Thursday, October 30, 2014

I'll go where you want me to go, I guess..

Hey Fam, these are pictures of some of my best friends on the mish. Transfer calls came this week and I was totally expecting to stay with Sister Bailey in the Moule through Christmas, but I guess the Lord has prepared families in Martinique that SISTER TENNEY and I need to go find. It is a very bittersweet feeling. I love Moule, it was an experience I will never forget. That area has so many challeneges but we were blessed to see so many miracles. I love it so so so much. The people there are so special. I had some of the most spiritual experiences of my life in Moule as well as the tiny house where we met for church in Mourne-a-l'eau. The Lord guided us all the time. Sister Bailey is one of my best friends, and she has taught me so much in our time here. She taught me real faith and we worked so well together.  Ive lived in Gwada for almost a year now so its really weird to be leaving. I love the members and all the missionaries here. It is so special. But there is work to be done and things to be learned in Martinique and Im so stoked to be with my other best mission friend again!!! Haha this time we might actually have a clue of how to do missionary work!! Its going to be great. I never ever thought I would go to Martinique, but the Lord has a plan. I leave Wednesday!

So this week has been kinda weird with transfer calls and all, but we were able to have some really spiritual lessons. We had a couple of really weird disappointments, but, to quote the Joseph Smith movie (which I have seen about 30 times through the course of my mission) Never get discouraged brethren. But let me tell you about L and D. Remember the less active that we randomly found in the street? Okay so Frere Felsina, Sister Vance and I met him and he drove away from us while we were talking to him and the second time he gave us his number finally and now the last two weeks he and his girlfriend have come to church!! and next week his son is!! This brother is a priesthood holder and such a miracle that the spirit touched him and he is making changes again in his life. He is so happy. His girlfriend was not excited before and def fought with us once over some false doctrine, but now she wants to be baptized!! She has the spirit more in her life and she just glows when we talk with her and at church! They are so special.

This whole family is all so ready for baptism. I literally think they will finally do it like 2 week after I leave. We asked them the baptismal questions last night and they all just have such strong testimonies! They just need to do it. Any ideas?

Well next weeks email will be from Martinique!! ahhhhh that is so werid; gwada is all I know!! But i am stoked and it should be great

Monday, August 25, 2014

Invite everyone to the church, build a grandstand if you want to!! haha Father of the Bride- August 25th, 2014

Hey fam!
Okay we didn't exactly have to build a grandstand for church yesterday but we sure did have to add chairs as more and more people showed up for sacrament meeting!! It was the most people we have had there since I've been in the group! and it was a miracle. The picture below is of the family Nestor, cousins of Tosta. They are so cool and the two smallest boys are the counterparts of eva and millie. The older one is nine and is so nice to the younger one who is four. This family is so cool.

Tosta has still not had her baby, which is really throwing off the whole Chris and Jr, her bros, getting baptized thing. But we are praying for and expecting miracles. Yesterday Chris (13) Jr (10) and Mezina, their neighbor (14) all fasted so they could be baptized the 6th of September. Meznia told us that her mom told her she was crazy but "I believe in my fast" I just cried. These 3 amigos just have so much faith and it is amazing to watch their conversion. They are so committed because of the spirit and the Book of Mormon, they love it!

Okay I have to tell you about this service project. So theres this one email shop in Moule that is like super expensive. We went to it a few weeks ago and it was like disgusting inside, like hasn't been cleaned in 5 years. We asked if we could clean it for him and so we went back this saturday and started dusting this place that has not been wiped down in so long! We were like "monseiur, what the heck?" just kidding but we were very concerned. He just kept saying, in english, "eet needs a roomans touch"

The first half of the week I spent in St Maarten and Martinique, it was so cool, the first time I have been off gwada in a very very long time. I saw my bestie soeur tenney which was such a treat!! It was like perfect friends plus missionary work equals heaven.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Book of Mormon is a MIRACLE- July 21, 2014

