This week has been a wonderful week full of miracles in finding efforts and people we are teaching progressing. I was reminded of a quote from Nanny Mcphee where she says that when you want me but no longer need me then I must go. This is especially true as I received my transfer call. I would have been so happy to stay and see all of these people enter the waters of baptism or develop and make changes in their life, however I felt as though it was time for me to go.
With this is mind as we read Soeur Holt’s email we were excited to hear of the experiences she had in her last full week in French Guiana. She has loved her six months there and loves the culture and the people so much. We are very grateful for all of those people in Guyane who have blessed her life and made her mission experience there so valuable and lovely.
The Sisters continue to teach Dea and she is looking forward to her baptism in a couple of weeks. We asked her if she had prayed about Joseph Smith as a prophet and the Book of Mormon- she said she had and that something had literally hit her on the back as if to say “well, yeah, duh!! you already know that!!” She identified it as the Holy Ghost, He literally hit her!!
They also continue to work with Trinity and Charlanda. It’s not just about the lessons. P-day was Tuesday and we worked out with Charlanda in the morning; I felt like her personal trainer! I even managed to get Soeur Reep running! Later in the week they had a suivi with Charlanda that morning turned into a chat with her legal guardian Mami Lazuou whilst she plucked a bird she was going to cook up for lunch. She told us in essence that if she gave her ok for Charlanaa to be baptised she would ask her father to say yes! On another occasion we taught Charlanda the word of wisdom with Soeur Souverain but not before her telling us that her father has given his ok for her baptism- she is currently praying for a date! It is these two experiences that help us understand her feelings as she leaves Guyane and its people.
The rest of the week was fairly normal with lots of opportunities for teaching and contacting.
We had a lesson with a lady about prayer (Alma 37.36-37) and then she told us about how she was affected by the loss of her father when she was 11. We shared Alma 28.12- it is really a beautiful thing the chance that we have to testify of the plan of salvation and the hope that the Saviour brings. We will be together again!
Some contacting and a trip to the toilet turned into a miracle! One of us needed to go to the loo so we asked one of the people we were contacting if they minded. When this happens most kind people welcome you in and while you do your business your companion is left with an uncomfortable chat with the family. On this occasion it was a mother and daughter from Haiti. The mother had gone to church in Haiti a lot because she lived just next door and remembered the activity for Christmas etc. They took a Book of Mormon which they said they would start to read together!
One final contacting miracle for the evening- we met a lady who was out walking to speed up labour- she is 9 months pregnant, super sweet- we have an appointment tonight so fingers crossed she isn’t in labour!
It was a sad week this week as Thomas S. Monson, the Prophet and President of the Church died. During companion study we received a phone call from Elder Griffin telling us that President Monson had passed away. It was strange as we reflected together to feel sorrow for the loss of a man that we had never met and yet his teachings and service in the church had had such an impact on our lives. The biggest probably being that we are here on a mission and each started at 19. As a background President Monson lowered the age that a woman could serve a mission from 21 to 19. We remember when it happened it seemed like an answer to Eleanor’s prayers. She so wanted to serve a mission but was unsure how, after finishing university, she may be in a position to do so. With the age changed to 19 she could plan for leaving soon after she finished school and take two years out before starting university.
Soeur Reep and I discussed how much of a testament it is to the restoration of Jesus Christ’s church on the earth that in this moment no one is confused or lost with the death of the prophet- the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will preside until Russell M. Nelson is ordained and then be sustained by the entire membership of the church. Simple and beautiful organisation (as the scriptures say the Lords house is a house of order!)
We missed Soeur Holt’s description of p-day: onto the ZOO after a quick stop off to get a baguette and some cheese for lunch (living the French life huh!) I loved the zoo, I even got to see a toucan so now my life is basically complete!
This week during personal study I looked deeper into repentance; I found the scripture D&C 1.32 pretty clear that in repentance there is no sitting around waiting for the flash of light or immediate purification only through DOING the commandments does the forgiveness come.
Soeur Holt’s transfer call came on Saturday evening and I am so excited to have the opportunity to serve in Baie Mahault (Guadeloupe) and with Soeur Tepapatahi once again. She brings out the best in me and I love her so much. She has also been called to serve as a Sister Training Leader alongside Soeur T. I am overwhelmed by the call of STL the sisters in this mission are so amazing; I am standing on the shoulders of giants. A description of the role of the STL is: “Sister training leaders will be responsible for the training and welfare of female missionaries assigned to them and will be members of and participate in, the new mission leadership council. Sister training leaders will continue to proselytise and will also spend time each week training and evaluating the needs of female missionaries. They will report directly to the mission president on the needs of sister missionaries.”
Sunday- lots of goodbyes and photos that I don’t think will get though today but next week!!.
We’ll finish with an aspect of Soeur Holt’s study: During my reading in the Book of Mormon I was studying the missionary efforts of the sons of Mosiah this week. I noticed something cool within the story of the father of King Lamoni; in Alma 20.23 he offers Ammon a portion of his kingdom for his life, then in Alma 22.15 everything he has for eternal life. What are we willing to give for the blessings of exaltation? Alma 17.11 I loved as well
“And the Lord said unto them also: Go forth among the Lamanites, thy brethren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls.”
I changed the Lamanites to the Guyanese or for the next transfer the Guadeloupians! SO LITTLE TIME!!
Talk to you soon this time from Gwada!!