The weeks are settling in to a kind of routine for Soeur Holt as she acclimatises to Guadeloupe. There are things that surprise her and take her breath away. Surprising?: I saw a lizard outside our window one night and there was a centipede outside our apartment one night…. apparently here they are really poisonous!!! Breathtaking?- just look at this sunset and the beautiful vistas:
We had a couple of people mention Soeur Holt’s glowing complexion of last week- apparently things have settled down some and she hasn’t made the mistake of going out without suncream again! We asked her how her skin was doing: Good; only my shoulder was burnt enough to peel… so that’s a good sign.
Soeur Holt loves serving with her companion, Soeur Heno who, as a reminder, is French, she is hilarious, she loves to play tennis and run, and she is the only and youngest girl in a family of 4 boys. For the past week or so she has had a mushroom growing on her leg and we had to visit the doctors to get it sorted out!! Fortunately, we got a little bit more explanation of the last point- Soeur Heno has a skin condition on her leg which a member, who is a nurse, told us is a type of mushroom growth… it’s disgusting. We think it’s probably just a skin infection and maybe mushroom could be translated better as fungus- still a bit yucky but less emotive in its description.
Soeurs Holt and Heno had an opportunity to help some local people with some work: Saturday was slightly different because we started out with some service with the elders and the Bordin family for Frere Viranin. He has a plot of land on which he keeps maybe 30 pigs and grows vegetables we helped him care for the pigs and planted. The image of Soeur Holt as a pig farmer made us smile. We are so pleased that she is launching herself into every opportunity that is afforded her.
With there being a number of missionaries on the island, Soeur Holt was able to go an exchanges with Soeur Needs. Exchanges is exactly what it sounds like- they swap companions for a period of time- this time it seems that it was for a day. Then began my first exchange!!!! I drove for the first time on the right hand side of the road back to the Baie Mault apartment… between mine and Sister Needs’ directions we made it there in one piece!! That evening we picked up Soeur Éclair: life with a car eh… and taught a lady called Mode, it was a great lesson for me specifically regarding French…That night I got my first Floup a peanut butter ice cream which is super cheap here… We did studies in the morning and then did an exchange review, it was really great-Soeur Needs is the Sister Training Leader- she is so lovely and a great missionary and sort of like a big sister.
Food continues to be a recurring theme- firstly the Floup mentioned above, then the exchange ended when We met the other sisters at an Indian restaurant to switch back and obviously eat, I had rice with a fish curry which was delicious but also very dangerous because it had tonnes of fish bones in it!! We’ll put the rest of the food reference into one list!: kebabs for lunch they were so good!!.. Even then we still had enough time in p day to purchase a Nutella bokit which we shared… We headed to district meeting in Lamentin branch and had breakfast and personal study in the boulangerie next door… Once home we showered and ate, Soeur Heno tried out a recipe for riz djon djon which is a Haitian rice dish where the rice is made black by adding a stock cube made out of mushrooms… Sacrament and church then coordination. We broke our fast with gratin and chicken which Soeur Monlouis had given us… all people do is give us food!!!
Their teaching of different people continued this week. She mentions reading 1 Nephi, the plan of salvation, the Ten Commandments, tithing, fasting, the Restoration, the nature of the Godhead, and the Word of Wisdom. The Word of Wisdom is the Lord’s health code which includes healthy eating and the commandments to not use alcohol, tobacco, tea and coffee. We headed to one of our friend’s home that afternoon- we had a great lesson teaching the word of wisdom and she was completely in agreement and promised to follow this commandment. At the end of the lesson then we asked for a drink of water and as she opened her fridge what do we see, but a crate full of beer… What is that?? Juice??? Do you know that that has alcohol in it?? What, really!!! OH it’s just for my friends!! We laughed all the way to the bus stop, at which a bird decided to poo on the tip of my nose!!! It was disgusting but tickled Soeur Heno at least and I’m sure it’s supposed to be lucky
There were also a couple of birthdays to celebrate this week: We spent Thursday evening with Soeur Point du jour and her daughter who turned 15 that day and it was also Elder Ballard’s 20th birthday. We shared a short message and some brownies… the brownies were actually a miracle because we didn’t have a recipe and we were both trying to figure out what made a brownie a brownie rather than a cake, we decided in the end that it was more eggs and less flour, I’m not sure if that’s true but it seemed to work!! Maybe we need to send her a book of recipes!!!
In one of the families that she is teaching, one of the older sons has been praying and fasting about being baptised- he had had a great experience and said that he had felt the spirit really strongly. Soeurs Holt and Heno are excited that this might be happening soon- as this young man takes his first steps as a disciple of Christ. We taught him about the priesthood and how great a blessing he will be to his home.
In the past few weeks Soeurs Holt and Heno have been visiting with an elderly member and spending time with her and this continued this week: we visited with Soeur naffer and read with her in the Gordon B. Hinckley manual because she can’t see enough to read anymore. It was really lovely and she is so sweet.
Soeur Holt’s study continues- in her Gospel study she was reading Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage- it’s amazing to read about the reality of my Saviour and his foreordination and the prophecies that foretold his coming. She also shared a scripture that touched her this week as it talks about casting all your cares to the Lord…
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you (1 Peter 5: 6-10)
Love and miss you all xxx