Monday, February 24, 2014

Short letter and ANOTHER lost camera!

I seriously can't believe that he's lost his camera again!  All the pictures he's lost just makes me so sad!


So I don't have too much time today, I will try to answer as many question as I can but we are running late and the internet cafe is closing soon so I will go quick!

Today started out really good, we went to a beach with all 10 missionaries and played soccer on the beach. It was beautiful and we played soccer, can't get much better.  When we left I couldn't find my camera, and so we went back to look for it and it was nowhere to be found.... again.  So that kinda bummed out the rest of the day.  The rest of the day we did our shopping and had to drive the zone leaders around, not the best P-day...except for the soccer.

This week was good non-the-less, we have been working on trying to get some new investigators to teach but we haven't found too many that I am really excited about though.

You asked about the earthquake, and I slept right through it!   When we left our apartment, our neighbors were telling us all about it.  We went to a réunion de disctrict right after and we got a text from Pres. Mehr asking about it.  Nobody else knew about it but us because someone told us about it.  People talk about it here but nobody seems too worried.

The first week here has been really good!  I wish I had more time to share some stuff with you and to share about some of the members.   I went on an exchange with Elder Dayton on Friday which was fun.

Here in Martinique there is just one branch in Fort-de-France and then there is a group held in Trinité. The church is about a half an hour away from our house but there is usually traffic in the mornings...

There are 10 missionaries here in 5 areas:   Our area, Fort-de France, Lamentin, Vauclin, and Trinité.

Well I have to get going!  I don't need new pants, but.... again... my camera is gone.... and I am not too happy because there were a lot of photos on there.  So if you ever happen to send another package sometime.... yeah.  And maybe some mousse for my hair because I am out.... but send it to the address I gave you and it will get to me.

I love all of you so much! Sorry I don't have any pictures..... and that I didn't have too much time

avec amour,
Elder Call

Picture from Elder Dayton of the soccer game today

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Bonjour from Martinique!

Bonjour ma famille!!

Its been a crazy week that's for sure!  I was very sad to say goodbye to everyone in Guyane, but that's how it goes I guess.  Martinique by the way is incredibly beautiful.  Elder Jex and I just can't get over it.  He has an interesting story.  He was in Suriname last transfer speaking  Dutch.  At zone conference President Mehr told him he was going to go to the French side, I was there, and it was crazy . So he just got here just the day before I did.  He really wanted to learn French and now he's got his chance, especially since he is with Elder Ardesh who is from France!  But anyway, whenever we are driving around I have to stop the conversation in the car just to stare in wonder as I see something else incredibly beautiful...  I have tried my best to take pictures of it but it doesn't work so well in a moving car.  Sorry.  Elder Johnston is my new companion and I think we are going to do very well together.  For the first couple of days we have just been talking and telling each other about ourselves.  We have an enormous area and we have a car so we have a lot of talking time.  Our area, by the way, is basically the entire south western 1/4 of the island.  We live just outside of Ste. Luce in a neighborhood called Trois Rivières and we are almost right on the beach! haha! Our area is Ste. Luce all the way up on the south side to the city of Ducos.  It's very touristy and beautiful!  Oh my's great!

Everything went just fine with the flight over here.  It was different flying by myself for the first time but I went straight there so it was nothing major.  There really wasn't an immigration for me to go through because it still is France. I didn't even get a stamp coming into the country, I really wanted another stamp for my passport...

My new companion, Elder Johnston, was in the MTC with me for a week before he left and actually he was trained on Martinique by Elder Miyasaki right before he came down to Guyane, so we talked a lot about our times with him, with lots of funny stuff... Elder Johnston is from Arkansas and we have quite a lot in common.

My apartment here is A LOT bigger and A LOT nicer... we live in this super nice neighborhood by the beach.

Church on Sunday was very good, the accent here is a lot easier to understand and I feel a lot better with the language.  I'm enjoying just talking to all the members!  I'll take some time next week and tell you more about the members here.  There are no couple missionaries here right now, but I think some are coming very soon, maybe in April.

Here is my address:
Residence Aigue Marine
Appt. 7 Bat. A3
Rue de la Dorsale
97200 Fort-de-France

It sounds like everyone gets their mail here, Elder Johnston gets letters every 9 days or so!!!

