Monday, December 30, 2013


This was my first Christmas not actually at home with my family but guess what??? I felt like I was pretty much at home for Christmas and boy was it great!!

During the Christmas time our mission has a new approach. When we port and contact people we are supposed to ask them if we can sing a Christmas song to invite the Spirit. AKA two American girls Christmas caroling in France! Caroling is nonexistent here but oh well! All Monday night that is what we did. We met a lot of interesting people. People thought we were homeless and needed a place to stay, people offered us money and one lady thought we wanted to CHANGE her not CHANTER for her! Exciting life of a missionary!

Since I am a full-time missionary I work as a missionary ALL THE TIME! It is wonderful though! So on Christmas Eve you bet that we went porting all day! We found the Beverly Hills of Cholet and I was in HEAVEN!! My fav car Range Rover was everywhere and big beautiful houses and it was just fun! It made porting in the rain on Christmas Eve not as bad! People were pretty friendly and we were even able to sing for people! The family we sang for in Bev Hills even gave us a chocolate tree and then the other family gave us more chocolate. I don’t know how everyone always has chocolate available to hand out to missionaries....

On Christmas Eve we had dinner with the Raveneau Family. Their 9 kids, grandparents and more. SO skyping with my dad and sisters was a bit interesting but sooo fun! It was surreal because it was so normal and just like at home but still so far away and not REALLY able to be the same! For some reason in France during the holidays all of the seafood gets brought out. So you bet that me and that live oyster, shrimp with eye balls and fish eggs got along real great! I handled it all pretty well except for the oyster which was the most popular thing for everyone else so I guess I am not quite French yet!

We had ALL DAY on Christmas free and to ourselves. We were even allowed to sleep in but after 9 months of waking up at 6.30 every morning I only made it to a little after 7! But then we opened up Christmas presents, watched Mr. Krueger’s Christmas and had a Suisse for breakfast! Then off to another family with ThiThanh for Christmas lunch... MORE oysters and fish with eyes! Totally French with the fish eggs, duck liver etc. and I didn’t become French overnight but it wasn’t quite as bad because I already tasted my oyster. But I am definitely looking forward to our Middle Eastern Christmas meal at home next year! I was able to Skype my mom and sisters and brother in law on Christmas day. Just BARELY missed skyping with my sister Jennifer in Madrid but it was still soo wonderful! My mom is still laughing harder at her own jokes and everyone is still flawlessly beautiful at 7 in the morning! They even sang for me on Skype! I LOVE my family!

Then we got home and tried to take cute pictures by the tree but failed so we just watched a movie! For Christmas we get to watch one Disney movie and we chose Beauty and the Beast! You bet I shouted for joy when I recognized the three French words used in the movie! It was perfect! I love movies and watching that while in France was magical! BE MY GUEST!

Since it is still Christmas season we are still offering our musical talents to people at the doorstep... We didn’t see a TON of success pre-Christmas but the success after Christmas is entertaining. I love Christmas and will celebrate it all year long but not everyone in Cholet is on the same page! We keep getting reminded that Christmas is over but oh well.

I had to speak in church yesterday... On how we can become more like Christ. I am NOT a shy person AT ALL but having to speak in French in front of all these people about a serious subject... NERVE RACKING! ThiThanh really gave me comfort and my comp helped me write it and it wasn’t a complete fail! I was soo nervous. Also my Portuguese family was there and so that made me feel good too! I will just use the same one for my homecoming talk and everyone will be impressed!

So this week marks my half way point!! CRAZY! I cannot believe that I will be half way done with my mission! I have learned SOOO much and I know that I will continue to learn soo much! I have loved being a missionary and my mission!

Thank you all for your love and support and prayers! Have a great new years and I will see you next year!

Love Soeur Emily Johns

Monday, December 23, 2013

Early Christmas presents

I LOVE Christmas!! A couple of weeks ago the zone leaders called to say that the Christmas Conference would be in Versailles!!!!! You can imagine how happy I was!! Being back in Versailles!! You bet I hurry and made some calls so I could see my favorite family! The train ride to Versailles was soo surreal because I always hoped to go back but never knew if I would but then thinking that Versailles is our mission hub I knew I would be there eventually! I was soo happy! I was able to see all of my old companions and sooo many of my mission friends! It was super spiritual and I learned a lot but man it was sooo fun! We were given the direction to do a caroling porting to be able to teach the gospel... ME AND SINGING???? There is a reason why ALL of my companions don’t volunteer us to sing at anything. I may have cried a little thinking about having a sing on the doorstep of strangers in French. The whole conference was just so great! I LOVED being back in Versailles! We did a white elephant Christmas gift exchange and everyone was supposed to bring something spiritually uplifting and a good gift.... I GOT A MENS TIE! So you know me and my gift exchanging... I went around to all of the tables and examined everyone’s gifts and then worked my magic and left with a beautiful notebook hand designed by one of my sister friends and definitely upgraded from the tie I would just end up sending to some elder!
Emily with Souer Denning (MTC companion)

