Monday, April 28, 2014

Priest, Reptiles and Madeline’s!

Have I mentioned that Soeur Wade and I have been having the FUNNEST time together?? It still hasn’t even been two weeks but boy oh boy are we using the time we have to the fullest!

On Monday night we ran into one of our amis who invited us over to teach her and her family... turns out that her uncle was unexpectantly there and he is A PRIEST!!! I have taught die hard Catholics and I have been in some really interesting lessons but I have never actually taught a professional... It was a pretty good time though. We taught about the resurrection of Christ because of Easter and he was just like this is EXACTLY what we believe and wanted to know the difference between our church and his because the base and bible are the same teachings and so finally we had to get a bit bold and bring up authority which was rough because he is a PRIEST! But we did it really nice and there was no offense and he is even going to meet with the missionaries in Vannes to learn more! I LOVE when we can just have friendly exchanges with people because we really aren’t here to convince people or to offend them but to share what we believe and know and invite them to know for themselves and I am amazed at how much I have learned about others and their beliefs from just doing that! It isn’t us that can change the hearts or minds of people but the Spirit and when the Spirit is there that is how it is done! Boy do I love being a missionary!

I have been called a lot of things on my mission and it has never phased me and most things are just funny but this week we were called schizophrenic by someone. She was a young girl and was nice at first but then whatever changed her mind was a big deal. She became really concerned about our mental well-being and thought that we were from the mental hospital that we live next to. It was really interesting but she did it in such a rude way! Usually people say mean things in a nice voice but she was just not liking us!

On Wednesday we visited Mami Renaud! She is 93 years old and dances around her apartment and has such a hop in her step! She made us Madeline’s and wants us to come learn how to make them which isn’t going to be a good idea for our 6 months to sexy but oh well! She was in the first group of people to be baptized in Rennes! She is wonderful and every time we see her we end up getting waaay more out of the lesson than she ever does!

This week I saw THITHANH!! WOO HOO!! We had exchanges in Nantes and I paired up with Soeur Bingham from Nebraska so shout out to Melissa, my sister born there! It was so fun! We did LOTS of contacting but saw lots of miracles too! We met up with ThiThanh for lunch and because she knows me sooo well we went to Kebabs but everyone knows that I will only go to a kebab place that is run and owned by Turkish people and so you better bet that we found one! It was great to be back with her and I love that lady so much! It is hard because we didn’t have much time and so having to say goodbye after a short visit was hard! But worth every minute! We found a beautiful parc in Nantes that even had a goat farm place thingy! I am definitely going to try to implement that in the parcs in Utah! So when we finally returned to Rennes we decided to go on a hunt for our own beautiful parc and we found one! It didn’t have any farm animals but we have found a nice peaceful place!

On Friday there was a little cultural activity at the church! This man who isn’t a member of the church came and did a little fireside thingy! He is a world famous reptile expert and the uncle of a member here in Rennes! He was pretty cool but we had one of our friends come to it! Dominic is from India and is here studying and he brought his friend Christina from Romania and wow we were just like four little kids in the back of the class talking like old friends! I love when we get to be around young people and get to become friends! I am still so determined to become friends with the world and so far it is working out!

My companion sure has taught me sooo much! I should probably be a little bit ashamed for this but I have never really known how to tie my shoes... I am not sure how I survived elementary school or made it the past 21 years but tying shoes is just not my thing. I do it reeeally slow and never the right way and people, including my mom, tend to laugh at me! Well problem solved! Soeur Wade taught me and now I can do it! It only took a whole bus ride but I did it successfully two times! Now the problem is that I don’t have any shoes with laces... but the day that I do I know I will be able to do it on my own! Also she taught me the right words to a song that I have been singing wrong my whole life! I am becoming a whole better person thanks to her!

