Monday, December 28, 2015


Hey everyone! This week was super sick. 'Nough said.

Me majestically riding a lion (LYON)

So on Tuesday we had a Christmas conference with the entire mission.
It was super! We went to it early; we went on Monday afternoon so
we could just go hang out in Lyon for a bit. So that was chill! 
Ecully and Lyon Zones at Confluence Museum! (The museum is that
spaceship looking thing in the back)

My comp and I stayed at the AP's apartment; we got really lucky cause
there was the APs, the secretary, and us two. Most of the other elders
apartments in Lyon had like 10 people in them haha! And they have a
car, so we didn't have to worry about any public transportation, so
that was also nice.

Our MTC group!

Tuesday at the conference was fun! We started out at the park next to
the museum of the confluence.  We got to wear Pday clothes cause we
were playing games and stuff! I really enjoyed the whole day because
they gave us plenty of time to hang out and catch up with our old
mission buddies. We went to the aquarium also; they have an auditorium
and it's close to where we were. Sister brown hosted a bunch of minute
to win it games for the mission. We got to watch the Lion King and
master tacos (the favorite restaurant in Lyon of every missionary) was
delivered to us. There was over 200! They're all the size of a cafe
rio burrito.

MTC district reunited!

Wednesday we had a more spiritual meeting! We had a bunch of musical
numbers and the presidency of our mission spoke! The first counselor
of the presidency is from Bordeaux. The second counselor is from St.
Raphael, down on the coast. So it was cool to meet them!
Companionship ornaments!

So we had a funny experience this week.. Haha when we got on the train
on Wednesday to go back to valence, Elder Burri and I sat next to
each other, and the two bleus (greenies) went to a different car
because there were no seats. When we arrived in valence we got off the
train, and didn't see them. We looked on the train a bit before it
left, but we didn't see them anywhere. We both realized that they
didn't have a phone cause we had both of them. We were worried they
had fallen asleep and not gotten off at their stop! So we start
freaking out haha. We called the Zone leaders, which lead the APs to
call us. After praying, we felt the impression to just walk home.

Sure enough, we show up at home and they're there! They didn't know
where we were so they just decided to go home..... Haha so I called
the APs back and said we found them. President was with them, so he
talked to me for a second and kind of chastised me for letting them go
off without a phone, but also said good job for following the spirit.

Christmas Eve was very interesting.. To say it briefly, I was eating
oysters and snails while  translating for a Nigerian Prince with a
bunch of children climbing all over me.

But it was pretty good! We spent the night with a family that has lots
of children. I don't know how their family tree works, but there's a
lot of them hahah. We Brought Prince with us. He doesn't speak French
so we translated for him. Oh and we also found out that Prince is
technically the king because his parents have passed away. No joke.

I tried oysters that night.. I really just don't like seafood. 
We also had snails. Not bad.

Christmas Day was sick! We woke up in the morning and opened gifts. We
dragged our mattresses to the chapel (we live a block away) and we all
watched the minions in there. For lunch we went to Romans; we got to
have a feast at the rugby stadium with some players and their
families. There was sooooo much meat! They did an underground oven and
roasted a pig. It was super good though! I love the islanders. We got
to meet a lot of people!
Christmas Feast

Roasted Pig

After we spent the evening at the Thias. Our entire day was in English
so that was pretty nice! But the Thia mom wanted to keep Christmas
really chill. So she just put out food and said eat what you want! 

All four of us were in and out cause we were skyping our families. It was
super fun to skype the fam again!

Skyping with the family

All in all, it was a super memorable Christmas and it was well spent.
(A little better spent than the MTC last year ;) haha

So every Saturday we do sports, and we invite people. For the last
month, no one has come. But this lady Saturday, the two rugby bros
invited their friends to come play some basketball and volleyball. And
so we ended up having about 30 people there!! Honestly it was one of
the best Saturday sports I've ever had. We were super stoked and super
tired after it.

We ate at sister Giberts for that evening. It was pretty calm as well.
She gave us Foie Gras (cooked duck liver after the duck was force
fed.) I tried it again. Guess what?! I still didn't like it hahah.
The Confluence

Odile, our now 18 ami, had her birthday yesterday. Her mom invited us
to come over to celebrate! Unfortunately I don't have any of the
photos they took... But it was super fun! We got to meet her
grandparents and her aunt and uncle. They were all very French people!
They were talking about how if they had met us on the street they
would never talk to us. But because they met us through a member, they
see us as really nice people! Haha member work is essential. But it
was fun to be there for her birthday!

