Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year!

Bonjour Ma famille!!

Wow I can't believe I just talked to you last week!  That may have been the shortest two hours I have ever seen!  Oh well, still got Mother's day in 5 months, which if you think about it is just as long as I've been in Guyane, so it'll just take another one of those before I see you again!  And to be honest the time here is flying by!  I can't believe I'm going to be 1/4 of the way done soon, craziness.  It was really weird right before I talked to you, I was so excited and I was thinking, Whoa, this is probably what Jordan was going through right before he talked to us on Skype.  Except I don't think he had to wait for other people to finish though because they had more than one computer . It was different being the one getting all the questions and not being the one trying to think of all the questions haha!  It was really good though I loved seeing all you!!

Man!! Look at all that snow at Island Park!! Max is just as poofy as I remember! haha  I always loved going to Island Park!  It was probably on of my favorite things we would do with everybody, did you play any of Jeff's favorite card games? haha  I'm so glad to hear that Dallin was OK after that mishap, those fields are really fun to go zipping along, I always wondered if there was actually barbed wire there.  How were the snow shoes?

So after we talked Elder Miyasaki got on with his family and the others came back to church and we watched Monsters University because we were allowed to watch a G rated movie for Christmas.  Well, we were supposed to watch it Christmas Eve but nobody told us that so when we found out from the assistants they said we could watch it Christmas because we didn't know about it before.  Monsters University was the only G rated movie that we could find, and it was in French but it was good haha. I understood quite a bit, it did help that I had seen it before though.

So as far as transfers go...Elder Miyasaki and the others got a call from the president to let them know that Elder Santos is shipping out to Guadeloupe and Elder Miyasaki is going to be the new Zone leader here. Elder Pratt is coming to be Elder Fraley's new companion, and we are also going to get two sister missionaries to come down!  They are going to have to stay in Elder Santos and Fraley's old apartment until Elder Miyasaki and I can find a new one for them. Which means we'll have four Elders in an apartment which should be fun!

The investigators have been doing good this week.  We have this one family, The Florentin's I don't know if I've told you about them, but we are teaching the mom and one of her daughters.  We have been teaching them and just gave them un Livre de Mormon and the said they would read it and are praying to know if they need to be baptized.  The daughter said she was going to read 3 chapters a night!  Sadly the parents are flying to Haiti for 3 weeks so we can't see them until they get back... Everyone keeps leaving!!!  Our two investigators with baptism dates are getting back this week so it'll be good to see them again

We met a lot of potential investigators this week, but the best one isn't even in our area.  So Elder Miyasaki and I were walking in the city and I saw a Chinese restaurant with a sign saying it sold Dim Sum, you know I love Dim Sum, so I naturally took notice of it. Then I noticed that there was an apartment above it and that the door to the stairwell was open which doesn't happen often in the city . I had a good feeling that we should go contact those apartments.  As we were climbing the stairs a Brazilian guy ran in calling after us. He asked if we were the Elders.  He told us that he visited his family in Brazil and was taking the lessons from sister missionaries there and that he wanted to be baptized!  He left before he had enough lessons though and when he got here he couldn't find the church.  He also said he had a cousin who was on a mission!!  We got his name and address, he's in the other's area sadly...., but he came to church the next day!  I'm super excited to see how he goes!!

Frère Magny who is a counselor in the branch presidency picked up Elder Fraley's and my packages.  He gave them to us on Saturday when we went to clean the church.  I'm not sure why or how he was contacted, but we got them. Sorry for the scare!!  I sent an email to Grandma letting her know.

On Christmas Eve we ate Pepper Pot and Ginger Beer (not really beer) with the Narine's and Baksh's.  Pepper Pot is a popular dish here that is served on special occasions like Christmas.  It's stewed meat with cinnamon and hot peppers.

 Tell Joe good luck in flight school and Brianna, good luck with tennis!!  And Everybody else good luck with everything else I guess haha!  I love you all so much have a great week!

Je vous aime!
Avec amour,
Elder Call

Christmas Eve at the Baksh's

Christmas Eve at our apartment

Christmas Eve PJ's!

Eating the Pepper Pot soup on Christmas Eve at the Narine's

Biking in the downpour to the church to Skype with you guys!

Sitting in the church, soaking wet, waiting for my turn to Skype

Giant Christmas tree in Cayenne

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Joyeux Noël!

Bonjour ma famille!!!

Sorry that there was no email yesterday.  We are going to have a mission-wide online conference thing in a couple hours so the president told us to take P-day today.

Man, I'm getting so excited for tomorrow!!  I don't even know what to say!  So I just finished fixing up the Skype account and everything seems ready to go!!  Haha so this letter might not be too long sorry, I was spending a lot of time getting that all set up, and it was in French for the first part. Then I realized I could just change it to English... Its all good now!

