Monday, July 21, 2014

Spiritual week

Bonjour ma famille!

I would love to write a really long letter to you again this week but there wasn't too much that happened, since the last time I wrote was on Wednesday half a week ago.  And this week was pretty rough.  We didn't get a chance to teach any of our strong investigators.  We saw Dana a couple times but we were never able to get an actual lesson with her.

But!  It's was Arik Martial's birthday on Thursday, and I baked the carrot cake and took it over to him. Sadly, today has been really stressful and my SD card reader ended up getting left at home (I STILL have my camera, I just haven't been able to send pictures, there will be lots next week!)  Arik just turned 12 so he's going to be receiving the priesthood this week.  It'll be great to have another deacon and priesthood holder in the branch!

This week although it felt really long, was a very spiritual week.  When Elder Glover got home from the airport we talked about all the things we wanted to change, what we were going to work on, anything we could do to finally find some success.  Then we took an hour and drove up to Desmarinières overlooking the south arm of the island to a cool little spot that was secluded from everything else and prayed and talked with the Lord.  It was by far one of the most spiritual experiences that I've ever had.  But that really set the mood for the rest of the week and I can tell that my prayers have gotten a lot better and more earnest.  Not too much has come from it yet but it was a good start.  And I feel that I really am being tested as to how badly I really want success.

The other day Elder Glover and I talked for a long time about baseball.  He was trying as hard as he could to convince me about baseball but I wasn't buying it.  Naturally, being missionaries, we started throwing in scripture references to back our point of view, it was really funny.

I do want to thank you for the year mark box, especially the camel.  I love it, a lot.  Haha I took it to Guadeloupe with me!  I also really love the cook book, Elder Dayton was very jealous of it.  We've been making a lot of good food recently!

Well its not as long as usual sorry again,
Next week should have a lot of pictures!  I promise

avec amour,
Elder Call

Here are some pictures that Sister Turner took at Zone Conference and one of Elder Glover and Braden making cheesecake.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Hump Day!


I'm sure that you weren't expecting to get an email today!  Well, here it is!  At least its better than not getting an email this week right?  This week was exciting though.  As far as missionary vacations can go.  We went up to Guadeloupe again!  But before that we did do some missionary work. Don't worry.

This week we finally got a hold of Edwin's mom.  We thought her name was Clavel Manuel, but we found out that since she is Cuban she has 2 last names Clavel-Manuel.  We talked to a lot about Edwin wanting to be baptized and she said she was all for it.  She had known the missionaries for a long time in France when she was there. I don't know why she was never baptized but she just keeps falling away from the missionaries some way or another.  But we were talking to her for a while and she told us that she wanted Edwin to get baptized, that it would be really good for him.  Then I told her about the temple, and how if they all go there they could be sealed as a family for time and eternity, never to be separated.  She was really amazed about that and said she wanted to go there.  So I explained that in order to go to the temple she had to be prepared, baptized, and in order to be baptized she has to take and understand 5 lessons given by the missionaries and to come to church.  She thought about it and finally she said. "OK, I'll do it.  I will do what it takes to give you the time to help me go to the temple with my family"  (I just completely forgot how to spell family, is it one l or two? family? familly?)  SO hopefully we can keep in touch with her and her family for these next couple weeks.  She's given consent for Edwin to be baptized, which I am sure he will be.  But I want them to be together as a family, because that's what this is all about.

That was probably the most important part of the week.  We saw Dana again this week, she still hasn't talked with her boyfriend but she gave us his address in Lamentin, so Elder Lewis and Bodily are going to try to get a hold of him.  We also went over the baptismal interview questions with her and she is mostly ready. She has a couple things that she needs to take care of but she just doesn't feel ready yet.

Also, Fr. Coïné came back form France a while back and he came and cut our grass for us again like he usually does, we helped him and asked him if he wanted to come work with us, he said he was free the entire day.  It was the BEST!  He hopped in our car and went to all our appointments for the entire day.  Not a single one fell through.  We saw 5 people with him.  In the car we were singing some hymns and he kept trying to sing along in French but the words were in English, it was really funny.  I was just hit with an incredible realization of how much I love these people.  I really do love them and I would do anything for them.  I'm so glad to be here.

