Monday, June 30, 2014

What is this Life???

I am pretty sure that every single day this week me and soeur P asked ourselves ''WHERE ARE WE'' or ''WHAT THE CRAP'' I swear that this life that I am living is not normal! 

On Monday we went to the museum in Toul. We thought it was going to be a super small and quick place because lets be serious... I am in Toul! Well we were pretty wrong! It was three stories tall and with soooooo much to see! It took us over an hour just to walk through and not really spend too much time looking at anything! It is an art history museum of Toul and starts waaay back in the prehistoric era of Toul and then up until now! Turns out that Toul used to be a big deal and really important and that is why there is a huge beautiful cathedral here. I am still not sure why it is so little and boring now but maybe one day it will go back to being important! We saw lots of creepy things in the museum! Like this room of just creeeeeepy dolls and images of the dolls. Pretty Little Liars anyone?? We got a few cool photos and learned a little bit but mostly were just really confused about how a place like Toul could have such a randomly cool museum!

We then went to our weekly FHE with the Family Paoli who has us and one of our amis over each Monday. Well this time there were two amis... probably the strangest combination of human beings in the world! One was homeless and on the streets for 10 years and drug addict and has just had a suuuper hard life and the other is a son of a former member who is reeeeally socially different but sooo nice. The dinner and the lesson were a little awkward but it was fine! We learned the lesson of not having two amis at one lesson when they are reeeeally different from each other and are on reeeally different places in meeting with the missionaries! 

We saw Slauco 4 times this week! He says that he won’t get sick of us but we will see about that! We saw him Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and twice on Sunday! Every single time we learned something new about him! We are dying to watch the movie of Slauco’s life so we can maybe figure out who he is and what his story is because this man just keeps telling us more and more! He is the king of having creeeepy friends and cousins! His first one was in love with soeur Ps accent but now wants nothing to do with us and the other one we met this week kept asking me out and touching my arm... Slauco needs to get a change in his entourage and I don’t know how much street cred he can get by us two American girl missionaries! He is soooo solid!! He has been taught pretty much everything at this point and has loved and accepted EVERYTHING!! We were really nervous to teach tithing last night but he was like DUH! God gives us everything so we have to do something back! At church me and a member taught him about the gospel of Christ and he cried... I already am not an emotional person and don’t really know how to handle other people’s emotions then to add that he is a man and that it is French... so the awkward ca va just had to do! Turns out that he was just sooo happy and needed a good cry! This man is soo great and is set for the 6th!! 

On Wednesday we got dumped by Miguel! He was our first victim with our feminine charm but I guess it wore off or that the cookies we brought him weren’t that good! But we are fb friends and we have a photo now so he isn’t completely out of our lives! We will see him again sometime around Toul! 

Have they started a Jerry Springer Animal Addition in the US yet?? I am pretty sure that I just starred on it here in France and it was the craziest 3 hours of my life!! We went to teach an ami, the same one from Monday night who has had a rough life, and he LOVES his animals. There were 4 dogs and 4 cats at his apartment. Half are his and half are his cousins. Well people here in Toul take their pets VERY VERY VERY seriously and they will die for them. It can be cute but also very strange! One of the animals went missing and I guess the neighbors have already called the police on them and the animals before and so it just so happened that the police were called again and it was sooo awkward! We just sat there while the police came and throughout the intense heated conversation and then the cops asked who we were and we just pointed to our badges and said we are the missionaries and that ended the interrogation! It all should turn out alright with the dogs and cats but man I had NO IDEA animals were soooo important! 

On Friday I became a temoin jehovah I think. They always have little stands and booths that people can come up to and grab flyers and stuff and on Friday that was us. Our branch likes to have a table at the market every couple of months and Friday was the time. the sisters from Nancy came and did it with us and I was NOT looking forward to it at all because there hasn’t been any success from the markets that have been done in the past and just seemed like it would be a waste of time and to take missionaries out of their villes and to look like Jehovah witnesses... not my thing. We ended up finding a few cool people but that was just from doing regular street contacting! We will see what happens in the future because the booth at the market hasn’t proven to work at all yet! I can now say that I know what it feels like to be a TJ! 

