Monday, January 25, 2010

"Man Going Crazy on Caroline Street" (Il Va Faire Caca)

Well, this was by far the worst week since I arrived in Cayenne, as far as numbers go. Aside from numbers, however, I feel very strongly the branch is on the right track. We are starting to teach much more effectively because of Elder Rodriguez and his Spanish. We are able to better strengthen the new Latino members, and better teach our Latino investigators. It was a little frustrating because we had a couple of investigators that didn't come to church because of the rain (it rained cats and dogs yesterday) . We have one kid, Christian, who is 15 who was preparing for baptism, but he didn't come yesterday. It really tears your heart out when they don't come. I imagine its a little bit what parents feel like when their kids don't choose the right...(sorry for being such an idiot sometimes). Luckily, he is still cool...with the criteria though we have to start them over and better teach them the importance of being at church on Sunday (the mission criteria is that they must come 3 weeks in a row before beings baptized, he had 2.). It's hard but honestly ... nothing should empeche (English translation: prevent) us from going to church! Or minimum to take the sacrament. If we are sick...we should go! and be healed! Sad or depressed, go and be comforted! Church is the best!

Well, dad asked about Elder Rodriguez...HE is a stud. We are getting along great. I'm grateful for his kick butt testimony that has already touched many people. I'm grateful for his courage, haha he has no fear! He jumps right into contacts as if he is jumping into an ice cold lake...he just goes for it! Even the people from mainland France! We are going to see great things together. He is learning quickly the basic doctrines and how to teach them by using the Book of Mormon.

We have a good time though. I bet it's the funniest thing in the world to watch us communicate. He speaks a little bit of English, a little bit of french, and of course Spanish. While I speak a little Spanish (I don't know many words though).

This last week we were eating lunch on some steps of the catholic church, out of no where Elder Rodriguez says "ARE YOU KIDDING ME! IL VA FAIRE CACA (he is going to go poo). You have to hear his accent though...there was some guy pooping across the street on the side walk. Elder Rodriguez couldn't stop talking about it for the rest of the day haha.

My testimony was shaking this last week as we worked to accomplish our goals. At first all i wanted to do was show Elder Rodriguez what a great transfer we would have and how we would accomplish every goal we set. I thought that I would be able to teach him how to do this. I thought I could do it...but I'd really forgotten how hard it really is, and how much work it takes to qualify for the grace of God. The truth is I tried to do it all myself. During the sacrament this week I realized why we had had such a terrible week. I didn't humble myself as I should have. BUT I now realize a little bit better what we need to do to accomplish all our goals, and so I'm grateful for that lesson.
HEY HAPPY BDAY TUCK....YOU ARE STILL A LITTLE SQUIRT...but you definitely don't suck! I love ya are a good example for me...expect a letter this week or next week.
In response to a few questions:

Yeah, we are at four in the apartment. It is sweet though, every morning we wake up at 5 together to go runny on the beach...I have never been with a companion other than Copa that didn't mind waking up we have 4!
How are the other areas in French Guiana doing?

The other branches in French Guiana are little branches...Matoury was in our building but ever since they got their new branch president they have started have reunions in his home which is a lot closer for members. Attendance has gone from 18 to 28 the last two weeks.

What are your initial observations about Elder Rodriguez?


He is sweet...I give him a lot of crap because he read the Twighlight series, and he eats weird..but we just joke. He is from Seville, its the south of Spain.

Monday, January 18, 2010

"Knees of My Heart"

Well I can't appreciate enough the blessing I have been given to be able to serve in Cayenne another transfer, especially with Elder Rodriguez. Elder Copa is going to stay in Cayenne, too, and Elder Anihia will be his companion. President is sending Elder Rodriguez here though because he is from Spain. With the newly called branch president and everything this is really turning into a Spanish area. This week because I didn't memorize as many scriptures there was more time to study Spanish and Elder Copa and I both made some huge strides. Right now we are good enough to teach a really crappy lesson on the restoration or plan of salvation. Haha, but it's the same spirit that teaches so it's been great to see the grace of God making up for our weaksauceness in Spanish. I'm so excited to serve with Elder Rodriguez though. It is his second transfer in the field, so I guess I'll be training him a little, but I certainly plan on being the one to be trained. In Spanish I'm still a gringo! He will be such a great help in establishing all the new Latino converts in the roots of gospel. At the same time we are working with many investigators that we have in Spanish. I swear everyday we are getting more investigators and still keeping the old ones. The hard part has been being organized with it all...there are so many it's hard even to remember their names without looking at my planner. It is so sweet to be working in Cayenne though! Everyday we are seeing miracles! Members that have hearts as big as.....watermelons....? Referrals...we are seeing all sorts of miracles... even with inactive natives of French Guyana. There are many! This last week was the second week that Family Fogas returned to church. They are a family of 5(the mother, 3 girls, and a twenty year old boy), who joined the church about 5 years ago. Tons of missionaries have visited them to get them to come back, but they never fact they always said they would, but something always came up...but our first lesson with them went great and they came to church two Sundays ago and again this Sunday. Their goal is to go to the temple and be sealed. And like President has told us many times before, working with inactives will produce baptisms. The youngest daughter has not been baptised and now she has a date for the 30th of January, but Miss Fogas also gave us a referral for her sister. Her sister had studied with the missionaries even before this family, however her husband had not let her join the church. Well, as of last year they have been divorced, and Sister Fogas believes that this their divorce was a blessing for her sister. I know that God knows who he wants in his church. And if we will be obedient to God's counsel or our mission president's counsel, such as working with inactives, God will make us instruments in bringing these people into his kingdom. HAHA my testimony grows everyday and I realize more and more at how real the scripture in Matthew 10:39 is the truth. As many lessons as we have taught this week with members, to recent converts, and to inactives...I have been taught and I have learned much much more it seems.

