Monday, November 30, 2015

Bonjour tout le monde!

So here I am in Valence. It's weird being in a normal equipe again!
I'm a little rusty at everything, but we're getting back in the groove
of things. But I'm stoked to be here!

So Gabriel's baptism was last Saturday! I wasn't able to go, but I'm
super happy that it all came through! 
Elder Acheson and Gabriel
He got confirmed by Elder
Sweeney yesterday. 

Elder and Sister Sweeney
I'm gonna give him a call sometime this week to
congratulate him! I'm hoping to see him soon when we go to Lyon. I
wrote a gospel rap for him so I wanna rap it to him hahaha just as a
little gift.
I had a chance to talk to President Brown over the phone and he said
it was a very spiritual interview, and Gabriel has a great desire. So
I'm glad is has all come through!
I'm grateful for him and all that he did. I have never had someone so
prepared in my mission! We started teaching him 6 weeks ago, he came
to to church every Sunday, we saw him often, and he has been baptized!
His next goal is to take his dad's name to the temple to baptize him.
His father passed away a few years ago and he wasn't ever baptized, so
he really wants to do that!

Valence is a pretty chill ville. My come Elder Thangaraj is a bro.
(It's pronounced tahn-garage) Again, he's in his second transfer so
I'm finishing his training. We're in a four man apartment, so that's
super sick! Those are the best. The ward is super sick! We went to
church on Sunday, and I feel like everyone here speaks English haha!
It's super cool. We were like 98 people at church yesterday, so it's a
good ward. And they have the newest chapel in France! It's really
nice. I enjoy being in a real chapel. It's my first time since my very
first transfer that we have a chapel that's not just a rented building.
Valence as a ville isn't too bad. 
Newest chapel in France
They have your usual French stuff..
Boulangeries and pharmacies on every corner, the occasional but often
SDF (homeless guys), and a big fountain. They just put in a Ferris
wheel last week. So that's cool. We'll probably take a ride on it.

So there are two equipes (teams) in valence. My equipe just got opened
last transfer, and so we hardly have anything this transfer.. We have
a few potentials amis (investigators), and one recent convert that we
can work with. But for the most part, we're doing a lot of finding and
fun stuff like that. So Voilà.
We had this rdv (appointment) with this old ami, Odile. She's super!
She's known the missionaries for a while. She's almost 18, but
she speaks English, French, and some Italian. She's also studying law
cause she skipped two years of high school. So basically, she's super
smart! So we're gonna try to start teaching her again. She's really
interested, and she used to have a baptismal date set. It sounds like
missionaries from the past were pushing her too much to get baptized
before he left. So our plan is just to be friends with her and teach
her, and let her decide and not push it too much.

The member support here in valence is super awesome!! Last Wednesday,
we had a dinner with the family Tulevuka. He's a rugby player from
Fiji! His wife is from Orem. The would have had us on Thursday for
thanksgiving, but they were leaving. So they fed us an early
thanksgiving! It was super good. That night we talked about potential
friends they have or know. Log story short, they gave us 4 of their
friends to go pass, and one less active guy they know! All four of us
were there, so we each took two of their friends and all took the guy.
So we're gonna try to meet them and fix something with them!
There's a member here nicknamed Chiffy (Frere Lechifflart). If you
have ever met Chiffy, you'll always remember him, and he'll always
remember you. He got converted about 30 years ago, and he loves the
church and the missionaries. He's always willing to help out the
missionaries with no matter what. Like he calls on Monday and sees if
we need help with doing groceries, and he'll drive us there and back.
So he's super loving and nice!
We got to church on Sunday, and this member I met was like (in
French), "it's your comps bday tomorrow, so why don't you come eat
lunch with us after church." So we did that and it was really good!
There were three different members there and a less active guy. So up
to this point, the member support has already been great! I'm super
excited to get to know everyone.