So the best part of the week was the Christmas party, we sang the songs that we did for the rest home and then there was Indian (from India) dance performed by Sr. Bakch and S.r Anthony who are both from Guyana hence, they are Indian, then the Société de Secours did a Christmas sketch that was super hilarious!

We had a long work week this week though, not too many lessons.  But we did meet a lot of people.  We even met this one lady who invited us over for tonight with her family, she's going to have a family Christmas party and she will make banane pesé:)  Also when we knocked her door she brought us in and we tried to help her clean her house, she was painting it and everything, she said no then gave us food. haha  What stinks is that we started eating, it was delicious, then Elder Miyasaki and I looked at each other and realized that we were in the middle of a fast... Shoot... So we had to start it over after we left. haha. The lady is named Mdm. Holland and apparently she has seen the missionaries before and fed them all the time!

I will plan to Skype at 4:00 my time, 12:00 your time.  I'll add you to my contacts and call you then.

This week we had another exchange, I went with E.Santos in our area. We found a family with 5 young men in it, we taught all of them and we keep thinking how cool it would be to get 5 new priesthood holders in this branch...

The Party at the Presidents for Elder Fraley's birthday was fun!  We sang happy birthday in 5 languages! We all sang French, the Elders in English, the D'Abreu's in Portuguese, President in Spanish, and Elder Miyasaki in Japanese!  At the end of the 5 songs little Momo cried "Arrête! Arrête les chansons! Je veux manger le gâteau!" Stop it, stop the songs, I want to eat cake!  He's a funny little guy! 

I love all of you and can't wait to see you guys again tomorrow!!  Joyeux Noël!!!

Avec amour,
Elder Call

The Relief Society doing a funny skit at the Christmas party

Sr. Edith and Matthieu

So the little kid in the middle is Otilly, we met him by Sr.Edith and her son Leo, He and Leo are friends along with the rest of those kids and we invited them all to come to the party and they actually came! They talk a lot but they are funny. Leo is on the right. and that's Brian in the blue. 

Sr. D'Arbreu had me stir the chocolate pudding for the party, but I had to wear the apron and mitt whilst doing it, no complaints though... haha

Elder Fraley's party

Monday, December 16, 2013

Just the three of us...

Bonjour ma famille!
Comment allez-vous?

First off way to go on the French!  Aussi, I just think its crazy that you shared that little spiritual message at the end of the letter and my mission president shared close to the same thing in his letter. I should probably take the hint... haha thanks for that!

Haha, my friends all stopped by?  That's awesome!  My friends are the best!  Thanks ladies for taking care of my mom! haha!  How did you get the picture of all them at the temple?  You didn't go with them, did you...?

So something cool, its beginning to look a lot like Christmas!  Kinda, There are Christmas lights on all the roads of the city and the big mall has loads of lights!!  We might try to get a picture of it sometime. Other than that its all about the same, except it's rained every single day this week!  At least two or three times a day we get a flash rainstorm, then it gets back to normal hot weather.

So this week was different than usual, Elder Santos got flown up to Trinidad for a zone leader meeting of some sort, so us three were in a trio taking both of the areas.  It was awesome haha! We had to teach in both areas so we never had much time to just knock doors, there was always someone to teach!  Also the day that Elder Santos left, there was all of the sudden this big 'ol gas strike throughout the city... and we were low on gas from driving him out to the airport.  So, we decided to bike the rest of the week which wasn't TOO bad, until my bike broke.  The pedal broke off, again, and I could'nt really fix it this time because the spare pedals we had were all too big to fit on.  So we had to drive in our car to the rest of our appointments.  I was praying pretty hard that we wouldn't run out of gas, that would have been no good.  As soon as we drove out, the gas station by our place wasn't on a strike anymore.  Either it was the lamest strike in history or an answer to my prayers, I prefer to believe the latter.

Oh and by the way we got the package, and it is quite awesome!  We went crazy with those decorations! haha Yeah, we opened two days because it was two days late, hope that's OK!

I'm planning to Skype with you guys at 16h our time and yes, we have to share the one computer. I'll just go two hours before him.  I'm really excited to talk to everybody!!!!

