Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 64

Bonjour a tous,

It has been a great week! I have to say that Thanksgiving did not seem like Thanksgiving at all, but it was great. Not everyone can say they ate sloppy joes with a member of the Seventy on Thanksgiving, but now I can. MLC was amazing! It was a day packed full of spiritual edification and learning. Elder Hugo E. Martinez of the Seventy who is in the Caribbean Area Presidency was there with his wife, she is so cool and has so much spiritual knowledge, he does too.

We talked a lot about the apostle Peter and his conversion. How he turned from being a fearful, unsure, and sometimes overconfident-in-himself apostle to a solid, powerful witness of the living Christ. His change came as he received a personal witness of Christ. After he went forth preaching with the power of God, healing and performing miracles with no fear because he knew the Christ and what he was doing in his name. He is like all of us missionaries when we get out into the field. We are fearful, unsure and sometimes overconfident in our own abilities, but we can become witnesses of Christ and we learn of him and put our trust in him. It was a great MLC, that was just a small part of what we talked about. We are excited to share it with the other missionaries tomorrow as we teach zone meeting.

A lot of other great things have happened this week too. After prayerful consideration we handed one of our most progressing investigators, Yves, over to the Elders. It was a little sad, but it will be the best for him in the long run.

We are teaching the cutest most prepared mother and daughter, Nadege and Diana. We were able to teach them twice this week and both lessons were so full of the spirit. I have never before seen someone as prepared for the gospel as Nadege. As we taught them about the Plan of Salvation they set their sights on the celestial kingdom, and as we talked about eternal families she gave Diana the biggest hug. She told us yesterday that she hasn't felt this close to God in a long time. She feels that there is someone or something in the way of her coming closer to God, but we promised her that as she reads the Book of Mormon and prays and follows the doctrine within, she will be able to overcome whatever challenges come her way. It is the word of God, it has the power to do that. She knows how the spirit speaks to her and she points it out in every lesson. We walk out of every lesson so happy and so excited for them! They said they will come to church on Sunday! I love them so much!

This week is going to be another busy week. Soeur Hoover and I are going to Martenique and Guyane for exchanges. It is going to be crazy, but fun and edifying and full of the spirit.

I hope your week will be as great as ours is going to be! Love you!


Soeur Banks

Monday, November 23, 2015

Week 63

Bonjour a tous,

What a week it has been and what a week it is going to be! This week I will be in Barbados for three days for Mission Leadership Council (MLC) with the Herringtons and Elder Martinez of the Seventy and his wife. I am excited! Soeur Hoover will be keeping our area going with a temp. It is going to be a crazy but awesome week!

This week we were able to serve our members a lot. Saturday we went and helped a sister do some gardening at a house she is watching. Gardening is really fun here because it always involves machetes. I got to hack through some overgrown vines.

We also got brand new bikes this week after having some technical difficulties with the other ones. They are beautiful bikes, we are so excited. In the words of Elder Richmond (senior couple) "Christmas came early".

While I was on an exchange this week with Soeur Covey we saw a really cool miracle. We had made an appointment to come back and see a family at 6, but when we came back they were not there. Soeur Covey said she felt like we were going to find a family that evening, so we said a prayer and started contacting. We found a family who were a little interested, we talked for a few minutes and set up another rendez-vous. We rode a little further and decided to contact a house whose gate was open and we to-to-toed. We noticed there was a man standing on the deck, he came down and we started talking. Turns out he was waiting for his three daughters, who showed up while we were talking. His three daughters were interested too, and he asked them when they wanted us to come back. We have an appointment Tuesday. It is cool to see how we were led there in exactly the right moment. If we had been there 5 minutes later the gate would have been closed and he would not have wanted to talk because his daughters would have been there. If we had been there 5 minutes earlier he would not have been waiting with the gate open and his daughters would not have shown up at the right moment during our conversation. This is truly the Lord's work.

With Thanksgiving this week we have so many things to be grateful for, but especialy the atonement of Christ and families. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving. I love you and know I am grateful for you too!


Soeur Banks

Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 62

Bonjour ma belle famille,

It has been a great week full of service and teaching! We are teaching a really cute older couple, the couple I wrote about last week who already had a BOM. It is a fun tricky experience because they are very involved in their current religion, so we are trying to help build their faith in the restoration, then when their questions come out about the doctrine that we know they don't agree with, they will already have a strong foundation of faith in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. They are so cute and sweet. I loved the look of happiness on the husband's face when Sister Hoover gave him his own Book of Mormon in Creole. He was so happy and touched.

