Week #55

Hey family and Friends,

This week was intense again
We had a zillion exchanges with missionaries again.
But I love it.
I sleep super super well.

We continue to talk to every person that cross our paths.
We talk to every person on our bus, tram, metro that we are taking.
It is loads of fun.
At the beginning of my mission I would be super scared to do this but now it is soo fun.

We are going to be working a lot more with members.
We have created a game that we play with members and it is called the Missionary Game.
It is super awesome and it is fun.

For one of the people we are teaching, we created a DVD with all the videos from the Life of Jesus Christ on the Bible Video Series.

http://www.lds.org/bible-videos/?lang=eng

We also put some of our other favorite videos about how the Saviour and the atonement has changed peoples lives.

I absolutely love these videos and I think they are super super cool.

We had Thanksgiving dinner with two of our investigators at President Roney’s home.
It was incredible and these two friends of ours loved the family atmosphere in their home.
They were really just feeling the spirit because their is a special warmth in the Roney home.

The members are incredible and have been inviting our friends to be taught in their homes and have been inviting them over for dinner. It is just amazing when they phone you up and offer this service.

So this is the last week of Elder Gubbay’s mission and I cried last week for the first time thinking about it. He was bearing his testimony at a Zone training meeting and I just felt a lot of love for him.

I received the Birthday Package, thank you so much. It was super super awesome, Especially the 3D card wohhooo.

Oh some thank yous for you mum.
Elder Gubbay says thanks for the Book Mark and he loves the Jelly Beans
Our two friends say thank you for the CTR rings
I say thank you for being an amazing mom

Thanks to Dad for being so hugable and good at dancing :)

Well I love you all lots

Elder Ioannidis

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By Robert Suranyi

Week #54

Hello there,

This week has been very very awesome.

Elder Gubbay and I had about 4 exchanges.
We had a bunch of missionaries come work with us and it was loads of fun.
In fact we had 8 missionaries stay in our apartment one night when Elder Andersen came.

I directed and arranged the hymn “Oh It is Wonderful” for Elder Andersen’s visit.
The missionaries sang beautifully and it was also a lot of fun to conduct it.

Elder Andersen was just incredible. His wife and kids also spoke.
I loved hearing his kids calling him Dad.
He is an apostle of the Lord but yet he is also a super amazing Dad.
I love that.

The Andersen’s son spoke about how grateful he was for his parents.
Elder Andersen’s wife bore powerful testimony and bore witness that her husband is a special witness of the Saviour.
I loved watching Elder Andersen and hearing him speak.
He made you feel like he could be a close friend to you, even though he has a sacred calling.

Elder Andersen spoke about the Saviour and the Atonement.
He explained that on the mission we are there to help everyone come unto Christ.
That includes members and our colleagues, non members, less actives, everyone
He explained that the most important thing we can do it help people know who Jesus Christ is and help them experience the atonement in their life.

Elder Kearon also spoke.
He has a wonderful English accent and it was enchanting.
He explained how he calls home each day to his wife and kids when he is away.
He explained that on one occasion he asked his wife what had happened that day.
She explained to him that their daughter was running and fell.
This is what their daughter cried out
“I wish Daddy were here. Daddy would be so sad” (make sure to read this with an English accent)
Elder Kearon first explained that he was happy to hear that his daughter thought of him.
He then explained that this joy turned into a great sorrow when he realized that his daughter was hurt.
He explained that he probably hurt more for his daughter then she did herself.

He then compared this to our Heavenly Father.
We cry out for help and he is glad we cry out to him but he experiences great sadness knowing that we are suffering.

Jesus Christ is able to heal all wounds and sufferings.
I recently watched an amazing video
http://www.lds.org/bible-videos/videos/for-god-so-loved-the-world?lang=eng

I love you lots

Elder Ioannidis

By Robert Suranyi

Week #53

Well hello there.

This week is awesome and here is why.
We had like a zillion exchanges for like 3 days straight.
We did an exchange with a different team of missionaries each day, it was awesome.
I got the privilege of doing exchanges with some brand new missionaries.
It is really special to help them out and to see how much courage they have.
It is really amazing to see how really your example does more than your words.

Here is a simple example.
I am on a bus and I cross the length of the bus to talk to a couple.
After I look back and watch this brand new missionary cross the bus to do the same thing to someone else.
I love that. So much courage.
I have really come to love taking public transport.
A car is like being on a deserted island. You cannot talk to anyone because you are trapped.

Second reason why this week is so amazing is because Elder Neil L. Andersen is here in our mission.
He gave the best talk ever to the missionaries.
It was just perfect.
Elder Gubbay and I were just starring at each other in awe and delight as he spoke.
He spoke about what we have been discussing for the last 3 months.
We will have the privilege of hearing him speak tomorrow again so I will wait till next week to share what he spoke about.

