Monday, 27 August 2018

Busy Week

Busy Week. This was the subject line for Jill's letter this week. Seems everyone is having a busy week. I went back to school on Aug 21 and this week we had kids at school. Wowee!! It was busy and exhausting. My principal says going back to school is kind of like building up a scab. Eventually, it doesn't hurt so much because it becomes hardened....but at first. Ouch!

Here are some excerpts from Jill's emails this week:

She sent a package with a friend who came home from his mission this week. In it there was a flower necklace for me! She said:

  • It's special because in the temple here, each room has a theme of a flower in the stained glass and the wall decorations. In the creation room, the theme is that flower. When you wear it you can think of the temple in Paris! 
She talked about how the sisters all really have a good time together at the visitor's center:
  • Sœur Woods (the directors wife) always talks about how because we have this healthy and happy mix of soeurs, we have the power to see the miracles that we want from Heavenly Father. 

We have a thing in our house where we like to try new ice cream places. There are some seriously creative and wonderful ice cream shops in Calgary. Allen told Jill about the latest one we went to. She is loving the food in France::
  • I saw that ice cream place on ig!! I'm so jealous you guys went. When I get back!!! We found super good baguette at a store right beside our new apartment! Did I tell you yet that sœur Marteeny and I try a different cheese every week? It's our favorite meal. Just cheese and baguette. This time we had tomme blanc and it's a new favorite!
It's always interesting how the Lord can micro-manage things and put the right people in the right place:

  • That's fun that you went to stake conference with everyone! We were talking about this because a new transfer just started. It's weird to think that one day we won't be seeing the people that we're used to seeing everyday, like this one girl in our ward who was less active and then when I got here she suddenly resurfaced! Her name is Chloé. We're super Bo fed best friends because when I asked her what she wants to do after school, she said she wants to move to Vancouver to be an air Canada flight Attendant! Can you believe that? The last missionaries she didn't even let in, and now we're best friends. It's totally divine design. I can't imagine one day when I'm not in her ward! I'm happy I've stayed in the same secteur my whole mission. 
She does a lot of family history research and reading and just work in general. This note-taking habit is something that is deep in our family. I take notes about everything. So does Allen and Peirce. I remember going to the Science Center one day when Jill and Peirce were little. We were about to start a movie in the dome and suddenly Peirce had a panic because he didn't have a notebook. He knew there was going to be lots of good info coming up in the movie and he HAD to have a notebook. Innate or learned? Hard to say. Anyway, apparently, some of it inherited:

  • Also I was looking on family search this week and I read a memory about your Grandma Day and it was so funny! It talked about how she wrote notes at EVERYTHING I wonder if you're such a noté taker because of her.

    Bisous, Soeur Ackroyd
And of course, some pictures:

More from war museum::

Napolean's Tomb
 Carrot Festival?
 I looked this up. I learned that the French tend to have a propensity to celebrate anything to do with food. They claim to have the best carrots and so it makes sense to have a Carrot Festival!

Jill has an obsession with dogs. I guess that's why we got this one? When she was working as a flight attendant we got more snaps of dogs than anything else. I told her she should start a blog, Dogs of the World. It continues.
Bird Whisperer!
Peirce and I recently went to the play, Mary Poppins. 
I can't help but sing: Feed the birds. Tuppence a bag!

Fraaanch Fries in France!

They have a special missionary Sunday coming up.

Silly Sisters

Sunday, 26 August 2018

More and More and More Mission Stuff

Received this at 4:27 am today! What a great message to wake up to:

Today has been full of missionary fun. We went and watched our dear friend's son open his call. He is going to the Frankfurt, Germany mission!

We also got to go to the homecoming for one of Jill's friends: Sedrik. Jill and Sedrik went to high school together and were called to the same mission. It was fun to hear his stories. He also brought home a package from Jill with presents for us! What a surprise that was!

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

River Adventure

This week Peirce is off on an adventure with the boys from church. They're canoeing down the North Saskatchewan River and taking four days to do it!

On Monday night they went to Superstore together and bought all the food they will need for the trip. Peirce's job was to bring all the eggs home and crack 3 dozen eggs and put them into a pop bottle. My kitchen survived quite well. I was surprised.

And they're off! They're sure to have a good time.
L to R: Curtis, Preston, Peirce, Brandon, Riley, Nathan, Hart, Jeff and Ben.

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Mom Texts

One thing I didn't know that people did was to text moms with pictures of missionaries when they run into them. Whenever one comes, it's usually first thing in the morning and it is such a great way to wake up!

This is from someone from Malad, Idhao. They ran into the sisters at a museum on their P-Day.

A couple hours later I got another email saying they ran into them again!

One thing they say about missions is that you sacrifice being with your family for a time to build friendships with new and wonderful people. I never knew that would happen to ME too as the mom. I have a few moms I have made connections with and it is so great! They share pictures and stories that help fill in the parts of the stories I don't understand when Jill writes.