We didn't really get any new contacts this week but we did get another baptism date fixed!!!  This lady Alina that we contacted a while ago, I don't remember if I told you about her yet so I will again.  She's so cool!!!  The first day we met her we shared the Plan of Salvation because she had a lot of questions about it.  She ate it all up and told us to come back the next day.  When we did she had read through the brochure TWICE and even took notes on the whole thing!  She's done the same with the Restoration brochure and the first few chapters of the Book of Mormon, she tells us that she had heard it before but couldn't remember where she thinks she saw a video on a plane or something about the Book of Mormon.  One visit she asked us out of nowhere if we believed in shooting stars, we said, uh... yeah, I've wished on shooting stars.  She said the week we met her she had wished on a shooting star that someone would come help her understand these things, then BOOM we show up!  WHAT!? haha  She even said that she knows all of it is true!  We fixed a date de baptême for the 11 Janvier!

I don't think we're doing anything for Christmas mission-wise, the missionaries in Trinidad are probably doing something with the president like they did with Thanksgiving, but I doubt they could for everyone else.  We have a branch party and talent show thing this Saturday though!

This week we were passing by some houses as the trio, and asked this one lady if we could help her, she was painting her house.  She got super excited and asked if we could move this rubbish pile that was by her house.  She told us just to scatter everything so that her son doesn't hurt himself climbing on it or something, so we shoveled a rubbish pile!  It felt great doing service!!!

I love you all SOO much, I can't wait to see you for Christmas!!!

Avec amour,
Elder Call

I found this Chinese thing at Alecida's house.  Tell dad I'm learning Chinese!

This was a crazy apartment we found.  It looks like it's a crazy tourist knick-knack shop!

Moving the rubbish pile

The three of us on our own this week

Elder Miyasaki's face after he ate your delicious caramels.  He loved them.  I was going to share with the other Elders, but he said no...

Some of the Christmas decorations you sent

Monday, December 9, 2013

5 months

Bonjour ma famille!!

First off I want to thank you again for that Words of Wisdom thing!  Its SO cool!  Thanks everyone who wrote a little note in there!  I open a flap every morning and find something awesome every time, but those little notes are awesome.  I read Brianna's yesterday morning and I really liked it, merci Bri!

J'ai finalement reçu the package from grandma that we've been waiting for forever, I check the mailbox before we leave and again when we get back at night.  I saw something in there but I thought it was another random flyer that we get just about everyday.  Upon further inspection I perceived that it was no mere advertisement but, in fact, a notice with my name on it!  So this morning we woke up and walked right over to La Poste to pick it up before the huge lines got there.  We only had to wait about 10 to 15 minutes in line so it wasn't to bad!  I really love it Grandma!  I actually really needed a new shirt because my soccer shirt got all mildew-y... It's weird because it was the only thing that's gone bad, probably because it was my work out shirt and was all sweaty.  BUT now I got a new one MERCI MUCH!  Also tell Grandma K thanks for the money in the card!  I'm not sure what to get with it but I will probably use it for some pâtisserie! Or a volleyball to use at the church!  Or another shirt!  The options are endless!!!

I haven't received your Christmas package yet, but now that I know it's arrived in Guyane I'll keep my eye out for it.

As far as investigators go, we did get this one family that came, the girlfriend of the son seemed really interested but shes not in our area sadly, the parents live right next door and we will try to pass by sometime!  Most of this week we were trying to find people to teach.  We did have a lesson with some Témoigne Jéhovahs (JWs) that were there at the same time.  They yell a lot... We just kinda sat there while the TJs and our investigator yelled back and forth at each other. We would try to talk but they didn't really stop talking and really didn't listen, it was interesting.
We stopped by last week a the two ladies I told you about last week and we even committed Belinda (English) to baptism!  We even picked a date!  The 18 of January ! Malheureusement, unfortunately we went to go see her Sunday and the guy that answered the door said she was out of the country and should be for the rest of the month to get papers done in Suriname or something, so when she comes back, IF she comes back, we'll have to move the date back.

I know you're worried about my pants getting too small, but they're mostly still alright... there was one day that I yawned and stretched a little too far in the morning studies and one of the little hook things popped off... They really aren't held on there too strong, just stapled on there, but still!  I'm going to work out a lot more now, and eat less...

It doesn't feel a lot like Christmas, its too hot.  But there was this band one night that was playing a reggae version of Christmas songs all night long, so I guess that was sort of Christmas-y.  Everyone says Joyeux Noël every so often.  We are going to have a Christmas party with the branch too.

We won't have another zone conference until next transfer.  We have zone conference every other transfer so if I am still here next transfer I will go to Suriname again.

The best part of the week was easily when we went to the rest home outside of Cayenne to sing Christmas songs for the people there.  We went with some sisters in the branch.  It was great, practicing every Sunday before wasn't so great (everyone kept making me and Elder Fraley sing by ourselves and we aren't so good) BUT when we went we had a lot of fun. We were talking with the people joking around with the members and having a really good, Christmas cheerful time!

