Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"Twelve Volt Man"

I'm giving Todd full credit for the title of the post this week.

Andy writes:

Ok well, I'm not able to do regular emails today, we could not
get to our regular email place because of the strike. They have
closed off the city of Abymes and Point a Pitre because of the
strike, and electricity has been on and off throughout the week.
Luckily we knew about turning off the water beforehand and were
able to take reserves. The Collings aren't letting the
missionaries out into the cities after dark becuase of mobs,
but sometimes we have to just to go home after dark.
Unfortunately,this is all I can send right now because we dont
have credit atthis place we found. Pray for this strike to
end...its kindaof fun for the missionaries, but a bunch of the
members homes and stores have been broken into, so pray for it
to stop. I'm good though, all is fine. Next week's letter will
be better.

avec amour,

A little bit about the strike:

Sixth day of strikes in Guadeloupe against high cost of living
Article published on the 2009-01-26 Latest update 2009-01-26 12:10 TU

A meeting is set for Monday afternoon between protesters and
the government of the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe
after six days of a general strike that has shut down the
island’s tourism sector, closed schools and petrol stations.
Strikers are demanding a reduction in the cost of living,
including cuts in prices and taxes.
The strike was organised Tuesday by the Komité kont
pwofitasyon (Anti-profiteering Committee) an umbrella
group that brings together trade unions, political groups
and several Creole cultural groups.
The Committee is demanding that the cost of primary goods
be lowered and that a litre of petrol be reduced by 50 euro
cents. They also want salaries to be raised by 200 euros
and rents to be frozen.
Protesters have been blocking roads since Tuesday. Five
hundred people blocked the Pointe-à-Pitre airport Thursday.
The strike is taking its toll on the tourism industry just
as the high season is starting. Cruise ship operators have
started turning ships away from the island.
Thousands gathered in the streets of Pointe-à-Pitre
Saturday – 8,000 according to the LKP, 25,000 according to
the police.

Monday, January 19, 2009

"Pencil-thin Mustache"

Right now we are teaching tons of lessons. We taught 49 last
week. Im so grateful to be in an area where people are so kind
and willing to talk to the missionaries. The people of
Guadeloupe and Gosier are people of great faith. The problem is
they are stubburn and stuck in the traditions of their fathers.
Whether it be Catholic, Adventist, or Jehovah's Witnesses... We
have had trouble finding investigators, especially progressing
investigators. We will teach a lesson and they will basically
tell us they dont care if it's true or not..some of the most
popular responses are "I am Catholic and I'm going to stay
Catholic","I don't believe in religion, it's your faith that
saves you" (usually Catholics too) but We have really been
workin' hard since I got here though to pump up the members
for missionary work. I really believe and know that as we
receive the aid of the members in our lessons, all the hard
work we have been doingwill start to pay off and we will start
seeing baptisms. We had a fireside yesterday to introduce a
new way to pump them up formissionary work...We have one
progressing investigator named Alan. We have taught him
twice and on the return visit he had read the pamphlet and
was very interested to learn more about propthets. I'm really
excited for him, he is very sincere....I think.
This week with the coming strike we hope, pray, and have made
plans to teach him with a member. Because tomorrow there is a
huge strike. They are crazy! They are getting the water, gas,
and electricity....honestly i think its gonna be mayhem,
but on the other hand I wanna think it's all talk. But we saw
in the paper today they are saying it is gonna last at least one
week! So the good news is is that we probably won't be able to
leave Gosier as the buses aren't running. Fortunately, Gosier
is the most beautiful city on Guadaloupe, right on the beach!
The bad news is, no water or electricity...we have some water
storage so I'm sure we will be fine. Haha. I don't know what
these people are thinking...should be fun though.
The work in Gosier is awesome. I loved being with Elder Garotta
in Moule, and I learned so much. But, I felt a little protected
because he looked out for me so much. But now being with Elder
Snow I feel like I'm finally coming into my own and although
its no where near the results we had in Moule, I know things are
starting to happen. I continuelly see the Lord's hand in the
work hear, and although nothing huge has happened yet, little
things have. Little help and love shown from the members here,
and a little more hard work on our part there. And by these
little things great things will come to pass. This week Elder
Snow and I are doing an english fast..no english!
Elder Snow is awesome, he is a goofball, and is so easy to
get along with. Haha. He has a girfriend and is a little
bit whooped so its funny to mess with him...I
guess I can't talk. but i love the kid, he is my boy..haha.
Today we shaved our heads and made mustaches with our hair..
just thought I would throw that in there.
My testimony is so strong right now. I know the gospel
brings joy from my own experiences and I'm forever grateful
that I have had it taught to me by my parents. I feel it it
a privilage to be able to take this message to others.

