Friday, November 22, 2013

AMIS to Members

Where oh Where do I begin!!! Craziest, most stressful, beautiful week of my mission!
On Monday it was the 11 of November which is a big deal in France and everything shut down so no grocery shopping for us! So it was a very laid back Pday and sometimes those are the best kind! We had an FHE with Valérie and the Busseaus at the Church! We taught the lesson and they brought the fun and the dessert! We played minute to win it games and I tell myself that I won because I am really competitive but man those games are hard! How are you supposed to hook a key with a paper clip that is being controlled by a string on a chopstick????? I do not understand but I wasn’t too sore of a loser! It was a fun night though! I LOVE FHE!!!

On Tuesday we have interviews.... AKA a super great one on one conversation with President Poznanski and Sœur Poznanski each! They are really just the greatest examples to me and I love them! We had both the Angers and the Tours zones together and it was great to see so many of my missionary friends! The STLS and another companionship of sisters came up with this rap about how sister missionaries gain weight and it was sooo funny! So the awkward 10 minutes when ALL the sister missionaries were MIA... That explains it! Being a sister missionary is the best!

So now is when the week turns CRAZY!! We had our last official lesson with Valerie on Wednesday and it went great! We had originally planned for her and ThiThanh to both get baptized on the 16th but ThiThanh was stuck in Paris with work so we all just planned for Valerie and were all really excited! We knew that ThiThanh would get baptized but just not at that moment. WELL WELL WELL on Wednesday night ThiThanh called and I talked to her for about 40 minutes and she was saying how she really wanted to come back and get baptized but it just wasn’t possible with work. I told her not to worry and that she could get baptized later in the month. It was so cool because she was just determined to follow Christ and wanted it so bad! We took comfort in knowing that she would be blessed for her righteous desires and it would work out in the future... THE FUTURE WAS THURSDAY!!

We had a RDV with Maria and Joaquim! We have been seeing Maria for a while now but she hasn’t progressed TOOO much! She is from Portugal and suuuuuper nice! Her husband is really nice to us but would never join our lessons and she always just said he isn’t interested. Last week I invited him and we taught them together on Thursday! We taught them about the apostasy and the Book of Mormon and we didn’t think he was really into it because he was just looking down at the Portuguese book of Mormon we gave him the whole time BUT at the end of the lesson right before we had her say the prayer he looked up with tears in his eyes having just finished reading the introduction and said? '' I have a lot to think about!'' and we invited them to Church and they said they would come but lots of people say that but we had hope!
We were supposed to have ward council on Thursday night but then it got cancelled and so we were trying to plan what we would do instead for those hours in the evening... I was just minding my own business trying to make Sœur Horn lunch when ThiThanh called and said that she had finished her work and that she would be in Cholet that evening and wanted to get baptized on Saturday! I couldn’t contain my happiness or think let alone speak French so I had to give the phone to Sœur Horn while I learned how to breathe again! It was true!! SHE WAS COMING BACK!!! It is a hidden miracle that ward Council was counseled so we could have the evening with ThiThanh and get her prepared for Saturday! So we spent the evening with her and taught her anything she needed!!

Friday is supposed to be our weekly planning but we had SOO much to do for the baptisms! We had to change EVERYTHING to be the plural form in French! SOO stressful because literally EVERY SINGLE PERSON we had for the program to give a talk, prayer, or play the piano called and cancelled. So we had to change the program a million times and call a million people to try to get them to prepare a talk for the next day! Then we had to get the District Leader in Angers to come and interview both Valerie and ThiThanh and it was just a lot to do in not a lot of time! After the interviews we went to our Cambodian family for dinner! Who knew that Cambodia has their own style of crepes!?

Then the day of the baptism ThiThanh and we headed to the Chapel in Angers and the baptism was beautiful! Seeing those two ladies in white was sooooooo great!! EVERYTHING ran smoothly at the baptism and all of the 8 missionaries in my district sang and it was a GREAT baptism!! SOO much love and happiness!!! After the baptism there was a relief society activity and it was perfect because Valerie and ThiThanh were just chatting with all of the women like they were old friends!! Proud mom moment??? CHECK!!!

Yesterday was just the top of a GREAT day! At Church relief society went great and we were just hoping the whole time that Maria and Joaquim would be there for sacrament. I gave them a call during Sunday school and they said that they were on their way! So we ran out and waited for them and when I saw their car I may have danced in the parking lot and later found out that the whole ward saw.... Oops?

Sacrament was great and turns out that the Akos live on the same street as Joaquim and Maria and they were all able to sit together! The receiving of the Holy Ghost was beautiful and the Spirit was so strong! After Church when ThiThanh and Valerie have officially gone from amis to members and our other two amis were there it was great to see because everyone was just talking to everyone!!

We went by Joaquim and Marias last night to get a photo because they leave to Portugal for a bit and they were amazing! THEY LOVED Church and wanted to make sure that it is at the same time and place every week and they are just amazing!! Maria kept thanking us for changing their lives but it wasn’t us! She said that he has been reading the Book of Mormon every night and they are just soo great!!

