Soeur Holt had an experience this week that made us laugh and wince at the same time. Part of being a missionary is being polite and respectful to all. We think she may have taken that to a whole new level this week. It all began fairly straightforwardly: Saturday what a day!! This morning I fell over and cut my hand open because it was raining luckily we were on our way to the appointment to teach a member called Gerty Chanel who is a nurse so she patched me up nicely…
That evening we had one of the weirdest experiences of my life. We decided to try and see a lady who Soeur Heno and I contacted what feels like a lifetime ago. She welcomed us in with open arms and sat us down with a drink each- we thought we were onto a winner. But then she saw my hand because I had taken the plaster off to let it get some fresh air and she said she had just the thing for that – out she comes with the vinegar!! It burned so bad but I couldn’t find the words to politely let her know ‘no thank you’ so she kept on adding and compressing more and more. I cried and so she grabbed me into her bosom literally and started kissing my head and calling me the equivalent of my dear!! It was so freaky and Soeur Hootini, bless her, just sat there because she was as freaked out as I was.
We think that polite acquiescence may not always be the best approach and sometimes no is an acceptable response!
She then asked me to read from the Book of Mormon but with the heart so I read the passage in French meaningfully; she stopped me and said to read with the heart again; then stopped me for a third time before she explained that she meant in the heart i.e. silently!! So hilarious you should have heard me trying to read with all of my heart and feeling!!
A lot of Soeurs Holt and Hootini’s teaching experiences this week focussed on the Saviour and God’s love for all of us. In preparation for a lesson this week I studied all about the pre earth life and trying to make that part of the plan of salvation lesson more spiritually impressive because it is such a unique part of our belief that can resonate with so many people and I loved the scripture Psalms 82.6 and Hebrews 12.9 talking about the relationship we truly have with god as his children. Every day I feel of my Heavenly Father’s love for me and for his other children- and he works through me to help them have a knowledge of his plan for them.
I also studied the Living Christ – it was also good because it was something that I had gotten out of conference this month. I really am thankful for the time that we took in Stake young women’s to memorise it and really recognise the blessing of a sure foundation in Christ as Helaman talks about. Especially now as I testify of him nearly every day. We were also able to share a message about the story where the two disciples who are walking away from Jerusalem after the death of Jesus and then he comes and walks with them. We likened it to when times get tough – do we start to walk away and move on from our covenants or dedication to the Saviour or do we continue to rejoice in the glory of the resurrection.
Also, the difference in approach between Soeur Holt and Soeur Hootini brought a smile: Wednesday morning we had a contacting experience where Soeur Hootini started helping some men at a house build a wall and I went and started talking to two ladies who were sat on the porch watching [a good division of labour!] They then tested us on our knowledge of the 10 commandments and we read with them in Mosiah; they were impressed and promised that they would read and test out our theory to whether the Book of Mormon can work together with the Bible.
That evening we had another great lesson with our young friend Matthew and this time we got Coeurby there with us it was amazing they really clicked and actually knew each other from university. Coeurby testified of making commitments like he did and bore a really amazing testimony about the restoration of the gospel and the blessings he has seen in his life since his baptism; he is so much like our pride and joy!!
The weeks continue with teaching, contacting and visiting. They were able to stop in at the hospital again, then a ‘heart attack’ for Soeur Alifax (perks of the Dominican members is that I can write in English, the French writing is still so hard!!).
Before her mission Soeur Holt spent a couple of days with her Nana learning and doing some family history- this really helped this week: then onto Frere Viranin who we taught about temples and family history work; love you nana!! She also loved her Nana this week as an Easter parcel arrived with chocolate! (The parcel from us still hasn’t arrived).
Love you all have a great week, don’t get into too much trouble xxx
The wildlife of Guadeloupe:)