For those of you that have asked, thanksgiving doesn't exist here. It
was started by the pilgrims in North America. Haha but of course we
celebrated! My mom sent me stuffing and gravy in the mail (thanks
mom!!) and so we bought turkey and stuff.. We had everything we could
possibly need! Potatoes, corn, stuffing, gravy, turkey. And with the
rule that we have to be in by the fall of night, we were able to take
the time to prepare it. So it went well :)
Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving with a French Cheese Twist.

On Saturday we did some service at the food bank. We just collected
food at Leclerc (like a Walmart) and did that for a few hours. There
were some members and some non members.

 So that went well!
So again, in our apartment we have me and Elder Thangaraj. The in the
other equipe is elder Burri (who I was in the MTC with) and elder
Hekking (who was thangaraj's MTC comp, and in my ward last transfer).
So we all know each other really well. We have set some apartment
goals and ideas!
Today was Elder Thangaraj's birthday. I don't have enough time to
explain what happened, but it was a pretty crazy day. I'll talk about
it next week!

Also here's my new address please feel free to write.
Les Missionaires
Elder Steadman
43 Rue de l'Armée Belge
26000 Valence
Love you all! Have a great week!
Sneak Peak from today, I will write more about it next week.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Note from the Editor (mom):
Jake just got transferred and is a new area for Christmas, (he was
hoping to stay to baptize Gabriel)  please feel free to send him emails
or Christmas card/letters.  I would love to flood  him with Christmas wishes. 
I can mail it internationally for you if you want me to, 
(I have lots of International stamps).  It takes about 10-14 days
to get to France. 
Here is new address... or you can send to the mission home also.

Les Missionaires
Elder Steadman
43 Rue de l'amee Belge
26000 Valence

or email is


So we got calls again this last Friday, and I'm getting transferred to
Valence! Valence is about an hour away from Lyon and they're a ward.
My new comp is Elder Thangaraj, he graduated from Olympus in 2014.
He's a straight up bro, so that's cool! He's in his 2nd transfer, so
I'm finishing his training.

I'm in a four man apartment with Elder Burri, who was in my MTC
district, and Elder Hekking, who was in the same ward as me last
transfer! Hekking is also in his second transfer. We haven't gone
there yet; we're just hanging out in Lyon. Valence is close enough
that we can just choose when we go back by train.

Ill be honest; I was pretty upset when I found out I'm leaving. It
will be my fifth area in only my eight transfer, which is quite a bit.
But I've had the weekend to think about it all, and I realize that it
will be super great. I don't want to focus on the things I'm leaving
behind; im trying to focus on the things that I've been able to do in
this equipe.

Presidents PDay

These last two transfers in this moving equipe have been some of the
craziest. There were lots of long days, late nights, and often times
of sleeping on the floor in other missionary apartments. I've been
able to see a lot of parts of the mission that most missionaries won't
see. I've probably had more McDonalds than most missionaries. I've
been to different ikeas all around France. I once gave a short talk in
front of president brown, Linda K Burton, and a member of the seventy,
all while in basketball shorts and a T shirt. Taking a look at the
list of senior couples in the mission, we were able to serve and all
but two of them. I've closed or moved about 10 apartments in these 12
weeks. I've eaten a lot of different food all over France. We've been
able to serve a lot of missionaries; I've seen and made lots of
friends through this equipe.

This last transfer was especially cool because of our ami Gabriel!
We've had some extra time, so I'm glad we have been able to work with
Gabriel. He's honestly like my best friend! He's super cool. I'm super
happy about his desire and decision to get baptized. He should be
getting baptized this Saturday :)

We had a busy week but it still felt pretty chill. We went to gap,
Grenoble, Geneva, and St Etienne. Just the usual moving stuff around
for missionaries.

When we went to gap, I gotta see elder Engel from the MTC! We were
taking stuff down there for the senior couple the walkers! The walkers
fed us lunch and it was amazing! It was like a thanksgiving dinner.
They gave us chicken, sweet potatoes, corn, and some rolls. It was
like a nice early thanksgiving dinner!