I had the most wonderful study of the scriptures lately.
It was very interesting. As I was reading my scriptures a completely different section of scripture came into my mind then the one I was reading at the time.
Following this inspiration I changed the chapter I was reading.
I started to read Mosiah 4

1 And now, it came to pass that when king Benjamin had made an end of speaking the words which had been delivered unto him by the angel of the Lord, that he cast his eyes round about on the multitude, and behold they had fallen to the earth, for the fear of the Lord had come upon them.

2 And they had viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth. And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying: O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created heaven and earth, and all things; who shall come down among the children of men.

3 And it came to pass that after they had spoken these words the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience, because of the exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ…

As I read this I though to myself, what was it that King Benjamin said to the people to receive such a reaction. I then decided to read the chapters before this one to see what he said to help them have the desire to apply the atonement of Jesus Christ in their life. I will let you read and discover the answer for yourselves starting in Mosiah chapter 2 all the way up to Mosiah 5 included.

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/mosiah/2?lang=eng

We also got to go visit a beautiful member family this week. There family is so wonderful. The father is a music composer which is super super cool and his kids are super cute. He served his mission in France and ended up marrying a french women. She is super kind and made lasagna, which reminded me of when mom used to always prepare that when the missionaries would come over to our house. It has always been my favorite.

Well anyways I love you loads. Keep being awesome.

Elder Ioannidis

By Robert Suranyi

Week #52

Hello Everyone,

This week was really nice.
We were able to spend a lot of time in our own sector. Wohoooo
We have planned our schedule to allow us to spend way more time here in Lyon.

We visited Geneva this week for an exchange with the Zone Leaders.
It was awesome.
I spoke numerous times to every person on the trams that we were taking.
I would just ask each person if they wanted to know more about Jesus Christ.
I had many people give me a super strong yes.
I was then able to testify of the Saviour and His atonement.
They wanted to know more so I gave them the info for the missionaries that live in Geneva.

I find it this greatest because I am just inviting people to come unto Christ.
Even the people that weren’t interested had a big smile on their face as I spoke with them.
It is just wonderful how much a smile can do to brighten someone’s day.

I loved church this week, it was just lovely.
I sat beside this super cute family and just loved every minute of it.
The dad is a music composer and served his mission in France 10 years ago.
They were super awesome and it was nice to sing hymns beside someone who is musically talented.

The video they put on the news with Elder Gubbay and I was awesome.
It was very positive.
One of my favorite things the reporter said was.
Their Faith is centered on the family and Jesus Christ.
How awesome is that.
http://rhone-alpes.france3.fr/2012/11/03/elections-ameriacaines-les-mormons-en-rhone-alpes-138585.html

we are getting very excited in our mission because Elder Andersen is coming to visit our mission.
I feel very privileged to be able to travel with him and his wife, as well as President’s family.
I only hear incredible things about how lovely they are.
I have been reading Elder Andersen’s talks recently and I absolutely love them.
He bears such a wonderful testimony of the Saviour Jesus Christ.
Elder Andersen served a mission in France and later was a Mission President in Bordeaux France.
How awesome to have an apostle come who speaks French and loves France.

Well I love you lots and lots.

Elder Ioannidis

By Robert Suranyi

Week #51

Crazy week of really cool stuff,

Well it was transfer week…………enough said.
I love transfer week,
The new missionaries are so cool and I love them.
They have just arrived but I am so grateful that they decided to go on missions.
I had some special moments with them as I bore them my testimony about Jesus Christ and missionary work.

I also got to see a bunch of finishing missionaries as they met their parents after 2 years.
I got to meet the family of one of my past mission companions as well as my first District Leader’s family.
It is a very special moment to watch families run up and hug there sons and daughters.
You get to watch this same thing if you spend any time at an airport.
What a beautiful scene.
I imagine that it will be the same experience as we are reunited with our family members after this life.
I usually start to tear up a bit as I watch this, it is a very happy moment.
I love talking to the missionaries parents and telling them how wonderful their children are.

So lots of cool and exciting stuff but wait…………there is more.
We reopened the island of Corsica, for missionary work.
It is sooo coool.
Missionaries have not been there for 3-4 years.
It is a super beautiful island with a huge culture of family centered lives,
We got the new missionaries moved into their living quarters and started to go out and talk to people about Jesus Christ.
It is super hot there around 30 degrees right now in October.
On the ferry ride back, we went through the biggest storm.
They ferry company said it was the biggest storm that they had ever sailed through.
The whole ferry was rocking back and forth. We heard tons of crashing noises
We though it was the parked cars sliding around and smashing into each other.
Luckily we found out that this was not the case.
It was really really hard to sleep because of all the crashing noises and the walls shaking.
Plus in my mind I just imagined like 300 cars smashing into each other on the bottom deck.

Well what to say but I love you lots.
Elder Ioannidis

By Robert Suranyi