Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Pictures week 2.. Versailles

The Versailles Palace...

A member from the ward in Versailles send these pictures of Emily and some other missionaries. 


I have lived another week in France!!! Time is so weird here! I think it goes by so fast at times and then sooo slow at other times but I know it is just going to go faster and faster and I need to love and use every minute here!

So last Tuesday we had our fun part of the PDay and so we went to Versailles Palace! We went to the gardens where Marie Antoinette had little poor people villages made for her to play in. It was so pretty and the little cottages reminded me of Germany! It was full of rolling hills and sheep right in the middle of downtown Versailles!

On Wednesday we had zone conference and district meeting in Paris. It was cool to see some of the elders that I was in the mtc with! After the meetings my companion went back to Versailles with Souer Pymm and I stayed in Paris with Souer Hoover. We went street contacting and taught a lesson right next to Moulon Rouge. My family definitely didn't see that when we have been in Paris in the past and  i didn't think that i would see it this time either but oh well. The apartment in Paris is brand new and they didn't have a lot of time to get everything set up before move in so there was no hot water or heat. So the many years that my mom waited to turn on the heat really prepared me for the night. It wasn't that bad at all though. Morning with the shower was another story. We boiled water and put it in a trash can and put cold water in to make it a good temperature and then used a cup to pour water on our bodies. definitely the fastest shower that i have taken! it was  a fun time and i learned a lot. 
on our way back to meet up with our companions to switch back we were running to catch a metro and here the metros make an annoying sound when the doors are about to close. we were running to catch it and it sounded off but we didn't know how long it would stay open for so Soeur Hoover barely makes it in which means that i barely don't. she motioned something but i don't know what she said so i just sat at a bench and waited. i wasn't scared or anything UNTIL a man sat next to me. I am not that weird of a missionary that i cant handle a man sitting next to me but then he started talking to me! in our mission the sisters teach women and the elders teach men so he said something to me and i wasn't listening so i was just like i don't understand and then he asked if i spoke Spanish and i was like no Ingl├ęs and he asked my name and i was nervous and i said Emily instead of sister johns and then he leaned in and asked me for a kiss and I was like noooo!!!! then he left and i was really happy when i saw Soeur Hoover and i now have a really strong testimony of why we are sent in two and not by ourselves!!! 

the rest of the week went really well. We taught some lessons and i got to know some members better. OSaturday we helped an american mother write her talk for mothers day which is the 26th of May here. it was fun and she fed us! my companion was never fed by members before so it is a big deal to be fed! her talk was great but the other speakers in sacrament went forever and so she didn't get to speak so that was a big bummer.

then last night we spent the evening with a Swiss/American SUPER awesome family for mothers day. it was a lot of fun! 

It has been a great week and the next week will be even greater! We are off to explore the Louvre and I am excited to appreciate it this time because last time i hated museums! 

i love you all and want to hear from you all in email or letters!!! Being a missionary is awesome!!!

Love Soeur Emily Johns

Monday, May 20, 2013

Pictures.... Week 1 Versailles

She hasn't taken many pictures while in Paris but here are the ones she has taken....

These are the meals that she had on her flight to Paris.
first and second course were shrimp and soup

Third course was salad

Fourth and fifth were pasta and dessert

Breakfast on the plane

Emily and her companion in first class
Four generation mission picture! The sister on the far right
trained the sister next to her and so on. It is unusual to be
serving with great grandmas but they are awesome and
influence how she is as a missionary

Baptism! Soeur Melville, Isabelle, and Emily!


Bonjour tout le monde!!!! I am alive!!!! I am also on a French keyboard and haven’t mastered it at all so this is going to take me a while and hopefully my wonderful sister Michelle fixes the typos! 

I don’t even know where to start. beginning??? okay!

So last Monday the 40 of us headed to Paris left the mtc!!! Soo crazy that I will never be back there as a missionary. It was a splendid 6 WEEKS! SO WE GET ON THIS BIG TOUR BUS THING AND I JUST NOTICED THIS IS CAPS... okay so we throw like 120 pieces of luggage into a truck and head to the frontrunner in Provo. We take that to slc where we get to the trax then airport. Thank goodness security took like no time and I was hauling it to a pay phone. My comps family sent her a cell so we only needed to find one payphone for me to call home. Then... this flight worker lady who is my comps neighbor gives me her iPhone to use no standing at a payphone for hours for me!!! So I called both my parents and all my sisters! sooooo incredible to talk to them. As we were on the phone the same lady comes up to us and gives my comp a first class ticket and I was like ooh awesome for her and then she gives me one!!!!! yahoooooo!!!! Such a blessed life. So the direct flight from slc to Paris which was going to be the worst flight of my life turned into the best! The other missionaries were not happy with us but oh well. We were reeeeeally taken care of. amaaaaazing food and oh just so nice. The people around us were all Mormon so I didn’t really get to practice teaching but I got practice soon enough; on the plane we were next to the owner/founder of xango and he is super cool. He served in Paris too!!!