We went to Grenoble for the night cause it was getting dark. We had
some time to get some cool photos!



Honestly I don't remember much from this week.. Haha there was a
baptism on Saturday for this really cool guy named Ahmed; he was a
Muslim in his childhood, but he never really learned it. All the
missionaries in Lyon know him! So it was a really good baptism.
Gabriel showed up and he enjoyed it too!

The hardest part about my week was calling Gabriel on transfer call
day to tell him that im leaving.. He was super upset about that,
because we've only known each other like 5 weeks. It was sad to say
goodbye to him on Sunday, but i know I'll see him again! There's a
possibility I'll get to go to his baptism. We'll see!

Me and my homie, Gabriel!

Well I hope you all have a great week! Love you!

Monday, November 16, 2015


This week was a week of lots of ups and downs.. My prayers go out to

those in Paris and those who have been affected!

We received a text Friday morning at 4:30am, and being kind of an
office elder, that's never a good sign. I woke up, woke my comp and up
and read the text. It came from President Brown, he explained what had
happening the night before, and instructed us to stay in our
apartments until further notice. At about 9am, we got the okay to go
out of our apartments. Elder Acheson and I had to drop some boxes off
at Presidents house, so we made our way up there. We got to talk to
president briefly about the stuff that has happened. He even let us
watch the news for a second haha! He instructed us to avoid any public
transportation, public gatherings, or being out after dark. We had
planned a trip to Montpellier next week for apartment stuff, but it
looks like we're not going anymore.

Super cool miracle though; we were super busy on Friday night in Lyon,
so we had to make our trip to Switzerland short. We came home Friday
evening, and woke up Saturday after all the crazy stuff that had
happened. Because of all the stuff, the borders were closed. I figured
that last Friday night was the first Friday night this transfer that
we've actually been in Lyon. So essentially, we would have been stuck
in Switzerland if we hadn't needed to come home earlier!

As far as I know, the missionaries in Paris are safe and were on
lockdown this weekend. I have a couple friends up there (Elder
Bytheway, and other MTC buddies). For the moment, we aren't doing as
much contacting. So we've been in before 6 for the last couple nights.
Usually we go in, have a nice dinner, and then try to be productive as
possible. Our area book is looking good, and I'm finally catching up
on journal writing :) (sorry mom)

Sunset in Lyon

So this week was a really interesting week with our ami Gabriel. I'd
say it was good and that he has grown a lot! Our goal this week was to
see him every day. I think we saw him or had contact with him 6 out of
7 days, so that was good!

We had a rdv (rendezvous, appointment) with him on Tuesday. We sat
down and had kind of a DTR (define the relationship) and explained we
want to see him as much as possible before his baptism! He was cool
with that. Then we simply finished our night getting destroyed by
Gabriel in ping pong (I tell people he's the ping pong champion of

Wednesday we had a mangez-vous (it's a play on words in French, it's
just a dinner appointment) with Elder and Sister Sweeney, the couple
in the office and in our ward! Gabriel came, and he even brought one
of his friends, Okasha! We ate Navajo tacos (Sister Sweeney is a great
cook) and had a good spiritual thought. We talked about God as our
Heavenly Father. It was interesting because we didn't plan on Okasha
being there, and Okasha isn't Christian, so we had to change it a bit
for him. It went super well though!

Thursday we called President Brown and asked him if he would be
willing to do the baptismal interview for Gabriel; 
He said the only time he is available is Friday evening, the next day.
Us having only known Gabriel for 3 weeks, we haven't been able to
teach everything. So President Brown told us to go over baptismal
questions and fill in any gaps. So on Thursday, we went over the
questions with Gabriel; he understood and accepted everything!

Friday came, Gabriel didn't show up and we didn't have any contact
with him..  We went to his apartment, and the landlord said he moved
somewhere else..