Well that's all I can think about for this week there wasn't too much different that happened but it was alright!  Oh!  This morning we helped Alecida (The member I found) move to a new apartment, it was good and she fed us, she's the best!

Alors, je vous aime tout le monde!!
Avec amour,
Elder Call

Elder Fraley and I on splits this week

Birthday party for Pres. D'Arbeu's son

Best part of the week!  Singing at a nursing home.

I saved the marshmallows you sent for Halloween and made my favorite...
A peanut butter, Nutella and marshmallow grilled sandwich!

Monday, December 2, 2013

PICTURES!!! Parties and more parties!

Bonjour tout le monde!!!

Well there is so much to tell about this week, mostly about my Birthday and Thanksgiving so I don't know how much other stuff I can get in there but I will try!  Hmm... Where to start...  Well we planned Thanksgiving for us 4 Guyane Elders on P-day, Monday, and everybody had to make something.  I made some mashed potatoes with garlic in it, Elder Fraley made the ham and he poured brown sugar on it and pineapple, Elder Santos made this broccoli casserole that didn't look so good when it came out but it was really good, especially on top of my potatoes, and Elder Miyasaki made fried chicken.  Man it was good!!! haha!  We had sparkling cider and everything!  It was a blast, kinda stressful because the preparation took awhile so we didn't have that much time to eat before we had to go back to work at 18 heures.  We had like 40 minutes... we ate a lot really fast.  That night we went to the Françiettes house for soirée familial family home evening where I found out it was her birthday on Saturday too!  They fed us crepes... I was already stuffed from Thanksgiving but it was so delicious!

So then on Tuesday or Wednesday we visited the Narine family, no wait, Soeur Narine told us she was having a Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday because it was her birthday and she has been really sick for the past 4 years, so sick that doctors turned her away saying there was nothing they could do for her and that she didn't have long to live.  So after surviving 4 years of that she was throwing a party for her birthday and she said it would be like a Thanksgiving.  Then I picked up the package on Wednesday because we had a hard time timing it right with the delivery dude, he would leave with it every time we went to pick it up and he couldn't get in the gate to knock the door, I doubt he tried too hard, but finally we told them just to leave it there for us to pick up.  So I had the package and had to wait till Saturday to open the presents, I opened the letters... I couldn't wait haha!!  Thanks everyone for those!!!  Anywho... Thats what I did first thing Saturday morning. Then we worked through the whole day, it was a rough day, a lot of appointments fell through and we had to drop an investigator who had taken all the lessons, some twice, and wouldn't change. We are keeping in contact with her but its just up to her now to make the change she already said everything was true but she wont be baptized... Its very sad.  Alors, at the end of the day we were helping the Narines set up for the party.  It was in this little alley in front of their house.  They invited all the members and even their non-member friends and neighbors and they had a TON of soup, and rice and chicken.  Holy cow it was awesome!  Anyway they had a huge program and everything set up with testimonies and musical numbers sang by some members.  It was so cool. She had like 5 cakes too!!  Everyone brought a cake for her and her son's wife is like a chef or something because she made 3 or so of them and they were delicious!  Most of the time I was talking to non-members, introducing the church and making friends with them.  It was so cool... When Soeur Narine bore her testimony (she's from Guiana Anglais) I had to translate for when she went off in English.  One time she changed back to French and I didn't even realize she started speaking French, so I was just repeating what she said.  Everyone got a good laugh out of that.  It was a good day.  We had to leave early being missionaries and all but it was awesome...

You asked about the gun laws and nope, there are no guns.  France has very strict gun laws, that's what my French MTC teacher said.  She says that it's nearly impossible to get a gun and people would freak out if someone carried one around.

We found a couple of people to teach this week.  One guy came up to us while we were in the middle of a lesson and asked if we were the Mormons and said he wanted to get in contact with us again.  He came to church the next day and we taught him.  He wouldn't tell us where he lived but we have his number so we'll try to set something up.  We also met these two ladies that live together but one speaks English only and the other only speaks French.  We basically taught two different lessons at the same time going from French to English and English to French.  Belinda, the English one seems really seriously into it and she even said she knew that it was all true wanted to be baptized!  We want to bring a French member and an English member and do two split member lessons, we'll see if we can get it to happen!  Mdm. St-Aubin has been really hard to get a hold of recently but she was committed to baptism.

I love all of you so much!!!!
avec amour
Elder Call

Our Thanksgiving Feast!

Birthday presents!

Birthday party with the Elders

Party at Sr. Narine's

Seour Françiette and Seour Narine

A little gift I got myself!

Hmmm...lets just say I don't need to worry about Braden ever going hungry!  He mentioned that they're going to start riding their bikes more.  Sounds like a good idea if he wants to keep wearing those pants!