I am white! I don’t know if any of you have noticed but I have pretty light skin and it tends to just be either white or a darker shade of white and after months and months of wearing tights... my legs are even whiter! So I decided to try to buy tanning lotion but I bought the wrong thing and the Tahitians tell me that I am going to burn but it is okay because THERE IS NO SUN in Bretagne! Not kidding! I wish I was but it just rains every single day but one day there is going to be sun and I will become less white! Wish me luck!

I am so happy! I love my life and really am so blessed to be here at this time with these people!

Thank you allllll for the love and support! I love and miss you all!


Soeur Emily Johns

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


This past week was really wonderful! What a difference a companion can make!

On Tuesday me and Soeur Williams had our last lessons together and it was a bit sad but really good at the same time! She has progressed so much and I am excited for her future! We spent a lot of time just talking while she packed and prepared to head to her next city!

Emily with Soeur Williams and their matching mommy and me gifts

On Wednesday morning Sophie and I dropped her off at the gare and I spent the day with Sophie while I waited for Soeur Wade! I WENT TO COLLEGE!!! College in France is sooo sooo sooo different than college in America and I never missed being at BYU so much until this week! But then I read all the emails from my friends doing finals week and I am much more grateful to be on a mission! It was cool to be with Sophie but I did not feel like a missionary AT ALL!

Soeur Wade is my comp!! Soeur Jalen Wade is from Heber, Utah and a transfer above me! We have only been together for 5 days but I haven’t laughed this hard in a LONG time! TOO MUCH FUN!!

On Thursday we were talking to this lady on the bus and she was super cool! We got her number but she INSISTED on having our number too and so I pulled out a blank card and began to write our number but then I realized that I don’t know our phone number and didn’t have it written down anywhere..... So frazzled I did the only thing that I know how to do and just wrote 10 random numbers down and told her that we will call her. Then when we got off the bus and I told my companion what I did we just laughed and laughed... until we realized that we don’t know our phone number and so we had to do the call of shame and call the elders and ask them to text us our phone number.... so now we will be able to give it out easier!

We went on a hunt for some members and let me tell you that finding random addresses without a gps is a lot harder than in Utah. We may have had to hike up our skirts and jump a few fences but hey we found the places we were looking for!

We had a full week of FHEs with members for Easter and with our cool Tahitian couple we had a jam session and sang... my comp is really talented so I will profit bien with that!  I love love love FHE soo much! Yesterday we spent Easter with a really cool family and received lots of chocolate which doesn’t do much for our 6 month to sexy but we will do better!

At church I received perfume from Marko... I get a head ache from it but it is the thought that counts! And today is a holiday and everything is closed but we just happen to be at the cyber cafe at the same time as... LO!!! That guy that was in love with me. It was super awkward and he bought us candy... weird!

I am so happy and just love being a missionary! Thank you all for your love and support!


Soeur Emily Johns

Emily genuinely afraid with a cat. She hates cats!

Happy Easter from the Johns' girls. 

Monday, April 14, 2014


I don’t even know where to start. This week was CRAZY!! 

On Monday night AND Tuesday night we had a slumber party with the sisters from Lorient aka soeur Melville and Allredd! Every time that I see S Melville I am happy and consider myself lucky to have done two transfers with her! It is crazy that she trained me and we just had a sleepover with my bleu! Her grandbaby!! So double sleepover was fun!

WHY did we have a sleepover?? SISTERS CONFERENCE!! On Tuesday ALL of the sisters in the mission met in Paris for the conference. I had gone thinking that it would be a spiritual conference and we would come out much better missionaries... SPA day was more like it! Being with ALL of my best friends like Denning, Melville, Hunsaker, Foster, Elliott etc. was heaven!! AHH I am still on cloud 9 from that! The first hourish was a spiritual part and then we had yummy lunch but after that is when the party started! The Elders were all pretty jealous that we got a conference but I don’t think they would have enjoyed the activities as much as we did! We made crafts and pretty cards, had a makeup lesson with Soeur Grenier and learned how to be a fashionable sister missionary from Soeur Poznanski! LOTS of free products and accessories! I left with a few pairs of clip on earrings (still don’t have my ears pierced) rings, bags, and so much more! It was soo fun! Being with Soeur Grenier again was very nice! It helped by her emailing me beforehand telling me she would be there! Boy do I love that lady! It has been like 9 months since that I left Versailles and I have seen her several times since then! Gotta keep those friendships alive! 