So we land and getting all 40 missionaries luggage and through customs took a while but then we found the assistants and met the most amazing mission presidents ever!! I really am so blessed.

In the past they give the new missionaries a book of Mormon and take them to Notre dame to contact people... instead this time we had to do it on the metro.... IN FRENCH!!! I did it though!
Then we had orientation and stuff so that was cool. With sooo many missionaries we couldn’t stay in the mission home so we were put in a hotel near it and that was nice. Wednesday the sisters were all interviewed and then we were off to find out where we would be serving and with whom! All the new missionaries were on one side and the trainers were on the other. Btw the church in Paris is at St. Merri which is the second most expensive church property and it is beautiful!

I am in Versailles!!!! With Maggie Melville!! We met a few months ago when the Paris group had crepes so it is cool to be with her! She has only been here for 10 weeks and is training! Her French is beautiful and she is so patient with me and just amazing!!

We left Paris and got to Versailles and on the train we talked with a girl around our age. She is studying art and she does art for books and we thought it was like children books like animation and so we asked to see it... NOT FOR CHILDREN!!! It was naked women hahaha and we just kept flipping trying to find the children section but it never came. Great first contacting experience!  Then off to lessons we went! I love Versailles! It is so pretty and the people are so nice. The following days were filled with lessons and contacting and just being a missionary!
For people that say Europe is dead and especially France.... wrong!!! People are ready and are looking for the gospel! We are busy and I love it!

So my comp and her old comp worked hard so that my first Sunday there would be a baptism!!! So that is what happened yesterday!

Isabelle is French and in her 40's and just the greatest. I was able to meet with her a few times but she was soo ready long before I got here but it was a great way to start the mission! Yesterday she was baptized and it was beautiful!!!!

The ward here is amazing!!! The mission president is in our ward so it is fun seeing his family on Sunday! Also the APs and office elders are in our ward so the 6 OF US MAKE UP OUR DISTRICT; CRAP CAPS AGAIN! I am definitely surrounded by amazing people! The ward is really diverse. Look on Mormon channel and watch the languages of love video... they are in this ward. Most people in the ward speak a few languages and there are even Americans!
Yesterday we taught the young women and it reminded me of my two younger sisters! It was a good lesson. Then there is a Sunday school class just for investigators and recent converts and that was great!! Sacrament meeting.... I was asked to bare my testimony.... I am humbled to say the least! I kept it short and sweet so hopefully people knew what I was trying to say!
My pday is Monday but France has a lot of holidays where things just shut down so we moved our pday to tomorrow except for email. So tomorrow we will grocery shop and go to Versailles gardens!

I am eating!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t know how I survived college without cooking! I am blessed that my comp takes such good care of me! I help her but she is the expert and everything is yummy. And soo fresh and just great! I like to wash dishes to make up for my bad skills!
The apartment is so wonderful! It is in a really nice complex and pretty spacious! I feel so French being here but then I talk and that feeling leaves!

So for those that know about when I was set apart and how emphasized being humble was... it is happening!!! I am soooooo American! In the mtc I was where I should be I thought and kept being told it will come and I have faith and trust in the LORD! But I suck! I can understand a good amount but not always... for example the other day we were walking and this older man stopped us because he knew we were missionaries. I had no idea what he was saying so I just stood there smiling! He just looks at me and says something so I nod thinking it was a safe response... my companion then told him she doesn't think I understand but I kept smiling. After we left she told me that he was telling us how his wife just died and I was smiling so he asked if I thought it was funny and I nodded!!!!! I was so embarrassed and felt bad. So now I am just going to copy my comps facial expressions until I know what is going on.

Being a missionary is so amazing. If I thought being a missionary in the mtc was great, this is sooo much better. Real people just make things better, more pressure but better!

