Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving and Birthday week

Bonjour ma famille!

So this week we had a pretty cool contact and lessons, we were going around in a résidence knocking doors, the one with the giant grasshopper, (I'll get to that later) and we met this lady that let us in and talked with us.  She was asking questions and when we gave her a brochure she basically stopped listening to us and just read it.  She said "Sorry, I just really love reading."  haha We said that was awesome and that we had another book that we would like her to read and that we would love to come back another day and give it to her.  So we came back on Saturday and she had read through the entire brochure on the restoration THEN she went back and read it again and took notes on the whole thing!  WHAT?!  haha  She had basically found all the main points and said she didn't have any questions because it explained everything in the brochure.  We gave her a Livre de Mormon and invited her to read the first couple chapters.  She jumped right on it.  She also said she had seen all the pictures before.  She told us to come back the NEXT DAY and talk more with her.  So on Sunday we visited her and tried to push towards baptism, she had read the first chapter of the LdM and had made a résumé summary of the Plan du Salut pamphlet as well! We probably won't be able to get to see her this week because she has a lot of exams this week but we might on Saturday.

I got the notice about the package.  They came today and didn't knock on the door so we went there and they said it was out for delivery.  I should be able to go get it sometime today, they're going to call us when the truck gets back.   I'm not too worried about it, there hasn't been a problem with DHL before.

We should be able to Skype for Christmas, there is a computer and a camera at the church that I think we will be able to use, that's what I imagine we'll do.

Elder Miyasaki is from the Big Island.  I told him Larry's house is near Kona up on the mountain, and he said he knows where that is, but he is from the other side of the island.

We have some American Betty Crocker cookie mix in the pantry probably from an Elder that was here before that we could make for my birthday.  Thanks!  I think we are going to eat at a members house also that day, she invited us there for HER birthday and she said it could be a Thanksgiving dinner. Its going to be one big party!

We were able to visit my first contact that committed to baptism last week.  She doing alright, she works all day everyday like most people here so we only see her at night and she can't come to church so we are working on that right now.  She really loves seeing us though!

Sorry that I freaked you out about "the boss" last week. haha  That guy was awesome!  And honestly I haven't been scared of people hurting me in any way, they might rob me but this is technically France and there are no guns anywhere, kids light of loud firecrackers all the time, but no guns or anything like that.

For Thanksgiving we have to celebrate it today on P-day but we are going to throw something together, haha we'll see how it goes!  It probably won't be too traditional but it'll be fun!

I call French Guiana Guyane because, well, its pronounced Gwee-an, and the other is pronounced Gi-on-a so there really is no need to distinguish between the two, and since we are in France its just the other one that's Guiana Anglais.

I hope everything goes well back in the States!  Make sure you keep your tennis practice up, we might finally be evenly matched by the time get home!;) haha!

Love you lots!
Avec Amour,
Elder Call

Bonjour from the ocean!

These are the pictures of the biggest darn grasshopper I've ever seen!  Really though, it was bigger than my hand and could have eaten me, we sprinted down the stairs past it and it jumped and started to fly after us. One of the scariest moments of my life... 

Lelette is an old ami de l'église friend from church who was living in E. Santos/Fraley's area.  She moved into our area and we went and helped her move in, then she took us out to eat.  That is the basic Créole dish, rice, chicken and sauce with haricots rouge red beans and of course piment (spicy pepper sauce) We eat piment (pronounced "P-mo") with just about everything, its good stuff.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Staying in Guyane


Things are still the same for me here in Guyane.  No changes or transfers here this week.  We're all staying put.  Me and Elder Miyasaki are still partying it up together!  I have no clue what happened elsewhere until we get a transfer sheet emailed to E. Santos for where everyone is in the mission, but we didn't get one last time.

In news about the letters, I did finally get one letter from Ellen Milburn.  It was sent on October 22, but that's the only letter I've received.  None from anyone else.

I got the chance to go back to that inactive sister's house.  We went with president D'Abreu, who speaks Spanish so that helped a lot!  She even came to church yesterday! It was great!

You asked if they have plans to put more Elders here in Guyane.  Not that I have heard of, Pres. Mehr said he wanted to when he was here but I haven't heard of anything yet.  We'll probably hear about it before it happens because we will have to get new apartments and stuff for when they get here, or to get things ready in our own if they plan on fitting 2 more in ours, which there is room for, maybe.  I think it would be cool having 4 Elders in an apartment.