In the chaos of having soo much fun with my sisters and HAVING to get Panini’s and crepes after we may have missed our train. We had to get on the next one and me and Soeur Williams were separated in our seating... I was a PROUD trainer when she knew exactly how to travel in France on her own! Baby steps! 

On Wednesday the elders gave us nice pastries in centreville and I was excited to eat it in the comfort of my own home until we met Sylvaine....I was sitting at the bus stop in peace when a woman came and stood in front of me and just stared at my lap... she then said 'that looks really good' and I said I hope so. Not even thinking that I had just met the cookie monster. Then she asked 'Can I taste it?' I was a little bit shocked but I have seen a lot of crazy things in the past year that this shouldn’t phase me. So I broke off a piece and she was very happy. But she kept staring and then she ASKED FOR MORE!! I gave her a bit more and we just chatted. We sat on the bus together and had a nice conversation and when I got off I left the pastry with her and I don’t know if I have seen a happier 55 year old! It really is the little things in life that make us happy! I am on 6 months to sexy anyway and so she really helped me by eating my pastry!

On Thursday I became LEGAL!! Doing second year legality in France is not normally super complicated unless you live in Rennes. Elder Turley and Wood who are here with me have both been rejected several times and we have kept getting more and more paperwork and the office has talked to my parents and really we have worked HARD to become legal... Well on Thursday it was my lucky day! I either got a really nice man or my pink envelope was the trick! He was so nice that he even let me mix my photos up so that I could use the prettier ones on the official stuff and keep the ugly ones for myself! I think I am the first missionary to successfully become legal in France from the Rennes Prefecture! I can now stay in France for the next 6 months legally!! WOO HOO!! 

Okay so Friday was the craziest day of my mission. A real rollercoaster! Soeur Williams had been dealing with some personal things and it really took a dive! So we tried to go on with our day and while waiting at the church for an rdv that didn’t happen, president called and talked to each of us. He said that Soeur Williams would be going home with a medical release. She was distraught and literally begged for another transfer but president thought she should be home. So we had accepted that she would be going home this week and tried to go on with our day and make the last few days good. She had decided that whether she had 3 days or 16 months left that she would change and start to love her mission. I saw that change ASAP and it was great for the rdv we had. Right as we left the RDV we got another phone call from president. He talked to me and he said that as he was in the middle of emailing the Area President in the 70 to have Soeur Williams medically released and sent home he decided that he would give her one more transfer!! A HAPPY companion is what I had! She would be transferred to another ville and kind of start over fresh! It was a crazy afternoon!  A wakeup call like being sent home is exactly what she needed because she really has done a 180!

So I will be staying in Rennes for another transfer until the end of May with Soeur Wade!! I am so excited and just know that I will be laughing until I cry every single day with her! We have so much fun already just by the random times we see each other! I can’t wait! Soeur Williams will be heading north to Valencienne and I am happy for her! 

It has been crazy and I can’t help to feel like I failed a little bit and wasn’t able to help her in the way that she needed but I know that we learned a lot together in our 6 weeks and I am a more patient and loving person because of her! I really hope that she will be staying on her mission until the end! I will always be proud to be her trainer! 

I am excited for this next transfer and I just love my mission so much! I am happier than I have ever been! 
Thank you all for your love and support!


Soeur Emily Johns

Monday, April 7, 2014

Bye Bye

Well this week I said goodbye to Lo and to my LONG hair...

On Monday night we went over to the Letorts. My favorite family here in Rennes! They are soo great and I feel like home being with them! They will actually be seeing my family in Utah at the end of the month and I am so excited for them! Soeur Letort saw how damaged the bottom of my hair is and so she offered to cut it. And cut it she did! It is the shortest that my hair has EVER been but also probably the healthiest that it has ever been! I really miss my long hair but it grows...RIGHT?? I just want it to be long before I get home and so on verra!

