Monday, October 28, 2013


Bonjour ma famille!

D'Accord, Je pense que je vais commence aux questions aujourd'hui!
(I think I'll start with the questions today!)

Do you carry your passport with you all the time?

 No, I don't carry my passport, I haven't seen a need to so I leave it with Elder Santos in the safe, he is the one that takes care of all the legal stuff since we don't have a senior couple, so he gets all the calls for Ofii, which is the government thing that we are working with to get legalized into the country.

How have the mosquitoes been?

They usually aren't bad.  I stopped wearing bug spray because there hasn't been too much of a problem.  I sprayed my garments and socks with that spray you sent and that wasted all of it, I think that's been helping thanks!  Every now and then there's a bad day or we go to a bad spot and get a couple bites but nothing bad.

I'm used to Mexico where there was you have a microwave there?  

Haha yeah, there's a microwave!  We have most everything, including two fridges and freezers which is nice, the Suriname Elders had gas stoves, we only have hot plates but it works!

I heard that Jamie has a TV and DVD player in Thailand!  Do you?  That seems so weird!

Yeah we have a little portable DVD player that we can use to watch movies on or to take to show movies to amis de l'église (church friends) but I haven't done that yet, usually we just watch church films in French to help with the language.

How is President Mehr changing the way you are doing missionary work there?

Well since the church isn't too well known he is trying to get us to be doing more big project to get our name out there and known.  The problem is I have no idea where to start.  The branch has a project planned for the 2nd of November, but we still aren't sure what it is... I hope its good!

You've never really mentioned soccer.  Have you had the chance to play there?

I've played a lot of soccer, its great!  People have been busy lately so we haven't played as much, usually every Tuesday, then on Fridays we play volleyball in the church parking lot with some members.

How have things been going with your investigators this week?

We've been doing a lot of finding and we've met a lot of people that said they wanted to talk with us again.  Sadly they usually aren't there when we return at for an appointment.  Most of the people here will see us and be all, "Oh come in! Come in! Tell me the good word of God!"  Then as we talk they just sit there agreeing with everything saying, "yes, yes, hallelujah" even if we ask them a question like "Where do you think people will go after they die?" They'll still be muttering, "Yes, yes, praise the Lord" at least the French equivalent.  They love having people talking about spiritual things but they don't do anything about it and its hard getting them to see that we are there to help them change not to just talk about Christ.  We have one lady that has been talking to the missionaries for a long time, her name is K, she understands EVERYTHING its amazing, but she has yet to recognize a response to her prayers and I don't think she would act on them if she did. We're still working on it though!

The best part of the week was definitely the banana pesé!  Evelyne is Haitian, like a lot of people here, and we asked her if she knew how to make it and she said for sure!  So Saturday night she made us banane pesé, fried bananas with picklees, which is basically picked carrots and stuff.  Oh, man it was delicious, but even better was that Josema, a man that lives in the same building sat down next to us and started asking us questions about if there was life after death.  Elder Miyasaki and I were just going crazy when we left, because we had asked him to join in on the lessons every time but he always said no and left, but now he came and started asking US stuff!  It was so cool! he started taking notes and writing down the scriptures we used, AND we ate banane pesé!  It was a good day.... Banane pesé is delicious and Evelyne made us enough to take some home for Sunday dinner too... It was the best

Well I'm outta time!
Love you much!!!

Avec amour,
Elder  Call

Banane pesé

 Some Mickey Mouse thing in Suriname

 The church in Suriname

 Elder Miyasaki

 "Where are we going?"

Eating pistec with Elder Fraley

Riding in the rain

Monday, October 21, 2013

Zone conference in Suriname

Bonjour ma famille! ça va?

