HOLY SHMOKES! What a week what a week. I have to thank everyone for the birthday cake and wishes! Better not have had my favorite popyseed cake or I might just lose it. haha...naw...even if you did it's ok because I ended up having a SAWEET birthday!
Andy and Elder Drolet (Senior missionary/new Branch President)
When I got my flights to go to Trinidad I was pretty disappointed because it had me gone about 7 days from Cayenne! I was pretty mad because I did not want to be away from my area that long! And so I talked with Elder Colling who talked to president for me. I told him I'd go if he'd like, but I proposed that Elder Butler, my district leader, go instead of me, since he is younger. Turns out that president had not realized I was going home after this transfer and so it worked out for the best! But shoot! They had me going to Guadeloupe for a one day layover, after to Trinidad for a day and a half, and then on the way back I would have had a one day layover in St. Lucia and another day in Guadeloupe! That was not gonna fly! Shoot with only so many days left I cannot afford to lose that many days of work!
We ended up having a really good birthday dinner Saturday night though...we hit up a steak restaurant. First steak in 2 years! I got medium rare and the dang thing looked like they just killed the cow in the back and then slapped it on the plate! Haha about as rare as they come...I got about 2/3 done and then was finished. Nephi probably would have been able to finish but not me. Last night we had 2 awesome cakes at the Colombians. I actually paid for one of them before I knew the Colombians had all pooled their money together to buy one. Any time you can share your birthday with people you love it's great. It was nothing big...just cake...but it was unforgettable.
The area is going pretty well. We had a huge disappointment at church yesterday. We had over 6 investigators who I was sure would come. Isabelle, Willy, Chile, Fernanda, Alberto, Colin, Nelson, and Josef Ca had been coming too. These are all people that have been keeping commitments as well. Elder Lunt and I were really disappointed before church. I have concluded that it's because these people needed firmer/harder dates. We need them to be coming to church not to fulfill commitments, but because they want to be baptized. We will adjust our teaching, and work on never leaving a lesson without extending/reinforcing a baptismal commitment. Elder Lunt has not yet got to a point where he is teaching 5O percent. That is one thing we need to do better. Consecrating more time to role play in our studies will help him feel more confortable at taking the parole (word). We are currently working with Yvens Timol and were disappointed because he missed church last week after what happened, but he had a legitimate excuse and we were able to teach him 3 times this week which is 3 more than I have ever had in the 6 months I have been here. We have him committed to restart the Book of Mormon, and to search a greater knowledge in it....because he already knows it really well. He has taught so much with the missionaries itHs natural. he knows Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. We are also working with Sr Cledi, and we are teaching her friend Fernanda. We teach her in Portuguese so it goes a little slower, but she loves the Book of Mormon, and this last week we taught her the gospel and the reason for which we must be baptized. She half excepted the baptismal date...but she wants to come to church first. She said she would come, but we haven't been able to find out why she didn't. Colin is from Guyane Francais. Elder Lunt is doing a great job when we teach him. He has the spiritual tools to teach so great, he just needs the French. But Colin recounted to us the entire experience of Joseph smith translating the plates. He love reading, and he finds the story about Joseph Smith incredibly interesting. We have him reading, and if he hadn't come down with sore tonsils he would have come to church. Chile is another friend of ours who speaks only Spanish and Haitian Creole...he has been studying the book of Mormon in Spanish. We really wanted to fix a solid baptismal date with him this last week, and so we took Mario, one of the native Spanish speakers. We taught him the restoration, and we offered the baptismal date. I feel we didn't firm the date up as solid as we should have though, and for this he didn't come to church. We have a great many investigators at the moment who should very realistically be baptized. We needed to keep finding, and also be more effective in sifting the good investigators from those who are not yet ready....I know that baptismal dates will help do that. If we extend a baptismal date when the spirit is there and they say NO....they are not yet ready...I will study, practice, and commit more people to baptism this week.
I have studied the gospel very indepthly this week in the Book of Mormon, and I have been touched at the simplicity and depth in which the Book of Mormon shows us what we must do to gain salvation. It is not hidden, and we are not obligated to search in the most difficult places to find it, but the doctrines of salvation are as clear in the Book of Mormon as the sun in a cloudless sky. I am infinitely grateful to Jesus Christ who constantly supports and uplifts me. Never does a moment go by when I am not constantly supported by his infinite sacrifice. There is truly only one name under heaven by which man may be saved, and it is Jesus Christ. I treasure these last few days I have to proclaim his name and his Gospel.