That same day we had to really drop Lo. Turns out that he found me on Facebook and he began to call me Emily and wouldn’t stop with the asking me out and making inappropriate comments. It wasn’t the most patient and kind that I have ever been but it was a phone call that needed to happen and we haven’t heard from him since!

On April Fools we had district meeting and exchanges! Soeur Hafen and Soeur Holmes from Nantes came to Rennes! I love them both! They are just one transfer ahead of me and I even had a class with Soeur Hafen at BYU! Soeur Holmes and I saw a lot of cool miracles and realized how many friends we have in common. BYU is a small place! It was a lot of fun and my companion learned a lot from Soeur Hafen as well and so it was a great exchange for all involved!

That night me and Soeur Williams had some time in the evening but not enough time to leave the neighborhood. We decided to go out and contact around where we live... NO ONE WAS OUTSIDE! Not exaggerating like I normally do. Not even men were outside! We just really wanted to have a conversation with SOMEONE and were not having any success. So we went down a street and said a prayer and asked Heavenly Father to place someone in our path that we could talk to and share why we are here... GOD LOVES US!! Right after that a woman comes down the street. Victoria, 29, from Russia who speaks PERFECT English with a New York accent and all! She was super cool and we were able to just talk with her for a good 15 minutes. Not sure if she wants to learn about the gospel or if she just wants to be friends with us but we are definitely grateful for the chance we had to meet her!

A few weeks ago we were at the bus stop and a lady named Nadia asked if we were the missionaries. We only had time to really say yes before she hopped on her bus and we left with regret that we didn’t give her our card or anything... ANOTHER MIRACLE! A few days later we get a text from an unknown number. NADIA!! Turns out that she is a really good friend with a member named Alexandra and she wanted to arrange to have us all over for lunch!! SO SO SO COOL! Not sure why we deserved to see that miracle but I am happy we did! So on my year mark as a missionary we went and had a GREAT lunch with our new friend! She even gave us a parting gift! It was sooo nice!!

This past weekend was my last conference as a missionary... It was amazing!! I don’t know when I will see the Sunday afternoon session because it takes forever to get here but other than that it was great! I learned so much and left on a spiritual high that was much needed!!

I can’t believe that I have been wearing this tag with the name of Christ for a year! The time has been incredible and I wouldn’t exchange any of the experiences that I have had! I cant even imagine how much I am going to learn these next 6 months!!

So we live next to the mental hospital. Not kidding; it is the psych ward... we see A LOT of interesting things and sometimes it is hard during studies not to look out the window and just watch what is going on! Last night as we were walking home we see a man in a blue suit hop behind the bus stop as if hiding from someone... STRANGE but then exactly 2 seconds later a big white van full of doctors pull up and they all run out and catch the man.. I guess he escaped. Just another exciting evening in Rennes!

I love being a missionary! It has really been the best thing in my life!!

I love you and miss you!


Soeur Emily Johns

The hair cut process!

Marko! He said he is coming to the USA to talk to my parents about secret things concerning me...then the Elders said I need to be transferred...

Thursday, April 3, 2014


Let me just say that NORMALLY we do NOT teach or contact men. I know of many other missions that the sisters are able to and their teaching pool is on FIRE! But no not us and not here. Us as the sisters only teach women and families and the elders get to teach anyone and everyone. Well this week and this transfer really has been different.... Remember right before my sophomore year at BYU when my mom talked to me about learning how to flirt and to talk to boys... well I don’t flirt (sister missionary) but I definitely have no problem talking to boys ABOUT THE GOSPEL!

