Monday, July 27, 2015

Week 46

Bonjour a tous,

We had a great Sunday, I hope yours was as good as ours was. As we were walking to church Soeur Batiste drove past with our investigators Emilio and Evens in her car. During sacrament meeting our investigator Stevens showed up. We were so excited! He is a man of his word, when he says he is going to do something he does it. He is awesome and he has a sense of style like no other, than maybe Snoop Dog. We gave him a plan of salvation brochure at the end of our lesson the other day. At the next lesson he had read the brochure in depth and prayed to know if what he had read is true and he told us he wants to get baptized, not right away, but he wants to be baptized.

We had the fun experience of painting the house of a friend of one of our investigators. He told us to stop by the house where he was working painting and we helped out. It was super fun and the lady whose house it was was very interested in our message. She told us that her sister is a member in France and she has seen the change the gospel has made in her life. She had lived a crazy life before but now she has a happy family and life. I could tell this is what she wanted for herself, because her life has not been easy. It was a great reminder to me that we never know who we are influencing as we live the gospel. It is important to stand as witnesses of Christ at all times and in all things and in all places, because we never know who we can help or touch. In the words of President Uchtdorf," live the gospel joyfully."

A funny story I forgot to tell you last week: Every weekend we play basketball with the branch. We always pass by Emilio and Evens house to walk with them to basketball. This past week it was a a different basketball court which was a little farther away. We only had two bikes, so we got creative. Sister Driggs and I both hopped on her bike and lent the other to Emilio and Evens. We somehow both fit on the bike seat and must have looked really funny riding down the street. Evens was on the handlebars of the other bike as Emilio pedaled, he might have broken my bell in the process, but it was really fun. I wish I had a photo to send you. I really love the people here in Abymes.

Missionary work is great! It is hard to believe I've been doing it for a year. It is not easy in any way shape or form, but it is great. He is guiding this work so staying close to the spirit is key. His plan for all of us is perfect. All He asks is our obedience to Him. He loves us so much and has given us all the tools we need to find true joy here on earth, we just need to take hold of them and use them.

I love you, thank you for your thoughts and prayers; Until next week.


Soeur Banks

Monday, July 20, 2015

Week 45 in the field

Bonjour a tous!

It is crazy how time flies! Yesterday, funny enough, I gave a talk in sacrament meeting. How appropriate since it was exacly one year ago I was giving my farewell talk. It went pretty well, it was on the law of the fast.

We have had a lot of lessons fall through this week. Although none of our plans really went as planned we had some cool experiences. We have some really awesome members in our area. There is one particular family I have never been able to go over and see during my whole time in Abymes because they are never there or busy. Our lesson fell through and we were in the neighborhood so we stopped by. They were there and we were able to have a great little lesson with them. It was wonderful to get to know this sister better and hear her testimony. We were talking about prayer and the conversation changed to the temple. I really liked something she said. . .She said that she knew the gospel before she went to the temple but after she went it all made sense. I loved that! I was strengthened by her testimony of the temple and her faith.

We have seen some cool miracles this week. There was a contact the Elders had given us a while back, but every time we made an appointment it had fallen through. We were riding around in Caraque the other day on the way to an investigators house when we got a call. It was the contact, Francisca, the one the Elders had given to us. She had waved at us as we rode by, but we had never met her so we didn't know it was her. We got a call when we were farther down the street and we were able to turn around and go to her house and have a little lesson with her and give her a Book of Mormon. The Lord puts us where we need to be.

We also had this really cool guy show up at church yesterday. He talked to the missionaires about ten years ago and decided to come to church yesterday. One of the members gave him a Book of Mormon and we were able to explain it a bit. He loved church and is coming again next week. We were kind of bummed that he lives in the Elders' area, but all that matters is he is getting the gospel. It is proof that you never know what impact one contact or lesson will have on someone. They may not accept it then, but they might come around ten years later. No effort is wasted.

I love you and am grateful for your prayers and love. Have a fabulous week and I'll talk to you next Monday!


Sœur Banks

Monday, July 13, 2015

Week 44

Ma chère famille,

We had the wonderful opportunity to meet President and Sister Herrington; They are awesome and are going to do great things for this mission. We had a great meet-and-greet with them Friday where we got to know them a little better and were able to ask them questions.

We have taught some awesome new contacts this week! Last weekend we were waiting for Brenden, and his neighbors were walking in. They had a lot of groceries so we helped them carry some bags in. They are a beautiful family, they have a cute little girl who is 8 months old. We had our first lesson with them yesterday and talked about the restoration and eternal families. The spirit was so strong in the lesson, especially as sister Driggs shared the first vision.

Sister Driggs and I joke sometimes that we are like the dog from the movie Up, but instead of getting excited when seeing a squirrel it is when we see a family.

Guadeloupe is beautiful. We had the oppourtunity to see more of the island Saturday as we went visiting teaching with a sister in the branch. I feel blessed to be here.

We have been talking a lot about real intent lately. In Moroni 10 it talks about praying with real intent. We can read the Book of Mormon just to read and get absolutely nothing out of it, we can do the same in our prayers. It reminds me of the talk that you sent me, Mom, and how Brother Ridd talked about how he read in seminary, but all he got out of it was stars to put on a chart, because that was all he was looking for. I know that God loves us and rewards us according to the desires of our hearts. As we read with the desire to know the truth and come closer to Him, we will. He loves us and wants to help us all He can, but we must align our will with His. I know that He loves each one of us and we can better understand His love through the Book of Mormon.

Have a fabulous week. I love you,


Soeur Banks

Monday, July 6, 2015

Week 43 - The Start of Barbade (Barbados)

Bonjour a tous et a toute,

The West Indies Mission is no more and we are now officially the Barbados Bridgetown Mission! We are excited to meet President and Sister Herrington this Friday! I have only heard great things about them. I was excited to hear about the changes in the Manila 9th Ward too.

We had a cool experience with our investigator Brenden. We talked to him about the temple briefly a while back, and yesterday he told us he had been thinking alot about it and really wants to go. He has a friend who lives in the same neighborhood as the temple in Santo Domingo and he is already making plans to go next spring. We were so excited! He said he could tell by the way we talked about it that is was an important special place. He also expressed his desire to be baptized; It is true he has some trials to overcome before, but he has the right vision and desires. We are so excited! 

The temple is so important. We have been talking lately about teaching with the end in mind, because baptism is only the gate by which we enter. Since coming on my mission the temple is one of the things I miss the most. I know that the covenants we make with God are the most important things we can do in this life to show our faith in Christ and be ready to meet God. In the eternities these are the things that will matter.

As I restarted the Book of Mormon this week I came across a scripture that I love: 1 Nephi 11:22-23. The love of God is the most desirable of all things and it it is the most joyous to the soul. We have felt this this week as we have taught our investigators, and especially seeing Brenden's desire to follow Christ. It is the greatest joy, there is nothing better than seeing someone come unto Christ. I love the Lord and his work.

I hope you all have a great week. Keep living the gospel joyfully!

Gros bisous,

Soeur Banks