Fill the World with the BOOK OF MORMON
This week was great, I'm really trying to focus on all the amazing miracles the Lord has given us. Like we talked about at Zone Conference, the Book of Mormon is really the tool that will bring people closer to Christ.  Last night, we went to this appointment that I was pretty sure was going to fall through. As we walked up to the house the family was getting out of the car from the beach. I was sure that they were going to tell us to come back later but much to my surprise the mother invited us in and we helped her carry some stuff upstairs. We sat down and she said "I read the Book of Mormon, I really loved it! I couldn't put it down!" She had read 3 Nephi 11 so we discussed it a little and talked about the way Jesus Christ established baptism by His authority. Her response was "You are right!" She believes it is the word of God and we are really excited for her. Sister Vance shared Moroni 10:3-5 with her. When Joanna read the first line she said "this is so weird; this is exactly the answer to my next question!" It was such a cool miracle lesson and sister Vance and I were just so happy. I just cried while we said a thankful prayer.

This morning I went back and read the chapters she read, but in english (sometimes reading in my own language just makes the words hit me harder) and it was just so awesome. I loved that I could feel the spirit of the words of Christ the way she felt them. She just loved it and we talked about the spirit. It was so cool because we talked about how everyone feels the spirit differently; I talked about how I feel the spirit when I feel happy, and when I know something is true I feel joy and peace. She said thats how she felt when she read the book of Mormon. Ah it was just such a cool lesson and it was crazy because I feel like I literally did nothing. It was all because of the Book of Mormon and the Spirit. If only I could remove my self like that from every lesson!

Read the Book of Mormon breakfast lunch and dinner and invite your friends.
haha thats another thing, when I get home Im going to be the best member missionary ever! haha new goal.

all you need is love

Monday, June 9, 2014

Book of Mormon: Breakfast Lunch and Dinner!!!

Okay this week was a little different because we had a car for half of it!! Our Zone Leaders were in Trinidad so we got to use it, so different than bikes, but we got to visit a lot of people that we wouldn't normally be able to so it was awesome. We have this less active family that lives in Moule but its about a 45 minute bike ride on a high way with no bike lane so we haven't been able to get out there very much. Its so crazy because this family is super nice and the dad even served a mission and was branch president but they just kinda stopped. Totally a "your potential your privilege" situation.

So everyone has this illness that I still cannot pronounce called shykingunya and its carried by mosquitos. Thats kind of tough because a lot of people cancel do to it but luckily none of the missionaries have gotten it.

But this week has really been about faith. Faith has always been kind of a hard concept for me to grasp but I have a firm testimony that if you are on a mission (and probably at any point in life) and you ask the Lord to teach you about a principle He will always deliver. So I wanted to strengthen my faith in the power of prayer. President Eclar has been really trying to teach us about believing in miracles the past few weeks and on the phone he even said "You need to pray fervently, like pay the price, you need to pray for like a half hour, man!" So I was reading in the bible dictionary about prayer, and it says something really interesting. " The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings." That just explained it so perfectly!! I had always kind of lacked in that aspect because I knew that I couldn't change God's will. But we must work to obtain blessings!! So we have started to pray much more specifically for each of our investigators. Its amazing how prayer strengthens our relationship with Heavenly Father. We were at a less active families house the other night with our Zone Leaders and we each said the greatest blessing we have received from our missions (we are really trying to show the oldest 2 children the blessings of serving missions). I think for me its coming to know my Heavenly Father. In the MTC one of our teachers said "Your mission will glow for you on a map, Lyon glows for me. It glows for me because that is where I met God." I always thought that was such a powerful statement and I wanted to be able to have the same experience on my mission. By obeying and studying God's will, and praying, we truly can come to know Him. What a blessing!!!