We broke the word of wisdom this week but it was for our ami and she ended up coming to church so it isn’t that serious right? On Saturday we went to see our ami Evelyne who is on the verge of death one day and then walking miles for fun the next. Well on Saturday she was alive and well and we were just talking about how much we like peanut butter and Nutella and then she said she was going to make us a surprise. In her kitchen we heard all these mixing sounds but had no idea what to expect... she presented us with a mug each that smelled a lot like coffee.... she didn’t want to tell us what was inside because she wanted to surprise us with her homemade dessert. It was yogurt mixed with coffee and is a favorite of hers. After one spoonful I had an instant headache and when she finally told us what was inside after begging her because we had no idea if we could actually eat it or not, we found out it was COFFEE!! So I tried stalling and just talking about random other things so I wouldn’t have to eat it and then finally she said we didn’t need to finish and I said a mini prayer of thanks! BUT she said she would come to church on Sunday if we had someone get her... Sunday morning came and she wasn’t answering... We barged inside her house and it was like the friends episode where Ross has an important thing and Rachel kept changing and he gets super frustrated... I was Ross and Evelyne was Rachel. I was just wanting her to get her shoes on and to go and she wanted to really get ready. After 25 minutes of me not learning patience she got into the car of our members and we got to church during the opening song! 

We had a really great week and have seen a lot of miracles! I am happy to be here and really do just LOVE my mission! This week I hit my 15 month mark which means that 3 months from Wednesday I will be home! WHICH means you all have 3 months to write me and send me packages!! :) 

I love you all and am soo grateful for all of the love and support!


Soeur Emily Johns

Emily got a blister. Poor girl. 

All the Petit Nicholas from Thithanh 

Emily and Soeur Hunsaker matching

From their girls nice. 

A cool thing she will be bringing home. 

New night shirt. 

Monday, June 23, 2014


I am sorry to everyone that has read my weekly emails throughout my mission because you have seen the difference from the beginning of my mission to now and I must say that even I know how boring I have become! I remember when I would laugh to myself about my emails and how funny I thought I was and the adventures that I was having and now I have to force myself to even write the email! 

Things are going well in Toul! I am still getting happier and happier here! Soeur P and I are becoming better friends every single day and I know that it is probably because she listens to all of my lame stories and laughs at my jokes so of course I like her! She now knows about every single boy that I have liked since high school and all of the Halloween costumes that I have done! Seriously bonding! 

You remember Slauco... he was the guy that contacted us when I first got here and we saw him last week... HE IS GETTING BAPTIZED!! Turns out that he is not the super creepy eastern European that I thought he was. He is LEGIT and soooo interested in finding Christ in his life! We saw him three times last week and he came to church and LOVED it! He was sooo cute when we told him that he can get baptized whenever he feels ready and after he has learned more and when he proposed next week we had to really hold it in not to just say yes! So instead he is preparing to be baptized on the 6 July and ahhh too cute! He was just going up to members after church telling them that he is getting baptized and he grabbed allllll of the pass along cards at the church so he can give them to his friends! He is 28 and originally from Romania!! SHOUT OUT to my fam. in Romania! He speaks French fine but when we gave him the Book of Mormon in Romanian it was like Christmas morning for him AND FOR US!! This just goes to show that Soeur P being reeeeally nice to ''creepy'' men that I dont want to talk to can actually lead to miracles! 

On Wednesday we had our last conference with the Poznanski's... SOOOO SAD! That couple has completely changed my life and have been the greatest people for me these past 15 months! I love them and will miss them! So we went into Paris on Wednesday having woken up before 5 and then of course it is the day that there are a million strikes with trains but we got there and survived! Not the same for some elders who got there after it was over! We got to stop by HEMA and see lots of people that I didn’t know that are now my friends! I love being a missionary and just being around missionaries! Being alone in Toul can get boring so when we are around other people I AM HAPPY!! 

Emily with the Poznanski's

To celebrate the world cup which I have NO IDEA who is playing and winning or anything, our branch president gave us MMs and boy were there good! Also we got an amandes croissant and a speculos one. We just have to live up to president’s comment that sisters live at boulangeries and elders at kebab shops!

With the World Cup M&M's

With their pastries

Things are going well in Toul and we are seeing miracles and I am doing great! I still just LOVE LOVE LOVE being a missionary and for these next few months that I have here! 

Thank you all for your love and support!

Soeur Emily Johns

The stamps in France right now

Monday, June 16, 2014


There are many great things about being a girl and there are MANY great things about being a missionary and so when some of those great things happen to overlap.... A great week is the result! 

