First of all, I want to wish a happy birthday to my friends this week, Spencer Sarge (May 7th), Jordan Brown (May 8th), and Timmy Hansen (May 12th). You're all turning 20! You're so old! Also, happy birthday to my dad on May 8th! I lost track of how old you are...
This last week was pretty good for me. I had some experiences that I will never forget.
MEMBER MISSIONARY WORK
Renessa is doing great! She came to church on Sunday all the way to the branch in Fort-de-France for Fast Sunday. We incorporated her with the members here and then Elder Fraley and I let them go to work. After church we had a branch meal to break the fast. We barely talked to her the whole time, and we never had to tell her where to go! It was ideal member missionary work! :) One member in our area, Soeur Delise, is great and has been awesome teaching with us and helping us out by fellowshipping Renessa. She's still on for baptism for the 24th of May. We did cancel her son's baptismal date though because we haven't really been able to teach him. But it's okay, he'll get baptized later.
Also, while waiting for the food, the Elders got to help one of the prospective missionaries in their branch learn how to tie a tie.
Daniel told us he was going to come to church this last week, but he didn't show up... :/
Christopher and Alexandra haven't been taught in about two weeks now... Sadly, the miracle family of Cedric and Caytleen have kind of fallen off the map. :(
THE DESIRE TO REPENT
Elder Fraley and I had the chance to take part in the awesome healing process of repentance. Soeur Lagrand has a brother named Philippe (she is the only member in her family) who has been having major health problems for about the last 6 months. He has some type of cancer of the head, and he was to never walk or talk again and even condemned to death a few months ago. After several operations, he has been improving and he has miraculously been able to speak again, and walk. One night, while talking to Soeur Lagrand, he mentioned to her how he had lived a terrible life. He is still young, in his 40's, and because of some bad decisions he's made he was on his death bed. He told her that he wants to repent.
That's when we come into the story. About a week later, Soeur Lagrand invited us over to come and visit him (she has tried to share the gospel with her family several times previously). So we went over there with Frere Lagrand to her mom's house to visit Philippe. We got there and there were people everywhere in the house. All sisters, brother, nieces, nephews of Soeur Lagrand. We walked into the house and had some weird looks as we walked into the room where Philippe's bed was. We got in, told him that we were going to give him a blessing, read some scriptures in James 5 about the Elders of the church and anointing with oil for a blessing. Everyone, including Philippe, seemed a little bit skeptical and unsure of the whole situation. But we continued, and I anointed him with consecrated oil, and then Frere Lagrand gave one of the most powerful and touching blessings of healing. Everyone in the house was completely quiet.
After the blessing, Soeur Lagrand had Elder Fraley, Frere Lagrand, Philippe, and I sit down outisde while she gave us some sandwiches and juice. None of us planned to teach a lesson that day, and we're going to go back another day to teach him. But everyone that was in the house came out to just watch us eat the food. One of the brothers, Jean-Luc, who was still skeptical started posing questions about everything from why we were missionaries, to if we still get tempted by wordly things. His questioning was very good and his heart was touched by the Spirit as we received inspiration as how to respond to each question. It soon turned into a whole Q&A session from the Lagrand family to the Elders.
The family would all be whispering, and chatting as we ate, and then somebody would throw us a question. As soon as one of us opened our mouth, a hush would come over the room, the Spirit would enter, everyone would fix their whole attention on the missionaries, and they would be hanging on our every word. Elder Fraley and I got to bear honest testimony of why we were on missions. We told them to not be fooled, but we aren't perfect. We have temptations too. We have problems too. We are not happy all the time. We can get very discouraged sometimes. But we know that what we are doing is the work of the Lord. And no amount of "failure" that we face in the mission field will take away the fact that we are doing what we have been asked to do.
Ever since we left their house that day, Philippe has been asking Soeur Lagrand when the missionaries are coming back. I'm so grateful to be a little part of the spiritual and physical healing process of one of my spiritual brothers. Even if nothing more comes from this experience, it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and one that I will never forget. I know that the Spirit has the power to testify Truth to man. I know that there is healing power in the Priesthood. I know that the Lord is a God of miracles.
That is all the time I have! Gotta fly!
I love you all! :) Have a good week! And Happy Mothers' Day!
For P-day today, the missionaries all got to do a little sightseeing together. The following photos are taken from Facebook, thanks to Elder and Sister Turner and the page they've created for the Martinique missionaries. They went hiking, saw Mount Pele (an active volcano), visited a rum factory (disclaimer: no rum was consumed by any of the missionaries), and had lunch somewhere together.
|A rubber tree outside the rum factory.|
|Elder Dayton loves doing handstands!|
|A nice place for lunch.|