Saturday came, we still haven't heard from him. His phone wasn't
working. Saturday was a super weird day for all the missionaries. We
didn't know what to do; rules kept on changing and we were confused.
But we went home before 6, and I started doing area book work. Acheson
made some dinner, and I was calling people and inviting them to
church. Out of nowhere, I got this call from a random number, and it's
Gabriel! He was super distraught and sorrowful; he said he was super
sorry he couldn't make it; everything is coming down on him right now,
and things are a big mess. He's having issues with certain papers,
school, and his apartment. He said that he might be on the streets
soon if he can't solve the problems.

I explained to him that in preparation for his baptism, Satan will do
all that he can to make sure he doesn't get baptized. He understood
and said he really needs to see us. He was tempted to skip out on
church, but he wouldn't give into the lies of Satan.

I shared with him Psalms 34:19: "Many are the afflictions of the
righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all."

Sunday, he came to church! he was still stressed out about stuff, but
he felt better after coming to church.

We plan to see him this week; for now, we moved his date to the 28th.
We will talk to him and figure more things out on his situation! I
might actually talk to president at presidents Pday, to see if he
could delegate someone so his baptism can be this Saturday! But I
expect that he will only grow from these experiences, and soon enough
be baptized :)

We made a quick trip to Geneva and Martigny to move stuff. The usual
moving stuff around! Super fun haha. But it's cool! We got to see
really pretty stuff in Martigny! We took a nice detour during our
lunch hour (where we eat lunch and see sights at the same time)! Now
that I have seen Martigny, I have seen every Suisse sector in our
mission! I've been able to see some super cool spots and areas that
most American missionaries wouldn't! We got some cool photos In the

 Martigny is squeezed in between mountains, so it reminded

me of Utah! The fog was down in the canyon, so it was super cool!

We've been trying new restaurants in Lyon lately.. Had an Asian grill
that was good and a Tandoori Buffet with some awesome Naan hahah

We went to dinner with Elder Taylor and Boynton (the true office
elders) at master tacos with Ahmed. Ahmed is going to get baptized
this Saturday; he's a super cool dude!

Went bowling last week and I bowled 163 for a lifetime high hahah

Today is presidents Pday so we all Just get to hang out at presidents
house; Sister brown usually makes amazing American food for us and we
do a bunch of fun stuff!

Well that's all! Have a great week everyone! Stay safe! Love you!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Wow I don't even remember what happened this week.. It feels like we
were just in Geneva the whole time! But this email will be short
because I don't have a lot of time left..

Our ami Gabriel is doing well! We weren't able to see him this week
because we were super busy and he was too. But he still came to church
on Sunday so that was sick! He still wants to be baptized. So tonight
we're gonna see him and talk about what we need to do these next two
weeks to be able to see him! So we're still planning for the 21st and
we're stoked for that!

In other news, we contacted this reference we had and set a rendezvous
with him on Sunday morning. We were waiting for him but he didn't show
up. So we gave him a call and he was like (in English) "hey sorry, I
can't make it this morning, I didn't get much sleep last night. But
I'm still really interested to meet with you guys and bring my family.
We would really like a place to worship and a community that we can be
with. We'll try to make it to church the next Sunday!" So that was
really cool. I haven't met him in person yet, but we hope to see them
this week!

We finished the two apartments in Geneva, finally! Haha we destroyed
stuff and took it to the dump. Nothing too exciting happened. On our
way out to Geneva, we stopped for lunch at some small ville that had
this really pretty lake!

Apartment moves in Geneva.

There was a baptism in our ward for a girl named Yali. She's a Chinese
student here, and she has been working with the other elders in our
ward! And with Elder Bleak, because he is a Chinese missionary here in
Lyon! We attended that and that was super cool!

Also there was zone conference this week.. But unfortunately I don't
have time to write about it..

zone conference
Today we went bowling with the zone. So that was fun too!

