Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 59

Ma chere famille,

Bonjour, j’espère que votre weekend c’était bien passe. We had a great week and a crazy weekend. Had the oppourtunity to go on an exchange with my old companion Sister Driggs this week! It was fun, just like old times; On our exchange we found a really cool, prepared man named Henri. He is an older guy, but he is still as lively as ever. He was very accepting and he understood the scriptures very well. He invited us back. Soeur Hoover and I went back to teach him later on in the week. He shared with us how his wife died a couple of years back and we talked more about the Book of Mormon. It felt like our lesson was a bit all over the place, and we were not sure he was understanding what we were teaching him. There was a moment when the spirit came and caught his attention. We were testifying and we simply said the line" I know you can live with your wife again for eternity". He heard that and we could tell it touched him because of the look in his eyes, that was something he truly wants. It's cool to see the simpleness of the gospel. God has made his plan and doctrine so simple that a child can understand so we all can return to live with him again. We have to be brilliant in the basics.

We are seeing this with one of the recent converts in our area. As we started reteaching him the lessons after baptism he asked us why we were reteaching him this because he already knew it, he asked us only to teach him new things. We kindly explained that we continue to learn the basic truths all throughout our lives because those are the things that are important. Just like President Uchtdorf said in conference "Are we making our discipleship too complicated? Simplify!" I love how the Gospel of Jesus Christ is 5 things; faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. Simply, it is to follow the example of Christ. It is the greatest blessing to be able to follow his perfect example on earth today because of restored priesthood authority.

We have an awesome branch. Our members just love and embrace our investigators. A member invited our investigator, Lionel, over to their house for crepes last night. They are so welcoming and willing to share the gospel with their friends. Our most progressing investigators right now are referrals from members. The best way to do missionary work is through members, I have a testimony of that.

It is avacado season here and it is wonderful; At least twice a week people give us avacados. They are not wimpy bumpy American avacados they are huge and wonderful! The West Indies are wonderful!

Have a wonderful week, I love you!


Soeur Banks

Monday, October 19, 2015

Week 58

Ma chère famille,

It has been an adventurous week! Soeur Hoover and I ventured down to French Guyana (Guyane) to work with the sisters. It was a little strange to be in my old area again, but it was loads of fun as well!

We had an awesome experience on the plane on the way down to Guyane. We started talking to a lady in the airport in Gwada. The conversation started out about Guyane; She started telling us more about the culture, how it is really a melting pot of different cultures but there are some real natives. It turned into the perfect opportunity to introduce the Book of Mormon, which is the history of the ancestors of the native people of Guyane. She was very interested as we told her more and she expressed to us her faith in Jesus Christ and how it has become more important to her in recent years. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she started to read. She was sitting by us on the plane and we were able to talk more. She read for almost the entire flight. We stopped in Martenique for a short layover, and she leaned over to us and said "It is not by coincidence that we met today, I need this book in my life right now". It is cool how the Lord leads us to those who need his gospel.  We gave her contact information to the Elders in Guyane and they have an appointment with her next week. The Lord leads us to these people and he leads these prepared people to us.

Another miracle along these same lines happened once we got to Guyane. I was showing one of the sisters where some less actives live while the other sisters taught a lesson. I went to show her the house of an older sister who was baptized a couple of years back who had gone to France for health reasons. We decided to stop in and see if she was back. Turns out she is still in France, happy and healthy, but her son was there. We had tried teaching him while I was in Guyane but he was never interested. We started talking to him and he told us that that morning he had prayed with his niece that God would send him someone good to help him in his life, and then we showed up. He was so happy that God had answered his prayer, he gave us his number and told us to call him. It was so cool to see how we were led there to help him. Nothing is by coincidence.

We had a great time in French Guyane, the sisters are great down there. I was blessed to have the opportunity to teach with all of them while I was down there. I also had the opportunity to see Marianela! It was a very happy reunion! Euseiry was not there because he stayed with his Dad in the Dominican Republic. It was great to see her again and hear her bear her testimony of the Book of Mormon to her sister.