This week I have prayed all week, and fasted this Sunday to know more completely that the Book of Mormon is true..I have not yet received the answer for which I'm looking, but I will continue and "tire" Him until I get it. Although I didn't receive the answer yet, He did give me some great spiritual experiences during the week.

Things are going so great. I love my mission, and that makes me feel so great to hear about Blake (Burton) and Aaron (Cranford). Tell them to go kick some butt.

haha Long live president Eclar



Thursday, January 14, 2010

"Great Hearts"

Cayenne is about ready to explode! The work and the members here have been prepared for this time to make things happen. We just got a new branch presdent who speaks only spanish. So my goal is to be able to speak Spanish in 3 weeks. Right now im understanding well but speaking is a different story. With hard diligent work, and much prayer and fasting I know I can do it because I believe that is what the Lord is commanding. We are teaching countless member lessons each week with some colombian members. We do still teach grips of lessons in french but the work still progresses at the same old slow pace. We are teaching many new investigators and with the reactivation work we feel a little overloaded. We are teaching our members from Preach My Gospel so they can be armed with the gospel of Jesus Christ and know how to teach it. We are seeing succuess with the Elders Quarum president and will be working mainly with him in bringing back inactive members because most of them are french speakers. This week was great as we had 11 inactives come to church, and one family of 5 that hasn't been to church in nearly 4 years. I am grateful to be here in Cayenne; I would love to stay here and continue what the Lord has been preparing for a long while.

My companion is a hard worker, we are getting along just beautifully.

This week I memoriwzed 23 of the 25 Book of Mormon scripture mastery. My testimony of the Book of Mormon greatly increased as I came to a more profound understanding of the basic doctrines I'd taken for granted. They were things I'd always known...but I did not really KNOW them, you know? It was such a great experience in memorizing those scriptures. I found that as I would teach much more in tune with the Doctrine & Alliance (Doctrine & Covenants) 11. 21 says, "ne cherche pas a proclamer ma parole, mais vous devez tout dabord cherecher dobtener ma parole". ("Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word...)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I'm pretty excited about all the things that are happening in Cayenne. The members are really starting to believe that this work can and will advance. Their faith is increasing...the members who speak Spanish are already there..the others are step by baby step. As we have been committing more and more members to read the Book of Mormon and to do missionary work they are having faith promoting experiences. And the example of the Spanish members helps as well. We were able to have 22 lessons with members this week...just about every lesson we had was with a member. I was thrilled to hit that goal as I had never hit that before, or come close. However, we fell short in reaching our other goals. Repentance has been made and we will do better this week. I was especially discouraged we didn't get 70 contacts...As great as the lessons with members were this week we are deciding to shift our focus on reactivation and contacts. I love this area in Cayenne. I'm learning many great lessons here, and I know that we will be seeing success here. It's great because our branch president is great...he is young and learning, but he is willing! So onward we go

Elder Copa is doing great. He is a good missionary and a great companion. We are getting along great.

This week I had a great experience during my fast concerning the importance of our goals and the importance of reaching them. Goals are the stepping stones to perfection. We use commandments and goals to better ourselves. And as we strive to meet those expectations set by ourselves and God we sometimes don't accomplish those goals and we come up a little short. Some people become discouraged.. but at this moment it is so important to repent, and turn ourselves towards Christ and rely on his grace so that he can make our weaknesses strong. He will increase our faith so that we continue on the climb to Eternal life, instead of despairing and giving up. I wish I could just slap myself spiritually every time I get discouraged... but I know I can reach all the goals that I set and that Heavenly Father expects of me...IN home, but especially on my mission.

HAHAHA. Mom, I especially liked this email from you...some good stories and some nice colorful language... well this week was is pretty surreal to be in all really feels like deja vu in learning Spanish. We are doing about 50% of the work in Spanish, and I taught about 10 lessons this week in only Spanish with a new convert, Geoffrey, as my companion. IT is hard! I don't know how Maclaine did it, but it's not that similar to French. Luckily I have some of the techniques of learning a language down already, unfortunately it's still a slow process. The headaches are starting to come back like I had with Elder Garotta, but its definitely fun. Lets see though... The Spanish folks (mainly Colombians, Venezuelans, and Peruvians) are awesome! I love them to death..i kinda feel guilty but I definitely love them more than French folk...haha not gonna lie...Harry was right in dumb and dumber...but the french are sweet too! The only problem with the Spanish is that they are all refugees and have no jobs or food...It is great because they are at such a point of humility where they thirst for the gospel(most for the restored gospel), but there are many obstacles in their way to come to church. This Sunday some of those were distance, one had a job interview, another got a job for the day that would get him a the conditions are really poor. But the truly faithful will be sorted out by their perseverance and faith during these trials.

It doesn't help though that food is extremely expensive...we have no choice but to eat two meals a day...and its usually just a bagget with stuff, or rice, or pasta. It's lame cause there are NO fruits here..the only fruit I know is one we actually is good but kinda weird and I don't even know the name of it..nothing great or cool

Sorry I don't have any super cool stories this week that Tuck, Hill and Ash would was a kick butt week though.