Zone conference was a blast!  We were in Suriname for 3 days.  On the first day we woke up really early to drive 3 hours out to St. Laurent du Maroni, bought tourist cards to get into Suriname, then got in a canoe to go across the river.  Once across we were waiting maybe an hour for the taxi guy to show up.  Once he got there we drove another 2 hours to Paramaribo to the chapel there. We got left there and had to wait about another hour for the AP and zone leader to come pick us up, then from there we got dropped off at what I hear is the nicest apartment in the mission.  Man, it was nice!  It was a full on house with air conditioning, a walk in closet, and only two Elders stay there even though its about three times the size as ours.  Anyways, we had to wait out in front of the house for Elder Staley and Elder Free to bike back and unlock the door for us.  After that, they didn't have a companionship that could take all 4 of the Elders so we just had to hang out in the house the rest of the day.

Then next day we got picked up by the assistants to go to another church building where zone conference was.  Everything was in Dutch, and let me tell you, I'm so glad I'm learning French. Dutch just sounds so... ugly, haha!  AND Suriname is kind of a dump.... it has the same scenery as Guyane but people are a lot poorer from what I could tell.

Zone conference was cool we talked about handling stress with a new "adjusting to missionary life" book that they will be sending to all the missionaries.  They were supposed to give it to us in the MTC but I never got one and I haven't met anyone who has haha.  We also talked alot about the importance of fasting and the Sabbath day, and how to teach it to our investigators and less actives. We also ate some Surinamese food which was quite delicious!  Rice, egg roll things, fried bananas, and something like mozzarella sticks.  I forgot what the bananas were called in Dutch, but in creole its banane pesé and they eat it here too.

That night Elder Santos and I went with Elder Staley to visit a lady that he baptized, to teach a lesson.  It was about the scriptures and feasting on the words of Christ, he translated back and forth for us.  Elder Santos and I sang a hymn in French for her, but the coolest part was at the end she asked for a blessing of comfort and I got to be a part of the circle. That makes 3 languages in which I have been a part of giving blessings.  Man it felt so cool even though I had no idea what Elder Staley was saying.

It was cool to meet the Gubler's.  I didn't get too much time to talk with them but I saw her taking pictures of me.  I'm glad she sent them. Sister Gubler looks a lot like Paula.  I also was able to see Nick.  He seems to be doing great as well.

The next day we made the long trip back and now we are back into the swing of things!

So that wraps up most of that, on to the questions! On y va!

How are you treated by the people there?  Do you ever get treated poorly?

Haha sometimes! The best is when someone opens the door, sees us, swears or something, and slams the door.  That hasn't happened too often but I always start laughing afterwords.  Most people here think we're Témoigne Jéhovahs so we usually have to clear that up first.  Most of the ridicule doesn't come from our religion, but rather out race.

How are things going with your new companion?

Oh man its great!  I'm tired so often now but its great because it means I'm finally working hard! Elder Miyasaki and I are very different but we get along well!

Any new investigators?

We've been getting a lot of work done with contacting its been super!  The one I'm probably most excited about is Mdm. St. Aubin, my first street contact ever.  I contacted her on my own a LONG time ago but Elder Maoni and I never saw her after that.  Finally just on Saturday we were able to get back in contact with her and share a lesson.  The coolest part is that she was understanding what we said, her and her husband Ernest.  Usually people just repeat what we say and you can tell its going in one ear and out the other, but they were all repeating what we said then retelling us in their own words, making sure they understood. man it was good!!

How is your apartment, bathroom etc.  Is it better than what Jordan had?

Yeah its pretty upscale.  We have hot water and I think the water is clean on the French side but I still only drink filtered water.

Have you had any good food this week?

Pres. D'Arbreu is a butcher and he gave us this big 'ol bag of steaks and we cooked 'em up this week.  I've gotta say, I'm become quite the chef if I do say so myself.  Evelyne, une ami de l'église, is going to make us banane pesé some day this week I think, so I've been eating well!

Have you gotten the letter to make you legal in the country yet?

Still working on it haha!  We actually had to go take x-rays a while ago and now we need to go turn in the results and after that I'm not too sure what else we need to do but we should have it soon enough!  The x-rays were super awkward... I had to stand up on this pedestal with my shirt off and my face plastered against the machine.  Elder Fraley was really funny about it, he was critiquing all the procedural problems haha.   I think that these papers are for all of the French countries so I would have had to do them on any island and since they are all a part of France it works for all of them, even France I think.

