Monday, January 27, 2014

The President's coming!

Bonjour toute le monde!

I'm glad all of you could have a good laugh at my pain, even if it wasn't real pain.  I hope I didn't scare you too bad with the jam haha!  Luckily though we didn't have any bike problems this week so all is well there! We bought a bunch of locks to lock up just about everything that can be taken off the bike. Good luck taking my tires now! Haha

So with Aline she is doing well . We had to move back the day of baptism to after zone conference because her daughter was in the hospital and we couldn't get all the lessons in on time and now we have to wait 2 weeks because of zone conference, which is exactly NOT what we wanted but I don't feel worried for her, she is very ready and loves learning about the gospel. Her daughter is doing better now though.

It was a good week. On Saturday we knocked a door and a lady from Saint Domingo let us in and was really nice.  She gave us juice and we offered to help her finish painting her apartment. We didn't do it right then and there but she said we could come back and help her next week, we taught her a lesson and she seemed very open.  Another day all four of us put on P-day clothes and drove around looking for some guys playing basketball. We found some and asked if we could jump in and we played for about an hour, it was something different and fun and we met some good "potential-priesthood-holders".  We got their numbers and we gave a good first impression while having fun.

The president gets here tonight and that'll be the last thing we do today.   The president and his wife will stay in a hotel and the AP's will stay with us in our apartment.  It's going to be pretty crowded with 6 of us in there! I've also heard that it's one of the smallest apartments in the whole mission!  Tomorrow we will have a réunion de district with the president then our interviews.  After that the president and the assistants want to go on splits with us to see how we work (yikes) then at 5:00 we have a fireside with the branch that the president will speak at.  Afterwards we planned a barbeque in order to get people to come haha, just like at home. The Elders are making hamburgers!  Then Wednesday morning we will drive to the border, take a canoe across into Suriname, then a taxi to Paramaribo.  Then depending on the time we'll probably work with some Dutch Elders for the rest of the day.  Thursday is zone conference for most of the day and Friday we drive back and life returns to normal.

So that does cover most of what happened this week. Not too much happened different. We did go to Sister Anthony's house and she taught us how to make rôti. She is from Guiana anglais, which is mostly Indian. We made rôti with cracked peas in it and ate it with fish curry.  Its good stuff but you need to sit down a while after you eat it. You have to do that with a lot of food here haha.

I love all of you so much! I'm so glad to be here on a mission, I've learned so much and have seen the hand of the Lord work in peoples lives.  I know this work is true and I know that he loves all his children.  There is no way I could be here without His help.

Have a good week! I know I will!
avec amour,
Elder Call

Here are some pictures of us making the rôti‏.  It's a flat, round Indian bread, sort of like a tortilla.  You cook it on a griddle and then you eat it with curry.  You rip off a piece and you use the rôti to pick up the curry. In the picture I'm "clapping" it to make it all flaky.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Bike accident...or not...

Bonjour ma famille!!

comment allez-vous? Things are going alright down here in Guyane Française!  Well I should probably start off explaining the pictures.  I assume I almost gave you a heart attack, Mom.  So first off we were on an exchange, I went with Elder Pratt on the bikes and we visited the Bady family as the last thing of the night except for our studies . We locked up our bikes and went up the stairs of the complex.  When we came down, the tires and seats were gone with no trace of them.  So we had to carry the bikes back home.  Our shirts were already pretty muddy because it had rained all that day as we were biking (hence the purchase of raincoats) and we said it looked like we got mugged or something, so naturally we couldn't just leave it there...  So when we got home we messed up our shirts and rubbed chain grease on our faces, it still wasn't enough.  So we rolled around in the dirt and put some rasberry jam on our faces to make it more realistic looking.  When Elder Fraley and Miyasaki got home we told them that we chased down the guys that stole our tires and beat them up.  We had them going for a little while, until Doctor Fraley started his medical diagnosing haha.

Also this week we had the first baptism in Guyane since maybe last year in March!!  And the first one I've seen on my mission!  We were all going crazy with excitement, Elder Fraley especially.  I'm so happy for him, he's been working really hard and deserves the success.

We had a cool experience this week!   The sisters gave us a referral a little while back and we kinda forgot to call him for some time.  We called him one morning but he didn't answer.  A little while later we went to pull out some money from the bank and a car honked at us and pulled a demi-tour u-turn and parked right by us.  The guy called out to us and said that he got our message this morning but he didn't think to much about it and deleted the message.  He told us that nothing happens by chance and that when we called him and then he saw us he knew he needed to talk with us.  We set up a rendez-vous for this week I believe!

