Tuesday, June 11, 2013

San Fran, a New Comp and a Transfer Already?!

San Francisco, a New Companion, and a Transfer Already?!

On Tuesday, June 4, 2013 Elder Dayton was sent to San Francisco to meet with the French Consulate, to finalize his Visa paperwork. That was the original date he was supposed to travel to the West Indies...but I guess there was no group to send him to San Francisco with. So he went there with the Elders that he would've entered the MTC with, had he not reported a week early and been placed in the ADL Zone. This is his report of the day....

"San Francisco was fun! I traveled with Elder Wade (Detroit), Elder Christensen (Riverton), Elder Drennan (Morgan), and Elder Johnston (Arkansas). They're all going to the West Indies French-speaking. I'm excited to join them! They're fun! We went to the consulate in downtown SF. On the 5th floor of a bank was this tiny little boring room. We went up one by one where they took our papers, messed around on their computers, scanned our fingers, took our picture, then they told us to sit down. It took about 5 minutes each... A lot of money was spent for those short moments in the French consulate! After, we went down to Pier 39 and walked around for a while. We had about 2 or 3 hours before we needed to be back to the airport, so we browsed around for a while. I was the only one who had ever/recently been there, so I kind of led the way. (I'm grateful that we went last summer!) It was fun to be back there again! We got several shoutouts from the street like, "Look! It's the missionaries!" Most of the people that talked to us were from Utah, but it's kind of expected. It was weird for us all to be out in public as missionaries. All of us were kind of overwhelmed, and we were to scared to really talk to anyone about the gospel. I wish we would have been a little more bold while we were there..."

The handsome Elder Dayton in San Francisco. 

Some soon-to-be French West Indies Elders, with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.

We looked at shops, took pictures, went to Ghirardelli square, and then just ate at Chipotle. It was pretty good! We were all super tired and so we got bored kinda fast. We called the driver a little early and got on our way to the airport. As soon as we got in the van, we passed out! We were pretty exhausted from waking up so early and traveling around all day. On the way home, we traded seats with a couple so that they could sit by each other on the plane. I sat by a guy from Telluride, CO. So I talked to him about skiing for a little bit, but he was really quiet, and I was nervous to bring up the gospel. Then we both fell asleep. I woke up after a while and started studying French. When he woke up I asked him where he was coming from, and he was in Thailand and Cambodia on a long climbing trip! He was a really cool guy! Probably in his mid twenties, with a gnarly beard! He had already been traveling home for like 30 hours at that point, so he was super tired. I finally brought up my mission and how I was going to the West Indies. He knew a little about missionary work and said that he had a friend in high school that decided to "take that path." He automatically assumed that after my mission I would go to BYU... Haha I don't know why. I thought it was kind of funny though. I was going to give him a pass-along card when we got off the plane, bet he got away from me too fast and I had to find my travel-mates.
Elder Dayton with his first prospective missionary contact. 

Since I saw on my travel itinerary that my departure date would be July 15th for the West Indies, I kind of had a panic attack. I thought, "Oh no! Not 6 MORE weeks here!" But after talking to the information desk and travel offices they told me not to trust any dates that I see anywhere, and that they'll send me out as soon as my visa gets here! They told me it could be here at the beginning of next week, and they could ship me out 1 or 2 days after I get my visa!

