Monday, November 24, 2008

No Transfer, yeah!

Hey there world... It's Elder Simonson... and in fact I'm coming to you from Lille France... today Elder me and Elder Ferguson had to go do legality for France which was intersesting. Imagine the most complicated papers to fill out... and then having to do it in a different language.. ya it was embarassing... haha.. now we are in a very sweet Muslim shop for internet like always... anyway enough about that... I don't know if you sent a letter and I didn't get it again but.. I didn't get an email from you. but that's ok... 

Well this last week was another just amazing week... We set two more baptismal dates one with Dylan and one with Charles from Nigeria that speaks English.. Isn't that insane?.. It was sooo sweet.. so right now we have 4 baptismal dates, things are just going soooo good here in Charleroi.. but as you may or may not have noticed it has been 6 weeks and transfers are Wednesday.. Elder Reynolds and I were worried that one of us was going to get transffered and not get to see Esther and Dylan get baptized but I got transfer news this morning in Lille and both of us are staying...thank goodness.. 

Esther and Dylan are soooooooo solid and so amazing ... they understand the gospel and read the Book of Mormon.. I don't know they are just a blessing from the Lord... sooo we have a train in like 5 minutes back to Charleroi.  Sorry this is so small, I will write you a letter on the train.. peace love you...  Elder Simonson

Monday, November 17, 2008

Quoi de neuf?

(What's new?)  Hey there... so I didn't get your message last week, I don't know why but ya... I got one from Trisha and one from Brett. This last week was so amazing.. The Lord blessed us soooo much! This week we SET A BAPTISMAL DATE with Esther. Or more like she set one for herself. She is so prepared. I can't remember all that I told you about her, but she is so sweet, from Cameroon and she has a son named Dylan he is 12. I'm pretty sure that I have told you about her. Anyway... we had asked her to be baptized but she said that she didn't feel ready. But then this week we taught her the Plan of Salvation and had a couple of great lessons and on Friday night she asked us how and when she could get baptized. MIRACLES! We now just have to set one for her son Dylan but that won't be hard. They both love the church and Esther loves the Book of Mormon because everytime she reads it she says it speaks directly to her.. she told us that she was laughing because the reading we gave her was just so personal and just spoke to her and answered all her questions. We are lucky to have the Spirit guide us and help her to be converted. So right now we have Cyr getting baptized on the 6th of Dec. and Esther getting baptized the 3rd of Jan. 
Also this week Cyr was having some financial problems and he said he wasn't going to make it to church... after arguing for a while we really taught him that if he went to church like he knew he should, Heavenly Father would take care of his little problem... so we asked him to show his faith and come to church and everything would work out... we didn't know if he would come, but he did.. and everything worked out just fine.. it was amazing.  Also we found two amazing new investigators named Charles and Vivian. They are from Nigeria and they only speak English.. We have only had 2 rendez vous with them. We taught about the Book of Mormon and all that stuff and we gave him a Book of Mormon and he asked if we could give him a bunch of points in the book so that he could learn something and tell us what he learned for the next rendez vous. It was sooo sweet, he gave himself a committment.. haha it's so crazy how much the Lord directs his work... we do very little other than just being there to invite... French is coming especially good this week as we have been really trying to get more focused and have the Spirit with us.. 

As for other news.. I got Trisha's and Mom's packages..thank you, it was sooo great. I just got it on Sat. Zone Conference which was so amazing. Pres. Woodland is like the most powerful man it's insane... he will be a General Authority.. but I also got a letter from Cindy Stewart, that was so nice of her and ya that's about it.. No I still have not been able to get money out of my debit card... so I don't know why, but I will try again today.... I think I might have to take out like 100 euros at a time I have just been trying to take out 50.. As for the California thing.. We heard about it.. we had a prayer for it because if it would have passed, the Temples in California would have had to close.. that's just what I had heard, but that was from Zone leaders that heard it from Pres. that heard it from the Brethren... That is too  bad that there is back lash... It kinda sounds like the world is falling apart... I have heard there is like a financial crisis going on or something.. I don't know, but what I do know is we know why we are here, so we better make sure we are prepared. Anyway, I love you all.. sorry I haven't sent pictures or anything.. I'm scared to send my card and there aren't a ton of printing machines here. There are a few but I tried a couple of times and it wouldn't work with my card... but... ya Love ya...
Elder Simonson... 

