Mission Update October, 2007

Capesterre

The branch we attend most regularly is Capesterre.  We have made great friends with the members.  JeanMarc was baptized since we came on our mission and remains a faithful member.  He now blesses and passes the sacrament and is growing in his gospel responsibilities.  The picture is of one of our most active families, the Bastiens.  They are wonderful.  She is the Relief Society president, and he the Elderís Quorum President.  The next picture is of our Branch President Mondongue and his wife.  She teaches Sunday School, and is one of the best teachers we have ever had.  She served a mission to the States and had to learn both Spanish and English.  The next group is a family of grandma, mom and kids.  The Mom and kids have joined and the grandma comes regularly, but hasnít been baptized as yet.  We went to teach her with the Elders, and she does have a testimony, but needs to work a few things out.  The last picture is of the Bonbon family.  They joined the Church almost a year ago and are very active.  The 17 year old son has not joined yet.  Something about being a RAP star.  Yeah, right.  But he does come every week with his family.  Hopefully, he will realize what he needs to do with his life.  The 12 year old son Jesse, on the other hand, is our first young Deacon in the Branch.  His Dad just ordained him recently.  He also did the confirmation of several of the others who joined.  It was his first time doing a confirmation, but he gave a wonderful blessing to each of them.  They are preparing to go to the temple as a family and want to go to the one in Salt Lake City next year.  These are faithful people, and it is a privilege to serve with them.  When we are not visiting another branch of the mission or District business, we attend this branch.  Dad plays the piano, and I lead the music when we are there.  This is the branch where I gave my first testimony and first talk in French.  They are very patient with my attempts to speak the language.  They also make sure that I understand what is being taught in the classes and will translate for me if I need it.  I am understanding more and more, but still miss a lot.

Elderís Dinner: 

The missionaries said that they really miss eating Mexican food, hint, hint.  So we invited them over for a Mexican dinner of burritos, tacos, etc.  We had to look around to find the right ingredients, and even then the hamburger isnít the same.  Nevertheless, they ate everything in sight, and seemed to have a fun evening.  We sure did. 

Santa Domingo Temple Trip:

The whole District of 11 branches of the Church from French Guyana to Martinique, go on a temple trip to Santa Domingo in the Dominican Republic each year.  We had about 40 members from our island attend.  We all flew out together and stayed at the temple apartments in dorm like rooms.  There is an MTC there also, so we saw a lot of missionaries who are heading out to the mission field soon.   There is a commercial kitchen downstairs, where we prepared our own food unless we had it catered as a group.  The tall building does not belong to the temple complex, but some of the members rent apartments there.  The ones who live in the temple apartments, call it the great and spacious building. 

This is one of the most beautiful temples we have seen.  The weather was rainy the whole time and we were all cold, but it didnít dampen our enthusiasm. The whole place has a wonderful Spirit about it.  Most everyone speaks Spanish, but they also have sessions in English and French.  Most important of all, was to be in the Temple with these Saints.  One sister brought 2000 family names to do. I repeat, 2000 names!  Dad was able to spend some time doing research of his own and then we were able to take care of the ordinances for his family members.  I was proxy and did the baptisms for the women, and we did the endowments and the sealings for the family.  That is when it really is special, when we take care of our own family.  It was inspiring to see our French saints, all dressed in white and participating in these eternal ordinances. Everyone had such a good time being together and sharing the experiences.  It was like being in a little part of Heaven.  We attended Church there as well.  That also was neat.  There are some American families there attending medical school.  The little boy in picture 12, reminded me of Noah.  I wonder why?  All in all, it was truly a most memorable experience.

We also had a meeting everyday to plan the activities of temple going or sight seeing (in the pink bus). That is the apartment behind the buss.  The city is much more congested and dirty than our island is and the traffic is far worse, if that can be.  But there was one impressive thing about our excursions.  Every time we got on the bus to go somewhere, they spontaneously broke into singing the hymns.  They know the music and the words to all the hymns and sing them with joy.

These are some pictures of the sights we saw while traveling around the city. 

We also were invited to dinner with some of the couples who work with the area presidency in one capacity or another.  These are the Quinns.  He is the Church attorney and the Briggs.  He is Director of Temporal Affairs for the Caribbean Area.  We had a great time just visiting with them.