I wasn't able to get a camera in Suriname, and things are really expensive here in Guyane.  So, maybe it would be best if you could send me a new one.  I was going to send some pictures today from Elder Miyasaki's camera, but it's not working in the computer.  Maybe next time!

Je vous aime ma famille!! have a good week! Things are really going well for me down here and I love it!

Avec amour,
Elder Call

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Pictures and an email from Sister Gubler

My sister-in-law, Paula Call has a sister that's serving with her husband in Suriname.  Last week Braden went there for zone conference.  They were able to meet and she sent this email and these pictures.  I'm so grateful to know he has people looking out for him, even 3,000 miles from home!

Dear Paula

I thought you might enjoy these pictures of Elder Call.  Everyone that I've talked too has said what a great missionary he is.  He said I look like you and it was fun meeting him. We are leaving for St. Lucia on the 31st of the month.  Some of the pictures didn't turn out well.  The lighting in these buildings are not that great.


New companion, Elder Miyasaki

With Elder and Sister Gubler

At zone conference

Monday, October 14, 2013

A new companion and a fresh start!

Bonjour ma famille!

C'est très différent ici en Guyane! D'abord Elder Fraley et moi sont plus tout seul et j'ai reçu un nouveaux collège missionnaire!  Well I'll leave the French there so I can write faster.... haha.  But things are going awesome down here and I'm really starting to have fun doing the work!

I think I'll just start where I left off last time! So All 4 of the missionaries drove to St Laurent du Maroni to the Suriname border (oh by the way we are going to zone conference on Wednesday, in Suriname, just thought I'd slip that in there in case I forget later on... but I'm super excited, and I'm certain that its zone conference this time) anyways, we dropped of Elder Maoni and Santos to cross the river in the canoes and Elder Fraley and I had to drive back by ourselves, which is why we stopped and took pictures along the way.  We had to stop at a checkpoint and I was super worried about it because we weren't sure what to say and I forgot my I.D. haha  But luckily they just waved us through.  We stayed at Elder Fraleys residence while it was just us two.  Most of the time we spent in their area because they had a lot more set appointments and people to see and, well... we didn't.  But I felt great with Elder Fraley.  I know that the Lord helped me out with the language a ton!  Without that we would have not done too much haha! To be honest, I took over a lot of the lessons and I was able to understand a lot, it was cool!  Also, we were contacting and as we were about to get into our car I waved at a guy across the street and he said that he didn't want to talk to us, so we just got into the car.  But as we were about to leave he waved us over and gave us some mangoes that he had just picked and we got his information and everything.  Then that night we were teaching a lesson with this family that I had contacted before, we went over most all of the restoration and Book of Mormon and I gave one to them to read.  I'm not sure if they've gotten any farther because they are in the other area, but at the end of the lesson they handed me a big 'ol "Pistec" which is creole for watermelon. haha.  It didn't look like a watermelon but sure enough when Elder Fraley and I ate it the next day, by ourselves, it was a watermelon. You may not believe me but it was actually really good! haha!
Braden doesn't really like watermelon so this is a surprise!

On Wednesday Elder Fraley and I drove to the Guyanese airport and picked up Elder Santos with my mystery companion.  I didn't get a transfer call or anything telling me that I was staying here or who my new companion would be, which I hear usually happens every transfer.  But when we got there I met Elder Miyasaki.  I love the guy!  Me and him  are going to change things here in Cayenne!  I've been doing A LOT of work and I'm super tired a lot of the time but I love it!  Since Elder Maoni and I honestly didn't get so much done we had to start doing a lot of contacting so that we could get some lessons.  We contacted 41 people in half a week!  It was the best!   The goal I had set with Elder Fraley, since we had to do weekly planning while it was still just us two, was 15... Now that we have some contacting in I think we'll start getting some lessons with some people!

