of the gospel with thousands of people at the same time. It was also crazy though logging back onto my old facebook and seeing my old life and it was just a whirlwind of mixing my two worlds. We still do normal missionary work like before, this facebook is just a tool to help us with the work. Find amis, keep in contact with amis, share the gospel! 
I had an exchange with Soeur Driggs. She is so cute and so helpful and always ask me questions. I love that about her. She is really positive too. 
This week I am going to focus on three things. Following the holy ghost, attitude and effort. There are a lot of things I cannot control. But I know I can control my attitude and effort. That is something you taught me, Dad. 
It has never been more clear to me, than on my mission, that the center of God's plan of happiness is the family. The gospel doesn't make families perfect. It heals families. It builds families. I am so grateful that I know I will raise a family centered in the gospel. I don't know what challenges that will come to my future family. But I know that God has promised to everyone who stays faithful, that they can have an eternal family. The Browns son came and visited with his wife and 3 kids this last week. There are so many good examples to me out here and back home of couples and families that work at their marriage and family to be happy. The family is the greatest source of joy. Marriage is of God. Creating families is of God. The family is of God. I love my familyyyyy!!!!!!! Jason, Mimi, Jamison, Haylie, Eliza, and Madeline!!!!!! Best family ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Giant gummy bear as our mascot for district meeting


Week 55 "Knocking on Doors and Laughing"

Video of Soeur Cusick and I in Lyon on Pday: you can only view this on the blog abbyinlyon.blogspot.com 

Soeur Cusick, Soeur Jones, Souer Driggs, Soeur Glazier

Another week as a France Lyon missionary has come and gone. 
Here are 10 things I love about being a missionary......
ready... go!
1. Being able to have time to study and soak in the scriptures
2. Watching people's life change little by little from the gospel
3. Talking with tons of other missionaries at zone conferences and district meeting

video clip viewing available on blog

4. Having an excuse to testify and talk of Christ, wherever I go, whatever I do
5. French cheese-  there are so many different kinds!
6. Meeting new people and finding out how similar I am to people I never would have guessed

7. I have never slept better in my life. After I finish saying my
prayers at the end of the night, I literally just plop/ roll over onto the bed. Half my body still hanging off the bed.. because I am too tired to move the other half. Then I fall asleep.

8. Serving. I forget so many of my personal problems because I have opportunities to serve every day.
9. Singing our mission hymn (les anges dans nos compagnes... angles we have heard on high) at every mission conference
10. Watching people experience the cleansing power of the atonement of Jesus Christ

There are a lot of hard parts about being a missionary, and usually, people only hear about the highlights of the work. But I find I am a lot happier when I try to see the positive. So "viola."

This week we had the new baby bleues stay over at our apartment. They were all very jet lagged, greasy haired, and tired from the long travel to France. It makes me feel old in the mission when new missionaries come in who don't even know their first companion yet. The next day we helped with the bleus conference. We made a salad and set up some fruit. We watched the bleus get their trainers and it was
so awesome. The trainers were just fired up to find out who they were going to train. And the bleus so nervous, some crying (happy tears), as they found out where their first assigned city would be.

Baby bleues staying at our house for their first night in France

We ported (knock on) some doors this week. I love Soeur Cusick as my companion because she always makes kind of blaaa experiences really funny.
Before every door we knocked on she would start singing some weird song or say, "hello mommmm" just before the person answered the door.
Normally when you port houses it is like, oh boy, here we go. But with Soeur Cusick, I was just laughing so hard that when they opened the door we were both just smiling so big trying not to laugh. If you ever need a big dose of humility, go knock on some random doors in France and tell them you have a message about the restored gospel. It felt really good to get rejected and be able to just walk away loving those people still.

View of Lyon from Fourvière

Sadly, we were not able to have a lesson with "S" this week because she (along with many others) are still on vacation. But we are having a lesson with her at Amandine's tonight.  We found out "S" lives in not in our sector. So we will actually be trying to pass her to the missionaries she lives closer to. But, that is okay. I am just so happy she has been introduced to the gospel.

I love you 💕 Have a great week this week. You are all starting school. Have fun getting in that fall season, putting on your sweatshirts, going to Friday night football games, eating molasses cookies, and watching the leaves change colors!

Love Abby

I received a package from my family!!! lucky charms and costco uncooked tortillas, letters etc.. 

Week 54 "Staying with Soeur Cusick"

