Monday, April 28, 2014

A busy week


Well a lot happened this week! First and foremost, Zone Conference!  We left Monday, which is why we had to email so early that day.  We got to the airport and flew up north for about 30 minutes.  When we got in, Elder Santos came to pick us up, so Elder Fraley and I had a nice little Guyane reunion with him.  It was awsome to see him again.  Then we had a Guadeloupe vs. Martinique soccer match!  We kicked butt of course haha, it wasn't really serious though, most everybody was talking and catching up since they hadn't seen each other for a while Elder Fraley, Jex and I talked to each other because we really didn't know anybody else.  It was still fun though and I did finally meet all the French missionaries in my mission haha! The only one I don't know is Elder Broadbent in Guyane who took my spot with Elder Miyasaki.

We stayed in Morne a L'eau which is now a church building, but there was nowhere else to keep all the missionaries that came in, and sadly there weren't enough cars and it was too difficult to coordinate splits with everyone, so we basically stayed at the house and talked.  It was the Martinique Elders and Elder Telga in St. Martin, who is actually from Martinique.  We had a good time

Zone conference was really good.  They had just gotten training from the Quorum of the Twelve and therefore brought us what they had learned.  They blasted us about planning.  It was really cool.  We have been working really hard this week to better our planning and we have seen a lot of improvements.  I got to see Elder Lewis, he's great.   He is exactly the same as he was when we parted in Trinidad 8 months ago.  I also found a journal in the airport that is pretty cool, it has a map of all the islands and on the cover it say "Republique Française: Guyane, Martinique, Guadeloupe" and I taped in all the plane tickets I've gotten on my mission.  I was really excited.

When we got back we had a rough first day.  We couldn't really find anything to do, so we decided to make cookies for Fr. Coine who had his brothers funeral that day (Wednesday) and we had gotten back too late to go.  He is incredible, just an amazing example of hope.  He is always happy.

This week like I said we have been working on our planning.  Sometimes we got to daily planning and we had absolutely nothing to do the next day.  Often times those days did end up alright, but during it was not good.  So we have been working on planning days with activities and lessons so that when we got to daily planning we had things to do the next day.  We have had amazing full days the last couple of days.

We played soccer Saturday with Andy, some other people just showed up and played with us, it was really fun.   Andy is an investigator from the Dominican Republic.  It's really hard to talk to his family, but his mom loves us.  We've been trying to see them but he's at a boarding school most of the week. We have also really been getting into teaching with media.  The little disk that the Turners gave us is the best.  It helps people pay attention and really brings the spirit.

Actually I don't have time to get to the questions today sorry!  Rewrite any that you really want answered next week!

je vous aime!
Elder Call

Heading to Guadeloupe

Elders Jex and Bodily

At the apartment

Zone Conference

Good 'ol Elder Lewis!

Heading home

Playing soccer with Andy


Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Easter!

Bonjour et bonnes Fêtes de Pâcques! Hier... 

This week Elder Johnston and I have been trying to do some new approaches with our teaching to try and get some more success and to help people understand what we are teaching. I asked the Turners to burn a disk of Mormon messages and other videos in French and we've been taking our DVD player around with us to contact and ask people if we could share a video with them. Sometimes we share the Restoration with them to help them understand what actually happened with Joseph Smith or other videos; its been working really well I think. We also bought a little white board that we carry around with us to draw diagrams or if we talk about any kind of analogy it really helps them focus and when they can see whats going on it helps them to understand. 

I went on an exchange with Elder Jex this week and we got to go see one of their amis de l'église who is from Haiti. I got to see her the week before and I don't remember if I mentioned her; but she's really cool. She had a dream that two white guys helped her to cross a river to a land of happiness. We visited her with some members and they explained to her that the river was baptism and we, the missionaries, are here to help her to make covenants to happiness. Her face lit up and she was all like; "What?! Why didn't you tell me that sooner!" She is so excited to be baptized and I fixed a date for baptism with her on the 30 of May, which happens to be her daughters birthday. She got so excited she grabbed her neighbor sitting outside, brought him in, pointed at the calendar and said "That's the day that we are getting baptized I want you to prepare to be baptized with us so come talk to the missionaries!"

It was quite exciting.

