Week #46

Hey there,

So this week we spent more time outside of our city then within.
Elder Gubbay and I did a bunch of exchanges with Zone Leaders around the mission and it was sweet.
It was so much fun to go and teach people in there cities and talk to people everywhere.
I feel blessed to be able to work with so many different missionaries.

I had one particularly marking experience this week.
When I was in Bordeaux on an exchange we had a great experience.
We taught a man who said he used to feel like he was on the top of the world.
He said he felt happy and filled with the spirit.
He said he didn’t know why but he hadn’t felt that way for a long time.
He said he hungered for those feelings again.
We asked him some more questions and we were able to help him realized that he had been making decisions which had been decreasing the light in his life.
We were able to boldly explain to him that if he wants to feel the way he did two years ago, he had to make some changes.
We boldly invited him on the spot to start changing his life.
I know this is possible because of Jesus Christ and his atonement.
As we truly have the desire to change and repent (change our thoughts, beliefs, and actions) of our mistakes, we can find peace and joy again.
Our lives can be filled with light again.

Neil a Maxwell said
If it is also true (in some way we don’t understand) that the cavity which suffering carves into our souls will one day also be the receptacle of joy, how infinitely greater Jesus’ capacity for joy, when he said, after his resurrection, “Behold, my joy is full.” How very, very full, indeed, his joy must have been!

I love this quote I think it is absolutely beautiful.
As a missionary, I do not think there is a greater sensation of joy then to see someone have that cavity of suffering, pain, and regret turned into a receptacle for peace, joy and happiness. Everything about the person changes. They are all of a sudden are shining, glowing, happy people.
I know this is possible because of Jesus Christ and his atonement.

Elder Gubbay and I talk about these things a lot.
We have really come to understand in a clearer sense the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We have really realized that those that truly repent are those that become converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Super crazy side note…………………………………..
I was sitting at church this week when the Bishop got up and introduced some new people who are now in our ward.
He said we have someone from Canada and her name is Anna.
Turns out, it is my friend Anna from back home.
What are the odds that she would move to France and live exactly in the same city where I am serving. Crazyness

Wow so many of my friends are getting married since I have been on my mission. Pretty exciting stuff.

These next two weeks are going to be something special.
We are not going to be in Lyon for two weeks because we are doing a mission wide tour.
We are going to be going to every zone in the mission with the President and we will be teaching the missionaries as he does interviews.
It is going to be fun stuff.
I am so grateful I get to meet all the missionaries in my whole mission.
They are really some of the most incredible people I have ever met.

Well I love you lots

Elder Ioannidis

By Robert Suranyi

Week #45

Yello Bello hello,

Elder Gubbay and I had a wonderful time working with the brand new missionaries, as it was transfer week.
Missionaries seem to be coming more and more prepared and they are awesome.
They all speak french really well and after only 9 weeks of Language studies at the MTC.
They also try really hard to speak it often.
We had tons of fun contacting with them and doing a conference with them.
I have these most wonderful moments, for which that I am so grateful, when I look at them all.
When I look at these wonderful Elders and Sisters, I just love them and I want to let them know that I love them.
I just think they are the most incredible people I have ever met in my life and they are all beams of light.
I just want to let them know how proud I am of them and that I love them, even though I have only just met them.
It is an awesome thing to experience, I am grateful for that feeling.

Elder Gubbay and I chopped down a tree with an axe this week, and it was super fun.
We love doing service so much. It is so much fun to swing an axe at a tree.
We also helped a non member family move and that was also very physical.
I find people like us a lot better after they see us carrying fridges up multiple flights of stairs (funny huh, I have no idea why)

I had just the most wonderful time with Elder Gubbay and President Roney.
We were together in his home discussing things for our mission.
We talking about miracles, the doctrine, and other things.
I started to notice how peaceful I felt there.
I felt so warm and safe and happy in his home.
I felt like I didn’t want to leave.
It was just so lovely to be in a safe environment like that.

Thinking about this, I realize that we really need to protect our homes so that they can be a place like that.
I felt, in those moments, that I wouldn’t want to let things into my home which would pollute it.
I hope that people feel what I felt, when they enter into our home, and my future home.

I love missionaries.
I feel so blessed to be able to meet all of them.
They are all such a great example to me.
They all treat me so nicely and kindly.
I do not think I have done anything special to deserve that.
I look up to them a lot.

These next few weeks are going to be crazy and we are going to be traveling everywhere.

Love you loads

Elder Ioannidis

By Robert Suranyi

Week #44

Dearest family and friends,

This week we had a talent night as a ward activity.
The members were so awesome with their talents.
One of my favorites was a family who danced to MJ music and they had Afro wigs, it was soo cute.
I did a capoeira performance. I wore my dress shirt and tie but had shorts on. It was fun.
I realized it has been a long time because my body was sore for the next two days.