I have no idea what I want for Christmas.  You know I can't think of Christmas before my birthday!! haha

Oh man we ate GOOD this week!  We had a lot of money left over for the transfer so we ate out quite a bit.  We went to a Chinese restaurant and we also had "Madras" which is a local specialty. Its basically a heart attack on a bun but it was super good!  Kettlie fed us some Colombo, it was delicious.  Its basically curry with different spices.  The President fed us tripe too haha! Stomach lining of a cow or sheep...yum... Not gonna lie, it was weird but I have yet to eat something that was gross, I've liked just about all of it!  Man... I'm scared I'm gonna get fat...

This week was a little tough.  We had an exchange on Friday, I went with Elder Fraley and we taught together in their area. While I was away the others committed my first contact to baptism which is awesome, but I was upset that I couldn't be there... With Elder Fraley we went and contacted this jungle street, like a major jungle street.  It went DEEP into the rainforest haha. Most of the people only spoke Spanish but we found this one house with two guys out front.  We introduced ourselves as missionaries and they told us, in English, that we had to speak to "the boss" so they opened the door and we spoke to the guy inside.  He was a Rastafarian and we had an interesting conversation about the bible and Elder Fraley was talking about Joseph Smith and the restoration.  We had a fun conversation with his whole posse.  I'm pretty sure he was a gang boss or something but he seemed pretty cool haha!

Well I gotta go! I would really like some pictures of whatever is going on with everyone!  Also tell Jordan to send me some Spanish I can use, and sorry dad I'll respond to your letter next week!!!

Avec amour,
Elder Call

This is Madras. It's like a hamburger with everything on it.  But the special part is the Piment (Peemo) sauce which is a pepper paste that's hot, notice how I am sweating haha

Opening a jar of spaghetti sauce that exploded everywhere! Oops!

Elder Miyasaki et moi chillin' playing dominoes before bed with a tub of ice cream.
Apparently when you don't live with your mother you can just throw your mattress on the floor and sleep wherever you want!  Life is good!


Monday, November 11, 2013

Coolest experience so far...

Bonjour ma famille!

Transfers are next week, we get the calls on Saturday, so if I'm moving I should know by next week. My guess is that I will still be here but its super uncertain!  I mean (we've talked about this a lot) I know the area the best so if I were to train a new guy next transfer I doubt I would go anywhere, and Elder Miyasaki is district leader and they usually stick around for a while in an area, or we could both stick around, I have no clue, my guess is that I'm staying.

We had some good lessons this week!  I was with Elder Santos on an exchange Saturday and we went to go teach Eveline.  They had two of their friends there and they were asking us questions, Elder Santos did talk most of the time but it was really cool, they seemed really interested and Josema, a guy who I'm not sure if I told you about last time, but we started teaching him with Eveline last week because he lives in the same building as Eveline and he had some questions about life after death.  ANYWAYS, he was there too and he was taking notes and stuff, it was cool, my first lesson I've taught to 4 people at the same time!  Also we are teaching a lady who understands French but speaks mostly Spanish, We had both the French and the Spanish brochures open and were trying our best to use as much Spanish as we knew hahaha.  Which reminds me, tell Jordan to help me out!  Maybe some important words or phrases in Spanish could be really helpful!  Which brings me to another cool story this week, which happens to be probably the coolest experience of my mission thus far!!! But I need to get to the other questions first.

We're still waiting to hear from the Mayor to make sure our service project is OK.  I think we'll be doing some cleaning up around the town.

OH OH OH wait I almost forgot!!!!! Did you get the Liahona for December 2013!!!!! Guess whats in it!!!!! A PICTURE OF THE FRENCH GUIANA PRIMARY!!!! That's right!  We opened it up and saw a picture of all the kids in the branch!!!! SO COOL!!! You gotta find it!  The picture was taken a couple months before I got here though so there are some kids in there that I don't know but I know most of them!!

 My feet seem to be doing alright.  Honestly I haven't walked through that much water.  We are usually in a lesson when it rains big time, and we drive when it rains so... nothing much!  I haven't been sick at all yet. Well, we got fed by a family one night some soup called "Creole Soup".  I had some stomach problems for a while after but it wasn't bad haha!

Today we mostly just cleaned the apartment, emails are taking a while because its a holiday so all the email places are closed but we are doing ours in the church and there is only one computer. Elder Fraley is just going to do his later in the week.

I've only been sunburned once!  That was on the drive to Suriname, I had my arm out the window and it got kinda red... just on the right arm.  Surprisingly that's the only time!  I haven't even worn sunscreen for a long time now!