So some cool stuff has already happened in the short time I've been here, I have already seen some miracles happen!  The first night I arrived in the Martinique we received a call from America telling us that there was someone in the hospital that we needed to see.  When we got there we met this LDS couple.  They were on a cruise ship when the brother had intestinal problems and needed immediate attention, so they stopped the boat at Martinique for surgery, then they had an incredibly hard time trying to talk to the doctors, and luckily they were able to get a hold of their daughter in the US. Their daughter found the number for us in Martinique and asked if we could go help them.  We arrived and he had just gotten out of surgery and we were able to give him a blessing.  Just yesterday we went back to give them the sacrament, the brother couldn't take it yet, but the sister could and their thanks and appreciation was amazing.  It was one of those moments that I really will remember forever and that makes me realize what an honor my calling is, I can really see how the hand of the Lord is in this work!  Even cooler is that the sister's maiden name was Call. She is related to Anson of course, how about that?  Small world...

I love it here and I love all of you!
avec amour,
Elder Call

So glad I got to see Aline before I left.  She's getting baptized on Saturday!  So excited!

Saying goodbye

This is the most beautiful place I've ever seen!

Fort-de-France, the capitol.  I'm not in this area but it's really cool!

Our apartment

We have this whole room with nothing even in it!  It's huge!

The view from Frère Coïné's house 

Monday, February 10, 2014

I'm going to Martinique!!

Bonjour tout le monde!

So I guess I'll start with the biggest news of the week, no need to wait on it.  Elder Miyasaki received an email last Monday with the travel plans of an Elder Broadbent who will be arriving on Thursday. So we've known that someone will be leaving from Guyane.  We all said it was Elder Pratt (President Mehr hinted to all the of us that we would be staying, except Elder Pratt) Then on Thursday Elder Miyasaki had a Skype conference for all the zone leaders, I just do my studies while he's in the room doing the conference because I'm not a zone leader.  Anyways, at the end he asked me who I thought was going and I said, "Elder Pratt of course, we've already figured it out.  Stop acting like you know whats going on."  (He kept joking about it throughout the week trying to get everyone freaking out about who would be leaving.  Then he handed me some papers and said, "Well here's your travel plans Elder Call, your going to Martinique."  I had to read the papers all the way through before I finally believed him.  I'M GOING TO MARTINIQUE!  I still can't believe it... I'm leaving on Wednesday at 12:30.  He doesn't sound excited at all does he??  Martinique is where he really wanted to go!

This week was kinda slow, Aline STILL hasn't gotten back yet from Suriname. She'd better before I leave or I will not be too happy, I need to say goodbye to her.  We had a lot of branch meetings and Elder Miyasaki's zone leader meeting and exchanges so we didn't have too much work time.  It was still a good week, we saw Liliette again, finally (she's the one a while back that took us to the restaurant with her daughter, I'm pretty sure I sent those pictures)  This time her boyfriend/soon to be fiancé was there and we gave him a Book of Mormon and as we were talking to Liliette I could see out of the corner of my eye that he was reading the Book of Mormon.  From what I could tell, he read for himself, the entire introduction and a couple verses of the first book!  Both of them came to church on Sunday!  He seems like a really interesting guy.  I'm excited to see, or more likely, HEAR, what happens with him.  President D'Abreu already knew him when he came to church.  Also Elder Miyasaki and I are teaching a TV star.  We met this lady while contacting and taught a lesson with her, a little later we were visiting the Bady's and the News was on in the background, and sure enough, it was her announcing the news!

Speaking of Sunday, that was sad... I had to say au revoir to all the members, I gave a testimony of missionary work during sacrament meeting, then took pictures with everyone afterwards.  BUT! we did have some really good amis de l'église show up! Like I said Liliette and Cedric came and halfway through Yvan, who we met a while ago showed up.  So it was not all bad!

As for the bike situation, I've fixed them up as good as I could get them and we've just had to buy more locks to keep them safe, no problems since then though.  And yes, all the Elder's are still living together.  The Sister's apartment STILL isn't ready.

I love you all so much!  Sorry that I probably won't get your letters if you sent me one that hasn't yet arrived! I will no longer be in the country... But if they do come the Elders here will probably have to get them to me some other way, I'm taking a couple letters that were for Elder Santos with me that I could get to him when someone goes to Guadeloupe or maybe next zone conference.

Thank you all for your letters/emails and most of all for your prayers, I love you all so much and love hearing from you! Talk to you next week, as for me, I'm FINALLY going to the island life!

avec amour,
Elder Call

Our P-Day adventure!

I found a macheté....It's probably hundreds of years old, lost by a famous pirate 
until being discovered by me!