Later in the day I got these pictures from Sister Marteeny's mom, Elizabeth. The rest of the story is that they are visiting Napolean Bonaparte's tomb at The Dômes des Invalides. You can read more about it here.The things they have in their hands are Napolean Bonaparte hats (I've added a picture  below). They were all excited when they left because the security guard at the exit asked about their name tags and after a conversation, he decided he wanted to hear more and they have an appointment set up to go back and teach him about the church.

Here are some I didn't to post previously. Sometimes I get these and just look at them all day. It's like a secret little gift for a mom.
This is our old stake president and his wife. They live in Airdrie.

This is the Christensen family. They lived in our ward about 10 years ago 
and now are back in the states. 
This was sent by Marsha Larson from Southern Alberta who was visiting Paris. Her son served in the Halifax mission - Allen's mission!

Monday, 20 August 2018

The Happy Place

One of our happy places is a store in Calgary called Color Me Mine. They have overpriced fired green-ware you can paint...and it's wonderful. The cost is well worth the experience, actually. Peirce and I have gone a few times and sometimes we sit in silence and paint and conversation topics slip on to our table here and there. It's really wonderful. We have a great time there!

This Was A Wild One

This week sure was crazy! So much happened...but the most important thing! Our awesome little ami, Ivan, was baptized! His story is pretty miraculous! 

Before I got here, Soeur Marteeny went to drop off some cookies for their family who hasn't been coming to church for a while. Their building had a different name on the directory so Soeur Marteeny and her companion couldn't get in! They decided to just leave a note. As they were writing it, a man comes outside to take out the trash! He's like, "Sisters! Come on upstairs! Meet my family! Baptize my son!" And the missionaries are like "Wow, I guess that was him?" Later we found out that he had asked his name to be taken off of the list of the church. They had asked to never be contacted! Which makes Ivan's story that much more miraculous! 

In the time that his parents had been inactive, Ivan turned nine! So his dad decided Ivan should be taught and baptized! He soaked up the lessons so well! We gave him a Book of Mormon with pictures and he read half of it in a week! The next time we came over, he pretty much recited the whole story up to Alma! He did the same thing for his testimony at his baptism. It was so cute. He told the story and then said, "That's it" and sat down.

He's such a funny kid! When we took pictures together, he looked at us and said "Dad, look at my pretty friends." Hahaha! What a kid. 

In his confirmation blessing, he was blessed to be a light to all those around him. Which is alresdy true! Because of his example, his family has come back to church and made the goal to be sealed in them temple! Soeur Marteeny and I hope to be able to see it happen during our missions! 

So that was a long story but THERE'S MORE. This email is only for the real ones cause it's gonna be long. 

Tuesday was our temple P day! It was so fun! After, we went to a fun bagel place to celebrate my birthday! And then we had English class and Eric was the only one to show up! We said since he was the VIP he could choose what we learned. He said, "Can we just read the scriptures instead?" Isnt that awesome??? 

Some other fun birthday celebrations included buying a disco ball and dancing to mission approved music, eating so much junk food and best of all, the other temple sisters snuck into our new apartment and decorated it! One of our potentials gave us cute matching bracelets! And a temple missionary gave me a purple flower for my birthday! Also! Every Saturday night there are fireworks at Versailles and from our new apartment we have SUCH a good view. I was telling myself the fireworks were especially for my birthday. (Keep this one a secret though cause they start after missionary bedtime lol) 

Wednesday was another wild one because we got locked out of our apartment! The soeurs in another ward got delivered like literally a car load of pastries from a ward member, so we ran outside to pick up our share, and grabbed the keys to the wrong apartment. But we weren't worried! Because last time we got locked out, the caretaker for our building showed us a cool trick where you slide an x Ray through and shake the door and it unlocks no problem! Hes on vacation this week (same with all our investigators and members. Apparently France thought it was smart for everyone to go on vacation at once? Every year?) So we drove to the hospital to grab an x-ray. But they don't use xray film anymore because they have more modern technology?? So we had no solution....we tried to leave but got stuck in the parking lot because we had no card to pay for parking...but eventually the security guards got tired of us and just paid for our parking! How kind right? We have a lot of cookies to make this week 😂

We finally went back to the visitors centre directors house empty handed two hours after missionary curfew... and they let us sleep over! They even made delicious French toast for us! (In French, they call it lost bread lol) The worst part of the story is that after all of this we learned that they keep a spare key at the Visitor's Center. Oh well!

Thursday we did a tour with my friends Elder Laplante and Jones! They have an investigator who says he's atheist but he's really not. I think the elders were hoping he'd come to the temple and be touched by the spirit! He had LOTS of big questions for us. It was very interesting! No one temple tour is the same 😊 

Throughout this week, we really clearly could see Heavenly Father making the best out of our silly mistakes, putting kind and helpful people where we needed them, and magnifying our baby sized efforts. Sister Marteeny and I always joke about how most of missionary work is just showing up! Heavenly Father does so much for us (And for you at home too!) So we really need to work on turning over what we want, and doing things his way because that's always the best way! 