Okay back to the week. So The first person I ever contacted in Moule is named Danrick. He is 19 (hello mission?!!) and goes to high school and is a mechanic. I actually wasn't planning on talking to him but sister vance and I were doing our studies one morning on this big staircase that leads down to the ocean and one of my papers flew away. Danrick picked it up (it was actually an invitation to Daniel Valmy's baptism) and we started talking about the church. He wrote down his phone number and address for us but we could never find him. Then fast forward a few weeks to us contacting this area of houses. We were talking to this lady and Danrick showed up behind us, it was his house and his mom! Which is crazyyy because Moule is huge (ps i think we are getting a car....aka no more bokits for me.) Anyway he let us right in and accepted the message of the restoration tellement! This week he came to church (Im always a little nervous about investigators at the group because it is sooooo small) But he loved it!!! The most I have ever seen an investigator love church. It may or may not be due to the fact that one of the speakers was President Eclar (counselor in the mission presidency) and The other was Elder Gamiette (area 70). President Eclar talked about the Book of Mormon and it was awesome. He said "we need to read the Book of Mormon like we eat food. Breakfast Lunch and Dinner!!!" Afterwards Danrick was just amazed by both of them and wanted to meet them and we committed him to read the Book of Mormon breakfast lunch and dinner. what? He is getting baptized June 28th. He is awesome and will add so much to the group!! When we asked him if he wanted to get baptized he was so excited and was just like "Thank you so so so much for all you have done for me!!" Also he leaned over in church when one of the speakers said some thing about Joseph Smith and said "Oh ya Joseph Smith!!" I was like do you believe he was a prophet? and he was like "OUI!" chouette.

ALSO another cool miracle. We were fasting very specifically to receive a member referral family. Last night Sister Luissaint gave us a referral of a family in Moule. Naturally they have shikinguynya so the elders are going over tonight to teach about the priesthood and offer them blessings.

Just a preface for next weeks email: Polyneisian Day is this saturday AKA the biggest event ever. get excited.

Sister Abbycat

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

hey pics are worth a thousand words May 5th, 2014

Okay so This week was great even though we had to spend sooooo many hours moving into the new goyave apartment (uhhh we got evicted whoops) It is about a third of the size of the old apartment but its so fun because its like this little west indian bungalow shack and it feels like girls camp all the time! haha jk I shower every day.

Other than that, this week was pretty good. D. WAS BAPTIZED BY HIS BROTHER!! This is something sister v. has been waiting for for a long time. D. as well; he is probably the most in tune 9 year old I have ever met (I mean besides Eva as an 8 year old) He just gets everything and bore the sweetest testimony after he was baptized. He (and by he i mean sister v.) asked me to give the talk on Baptism and sister Tenney to give the talk on the Holy Ghost. We naturally wrapped a blanket around him during the Holy Ghost talk (fun fact: it doesn't translate to comforter quite as well as it does in English but it still worked okay) It was great and he wore the blanket around church the whole next day. F. our investigator who has read like a third of the Book of Mormon came to the baptism and stayed for so long just singing hymns and all of the V. extended family came (not members) Another Fun Fact: 80 percent of investigators who attend a baptismal service get baptized. aka WOW.

Yesterday at church Sister V. got up and bore her testimony about how she had been praying to be more loving and to have more love in her life and she said 'So God sent me the Sister Missionaries' I was just crying a lot. Im so so so sad to leave Goyave! Ive learned here why Im really here as a missionary; its actually just to help people in whatever way possible. I've changed from number hunting to really understanding how to love people. I've seen how putting the needs of others in front of our own desires is how we can truly keep our eyes single to the Glory of God. Im so grateful for the opportunities I had to serve with Sister Hawkes and Sister Tenney. They have both taught me so much. Sister Tenney is so ready to train, she will be so good at it. She brings joy wherever she goes and that will bless the lives of many. At the same time she knows how to teach and has really helped me become a better teacher. She wants to do everything she can to serve the Lord. As sad as I am to leave Goyave, I am even more excited to go find the people the Lord is preparing in Moule. I know I have much to learn there with Sister Vance, and I am so excited for the opportunity to serve there. We will do all we can to find less actives there and teach the members' friends. Is there any other advice you have concerning opening up a new area?

I love you and I am trying to send many pictures!!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Its So Happy!! April 28th, 2014

Hello! One hour on the computer is definitely not enough to fully
describe the miracles of this week! It was Zone Conference so we only
had a little bit of time in Goyave but the time we did have was
awesome!! Its all because of the awesome members here.