This week we had exchanges... with one of my favorite sister missionaries ever. You should all recognize her because we were friends before the mission, in the mtc together and now in the same district... SOEUR HUNSAKER!!! We were in Nancy and it was seriously too much fun. I often wonder if other missionaries have as much fun as I do because a lot of the time everyone seems so serious but oh well. I am happy and loving life and that is what matters. So we did some work in Nancy and it was still deathly hot so being back in metros and buses was not that lovely with the heat but we made it work. We are the same age in the mission and have really similar teaching styles so it was a lot of fun to just work without anything in the way. We were able to teach one of their amis in Nancy and set a baptismal date. It was a little miracle and I am happy to have been a part of it! 

I have been a missionary for over 14 months and I THOUGHT that I had seen and done most crazy things but me and Soeur Pettingill had a whole new experience...THE POLICE! A cute couple in the branch gave us the address for one of their friends and asked us to stop by and to teach them so of course we went and the lady wasn’t there but her adult daughter was. We had a great conversation and exchanged numbers and even got her mom’s number! Well we called them both and they were soooo friendly and we fixed a RDV and were excited. A few days later we called to confirm and they both had done a 180 and hated us. I guess their son/brother is suuuuper anti us and he has gotten the police involved and it is a big mess so pretty much we will not be passing by or calling them anywhere in the near future. People have threatened to call the police a lot but to actually have the police show up at this cute couple member in our branch and then all that...CRAZY! 

We had a 6 course meal this week with a pioneer couple here in France, Victor and Annie Back. He was the first bishop called and set a part in France WAY back in the mid-70s. They have stories to tell us for DAYS and pictures to match! They are soo cool and I just want to be 85 and with my cute spouse dancing around with the sister missionaries one day! There was tooo much food and I literally almost died when we got home but it was well worth it! I don’t know what I am going to do when I can’t hang out with old people all the time when I get home! 

This week we have found our female charm and used it to our advantage... Only now my comp has this babe of a Spaniard in love with her and her American accent and we may have gone on double dates??? Remember a few weeks ago when these men talked to us and my comp was all friendly and I was rude at first?? Yeah we saw the two of them last night and it was really awkward because it was just the four of us and one of them is confessing his love for my comp and the other is just wanting to talk about God with us. I am a pretty solid wing woman I would say and hopefully we can have more interesting RDVs with our cool new friends! We also met an old ami of the elders who told us that we will have a big challenge with him but we know we can break him. My mom would be ooh soo proud of me! But the only problem is that this feminine charm that I am now discovering only really works on older men and I don’t know if it will work when I actually have to start dating. On verra! 

This week was a great week and I know that attitude really changes everything! I am soo happy and I know that me choosing to be happy and doing all I can to be happy is the key in being happy and seeing miracles! 

They were sad that the sun wasn't shining

They found Dragon Snap Flowers though.

I love being a missionary and my life!


Soeur Emily Johns

I am going to learn Armenian for all of my
friends from Armenia

Monday, June 9, 2014

Choose to be Happy

It is sooooo hot in the east of France! I never thought that I would miss the rain in Rennes soo much. I knew that the sun hated me and that I hated the sun my whole life but it seems like FOREVER since I have been so uncomfortably hot. SUPPOSEDLY it is just a heat wave in this area for a few days. I am praying HARD for it to get cooler or for us to be able to buy fans. It will be a miracle if I haven’t melted by next week! 

I am not a big fan of talking to men that call out at us but here in Toul where we are the ONLY missionaries we have to be really nice or something. So on Monday night as we were taking a nice stroll trying to find people to teach and these two men called out and my comp. starts talking to them...I was not a happy camper. I was just trying to get the conversation over because more often than not they aren’t interested in our message BUT I guess my comps joy in talking to these men rubbed off on me because I ended up being friendlier and they are actually MAYBE interested. The test will be on Sunday if they come to church. I will have to get used to teaching and talking to men again. Wish me luck! 

I WENT TO STRASBOURG!! It is a huge beautiful city in the east of France that sisters don’t get to serve and everyone just wants to go there!! We had a conference there and it was sooo nice! I don’t know if they will ever open it up to sisters but it was so nice to be back in a city and on buses again. Supposedly it battles Germany during Christmas time. I will come back sometime and be the judge of that! On the way back on Tuesday we stopped by this older couple that is less active because of their health and they were toooo cool! I just love older people! TOO many cool stories and advice and I don’t know if it will be tooo weird if I hang out with only people above the age of 60 when I get home because seriously they are my people! 

On Wednesday we did a lot of walking and talking. I am a talker and so is my companion and so sometimes we accidently talk to each other more than others but we will fix that! Thursday was our miracle day! We found a cute little family to teach and saw a lot of our amis and just got into teaching. I have missed that because it has been pretty slow here which didn’t help my attitude of not loving it here. So after such a great day on Thursday I was convinced that I could love Toul...

