Week #82

Dear Family,
This week was awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!I think this is the biggest miracle of my mission.We have found a family.I have been praying to find a family my whole mission.You will not believe this, they are Hungarian.They are so amazing.

We found them while we were contacting one day in center city.We contacted the mom and dad and exchanged numbers.A couple days later we fixed a rendez-vous and we began teaching them and their daughter. It went so well that we met with them almost every day since then!In just 5 days we have seen incredible changes in the father. He now prays and reads the scriptures with his family every day. Even by the second rendez-vous we had with him we saw that he had changed.

Get this…………..
The whole family walked for 1 hour to come to church.They walked for 1 hour!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!The father said that when he prayed for the first time with his family, he felt as though 50 pounds were being taken off his shoulders. He understands the scriptures so well.The spirit in our lessons is incredible.

I start crying because I am watching his life change as he draws closer and closer to Jesus Christ.The wife and daughter do not speak a lot of french.The dad translates parts of our lessons and he teaches them the gospel at home after our lessons.They are so incredible.During our lesson Sunday night the Dad said that he has found the antidote to his sickness.We had taught him about repentance and Jesus Christ.We were all in tears as we knelt in prayer and the Dad expressed the feelings of his heart.Right after our lesson we rushed to get on our boat to go to the continent.

Elder Taua is transferred to Laussane in Switzerland so we need to be in Lyon today.While we were at the boat port. We see a bunch of members from our branch.They came to the port to say goodbye to Elder Taua.Guess what!!!!!!!!!The Hungarian family was there too.They wanted to say goodbye to him as well.This family treats us like angels.They show us so so so so much love.

This is the greatest thing ever!!!!!!!!!!!This is what missionary work is all about.Wow!!!!!!
I feel like I did nothing.I can just see the Lord doing everything.
They are so sincere and incredible.

Love you so much,

Elder Ioannidis

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By Robert Suranyi

Week #81

This week we went to Lyon for about 2 days.

We had a visit from our Area 70, Elder Richards.
It was wonderful.
He taught with such a strong spirit.
I could have listened to him teach all day long.
I wish he would have taught us all day long.

I was able to sing a special musical number “How great thou art”
It was a beautiful arrangement and the Sister missionary who played the piano was very very talented. I am very grateful for music and for the blessing it is in our lives.

Elder Richards explained so clearly that we, as missionaries, need to teach way way way more simpler. He used scriptures to explain his point in ways that I have never understood before. It was so incredible. He said that we need to ask inspired questions to see if they understood what we had taught. If they didn’t understand, we have to re-explain. It is hard to explain in this email how clearly he explained this to us. It was just wonderful and I felt really really enlightened. He also explained to us that we need to do daily follow-ups with the people we are teaching. It was so clear and simple the way he explained things to us. I really wish we could just take him with us to teach, so we could watch him in action.

Right after the conference we applied what he had taught us. We have been focusing our studies on teaching simpler and with inspired questions. We have been making daily follow-up with the people we teach.

It was really great to be in Lyon with about 100 missionaries. We really live on an island because there are tons of people I have never met before. Before I knew all the missionaries by name. I love missionaries, especially the ones who have just arrived. They are really some of the coolest people I have ever met.

Well I love you all loads,

Elder Ioannidis

By Robert Suranyi

Week #80

Thank you so much for your wonderful emails.
I really appreciate you sharing your conversion stories with me.

This week we had many occasions to share Joseph Smith’s first version with people.
It is always incredible to share it with people because the spirit is so strong.
I can tell that these people are feeling the spirit as we share word for word what happened when he went to pray in the grove of trees.
They usually say things like “wow I felt really warm inside as you spoke”, or “that is a beautiful story”. It is super fun to share it with people.

This week we put on two activities.
We had a Board game night which was super fun and we also put on a fireside in honor of one of our members who is leaving the island of Corsica.
We filmed the members giving their thanks to her and we showed all the clips at the fireside. She didn’t know the fireside was in her honor and she was so touched.
We had her good friend give a talk and I sang a musical number.
Their were a lot of members who came to the fireside to show their appreciation to her.
I felt a sweet spirit telling me that Heavenly Father was greatly pleased with the love we had shown to one of his precious daughters.

I am currently in Lyon for the next 2 days because a 70 is coming to our mission and he will be speaking tomorrow to us missionaries. The assistants have asked me to sing for the Mission Conference.

Thank you so much again for sending me your conversion stories, It is really beautiful and I am very grateful for Our Missionaries and for you two having accepted the missionaries. You are the best. I love you loads.

Elder Ioannidis

By Robert Suranyi

Week #79

This week I had another strong strong impression about the importance of family. We were teaching a part member family this week in their beautiful home. The mom and Dad are in their 60’s and their son is about 40 years old. As we were teaching the mom and dad, we could see the love that they have for their family. We could feel the gentleness and kindness that they have for one another after 40 years of marriage. They extended such love and warmth to us as well. As I was sitting there with this beautiful Elderly couple and feeling all these feelings at once, I really really felt the importance of family. What I was experiencing was true joy and peace. It comes from being loved and loving others. That is what the family is all about. I really believe that heaven is a continuation of an ideal home. Our homes can be heaven on earth. And how do we do that you may ask? Have family and home life centered on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is really hard to describe my feelings on the subject in words but all I can say is that Family Life has the potential to be the happiest, most wonderful thing ever!!!!!!! Needless to say, I am super excited for when I can be back with you all, enjoying a awesome Saturday night around the Kitchen table eating pancakes and playing Monopoly. That seems like paradise to me.

On that note let me leave you with a paraphrase of what my Mission President always says.
If you want to be happy, learn what the Saviour said and do it. Every commandment is an opportunity to become someone who loves unconditionally.
MATT 22:36-40

Love you all

Elder Ioannidis

By Robert Suranyi