Chloe. Okay I would like to recount to you the entire miracle of Chloe
to you but its just not as good in writing. One of Sister Valmys
daughters invited her to this roadshow thing we had a few weeks ago
and she came to church and conference after that. We taught her a few
times chez Valmy and set a baptismal date of the 3rd of May with her.
On Friday, we followed up with her after an awesome lesson with her
and Sister Mehr and she still didn't know if she wanted to be baptized.
We decided to pray all together. At first, her prayer was great, but
afterwards Sister Valmy taught her all about how your prayer has to be
specific (that went on about 15 minutes, and she described how she
prayed to have a yellow house, by the river, with no backyard
neighbors and thats exactly what she has, it was great) So then sister
Valmy was like okay I'll pray first. She prayed and asked if Chloe
should be baptized May 3rd in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day
Saints. The spirit was so strong. After that Chloe said 'My turn!' and
asked again very specifically. It was amazing. We asked her how she
felt after and the first thing she said was 'nothing' we just waited
in silence and all of a sudden she put her hand on her heart and said
I feel it! Its so HAPPY. That was one of the best things I have heard
my whole mission. That is exactly what the spirit is. Its so Happy.
She is getting baptized this Saturday along with Sister Valmys 9 year
old son, both by her oldest son who just got ordained to the office of
priest so that he could preform the ordinance. This family is seeing
so many blessings from the missionary work they are doing.

Fabrice. He is this man I met probably my 3rd week with Sister Hawkes.
We have been teaching him ever since, and he has been kind of
stagnant. However, we had a rendezvous scheduled with someone else on
tuesday night and we brought President Bonbon, but the monsieur wasn't
there, so we brought President Bonbon to Fabrice and they totally hit
it off. We went back on Saturday and he had read 250 pages of the Book
of Mormon!! So cool; MEMBERS.

Also I will be opening up a new area next transfer with Sister Vance
in Le Moule, over on the Grande Terre side of the island. Im pretty
excited, its in a group instead of a branch, so that will be a fun

I love you and I love my mission, its so happy!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Joyeux Pacques!!! April 21, 2014

Bonjour Famille! Joyeux Pacques!!  This week was great and Easter was great as well. Although I can't tell you much about Guadeloupian traditions because our senior couple is tahitian and was kind of disgusted by the idea of having crab for Easter Dinner. Thats the Guadeloupian tradish. So naturally, we had some spam rice stuff. Classic tahitians. Sunday morning we even dyed eggs! And by we I def mean just me and Sister Tenney. Mine was a sunrise as shown in the pic attached. It was quite the ordeal to find white eggs last p day. haha. Also the easter bunny came!! ahah we got some white chocolate in our easter baskets which were actually just some bowls we had in our house. #mission

So we did a split this week which was really cool! Its crazy we aren't the only sisters on the Island anymore! Anyway, Sister R (sister H comp) came and worked with me in Goyave and it was great! We taught C, who is a member referral from sister V daughter. she is 14 and she is getting baptized in just a few weeks! She is soo cool and asks great questions! Its kind of hard to focus because she is well, 14, but she has such a desire to do whats right!! We are really excited for her. After that we went searching for that rasta guy who came up to us last week. We were asking everyone who lives up near the Jungle and we ended up finding a cool family on the way! Also on our search for F, aka Kungofaja (thats his new rasta name) we crossed a river!! It felt very exotic. Now we know where he lives and will be reactivating him as soon as possible, but it is kinda hard to get rastas passed the whole "locks" thing. They all think the bible commands us to never cut our hair. fun!

Thursday we were on our way to an appointment and we were riding our bikes to W, she is twenty and getting baptized the 17th, and we got caught in the middle of a big bike race! Everyone was yelling ALLEZ ALLEZ ALLEZ aka go go go! and we were just really lame in our skirts but it was hilar. the peleton passed us pretty quickly! The lesson was great and she was asking a ton of great questions and really wants to be sure. The best part is at the end of all her lessons when she asks us to give her chapters to read. I love when people commit themselves to things!

Also we are teaching French Jack Sparrow. He is so cool and said to us the other day "I think I am going to join the Mormons" there isn't really any such thing as sarcasm in the french language so we should be giving him a baptismal date this week!

Over all it was a great week and we are continuing to love Goyave. It is Zone Conference this week so I am excited to get rebooted for the upcoming transfer. I love being a missionary!!!