Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Awesome P-Day!!!

For this last P-Day we went to a place on the very very far east part of Guadeloupe. It was called Pointe de Chateau. It was so beautiful!! It was another zone activity. There was a beautiful beach and a peak we climbed up to. The view was beautiful! I got to read my scriptures up there. I love the ocean. I could just sit and stare at it for hours and hours. We have fun P-Days here on Gwada! It was gorgeous!






Wednesday, August 21, 2013

New foods, and Good News!

August 19, 2013


DISAPPOINTMENTS

This week has been pretty disappointing. We have been working really hard, but our investigators haven't been so much. The investigators we have that have been progressing are starting to slow down. And this week, the investigators that are still in progress, were unable to meet with us very often. It's very disappointing when you set up an appointment with somebody and bike all the way to where they live, and they're not even home, or too tired to meet with us. It's even more disappointing when we bring members to those appointments! So we haven't had a lot of very good lessons this week. We hope to find new investigators that are strong so that we can start having more lessons. It's summer vacation here, and French people take their vacation time very seriously. So hopefully after that's all over people will start to be home more often and willing to listen to us.

NEW MEETINGHOUSE

Our branch is getting a new meetinghouse! We're so excited! It should be in use this Sunday! We were thinking that we could use it as a good finding idea. We thought maybe we could make flyers to hand out to contacts and invite them, and our investigators, to come worship with us on Sunday or take a tour of the building. We don't have a lot of resources in terms of computers and printers, but hopefully we can figure something out. 

BEING IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME

This last Tuesday Elder G and I parked our bikes at a members house, then walked to a little strip mall to be picked up by the senior couple who were going to take us down to Capesterre for our district meeting. As we were wating, we went inside a little store and got two really good contacts! It was the store owner Louisa and her son Loic. They were really interested in our message and really kind. We didn't have enough time to get her phone number or exact address, but we gave her a Book of Mormon and told her a little bit about it. We're going to go back to the store to follow up. She's a practicing Seventh Day Adventist. We decided we'd try to go back to the little shop on Saturday, but we forgot that's their Sabbath! Haha so it was closed. We'll try again later this week.

Then after district meeting, as we were walking back to our bikes, a guy waved us down and pulled over right in the middle of a busy round-about, just to talk to us!! We went over to him and he asked us if we had a website! His name is Bango and he wants to do some genealogy work and he heard that we're the right church to talk to. He gave US his phone number, and we found out he lives close by. We're going to visit him this week! I hope we can help him find his ancestors, but I also hope we can help him find the gospel of Jesus Christ. We don't really know very much about genealogy, but we're going to bring a member with us that can hopefully help. I'm really excited because it was a contact that came to us! Hopefully things work out!

FRUIT

Mom, last week you got mad at me because I haven't tried a lot of the fresh fruit here. You must have gotten in contact with some of the people here or something, because this last week I've gotten to try 4 new types of fruits! 

The first one was a fresh guava. It was beautiful! You eat the whole thing, skin, seeds, and all. The seeds are REALLY hard, and it kinda hurts your teeth. (I think that's why they usually blend it up and put it in drinks.) That was way good! 

The second one was a "pomme cannel." I think they're called sugar apples in the US. They're really weird looking. You pull them open and there are just a bunch of little slippery seeds. You pop them in your mouth, suck off all the fruit, then spit out the seeds. They're SO sweet! I ate half of one and I felt like I was going to overdose on sugar! I loved it!

Then I got to eat a fresh coconut. Mmmmm! It was delicious! I drank some of the juice too. It was good. I liked it more than the first time when I had it in Hawaii. I still have a little bit of the coconut in the fridge that I'm saving for later.

The last fruit I ate was a mango. I got here right when mango season ended, so I never got to eat one! But luckily, Mami Odette found out that I hadn't tried it yet, so she gave me one that she was storing in her freezer. It was SOOO GOOOD!! I can't wait til mango season comes around again. Apparently there are so many, that people just wanna get rid of them, so members give them to you all the time!

COOKING WITH MAMI ODETTE

You might remember the story of how I had to hide some nasty food in my backpack. That was at a member's house named Mami Odette. Well, this last Saturday, she had us over because we asked her to teach us how to cook rice (with flavor). I was a little bit nervous because of my previous experience... It was a Haitian recipe she knew. The rice was cooked with coconut juice, peppers, onions, and tomatoes. We also had chicken. They were deep fried drumsticks that had citrus, spices, onions, and some other stuff.  It was delicious! It ended up being the best thing I've eaten since I've gotten here!!

Last night I also made some crepes at a members house for a lesson we were having. Let's just say I need a little practice with making crepes... haha But I wrote down the recipe and I'm going to try again later, because they were way good!

THE GOOD NEWS

Sonya told Elder G at church yesterday that she wants to be baptized! We're very excited! We're going to schedule her an interview with the District Leader, and hopefully everything works out this time. We're going to shoot for this Saturday! I'm not going to be completely satisfied with it until she has been baptized and confirmed... We'll work with her a lot this week and hopefully have some members over with us to help teach. Her 3 children are going to be baptized as well, so it will be great to have 4 brand new members in our branch! The oldest son is Christopher, and he's 15. I would love to see him go on a mission someday!


Well thanks everyone for all your prayers and support. This week is going to be tough! We don't have a lot of lessons, and so we're going to be doing everything we can to stay busy! Please pray for us to be in the right place at the right time so that we can talk with the people that the Lord has been preparing for us!


