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 rĂ©union 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