October 28, 2013
Happy Halloween everyone!!
Too bad they don't really have Halloween here... They have their own special Memorial Day/Day-of-the-Dead thing ("La Toussaint") on November 2nd, but it's not really celebrated here. And obviously they don't have Thanksgiving. I guess the pilgrims didn't get along with the natives here, so people don't get to eat turkey, ham and pumpkin pie every 4th Thursday in November. So I don't really get a holiday this fall. :( Bummer!
Editor's Note: All Saints' Day in France-- Many Christians visit special church services on All Saints' Day. They may also visit cemeteries and place flowers on the graves of deceased family members and close friends. It is customary to leave chrysanthemums or wreaths of artificial flowers on or close to the graves. All Saints' Day is also an opportunity for many people to spend time with family members and close friends. This holiday falls during the autumn (fall) school holidays, it is a popular time for families to take a short vacation or to visit relatives living in other areas.
A lot has happened in this last week! Most of the things are just funny little short stories...
SERVICE FOR MADAME "E"
There is a less-active in our ward. She doesn't come to church because her mom apparently won't let her. She supposedly doesn't like the church at all! So this last week we decided to ask to serve her mom. And she actually said yes! (Nobody ever says yes when we ask to serve them.) So we helped her out in her little shop/bar thing that they own. She wanted some cleaning and rearranging done on the shelves where she had all of her food. (This little shop is not American, and it definitely would not have passed American health codes!) So, Elder W got to clean all the dead bugs off of the cans and the shelves, and then scrub off the little pieces of poop that they left everywhere! Haha it was pretty nasty! But I loved it because we got to serve someone and try to help her open up her mind to the gospel! We got to help her for a total of 4 hours this past week, and when we do service, we get to change out of our normal proselyting clothes and into recreational clothes. Which brings me to my next story...
I LOST MY SHOE
On the first day we did service for Madame E, I had all of my clothes in a bag that I put in a basket behind my bike. I thought there was no way that anything would fall out. But then when we got home that night and I opened my bag, one of my shoes was gone!! It fell out of my pack at some point during the evening. So Elder W and I set out the next morning to find my shoe during exercise time. I had no idea if we were going to find it anywhere or how long we'd have to ride to look for it. But we said a prayer before we set out and started back-tracking. Luckily it wasn't too far from where we lived. It was only about a 30 minute ride round-trip. I was EXTREMELY grateful to find my shoe! It was just on a road right next to a bump that I remember hitting. So it must have fallen out when I hit it. And it was still in perfect condition. Phew! But then the real miracle is that on the way back I found a broom on the side of the road! And our other one broke! So I told Elder W that the broom is the real reason that I lost my shoe... Haha :)
A MILLIPAD IN THE CAR!!
In Guadeloupe, there are no snakes anywhere. There are not any very big spiders that I have seen. There are lizards and frogs everywhere, but they aren't harmful. But... there is one thing that everyone in Guadeloupe is absolutely terrified of and they're called millipads! There like these really big millipede/centipede things that can grow almost up to about the length and thickness of a hot dog. They are a reddish-brown and supposedly if they sting/bite you, you are going to be in a lot of pain! I've heard that lots of times people go to the hospital for these things! They're not very common, but they are around.
So, on our way home one night, Elder W and I rode our bikes past a car that was pulled over on the side of the road. As we passed, I noticed that all the people were outside of the car just standing around, so we decided to go back and see if they needed help. It was a group of two women and about 4 or 5 little kids. They told us that they were driving home from the beach when a millipad crawled up one of their legs and scared them to death! So they pulled over, but then it disappeared. So they were searching around in the car with a flashlight trying to find it, but they were too scared to lift anything up or really look for it. So Elder W and I, being the men that we are, decided to help them cast out this evil creature.
After several minutes of shuffling through the things in the car and looking under the seats, we couldn't find the thing anywhere. So, we told the family that we were pretty sure that the millipad was just as scared as them and that it had escaped. So we decided to say a prayer with them that they could drive the rest of the way home safely and not have any problems with the millipad. When we brought up the idea, the kids were all like, "Yeah!! Let's pray! Let's pray!" Haha it was pretty funny. So then we said the prayer and sent them off. They didn't live in our area, but we gave them our number just in case they wanted to contact us for anything. The next morning we got a text on our phone thanking us and telling us that they all got home safely. It was really nice! We texted them back and told them that we were sure that it was the power of prayer that did it! :) You never know when an opportunity might come up when you can teach a simple principle of the gospel!
A and R
This last week we found a new investigator through our own efforts. She is great! Her name is A and she has such a good heart! She's Catholic and she loves the Lord! She's always happy to see us and she almost never stops smiling! But she's having some rough things going on in her life right now and she needs a little bit of hope. And that's where we come in! :) She's extremely open to our message and we have already taught two great lessons to her and her 14 year-old son, R. They told us that they would pray about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith to see if they really do need to get baptized by the proper authority. We asked them if they would be baptized if they received an answer to their prayers, and she replied with "why not?" That's what I like to hear! :) The next step for us is just to follow up and try to find them a ride to church!
My French is really coming along now and I can understand basically everything our investigators say in lessons. It's really amazing how that has worked! My teaching has improved so much. I know there is no other way that I could have learned French this fast if it weren't for the Lord. The gift of tongues really is one of the Sacred gifts of the Spirit.
I'm loving Baie-Mahault still but I'm scared that I could leave it soon! I'm halfway through my 3rd transfer here already. I'm convinced that the area I'm in right now is really the best area in the whole mission. We have the strongest branch, some of the best families, and the most leaders in our area than any other on Guadeloupe. And Baie-Mahault is absolutely gorgeous! The only thing that would make our area better is if we had a car! :)
Anyway, I love you all and I hope you all have a wonderful week! :)
Elder Taylor Dayton