BAPTISM!!!

August 12, 2013

We had a baptism on Saturday! It was my first one!! I can't really count it as "mine" though because I didn't teach her a lot. She had the baptism date set before I even came into the area. But it's okay though because I've grown really close with her. She's 10 years old, and she's so much fun! She really likes me, even though I don't always understand what she's saying. But she's learning a little bit of English in school, so we help each other with the language. And the cool thing is... she chose me to baptize her!!! :) It was so sweet!! 

The baptism was on August 10th at 4:00 PM. Not very many people came to it, which was kind of sad. But it was a beautiful service! We had a member share a talk on baptism, and had nice prelude and postlude music thanks to Elder and Sister Bennion and their iPad. The water was FREEZING!! Not so much for me, because I was only in up to my waist, and I'm from Utah where water is always cold. But for poor little Nadege, it was bitter cold!! She was so brave and so tough though. I'm proud of her. :) The next day at church we got to confirm her. I stood in the circle. The Spirit was very strong. I understood most of what was being said. After, she had a little testimony which she wrote out on a piece of paper which she bore to the whole branch. It was so cute! :) She was really nervous, but she did it! Then after, she put the paper in my pocket. I'm going to keep it forever!



Thursday, August 15, 2013

Interview with Elder Dayton

In the last couple of letters, Elder Dayton has answered some questions I've had. We've asked lots of questions in our letters, but their e-mail time is limited and so very precious. It worked a lot better for me to just list them. Here's our "interview".


How big is your district and zone?
District = 8, Zone = 16

Do you like the Mehr's?
YES!!

How was your Zone Conference?
 It was great! It was with Elder J Devin Cornish. I actually got to have an interview with him instead of President Mehr. It was so cool! He's a very intelligent man.

Have you met Elder Gamiette?
Yes! We had a family council with them! He's very nice.

Do you have a branch mission leader that's helping you find people to teach?
Eh... not really. It stinks. All the good men in the ward have really high callings like Branch President, District Council, Elders Quorum, etc... So they really don't have anyone to call as a branch mission leader.

Are you on a bike?
Yes! My legs are so strong! Haha I can easily outride Elder Galati already! I climb hills like they're nothing. I have one of the more flat and smaller areas though... So I'm all talk right now.

How is the language coming?
The language is getting better. I still feel uncomfortable at times, and I feel like a have a very long way to go. But if I were to compare myself now to where I was when I first got here, I would have to say I've improved a lot. Things are coming slowly but surely. I am now confident that I will know how to effectively communicate sooner or later. Whenever I feel discouraged about my language abilities, I just think back to how much I struggled at the beginning and it makes me feel a little bit better.

Why is "Dayton" hard to understand in French?
It's just a weird name to them. If they read it, it's not quite as hard. But hearing it, they have no idea what I'm saying!

Where do you do laundry?
We have a washer in our apt! We have to hang our clothes on drying racks though. That kinda stinks.


What size bed are you sleeping on?
Twin bed. The mattress is okay... But I sleep like a baby!




Have you been fed by any members? What did you eat?
We have a Tahitian family that's fed us a few times! They're great. They LOVE to make food and lots of it! They were disappointed in me because I don't eat nearly as much as the last Elder that was in my place.

I had my first experience hiding food in my backpack last week! I don't even know what it was!!! It was with a less-active member. She looks like Whoopi Goldberg's long-lost twin! She's a Creole lady (similar to a rastafarian) and only speaks Creole around me because she thinks it's funny when I don't know what's going on. She has a Creole nickname for me and the French to English translation is something like "Dat Lil' Missionary There." We were going to a teaching appointment with her and she decided to feed us before going. So she gave us some food that was super nasty! It was this orange mush stuff with what looked/smelled/tasted like chunks of dried rotten fish in it... I choked about half of it down, then I felt like I was going to throw up. So I scooped it off the plate into a paper towel on my lap when she wasn't looking, then wrapped it up and threw it in my back back! It was probably the smoothest operation I've ever done in my life! But when your life depends on it, you can do amazing things! I have to admit though, my heart was pounding and I was sweating bullets!

What IS magic sauce?
Haha it's some type of Thai Chicken Spicy Sauce we bought at the store. It's really good! Kind of like sweet and sour, but a little bit more spicy.

Is fresh fruit plentiful there?
Honestly, I don't eat very much- my comp doesn't like to buy fruit. We get a lot of juice though! The juice is good! It's a brand of the Caribbean called Banga.

Are you adjusting to the climate?
It is so hot and humid here! Mostly humid though... It's only about 85 degrees, usually. But the humidity here kills you! You're just wet all the time! I don't think I'm even really sweating that much, it's just that the water in the air sticks to your body and you're pretty much always walking around in moist clothes. When you're somewhere cool though, it feels really nice because it cools you off. At night whenever we come in from tracting, we sit down to do our planning and we're just soaked! It's good though. I'm used to it. I shower every night and morning.

What side of the road do they drive on?
The right side! In Trinidad it was the left side. But in France, it's the right side!



What's your daily schedule?
Wake up at 6:30, I do push-ups and then shower, get dressed, eat at 7:30, personal study at 8, companion study at 9, language study at 10, twelve-week training course at 11, eat at noon, then go proselyte!

I love this gospel! I know it's true. It is the ultimate blessing for families. I love the Book of Mormon! We get lots of study time every day: personal, companion, language, and training. I get to read a lot from the scriptures, but I wish we got more time to read it on our missions!