Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 55

Bonjour a tous et a tout,

It has been a crazy and eventful week, now we are in Baie-Mahault! I'm with my cute new companion, Soeur Hoover. She is from Midway, Utah. We moved to Baie-Mahault Tuesday night. We live in a peach colored hallway with a turquoise kitchen and a pink bathroom. We have iguanas in our back yard and a nice view of the Gwada countryside.

Blanking an area is an adventure! We have been visiting our members, getting to know them and going through our area book to find people to teach. We have some awesome members in our area. This branch is so excited to have sister missionaries again.

On Friday we were venturing out to the far reaches of our area to visit a member. While we were looking through our area book we noticed there was an old investigator, Winnifred, who lives in the same area. We wrote down her number so we could call her if we had time. As we were biking along later that day we stopped to talk to a lady who was walking around the road. We started talking and we introduced ourselves and asked her what her name was, she replied that her name is Winnifred! Miracle! Out of all of the people who live in Baie-Mahault we were led to find Winnifred, the old investigator we found in our area book this morning! And it was definitely her, because let's be honest how many people do you meet with the name Winnifred and she said she used to talk with the Elders and she really wants us to come over and talk to her again  What a miracle, she must be very prepared for the gospel because we were definitely led to meet her.

As we have been exploring our area finding our members we have definitely been led by the spirit, we have not gotten lost yet! We are excited to see what this new transfer in Baie-Mahault brings! Have a great week!


Soeur Banks

Monday, September 21, 2015

Week 54

Bonjour a tous,

So as you know transfers are this week...and as you know I will not be staying in Abymes for a 7th transfer...I'm going to Baie-Mahault with Sister Hoover! Baie-Mahault was an elders area that was closed last transfer. It is not too far from Abymes, but over across the bridge onto Basse-Terre. It is part of the Lamentin Branch (there are three branches on Gwada: Abymes, Lamentin and Basse -Terre). We will still be on bikes, which I am very happy for because it is the most effective way to do missionary work. I will finish training Sister Hoover. She came out last transfer and Sister Guernsey started her training in Goyave, but Sister Guernsey is finishing her mission tomorrow. Other exciting news, Sister Driggs is training! She will be training Sister Hannigan in Abymes! Along with this transfer call, President has also called me to be the Sister Training Leader for all of the French-side sisters. Its going to be a busy transfer blanking and area training and traveling around being Sister Training Leader, it's going to be awesome! I'm looking forward to it.

I am sad to leave Abymes, it has been a great 9 months here. It still doesn't feel real that I'm leaving. We were able to visit the less active sister from the DR (Dominican Republic) with our investigator Anny who is also from the DR! We had no idea what was going on during the lesson because it was all in Spanish, but we got to teach a little bit. It was great to get them together. We were talking to Anny yesterday and she explained to us some of the problems and trials Lucia is going through. She said that Lucia does not believe that the Book of Mormon can help her right now. Anny's response was we have to pray and fast for her. Anny has such great faith and love and desire to share the gospel! She is going to be a solid member. She also shared with us more of her life story. The gospel has transformed her life, it is amazing! We are going to keep working with them both. Lucia said she feels good when we are there. That is a start with the spirit. We are going to keep visiting her and praying and fasting. It is not by coincidence that we met Lucia at this time in her life.

We had the coolest experience. So many things fell through Saturday. We decided to contact a little. We had no idea where we needed to go. We said a prayer and started riding. We rode into a apartment complex. As we were going around the parking lot none of the stairwell doors were open, but one, so we locked up our bikes and went in. We always start on the top floor and work our way down. Hiked up to the top and as we worked our way down nobody wanted to receive us or our message. We kept going down. On the second floor a lady answered and immediately let us in, I was surprised. We talked for a few minutes and shared the Book of Mormon with her. As we prayed at the end she said she felt something there with us. We explained the Holy Ghost to her. She loved it! For the rest of the time we were there with her she would point it out when she felt it. She also told us that she had been praying because she has been having a hard time; She prayed that God would send her someone to help her, and then we showed up. I was amazed. I have always heard missionary stories like that, but never thought it would happen to me. It is amazing that we were exactly where the Lord needed us in that moment to answer our sister's prayer. He loves us.

This week was a great end to my time in Abymes. I will miss this area and the people and Sister Driggs, but the future holds great things. I love you and hope you have a great week!


Sour Banks

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 53

Bonjour tout le monde!

