I hope you have all been having a good first few days of Autumn. Here in Guadeloupe, I have definitely not noticed a difference in the seasons. All the trees are still green and the air is still as hot and humid as when I got here. The only real difference I can see is that I have seen a few more cockroaches in our apartment, but I'm pretty sure cockroaches are on their own schedule... so that has nothing to do with it being Autumn. It's hard to imagine what it would be like to have to put on a long sleeve shirt now. That would be death here! I'm kind of jealous of all of you that do have seasons. That'll be one thing I'm definitely going to miss, being in a tropical climate.
The last few days when the sun has started to go down, the sky has been doing some crazy stuff! On the east side of the sky (opposite of where the sun is setting) there have been some crazy colors! It's been all like pink and blue and stuff! And the first day that it happened was on September 22nd, which is the first day of Fall, right? I wonder if that has anything to do with it. It's like the sky is all pink, but there's this huge, bright strip of blue that splits the sky in half! It's super sweet! It reminds me of the blue and pink Trix Yogurt that I used to eat as a kid. :)
Member referrals are the best thing ever! It makes it so every time we get a new investigator, they already have a friend for them in the church. Last week we had two member referrals! One of them was from Elder Gamiette (yes, an Area Seventy/former Mission President that's in our Branch here), and she's awesome! She has 3 kids and they're great! We've taught them 2 lessons, and they both went very well. The mom felt the confirmation of the truthfulness of our message and she was really excited to learn more. Both of those lessons were with Elder Gamiette, and they were both AMAZING! He's such a good teacher! It was the first time I've ever been able to work with him. Sadly, he's always super busy traveling to other islands for the church, so he can't really keep teaching with us. Hopefully we can keep teaching this family though. And the big bonus is that she has a car!! Heck yeah!! haha That's actually a huge problem in our branch. Nobody has any room in their cars to bring any more people to church.
The other member referral was from a recent convert. She got baptized on my first Saturday in Guadeloupe, and she's great. It was one of her friends from work, and he really wants to learn more about the gospel! He has a lot of questions, with just a very basic background of religious knowledge. He hasn't been baptized in any church either, which is a good thing for us, because we don't have to go over the whole "getting baptized again" thing. We had to reschedule our appointment with him this week because of some weird meeting changes, but hopefully we can have a good lesson with him soon!
THE WEEK OF DOOM!
Right now we're in the 11th week of our 12 week training program for missionaries. So, I'm almost done! But, this is the week where the junior companion is supposed to take over ALL of the planning for every day and plan all the lessons... Oh boy. It's been super tough so far, and it's only like half way over! But, I'm starting to love it! :) I like being the one to decide what we're doing all the time. But it's been good so far just because we've had so much to do. These next few days are going to be rough because we don't really have anything planned, and we have full days to fill! Plus, the district leader is coming up to Baie-Mahault with me this week!! Ahhhh!
One good thing though is that my French is coming along great! I can communicate with just about anyone now, as long as they're not super old or Haitian. I'm far from where I'm hoping to be, but I'm not afraid to answer the phone or set up appointments anymore. It just takes a long time and a lot of repetition sometimes. But I've gotten a lot of compliments and people are impressed that I've only been in Guadeloupe for just over two months, so that makes me feel good. :)
Btw, there are a TON of Haitians here! They all speak Creole, and that's kind of where the French Creole comes from. It's super fun to listen to Creole because it just sounds like really ghetto French. And reading it is like playing a French version of the board game "Mad Gab." haha
Avec amour, from the Carribean,
Elder Taylor Dayton