Thanks for everything. Love ya.

From the weekly Q & A:

What temple do your members attend?
Santo Domingo, Domenican Republic. Every couple of months the
district goes on a trip together and whoever can
afford it goes. I think if it is their first time the church covers
about half the cost.
How many of your members in Gosier are endowed?
I have no idea, if I was judging i would say about 6 or 7.
How do the missionaries there (french speaking) feel about French Guyana? Have you talked to some who have been there?
I have not heard too much. Basically I'm thinkin it is the same
as Guadeloupe is as far as life style goes, but not at all as
gorgeous. There are a lot more asians too...know idea why...
Was Renay baptized? Did you get to go? It was so
great on saturday...I was not sure if we were gonna be able to go,
but then I guess I had to say the opening prayer so we changed plans. It was so great...right after we had a testimony meeting, and without hesitation he was the first one up there. He is gonna help the branch in Moule so much!
Hurrah for Israel baby!
So the thing that is crazy about Gosier is dogs...they are
everywhere! Everyday we get at least 3 who try to attack us
(I'm proud to say I have not had to get a new change of pants yet)
...Elder Snow taught me the trick the first day though, you fake
pick up a rock and they run away. Its the funniestthing these huge
dogs will be going bezerck and that little thing will makethem back down.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"He Went to Gosier"

Creole has been put on hold as I have had to work on french a
whole bunch more. Without Elder Garotta, and Elder Snow being
fairly new I'm having to do at least 50 percent of the teaching,
so not much creole lately other than to entertain some
Guadeloupians. I was so worried to come have to speak in
french though. As I have opened my mouth though, I can
honestly say there has not been any hinderance of teaching( I
don't know if that works in english, is that a word,
hinderance...) and not as much cooking either.
This sunday was one of the most tired I have been on the
mission. As we added up our numbers for the week I couldn't
help but feel I let myself down a little, and more importantly
the Lord. We didn't have anyone at church and we didn't have
any member lessons. I'm doing my best at finding a line between
not being too disappointed in numbers and still caring. I don't
want to not care at all, but I don't want to have the numbers
get my spirits down. Our goal is to steadly increase our
numbers over the transfer. Gosier has a lot of work to be done
here. They have not had an investigator at church in over 12
weeks and only 5 member lessons in two transfers. As I have met
a lot of people in Gosier this week I know there is a lot of
potential here. With the help of the members I know we can make
miracles happen here. The greatest surprise about coming to
Gosierhas been the members themselves. They are so strong!
Each member has a strong testimony and is firmly founded in
the rock of Christ. There are great families in the ward too.
The Jaumies and the Gaydus... the moms of each have served
missions(and they have thecoolest little kids, which is the
best. Swann is two and is already the biggest pimp haha).
All the members just need a little nudge from the missionaries,
and they will be missionary machines! So thisweek we did our
pancake party and it went good, they pounded them...but we
also made missionary packets for them. Some missionary tracts
and some "missionary badges" we made for we put together.
We hope to get them finding referals for us and really wanting
to teach with us. I'm greatful to be here in Gosier and to be
doingthe work of God.
Elder Snow is great, he is so easy to get along with, and is a
selfless missionary. He is an example to me of love for the people
and together i know we are going to make things happen.
My testimony is still good. This week has been hard as I have come
from a relatively thriving environment in Moule to here in Gosier.
It took me a while to humble myself and get over that difference.
All the fields are white and ready to harvest, even here in Gosier,
and I'm here on the mission to do that. i love you so much, and glad
to hear the family is still great.