My companion right now is Elder Patey! We actually met him at CTR clothing and talked to him in the end of April! What are the chances that we'd end up being companions in the MTC??!! Haha Elder Squires got transferred to the Tahitian district, and I was the only one left in my district (and room) so I moved to be with Elder Patey. He's been here since the beginning of May. He was supposed to leave on May 14th for Teresina, Brazil, but he's had visa problems. He's been supposed to have gotten reassigned weeks ago, but he just barely got reassigned yesterday! He's going to the New York Utica mission on Tuesday! I'm excited for him, and he's so ready to get out of here. He's only been here 6 weeks, but he was only expecting to be here for two, so it makes sense. I'm gonna miss him a ton! He's one of the coolest guys I've met here at the MTC! I definitely will hang out with him after the mish. He graduated high school a year early, so he's only 18. He's owned several businesses that have all been extremely successful! He's a business genius. He has his car paid off and his home paid off!! Haha he bought a portable schoolhouse in an auction and fixed it up, so he could pretty much live on his own for the rest of his life. He has a ton of property in Midway, where his family lives, and they have a hot spring and stuff. He's just kind of an extreme sports junkie, so he's just a kid that loves to have fun! He's lived for 4 years in Portugal, so he speaks the language fluently. He's traveled all over Europe, and lived in Germany for 3 months for study abroad.
Elder Dayton with his new companion, Elder Patey...until he leaves too...


My new district is Elder Patey, Cameron (from AF, going to Montreal French-speaking), Jenkins (from Florida, going to West Africa French-speaking), and two others. The French guys are way awesome! I got to be a "member" in one of their lessons, and it was so hard. Elder Jenkins did most of the talking. I said like two sentences! Haha it was so hard... They've both taken French for 5 and 6 years in high school. They leave next week, so I'm gonna miss them. Hopefully I don't leave much longer after that, because all of my good friends from my zone are leaving me! 


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Pictures!!!



June 1, 2013


Thanks so much for the birthday package! :) Now I have more food than I can even eat. I'll share it with my district. My birthday was good...A little different, but good. It was so busy that I didn't even get to open all my packages! I kind of hate how busy we are...30 minutes each day just to write letters would be really nice! haha



The MTC is good, but it's really stressful. We work all day long. We're the only advanced language zone in the whole MTC, and I'm the most out-of-place person here. They don't give us any time to study our languages, and we don't get any language instruction at all! I think the ADL zone (Advanced Language) is supposed to be for people who are fluent in the the language they're learning. It's okay though because this is where I'm supposed to be. I don't know why yet, but I've met some of the most awesome people! They're from all over.


Elder Zukela (zone friend) is from South Africa! He's really funny. I think he's going to Atlanta. He eats a ton of junk food and sleeps a ton! But he is really smart and loves the gospel. His excuse for sleeping is that he is receiving "revelation." Haha
Elder Malu (zone friend) is from Tonga, going to Atlanta! He is one of my favorite new friends! He's one of the nicest guys ever. He's really soft-spoken and has an amazing testimony. I love him to death. During gym time he saw some people playing with a frisbee, and he was all like, "Ahhh!! A frisbee!" He had never even touched a frisbee in his life, but I got to play with him for his first time! :) Cool experience.

Elder Inu and I! He's definitely one of my favorite people I have met here. He's 23 from Tonga and he's already an amazing missionary. His English isn't great, but I think he's going to convert millions of people in Richmond, VA. I love it when he says my name because it sounds like he's saying my first name. Apparently there's no "D" in Tonga, so it sounds like he's saying "Elder Tay-duh." I also like it when he says "Zukela is sleeping so he can receive more REL-EVATION!" hahaha

Elder Finau is from Tonga, going to "Colorado Colorado Spring"
(he doesn't know there's an "s" at the end! :) haha)

Elder Debora from Mexico City! He has the coolest story... His family basically disowned him for going on a mission. He's so funny, and so nice! He gave me a gift before he left and invited me to his summer home in Mexico after the mission! haha I love him a lot!

Elder De Castro is from Brazil. He's going to Mesa! He's awesome! Really cool! His english is really good! Haha I thought he was Australian when I first met him.


Elder Chavez is from St. George Utah, born in El Salvador. He's going to McAllen, Texas. He's super cool! If I were to predict right now, out of the Utah Elders in my district, he's the one I'll probably hang out with after my mission.

The District

I'm here at the MTC! I'm safe, and I'm doing well! It's not nearly as bad as some people were making it sound. The food is good, the environment is good. I'm just really tired all the time... we all are though, so I don't really worry. 

