Week #4 (1st week in the Mission Field)

Dear Parentals,

I am sorry I was unable to phone last week.
I asked and realized that Canada is not considered international enough to be privileged to phone home before leaving the MTC.
The french keyboard is different than the English one so I am struggling to type.

I am always so happy to hear everything is going well at home and I have shed a few tears each time I check my emails.
I have realized on my mission how blessed I have been to have such amazing parents. It is now that I come to see the faith that you have and had when you accepted the missionaries to teach you.
I am so grateful for our missionaries and for you both raising us in the church. I cannot imagine living my life and raising my own family without the gospel because it is who I am and what I hope and dream for.

I received an awesome package from the Seegmillers with home made peanut butter bars. They were so delish!!!!! They also sent me little notes in a paper made tie designed by Payton. It is so cool and creative. M sent me a box of cookies as an early Christmas gift and it was so lovely and sweet. Lyra (her niece who is 2) drew me a picture of me wearing a tie. She is so cute. I received letters from Kassandra and Kim from Kelowna YSA and they made me smile and laugh. Mary also sent me a lovely Dear Elder which was very sweet of her. I am a well loved missionary.

President Murdock is wonderful: He is very gentle and soft spoken but very powerful. He knows how to be gentle and kind while setting the standards very clearly. Sister Murdock is an angel. She beams love and light out of every pore. She is always smiling and just has that glow. You know how wonderful she is even before you talk to her, just by looking at her. It was wonderful to meet with them and get some basic training and ideas about the Lyon Mission. My first morning in Switzerland we went for a run. It is absolutely gorgeous in Geneva. I met my Companion who is also my trainer at breakfast. I walked into the room and thought, I hope that Elder is my trainer and he is!!!!! We took three trains from Switzerland to arrive in Toulouse France where I am serving right now.

Elder Wahlquist is my companion. He is amazing. We have only known each other for a week but we work very well together. He has a wonderful heart and is very loving. I love watching him interact with other Elders and the people we meet and teach. He is very very good at following the spirit and I trust him and follow. He has been such a great support for me and is someone I know I can turn too. Together we have shared experiences together in blessing the lives of others. We have seen miracles (the natural result of the correct application of true principles) and do our best to recognize them everyday. Elder Wahlquist is an angel and I am grateful for him.

Love Elder Ioannidis

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By Robert Suranyi