 Sœur Falaye  

Some of the branch members

More branch members

Frère Mondongue

Frère Françiette  


Frère Vivet

The Barnet's (Sean Thalia and Andréa)

French Guiana/Suriname Zone Conference January 2014

Monday, February 3, 2014

Zone Conference and tender mercies


So I've been taking alot of time trying to get all the picture going through, there were beaucoup... many  So I'm just going to go on a quick run down of everything that happened this week . On Monday I wrote you guys and bought supplies for a barbecue that we were going to throw together after the fireside with the president and we super cleaned the apartment to prepare for the assistants.  They all flew in that night. Elder Miyasaki and I picked them up from the Airport and dropped them off at their hotel.  The assistants stayed in our apartment with Elder Fraley and Elder Pratt while we were gone.  We are finishing up paper work for the sisters new apartment still, so we're still sharing an apartment.  SO Elder Miyasaki and I had to sleep in the hammocks while the assistants took mattresses on the floor and the others in the beds.

In the morning we ate at a boulangerie because the assistants are obsessed with them (they were on Guadeloupe for a week before) then straight to the church for a réunion de district with the president. After that we had our interviews, it was really short I felt.  After the interview we brought in all the stuff for the barbecue and started getting that ready as people arrived.  Everyone said there was a ton of traffic, so we had to start late because people couldn't get there.  Apparently there was another gas strike and lines were hours long to get gas for cars.  Not good for us.  The president then had the fireside and he went over the entire plan of salvation in depth, it was pretty cool.  At one point in time they needed me to translate for him and I got blown out of the water with his deep doctrine and vocabulary.  I didn't last long before Sister Opeta had to take over haha!

That finished most of that day.  In the morning Elder Miyasaki and I got up early to try and beat the lines at the gas stations because we were low on gas and we had a long drive ahead of us.  There were many prayers offered.  We sat in a line of cars for maybe an hour and a half.  Then it was too late and we just had to leave for the border looking for somewhere to fill up.  So needless to say it was very stressful with the president driving in a car behind us and knowing that we might not make it because of gas.  When we saw that we were really going to cut it close making it to the border we pulled over in a town and asked where the nearest gas station was.  Turned out there were none in the town and we had to go maybe 30 kilometers down towards another town to the nearest one.  The road to this town was not on the highway to the border and when we got to the off ramp we had a huge decision to make whether to go for the border or to this town for gas.  We decided to go to the town.  The sign turned out to be a lie, it was a LOT farther than 30 kilometers.  We were praying and praying for this town to show up around every corner but it never came. We were so scared that we weren't going to make it.  We did though...  It would have been shorter to go to the border that to this town I think, but the up side was that there was no line at the gas station, but by the time we got in line there became a HUGE line, maybe 30 cars long, that started behind us.  So I think to be honest, if we didn't take the detour we wouldn't have gotten gas in time at the border and the strike is still going today so we wouldn't have been able to get any on the way back.  Another tender mercy of the Lord.

So we got to the border and crossed on the canoes, it wasn't as cool the 2nd time but it was alright.  The canoe drivers fought over taking us across but President Mehr took care of that. Then we went through immigration and got a taxi to Paramaribo (by the way its about 3 hours from Cayenne to St. Laurent in Guyane where we cross the huge river, and 2 hours from Albina to Paramaribo in Suriname) Finally we crossed the huge bridge into Paramaribo and dropped off the sisters and the president and his wife with a missionary couple, then we were taken to Elders Alpeter and Mercier's apartment where we were staying. That night we went and worked with them.  Elder Miyasaki and Elder Alpeter took the bikes (Hence the styling dutch helmet Elder Miyasaki is wearing) while the rest of us went on foot to contact.  Most everyone in Suriname speaks English, apparently they learn from watching TV, which is incredible.  Who says TV teaches us nothing?!

The next morning we went to Zone conference.  The president talked a lot about repentance and the remission of sins.  We are her to help people change their lives for the better and that is through repentance and baptism.  It was really interesting and deep.  We ate there, including root beer which I haven't had since I left the MTC!  And for the rest of the day we just hung out at the apartment learning Dutch from anyone that passed by the house, and we even went to a store to see all the American products they had there, which are nonexistent on the French side . Like Reese's, we got a lot of Reese's and brought them home with us.

Well the rest was just going home and nothing too exciting happend there, but I am out of time anyways. I think I covered most everything pretty well, I will answer questions next week! Love you all! have a good week!

avec amour,
Elder Call

In St. Laurent at the border on the Guyane side

The drive to the border.  We saw a sign saying Guatemala.  I'm pretty sure it's not the REAL Guatemala!

Waiting for the canoes

Getting in the canoes with all our luggage!

There's that mouse thing on the drive into Paramaribo

A loooong trip!

Downtown Paramaribo, Suriname

Elder Miyasaki rocking the Dutch bike helmet!

With some Dutch Elders at the conference

YAY!  Root Beer!

And KFC!

The apartment we stayed at.  The Dutch Elders are so lucky, they're apartment is HUGE!
It was a LONG day!

The bridge into Paramaribo

Heading home