Emily with Souer Hunsaker and Melville

Christmas Conference

Emily's friends from the MTC Elder Neilson and Elder Cramer

Emily with Soeur Poznanski

Emily with the sisters from her MTC district

Almost the whole MTC district reunited

After the conference was even better! I saw my GRENIER Family!! 2/4 at least! Soeur Grenier and Raphael came and got me and my companion from the conference and we were able to just chat like old times! She even gave me a little Christmas gift of fancy chocolates in a pretty bag! It was the greatest day of my life! I really just love that family!

This week was a problem with my eye. As many of you know I have reeeeeally bad eyes. Like glasses when I was 2 and contacts when I was 6 bad. Well I tend to use the same pair of contacts for a long time and this time was like 5 months long and so my right eye got all infected and turned all pink. Everyone kept asking if I had pink eye and I just said no I just have an eye that is pink. Finally my companion convinced me that I needed to swallow my pride and wear my glasses for a few days to let my eye heal. So that means not making an eye contact with people on the street because I didn’t want people to see my eye or glasses. It wasn’t too bad and after a few days and a fresh pair of contacts I was able to see again!

Our Portuguese family is back! We decided to pass by their house and it was pretty obvious they were back because there house was like the only house in Cholet with Christmas lights fully decked all in front! So we sang and fixed another rdv! They even came to church all together with their daughter and granddaughter! It was a Christmas miracle!

This past week has been so great! I have watched Joy to the World quite a few times but it never gets old! I love being able to share this spirit of Christ with people and remind them why we have noel!
Thank you all for your love and support and for your prayers!

Have a wonderful Christmas and a terrific new year’s!


Soeur Emily Johns

Found a gameboy from the 80's

Thithanh made a sign, everyday I love you

Cleaning fr Poussards house

Christmas Seashells
Making Christmas gifts

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Amis all around!

I LOVE Christmas! Ever since I was a little kid I have always loved Christmas waaay more than my birthday, waaay more than when marathons of Boy Meets World were on, waay more than when I got to stay up late. I just really have always loved Christmas! Then I went on a mission and won’t be able to be with my family for Christmas which I thought would be a bummer and it still is in a way but really now I realize that I am just going to be with my family in Cholet and let me tell you, it is a GREAT family! But once again I am getting waaay too ahead of myself!

So I passed the last few days with Sœur Horn very well! We had lunches and dinners with some of our favorite people in Cholet and just had a great time together! Having a companion that is ending her mission is a lot harder than having a companion that is just ending their time with you. With all of my other companions I have known that I will see them around the mission but knowing that I won’t see Sœur Horn until I am home is not too great. On Tuesday night it was nice because we had our last meal with ThiThanh and she took us to lunch which is like a cross between zupas and golden corral! It was fun and then after we came back and had hot chocolate and watched Mr. Krueger’s Christmas! It was the perfect last evening together!

Then we had to Wake up at like 5 to head to Paris! It was a LONG train ride, but beautiful! Being with all of the other missionaries in Paris was so fun! I just love my mission and really every time we are in big groups of missionaries it is just like a big reunion of all the people that I love! I was able to see Sœur Stahly and so many of my friends! Also with all of the next incoming missionaries I was able to meet three missionaries that went to the Madrid MTC that met my sister Jennifer! It was sooo cool because they had pictures with her and just loved her and really made the world that much smaller! It makes me even more excited for the Christmas conference tomorrow where I will be able to see so many more missionaries and being back in Versailles will just be the greatest!

After passing a lot of time with my friends I took Sœur Hill back to Cholet with me! She started her mission in a really small ville and now will be ending her mission in a similar place! She trained my MTC companion Sœur Denning so it is a lot of fun to be with her and she is such a good missionary! She just spent the last 8 months in Paris so coming to Cholet is a bit of a change for her but she will love it eventually just like I did! We quickly have been going to work and we have been able to see some little miracles already! Also I am a runner again and running at 6:30 in the cold dark is a little hard but worth it! Thank you to my running companions.