From the weekly question and answer e-mail:

When you said that no members attended church in Gosier last
transfer, did you mean NO members (including branch president) at all attended?
Actually I'm just dumb and meant investigators and I found out its at least been two transfers! So, there's a lot of workto do.
How was church this week? It was actually really
good; the members are really unified and very strong. They need to
find a stronger desire to do the missionary work, but they will.
I've already found a bunch of friends in the branch. Right now
its a branch of about 8 adults and 12 kids (2 young men with the
Are you playing the piano for church? Yeah! And
they just got a new piano! jeah boy!
Will you be able to go to Moule to see baptisms?
I hope, renay commited for this coming saturday
How is your investigator pool? None when i got there.
How is the apartment? It's real nice, and the landlady
loves the missionaries and takes care of us.

Monday, January 5, 2009

"Changing Channels"

Ok, the real good news and bad news....the work in Moule has
really been incredible this week! Elder Garotta and I have
had what we like to call a kick butt week thanks to everyone's
prayers and fasts. Sometimes I know it might not seem like it
helps, but prayer and fasting faithfully and humbly is one of
the most powerful things. Thanks so much. We have had two
great investigators who have been preparing over the weeks to
be baptized. Renay has progressing for about a month. I have
mentioned him before. He comes to church every week and
usually is a really good participant in lessons and such.
He has shown great desire to learn more and more of the Book
of Mormon and the gospel in general. Each time we teach him I
am amazed at his understanding of God's plan. Right now we
are working on convincing him to be baptized sooner rather
than later. The problem is he believes that he should read the
entire Book of Mormon before being baptized. We have tried
explaining the blessing of the Holy Ghost and how it will help
him learn those things quicker but its still been tough.
We called him on the 31st of Decemeber to be baptized that
day and although he said no because of the short notice he
said he wants to be baptized the next date we have!haha It
was kinda a cop out because he had just woken up(siest) but
he commited so this week he should be baptized. A miracle ey!

Madame Gustav is a lady we met on the road and she accepted
right off the bat our invitation to come to church. The first
lesson we had we challenged her to prepare for baptism in two
weeks. She agreed and has been progressing and just came to
her second week of church. We need to find her more friends
in the branch in order for her to feel more accepted, but she
is awesome. Finally we found the coolest family in St Francois.
The Patmaybe family(no idea how to spell their name) They are
a young married couple of about 30 with a 7 and a 1 year old.
They are one of the nicest families I have ever met and when
we taught them they loved the idea of Book of Mormon and of
Christ's church restored. The problem was that he works
everyday of the week, from really early in the morning til
late selling eggs. We promised him that if he would commit
to come to church the Lord would provide a way(Nephi 3:7).
He miraclously agreed and sure enough the family showed up
at church on Sunday. He took us aside at church and was so
excited to tell us the story of how on Saturday he was able
to sell all his eggs so that he wouldn't have even been able
to work on Sunday He has never done that before! Such a miracle
and blessing for me to have been a part of it. It is my
testimony that when we show our faith and our effort to
follow the commandments, even just the little ones that Satan
might be telling you, " oh its no big deal", if you just put
forth the effort to humbly follow the commandments, you will
see the blessings.

The bad news is Im getting transfered to Gosier hahaha. I
laugh just cuz of the irony..these awesome stories and now
I won't even be able to see these people through. I was so
sad to hear this news and that I'll be leaving the great
members of Moule and our awesome investigators It was
especially hard, but I know they will be in good hands and that
this is God's will. In other notes, I just got a sweet creole
cook book, we will see how that goes. Oh, since it's my last
few days with Elder Garotta I have been trying to learn as much
creole as I can. Right now I can speak a little bit, just like
random sentences but I can understand it alright now. I'm
really gonna work on the creole next transfer. Well, I don't
have much time today but I love you guys and love to hear
how great ya'll are!
PS Aunt Carol is so bomb! I'm getting about a letter a
week full of sports articles!

More on the transfer:

Im going to Gosier to be with Elder Snow. Elder Snow has been
here 5 transfers, so we are gonna do some greeny fire....I'm a
little nervous because I guess Gosier didn't have one member at
church all last transfer...but I'm not gonna let that get me
worried. I'm going in with a good attitude and we are gonna do
some awesome things there, starting of course with a pancake
party! hahaha!