THEN Friday came... we got a call from the office. NO CAR. My companion had lost her driving privileges in France and I am too old in France and can’t drive so no car. Which means like NOTHING to do? We were devastated and I was pretty annoyed because all of the things that affected her not being able to drive happened before I got here and I felt helpless and even more convinced that I couldn’t be happy in Toul and then more upset because without a car we couldn’t see pretty much anyone and I was pretty upset! We had to cancel our RDVs for the day and beg a member to take us to one of them which ended up being sooo fun. 

On Saturday I called President. Pretty much I just begged him with all that I had for the car. It would take too long for me to get my belge license and I go home before I would receive it so that wasn’t an option. And he wouldn’t give my comp the right to drive which totally makes sense. So I was not the happiest but after more begging he gave her back her rights to drive BUT with half the miles. So we are still pretty limited with the car but not completely! He should give us back the full miles when she leaves and I get a new comp that can drive. But until then we will get really tan (red for me) while walking around Toul. At the same time I asked President for some advice because I was really struggling being in Toul. I felt like it was a punishment and that it wasn’t fair because I already served in Cholet. That was just me being a bit spoiled but President gave me some tough love and pretty much called me impatient which is true and told me that it is all in my head and that I choose to be happy. So after that blunt phone call I changed my mind and decided the only thing I would feel is happiness. Not annoyed, frustrated, stressed or anything negative. And voila... It worked! 

On Saturday in spite of getting sun burnt and walking around all day I was happy! We had stake conference on Saturday night and Sunday and it was sooo nice! On Sunday it was broadcasted from the temple in Switzerland and it was by Elder Utchdorf, Elder Texiera, Elder Anderson and Sister Reevess. it was sooo great!

I have a much fresher and happier out look of why I am here and realize that it isn’t a punishment and that I am really blessed to be here! Magic!

Thank you all for your love and support! I miss and love you all so much!


Soeur Emily Johns

Jeanna d'arc

Monday, June 2, 2014


I am still not exactly sure where I am. I am in a cybercafé doing emails but this isn’t the same with my Muslim friends and other missionaries all laughing together. And I am in Toul which is in the east but not really even on maps... Google is needed to know where I am!

On Monday I had my last FHE with the family Dagry! I love this family and their sons! It helps that they are two of my best friends! Guillaume and Clement! It was great to just pass a nice evening with people I love so much! and also I needed something chill because I was dying inside about leaving Rennes for Toul and that is exactly what I got!

On Tuesday I said a lot of goodbyes! In Rennes most of all of our investigators were around my age which is the BEST because they are literally my best friends and I love them! So I said bye to lots of my friends but I know I will see them again! We ended the night at the Letorts and watching the kids do JUST DANCE! I will miss that family like no other! LOTS and LOTS of packing and I have no idea how my suitcases have gained sooooo much weight in the past year! I will definitely have to figure out what to do when I pack the next time!

Wednesday morning my four BEST friends in Rennes came to the gare SUPER early in the morning and said bye to me! It was Valetin, Sophie, Clement and Guillaume!! It was soo nice but I just have this image in my head of me on a train leaving them! I miss them all soo much!

I got to Paris and headed to Toul! It was a LONG day with a LOT of time on trains! Going from the far west of France to the far east is a long voyage! But I did it and was greeted by my new companion! Soeur Katie Pettingill from California! She is about 6 months younger than me in the mission and has spent her whole mission in the east! I am going to do all I can to get this girl to see the west of France!

It has only been a few days here in Toul but BOY it is DIFFFFERENT!! It is a TEENY TEEENY town and a branch! There are no buses and no one on the streets to contact! So it will be a whole different way of doing missionary work than what I am used to!

I was really struggling because all I wanted was to be back in Rennes with the people I love and I didn’t know how I was going to do this here for the next 4 months but then at church it changed and I am so glad that the gospel and church are the same everywhere! It just gave me the boost and change of attitude that I needed!

It will definitely be a hard time here with the adjustment but I can’t wait to see all the miracles that I know exist! I am excited!

I am happy and healthy! I will be home in exactly 4 months from Today!

Please keep all of the missionaries in your prayers! I will better organize my email time next week so my emails don’t stay soo lame!!

I love you all


Soeur Emily Johns

The ONLY thing I need in Toul and it is here!

Branch President and a shirt for all dad's