Then yesterday of course we went to Centre Ville to sing. We had a lot of members show up and we had a really good time, we didn't practice for it so it wasn't the best singing but we had a lot of fun and we talked to some people that stopped to listen; sadly it was raining a lot before. 

I didn't get your package yet, things have been closed for Easter week, and I don't have time to check today but I'll look as soon as I can.

I'm really excited to fly to Guadeloupe for zone conference.  We leave in about 3 hours and then we get back on Wednesday.

Yes I did find out recently that too much coconut water will give you diarrhea.  Thanks for asking! haha.  Fortunately it wasn't TOO bad!  (Don't you know I've had diarrhea since Easters? -Nacho Libre)
It was a tough week for teaching.  We didn't get to see many of our investigators.  It was disappointing.

Gotta go!
avec amour,
Elder Call

Here is a picture of the Turner's and a picture of the branch singing on Easter.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Surprise email!

I received this surprise email yesterday from Sister Turner.  What a sweet blessing to know there are people out there looking out for the missionaries! 

Hi!  I am Sister Turner. 

My husband and I arrived in Martinique 2 weeks ago as the Sr. Couple.  We got to go to your sons apartment today to do a cleaning check (it looked really good!)  I took a few pics and I thought you would like to see them.  They have such a nice place.  They picked some coconut off the tree for us to enjoy.  Hummingbirds were flying around.  This area is paradise!  I want you to know that no
missionaries were injured in the cutting of the coconut!  Elder Call cooked a delicious lunch for us.  He is a great missionary!

If you would like to see more pics, I also have a Facebook group that I post pictures on if you are interested in joining.  

Monday, April 14, 2014

Baptisms on Martinique!

Bonjour toute le monde!

So the most important thing of the week was definitely the two baptisms we had on Martinique this Saturday!  The first one was Sonia, she had been an investigator for quite some time, Elder Miyasaki met her with Elder Andros some ten months ago. The baptism was at the beach, we had the talks and everything at the church and then we went to the beach for the ordinance. Ricardo our ami came and even brought his friend!  I was really excited that he came!  The next one was at Trinité with Catherine.  I met her when I went on an exchange over there.  She has an amazing testimony and had been waiting for the chance to have her family come see her baptism, otherwise she would have been baptized a long time ago.  Her boyfriend Marklin was baptized a little while before I got here and he was the one that baptized her.  He has a crippled hand so he couldn't do the whole thing by himself and had to have Fr. Lagrand put her under the water while he said the words.  I think that it was really cool for both of them and quite a spiritual experience for everyone!

So this transfer Elder Johnston and I have been doing "English fasts" to help us with the language.  The first week we didn't speak any English on Sunday, then the next week we did two days in a row and so on, and so forth.  Therefore, this week we started our fast from English Thursday night and finished last night.  I know I've said it a lot but, I love French!  Its tough still trying to go without speaking English because sometimes I forget but I've been doing pretty good!  I also started writing a little bit in French to learn vocab as well as to learn how to write.  I decided to translate  that book I was working on writing before I left.  Its been fun!

I had to give a talk yesterday in church.  I was told about it Saturday night before I went to sleep.  It got me thinking, its tough being a missionary, you are the back up speaker for the back up speaker and so if there is no one to speak they tell you on the spot to give a talk.  Once I received a text message in the middle of sacrament meeting asking if I could give a ten minute talk after the one we were listening to because someone else forgot theirs.  So that's something fun us missionaries do.  I've learned to like giving talks, I'm still not too good at it and it still makes me nervous, but I've been getting better.  Yesterday I talked about following the prophet and I shared the story about the flight I took with Jordan when he had to know what to do during an engine failure.  The instructor was like the living prophet, his study books were like the words of prophets in the scriptures, and his flight class is like going to church and getting instruction there. Since he did all of that he knew what to do when trouble came, whereas I did not, and I was pretty scared.  It went really well and a lot of people wanted to know a lot more about my pilot brother haha! Thanks Joe!

President Mehr is coming to Martinique tomorrow so we're busy trying to get ready for him.  He will have interviews with us and then hold a fireside at the church.  We still have zone conference next week so we'll all be flying to Guadeloupe.  I also noticed on my pocket calendar the other day that there is on 3 more weeks until Mother's Day!

