My name is Francis Plancher. I am a member of the Petionville 2nd Ward in the Port-au-Prince Haiti Stake, where I serve as Assistant Ward Clerk and Sunday School Teacher. I joined the Church in 2003. Missionaries were teaching a cousin of mine, and I asked them some questions about the Gospel. They answered me, and I received the lessons from them. After pondering a lot I got baptized.
Being a member of the Church was difficult for me because of the distance from my home to the chapel. I had to walk with my two brothers and cousin for nearly an hour to the main road where we would wait to ride with members to the downtown Petionville chapel. Sometimes they could not take us in their car, and because we could not afford public transportation we had to walk the remaining miles to arrive at Church by 8:00 a.m. After meetings we would stand in front of the Police Station to ask someone to take us back to where we would again have an hour’s walk home (without food and water for our empty stomachs). We did this each Sunday for three years without missing Church once. I was always motivated by the knowledge that the Lord has great things in store for me.
In 2007 I completed high school. My parents, who were not then members of the Church, wanted me to go to college, but we did not have the money, and anyway I had decided to serve a full-time mission. It was difficult to find a job, so my preparation took years. Finally in 2013 I entered the mission field and served in my homeland Haiti. I will never forget what I felt after offering a prayer to Heavenly Father about my decision to invite others to come unto Christ. My concerns disappeared, and my mission gave me the best two years of my life: my personality was strengthened, I gained a greater conviction and powerful testimony of the Godhead, I came to understand my divine potential, and I learned that whatever the difficulty if I faithfully make the sacrifices things will be better for me. Receiving my Patriarchal Blessing during my mission further strengthened my testimony and energized my spirit.
Having prayed for my parents during the mission, I was blessed upon returning home to be able to teach them the Gospel. My mother was baptized and today faithfully attends Church every Sunday, so together we can go despite the challenging travel distance and renew our covenants to bless our lives. In addition I have been able to fulfill my parents’ wishes that I attend college with the help of a PEF loan provided by the Church as well as a small job that helps us pay for transportation to Church for ourselves and for people I invite. I feel strongly that the Lord has something greater for me, and my goal is to continue my preparation so that I can serve Him whenever or wherever He wants. I never feel discouraged or doubt my decision to join the Church. I know Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. I feel Him by my side, and I know that He is guiding me along the way to reach my goals.