That's all I can remember from this week. Time is flying for us! We
get transfer calls next week already.. So it's come super fast! I love
what I'm doing though! I'm glad to be able to do some actual
missionary work with the office work on the side! I love my mission!

And I love you all :) have a good week!

Monday, November 2, 2015



Happy November and Halloween! This week was pretty cool. Turns out,
some people in France (and Suisse) do celebrate Halloween!


So we still have our ami (investigator, translates to friend)! Again
his name is Gabriel. He's a super cool dude! Like honestly, he's just
like one of our friends that we hang out with, but also teach! So it's
been really fun.

Last Monday night, we invited Gabriel to the institute to play some
ping pong with us. There were some other missionaries there and it
just kind of turned into a ping pong tournament haha. Gabriel
destroyed us in ping pong however! Haha he owned everyone.

Ping pong tournament

Tuesday night, we went to dinner with Gabriel. We went to our favorite
place, Master Tacos! We didn't really have a chance to teach him that
night, but it's still good spending time with him! He said that he
just needs some good influences in his life. So we're there to help
him out!

We saw Gabriel on Thursday! We wanted to find out about all the stuff
that Gabriel had learned with the missionaries in the past. So
honestly, we just went over baptismal interview questions with him!
Haha we went through all of them, and he recognized all the stuff we
talked about. There were things we need to retouch, but he basically
told us that he stopped doing all the bad stuff and feels that he has
repented! So that's super sick. We have set his date for the 21stvof
November, so we've got about 3 weeks to make sure he's ready! There's
a possibility we might even take him to presidents house and teach him
there.. We'll see!

Saturday, the sister training leaders put on a little Halloween party
for all the young adults in the Lyon wards. There's 4 wards, and so
there's was a bunch of people! All the missionaries were there, and
lots of members and non members. We got to the party about an hour
late, because we were getting home from Geneva, but we showed up, and
unfortunately, Gabriel wasn't there.. We hoped he would show up, cause
he, Acheson and I were gonna have sick costumes!

But to our surprise... He showed up! He showed up like right at the
very end, and he even brought two of his friends! Haha so we were
super stoked to see him. We even had the same dope costumes haha! We
said we were men in black. Here's a photo! We were lookin

Men in Black (that's our boy Gabriel in the middle)

Gabriel came to church on Sunday! He enjoyed it. He speaks super good
French! And fortunately, we had our investigator class in English
because the majority of the Amis spoke English. But it was a good day
at church! Between all three missionary equipes in our ward, I think
we had 11 total Amis at church! So that was super cool!
Also, there was an activity at the institute for the young adults. So
Gabriel came and he even brought a friend! Gabriel was saying "you
need to preach to this guy, he's a believer!" Haha Gabriel is on top
of his game. We're seeing him tonight so I'm stoked!

Other than that stuff, we were moving stuff in St etienne and Geneva.
In st etienne, the sisters apartment building caught on fire! The
entire hallway and stairway of the building was completely black, but
the sisters apartment was perfectly fine. It happened about a week
ago. No one was injured, but there were some apartments that had fire
damage. It was scary walking into the building! It felt like a haunted
house. Im sure dad knows the feeling Haha. I'll send some pictures!
We were still moving some stuff in Geneva. There are just furniture
and other rand junk left in apartments, so we've been taking old stuff
to the dump and stuff like that. Nothing too crazy, but it's still
fun! I enjoy Swizterland a lot.

Beautiful Drives!


This week were gonna eat at the sweeneys; they are the couple in the
office and our ward. We're going to bring Gabriel over with us and all
eat together. So that should be super fun!
I'm super grateful for the ward I'm in! The confluence ward is
amazing. They work super hard and they are great with incoming
friends! I'm thankful to be here at this time. I know God lives and
loves me! And I know none of my efforts will be wasted :)

I love you all! Have a great week!

We're going shopping today