You asked about cooking, and I am getting pretty good.   I made some delicious home made fried chicken the other day, you'd be so proud. :)  Actually, I've never made fried chicken in my life, so I am impressed!

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

Here are some pictures from the baptisms this week.  One was held in the ocean by Madiana beach, and the other was in a river by a bunch of cool ruins in the Trinité area.

Monday, April 7, 2014

General Conference

Bonjour tous!

This week was very different.  Well, mostly just because the last two days were General Conference and also the new senior couple came in!  The work throughout this week was a little tough.  We were trying so hard to get people to come to Conference this weekend but we just couldn't find anybody to come.  We got some lessons in with some of our regular investigators, but most of the days our rendez-vous fell through, sometimes before we even left the house!  Normally we call people in the morning to make sure they know we are coming over and on Wednesday and Thursday everyone said that they were too busy or wouldn't be there.  BUT all's well that ends well, even better when it ends with General Conference, am I right?

So Friday night we had a branch basketball game, sadly only the missionaries and Fr. Lagin, our branch mission leader showed up.  But we invited all the kids that were there and were passing by, it was still a good time.  After that Elder Johnston and I stayed at the Fort-de-France apartment for the weekend. Saturday we got up, did our studies and then went to the church to set up the conference.  We had English set up in one of the classes and French in the main room.  During conference the we all switched languages to see how much we got.  I did pretty well with the French when I went to listen in, but its hard to pay attention because if your mind wanders a little you miss a lot.  But I loved it.  I learned so much, not so much with the information I would say, but just listening in and thinking to myself personally and applying things to myself is where I really learned the most.  One talk that I really loved was in the priesthood session, sadly I don't have my notes with me so I can't really expound to much, but Hallstrom had a really good talk and so did Ridd right after him.  I really enjoy listening to the speakers from the Seventy who we don't hear from too often.  They just have a different style and its something new.  I did enjoy, you know, I could sit here and just list all the people I liked but I would probably just list them all... haha!

We stayed in Fort-de-France all three nights and for the most part we stayed at the church doing studies and talking with members in between sessions during the day and at the end of the Sunday evening session.  Then the missionaries went to the new senior couple's apartment to eat tous ensemble.  Their name is the Turner's and they are from Canada, not Quebec so they don't speak French, but they are very nice! haha!

I got your package on Friday.  Do you think I'm going through deodorant like crazy or something, I mean its hot but I'm still on about the third stick and you've sent one every package...  :)  I'll be watching for the next one! haha

Kyle and I send each other an email every week.  Usually its just a funny picture or story of something that happened during the week. There was a long chain email going around from everybody in our school giving updates, it was pretty cool. That was the last time I heard of how Brad and Dallin are doing.

We were able to visit the guy from the Cyber-base and we gave him a Book of Mormon and he is really intent on reading it.  We called him and he was talking to us about his search and that he hasn't found a response to his prayers yet, but he said all that without our asking so we know he's been doing it!  He's trying and I'm praying for him!

Something I am working on studying right now in Prêchez Mon Évangile is chapter 10.  I've really been focusing on how I can better relay this message, how to better connect with people and how to get them to really understand instead of  just agreeing with what we say and learning nothing.  Its tough.  President Mehr has also asked us to memorize a scripture, a statement of doctrine, and an inspired question for every point of doctrine in the lessons, so that's taking up some of my time.  In the mornings we have personal and companionship study until 10:00 then leave to work, with our language study being the last thing of the day right before bed because that is usually an ineffective proselyting time, as we missionaries say.

I love all of you so much and I love hearing from all of you.  Oh, I did get your post card too!  Its nice that Tahiti is French!  Mail goes nice and smoothly between French countries!

Have a wonderful week!
avec amour,
Elder Call

So we tried to make a cake for Sr. Martial's Birthday, but it didn't really turn into a cake... We took it to her anyways because she would get a laugh out of it, we tried it and surprisingly it was pretty good! Haha! It tasted like chocolaty caramel with a crust on the top. Not sure what happened but it was fun!

Have you ever drank chocolate milk from a coconut?  I have, its amazing!

Watching Conference