Week #28


Here in Saint-Etienne, we are being very blessed with many non-members attending church.
We also have the most wonderful members who welcome everyone and make sacrifices to drive people to church.
This week we took a bus for 30 minutes to go visit one of our amis.
He wasn’t there and did not inform us that he would not be at our appointment.
I was a bit frustrated by this but tried my best to stay positive and think of things we could do for the next hour and a half.
We made some phone calls to try and visit people in the same area but had no success.
We decided to try a visit a less active family that we knew lived in the area.
We just dropped by and the father and son were home.
We talked to the father who mainly speaks Spanish and he explained to us that he is done with churches.
We didn’t really understand why but he told us to talk to his son.
We talked to his 14 year old son for a bit and invited him to attend church.
He said he wanted to, and we arranged for a family to pick him up to take him to church.
He attended church this Sunday and seemed to well integrated with the boys his age.
I really think that this young boy needs the blessings of the gospel in his life.
I honestly can say that the young men’s program and for the strength of youth mold these boys into men.

This week we help a member move an hour and a half out of Saint-Etienne. We started early in the morning with a handful of people. About 20 minutes later an army of young men showed up to help. It was so awesome to have tons of people there to help a family move. We spent 3 hours just to drive there and back for the first load. Elder Overstreet and I had to leave around 4pm because we had some lessons to teach. We found out the next day that two older men in our ward stayed till 8pm helping move. They spent 6 hours just in transportation time, driving the moving truck back and forth. That is some awesome service rendered.

This week I did something pretty silly.
When ever I get on or off a bus I always thank the Bus driver.
Usually I just say “Merci messieur”.
As we were getting off a packed bus one evening, I yelled “Merci Messieur!”
I paused for a millisecond and remembered that the bus driver was a women.
I quickly yelled right after “Madame!!!!”
It was pretty funny because everyone on the bus heard me say thank you Mr. to a women.

Today it is pouring rain out and we still went for our morning run.
The last thing you want to do first thing you wake up is go for a run.
We do it anyways and once we get a few steps going we usually feel awake and ready.

Well, I love you lots

Elder Ioannidis

By Robert Suranyi

Week #27

Hello dearies,

It was super lovely to get to Skype with you yesterday on mommies day.
The computer I was using had a bunch of bugs but somehow it still worked.

Things are really going well for Elder Overstreet and I.
We are working really well together.
We had 6 non-members at church this week which is always lovely.
Our Gospel principles class is getting so big and full that we have to change class rooms, but we are very happy to do so.
We also had a potluck lunch after church, which is always good.

I bought a new pair of shoes today.
It was about time that I got a new pair because I already went through the 2 shoes I started my mission with.
You get holes on the bottom of shoes really fast and the seems start falling apart as well.
I feel like my feet are indestructible now from all the calluses.

Elder Overstreet and I have been really improving our teaching.
It all starts with planning.
We plan what we are going to teach the night before.
Then during our morning personal studies we find scriptures, come up with questions to ask and think of personal experiences to share.
We then have companionship study and create a lesson mixing in what we both studied during personal study.
and, VoilĂ , that is how we prepare a lesson.

Love you all,

Elder Ioannidis

By Robert Suranyi

Week #26


Another transfer has gone by way to fast.
Time just flies by and it is a bit scary.

Elder Russo got transferred to Albi, a city near Toulouse
and Elder Overstreet and I will be staying together here in Saint Etienne.
We are now a team of 2 instead of three and things might be a bit quiet for a while.

Elder Overstreet and I are excited for a fresh transfer and have been setting some good goals.
We are starting out our transfer with 3 new amis who we are excited to share the gospel with.
We are also excited to have our sweet work out plan each morning.

Mon, Wednesdays and Fridays we are going to run up the steep hills of Saint Etienne.
Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday we are going to do the navy seal work out or some other aerobic exercises.
It really is not easy to wake up early and run but it feels awesome after you destroyed a giant hill.
Sometimes the giant hill destroys me though.

I am happy to hear that Krystal and I both had wonderful experiences with Chickens this week.
I actually find it pretty funny because I see a lot of similar events happening to us both.
For instance Krystal was in a companionship of three and then I was.
Krystal changed cities and then I was changed cities.
Krystal had an experience with chickens and then I did as well.

Today for preparation day I am super excited to go play basket ball.
It is really nice to have this time to let go of the stress and just shoot some hoops.

Mom keep up the great work. I know that your seminary students are doing great and that you do a wonderful job with them.
I hope that you will be able to overcome your nerve pain and I pray that it will not affect you.

Dad, I am in the same boat as you and have gained some weight as well.
I am glad to hear your last check up went well and your doctor is happy.
Keep on taking care of yourself buddy.

Love you all,

Elder Ioannidis

By Robert Suranyi

Week #25

Hi Everyone,

This week we did service at a members home.
He is completly renovating his home.
We were up in his attic cleaning up all the junk and all the fiber glass insolation.
He didn’t have gloves so we put ziplock bags over our hands.
Luckly we had face masks because it was disgustingly dirty.
They also have a bunch of chickens.
They put a chicken on my shoulder and put food on the top of my head.
The chicken would eat the food off my head and shoulder.
It was pretty funny until the chicken pecked me in the face.
Actually it was even funnier when the chicken pecked me in the face.

I did a lot of translating from french to english at church this week.
It kinda gives me a head ache but I know it is a service.
During sacrament meeting though it didn’t bother me.
I felt the spirit and it helped me to stay calm while translating

Love you all

Elder Ioannidis

By Robert Suranyi