The path of a missionary does not always run smoothly. Soeur Holt described this week as a difficult week. As we read through her email we recognised that it was actually a good week for over 95% of the time, but when something happens it can change your outlook so dramatically. A couple of people who they have been teaching stopped responding to our phone calls and don’t answer their door when we pass by. It is truly heart breaking when we saw them make so many changes in their lives. During a personal study this week I read 1 Nephi 21.4-6, (my scripture of the week! my works have not been in vain and one day the fruits will be evident)- I really felt that this was a confirmation to me that right now is not their time but that God has a plan for them and he comforted me regarding to the impression that even though it won’t be now, one day these lovely people will be prepared to come unto Christ. It is important for us to focus on the positives in every situation so that we can move forward with cheerfulness and faith.
On a more cheerful note last week’s pday was fun even though it was my second visit out to Kourou to visit the space museum. Not much had changed but it was a must visit for the other missionaries. So some more pictures, with a different companion this time, as astronauts and off we went to space.
We ate in Kourou at a fancy restaurant called Millepates, it was special because it was Elder Anderson’s birthday! They also got chance at one point to walk round the Catholic Cathedral in Cayenne- it is really beautiful and simple, daddy will be proud! [Soeur Holt spent many holidays having to look round places of worship wherever we were – the upside of having a dad who studies and teaches about religions of the world].
I received lots of birthday wishes again last week you know haw to make me feel loved dont you!! Thank you – gros bisous!! [translation: big kisses].
Family Home Evening we went to visit with Soeur Emmanuelle and played with her new puppy!!
We shared 1 Nephi 11 and spoke about the advent period which is on its way; she used to be Jehovah’s Witness and so it’s slightly new for her but we hope that we can get the spirit of Christmas into her home, and she said she would share the pass along cards we left with her of Mary with her child! Christmas seems to becoming a part of their visiting and teaching, on another occasion we visited Soeur Bienvenu and all of her children (niece and nephews) we shared a scripture about Christ and gave then all the challenge of sharing the Christmas pass along cards. They accepted!
During contacting we met a cool lady from Suriname she is part of the Bussinegy tribe (I definitely spelt that wrong!) which is a pejorative term for runaway slaves. It was cool her home was filled with tribal art and she explained to us that if there is a God it doesn’t matter to her and wouldn’t affect her life; Soeur Atkins read my favourite scripture in Alma 30.44: “all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and call things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.”
Some different experiences to the norm this week: one night we went to evangelist church with our friend Astride, it was a concert and the live singers were basically Whitney Houston!! Epic!!… Thursday was all basically ofii which is the French immigration office so Soeur Atkins could get legal… she had a chest x-ray in the morning, home for studies and lunch before the medical review and interview which took a good 4 hours.
The Sisters continue to teach as much as they can and are happy that many people continue to make progress and understand their relationship with Christ. We taught the word of wisdom and obedience,… the gospel of Jesus Christ and many other things. Saturday evening we had a really good lesson with a lady who had received the news that she had failed an exam which would have let her become a customs officer which is her dream. She told us that she had made a promise to God that if she passed that she would go to church, fast and start reading her scriptures again- she expressed a really powerful testimony about how she knew that that wasn’t how it worked and that she knows that God has a plan for her! I shared my experience with Glasgow University, etc and guess what? She came to church yesterday and is coming this evening for the activity!! As background Soeur Holt had a place to study history and maths at Glasgow which was deferred for a year. Most Universities allow you to defer for an extra year- but Glasgow have a blanket policy that this isn’t allowed. So after six months of being out Soeur Holt learned that she wouldn’t be going to Glasgow and would have to reapply. We’re just now going through the process of applying to different universities on her behalf. Soeur Holt really has the view that Heavenly Father knows her and has a plan for her, even if she can’t see what it is right now.
A visit to a lady who isn’t coming to Church at the moment. We shared Alma 56.47, then we discussed the concern that God will not forgive her for a sin that she had full knowledge was wrong and yet still sinned. Soeur Atkins shared Moroni 6 where it saws that God will forgive all of his children as long as we have real intent; it was a really powerful lesson- I could really feel the love that Heavenly Father has for her as his daughter.
Charlanda and Trinity are lighting up our week. They are so sweet and Trinity was so sad that she couldn’t come to church due to conjunctivitis!
This week Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve visited Guadeloupe. We were able to watch the transmission from Guadeloupe! He spoke about basic principles of righteousness, prayer, scripture study, attendance at church and the Temple. So jealous that we weren’t there in Guadeloupe!
We are organising a branch activity for the Young Single Adults this [Monday] evening as a FHE… so on Saturday we took the entire morning with Soeur Wilna to go and visit all of the young single adults to invite them personally to the to watch the face to face with Elders Ballard and Oaks I think… Hopefully tonight is a success.
Apart from one difficult experience we think it was a good week overall, hopefully Soeurs Holt and Atkins can see that too!