Transfer news update: I am staying in Ecully a 3rd transfer and staying with Soeur Cusick! I am really happy. We get along so well and she is just one of my best friends. 
So turns out everyone in France decides to take a 2 week vacation in August. Which means almost all the members are out of town and all our amis. Sighhh. 
Do you remember when I told you about that girl named "S" who we met in the ice cream shop? Who is friends with Amandine, the recent convert? Okay well we saw her again this week and taught her in her cafe. She doesn't have a huge religious background but I know she feels the spirit when we teach her. And she wants it. We invited her to be baptized and she said yes. It was a really cool experience of faith for me. When we first just said, "Hello. Oh this is a cool cafe. Do you own it?" A few weeks ago, I would have never imagined that fast forward a couple weeks and we are inviting her to be baptized, in that same cafe! Sometimes the spirit will prompt us to do things and we don't know why. We can't see into the future. So we trust. We trust the holy ghost will lead us. We trust that Heavenly Father knows what he is doing. 
You know when you just have a hard day? Or something someone says to you just makes you feel stressed? Okay well that happened to me. Before my mission I thought, "why does everyone get all stressed out on their mission? I am not going to be that person. I am just going to choose not to be stressed." But then real life hits you and it gets hard. We happened to be right by the President's house yesterday when I was feeling down. So I called Soeur Brown and she told us to come in. She was just by herself cooking. She gave me a hug and we all talked and laughed and cried. Oh we also drank diet coke in lounge chairs out by her pool. Literally biggest tender mercy in the exact moment I needed it. I sat there thinking, Heavenly Father REALLY knows me. He knows exactly what I need. He knows what makes me stressed and sad and he knows how to help me. He gave me Soeur Brown on this mission so that I would be able to do it. Ahhhhhhhh I love Soeur Brown. 
I have a testimony that God created us to be different. Think of this beautiful world he created. Is any tree or flower the exact same? No. We need diversity. We cannot all be the same. "Comparison is the thief of joy." The minute we start comparing our personality or our weaknesses to someone's strengths, we are unhappy. I believe we can be inspired by other people. They can motivate us to become better. But God gave each one of us different talents and strengths.
 The times I have been happiest out here on the mission, is when I am not comparing myself and I'm just being myself and trying to do MY best. I also have a testimony that Heavenly Father wants us to be happy, and Satan wants us to be sad. The spirit brings peace, encouragement, and correction. While Satan brings fear, discouragement, and comparison. 
Soane River

Jacob 2:8 says "And it supposeth me that they have come up hither to hear the pleasing word of God, yea, the word which healeth the wounded soul." I know that the scriptures and prayer are things that will heal us daily. We can't expect to go to church on Sunday and then feel good the whole rest of the week. We need to do the daily things. We NEED to do the daily things. As in our spirits need it to be healed. To be healed from all the things the world and Satan attack us with. I always feel better after I read the scriptures.
This mission is hard. But I am changing. I am growing. And I know it is where I am supposed to be. 

Love Abby
Soeur Obretch sent this to me! My Grandma Nancy and Grandpa Max serving their mission in the Geneva Switzerland (2009)

Passport photo before the mission ....and right now. The mission makes you REALLY tired!!

Soeru Cusick with my hair
Me with Soeur Cusick's hair:)


Week 53 "Preaching the Gospel in Ice Cream Shops"

This week Soeur Cusick and I had an opportunity to present at Ecully Zone Conference. We wore MATCHING outfits!  Hahah. We are crazy. We presented about online proselyting because we will be using facebook soon. We talked about how habits we learn now as missionaries with sharing the gospel on social media will bless us for the rest of our lives. It went better than I thought.

This week was better than last week. I think I am just coming to accept the fact that I am always tired as a missionary. I also received a blessing from the assistants which I was so grateful for. I love the priesthood. I never want to live without the priesthood in my life. I felt a lot of strength and peace after the blessing. Just like, okay, you know what? It is going to be okay. You are doing just fine. Keep going.

Timéo was baptized on Saturday! (Amandine son. The girl who got baptized a month ago.) He was SO excited for the baptism. For the interview earlier that week, I saw him across the street just looking so swag. With his fedora and cool glasses. I loved watching how happy Amandine looked at the baptism. As we sat there, I looked at Timéo. I saw so much potential in this cute boy. I saw him receiving the priesthood, preparing for a mission, and getting married in the temple
one day. What an amazing journey he has begun. It was very sweet watching Timéo walk into the baptismal font. He tiptoed in and said, "ahhh, it is really hot in here!" He was so hesitant about coming in the water. He felt nervous. But what a sweet experience watching him get baptized.

The other week, a member took us to a cafe to get ice cream. There wasn't anyone in the cafe except for us and the woman working there. I felt like I should talk to her so I  asked her if she owned the restaurant. She said yes. We talked a little bit longer. Then left. Nothing too crazy. But a couple weeks later, Amandine said, "Hey I have to show you something!" She had posted this picture of us on her facebook from Lucie's baptism. And her friend commented on the photo and said, "Hey! I know those girls! They came into my ice cream shop the other day! They are so cute." So we decided to go get ice cream again at her shop and visit her with Amandine since they were friends.
We ended up sharing a spiritual thought with her there at the ice cream shop. Then this last week we had another lesson with her in the ice cream shop! Amandine invited her to come to Timéo's confirmation yesterday at church. And SHE CAME! It was a testimony to me that by small and simple things, big things happen. By just saying hello to her at the ice cream shop, she recognized us on facebook, then we taught her, and then she came to church. Big miracle.

Today was President's pday. We spent time at the mission home with the President and Sister Brown. It was super fun and super wet. President also taught me how to play volleyball better so that is awesome. Ahhhhhh I love my mission friends. I hope I hang out with them forever. I love American bbq food. I love water fights. I love Soeur Brown



One year. Celebrated with an ice cream and PostIt note

Soeur Kelly

Exchange with Soeur Brooksby

Soeur Houkin made a Tahitian flower crown

Me and my comp, Sour Cusick


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