Here are some things going on with the people we are teaching.  Eveline, I don't remember if I've talked about her before but she is Haitian and about 40 years old or so, its really hard to tell age here.  She has come to church once before but doesn't have a car or bike and so she hasn't been coming for a while.  She has a hard time reading and also a hard time understanding our lessons so we've been going really slow. When we invite her to be baptized she always says "no no I'm not ready" or the creole equivalent even though I feel like she is, or at least it would help to set a date and we could get her ready.   But the last time she said she would be ready in 2014, haha its not great but its a step forward!  She also said the next time we see her she's going to make us banane pesé.  I'm excited.

Elder Miyasaki is from Hawaii and he's been out 7 months and we are getting along great!  Also we are working hard, its the best!

About conference...we missed the first session because we were driving to and from St Laurent du Maroni. Then Elder Fraley and I went to the rest but we watched it in French and it was really difficult to understand...

I got the letter from Kenzie and Sabey two weeks ago or so and I got one from.... oh man I forgot her name, if I had the letter with me I would know but she lives in Shadow Mountain and she sent a letter that went to the MTC and they forwarded it to me.  It was really nice, next week I'll tell you her name and I want you to thank her for me.

I love you all so much and things are going great here! Je vous aime!! Merci beaucoup pour toutes vos prières et toutes vos lettres!

Avec amour,
Elder Call

Monday, October 7, 2013

The President's visit

SO this week has been a little hectic. The President came and Elder Maoni and Elder Santos went to go pick them up from the Suriname border because its easier to get in that way I guess.  So Elder Fraley and I went through about half a day together.  That was P- day (Monday) Then when the President came we had a meeting where he talked a little about companionships getting along and the importance of it.  Then he went into the big project ideas.  He told us that he is planning a big celebration in 2015 where there will be a huge talent and culture competition throughout the lower countries and Trinidad because of the 25th anniversary of the opening of the mission here.  I think we are the only ones who he's really told that to.  So I think we are supposed to be focusing a lot on big influence projects and to be honest its a bit intimidating.  Then that night we had one of the assistants come with us teaching.  I was able to translate everything for Elder Dohrman the assistant.  At the end of the day the president gave a fireside to the branch where he introduced the Celebration to everyone and also told them that they have been given a budget that can be used on any service, humanitarian or any kind of project of the branch's choosing.

In the morning we had interviews with the president.  My companion is going to be moving to Trinidad.  Elder Santos had to go with him, so for the last 3 days Elder Fraley and I have been the only 2 in all of French Guiana and its been crazy to say the least!

We are going to be on our own until Wednesday and we have to cover both areas.  Honestly my French has never been better though!  We're going in and teaching all the lessons on our own and setting up appointments and what not.  I'm not going to lie its kinda stressful and I very often have trouble with the language but we are fine so don't worry about us. Haha  I never expected something like this to happen on my mission let alone the first transfer!  Honestly though we are doing great together!

So I will be getting a new companion on Wednesday.

Oops outta time!

I love you so much!!
Avec Amour,
Elder Call

These pictures are in Sinnamary, on our way to take Elders Santos and Maoni to the Suriname border.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A bonus letter in the mail this week!

Cher Famille,                                                            

This is kind of a test to see how well the mail works and how long it takes to get there, if it gets there at all.  I've heard that it is easier to send letters than to receive, so I guess this is a way to see! So I'm writing this on Monday the 16th, I'm not sure when I'll get to sending it but I'll put that date on the letter before I send it.

So things are going good for me.  I just got back from a bike ride through the rainforest.  I was covered in mud because there was a ten minute downpour.  This was really a downpour, we got as much rain in 5 minutes as Logan gets in a whole day of rain.  I wanted to take my camera but I didn't because I didn't want to ruin it.  There were a lot of cool things that I wish I could have shown you.  Maybe some other time I can take some.

This place is super cool.  There's the city right on the ocean with some little shack towns around about, then nothing but dense rainforest.  The ocean isn't too much to look at, it's very dirty, there are a lot of cool rocks jutting out of the ocean.