Well! If youve made it this far, congratulations! I could write more. This week was literally crazy! In between all this craziness, we also moved apartments! Now we're just down the street from the temple!! I love it!

Thanks for all the birthday emails!!! I love you! Have a great week! 

Soeur Ackroyd

 Cookie Practice?
 A Heart Attack! ...Missionary Style
 Ivan and his pretty friends
 Purple Birthday Flowers
Birthday Begal with "things" in it :) Sister Marteeny's mom sent me this one and we were trying to figure out what things were and whether or not it was a negative or a positive. Maybe someone doesn't like things. I don't know. Apparently, Jill does!
Versailles Castle fireworks just for Jill's birthday

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Bonne Fete Soeur Ackroyd!

Today is Jill's birthday. Her companion, Hannah Marteeny, posted this on Facebook:

Happiest of birthdays (despite it being a bit late) to my fabulous companion!!! I am so blessed to be able to serve the Lord with this incredible no-longer-teenager! Sister Jillian Ackroyd is so fun-loving and invites the spirit and has helped me through so much. I am so grateful to be with her, through the burnt cookies, blurry selfies, Paris adventures, late night haircuts with bluntish scissors, and getting to know the wonderful people in the Paris Mission. I hope you had a great birthday, and that the year to come is full of even more miracles and joy! You're an incredible missionary, and (être humain too 😉) and I love you so much! Gros bisous

 (picture anecdotes are Mom's)

 I think this would be her first baptism. This little cute guy is named Ivane.
 Jill's companion is Sister Marteeny. I'm so happy they're having a good time together. Companions make the best of friends!
 Yup. Cooking is right on par.
 Late night hair cuts with blunt scissors. *sigh*
 Favorite street of missionaries?

 I read on another missionary's blog (Paris France missionary moms share's fabulous....with everyone's posts I can almost piece together all the missing information on things I wonder about) that Sisters will stay at the temple their entire mission. I think there are 5 sets of missionaries there. I guess it means they could be companions for quite a long time - or that the pool of missionaries they'll be "transferred to" to be companions with is pretty limited. They're a fun little group.

Our message to Jill is a little embarrassing - but we were having fun: 

Wednesday, 15 August 2018


Everytime I get a letter from Jill or I talk to Peirce, they ask for more pictures of Chico. Who knew such a cranky dog could be so loved.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Week 13

Jill has now officially been out for 90 days. Her P-Day was changed to Tuesday this week because they all went to the temple together yesterday. Sure makes for a long Monday when I keep hitting refresh on my email until I realize it's past missionary's bedtimes and there won't be a letter coming that day. I was happy to get an email today!

This week's letter is a little funny. She said she's got a really busy day....and then the letter seems to end mid-sentence. Is that an object lesson?

Not much time to write today but here's an overview of what happened!
1. Sœur Marteeny chopped off my hair
2. We knocked doors in an apartment and this super nice lady invited us in and we tried to teach her the first lesson but she gave us this drink that tasted like mouth wash.. I wish I could describe fully how bad this experience was
3.two of our Amis decided to stop meeting with us which made us sad because we love them...
4. Ivane (our nine year old ami) did his baptismal interview and his whole family came to church!
 ....and that's the end. Silly girl.
 She also sent me a bunch of pictures. The first set is the hair chop. She said in another letter that they're moving this week. Her words: I just felt like it yesterday morning so we did it! Before bed! Which probably wasn't the most responsible choice to use our night for because we're moving on Thursday! I'm so excited! My first time moving! 
What she didn't say is that Sister Marteeny chopped it off. I did stuff like that when I was on my mission. That's where I learned to cut hair, actually! I cut Elders hair a number of times. They'd sometimes ask if I knew what I was doing and sometimes they didn't. I figured, what they didn't know wouldn't hurt them - and hair always grows. I guess Jill had a similar idea.

There are always food pictures. Interestingly, Jill says that the cheese in France doesn't bother her. Usually, she has to take lactaid whenever she eats milk products. I was asking her if they exercise a while ago. She said they go running every morning. She also said a lot of the sisters are really careful about eating but she figures she's in France and wants to really experience all the food. That is typical of how Jill lives life!

Sometimes I look on SnapChat at places in France and watch the stories. I noticed this street just this week. Rue Des Missionaires.

Tag Pic game is on point.

 When Allen was on his mission, he has a legendary story about one of his companions that got a cat. Jill sent this picture because of that story. This cat that hangs around their apartment and is super friendly.

First I thought these were four missionaries, but I think they must be two visitors to the Visitor's Center and Jill and Sister Marteeny.

Perhaps this is the entire group of sisters that serve at the Visitor's Center in Paris?

Book of Mormon...the anchor for all of this.