Week #66

Hello family and Friends,

So it turns out that I am going to be ………………………………………………………..moving to Geneva

I am going to Geneva as a Zone Leader with a wonderful Italian Elder as my college.
I am particularly excited to only speak French.
My new Italian college is part French so he speaks french very well.

I have felt so so so so blessed these last few weeks serving here in Lyon.
I have felt so loved by the members and have loved serving with them.
We had the most amazing experiences teaching the friends of members.
We taught with 2 Priest age guys from our ward and they were just extraordinary.

We also taught seminary class.
There were about 15 kids in the class.
We had a blast and did role plays, practicing teaching out of the new testament.
The best part is that when we went to teach with the two priests, they used the teaching methods we taught them during the lesson. I wanted to cry. They are just so incredible our youth.
While walking back after a lesson, one of the guys told my companion that he has an even greater desire to serve a mission now. WOW, little miracles that make our day.

We work a lot with the youth here in our mission.
It is just so incredible how much they look up to us missionaries.
I get so excited to go to church on Sunday because we get to see all the youth.
We ask them about their weeks and share our miracles with them.
They just love being with the missionaries.
It is always so fun to see about 8 youth surrounding the missionaries as they are telling stories from the week. I have really come to realize that as a missionary, not only to we help non-members come unto Christ but we take every single opportunity to help everyone come unto Christ.

This has completely changed my vision of what a successful missionary is.
You cannot measure the impact that you can have on the members of the ward, it isn’t something you can count or fix a numerical goal to achieve but I feel so so strongly about it. I feel particularly blessed to be able to have a positive influence on the youth. You can tell just how much it means to them to have a missionary tell them that because of x,y,z reasons/qualities that they have will make them extraordinary missionaries.

I had an exit interview with President after 5 transfers of serving with him.
I really feel like my vision has change due to that interview with him.
He helped me recognize my good qualities that I have but I feel particularly blessed that he was able to identify the things that I can work on and was able to identify my needs as a missionary but also as a person.
I really feel like my mission has just been getting better and better.
What I mean by that is that I am becoming happier and happier.

I am just so grateful for the time I had to serve here.
I really love the members here and our amis.
I had to hold back the tears as I saw the new member of the ward being one of the first at church. She is so happy and is radiating light around her. I feel so blessed.

Well I love you all,

As they say in Swiss OU BIEN

Elder Ioannidis

By Robert Suranyi

Week #65

So my dearest ones,

We finished our Zone tours and now we are jumping right into transfer planning.
We had a ton of things to do today so I cannot write very much.

After spending many nights sleeping on floors and in sleeping bags, it is nice to have a bed again.
It is also lovely to be back in Lyon.

I love Sundays. I get to see all of the coolest people ever at church.
I love speaking with all the members and asking them about their weeks and just loving each other.
Everyone is so smiley and happy. I especially enjoy talking and joking around with the 16-18 year olds in the ward. They are so funny and they always are asking to go and teach lessons with us. It makes me super happy to have them say things like that.

We also attended a Stake Leadership Meeting this week.
It is really cool because since being on my mission, I have been able to attend many meetings that I had no idea about.

We have really being trying to work a lot more with the ward members.
We are super good friends with the Elders Quorum President and we work a lot together.
He really trusts us and asks us for help when we need it.
He has already introduced us to 7 of his friends and we are going to be seeing them again because they have a bunch of questions they want to ask us.

Well I love you loads

Elder Ioannidis

By Robert Suranyi

Week #64

So this week we were on our Zone Conference tour

We spent about 5 days driving around half of the mission
We Started in Laussane then we went to Geneva, Lyon and finally Aix en Provence.

It is really fun to see all the missionaries and to sleep on the floors of their apartments.
I love walking around and speaking with each missionary and to see how they are doing.
It is super fun to build them up and let them know just how awesome and special they are.
This zone conference we have been doing tons of practices.
Elder Arnold and I walk around and watch the missionaries as they practices.
It is really a great time to see how our missionaries are doing and what we can do to help them.

We do a lot of funny stuff with President as we make pit stops on our journeys.
President always finds a way to make every situation fun.

President has been teaching all the missionaries about Faith or Trust
He has been going through the Story of Joseph who was sold into Egypt.
He explains that between the moment he got sold into Egypt and he became second in command to pharaoh was about 15 years. The most amazing part is that he never stopped trusting in the Lord. He maintained a great attitude and made the best of every situation.
He explained that sometimes we think we are doing something wrong when we work hard for a whole week and nothing happens. He said we need to trust the Lord like Joseph did. He trusted for 15 years before the amazing blessings came. He ended up saving himself, Egypt, and his family.
The funny thing is even though he saved his family from famine and they all moved to Egypt we know that later the Israelite became slaves and Moses had to lead them out of Egypt,
Random funny side note.

The baptism in the Ecully ward was wonderful.
We all felt like this was really the ward’s baptism.
It was amazing to see how supportive the ward has been through the whole teaching process.
Cool thing……President baptized her and she wore the mission president wife’s white gown.
It was super super cool.
We are all very excited to be friends forever and to continue to see her progress and grow in the Gospel.

Love you

Elder Ioannidis

By Robert Suranyi