Week #6

Dear Parents and friends,

Thanks so much for the emails, I always love them. I feel like I have been very ungrateful and have not realized how amazing you are. I read your emails and see all the wonderful things you do and how giving you are. This is very important to me because it is one of my life goals to be giving. I received the package notice in the mail but have not had time to go and pick it up. I thank you very much for thinking of me.

Mom I am so happy you are keeping healthy. It is very important to exercise and you are very dedicated because it is hard at times to work out. I thank you for keeping me updated on Yiayia.
I am so happy that you are still in contact with our lovely friends, especially during the holidays.

Dad you are a super hero. I am so proud of you for helping James out. He is a great guy and needs a good role model like you. I am so happy every time I read about your acts of service along with mom. I hope you have a wonderful Birthday Dad. I love you and I can’t wait to hang out and learn more from you after my mission. I am so glad to hear you are planning something for mom and you. I hope you two will continue to grow in love and joy together. It is really the little everyday things which make the biggest difference. Elder Wahlquist stumbled upon that thought during personal study as he read the scripture “by small and simple means are great things brought to pass”.

Elder Wahlquist and I spent our whole preparation day helping a lady move. We were running up and down stairs with tables, couches and loads of stuff. The other Elders who live with us helped as well, Elder Peart and Elder Cattin. The four of us get along really really well. We have a lot of fun together. We usually cook and eat together whenever we have time and we also give service to one another. The sister missionaries were there as well and they were super stars; Soeur Fernandez and Soeur Hyrkas are amazing missionaries. It is such an honor to be serving with such valiant women. They are so kind and giving it is amazing. Soeur Hrykas was in my MTC district as well so it is awesome to be serving with her. Soeur Fernandez is the most gentle women that I have ever met. She is more chivalrous then most men, it is awesome. We worked really hard all day helping the lady move and we returned the moving truck with one minute to spare on the rental. It was almost like a scene from a movie with Elder Wahlquist and I trying to beat the clock.

This last week I went on my first exchange to a place called Montauban. It is ridiculously beautiful there. The city, which is very small, is covered in Christmas decorations and is incredible to see at night. My companion, during my exchange, was Elder Ormand. They have the nicest apartement there. His companion is Elder Fitch, who then served the day with Elder Wahlquist. Elder Fitch left funny notes on his bed and desk which I used during my exchange there. He is such a great guy. Edler Ormand is awesome. We taught a family of 9 people during my exchange, they are so awesome. We did service at the Red Cross and gave out food to those in need. Everyone who volunteers there loves and knows Elder Ormand. Everyone was like “oh there is a new guy”. It was awesome to give service and speak with the people in need, as well as, the other volunteers. We had a meal with a member family called the Dieutre Family. They were awesome to spend time with. The mom is also a seminary teacher. They have 3 kids and they made me laugh as they would annoy each other. It was really cool to spend a day in another city and teach with another Elder.

We have tons of dinner appointments for the holiday season which is amazing. I cannot believe how much food I can eat now. It is actually crazy. I eat the most food out of all the Elders in the apartment. It reminds me of High school when I used to eat my lunch and anyone else’s lunch who couldn’t finish it. I am a good Greek boy.

I want to write letters but we have been very busy. I will find time though to do so though.

You are amazing parents. I thank you so much for your good example and for raising me with good morals and values. I know as you continue to give of yourselves freely to others you will bless the lives of many. You will not only help other but you will find true happiness as well. It is difficult at times to forget ourselves but mom is someone who has that gift of selflessness. I need to work on that and lose myself in the work.

Love you all,

Elder Ioannidis

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By Robert Suranyi