We were able to serve a bit this week. We go over sometimes and help one sister in the branch feed all of her chickens and other birds. They have a nice big turkey that they have been fattening up for Christmas. We also got to help our ami, Norine. Norine is a really sweet lady from Dominica. All of her family is in Dominica or other islands so she is all alone. She works all the time selling peanuts to earn money to fix her house in Dominica. She is always working so she never has time to clean or do anything around the house. We told her we were coming over to help her. When we got there she was really surprised because she thought we were joking when we said we would help her do her dishes and clean.

We have some amazing investigators right now, who have great questions and are starting to really study to find out more. Our ami, Tatiana, came to church yesterday saying she had been thinking a lot about what we had talked about the night before. She is following Moroni's promise to read, meditate and pray!
I love the scripture we have been ponderizing this week 1Nephi 7:12. Look it up, sorry I cant write it in, I only have it in French with me right now. It talks about faith and how the Lord can do all things according to His will for us if we have faith in Him. So let us be faithful. Faith is the first principle of the gospel and our foundation in all things. When we have faith in Christ and his atonement all things are possible.

I hope you have a fabulous week. I love you.


Soeur Banks

Soeur Hoover and I in front of our house

Last Monday at Point des Chateaux with the pineapple we found

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 61


It has been a crazy transfer week dropping off at the airport, picking up people at the airport, fixing bikes etc... but it was great. Saturday was a great day because an investigator in Abymes was baptized. Anny finally got baptized! I have talked a little about her before. She has been taught for a long time and her boyfriend, now husband, is a member. They finally were able to get married on the 31 and she was baptized on Saturday! It was a happy day, and the results of much faith, patience and also the diligent love and teaching of many, many missionaries.

We saw a really cool miracle the other night. We had the goal to get one last solid contact before going home. We started on a little side street. The first lady was not having it, for here the gospel was not important at that hour of the evening. We walked a little farther down to a house with a light on. We toto toed (knocking/yelling 'is anyone there?' Creole style), and no one came out, but Soeur Hoover could see someone so we tried again. An older man came to the gate and his wife. We walked up and started talking. A moment later the lady went off to the side and came back with a Book of Mormon in her hand. We opened it and our names and number were written inside the front cover in my handwriting, weird. She then went on to explain we had talked to her daughter around the corner the other day and we gave her the Book of Mormon, but she left it at her parents house. Her daughter had left it, and she had picked it up and started reading it, in her words she said, "I started reading it to know if it was true"! Wow, already following the invitation of Moroni and we had not even talked to her yet! We went in and talked for a few minutes about the Book of Mormon. The spirit was there as we testified of the book and its importance for them and for us. We are excited to go visit them tomorrow with an awesome member who has a similar background as them. The Lord is always preparing people for the gospel.

Life is good on the butterfly-shaped island. This morning we had the opportunity to go to Point Des Chateaux, which is a beautiful cliff on the edge of Gwada, look it up its beautiful. We went at sunrise this morning to set some zone goals. It is probably one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, sorry I don't have time to send pics.

I love you, and hope your week goes well! A la prochaine.


Soeur Banks

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Week 60

Ma chere famille,

Transfers were this weekend.....I'm staying in Baie Mahault with Soeur Hoover!! I am so excited because we have just got the work really up and running in Baie Mahault and we have some awesome progressing investigators. This past transfer my testimony of member referrals has grown so much. Our progressing investigators are all referrals from members, who we teach each time with members present. Just as President Hinckley said, there is a better way to do missionary work than just going from door to door, it is working with the members.

We started teaching a referral from a member who is preparing for a mission, her friend's name is Yves Andre and he is very interested in the gospel. He came to church last Sunday with her and we had our first lesson with him later in the week. He had a list of questions for us when we started and he came to church again on Sunday. He has a real desire to know more.

We had a crazy evening Thursday, my bike got a really bad flat tire, unfixable and we were about 7km away from our house and it was about 8:30 pm. A nice guy, who I had actually contacted in Abymes a couple of months ago, stopped to help us, but there was not much he could do. We ended up locking our bikes to a lamp post in a field of scratchy plants and started walking home. A couple of kilometers in, we decided we were not going to make it home any time soon. Good thing we have awesome members who are willing to come get us. The famille Kasango rescued us and took us home.

We had the awesome experience of teaching a huge family on Sunday. It was the biggest group of people I have ever taught. They had a lot of their children and grandchildren there. In total, it was a group of about 15. It was a cool experience, we are going back on Sunday to see them all again. It makes me reflect on how much the Lord blesses us and helps us grow. Before my mission or at the beginning if you had told me to teach a group of 15 people the restoration I would have been terrified, but the Lord blesses those he calls.

He loves all of his children and wants us to come unto Him. He blesses us each individually as we act on our faith and desire to become more like Him. I am so happy to be teaching this gospel and I am amazed at how fast time flies. I love you and hope your week is great. A bientôt.


Soeur Banks