Now to the cool story! So Elder Santos and I were trying to get a lesson because just about everything fell through, we went to a little circle street that we had found some people and were going to go see if we could refind them and maybe teach them, they all turned us down or weren't there... So we decided to walk down the street and just talk to people. We met some people that we could come back and teach later but nothing too amazing, so we decided just to knock the rest of the doors on the circle, well "Tot-tot-tot" which is basically "knock-knock", because they all had fences and no working doorbells so we just yell "tot-tot-tot!" over the fence.  What was weird was that we skipped a bunch of houses and walked right to this door that was opened, it looked more like a little shop but we yelled in anyway.  A little lady came out and saw us and straight away asked. "How did you find me?  How did you get here?" then me, not knowing what to do just said, "uh... we walked here?"  She just looked at us all dumbfounded so we decided just to go for the regular "Hi we're missionaries for the church..." and so on, but she said,  "Oh I know who you are come in."  I'm taking way too long but she sat us down and told us that she was a member of the church but she hadn't been coming for a long time, she started going to another church with her husband because the other church speaks Spanish, which is her native language and her husbands only language.  She said she had been praying and praying for help to go back to church.  With tears in her eyes she looked at us and said, "Heavenly father answered my prayers by sending me these two angels, the other church just isn't the same, I need to go back".

By far the coolest experience ever... She didn't come on Sunday but we are still in touch with her and are still working on helping her come back.  I think the biggest problem is that she isn't strictly legal in the country, but there are a lot of people like that.

Well that was my week! Make sure you check the Liahona!

Avec amour,
Elder Call

Yep...We're playing Risk!

These helmets are stylin'

Ma délicieuse baguette

Paris Saint-Germain Jersey

Monday, November 4, 2013

Too many baguettes and nutella?

Bonjour ma famille!!

First off, I miss the snow... Man if anything its getting hotter here haha! I think the rainy season is starting too, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were all rain off and on.  The rain here is pretty crazy!

Brianna on a date is still super weird but I guess shes gotta grow up, especially since she'll be a senior when I get home!  Sounds like shes doing well! She looks good in that picture!

Thanks for your ideas Mom!  We need to be doing something big to get the work really going here! We have a service project coming up, it was supposed to be on the 2nd of Nov. but the Branch President is still talking to the mayor to get something or other.  So we should have something soon!

Hey make sure you tell Grandma thanks for the money!  I used it to buy a Paris Saint-Germain Jersey that was only 30€! its a bit tight but I love it haha!  I guess it'll encourage me to work out... and slow down with the baguettes with nutella, of which I've had plenty :)

Uh... I haven't seen any letters... the only ones I've gotten was that first one from Kenzie and Sabey and one other from the sister in our ward, hers actually was given to me by the assistants when they came by because it went to the MTC first and had to be sent to the mission office.

As for what to get me for my birthday, I can't think of anything honest!  Maybe some of those journals that I got as gifts because mines almost full and maybe some other notebooks because the ones I can buy here are weird... Some ties would be great, always, these ones are getting a little old after 4 months of the same ones.  And also maybe some card games would be cool!  We play Dominoes before bed but it would be nice to have something else too.
Didn't he say he couldn't think of anything??

Basically every lesson we have is with a new investigator, the problem is getting a second lesson. We have one man named Smith (he was super excited that Joseph Smith had the same name) he's from Brasil and we are feeling pretty good about him, but this week we went to teach a second lesson and he said he was really busy and to come again this week, but we still have high hopes. Kettlie came to church on Sunday!  I've had her as an ami de l'église friend from church since I got here and she had already had all the lessons so we've just been trying to get her to recognize a response from the spirit as well as to come to church.  We finally said we were going to come walk with her to church and she came with us!  It was the best!

The last baptism in Guyane was Jeffrey Joseph, who is from Guyane anglais English Guyana but I am not too sure the exact date, at least two months or more before I got here I think.

I haven't spoken in Sacrament Meeting but we switch off on the lesson every Sunday in church between the 4 Elders.  I've given two or three of those, and I bore my testimony the first Sunday.

Probably the coolest thing that happened this week was Kettlie coming to church which was awesome!  We are teaching Frère Vivet Prêchez Mon Évangile so he can share the gospel better with his friends, and of course we had the 6 lesson day on Wednesday!  Nothing to outstandingly spectacular but it was a good week.

We don't have daylight savings time down here so now we're 4 hours ahead of you.  We're too near the equator so the sunlight is the same all year round, and the weather!

I love all of you so much and I love hearing from you!  Keep sending pictures of all the stuff going on, maybe some more please:)  Oh that's something else, I would like you to send me is some pictures! haha thanks!

Avec amour
Elder Call