Mission Update September, 2007

Abymes:

This is the one chapel on our island.  Most of the branches meet in rental places.  We hope to be able to build a stake center someday, but for now this will have to do.  The District is trying very hard to become a Stake as soon as possible and Elder Malmrose is helping with computer systems as well as many other organizational details.  We have no doubt that we were needed her now and not later, so that we can be of help as they work toward this goal.  We didn’t know how important it was for us to come here, until we got her and it has become evident.

There are many large apartment buildings being constructed behind the chapel.  The other day one of the giant cranes came tumbling down.  I took some pictures the day after.  We were told that the man in the cage died in the accident.  If it had fallen the other direction, it would have hit the Church, but it smashed a car instead.

One of our members has a manufacturing and retail business of natural African products.  He travels to Africa regularly for his ingredients.  He truly is a Snake Salesman and here is a picture of his last trip.

 Abymes baptism:

 We had another baptism of two young men by Elder Hansen and Tycksen.  This is a picture of the new members, with one of their mothers.  The other picture is of our friend Sarah, dressed in the traditional plaid dress. 

Elder Arbizo's Birthday:

We celebrated Elder Arbizo’s birthday at a restaurant called Hippopotamus.  As you can see, we had a great time.  We work hard, but we also have great moments.

Quinns:

One of the nicest things about serving here, is that we get to meet other couples and service missionaries and employees who work for the Church in Santa Domingo, the Area Office.  Brother Quinn represents the legal department of the Church in our area.  He and his wife Connie, came to visit and we had a great time getting to know them.  We saw them again when we went to Santo Domingo to the temple because they live in the apartments there.  What great people we get to work with.

District Conference

We had a District Conference for the whole district.  Members came from all the Guadeloupe branches .  Everyone enjoyed being together and receiving counsel from the leadership.  This was the meeting where Pres. Robison called several people out of the audience to bear their testimonies.  He called on Sister Malmrose, so I did so in French.  I was told after that because I spoke slowly (I wonder why) that their investigators felt the Spirit.  Maybe they just felt how scared I was, but it was a nice comment anyway.  I am understanding more and more, but still have difficulty in some conversations.  Some of the people don’t speak clearly, and then it is more difficult.  I do OK at Church, because I can follow along in the lesson manuals, and my friends make sure I know what is going on.  They take good care of me.

Sister Lake and Sister Coleman came from St. Martin.  Sister Lake also has a very interesting conversion story, but that is for a later time.  What faith these people have.

Sister Constant is a young woman who served her mission at Temple Square and served the same time as Dana Tingey.  When we went to visit there, she was the one who took us on a tour of temple square.  Now all these years later, we remembered meeting her and found out why she looked familiar.  She is the wife of one of our Branch Presidents and has 3 children.  She speaks very good English, of course, so it is fun talking with her.

The little future missionary is one of the Bastien boys.  He is wearing his white shirt and tie of course.

The Relief Society held their own meeting with the sisters from all the branches.  It was wonderful to be with them and see them enjoy being together.  We, who live in areas where we see one another often, don’t realize how nice it is.  They only get together a couple of times a year and have to make up for lost time.  Nevertheless, they appreciate it when they do.

Elder Doumbia and some other members after conference.  This is the parking lot of church and the palm tree behind him is a “fan” palm tree.  Very unusual.

Terry Gamiette, our District President’s son, is also very unusual.  He is actually a lot of fun, as you can tell. 

Eclars:

These are some views of a new house that the Eclar’s are building.  It is mostly concrete, as are most of the houses.  But the wood accents are very nice.  Bro. Eclar is in the construction business. So they are moved in, but it is not finished yet. 

Some of the members take very seriously that they need to share the Gospel with their friends.  This is the Eclar family, and they often invite friends in to be taught.  We were also invited to share an evening with the Elders and a man named Yankel.  The lesson went very well, and he was baptized shortly thereafter.  He is doing well and comes to Church regularly.   A job well done Elders!  Take a break!

Gamiettes:

Our District President and his wife have a beautiful family.  Both of them served missions.  President Gamiette was the first missionary from Guadeloupe and his wife served her mission in Seattle Washington, no less.  So…their English is excellent.  The grandparents and great-grand mothers are all early members of the Church in this area.  There are four generations of faithful members.  An editor from the Church Magazines is coming to interview them, possibly for an article.  More to follow.

ZoneConference:

We hold a zone conference in the French Zone of the mission, every 6 weeks.  This is one of our meetings.  Elder Hooson, one of our Zone Leaders, is conducting and the Elders are seated at the tables for instruction from the leaders and our Mission President, President Robison and his wife.  They do a great job, and we learn a lot from them, as well as receive inspiration for the work.  Every so often, our mission doctor Dr. Otto attends, and he and his wife were at this conference.  We really enjoyed getting to know them when we had them over to dinner.  We had to, of course, take them shopping to our famous “Spice Market”.