Other than that, we have a lot of stuff planned for this week. It
should be pretty fun! We get transfer calls on Friday, so we'll see
what happens.

I love you all! Have a great week!!

Notes/Pictures from the editor:

We had the honor of having a member (Sophie and Davie) of the ward Jake is serving in currently come and have dinner with us this last week, and then got to take them on a tour of the fire station (she used to be a firefighter). Great experience having her and her fiance in our home and feeling some of the French culture and stories of Jake and realizing how the Gospel is just one big extended family.  (see below pictures) 


Monday, December 21, 2015


Wow I don't even remember this week. Haha time is flying! We're
already on week five. This transfer is flying by.
This is gonna be shorter than usual. We're going to Lyon today for themission conference. We're going up early to hang out in Lyon! I'mgonna try to see my homie Gabriel today so I'm pretty excited.
But let's see what I did this week..

We had district meeting this week! Our district is super cool. We're adistrict of all elders. And we're a pretty young district. There are 3blues and one that just barely finished his training. But we had agood district meeting and enjoyed some crêpes after!

Companionship Ornaments!

Well look at that. It's been a year that I've been on my mission. I'vebeen losing track of time, and now this next year will probably feeleven faster. I'm soooooo happy I still have an entire year. This placeis amazing and I love it.

That night we had dinner with the family Tuilevuka. The Fijian rugbyplayer and his American wife! She made us meatballs and we hadcinnamon rolls. The Tuilevuka family is super! They hook us up.We're going to their Christmas party, which is gonna be a feast with abunch of rugby players. So it should be pretty great!
On Saturday we had lunch with the family Thia and then we wentcaroling in their neighborhood. The Thia Mother is American, and soall their kids speak French and English! They have a son who's 17, ason on a mission, and another son that got home this last year andwill be married in April. So it was super fun doing that with them!We're going to their house for Christmas evening. And then that nightwe had dinner with sister Gibert. She's a single sister in our wardthat's super faithful! She feeds us once a week so that's super niceof her.

This last Monday we learned that one of our brethren in Valence passedaway. His name was Brother Alain Kaiser. When we found that out, wewere all pretty shocked because we saw him at church the day beforeand he was perfectly fine. So we attended his funeral services onFriday morning. It went well even though I don't like funerals.
But I'm very thankful for Brother Kaiser. I didn't know him very well,but I'm thankful for the short time I did know him. On my first Sundayin valence, brother Kaiser came up to my comp and I when we arrivedand was like "hey do you wanna come eat lunch after church with us?"So for me, he was a welcoming hand in this wonderful ward.
I'm thankful for his friendliness and his example. Life is precious;let's not forget these great gifts that God has given us. God hasgiven us so much to be thankful for. What can we do to give back? Wemust simply keep his commandments to show our love for him. We mustpray to him and read our scriptures. A member of he quorum of theseventy once came and talked about blessings we can receive. He said"If we don't have faith to receive these blessings, try Him. Try Him."
With that, I wish you all a merry Christmas. I love you all so much.I'm thankful for Christ and for his birth. It's a beautiful season outhere in France to be celebrating the birth of Christ!

Joyeux Noel!

Monday, December 14, 2015


Note from Editor (mom) - feel free to flood Jake with congrats on his 1 year mark on December 17th and Christmas wishes, he would love to hear from everyone.  His email address is

So this is gonna be short and lame cause I don't have time.. Sorry!

We had a bunch of meals with members this week. They've been feeding
us a lot. The members are super. After church on Sunday they all
come to us and they're like "ok you can come for dinner this day and
then lunch on this day" so we're just like chillin. It's pretty cool!
They're super supportive of us!

I'm not gonna go into detail about all the meals, but my favorite one
was spent with the Tuilevuka family. He's the rugby player from Fiji
and his wife is American. They hook us up! He was a missionary, and so
he's always like "I know what it's like guys...  Now let's go get some
mcflurrys" hahah so we really appreciate them!

We also had dinner at Sophie's house. She's this cool young adult in
our ward, and she's coming to Utah for 3 weeks! So we had a little
farewell dinner for her on Sunday night and it was super fun.

Honestly I can't remember what else happened this week...
I went on exchange with elder little. He's very bleu (we say bleu, not
greenie) and from England. He's very English. But it was a good
exchange. I've been getting use to being around really young
missionaries and being the one that needs to know how to speak French.
In our district of 8 elders, 3 of them are blues and one of them just
finished being a blue. So we're pretty young out here.

