Church History
Finding Power to Endure

“Finding Power to Endure,” Global Histories: Haiti (2019)

“Finding Power to Endure,” Global Histories: Haiti

Finding Power to Endure

Seventeen-year-old Rousseline Buissereth wanted to know the truth: did the young men in suits contacting people in Delmas really work for the FBI or CIA? One day in the late 1990s, she and her sisters Rousselene and Rousselande stopped them and asked if the rumors were true. The young men, who were Latter-day Saint missionaries, smiled and invited the sisters to church, telling them to come and see for themselves.

At church that Sunday, Rousseline was intrigued by the testimonies she heard and began taking the missionary lessons and reading the Book of Mormon. As she and her sisters became more serious about the Church, however, their father, Emmanuel, objected. He and his wife, Lomaine, had made significant sacrifices to send their daughters to Catholic school, and he could not understand why they’d investigate another religion. “My children have a Bible,” he told the missionaries. “They don’t need any more Bible.”

Rousseline was struck by the similarities between her father’s words and a passage she had just read in the Book of Mormon (see 2 Nephi 29:3). “Father was making a prophecy accomplished,” she told her mother. When Emmanuel forbade the missionaries to return, the sisters continued to be taught at the local meetinghouse. In 1999, with their mother’s blessing but without their father’s knowledge, they were baptized.

When Emmanuel learned of their decision, he forbade them from attending church and reduced his financial support for them. “It was our time of trial,” Rousseline recalled. She turned to the Book of Mormon for comfort, comparing her experiences to the people of Alma when they were oppressed in the wilderness (see Mosiah 24). “We endured,” Rousseline noted, “because of the power of the scriptures.” In time, their father relented, and they returned to church.

Eventually all three sisters served missions. As they lived their faith, Emmanuel’s heart softened and he allowed his younger children to be baptized. In 2007 he and Lomaine were also baptized. After their missions, Rousseline and Rousselene attended college in Utah, USA, while Rousselande studied at a college near their home in Haiti.

In January 2010, when Rousselene was married in the Salt Lake Temple, Emmanuel and Lomaine flew to Utah to attend. Just hours after Emmanuel arrived home, however, a massive earthquake struck Haiti, leveling Delmas and collapsing the building where Rousselande was studying. Trapped in the rubble, she prayed that God would rescue her. Finally, after 18 hours, two men who had been searching the area for survivors felt prompted to search the wreckage once more and found her.

“It [was] a miracle,” Rousselene said. “I know that God is watching.” Though the Buissereths and other Haitians continued to pass through trials in the aftermath of the earthquake, she acknowledged His hand caring for the survivors and comforting the bereaved. In the years since, the Buissereth family has continued to endure the trials of life, including their mother’s years-long battle with cancer. “Enduring trials is only possible when we humble ourselves and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ for comfort and guidance,” Rousselene testified.