Meet Lo... he was the big man from Senegal who was definitely NOT the little Asian girl that we were hoping. He has pretty much confessed his love for me. We have only had one RDV with him this week so I don’t really understand how he can think that he likes me but oh well. He says some really nice and kind things to me and I am sure that he could swoon many girls that aren’t missionaries but he just isn’t giving up. He hasn’t quite seemed to understand that I am on a fulltime mission and going out to dinner, taking drives to the beach etc. are just not things that fit into the missionary life. He keeps saying that he is a little interested in the gospel and so we have devised a test! On Tuesday we will be taking him with us to a couple’s house in the ward. This couple is CRAZY and if Lo is still 'interested' in the church after that then he will pass him to the elders but if he doesn’t make it pass this couple then he has to delete our number. Ultimate test!!

I think that most of you know by now that we don’t teach TOO many French people but lots and lots of people from other countries. Well Tugsuu is a recent convert from Mongolia who does not speak French. We teach her in English and she is incredible! She is always telling all of her Mongolian friends about the church and I swear every time we are at her apartment she has brought another friend to hear our message! 
Well back with Soeur Tane we met her friend Tsenge who does not speak English and only speaks simple French... We have been seeing her every week since and have had a really hard time because gospel terms are not things she understands and either is Jesus Christ and God. So we have been struggling. Well this week Tugsuu came and pretty much they just had their own lesson in Mongolian and we just sat there; BOY was the spirit STRONG! At the end we knelt together in prayer and Tsenge offered it. In Mongolian and the gift of tognues is not THAT strong and so I didn’t understand any of it but the gift of the Spirit is strong. As she finished the prayer she had eyes full of tears and the feeling in that room was overwhelming! She let us know that she had felt the spirit and wants to feel it again! She will be baptized next month! It was an incredible experience!

The miracles from texting has continued! And at times the really weird awkward moments. We had fixed a rdv with a lady named Liliane in our phone and were pretty excited to go teach her. We get there and her nephew Yvon was there and so we chatted and invited him to church... I will finish his story later! So she gets there and said that she was expecting the elders. And she was super confused and I was super confused and explained that it was ME that texted her and not the elders. She was still so insistent that she had a rdv with the elders... we taught her about the Book of Mormon and then right before we were about the leave... THE ELDERS walked it! Turns out when the elders got here in Rennes they were having a hard time and another sister gave them some of our old amis. They had decided to call her around the same time that we texted her and we all had fixed a rdv the same day and time with her! SOO CRAZY! So we will keep her with the elders!

This week me and Sophie and Soeur Williams found my new favorite store. 2 EUROS!! It is just like the dollar store but everything is 2 euros and they have really legit things. I have promised myself not to go there every day. Wish me luck!

On Thursday it was a bit of a rough day! My companion received a blessing and the power of the priesthood is real! She has felt better and happier ever since! I am so grateful for the elders here in Rennes and for their willingness to serve and help others! To top of the blessing we got KEBABS!! Aka my favorite thing that I never have! I only will eat a kebab from a Turkish kebab shop and then I talk to the owner and impress them with my love of Turkey and that I lived there! Still haven’t gotten anything for free but I will keep trying!

This weekend was the single adult weekend for the stake. It was so fun! We had some YSA amis there. Definitely invited Lo and hoped that he would find himself a girlfriend... it didn’t work. We had to arrange for someone else to sit next to me. He is determined! But because there was a special Sunday meeting for the YSA the regular ward met at 3-6 in the evening. WORST IDEA EVER! It was sooo long and I much much prefer morning church! On Sundays buses are pretty much nonexistent and only every hour IF that! Well Yvon wanted to come and was texting us throughout it but kept missing the bus. Finally at 6 I told him that it was over and sorry... HE STILL CAME! He walked in at 7 and we had a little lesson! He was pretty cool! This week we have taught several men and I must say that I much prefer teaching women. It is less awkward but now I am afraid that I will be a weird girl when I get home around boys. ON VERRA!

On Wednesday I will have only 6 months left of my mission and on Thursday marks the year mark of my mission! IT has gone by FAST and I am soo happy for everything that I have learned and for everything that I know I will learn! I LOVE being a missionary!

Thank you again for the love, prayers and support! I love you all


Sœur Emily Johns