Week #91

Sounds like you all had a wonderful week.
Jammed packed with wonderful events.

Dad is someone who is always super prepared and he always goes the extra mile to make things as they should be. I am sure that your Trek experience was greatly blessed by his preperation.

Mom you are always inspiring to me. You are always doing something productive and wonderful, even when you are supposed to be taking a holiday. You are a go getter and that is a great quality to have.

My wounds are all healing up super super well.
I feel like each day I have more and more range of motion and strength in my shoulder. I am back to running again each morning as I can now run without feeling any pain in my shoulder.

This week we had a branch activity. We played Petanque (I do not know if that exists in English but it is a game similar to bocce ball). Petanque is a super super popular sport here in Corsica. We had a lot of members present at the activity as well as our amis. We had lots of fun playing Petanque and spending time together. Like I have said in the past, it is so wonderful to see how well integrated our amis are with the members, it is really great.

Our ami Danny is almost done reading the Book of Mormon for the second time and he has such an incredible Gospel Knowledge. He says really smart and funny things. He and his family really desire to experience the change of heart and that is what they are praying for. They do not want to be robotic but they want to really have a changed heart. It is so wonderful that this is their desire.

This week we are going to Zone interview conference.
It is always lovely to be able to see President, his family and the other missionaries.

Well I love you all loads,

Elder Ioannidis

By Robert Suranyi

Week #90

Hey there,

I am doing really well.
My bite marks are completely fine and scabbed over.
My shoulder is getting stronger and stronger and I am able to use it more and more. I have an appointment with a doctor in a couple of weeks when he gets back from vacation.

So I am not 100% sure but I think I either ripped or did something to the ligaments in my shoulder which then displaced 3 bones. I didn’t fracture or break anything but I think it is the ligaments that is the problem. I will get more info with my next appointment with the doctor.

I am opened to providing music at our home for a fundraiser, no problem.

As for more important things.
We have 5 amis coming to church regularly.
Our members are so incredible with integrating and bringing them to church.
All 5 of our amis are either brought to church by a member or travel together by foot or bus with a member.
Our amis are really awesome with reading from the Book of Mormon.
We had a really cool family home evening last week with our amis and our members. We were on the port next to the Mediterranean and we read about Jesus Christ calling His disciples while they were fishing. It was a really cool atmosphere to have a family home evening.
Tonight we will be doing the same thing but we will also have a BBQ. It was the idea of one of our amis to have the BB this week.
I must say it is so wonderful to have our amis become the amis of the members here. It brings me peace to know that they are really really well integrated with the members and they are friends.

Fun news, a young married couple moved into our branch this week.
They are from Tahiti and are so lovely.
We are very excited to have them here.

We had a fun experience yesterday while knocking on doors. In one apartment building we taught two lessons and fixed a rendez-vous with a third person for this week. It was a very fruitful apartment building.

Sunday was lovely.
We had 30 people attend.
It was so wonderful to have such wonderful music with 30 people singing.
I gave a talk about Charity which I enjoyed preparing as well.
We had a couple families who are on vacation here that will be with us next week as well.
We love receiving visitors here.

Well I love you all loads,

Elder Ioannidis

By Robert Suranyi

Week #89

Okay so I have a fun story to tell people about my mission.

Elder Boegaerts and I were working as always; talking to people in their homes and we had been doing so for about an hour, going from house to house.
We arrive at the next home and the gate was open and they did not have a doorbell (most homes in Corsica do not have door bells). As always, with a lot of boldness, I start walking up the driveway to go knock on the door. I am half way up the drive way when I see a dog run around the corner. He charged directly at me. I held my ground and braced for impact. He jumped up and bit my arm. I pushed him off me and started running. As I was running, he followed me and tackled my legs and I fell hard on my shoulder, just outside the open gate. I quickly stood up and ran a little bit further up the road. I knelt down on the ground and then I looked and realized that my arm was bleeding a lot. My vision was starting to blur and I was breathing heavily. Next thing I know I hear a women’s voice telling me to follow her back to the same house where the dog is so she could take care of me. I told her something a long the lines of “are you sure the dog isn’t going to attack me again?” I didn’t say those words but it is what I meant. With much difficulty she walked me up to her house and sat me down on a chair outside. With my vision blurred and in shock, I started to loose consciousness. I heard her talking to me and I saw my companion but I was not very conscious. Next thing I know I start thrashing my arms around and I gasped for air. I had been unconscious for a couple of seconds and had just regained consciousness. I looked around and I saw there were bandages on my arm. With my vision blurred I started to close my eyes but Elder Boegaerts slapped me in the face to keep me conscious. The lady continued to take care of the bites and she gave me water. I slowly regained my sight and became more conscious again. I started apologizing for giving the lady such a scare. My shoulder really hurt and I had a little bit of pain around my head. I wanted to make sure that I hadn’t hit my head so I asked if there was any dirt in my hair. She said no, your hair still looks good with the gel. I made a joke and said something like “at least I am still handsome.” I really wanted to lighten up the mood and make the lady at ease. Eventually I felt good enough to stand up. She offered to drive us but I said I wanted to walk it off. Turns out that the dog was tied up but he broke the chain when he heard me walking up the driveway. She asked us to call her that evening to let her know how everything is. She offered to pay for a new dress shirt and dress pants but I told her that that was really not necessary. We left her property and started walking down the hill when I saw a home that we had passed before now with people present. I started walking up to the house to talk to the people. We talked to them and to be honest I do not think they even noticed the blood on my shirt but we just acted normal. We got back to our car and headed home to clean me up. I had the desire to just change and continue working but I received orders to go to the hospital.