I LOVE being a missionary!! Sooo blessed and soo Lucky to be in Cholet with these people at this time! I am soo happy and really really blessed!!

Thank you all for your love and support! This is probably jumbled because I don’t have a lot of time and I frantically write so hopefully it makes sense!


Sœur Emily Johns


So as a missionary we become professional inviters! I don’t know if that is a real word but I am adding it to the dictionary of Emily Johns. Anyway so we invite A LOT. We invite people to church; we invite people to read the Book of Mormon, to pray to do all sorts of things. Well I have officially added another thing that I have started to invite people to do. In my mission the sister missionaries only teach women unless you are in Cholet where there are no elders so we teach men and women but that doesn’t matter. Anyway so we teach a lot of women. In Cholet we have a good teaching pool of women in their 60s. They are all married but for some reason their husbands are just not interested and so we have never really taught them. Well the gospel of Jesus Christ is all about the family and helping the family so why not get the family involved. Since it worked so well last time with me just asking the hubby to have an fhe with us I thought I would try it again. Behold MARIA from Portugal. She LOVES us but she always tells us how much her husband does not believe but she wants him to. So in our lesson this week I just asked her if I could go talk to her husband and she hesitantly said yes but warned me that he is mean and won’t say yes to anything I ask. I decided to test my luck so I found him watching TV and just asked him if the four of us can have a lesson together this coming week... he said YES! Then I fixed the date and time and even made him shake my hand! Miracle?? Maybe me being loud and not always respectful is a bad thing but then at the same time me not being shy is what is getting us to be able to teach the hubs! So thanks Mom for giving me your outgoingness!

On Saturday 16 November 2013 Valérie will be getting baptized!!! Oh man oh man am I excited!! So yesterday we made by hand invitations to give to all the members to come to the baptism. I am REEEEEALLY excited!  She is so great and SOOO tiny! Especially next to me and Soeur Horn who is like 6 feet! Little woman!

As we have extended lots of invites this week we have always been invited a  lot this week.... BY MUSLIM MEN!! Both instances were on the bus. The first was by two men from Somalia who wanted to meet us to give us a Koran so we set a time to meet but they forgot the Koran so next time we will bring the Book of Mormon in Arabic and he will bring us the Koran in English!  He was really impressed that I had lived in Turkey and knew a good amount about Islam! Then the second time was at the bus stop and a man from Sudan thought we were Swedish and then wanted to speak English with us and have us over for tea but that is a no no so pass!

I love being a missionary! In just a couple of weeks my little sister Jennifer will join me as a missionary but only she will be in Madrid! I have never been so happy or have learned so much! GREATEST choice ever made was coming on a mission! I encourage it for all!

Thank you soo much for your love and support! 45 days until Christmas!!!


Sœur Emily Johns


Halloween in France..... NOT! I have started to make a list of all the things that France does right. Like brioche, tailored suits, moisture in the air? ETC but Halloween is not on that list. WHY you may ask?????? Because it doesn’t really exist! So Sœur Horn and I brought our American Halloween to France... OR at least we tried. Since we are poor and missionaries we couldn’t really buy costumes and did I mention we are missionaries? So we dressed up as each other and by that I mean we wore each other’s name tags. Sorry to my sister Jessica who is the queen of Halloween... I am just letting our family name down. NEXT YEAR?

We did go and buy a pumpkin and carved it and did pumpkin seeds and had a fun time with that. We also made little masks and tried to trick or treat at ThiThanhs but just ended up laughing! I was a bird! Just like Allie and Noah! If you don’t get that as a Notebook reference then now you do! I also got my gossip girl on and spotted a trick or treater. Only it was 2pm and all they had were grocery sacs and NO CANDY! SAD SAD SAD! But all this week for every house we ported there were lots of spider webs but not the decorative kind. The legit kinds that get stuck in my eyelashes and are gross BUT I became an official spider web killer! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

This week we checked our mail and there were two cards in it, WITHOUT a return address and with our names on them but like our normal people name not missionary name so it was really weird. We had no idea who they were from and were just really confused. SNEAKY ThiThanh! She made us the cutest cards with lots of pictures in it! Little surprise gifts from ThiThanh are my favorite.

Here we have a Family Home Evening with a family in the ward every week. It is one of the high lights of my week because I get to go to a home and try to speak French with kids... CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! This week we went to a family in the ward who are SUUUPPPPEEERRR cool! He speaks perfect English and so that takes some pressure off me and she is a great mom! They have three little kids and I found my new best friend! Name is Nathan and we are buds! I asked him in French if he can speak English and he said, ''YES; DO YOU LOVE ME???'' only he thought he was saying I love you but oh well. His parents were so cute and tried teaching him that I was a missionary and he can’t ask that but I was just like YES I LOVE YOU! The families in this ward are really the greatest! I feel like I learn so much about the gospel and families and the importance of both soo much every time I am around them! I am so lucky to be here!