We saw miracles and the hand of the Lord in the work in Guyane and Gwada this week. I have learned a lot and have been very edified by the events of this week. We are excited to keep working with the other sisters this week in an exchange with the sisters of Abymes and next week as the sisters of Martenique come here to work with us. I hope you have a great week filled with the spirit!


Sœur Banks

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week 57

Ma chère famille,

This week has been crazy, good and crazy. Started out rough; everything was falling through and we ended up contacting a lot, and people were not receptive. We had some really beautiful families and other investigators who turned us down. The good thing is it got better. We saw some miracles.

I had the opportunity to do my first exchange as Sister Training Leader. Soeur Hannigan came to be with me in Baie-Mahault for a day. It was awesome And we saw some really cool miracles. We were able to set a baptismal date with this lady named Tatiana that we met the other day. We had some great lessons.

In the evening we were doing some contacting, we did not have a lot of time and we wanted to teach at least one more lesson. We prayed to find someone to teach. As we were praying we both opened our eyes and saw a young guy on the corner. After we ended our prayer we contacted a guy who was walking by who turned out not to be that interested. We looked over and the guy on the corner was gone. We both felt like we would have talked to him. We looked around and he was just a little farther up the street, walking. We jumped on our bikes and went to talk to him. His name is Jeremie. When we asked him how he was, he said he was really sad. His friend had just been really mean to him and basically ended their friendship. We started talking to him about the Book of Mormon, and gave him one. By the end of our conversation he said that he felt so much better! He said he was going to start reading the book. It is so cool to see how the gospel has the power to help us find joy, even in such a short moment like we had with Jeremie. The word of God has the power to heal a wounded soul, in the words of Jacob.

Our week turned around for the better and we saw even more of the hand of God in His work. There are so many cool experiences that if I had more time I would tell you about. He is always watching out for us, he loves us and his grace is sufficient for all men. I know that is true.

I am excited for the adventures this week will bring as we visit the other French sisters in Guyane! It is going to be awesome, but a little weird to go back to where I started. We are both really excited! Have a great week, I love you!


Soeur Banks

P.S. This morning we hiked a waterfall called Les Chutes des Carbets. Here is a pic of Soeur Hoover and I since I have not yet sent you a pic of us. It was a fun and beautiful hike with my fun and beautiful companion!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week 56

Bonjour a tous,

It has been an amazing spiritually full week! Especially this weekend with General Conference!

I loved so many of the talks, but one of my favorites was Saturday morning by Larry Lawrence about the Holy Ghost and personal revelation. He said the Holy Ghost is an ideal traveling companion. The Holy Ghost talks to us so personally and so honestly. That is so true and my testimony of that has grown so much since being in the West Indies. He guides us personally according to our desire to follow His will.

Conference is my favorite weekends of the year. I Learned so much and have a new outlook and motivation to preach the gospel.

We had the miracle of our investigator, Tatiana, coming to conference. And one of our members brought his friend, Frank. Frank is Evangelist but was touched by our focus on the family and the message of families in conference. He told us he is coming to church next week and he has some friends he wants us to talk to! The family is so important. I loved when Elder Bednar quoted Elder Perry and said "Family is the center of life". It is not by coincidence that God put us in families, and specifically in the famlies we have. Families are how we can progress together towards exaltation having eternal joy, here and after this life. I love you my family; but I am so grateful I have this short time to help others to have joy with their families forever.

This is God's true and restored church on the earth, I know that is true. He has called prophets and apostles to lead and guide us so we can have joy no matter what our circumstances through Christ. I love this gospel and the Savior. Have a great week, love you.


Soeur Banks

P.S. on a funny note. We came home from conference to find our bananas had been eaten by some kind of animal. We were slightly disturbed that something was living in our house. We cleaned it up and were trying to figure out what it was that devoured our bananas. Make note that it was only the bananas, not the cereal or the chips or a number of other things it could have gotten into. We thought maybe it was a fruit bat. When I walked into our bedroom I found a nice splatter of bird poop on my bed. Looks like a bird flew in the partially opened window in our bathroom, ate our bananas, got stuck in our bedroom perched on the top bunk and then proceeded to poop out his banana feast on my bed. Good thing we had extra sheets. Adventures in Baie-Mahault! A little bird pooped on my bed ;)