Some excerpts from Jill's last letter:
About her amazing mission president and his wife:
One of The things I really like about Soeur Sorenson is how she shows love and care for people without being mushy or coddling people. She is very thoughtful. She gave us a muffin recipe, maybe next week I'll share it with you 😁
About her birthday:
For my birthday, we We're supposed to go around the table and have everyone say something nice about me. Idk if I wrote to you about this but we had a lesson that we forgot about in the chaos of moving and getting locked out, so I had to miss the party and no one got to say nice things about me. I wasn't that sad because like, I can survive without that, but everyone was making a big deal about how I didn't get that and how it was sad so I felt obligated but then I wanted to go to the lesson and I felt horrible for forgetting it.. (I made this a run on sentence for effect, so that you could see how overwhelmed I felt. Not because I think that's an acceptable way to write.)
Anyways. We had a dinner for one of the couple's who left last week and they took a minute to let everyone say their nice things... And elder woods said he has noticed that I am very on time! That was like the most meaningful compliment for me!
It was a fun night because they caterer got mixed up and didn't show up so we went to a restaurant instead! A steak house! And They had unlimited sides! I had ratatouille! And ribs!
About the great blessings of serving a mission:
...compare the eternal consequences of what I am doing for the people here! Like you should see, the family that we are teaching with the 9 year old son who got baptized in august, their family has CHANGED already. The things we are teaching them are true and are changing their life! They are becoming happier and there is more love in their home. You can really feel the spirit when we are there. (Which is really saying something because the first time we went over they asked us to pray over their house to cast out the bad spirits. Nice, right?) And that's just to mention the blessing that we are immediately seeing in this life, not to mention in the life to come! We went to the temple this week for p day, and the feeling there is hard to describe! I think if I were to put it into one word, I would say it's REAL!
She is developing a strong testimony of the temple grounds:
...We've had some investigators walk into the temple grounds and say "Wow, what is this?" Because they can feel the difference on the dedicated grounds. Other people literally start crying when they go through the gate! It's been so cool to see some of these people to be feeling the spirit for the first time.
About still talking in her sleep:
I love this talk so much from president Uchtdorf. I love it so much that I talked about Elder Uchtdorf in my sleep, and woke up Soeur Marteeny. I had said "President Uchtdorf is my FAVOURITE" and so she wanted to joke with me and said " Are you sure it's not elder Holland?" I remember after she said that, I got so worked up that I was pretty much awake and said "NO. I could give you a LIST of why he's my favourite." Nights get pretty wild at our apartment. Usually just because of me.) It talks about how much our church members do and sacrifice. And then how we do it happily! And we look for more to do! I think the concept of sacrifice can be really hard for people.
About how being a missionary is becoming really internalized:
Sometimes I wonder how I will come home and have to have normal conversations with people where I can't casually share scriptures with them. I guess I could still do it, but it wouldn't be very casual lol.
On unique things about France:
When you talked about baptizing someone in a pool, I thought wow, that's definitely a California mission thing. There's a lot of things here that make us say, only in the France Paris Mission. Like when you tell people your dinner appointments are only supposed to be an hour, and they laugh or get mad because that's just ridiculous. Any good dinner should take you until 9:30. Or buying five kinds of cheese but "Only getting the staples." Or people being so confused that they need to be baptized again. that's a big one. There's probably some more but I can't really think of them and the clock is ticking!
On being obedient::
I probably have more questions for you but It's hard with our new "Only reading emails on p days thing." Next week will be better.
On the flowers I sent her and the package:
They did arrive! They were so beautiful! I forgot to take a picture but the note they attached to it was addressed to Mr jilian Ackroyd. So that was nice. And it was funny to have the elders give me a huge bouquet of flowers.. (the elders in my ward are the assistants so they were at the bureau)
Thank you so much! I have felt so spoiled. I ate my last granola bar today and all the other soeurs were jealous.
I've been practicing French while Jill has been on her mission. I'm almost at a 70 day streak! This week she sent me her talk in French. Time to do some more French work!