On Saturday night was our ward Christmas party! AKA the event of the year! The building was all decorated and everyone was just so happy! The coolest part was that there were 20 nonmembers there that were all invited by the missionaries and members of the ward! Cholet is a small ward and so to have so many nonmembers there at the activity is a huge deal! It was such a fun night and really kicked off the Christmas celebrations!

Christmas is next week and this Sunday is our exceptional Sunday! We have fancy invites to give to people and everything! It is going to be a reunion especially focused on Christ for Christmas and to help everyone remember why we have Christmas! We are excited!!

I know that I say this every week but I really just LOVE being a missionary! I am cold a lot and tired and I get disappointed but then a little miracle happens and it ALL becomes worth it and I quickly forget everything else that was hard and not fun. I really feel SO Lucky to be able to be a missionary at this time of the year!

Thank you everyone for all of your love and support! It really means to world to me!


Sœur Emily Johns

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Happy Birthday to Me!! It isn’t my birthday??? I am getting gifts... MUST BE CHRISTMAS or my mission birthday!! Either way, I ACCEPT! Okay so I just reread that and I sound like Eloise at Christmastime and then I remembered that I am a missionary and working on being selfless so let’s restart!

Cholet is becoming pretty!!! It hasn’t quite earned having its own postcards yet but one day I know it will! But until then it is Christmas and the whole town is decked out in lights and pretty things! I LOVE LOVE LOVE Christmas and people are just happy and I KNOW that it is because everyone is remembering Christ and that makes people happy! Cholet being pretty makes me love it here even more!

On Tuesday we had our final district meeting of the transfer which means... PICTURE TIME!! I have LOVED my district and really feel soo lucky to have always been in a good district and surrounded by amazing missionaries! The Chinese elders are both leaving and going back up to Paris and Soeur Horn goes home on Wednesday! So my new district is going to be quite different! Also on Tuesday we found out that our cat with ThiThanh died... It was a sad day. I thought cats have 9 lives so maybe she was on her last one!

As of today Soeur Horn has 2 days left and we have 12 days until Christmas!! The FINAL countdown is here!! I am excited for Soeur Horn to be with her family but boy am I going to miss her! She has been really good to me the past three months! But since my companion is leaving... I AM GETTING A NEW COMPANION!! Her name is Soeur Hill and she has I think two transfers left! She trained my MTC companion Soeur Denning so I have heard good things about her! I am excited to have her as my companion!!

So as a missionary we don’t only focus on baptism. We are really here to help everyone become closer to Christ. That means non members, less active members and members. Really our objective is to help people. So we have spent a lot of time teaching people who are no longer active in the church and to help them in any way that we can. WELL yesterday two women who haven’t been inside the church for SEVERAL years came to sacrament!! It was a Christmas miracle! It was really cool and people just welcomed them. That is something I really like about the ward here is that no matter if you are a member, ami or less active you are going to be loved and welcomed like you are their family! Perks of Cholet!

Okay so onto the gift part... On Tuesday it was my 8 month mark as a missionary. So a wonderful couple in the ward got me a present! A nutella cookbook!! Happy Birthday to me! Man has the time gone by and I can’t believe that I am nearing my halfway mark! Also my Christmas package from my family arrived. Pre-wrapped gifts and all! Our Christmas tree is filling up nicely and I love Christmas! But really I love it because of Christ! We have been able to share the DVD Joy to the World with people and it reminds me what the true meaning of Christmas is. I am so lucky to be a missionary right now and share Christ with everyone that I meet! I love being a missionary!

Remember that week that we met a ton of Muslim men?? I don’t remember if I included that or not but anyway there was a week that every time we got on a bus or at the bus stop Muslim men would talk to us. Bad combination because we don’t contact men or Muslims.... BUT we ended up meeting up with a set of Muslim missionaries a little bit later because they had some questions and it was really nice. Well this past week we met up with them again and this time we swapped books!! We got them each a Book of Mormon in Arabic and they gave us the Qur'an in English!! Another great gift! It was really cool because we are both curious about the others religions and so we just asked one another questions and we were able to teach them a bit about who we are! I love making friends!!

Thank you ALL for your prayers and support! I am definitely feeling the love and appreciate you all! I am soo happy and soo blessed!!


Sœur Emily Johns

Artwork that Emily's companion has done for her

Getting Colder. She said right after this picture it went to -2.5