October 7, 2013
Let's get right into it...
I'M NOT TRAINING
Phew... I think? We got our calls on Sunday morning before conference started. It's not that I was afraid to train. I'm just scared to have to teach a new missionary how to speak French! That was just about my only concern. I think it actually would have been pretty fun. But Elder G and I are both staying in Baie-Mahault! It's gonna be sweet! We're getting better and I think we're gonna get a lot more done this next transfer. I'm stoked! :)
Transfers in the French side of the West Indies Mission are CRAZY! There are only about 30 French missionaries, so you know just about all of them, so the tension is super high every time transfers come around. You know where every area is, and you know a lot about any of the missionaries you could potentially be with, so your mind goes crazy up until the point you get your phone call from the assistants. There are 6 new Elders coming to the French side this transfer! It's so crazy! The French side is growing so fast! We're only getting 3 on Guadeloupe this transfer. So now we'll have 16 missionaries on Gwada, and 15 of them have been out for 14 months or less. And 9 of us are less than 6 months into our missions! It's so crazy here!
The changes in our branch is that we're opening up an area in a city called Sainte Rose! The sisters are going to be on bikes and they're giving the car to the Elders who will be opening the new area. The Elder is Glover (one of my favorite missionaries that I came into the mission with) and he'll be training a new missionary! It's gonna be awesome in our branch! :) We now have 6 missionaries! Too bad we still aren't into our new chapel yet.
Since the Sisters are losing the car, their area is getting absorbed by Elder Galati and I. So we added a city that I think is like twice as big and twice as hilly as Baie-Mahault! So now we have our original area, plus Petit Bourg, which is HUGE!! We're gonna have a lot of biking ahead of us! It'll be good! :)
CONFERENCE WEEKEND + MOM WEEKEND
Conference weekend was AWESOME! Being a missionary and being able to watch conference is so much more of an experience than I ever had before. I was alert the whole time (okay, I dozed for like 5 minutes) and I learned so much more! We got to watch it at the chapel with all the other missionaries. They set up a TV in another room so that we could watch it in English. I'm really grateful for that!
I saw my mom!! :) That might have been one of the highlights of conference for me. I got to see my mom! (She's in the MoTab in case any of you didn't know.) So on Sunday before the first session started at noon, I was running around showing members my photo album so they could see what my mom looked like so they could look for her. It was really fun! :) A lot of members were actually able to find her too! But some of them thought it was too hard... haha apparently all white people look alike to black people! :)
One of my favorite talks was all of them. :) But I really liked the one by M. Russell Ballard too. I liked his promise that if every member shared the gospel with one person, millions would have their hearts touched by Christmas. And I liked how he said that it doesn't matter if we aren't successful in sharing the gospel with someone, as long as we are doing the Lord's work, there is no failure!
I don't have time to talk about too many people, and there isn't a lot to talk about anyway, but the one person I should mention is Fabrice. He's the member referral from the recent convert named Wina. We've taught him 3 lessons now, and he's learning so fast! He is so interested in the gospel! He's great because he doesn't like to commit to anything unless he's positive that he can do it. We've taught him through the Plan of Salvation and he doesn't have much of a religious background, so he's still just absorbing it all. At the end of the last lesson, I committed him to pray about our message and pray about the Restored Gospel specifically. Then I extended the commitment to him to be baptized if (when) he receives an answer that this is true, and he accepted it! There wasn't a "but" or an "if." It's the first legitimate "yes" I've gotten from an investigator so far on my mission! It felt great! I'm excited for him! Please pray for him and us as we teach him, so that we'll be able to say the right things and follow the Spirit.
Love, love, love,
Elder Taylor David Dayton