I really wanted to talk about the people I've met in this letter.  Most everyone on our side of town lives in little shack cul-de-sacs (which is a French word) There are aluminum fences along almost every road, it reminds me a lot of Oaxaca.  Every so often is a door or gate that leads to a kind of courtyard where usually everyone in the cul-de-sac hangs their laundry to dry.  There's about 5-10 doors around about the center, all to little "apartments" which are about 2 rooms, 1 with a T.V. and chair, the other with a bed.  That's with the more poor side (Baduel) which is where I spend most of my days.  I have gone to other towns that are a lot nicer, most of them follow the same courtyard layout but there are less buildings and they're bigger.  We drive out to Bulutu often to pick up Amos, who is the only one in the Young Men's program in the entire country I think.  On Monday (the night I started this letter, I've had to split it up) we drove all the way out to Degrad des Cannes, past this really old fort that I'm sure you (mom) will probably research.  If you learn anything cool let me know!  According to our map it's called "Fort Diamant".  Anywho, we went out there for a family home evening with the family of Seour Cladinette, she and her family play volleyball and other games like that with us on Thursdays of Fridays.  We try to invite as many youth as we can find to come, a lot are Amos' cousins and friends, but they've only been there once so we haven't taught any of them yet.

Wow, I got super side-tracked there...a lot, well something funny is that even with the poor living conditions everybody has a pretty nice car, and everyone and their dog has a scooter...Something I've noticed is that they all have the same type of car.  A little compact car, with a hatchback, you almost never find a trunk in the back of the car, it always has a hitch or whatever you call those. Just look up Peugeot, Renault, or Citroen and you see 'em.

So this letter is taking longer than I thought, it's turning into more a journal now haha!  It's Monday September 23 and I just barely got back from picking up that first "Greenie Package".  Thanks so much!!  It's great!  So it looks like packages work, but letters must be a different story because I still haven't gotten my stuff to get me legally into the country.  I have 90 days from when I got here, but it's taking a while.  Elder Fraley got his and we applied at the same time, so I'm pretty sure I did everything right.

I have that picture of all the guys after Seminary graduation and it's cool thinking how everyone of them is in a different part of the world doing the same work.  It's going to be real cool when we have the Alma 17:1-5 reunion and swap stories like in Alma 27:16-20.  I just hope that it'll be like that, and we will all be proud of the work we've done and be able to say that we did all we could and regret nothing.

I know that this church is true and the work before me is/will be tough but like Nephi I have been born of goodly parents, both in heaven and on earth.  I have you guys that taught me so much and have prepared me for this work, and I also have my Father in Heaven who has called me to this work and who gives no commandment unto the children of men save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.  I also feel really connected with Alma on his mission.  My favorite parts are Alma 5:44-46 where he bears a powerful testimony to his people before he leaves and then in Alma 29:1-9 where he states his desires or goals of his mission.  That's what I feel like and want to be like.  I know that this is the right thing for me to do.  Something really cool that I've read in my scriptures often during my reading sessions is in St. John 2:1-9.  Now this may not be how anyone else that read it saw it, but when I read it in verses 3-5 it talks about Jesus' mother.  Jesus hadn't performed any miracles at this time, nobody even knew he could perform miracles yet, but his mother believed in him.  When they needed a miracle she knew her son could do it, and to me it sounds like Jesus says, "But Mom!  I'm not ready yet!"  But with the pushing of his mother he accomplished the first miracle, even if it was only turning water into wine, but we all know greater things followed.

Now I know it's a stretch, but we are supposed to liken the scriptures unto I just want to thank you mom for pushing me!  I love reading the letter from APTC and feeling the confidence you have in me.  I haven't done anything particularly amazing yet and I don't expect to be performing serious miracles, but thank you so much for believing in me!

I love you all so much and I hope I didn't get too "gushy gushy" on you! haha

Avec Amor,
Elder Call