One of my favorite experiences of the week was at church.
I was just sitting there looking around at the 200 members and was just like, “man this is awesome!!!”
There are so many families with super awesome kids and I was like “YAH this is a family church!!!!!!!!!!”
I love that

We have been having many great miracles happening to us.
Members call us, and come up to us, and are like “Hey can you teach my niece and nephew? Hey can you teach a family in my neighbourhood? Hey I am going to bring my friend to church, lets teach her! Hey I met this guy on the bus, he wants to meet with you!”
Yah so it is pretty cool!!!!!
We are so busy that we find it difficult to find time to meet all these people.

Well I love you loads, you are the best

Elder Ioannidis

By Robert Suranyi

Week #43

Oh boy am I tired!!!!!

Elder Gubbay and I are super tired but we are still smiling.

Yesterday we had a great day of service; where we helped a man cut down his trees.
It was super fun and we did all kinds of crazy techniques to break branches.
We later had a chance to speak with him about the Gospel.
His whole family are members and he has seen missionaries for a long time.
It was great to be able to help him and his wife and to talk to them about their wonderful family.

Zone Conference was awesome,
Elder and Sister Teixeira are incredible!
They have such a great love for everyone and have a great fire for missionary work.
It was such a wonderful experience to be able to be with them for 3 days as we toured the mission.
I loved seeing all the missionaries and they all looked so good!!!

Elder Gubbay and I had a really cool experience.
We were planning for the week when I felt like we should stop planning and talk to all of our neighbours.
We decided to go and do it.
As we ran out of our apartment with great excitement, we accidentally locked ourselves out.
We ended up talking to a ton of our neighbours and even taught 2 families in our same building.
2 other neighbours said they would love to meet with us another time.

During our travels around the mission for Zone Conference, we talked with a lot of people.
We talked to people at the airport bag check in, Flight Attendants, Airport food court workers and many other places.
Elder Gubbay and I love just trying to talk to everyone who is in our path.
We are going to meet with a man who we talked to as he was checking our bags for our flight.

So I am super tired all the time but all is well.

Love you,

Elder Ioannidis

By Robert Suranyi

Week #42

Hello all,

Weeks go by way to fast, it is crazy!
This week we went to Toulouse, where I started my mission.
It was really cool to do an exchange with the Zone Leaders and I had a lot of fun teaching everyone in the street.
I think I have already said this but the longer I have been on my mission, the more I feel like our message is really about Jesus Christ and love.

In my head, I have kinda boiled it down to this:
As a missionary, I love and serve people. I will offer my help in any way, including sending them a big great smile.
Because I love them and I want them to be happy, I will have the desire to help them feel loved and be happy.
The way to find real joy and peace is through Jesus Christ.
We accomplish this by living His Gospel (Faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the holy ghost and enduring to the end).
Because I love them and I want them to be happy, I will have the desire to share with them and invite them to come unto Christ and talk to them about him.
I will do this because I know this is what will bring them the greatest joy in this life and in the eternities.

So that is kinda how I view things in my head.
I find the hardest thing ever though, is having all these things that I understand in my head, to transfer and become part of me in my heart.
Even though I feel like I get it in my mind, I want to understand it and feel it in my heart.

So Toulouse was really cool, plus I got to see many members and friends from the beginning of my mission.
Two of my old companions are serving there, so it was really cool to see them.
It was also really nice to be able to take a 10 minute nap for once in my life on the air plane.
We still managed to talk about the Saviour and his teachings with the lady sitting beside us.

Elder Teixeira of the Area 70 will be coming to our mission tomorrow. We will be doing a three conference mission tour with him, so we will be taking more air planes. (yes more nap time)

Lots of other cool moments like giving a Book of Mormon to a man in a hotel elevator. Needing help in a parking lot and giving a Book of Mormon to the parking guy.
Talking to the man sitting at the table next to us at a restaurant. Now why would we want to give out Book of Mormon’s to people?
Well the Book of Mormon is all about Jesus Christ and testifies of him!

Oh BTW Sister Surnayi, remember how you might sing on the EFY CD in Hungarian?
Well here is the story.

We went to the coolest members house ever. They are just the most amazing family ever and it turns out that the Dad and Mom pretty much started EFY in France.
We all sang together and I talked about how awesome you are and how you are on a mission.
He asked me if you sang well and I said Yah she does, she is awesome.
So he arranged to talk with your mission president to see if you could sing for the EFY Hungarian CD.
Pretty cool huh

Well I love you all lots,

Elder Ioannidis

By Robert Suranyi