Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I'm getting there...

July 29, 2013

Dear friends,

Guadeloupe has been great! Last week, for P-Day we went to hike Chute de Moreau. It's a waterfall here. It was so beautiful! It took about 6 hours out of our day, so we had to wake up at 5 AM! It was fun! Today we played futbol with the district (soccer).

Some things I should talk about:

HOW I GOT HERE. The airline that flies through the West Indies is basically like a flying bus system. They stop at each island, drop off some passengers, pick up some passengers, then fly off to the next island. We took a little plane from Trinidad to St. Vincent. Then St. Vincent to Barbados. Then Barbados to Antigua maybe? Then sooner or later we ended up on Guadeloupe! Haha I don't really even remember anymore. All the islands here are so beautiful! They're all quite different, but they're all awesome. I hope I get to see as many of them as possible.

The FOOD! The food here is so weird! It's good, but weird. The grocery store is nothing like the ones in America. All of the packages are different, and the foods inside them are different too. And what makes it even harder is the French labels. I don't really know what I'm looking at most of the time! haha The milk comes in a big juice box-type carton, and doesn't expire until November. So that's good! haha The fresh French baguettes are so good!! I had some this weekend... mmmm! I've been trying to get different foods when we go to the grocery store. Elder Galati is used to just grabbing the same old things every time, but I've been making some suggestions of new things we can eat. This week I've been making crazy new things, like grilled cheese sandwiches! haha

The APARTMENT. It's nice, but nothing special. I hated it at first, but now it's good! I got used to it pretty fast. After doing a TON of cleaning last Monday, I felt a lot more comfortable. Elder Galati and I are the only ones that live there, so we have our space. There are just two main rooms: the kitchen, and our bedroom. Our bedroom has two stall things that have the toilet in one, and the shower and sink in the other. I don't really like it because the toilet is basically in the middle of our room, and there isn't much privacy because it's just a thin wall and a door. Luckily, our bedroom has air-conditioning. So it's pretty comfortable at night time and in the morning when we use it. Now that I think of it... I actually like our apartment a lot! 

The AREA/BRANCH. We're in an area called Baie-Mahault, which covers half of the Lamentin Branch. The other half is covered by two sister missionaries. We have 4 sister missionaries on the island, and they're the first ones ever! There have only been sister missionaries here a transfer longer than I've been here. But our branch is amazing! There are some members that speak English, so they help me a lot with my French. Our branch had a baptism about 9 days ago on that Saturday! It was the Sisters' though. We have baptisms scheduled for a mom and her 3 kids on August 10th though! So hopefully everything works out there. The mom is amazing! She really wants the gospel in her family. The island hadn't had a baptism in months, but since I've been here we've already had one in our branch, and several others (like 4) in the other 2 branches! The Lord really is hastening the work! I'm fortunate to have come at such an amazing time.

I did have to introduce myself to the branch on the first Sunday I was here. It was so hard! haha I just said simple sentences like, "I have 3 sisters. I like to play baseball and golf. I'm from Utah." And then I bore a simple testimony. In my introduction I also said that I would like to learn how to play cricket. Then after the meeting a woman came up to me and said something to me in French. After making her repeat it 3 or 4 times, someone told me that what she was saying is, "We don't play cricket here on Guadeloupe." Oops! That's embarrassing for me! Haha I guess I should've known... I told the whole ward I wanted to learn how to play cricket, but none of them have probably ever even played it either! Hahaha Oh well, I'm "le nouveau" (the new person) here.

It's way hard for people to say my name. And I never know whether I should say Dayton with a French-like accent or not. Either way I say it, they don't understand me, and just look at me confused. One of my new friends in the branch is Diemji. He calls me Elder Détant, which in French basically means like a detonator-button for something to explode. I don't really know... He always says, "Détant," then pokes me in the stomach like he's pressing a button. Hahaha

GUADELOUPE. It's so beautiful here! The island is so green, and the homes are all painted so colorfully. We're considered to be a part of France, so all the signs and roads are European looking. So I feel like I'm in Europe, but I'm on an island. It's kind of like being in Hawaii, but saying you're in the United States. The people are all black. They're all French though too, so they're style is much less like the stereotypical American gangster style, and more like... French! There are some Rastafarians here too, and they all speak Creole. They're pretty sweet. They all ride around on little motor-scooters. They all can do wheelies! It's insane! 

Well, I'm out of time. Next week I'll have to tell you more about my investigators and some other stuff I think of.

Love you guys,

Elder Taylor Dayton

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