This past week Sœur Horn and I worked really hard and spent soo much time porting and trying to find more people to teach! The Lord really does bless us when we show our faith through our actions! We found new amis and we have two baptisms fixed for November 16th!!! I LOVE being a missionary and am soo happy. I feel like I have become just a happy person alll the time since I have become a missionary and I really credit it to the gospel and having my testimony strengthened! I have been a missionary for 7 months now and have really loved every minute of it! I am so excited for everyone who is preparing to serve a mission and to be able to have this experience! Thank you all for the love and support I have been given!
I love and miss you all!!


Sœur Emily Johns

Friday, November 1, 2013


I love Americans. I love Americans more now that I am living in France than when I lived in America! The best is when I find Americans in France and remember how much I love being American! In Versailles it wasn’t hard because there were sooo many tourists and so we avoided the annoying, loud, Americans. But here in Cholet were there are only French people... finding those Americans is like a treasure hunt! FOUND THEM!!

So this week we were walking down this street and we stopped a lady named Diane who was walking her dog. Turns out she is from Jersey and has been living here with her French hubby for 2 years! She was sooo cool and we just chatted and it was awesome! I now know why I wasn’t called English speaking because I can just talk and talk and talk but when I have to do it in French... ANOTHER story! We invited her to Church and she even texted us! Also speaking about the gospel in your native language is HARD! Props to all the missionaries that have served in that way!

The second American this week was another reaaaalllllyyyy cool girl! One night this week I was just going through the phone and calling people that I didn’t know. Kind of felt like it did when I was in 5th grade and wanted to call my crush but didn’t want his parents to answer... So I called the people I didn’t know and had no idea what I was going to say and kind of wanted to just hang up and have them call back and act like I didn’t mean to call them. Then I remembered that I am 21 and not 11 and I am a missionary so the whole prank calling doesn’t work... Tangent? SO I call this lady named Rebecca and leave a voicemail in my bad French... SHE CALLED BACK!! We ended up just talking like old friends for a good 30 minutes! She speaks English, French, Spanish and who knows what other cool languages! She doesn’t live in Cholet anymore so that is a bummer but somehow we got on the topic of blogs and turns out... SHE HAD READ MY BLOG!!!!!!!! CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY! The other crazy thing is that she texted us on Saturday and was in Cholet and we were totally able to meet up at the Church and talked! CATFISH????? She is even cooler in person than on the phone! SO here’s for hoping we can stay in touch!

We found a small town this week about 30 KM from Cholet and it is actually France, Italy and Greece all in one. WE found houses that were blue and white just like in Greece or at least what Greece looks like on Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, these pretty Italian looking hills and just cool things! Porting is more fun when everything is pretty; Thanks France!

We had our last district meeting this week as a full district! Transfers are this week AND.....

ME AND SOEUR HORN are staying together in Cholet!!!!!! SOOOOOO HAPPY!!! I really loved my district and will miss Sœur Doyle but she will be in the mission with me for a long time!

SHOPPING.... It has to happen sometime right? Well we decided to give it a try in Cholet. Apparently winter is coming and I NEEEED a coat. The problem is that I don’t know exactly what coat I need. SO I will procrastinate a bit longer. I did find a really cool bookstore in Cholet and you know me and books... Only I am a missionary and the missionary Library is limited. I did find a calendar for 2014 and I CANT WAIT to use it and look at all the pretty months. I had a hard time between choosing between a cool Paris one or one of ONE DIRECTION but then again I remembered that I am a missionary and having a calendar of teenage English singers may or may not be the best idea. I also found the cooooolllleeest thing ever and I hope they have them in America. PAPERBLANKS! They have journals and little notebooks and I want them all. I will save up and get some! Oh and not at the bookstore but at a real store I found mascara so I guess I don’t need my mom to keep sending me that...

This week I tried cooking. I swear that the oven and everything works differently in Cholet because everything I have tried to bake or cook for Sœur Horn has failed and made me embarrassed. SO we tried making brownies for our bff ThiThanh and wanted to drop them off for her. We made them and they were edible so we went to her building and waited to be let in because she wasn’t home... IT was the wrong building. WORTH it though because she loved them!

This week we also went to a Chinese buffet with ThiThanh... YUM YUM YUM! The food was good but the company was even better! Somehow I am able to take the least flattering pictures ever but it is the memories that count right? It was so fun and totally made getting home late worth it! We love spending time with her and having normal conversations as well as teaching the gospel! Being a missionary really is the BEST!

Have I ever mentioned that I LOVE THIS WARD!! SERIOUSLY best ward ever! I can say that because I don’t have a home ward in America. But really the people here are soo great! They all know my name and know who I am and maybe it helps that there aren’t too many people in the ward and being the American with big hair makes me memorable. But they are just so nice! Yesterday after Church we had a soirée missionaries and there were role plays and everyone just asked questions and got pumped about the work and being able to part of it! I am excited to see the miracles that come from a united ward!

This week I will hit my 7 month mark! Still the BEST choice I made and I HIGHLY encourage everyone to serve a mission. I am having the funnest time but also the most spiritual time ever! The things I learn in my studies, in lesson and in conversations with people are such a blessing! I LOVE MY LIFE!

Thank you ALL for your love and support! It means soo much to me and I am so grateful for everything!


Sœur Emily Johns