Mission Update February, 2008

Guadeloupe Zone Conference:

 Our Zone Leaders, Elder Bezzant and Elder Doumbia,  had a meeting of the 14 missionaries plus us, to do some planning and brainstorming on how to do our jobs better.  They gave some good ideas and then asked President Gamiette to conduct a discussion.  He made some wonderful suggestions and demonstrated some “door approaches” for the Elders.  He had them role play and practice, so that they can be more effective in finding people to teach.  He is truly an inspiration to all of us.  We fed them lunch and let them have some down time.  They work very hard so it was good to see them relax a little.  They are wonderful young men and it is a privilege to work with them and with these wonderful people in the West Indies.

French zone conference

Ping pong match

Conference eats

Moule Baptism:

We had another baptism, this time in the north part of the island, Moule.  The nice thing bout this one, is that it involved several different sets of missionaries, as well as the members of the Branch.  It is always more effective when someone comes into the Church with the help of both the missionaries and the members working together.  The convert had a number of the different missionaries participate in his program and then he asked the branch president to do the baptism.  Note the picture.  The branch president is considerably shorter than the convert, but they were able to completely immerse him, after two tries.  He says it was worth it because he is sure all his sins are washed away now.

Michelet & Pres. Otto


Fort-de-France, Martinique:

We travel to this island for both the mission and the district.  The branch at Fort-de-France is trying to relocate from the rented house they have outgrown.  We are helping them select a new place to rent until they are large enough to buy land and build a chapel.  They hope it will be within the next couple of years.  Everything is very expensive on this island, even more so than Guadeloupe.  It is also part of France.  We have come to enjoy the members there.  We stay at a hotel that is managed by one of our members, Yva Jean-de-Dieu, and she always insists that we eat with her.  She is always feeding the members and the missionaries.  So we decided to treat Yva and her friend to an evening out to dinner.  Elder McKibbin finished his mission here so she had a big dinner for his parents and friends and the branch had a party for him as well.  Can’t say I always like what they serve especially when it has eyes.  But, these are beautiful people.  It truly is the end of the rainbow.

Elders with President Louis-Alexis

New members

Missionary serious business

Dinner with Yva and Roger

Elder McKibbin farewell

Elder McKibbin and parents

Westland and friends

 Beach Day:

 Our friends the Gamiette’s invited to spend the day with their family on one of the holidays.  Pres. Gamiette and his Father-in-law both suited up in wetsuits to go fishing.  They have these spearguns and they swam out into the ocean and were gone for about 3 hours.  When they returned, they had caught our lunch.  They cleaned the fish and then the women BBQ’d and we ate the results.  It was lots of fun.  We all went swimming and although it is winter, the water wasn’t cold.  Welcome to paradise.

The Fishermen

Ready for hunting

Daddy's back

Me too

Home safe

Catch of the day

The fisherman

 St. Martin:

 We also travel to Phillipsberg in St. Martin.  We were there during a baptism of a young man, the grandson of a member.  He is a very nice youth and they are happy to welcome him into the Church.  What a difference it will be in his life.  We were told that every young man on the island is a member of a gang.  We’re not sure what that means, but the young people are in peril, so we hope his church activity will make a real difference.  The baptism was held at the ocean and the kite surfers were watching the proceedings.  Steve, eat your heart out!

Phillipsburg windy baptism

Baptism instruction

Hurrah for Israel

Wind surfer paradise


Trip to St. Lucia:

Our dear friends from Canada, the Agnew’s, contacted us to let us know that they would be vacationing on St. Lucia at an all inclusive resort.  They are mutual friends of ours and the Robison’s.  Fortunately, we were already traveling to Martinique on Church business and Pres. Robison’s said that he needed to interview us.  It just happened that he and Diane were going to St. Lucia at the same time.  Another miracle.  We were able to arrange a trip by ferryboat from Martinique to St. Lucia.  We found a less expensive hotel near where both the families were staying, so that we were able to spend a couple of days with them.  We had a wonderful time just catching up with the beautiful Agnew daughters and with our friends, swimming and beach walking.  We went on a trip up the volcano and visited the mud baths there and enjoyed the beautiful scenery.  Somebody has to do it, right!

Ferry arrival

Forever friends

Natural shower

Volcano mud pots

Mud fun

Get the point?

Beautiful scene

Steve scene

Man eating tree

Don't back up

Two hurrahs

Rick broke his chair

See monster

Sister friends

The Sherwoods

We also were able to visit with the Sherwood’s, a wonderful senior couple serving on St. Lucia and get some training from our office couple, the Lockhart’s.  What great people we are getting to know.