I have a huge favor to ask you all... PLEASE pray for me! I pray all the time to learn this language and to communicate but I need all the help I can get. If you could just keep that in your prayers and hearts that would be great! Patience has never been a quality of mine and so this is a hard thing to be forced to learn. People keep saying that the language will come and that I will be fine and understand/speak soon enough but I am so useless right now! I contribute more and more in each lesson but it isn't smooth and we practice what I will say. Practicing is good except for a lesson we had with Latitia....

So the missionaries contacted her on the street before I got here and invited her to church and left her a book of Mormon... she showed up to church before the first lesson. So on Thursday we taught her the first lesson. It went really well. She is just so excited about the gospel and it was great to see. We had practice me inviting her to be baptized. So in the lesson it was going solid and so I asked her to be baptized... she flat out said no. and I was like shoot! I just screwed up and totally read that wrong and felt horrible. Then my comp talks and I kind of tuned out but after the lesson my comp was saying how great it went and I was like no she said no! Turns out that I asked if she has been baptized not will she be baptized. My comp saved it and Latitia really wants to be baptized so that is good!!!

People here are so awesome! For people that say the French are rude, you’re wrong! People are so sweet. We say hello to everyone we see and everyone says hello back and just are happy that someone said hello. It really is the small things that can make peoples day! we said hello while walking past a lady on the train and that was normal but when we got off we heard her say sorry (in English) so we talked to her; turns out she is Scottish and is moving back there this Friday but she was telling us that she could just tell we were different when we said hello. The missionaries in Scotland have a good friend coming their way!

I love it here so much! I know I will love it even more when I can speak but this morning the office elders who are also the district leaders gave me a blessing that I will be able to learn the language and be the missionary the Lord and I want to be! I feel better but just want to be able to teach and share with people this joy I have! I loooove talking as you all know so to not be able to speak is pretty frustrating but even more humbling!

On Wednesday we have zone conference in Paris. Our zone is just Paris and Versailles and Cergy and I think only me and my comp and the sisters in Paris are the sisters in the zone. So after conference on Wednesday I am doing exchanges. Paris has been closed to sisters for a while but just this past week it got opened and so that is where the sister training leaders are and.... I am doing exchanges in Paris with one of the sisters there until Thursday afternoon. I am a bit nervous to be in Paris and not speaking very well but it will be cool to be in Paris as a missionary!

You can all write me!!! 7 promenade venezia 78000 Versailles!!!! you can put money on your dearelder account and write like an email and it will be sent to be in the mail or you can email me and I will check it each Monday OR you can do regular mail! I should be in Versailles past my birthday so packages can also be sent here for the next few months!

I love you all! I miss you but this is so worth it!

Love soeur Emily Johns!!!!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Pictures: Final Week at the MTC!

100% with the MTC! Now on to the field!

Emily and Nathan Peterson. Representing Bitburg, Germany!

Emily and Soeur Hunsaker after hosting!

Wall sits.... This is how their teacher keeps them focused!

On Wednesdays we WEAR pink! (meangirls)

With their teachers Soeur Wilson and Frere Sybrowsky
Emily's district at the Temple with their flag!
Most of the missionaries heading to Paris and Lyon today!
46 to Paris and 20 something to Lyon total!
Emily with Nathan Peterson again!
Emily and Sarah Schwab! From Kenewick, WA heading to Netherlands/Belgium mission.
They will share Brussels. 
Emily with her foreign friends. Elder Visconti from France who served in Paris waiting for his visa
but now will be in the Provo, UT mission. Elder Hernandez from Mexico and headed to Wisconsin!
Emily and Jordan Eberhand. They are from the same home stake. They got set apart on the same night.
He will be there for 3 more weeks then off to Japan!

The girls Emily had a slumber party with every night for the past 6 weeks!
The other two are going to Brazil but are re-assigned to NY NY South.
Sister Romney and Sister Sandburg!

 The rest are Emily and her companion selfies! Looks like they are having fun with their camera!


Bon Voyage

Greetings from the MTC!!! This is my LAST email that I will send from this glorious place. I cannot believe that 6 weeks have gone by and now I am off to Paris. In just a few hours I will leave the MTC and take the FrontRunner to the airport!!! it is getting so real. I remember that the weekish before I left for my mission I couldn't believe that I would be leaving and it just wasn't real and now i am here and have loved every minute. Now I am at the MTC and can't imagine not being here but I am so ready to be in France and serving, teaching and meeting so many amazing people! AHHHH!!!!

