Mission Update January, 2008

2008 Welcome to a New Year:

Baptisms:

We were thrilled with several of the baptisms we had this month.  The mission as a whole has baptized twice as many as ever before in one year and they are hopeful that this new year will bring even more into the fold.  We are all working hard to get fill the requirements of having a stake for our District, hopefully by this summer.  Every branch is trying to do their best to reach this goal.  There has been a remarkable improvement with the members working with the missionaries, on a regular basis.  The evidence is that more are coming into the Church and staying active.  It is important that they have a friend and a calling, as well has their personal testimony.  That is what makes a difference in retaining them.  These are not numbers, they are people and their eternal salvation is what is at stake.

The first group of pictures are of Sarah.  She is married to a man in New York, but because of legality reasons, she is living here.  She speaks English, so I was able to congratulate her and say to her to stay strong even when she goes back home.  Her mother is a Catholic and is not happy with her decision.  She looked me in the eye and said, ďDonít worry, I am a rockĒ. 

Baptismal hymn

Baptism of Sara Howard

Hurrah for Israel

New convert testimony

The next baptism is of Axelle.  She has been coming to Church for a long time.  Her brother is the District President, but she wasnít ready to commit.  This last December, she felt ready and so we welcomed her into our branch.  She is a lovely, young woman and we are happy that she has decided to make this commitment.   There are many of her relative attending and sharing in her important moment. 

Axelle Bouchaut

Axelle's baptism

Axelle's friends

Their excitement

Baby Eclar

Both sisters chose to be baptized in mountain waters, close to nature and Godís beautiful creations.  A nice place to start their new life.

St. Martin:

We traveled to the island of St. Martin to do some church and mission business.  We love going there and being with the Colemanís.  They are the senior couple on that island.  They have a chapel on the Dutch (English) side and the French meet in the same building.  We are trying to work something out, so that the French can meet in their own building.  We happen to be there the day they had a cruise ship stop for the day.  On that ship were 60 Utah members who wanted to give some service.  They came over and we put them to work painting the outside of the chapel building.  The branch provided a nice lunch and in a couple of hours, they had the whole thing done.  It was fun to visit with them as we worked side by side.  Our missionaries also helped. We also visited with some of the shut in members.   Elder Coleman didnít forget his missionary duties, so after painting, we stopped along the way to let him make a few contacts.

Work crew from Utah

Elder Busson

Elder Ritchie

Elder Burton

Bushman

Clair Dinane

Elder & Sister Coleman

Elder Coleman proselyting

Misc.:

We do a lot of driving, so Elder Malmrose is making sure that he is doubly prepared.

Malmrose double working

Gamiette family fun

Gamiette dinner

Delphine Dinner

Brother Briggs at Capesterre pulpit

The Three Witnesses

Fun elders

Birthday boys

Martinique elders sing

Hurrah for ice cream

More ice cream

Door approach

BasseTerreBaptism:

We also had a baptism of two young women in BasseTerre.  It was held in the ocean in the southern part of the island.  You can see that everyone wanted to get in the act.

We had a lovely visit with Pres. Gamiette and his family.  Here is a picture of their apartment.  It shows the typical tile floor they almost all have.  It stays cooler and is easy to clean.  Sister Gamiette prepared a nice dinner for us, our Mission Pres. and Sister Robison, and Bro. Briggs, the person over all the buildings for the Church in this area.  We took a picture of the group and also of Bro. Briggs in the Capesterre building behind the pulpit we had built.  He was duly impressed that we got the building done for that branch in 3 weeks.  So impressed, that they may let Elder Malmrose do it again a few more times.  He has become the organizer for getting the buildings up and going for the different branches.

We also had several meetings with our Mission President and the missionaries from several of our French islands. Here are the missionaries from Martinique and the zone singing happy birthday to some of the other missionaries. We have this problem with our freezer.  Anytime our Elders come over, the door opens and out come ice cream bars.  We told the Robisonís about it, and they found it did the same for them.  Hurrah for ice cream!  We also found this unusual door approach, which we are going to share with our missionaries.

Basse-Terre baptism

Basse-Terre baptism

Everyone in the act

Me too baptism

Basse-Terre Hurrah

Everybody wants in

Abymes wedding

Basse-Terre baptism

Handsome guys plus one

Farewell Dinner:

Elder Baksh finished his mission in our area.  He is from French Guyana and speaks both French and English.  He will return there and strengthen  the branch with his mission experiences.  His companion is Elder Crouet from France.  It was nice to get to know them both better.

Goodbye to Elder Baksh

Attorneys plus one

Elder Crouet at dinner

Elder Quinn dinner

Brothers again

We also spent an afternoon and evening with our Church attorneys and our local attorney.  We are involved with trying to get proper recognition for the Church.  It has to be done the proper way, or the French government will tax everything the church owns at 60%.  They took us out to dinner and we enjoyed local dance entertainment.  A lovely evening.

Special Baptism:

One Sunday last fall, we attended one of the other branches in our area.  There was a sister there we didnít recognize and we went and said hello to her.  She introduced herself as Sister Cesarin.  We talked with her and observed her during Church.  We assumed she was a member.  We found out later, that she was investigating.  We all attended Sunday School and the lesson was taught by Sister Gamiette.  It was on tithing.  She wrote on the whiteboard the following numbers 500 and asked how much tithing is required and then wrote 50 with the class answering.  We found out later that this lady had dreamed the night before and saw the two numbers on a board.  She had already decided to be baptized and has continued to be faithful.  Her husband wanted to continue to study before he decided if he would join.  He often came with her but it took a number more months before he decided to join as well.  We taught him on several occasions and he was thrilled when we explained to him Eternal Marriage.  The most recent lesson, he announced to us that he had decided to be baptized.  We were scheduled to leave town on that day and told him so.  He said he had faith, that we would work it out because he wanted us there.  Needless to say, we changed our flight for a later one.  He had everyone over to his nice house for the meeting before going to the mountain pool to be baptized.  He asked Elder Malmrose, to give the talk on baptism.  During the talk, Elder Malmrose felt inspired to take off his ďSalt Lake TempleĒ tie and put it around Bro. Cesarinís neck.  He told him that in one year, he and his wife could be sealed together forever.  It was a very touching moment for us all.

Cesarin baptism meeting at home

Convert friends

Cesarin baptism

Fred Cesarin

Happy baptism day

Baptism talk gift

Goal to prepare for temple in 1 year

Baptism now

Into the font

Day of joy

Baptism convenant

Rainbow beginning

New beginning joy

One of the members of the branch did the actual baptism.  Look at the expression on Bro. Cesarinís face.  He was thrilled with this ordinance and we all felt the Spirit strongly.  He has the potential of being a great Church leader.  He is really at the beginning of his rainbow.