Ailene is still heading towards baptism but we've had to move it back because she couldn't come to church or have the lessons because her daughter has been having some problems.

I don't think that we will need to pay for the stolen bikes, they have the bike fund that every missionary contributes to when they arrive, which we already paid for.  And to be honest the bikes are pretty well used. We have a lot of spare parts that we have been able to draw from up to now.

The President is coming next week on Monday.  He'll have a fireside and work with us, then we are going over to Suriname together for zone conference.  I can get pictures this time because I'll have a camera!

We teach English at the church every Thursday, switching off which companionship teaches each week. Sometimes there is a good amount of people that come but sometimes nobody comes and we just do studies as we wait.

I'm glad you saw my story in the WIM newsletter.  She failed to mention that the Chinese restaurant sold Dim Sum, which I felt was a very important factor, but oh well :)  The others have been teaching him and he's scheduled to get baptized the same day as Aline, but things can always change.

Oh, I got a boatload of mail this week and most of it was from Ellen Millburn, but two were from Sadie.   Tell her thank you!  We fixed the address on our mailbox and I guess that was the problem because all of the sudden we're getting letters. I even had a letter sent to the other Elder's apartment.  That was weird, don't know how it ended up there!

Well I hope you enjoy you trip! I wish I could could go now that I can speak French with the Tahitians!
You pronounce hello like 'your-ona' in Tahitian if you wanted to know.

I love all of you so much!  I hope you have a good week!!  à bientot!

avec amour,
Elder Call

The infamous raspberry jam and bike grease hoax.  The joke was on the mom I guess!

 Elder Pratt rolling in the dirt

Our new raincoats.  I've decided we're wizards and if I wear this tie with it I'm from Hufflepuff

Playing soccer in the parking lot

The most amazing part of the past 6 months!

The French Guiana Missionaries

Monday, January 13, 2014

Bike Problems!

Bonjour ma famille!

So this week was an alright week.  The theme of the week was easily bike problems...  At the beginning of the week Elder Miyasaki bent the tire on his bike right in front of our house at the end of the day.  Luckily we have a spare bike that we use while we work on fixing the usual bikes. (If that makes sense)  Then the next day we were visiting Aline, who is still doing really well, and we are still pushing for the 25th  for baptême, but we left our bikes outside and mine got stolen....  We were late and in a rush and there wasn't anywhere to lock it up to so we just hid them a bit.  But when we got out mine was gone.  They left my helmet though.  SO... we had to walk home.  The next day I spent a lot of time fixing up the bent tire bike Elder Miyasaki was using and it took a long time because we had to change the handle bar column thing in order to fit the other tire rims we had.  That worked well for a day but when we came home for lunch the next day the handle bars up and broke off...  We have other beat up bikes in the sisters apartment that we use for spare parts that I had to grab, its not the best but we can work with it.  And that brings us to now.  It was pretty stressful because we had to cancel our rendez-vous once our twice a day because of bike problems and it was usually my bike too. Other than that this week was OK haha!

That's so cool how many YM we have in our ward.  Whenever I tell other missionaries how many YM we have their mouth always drops.  I've never realized how incredible that really is until I came to a branch that just doesn't have as many priesthood holders in it.  Its completely different.  Its incredible how many missionaries will be heading out soon as well!  That's so cool that Dallin is preparing to go out.  Tell him it's the greatest thing he could possibly do.  I've learned that for myself!

Nothing too major happened this week.  We are still just moving along slowly.  Aline is still super awesome, we invited her to fast with us for the health of her family and when we visited her two days later she said her mom and her sister were both now out of the hospital and doing much better!  It is incredible just seeing how ready she is and how much the Lord loves her, and how quickly we saw the blessings from our fast.

This week we didn't have too much time to find people again, but every time we go into the city someone comes up to talk to us that seems interested, which has been really cool.  I can tell the Lord has his hands in the work because he keeps putting people in our path.  We haven't been able to get a lesson with most of them yet but I'm feeling really good about a lot of them . One lady just showed up to our English class on Thursday and said she had a card from 4 years ago saying that we had English classes at the church every Thursday.  She just decided to show up!

You asked what my daily schedule is.  Here you go.
We get up at 6:30, get ready, eat, workout
7:00 we start personal study
8:00 companion study
9:00 we head out to work
12:00 or 13:00 lunch.  After that we work again
8pm language study
9pm plan for the next day
10:30 sleep

The new sisters are doing really well!  Sis Gill is adjusting just about the same as I did. haha  It's weird seeing her handling all the changes because it reminds me of how it was for me and how far I've come.  Sis. Opeta is really cool though and she's going to help her learn French really fast!

