Friday, July 19, 2013

This is LaPlace!

I love the people of LaPlace, Louisiana! 
They don't speak French but they might as well be speaking it sometimes! haha 

The Fourth of July was pretty crazy! We couldn't officially go to any parties. But we were fed 3 times from lunch to dinner, and every meal was delicious!! Jambalaya and red beans & rice are some of the most popular foods from Louisiana, and they are sooo good!! Now all I need to try is gumbo...

We're still trying to find more people to teach. We've found a few more potential investigators, but it's just hard to get a lot of them to keep commitments. Whenever we ask them to read for us, they tell us they "need glasses." But I honestly think that some of them can't read... It's really sad to see the living conditions of some of the people down here! There are some nice neighborhoods, but it's mostly mobile homes and trailer parks.

This is how Elder Dayton stays awake during personal study time.
Yesterday we went and visited a long-time less active member named Brother Watkins. He's 81, but he looks 65. But he's pretty much blind! He's a pretty crazy guy! He got baptized when he was a little older, but he never got to go to the temple or become an Elder because he wouldn't quit smoking. He's not afraid to admit that either! He tells us that he likes "to puff one every now and then." haha Yesterday I found out he likes golf and that was the greatest thing ever!! I think he's really warming up to me. It's good that we found something in common. I love becoming friends with people! We're still trying to get him back to church, but it's hard because we can't give him a ride, and he doesn't think any of the members will want to drive him. He's just stubborn and he's afraid of being a burden on anyone.
"I've seen more rain in Louisiana than I've ever seen in Utah!"

One of the tender mercies of this week was a baptism on the Fourth. It was a member family, so it sadly wasn't a convert baptism. It was for a special little 9 year-old boy, named Kai Brown, who has Down's Syndrome. His parents were somewhat hesitant to baptize him, because they knew it wasn't absolutely necessary. But they felt like it would be a good experience for the family as well as Kai. Because of the his behavior tendencies, the family did not invite anyone except for close family and us, the missionaries. It was really cool to receive that special invitation to attend such a special event. As the baptism took place, Kai's behavior was completely calm. He didn't writhe or disrupt at all during the baptism or the confirmation. As we stood around him in the confirmation circle, he was quiet the whole time. It was the most calm I have ever seen him act! It was so cool and the Spirit was so strong there! It was a very special moment for the family and I'm so glad that I could be a part of it. Sadly for the ward here, the family is moving next Wednesday. But they're moving to Utah! So I'm happy about that! :) They'll be in Herriman. They really are one of the greatest families I've ever met! Their names are Kerry and Staci Brown.

They're filming Hot Tub Time Machine 2 right here in LaPlace. Too bad it's rated R! And this is me, blowing bubbles in the park after we played volleyball.

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