So the last week in the MTC is kind of weird. There is still a lot to learn but it gets harder because you know that you will learn way more and faster in France just by doing it so at times it was hard to stay motivated but I think I did it! I have heard so many times that the Lord blesses you in the MTC but He gives the best blessings at the end for those that keep working. I have already seen so many blessings in my life just from being on a mission for a little over a month. It was a good last week and I will leave with amazing memories from the empty sea!
For our last Tuesday Devotional we had a member from the 70 come. I don't have my notes with me so I can't think of his name but his first name is Eduardo and his wife is Norma. They are from Ecuador I think. His wife was incredible. She bore her testimony in 4 languages INCLUDING FRENCH!!!! She has such passion and faith and I just loved every minute of her speaking.

I hosted!!!! A few weeks ago our district signed up to host new missionaries but we were never asked to host. We were bummed because hosting looks so fun. FINALLY this past Wednesday we all got to host incoming missionaries. There were so many sister hosts that I only hosted one new sister but she was a doll. Hermana Hadley was her name and I hope she loves the MTC as much as I have! Her residence was a LOT nicer than mine so I know she should love that at least. It was so fun seeing 650 new missionaries be dropped off. It brought back the memory of when I was dropped off almost 6 weeks ago. I saw the parents who had just dropped their child off and were driving away, it was sad. They were so happy but sad at the same time. I am sure that is how my family looked. I know that for me at least I was SOOO excited but sad to not see my family for 18 months!
On Thursday we had in-field orientation with all the missionaries who are leaving these next few days. It was so great. For those of you who have seen the Missionary Documentary thingy THE DISTRICT should know who Elder Christensen is. He was in the District 2 and blond with a prominent nose. Anyway, he works here and was part of the orientation. In the movie him and his companion taught German about the Law of Chastity. It may have been the funniest part of the District ever! Elder Christensen was teaching about a man in the bible who had some issues with chastity. This is what he taught, "He broke the law of chastity. He uhhh uh broke it." It is so funny and awkward and his companion is just trying not to laugh. It may be on youtube so check it out. Anyway my district watches the clip every time we need laughter, A LOT! I think I have improved a bit on thinking before I speak but I guess not THAT much because when he was introducing himself I may have shouted "CHASTITY" and everyone just cracked up and Brother Christensen looks at me and says, "I will break you!" I really didn't mean to shout it that loud but I guess being on the front row helped my voice carry. It was funny and afterwards i talked with him. He said that usually he puts himself under the bus with that but was glad that I did it for him this time. He has a good sense of humor about it!

On Saturday we had our last classes at the MTC! We said goodbye to Soeur Emma Wilson who has been with us since our first day and to Brother Jared Sybrowsky who replaced Brother Larimer. It was sad. The teachers at the MTC love what they do so much and I know that they do it because they love the gospel, missionary work, missions and their missions. I have been so blessed to have had so many amazing teachers that have helped prepare me for France!

Yesterday was my last full day in the MTC! For Relief Society here they bring in amazing women who speak. Yesterday it was Janice Kapp Perry... for all you mormons out there go look at your hymn book and childrens hymn and you will see her name all over it. It was a really good talk that she gave. She wrote "As Sisters In Zion" which is one of my favorite songs. She said that they are making a mission CD geared toward sisters so I am excited for that! THEN she said that she re-wrote As Sisters in Zion to make it be for missions and it is called "Sisters of Zion" and it was amazing. The best part is that us sisters got to sing it and it was the FIRST time that is has been sung ever!!! The words are incredible and made me even more pumped to be a sister missionary. So be looking for that song!!

For ALL the Moms, Grandmas, and future Mothers out there, HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!!! I know that my mom has been the GREATEST blessing in my life and I hope that every child feels the same way about their mom and that all the moms had a great day all about them! It was the first Mothers Day that I didn't have with my mom but it was still a good one and I am positive that my sisters spoiled her the way that she deserves. So thank you Mom for ALL that you do!!!!

The next time that you hear from me I will be in FRANCE in my first area! I can't wait! I will get my new address out to you all asap but you can still email me at emily.johns@myldsmail.net and I will reply! Thank you to everyone who has loved and supported me the past 6 weeks and who will continue to support me throughout my mission and life. I love you all. The people I know really well and the people I hardly know at all, you are all amazing!

I love this gospel. I have learned and grown from it so much in the short time I have been a missionary. I know the blessings that it brings to peoples lives and i can't wait for the people of the France Paris Mission to receive the blessings they will receive from the Gospel. It has brought me so much happiness and peace in my life and I want everyone to have that!

