Last Monday when Soeur Holt emailed us she was still in Guadeloupe and making preparations to leave for Guyane on the Wednesday. Although it was the first move for Soeur Holt it was the last one of her mission for Soeur Needs- as she was flying home on the Wednesday. Due to this, their pday last week had a couple of activities just for Soeur Needs. We played frisbee and football as a zone- some of the youth from both the Lamentin and Abymes branches came to play with us as well. It was really cool, even though we’ve done it a million times we had to for Soeur Needs’ last pday. Then we had a surprise party for her at Soeur Kasongo’s home. It took a lot of sneakiness and we are sure that Soeur needs knew that something was going on. But we got everyone including all of the Elders in the house but the problem was that we needed to get Soeur Needs there so Soeur Kasongo called, faking that she had to give something to her immediately!! It was great and Soeur Needs loved it even though she probably knew. We ate lots and laughed and sang ‘God be with you till we meet again.’ We got home around 4pm just in time for a little nap. The Sisters dropped Soeur Needs off at the airport on Tuesday: It still doesn’t feel real that she is now in Utah with her family wearing jeans and everything. She taught me so much as a companion/second trainer and then as an STL- she is a best friend for life, love and miss her already!
The rest of Monday and Tuesday were hectic for the Sisters. On Monday evening, after pday finished, we walked over to Sister Point du Jour’s home and had a little FHE with them- I said goodbye though Soeur T and Soeur PDJ both cried. We talked about Stracy’s mission and how families are blessed when children serve. I love those two soooooo much!
On the way back from the airport on Tuesday Soeur T was driving and the back tyre kept on clicking so a quick look showed a massive nail in the tyre. So four sister missionaries in skirts and dresses changed the wheel of the four by four!!
Soeur T and I went to visit Danielle for one last time together. Julian was there and introduced us to his hamster. Super cute lesson about baptism. We visited with Soeur Rosa and taught about the importance of reading your scripture. Then to Soeur Volet- we watched the Bible video when Jesus washes the apostles’ feet and talked about humility. A day full of last visits for me with some of my favourite people. Just writing about it I’m getting emotional!!
Journey to Guyane! 4 am start to get to the airport for 5 am my baggage got through even though it was 53lb thank you check in lady and she didn’t weigh my carry on because heaven knows how heavy that was with every book I own in it!! Missionaries in the Barbados Mission have a limit of one 50lb bag and a 15lb carry on because transfers are by aeroplane and some of the planes are quite small. Flying between the French islands Soeur Holt is fortunate to fly on Air France who don’t seem to weigh hand luggage.
Goodbyes with Soeur T and Soeur Hootini (Soeur Reep was flying to Martinique). I cried waiting in the terminal, just a lot of amazing people and memories that I am leaving behind but really onto more people to love and more memories to make!!
I arrived in Guyane at about noon, this was about 2 and a half hours in the air but with a stop in Martinque.
Guyane I met Soeur Hansen- she is so sweet and is really helping me get adjusted to the area. She is really diligent missionary, she is amazing we have already laughed so much!! We include a picture of a visitor they had on the car on the way home- we assume this was the cause of some of the laughter.
Working with people in Guyane is different to Guadeloupe. It was near the end of her time in Abymes that Soeur Holt first met someone who could only speak Creole- this happened in her first week in Guyane. French is still the majority language but it seems a much more diverse society with many countries and therefore languages represented. One person they taught this week is actually on holiday!! Soeur Holt used a word we struggled with to describe their meeting (and also some others)- a suive. We’ll ask next week but we found the French word suivi which means ‘follow up’- so that’s our best guess for now.
Thursday morning we went straight out to teach a man called J- his wife was able to join us. It was a really strange lesson because it was my first real lesson with Soeur Hansen and it was also in English!! I hate teaching in English and so does Soeur Hansen [we assume because it’s so unfamiliar now]. We taught about the Book of Mormon and read Moroni 10.3-5. Other lessons included teaching Stanley about the Book of Mormon- his brother joined us as well. But the most amazing thing was Derlie- a recent convert who is 20 and Haitian; she bore her testimony which blew me away!! We also suived with an investigator called Calvin Harris [no- not the Calvin Harris]. The Book of Mormon seemed to be a large part of their teaching this week- in one lesson it was cool because we used the example of my journal being the written in Europe and Soeur Hansen’s being written in the Americas but both of them would talk about and testify of the same loving Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
Sports seemed to be a way to begin to talk to the people of Guyane and the Cayenne branch this week. Sports with the members and amis [friends]- an amazing turn out Soeur Hansen and I were goalies. There I met loads of members- they seem really lovely and I’m excited to get to know them more!! Then a visit to a family who are not coming to Church at the moment- super cool teenage boys who were impressed with my Englishness and talked to me about rugby and football. They are Brazilian… so big football fans.
Friday was a branch activity. It gave me another opportunity to meet some members and eat some good chicken soup and fried rice. The music started at 8 so we split!! We believe the music and dancing went on, without the missionaries, until 2am! In Hyde we think it’s a late night if it goes beyond 930pm!
Sunday- church was great and attendance was amazing. I met and spoke to lots of members- one member called Soeur Elena reminded me so much of Nana especially her face and the way she spoke. She was also very excited that I wasn’t American!! In the afternoon we went to Soeur Virginie’s home and ate banane pesee.
We’ll finish with Soeur Holt’s comments about her studies but before that just mention that we are so happy that she seems to have settled in so well and is enjoying Guyane and its people already. After finishing the New Testament I started the Book of Mormon again in my personal study- and I noticed something in the title page, that the Book of Mormon can help us to understand and gain knowledge of the covenants that we have with our Heavenly Father. This could be linked to two scriptures: 1 Nephi 15.3 which tells us that great things which are hard to understand can be understood through God; and 1 Nephi 15.24 which encourages us to hold firm to the word of God!!
Love and miss you all!!