We still haven't gotten the sisters apartment ready so there are still the 4 of us here.  Its so much fun with 4 Elders in an apartment but its hard to keep all the dishes clean.

I love all of you so much!!  I love all the letters I get and all the prayers I've felt!  Thank you also Todd and Michelle, Grandpa, Grandma K, and Chris for the money you sent me!!  I'm really going to enjoy myself down here thanks to you all hahaha!

I hope everything goes well and I'll talk to you all next week!!

Avec amour!
Elder Call

The mission van and our apartment.  We live on the bottom floor where the stairs are going in.

Bike trouble...

A night of volleyball

Lunch at the boulangerie (bakery)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Transfer Week

Bonjour ma famille!

So it's been a week of changes!  Elder Santos has been shipped out and Elder Pratt is here.  He's a cool guy and he likes to have fun. Sr. Gill just came in too.  Elder Miyasaki is freaking out... because he knows her, or at least saw her before.  She is from Hawaii too.  Same island, same city.  They went to the same middle school, but different high schools.   Sœur Opeta on the other hand lives here . She's a mini missionary, or somebody from here that acts like a missionary for a little bit to fill in or for members that want to help out with missionary work. She is from Tahiti but she lives here, she's really cool. She just barely got back from her mission in Réunion, which is the French territory off the coast of Madagascar . If somebody gets called to Madagascar French speaking, they go to Réunion.  Yeah so she got back just before Christmas and now she back in it.  

I'm feeling really good about whats going on down here in Guyane!  It feels like the flood gates of missionary work are just waiting to burst, but until then we'll keep chipping away at it.

So we got a lesson with Aline, and I've got to tell ya I am so excited for her.  She is so ready I can't believe it!  On Friday we saw her for the first time in 3 weeks, she has been out of the country to visit her mom in the hospital.  She told us that while she was there she shared our whole message with her mom and sister, and another one of her sisters who lives in Miami.  She wants us to get in contact with the Elders there and to have them go visit her.  Also on Friday we asked her to fast with us for the health of her family members, she accepted right off!  She came to church yesterday for the first time with a member and when she learned where the church was she told us, "Oh, this isn't too far, I could probably walk here, I'll bring my family too..."  WHAT!!!?  Oh man!!  She's the best!  We are going to fix une date de baptême for the end of the month!  She even took notes during Sunday School!

We haven't gotten the apartment yet for the Sisters, so they are staying in Elder Fraley's apartment and he and Elder Pratt are staying with us until we can get the new one figured out.  We actually have it but they are just getting it ready.  Then we have to furnish it. Sr. Gill is very blue (French way to say greenie, its blue not green, not sure why) It makes me think a lot of when I first got here, shoot time flies!  But Sister Opeta is really pushing her good with the language.  Sr.Opeta knows English really well but I don't think Sr. Gill knows that yet.... haha  its kinda mean but she's going to learn French really fast!!

So now its just us 6 in Guyane and yes we have a lot to do.  AND we are on bikes, only because the Sisters had to take our van because they're area is huge (Balata to Montjoly) basically everywhere that the rest of us aren't.  I feel like we take so much time just getting from place to place... but that's what we have to do

For investigators, we have Aline and Elders Pratt and Fraley have 2.  We keep plugging along here!

This week we didn't have too much time to meet people, we had a lot of moving around and getting things ready with car insurance and legalization so I can't think of many people to tell you about this week.

On New Years Day we shipped off Santos an picked up Pratt, then we ate at Frère Litompha's house.

You asked about Carnival and I've heard a lot about it, mostly missionary rumors I think, but it's supposed to start the first Sunday after New Years and last until, well I don't know that, but a long time. I haven't seen anything yet though.

I've been seeing all the billboards of movies coming out, but its funny because they change all the names of movies in French.  Frozen was called "La Reine des Neiges" or "The Queen of the Snows" And yes... I did see the billboard for the Hobbit... haha

Well I love you all so much!  I'll see you all in a week!

Avec amour,
Elder Call

Saying goodbye to Elder Santos

Elder Santos at the airport

New Years dinner. Seour Opeta is in the pink and Elder Pratt is at the bottom

Going to pick up Seour Gill at the airport

Aline...She's amazing!

Yep...the tree's still up!