We hung out with one of our Amis Odile. She's super cool! We want to
try to start teaching her this week. She knows a lot of stuff already.
It's just that in the Past she was pushed a little too much by
missionaries. So we're just being her friend right now :) But we just
went to centreville valence and looked around at the shops. We might
go on the Ferris wheel this week.

We're going to Lyon next week for a mission conference. We're supposed
to leave Monday evening and be there until Wednesday evening, but
we're gonna change the train and go Monday morning. That we can spend
all day in Lyon just hanging out! I already called my homie Gabriel. I
get to hang out with him next week! It'll be the first time I'll see
him since his baptism. So I'm stoked for that!

One thing that stood out to me this week was how we judge others... Do
we ever look around at church and judge others? Do we complain about
other members? Do we judge them because they have different weaknesses
than us? Do we judge them because of their "class," occupation, or the
way they're dressed?

We're all here for the same reason. We all deserve a chance to listen
to the gospel. We all deserve the right to utilize the atonement of
Jesus Christ, even after many failed attempts. We're all children of
God :)

I love you all :) have a great week!

One of the only pictures I took this week.. Valence Christmas time

Monday, December 7, 2015

Vibin' in Valence

Hello all the world! (Literal French translation for hello everyone)

This week was pretty cool. We've been doing a lot of finding. It's
tedious but it's worth it! So we'll start with last monday.

So last Monday was Elder Thangaraj's birthday. We wanted to do
something fun. As I was looking at a map of our sector the week
before, I noticed "Ferme aux crocodile," which means crocodile farm.
So I was like "Yeahhhhh" and Thangaraj was like "yeahhhhhh" and the
other elders were like "yeahhhhh!"

So we went with a member, Sophie, to this crocodile farm. It was about
an hour away, but totally worth it haha! There were snakes, turtles,
crocodiles, and even an albino crocodile. So that was pretty cool.
That picture I sent last week was the eye of an albino crocodile!

After we went to "Palais des bonbons" which is Palace of Candy! There
is like a museum, but we decided to just go to the store with all the
candy. We bought some good stuff, and then just headed home!

I'd say it was a birthday well spent for Elder Thangaraj! I'll post
some photos from that day.

Tuesday was an interesting day. I don't really remember what we did,
but i remember we had one hour to do some contacting before we needed
to be in. So we took advantage of the hour! It was probably one of the
most successful nights of contacting I've had hahah. We taught I think
four lessons, met a bunch of people and got numbers of people. It was
kinda embarrassing because we gave away all our copies of the Book of
Mormon and we wanted to give one to this one guy but we were all out.
So we'll try to see him and give him one! We met this lady that's
probably in her 50s. She said she really wants to spend Christmas with
someone; she's had Christmas alone for the last few years cause she
has no parents or children. So we might try to plan something special
for her!

So on Wednesday we went to pass this one referral we got from our
rugby playing member. We passed by and met these two guys named Tunai
and Mesake! They're young and super cool. We just got to know them and
had a pretty good rdv with them. They both grew up in Christian
families and they're super religious!

We passed again on Saturday, and there was a third guy named Peni.
Peni has a lot of faith and he knows the bible super well! We talked
to them about the restoration and they said they will pray about the
Book of Mormon! So we will try to pass them this week.

So here in Valence there's this recent convert names Prince Success.
Yes, he is an actual prince of a Nigerian tribe! Hahah pretty crazy.
He got baptized a couple months ago, and now he's working to go to the
temple in Suisse! So we're stoked for him. He's excited to take his
family names to the temple so they can be baptized. He was telling us
that when he is governor of his tribe, he will give land to the church
so they can build a church on it for his tribe. So that'd be pretty
tight! Hahah but he's hopefully going to the temple this week or the
next one.
Odile, Susan, Us, and Prince

Chiffy fed us dinner last Tuesday night. The moving equipe (my last
one) came down to give us some stuff.  (I've been taking advantage of
that equipe because I know how it all works haha). But they came down
and we had a ribs and root beer night with Chiffy! The ribs were good.
And the rootbeer was good.

Yesterday, all four of us went to Sophie's house for dinner with Lise,
a recent convert, and Susan, a Spanish member. We are dinner and
played games! It was great. Sophie also brought one of our Amis to
church, Odile! So she helped us out big time with that.

We had zone training this week. And we played white elephant during
lunch. they told us to wrap something up from our apartment and give
it as a gift. So, all four of us got creative with it. Long story
short, we had a broken toilet seat, so we all signed our names on it,
wrapped it up, and one of the sisters got it. It was super funny!

This week I'll be going back to Lyon for an exchange with the zone
leaders. Today we might go to the Chocolate factory. We'll see.

Thanks for all that you do! Love you all!!