Soeur Emily Johns

Monday, May 6, 2013

Pictures: Week 5

Sister Denning and Emily in their matching mission shirts

The view from the temple this morning. You can see BYU's stadium
They did initiatory's this morning. She loves doing those.  

my Book of Mormon, bible, hymn book and name tag. pretty cool to be souer johns with Jesus on my tag

sisters at the temple yesterday

then Moroni which is cool


So the MTC is getting a bit repetitive and not many exciting things are happening anymore but I am still loving it. i am starting to have to entertain myself and come up with things to do BUT they have led to good times.
On Wednesday us four sisters were walking to a building. Walking can be boring so to make it less boring i suggested that we play Red Light Green Light. You know the game you play when you are like 6 or 20 and bored? So Sister Denning was the leading and called Red Light and Green Light. When it was green the three of us ran so fast and then at red we stopped dead in our tracks. We were doing pretty well UNTIL Sister Denning called Red and Sister Hunsaker stopped so fast that she fell to the ground. Like a real fall. Not just a stumble.  I dropped to the ground too because it was soo funny. Our elders had been not too far away and saw the whole thing AND the new elders from France that Sister Hunsaker has been trying to be friends with to practice french saw too. SOOO funny. maybe you just had to be there OR i am just desperate for laughs.

My senior year i took over babysitting an amazing family called the Farrs/Cournows... The kids and the dad ended up being baptized and they were the first family that I helped teach that were baptized. Guess what? my companion is in their ward. We finally figured it out and realized that i have been to her ward a few times and we both freaked out a bit. A cool thing is that the Dad, Brian, spoke for his first time in church the same Sunday that sister Denning's brother had his farewell. He is serving in the Lyon mission so it just made the world so small!
There are quite a few elders here from Islands like Samoa, Tonga etc. and the other night when we were walking back to our residence about 30 elders did the haka in front of everyone. SUPER cool and a bit scary. because they had name tags on it was less scary than it would normally be! 

I leave in less than a week! That is right!! I got my flight plan on Friday! It is a straight flight from SLC to Paris. 40 of us Paris missionaries leave SLC Monday at 4:50 pm and get to Paris on Tuesday at 11:15! It is getting real. I cannot wait to be there and start teaching people and learning more french. I have loved the MTC and thinking about leaving is hard but i know that i have done my best here and am being prepared! 

As many of you know, I CANNOT sing. Jessica is the sister that was blessed with that talent. Well guess what i got for trying to sing... last Tuesday at devotional the mtc choir sang. i joined to be with my companion who CAN sing. during rehearsal the camera went straight to the person right in front of us so we told everyone to look for that one girl and then they could see our shirts and we would be famous. WRONG! during the devotional the camera people decided that instead of focusing on the girl in front of my that they would zoom in on ME!!! like a good 20 seconds of just my face. the worst part is that i was LIP-SYNCING and didn't know the words. i am hoping that no one could really notice. the hardest part was not winking at the camera or pulling a silly face. i held strong. the whole time i could see myself on the big screen but i had to ignore it. everyone came up to me after and just laughed haha so i became an mtc celebrity for about 45 minutes... I didn't do the choir this week for obvious reasons BUT I am writing a song in french. I make up a lot of my own french phrases that don't make sense and people wouldn't say but they are good one liners so i am going to create a full song and perform it to my district. also the four sisters are going to peform come thou font! i am so excited. we surprisingly sound well. i am not going to lip-sing for these because i don't want a repeat of last time!

Yesterday was fast Sunday .. ROUGH! On Saturday we had dinner at 4 pm and on Sunday we didn't have dinner until 6 pm so that is over 24 hours of fasting. it wasn't hard at all and we had amazing testimonies shared but after we walked to the temple and sat in the sun and had super dry mouths, that is when it got hard but i did it and know that the blessings received from fasting and the importance of it is real!

this morning we went to the temple like we do each p day  it is sad thinking that it will be the last time i go to the temple for 17 months. we MAY have time next Monday to go but if not, this was a great last time for a bit. i encourage all members who are able to go to the temple to go. it is so important and needed.
i love you all! I love this gospel. Continue to write me. Use dearelder this week because it wont be free and instantly delivered once i am in France and you will have to write letters or emails instead of dear elder.

Love you all so much!
Soeur Emily Johns