My companion is elder Squires. He is really cool! He went to American Fork High School. He is going to Tahiti, speaking French and Tahitian. He already knows French because he took a lot of French through high school and college. He isn't necessarily fluent, but he speaks it extremely well. He is mostly here to learn the gospel French vocabulary. We have gone running both mornings we have been here. It feels good, but I hope it isn't wearing me out for the rest of the day. He'll be here two weeks for French, then another 6 weeks for Tahitian. Tahiti missionaries are in the MTC the longest (usually 11 weeks) because they have to learn two languages.


"My companion, Elder Squires and I. He's from American Fork. He ran track and cross country and wrestled. He went to Utah State for two semesters. He's 18 until August! He's our district leader! He's really obedient, so it's easy to be his companion."
 
In my district there are 6 of us. We have Elder Chavez from St. George (born in El Salvador) going to McKellan(sp?), Texas, spanish speaking. Then there is Elder Kikuchi from Orem (lived in Japan for 6 years) going to Fukuoka, Japan. Then there is Elder Finau (from Tonga) going to Colorado Springs, English. Then there is Elder Inuka'haangana(sp?) from Tonga as well. None of us can say his name, so we call him Elder Inu. He's going to Richmond, Virgina, English. Then Elder Squires and me.

Elders Inu, Chavez, Squires, Dayton, Kikuchi and Finau.



Our whole district (10, with sisters) and zone (about 30 total?) is in the Advanced Language class (ADL). It seems like it is meant more for people that are already fluent in the second language, because everybody is. I'm feeling a little over my head here, because Elder Squires and I are the only white people in our zone!! (besides Elder Kolega, but he's Croatian) Most of the people in our zone are learning English, and they already speak English!! Only 4 of us are Americans, born in America. Elder Kikuchi and Sister Cheung (parents are from Hong Kong, she was born in California) are the two others. I am definitely the farthest behind in terms of learning the language, but I'm not worried because this is where the Lord wants me right now...


Gotta go! I'll write more in a little while...

Love,
Elder Dayton

Au revoir!

Au revoir, Elder Dayton!


The night before....


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

This was a somewhat stressful, but good day, ending with an amazing experience at the Stake Center when Taylor was set apart as Elder Dayton by his Stake President, Kyle S. McKay. Before that, we had some friends/neighbors over for a going away/birthday celebration. It was fun to get many of Taylor's friends together, one last time in a long while, to BBQ and enjoy each other's company. Taylor was a little stressed, trying to get a video put together of an "event" he was involved in late that afternoon - he and some of the guys crashed Amy Doxey's bridal shower and "entertained." If you want to see them in action, pull up the Giddy Up! video on Facebook. Need I say more?



Taylor with our neighbors,Sister Boston Workman,
her mom, Carrie and little sister Reagan.
Sis. Workman is going to the
Washington Spokane mission.
They received their calls the same day.




Elder Dayton and Sister West,
after both were set apart.
They entered the MTC
the same day.
Greg Sadler (Nebraska Omaha)
Parker Jones (New Zealand Auckland)
Taylor (West Indies)
Lexie West (Hawaii Honolulu)
Nate Hill (Argentina Neuquen)
Norm Adams (Brazil Belo Horizonte)
Notice how the guys were careful with Sister West!


 The Next Day....

We headed to Provo, with a quick lunch at Rumbi Island Grill to share one last family meal for the next two years. The rest happened way too fast! A few photos near the Provo Temple grounds, and then, BAM! the host at the MTC curb was whisking Elder Dayton away. It was a sad and tear-filled goodbye, but also joyful. We know Elder Dayton is in the Lord's hands and is off to do great things!





Taylor with his sisters
Anna (l), Sarah (c), Amanda (r)
God Be With You Til We Meet Again!

We love you, Elder Dayton!