It has been a busy fun week here on Gwada. We had Zone Conference, which was amazing! Learned a lot; it was a smaller conference, just the Guadeloupe missionaries, nobody else flew in from Martenique or St. Marten. I had a great interview with President Herrington Thursday. Found some stuff out about next transfer, but I'll let you know all the details next week. All I will tell you is that my time in Abymes is coming to an end. I am sad to see it end, but the future holds some exciting things.

Today we took an adventure as a zone. We went to Les Saintes which is a group of islands off the coast of Guadeloupe. It was beautiful, sorry I forgot my card reader and I cant send pics. It was like all of the pictures you see of the caribbean on postcards. We got to explore Napolean's fort there and hang out on the beach. It was super cool and I only got a little sun burnt:)

After Zone Conference on Wednesday our lesson with our member fell through so we went to check up on some people. We felt that we should stop by to see Lucia, the less active we found a couple of weeks back. We knocked and nobody answered at first but after a couple of minutes she came to the door in tears. She has been having a hard time being in Gwada with none of her family here, not having anyone and not speaking the language. We were able to give her the Book of Mormon in Spanish and talk with her for a little while. It is cool to see how God puts us where we need to be in the moment someone needs Him. He never leaves us alone, He is always there for us in our moment of need. He makes all the difference. It was a great contrast to see Lucia and her faith to accept the help of her Savior in her hardship compared to one of our other friends. We talked with him for a while on the street in front of his house the other night. Faith is so important, the faith and humility to accept God's will and accept the help of His Son to continue. He has given us all the tools we need to be happy in any circumstance. Just like we learn in Mosiah 24 as the Lord made the people's burdens light, He did not take them away, but He lightened their burdens and made them strong so they could bear them because of their faith. There is a reason faith in Jesus Christ is the first principle of the gospel, it gives a strong foundation for all other things.

I hope you have a great week. I am looking forward to a great last week here in Abymes. Love you!


Soeur Banks

Monday, September 7, 2015

Week 52

Bonjour a tous,

It has been a good hot week here in Gwada. Lots of biking and a little bit of car driving this week. We had the fun oppourtunity to have Sister Hoover with us for a couple days while her companion was in Barbados for MLC (Mission Leadership Council). Crazy to think that this week marks one year of me being in the mission field! Friday marks one year ago that I flew to French Guyane as a terrified little new missionary to meet my trainer. Time flies. It has been a great year! I have learned so much since that day. I have learned a lot this week too.

The Spirit is really a language we all can understand if we are open to listen to it. We are teaching a really cool father and son who come from Haiti. The son speaks both Creole and French but the father only speaks Creole. For the most part I can understand him but speaking Creole is still a work in progress for me. We had the blessing of having an awesome sister from the branch who is also from Haiti with us during the lesson. It is cool to see how even though we cannot always communicate the best, the spirit can always communicate clearly. It is never us who really teach, it is the Spirit. If we don't have the Spirit there is no way we can teach. We gave this man a Book of Mormon in Creole, that will really be the key to his conversion, as it is with everyone, to read and pray to know the truthfulness of these things through the Holy Ghost.

Speaking of reading the Book of Mormon we are teaching an awesome couple Marc and Ketlee, and they have really taken reading the Book of Mormon to heart. Every time we go by and follow up on their reading they always share with us the passages they have found. All we did was ask them to read and they have taken it to heart. They have found some awesome pasages in the Book of Mormon and have been sharing them with each other. Ketlee was able to come to church yesterday but Marc has been sick so he was not able to come. We stopped by that evening to have a lesson and they shared with us what they had been reading and Ketlee had shared with Marc some things from church as well. I love to see how the gospel is becoming more a part of their daily lives!

Sister Driggs and I have been thinking and talking a lot about the temple this week. Especially as we have been teaching some families. We followed up on a family we contacted last week. We had a small lesson with them at their gate. As we were reading Moroni 10:3-5 the Spirit was there. When we were talking afterwards we were both thinking the same thing as we were talking with them, " This family will look so beautiful in the temple". We are excited to see their journey to that point. After that lesson we went to visit a recent convert family who recently moved into our area. We talked about the importance of making covenants and the people of Ammon. We talked more about the temple with them and were able to answer some of their questions. Their excitement is growing to go to the temple!

The temple brings a kind of joy that is more powerful than anything else; We were talking about it as we were biking home. We can't explain the joy, but we want everyone to have it! Go to the temple! Here they can only go once a year because the closest temple is in a different country. Take advantage of this great blessing to have a temple so close!

The gospel is amazing and brings more hope and joy than anything else. God knows his children and loves them and takes care of them in His way and in his time. Keep living the gospel joyfully. Have a great week!


Soeur Banks