Then we had zone conference, hopefully my mission president won't be too disappointed if my letter to him consists of just a couple lines because I don't have too much time left.  Anyways, we left early Monday morning and got to Guadeloupe. There we played some basketball with everybody.  Even President Mehr! It was awesome!  I even got to see Elder Miyasaki, it was so great to see him and catch up after 6 months. Turns out that his photos of our time together in Guyane got accidentally erased as well.  So basically the ones I sent you is all I got, so take good care of those please!  After that there wasn't enough cars to take all the missionaries out to work so most of Martinique got stuck in the Morne-à-l'eau house and we played Risk for most of the night.  There was some pretty heated playing haha, but in the end I won, naturally!

Zone conference was really great.  Pres. and Sis. Mehr talked about Christ-like attributes and the assistants talked about the Book of Mormon and how we need to stress a lot more the Book of Mormon, like it says in ch. 5 of PMG (which you should be reading this week) It is the most powerful tool that we have unto conversion. So Elder Glover and I are going to be focusing a lot on that.

I didn't see any celebrations for Bastille Day because it was on Monday and we were travelling all that day. I just know that it was hard to find food that day!

Sorry no pictures this week, I can't get my card to work in this computer.

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

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Happy 4th of July!

Bonjour ma famille!

Sorry I've been letting you down on the letter writing, Mom, but I really am trying me best.  Sometimes the days just seem so similar its had to tell them apart.  I have been trying to write down the most important stuff, I'm sure that you don't want to hear all about my time knocking on doors every week.

This week we had a big stress on the fast.  We were encouraged to go and talk to every member about the fast and to have them fast with us. We have fixed a mission goal to have 600 baptisms by the end of the year and we are a lttle behind. So we fasted to help our cause. In order to make it to the goal, we need 3 baptisms every zone, every month, including Martinique. So we are doing our best and I think that we really can do it, it will just take a whole lot of faith.  Anyways, it wasn't that hard to see all our members in the area, having only Sr. Telcide, the Martial's, and Joani. (The Coïne's moved up to St. Joseph) and we talked to them all about the fast and asked them to invite people to come to church.  We planned on getting 100 people to come to church, the district requirement to have a better building.  Everyone was very excited about it.  Especially Sr. Martial who loves talking to people.

We had everything very well planned out and everybody was going to come and it was going to be the greatest day ever, but.... then a lot of things happened.  First off, the Coïné's moved out of the area so we no longer have rides for people to go to church, not even the Martial family, who now has to hitch hike to church, and Fr. Lagin who lives in Rivière pilot got Chikengunya so HE couldnt take people either, Dana went to St. Lucia to go to a funeral.  Yeah, it was kind of a bummer.  But Sunday morning we got a call from Vivian, a really nice lady that we had met out in the woods who wanted to come to church and needed better directions.  I think that she had a really good time at church and she talked the most out of anybody in gospel principles class.  SO miracles are there, even if Satan tries his best to get you not to see them.

We saw Dana this week as well, she is doing well.  We explained baptism to her again, about how its not the end of the road, but the beginning.  She doesn't have to be perfect to be baptized, she has to be prepared, but not perfect.  Baptism is the first step to become perfect and puts us on the right path but it is not perfection.  She understood it a lot better and I think she has a lot of her worries calmed about it.  Also her boyfriend is in the process of contacting the missionaries in Lamentin, which could be just what she needs to help her.

Zone conference will be Monday next week, so I don't know what is going on with emails, so don't freak out if its not regular schedule-like.  We'll be flying to Guadeloupe for that.

Thanks for the letters!   I got yours but I haven't seen Brianna's yet though! Thanks a bunch!

I don't really expect to do much for my Hump Day.   Probably bake a cake, I might do more stuff to celebrate when we are in Guadeloupe.

I love all of you so much!!  Have a great week!  The Lord loves us and knows us and wants us to be happy. And he knows we will be so much happier if its us that choose to be happy and not him forcing it upon us. Which was the reason why we chose the plan of happiness.  Agency is one of the greatest gifts our Father gave us.  I know this church is true.

avec amour,
Elder Call

McDonalds...even in the islands!

Map of our area in the south of Martinique

Just a little something I cooked up...

Picture from the branch dinner