I think what made it intense was the shock. The bite marks are really not bad at all but I was just in a lot of shock and with all the adrenaline.

So here is what is going on now.
The dog bites have healed in two days already. They do not hurt at all. My arm is still a bit puffy but all is well.
Turns out the real damage was when I fell. The night of the accident after returning from a teaching appointment I couldn’t take off my dress shirt alone. My shoulder hurt a lot. It is then I realized that there was a bone sticking up a little bit on my shoulder. I went back to the hospital the next morning and got x-rays. I did some pretty good damage to my shoulder.

Now about 3,4 days after this accident, I feel really well. My shoulder is getting better everyday. I can now put on my shirt by myself and put on my socks by myself. I can now make my tie and put it on as well. I really feel like I am so blessed. I have healed really really quickly and I feel like almost nothing happened. I feel blessed because I know it could have been a lot worse. I feel very blessed that the dog stopped after I fell. So looking at me today you would have no idea that I got attacked by a dog.

All is well, and you really do not need to worry

Love you all,

Elder Ioannids

By Robert Suranyi

Week #88

Hey there coolest family and friends.

This week we had 6 amis at church.
The air conditioner was broken and it was super super hot.
I did my best to just laugh about it.

We continue to have wonderful experiences with our miracle family.
The dad came to teach a brand new family with us and then he brought his whole family to teach with us another family.
He invited to take one of the families, we are teaching, to church with his family.
It is incredible to have this miracle family doing missionary work with us and they are not even members yet. They are bringing our amis to church with them and doing follow-ups with them. So incredible.
During there fast, they brought a sack full of food to a family we are teaching, as their fast offering. They are just so incredible.
They treat us like angels and they are angels themselves.
After teaching the family about apostles and prophets, the dad watched general conferences from 2011-2013. It is just so amazing.
They have so much faith.

I was thinking back to when I first met this family. The dad says he has found what he has been searching for his whole life. It is really just the most wonderful feeling when you hear someone say that. He says that since he has started meeting with us, there is peace in the family now. There is no arguing or fighting. They feel much stronger as a family. These are the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He says now he knows where he comes from, why he is here, and what happens after this life. He said he never knew the answers to those questions before. I feel pure joy when I hear him say things like that.

The coolest part is, I really feel like we have done nothing at all. It is all the Lord working miracles in their lives. It is due to their faith and their efforts. It is really a humbling experience to be able to watch the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ enter into this families life.

Well I love you all loads,
You are the coolest

Elder Ioannidis

By Robert Suranyi

Week #87

We had some cool experiences this week with the miracle family.

As we were teaching them at a member’s house, the Dad starts whipping out scriptures from the Book of Mormon and explains things that most people do not even know about. He was like “while I was reading the Book of Mormon, I compared it to what was written in the old testament and I learned that the Stick of Joseph and Judah is the Bible and the Book of Mormon.” He is incredible this man. He understands the scriptures so well. Later in the same rendez-vous he shared with us Moroni 10:32. He said that when he read this, he finally understood that he needs to come unto Christ and that Jesus is ready to receive him with open arms. It is so incredible. He finds all the answers to his questions by himself as he studies the scriptures. They continue to read and pray as a family everyday. They walked for an hour to come to church again and they are always the first ones there. They were 45 minutes early. Then the dad came with us to go teach another non-member family. He explained things so simply and powerfully and invited this family to read the Book of Mormon. He explained how the Book of Mormon and the Bible go hand in hand. It was so cool to have him come teach with us.

This week at church we had 5 amis attend. The members and amis are really well integrated and it is a great blessing. It was extra hot this Sunday. It was about 35°/36°. I really enjoy the heat but it can be difficult to sleep sometimes.

Contacting has become more enjoyable then normal. I really try to view each contact as a lesson. I understand what it really means to teach as you find.

Well I love you all loads,

Elder Ioannidis

By Robert Suranyi