Monday, November 10, 2008


Hello! So Charleroi is great; and just in case you were worried...I heard that Obama is the new President.. Freak.. the people here are so crazy about America! They just love to hate it.. but they are so obsessed! The day everyone found out about our new President, we would try to contact people on the road and they would just scream "VIVE OBAMA!"  It was so annoying.. I started lying and saying I was Canadian so I could talk about the gospel and not about stupid Obama..
The work is going good. Cyr and Esther and her son Dylan are doing so good. Cyr has a bapt. date for Dec. 6th.  We had to change it for scheduling purposes.  We had a little bit of a tough week.. it was the week after break so the city was crazy, but no one wanted to talk to us... Ummm I got my hair cut today...Elder Gonzalez cut it for me.. it was pretty much his first time but it came out really well actually.. and also I cut Elder Furgeson's hair.  It was pretty good.. I'm pretty much a master hairstylist!  I got Grandma's letter, thank you Grandma, it was great to hear from a fellow missionary. Today we were going to go to Brugge but it was way too rainy so we went bowling instead.  It was weird, it reminded me too much of home.. and Trish it was good to hear from you as well...Clint, I wrote you a letter today.. so feel special dang it.  Anyway, I don't really know much else to write.. but I have really learned these last couple of weeks how important the Gospel is and how important it is to not just take it for granted and get lazy and comfortable.  Because we should always be progressing.. always doing better.. and if you stop reading, praying, and progessing in the Gospel it is so easy to just slip away.  That is the biggest problem here in Europe.. people don't take the church as seriously as it needs to be taken.. and it kills me because those who continue to stay strong, their lives are so blessed.. and those who don't, have problems and complain about their lives... so just don't take being a member for granted... and don't think you are ok where you are because you can always do better.. SO READ YOUR SCRIPTURES AND DO YOUR CALLING WITH EVERYTHING YOU GOT.. because we aren't here just to do ok.. we are here to try to be as perfect as we can... and it's a comandment from Jesus.. to perfect 3 Nephi...ya... alright, I love you all... talk to you next week.. 
Bientot, Elder simonson

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pres. Woodland writes...

(Jacob's letter for the week is down below, here is a letter from Pres.
Woodland that Jake sent along telling about the mission):

At the writing of this e-mail (Sunday Night), I have not as yet received
the final baptism count. We anticipate for this weekend and last
weekend, we will have over 7 baptisms with many more to come in
November and December. The fast that we have just completed has
already started to be answered. The Lord is bringing many people to
us particularly in those teams that are going forth – full of faith not
doubting and thrusting in their sickle.

In the last couple of weeks in many cities, we have seen people taught
years ago, call or run into the missionaries and express their desire to
be baptized. Several have simply walked into Church and said that they
have had a change of heart and want to be baptized. Several teams
have between four and ten baptismal dates. Most of these teams have
accepted the direction from the Apostles to teach investigators 3
times per week for 30 minutes and have members present at all
lessons if possible after the first lesson. As they have done this, they
have found people progress much more rapidly and accept their
commitments more readily. They are becoming converts.

The week ended the October 26th, we had 141 investigators in Sac.
Meeting – the highest for the year. Furthermore, we had 318 member
present lessons or 4.0 per companionship – the highest of the year.
We had 238 progressing investigators – 3.0 per companionship –
the highest of the year. And Finally, 238 new investigators – 3.0 per
companionship – also the highest of the year.

I thank the Lord for these tender mercies. This is the road to true
converts. I thank you for your obedience, faith, and diligence. We are
living a miracle!! It can be realized in every city - every team.

Please prepare carefully for Zone Conference.

With all our love
President Woodland

Jacob's Letter for Nov. 3rd

Hey... It is good to hear from you! Everything is going soooo good.  
Charleroi is ready to take off! This week on Thursday we had a
special day called the Charleroi Charge! We had the AP's and the
Zone Leaders and all the leaders near Charleroi come and we did
an all day finding work day. I was with Elder Valenza and it was
an amazing day of miracles.. He and I found 6 new investigators
and we taught 12 lessons... it was a long day. We started
contacting at 10:30 and ended at 9 at night.. And we fasted.
I thought it was going to be an intense day but it was amazing.
We found an awesome family! Anyway... We have a baptismal
date, his name is Cyr. he is great, he is from Kongo. Then our
other amazing investigator is named Esther. She is from
Cameroon and she has a 12 year old son. They are sooo good,
and we invited her to be baptized but she was a little uneasy. But
she came to church and her son Dylan loved it and Esther really
liked it too. I love the mission, the other night it hit me...I realized
that I love it... even though I can't really speak that well or
understand everything, I love it. It has already changed my view
on the importance of the church. We have an awesome Ward
here in Charleroi.. but they still have a lot of work to do, I don't
know.. Everything is going so good. We had some of the most
powerful and spiritual lessons that I have ever been in this last
week. Elder Gonzalez from LA is almost done with his mission
and he is just an outstanding missionary.. We worked with him
and we had some powerful lessons.. well.. I don't know much
else to write..
Things Europe has that America needs....
Goefs or waffles They are sooo good..
also Nutella is amazing...
The milk is getting better...
Good cheese..
Amazing chocolate
and frites (fries were invented in Belgium) not France.. and Belgium
frites are so good..

Anyway, just for a little side note, Halloween was pretty much
nothing here... it just started like 10 years ago and no one gets
the concept here... this whole last week we saw kids just randomly
trick or treating.. haha.. they don't get that you trick or treat on the
31st, and when they come to the door they say bonbon ou coup de
batton ( I don't think that is spelled right for all you French speakers,
that's just spelled how it sounds).. anyway it means give me candy
or I will beat you.. haha.. ya well.. I am sorry my letters are so lame..
so much happens here I just never really know what to tell you.. so
bear with me..

Oh ya.. I had my first freezing cold day on Wednesday... it was soo
cold... the kind of cold here is like being at Lava during ther winter
when you are wet.. that's what it feels like but it hasn't been as cold
since then.. Well I should go, I will try to send some pictures soon..
I'm sorry... I love you all and miss all of you.. Elder Simonson