Many of the same themes continued into Soeur Holt’s second week in Guadeloupe- study, teaching, visiting with people and, food! We also began to learn a little bit more about her everyday life as a missionary.
Soeur Holt sent us a photograph of her planner- a typical day. On it we see a list of appointments, as well as time set aside for personal study, language study and study with her companion. There is also a list of lessons that she and Sister Heno are preparing to teach. In addition to the scriptures Soeur Holt studies talks given by the Apostles today. I studied a talk by Elder Gary E Stevenson called With all thy getting get understanding. He emphasises the interdependence with prayer and study which I have definitely observed and learnt over the course of my mission thus far. This talk is based on a devotional Elder Stevenson gave at BYU:
All the study that Soeur Holt undertakes enables her to prepare to teach the people she meets. We visited with a member referral [a member of the Church suggests that one of their friends could be visited] from Soeur Heno’s family in France. Soeur Henos cousin taught this lady in Switzerland and just before the baptism date she returned to Guadeloup [we’ve discovered that the French spelling has no ‘e’ on the end]. On her arrival back here she tried to find the church but couldn’t but Soeurs Holt and Heno are now teaching her. How cool is that!!!
We taught Fred, it was a really great lesson based around the restoration of the priesthood. Then he agreed to come to church on Sunday (spoiler he did!!!). We were then able to teach him how to pray!
We visited with a lady called Marie and taught her about the Book of Mormon; she had already read the Restoration pamphlet and asked us how many times she had to attend church before she could be baptised!!! I know crazy right, there are people out there who God has prepared.
Soeurs Holt and Heno seem to be teaching a large number of people at the moment, and also trying to meet and help lots of new people. She also reports that we went on my first door contacting experience, which was terrifying but I did it somehow.
It seems as though the members of the Church are very helpful to the missionaries and assist them in teaching. Soeur Holt talks about visiting a member who doesn’t come to Church much. The friend who he lives with didn’t want us there, so at the last minute we called Soeur Rosa and she allowed us to use her home to teach in. Very stressful but Heavenly Father provided in the end…
Soeur Holt is hopefully, also, being a blessing to the members of the Church in Guadeloupe. We visited with Soeur Naffer who is very old and very ill so we shared a short message on keeping the Sabbath day holy whilst she lay in bed. We also visited with a local member who is in the final stages of cancer and just fellowshipped with her.
The local members are also helping to feed Soeur Holt up! We don’t make dinner appointments here [in England we tend to have a calendar where we sign up to feed the missionaries] but we get fed often at houses of people we are teaching and members when we are just fellowshipping with them. Obviously, as caring parents we worry that she is eating properly and enough so we asked her What foods are available? Everything its very French and European so don’t worry I’m not starving to death…
Which brings us onto her food:
For lunch on Wednesday I cooked my favourite, pesto pasta with turkey breast because we couldn’t find any chicken!!! We visited with the Nestors who are a part member family, we are teaching their oldest son. They fed us my second and best banane pezée but this time with pork, it was so good.
We ate at the Bordin’s who were baptised within the past year but she is Relief Society president and he is the 2nd counsellor on the branch presidency!! [Around the world, every member helps out by accepting a ‘calling’]. It was sister Bordin’s birthday and apparently a French holiday where they eat gallettes, it was just lovely to spend time with them and their 3 children. After some investigation we worked out that this would have been on Epiphany (the Feast of the Magi), 6th January. The gallette made, and eaten, on the day is called a galette des Rois (King Cake). Soeur Holt included some pictures of the making of a gallete (this one with Sister Volet, at her house, on Sunday).
Saturday; morning study and korma and rice for lunch (yes mummy I can cook!!)
After reporting her food, she answered another question we had asked: Are you doing lots of walking? Yes, lots and lots and lots but I think it’s great because this is the only sister area in the entirety of the French side of the mission which doesn’t have a car, and I’m grateful for the blessing that it is that I am able to start my mission here and then everywhere else will be physically easier!!! We live five minutes’ walk from church and maybe fifteen from the centre of the town; but for those of you thinking it’s a beach holiday: we don’t go on the beach but I’ve seen it from afar!!!
Sunday is often a missionary’s favourite day. This Sunday was no exception for Soeur Holt as three of the people she, and Sister Heno, are teaching came to Church. It was also slightly odd and nice for Soeur Holt, as I helped to write the manual/ book that is being used in one of the lessons throughout 2017 . She reports: by the way daddy, the Gordon B Hinckley manual is amazing even in French!!
We, and Soeur Holt, continue to be grateful for the people who remember her and write to her. She wants us to let you know that I am taking pictures of most of the emails I receive and reading them throughout the week… We guess because that way she can devote the time and attention to them that they need.
Lots of love all the way from Guadeloup.
In case you’re wondering, the title is some essential French Soeur Holt learned this week: I am a redhead and I am the most white person on Guadeloupe!!! Her pasty complexion hasn’t changed in two weeks then!