During the last transfer Soeur Holt was able to work across two branches of the Church; and when she moved back to Abymes full time she left behind lots of friends and people she had been teaching in Lamentin. On Saturday she reports that it was Soeur Versaille’s baptism!!! It was strange seeing all the members from Lamentin there I really hope I get to serve there again!! Soeur Kasongo gave the talk on baptism and is was really powerful and amazing especially considering the fact that it was entirely in Haitian creole for Soeur Versailles!!
It was a jam packed week as always for Soeur Holt. We realise what a small world it is as on Tuesday afternoon I started my exchange with Soeur Reep because Soeur Needs went on exchanges with my companion. One memory-it chucked it down! The path we had to walk down was basically a river; so that’s probably the funniest moment of the week and the yellow coat got some good use in again!
That evening we saw Frere Paul and continued to talk about the Restoration with him. Then Frere Viranin with a lesson about missionary work. For those 2 lessons Soeur Volet worked and walked in the rain with us- she is an angel!! That evening I did a training study with Soeur Reep [as she has only been in the mission for a couple of weeks] and I think it went well or at least I got a lot out of it!
When I was on my mission my last companion and someone I had known well throughout my mission in Scotland was an Elder Reep- Soeur Reep’s uncle. The world is so small generally speaking, but even more so in the Church. We had known through Facebook that they would be in the same mission but it’s great that they get to meet.
Soeurs Holt and Hootini are really excited to have taught a number of people this week, and they also have five new friends to teach. We had a lesson with a new friend about the plan of salvation; he is really engaged and excited to learn more- the only problem is that he is visits with his son on a Sunday. He told us that if there is ever a Sunday he can he will be there!! We are going to have to pray for him because it is not for us to tell him not to see his son and come to church! Friday morning we taught an Evangelical lady who is Dominican and had a fruit and vegetable stall. She loves her church and told us how she likes to talk about Jesus with everyone and that is why she invited us to teach her.
Saturday morning we taught our friend Miriam who picked us up and dropped us off before and after the lesson. It was also a miracle because her teenage daughter joined in and was really engaged in the lesson. We taught the start of the Restoration focusing on using scriptures and asking questions and I think it really went beautifully. They both seem so excited about the gospel and interested about the living prophet!
There was also a member who brought his friend to church and we invited her into the ami’s class with us. She is searching for the truth!! I am so excited for her this week!!
We asked Soeur Holt what she had learned most about herself this week, and also throughout her mission so far. She responded: I think that I am not as smart or as strong as I thought I was. In that I have really learnt how to rely on my Saviour’s atonement in all things to find contentment. You have to really love the people and Heavenly Father to be able to live this life! Sometimes this is difficult, but mainly because you doubt yourself. She continued: I loved the poem you sent me last week daddy ‘Who am I?’ I know I’ve heard it before but I don’t think it has ever spoken to me so much as I go about being the perky smiling sister missionary that wants to share the light of Christ with others and then inside I do still struggle with my insecurities and failures but knowing that Heavenly Father is always there is a great comfort.
The poem she refers to is by Dietrich Bonhoeffer who is one of my heroes- a minister who stood up to Hitler, was imprisoned and eventually killed just before the end of the war [there is so much more to his story and writings]:
“Who am I? They often tell me I would step from my cell’s confinement calmly, cheerfully, firmly, like a squire from his country house.
Who am I? They often tell me I would talk to my warden freely and friendly and clearly, as though it were mine to command.
Who am I? They also tell me I would bear the days of misfortune equably, smilingly, proudly, like one accustomed to win.
Am I then really all that which others tell me, or am I only what I know of myself, restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage, struggling for breath, as though hands were compressing my throat, yearning for colours, for flowers, for the voices of birds, thirsting for words of kindness, for neighbourliness, trembling with anger at despotisms and petty humiliation, tossing in expectation of great events, powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance, weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making, faint and ready to say farewell to it all.
Who am I? This or the other? Am I one person today and tomorrow another? Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others, and before myself a contemptibly woebegone weakling? Or is it something within me still like a beaten army, fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?
Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine. Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am Thine.”
On that point I read Henry B Eyring’s talk from the General Conference all about peace and that really gave me strength in the start of the week to put my trust in Him who knows all.
It also reminded me of a hymn ‘Where can I turn for peace?’ and I have been listening to that throughout this week; maybe my new favourite?
General Conference continued to have an influence on Soeur Holt, on Monday we had a last minute family home evening with Soeur Volet where we watched Thomas S. Monson’s talk again; we talked about the importance of daily study and talked about some practical things that we can do. Spoiler alert her son read every day this week.
At Tuesday’s district meeting, which actually turned into a zone meeting, we discussed our new mission culture of remember Him and watched the video called missionary work and the atonement which I have seen before and emailed home about before but watch it again it is so powerful. Jesus Christ is our example in all diligence. because of that we decided to excels in all things and from now on we send out texts about miracles using the hashtag carpe diem because mine and Elder Casady’s favourite film is Dead Poets Society ( we did discuss captain o my captain but no…)
Soeurs Holt and Hootini continue to serve and they were able to see Soeur Naffer and read with her and did her hair. We also went and heart attacked the Nestors!
We’ll close with Soeur Holt’s favourite scripture of the week: I loved Doctrine and Covenants 9.7-9 this week because it explains really how I receive personal revelation: use your own intelligence and the resources available to you, then present God with your decision and he will confirm it if it is right or cause a stupor of thought if it is the wrong decision.
“Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me. But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right. But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me.”
Thank you so much for all who are writing to her. Oh, this week I received a letter from [a friend from school]- remember her!! She has been reading the blog and is really loving hearing about all that is happening; I think it slightly scared me that people are reading what I am doing but I was so touched that even if I have had a hard week out in the field I never know who my example of service is touching at home!! I am writing her back today for certain!!
If you wish to drop her an email a reminder of her email address: firstname.lastname@example.org