Thursday, December 19, 2013

It's Like Christmas Already Happened!!

December 16, 2013

Hello my brothers and sisters!

It's been a great week here with the "street-dogs" in "B. Mah" (my gangster friends taught me that one.) But really though! It's been awesome! :) It's almost like Christmas is already here! Why's that, you ask... We'll start out with the biggest of the big news first...

THREE BAPTISMAL DATES SET!!! WHAT??!

Dina: We got a referral from the Gamiette family for another one of their neighbors. This time we taught with Sister Gamiette. It was in English too because she's from St. Martin! It was so much easier, but so much different! She had come to the baptism of the youngest Gamiette girl a few nights before, and she really enjoyed it. So at the end of the lesson we asked her if that would be something she wants, and she said yes! She really loves the Gospel! She does her research too. She's always on mormon.org looking for answers to her questions. She's perfect! She is going to St. Martin for a few weeks though, and then moving into a new house, so we had to set it pretty far out. But it's on February 14th! She helped choose the date too! She has a husband and a little baby boy. The husband is in no way opposed to her getting baptized, but we want to try to work with him to get baptized with her. Our next lesson with her is tomorrow, and then she's going on vacation. So we won't get another one for a while!

Dorothy: Our new investigator, Dorothy, has a baptismal date!!! :) We taught her the Plan of Salvation and talked about the Kingdoms of Glory. We asked her which kingdom she wanted to go to, she said "Celeste," and we read in John 3:5 how you can get into the kingdom of God... Then we invited her to be baptized! :) She accepted!! Then, with her, we selected January 25th for her date to be baptized. The only problems I can see with her is that she works at the hospital a lot (nurse), and she might live with a man... But we'll talk about that soon!

Jocelyn: Yes! Jocelyn has a baptismal date again! He's arranging things to get a studio apartment right now, so we're going to try to get him baptized on March 1st, if not sooner! :) I'm excited for that one. He's basically already a member, he just has never been baptized!

DISTRICT CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS

On Saturday night the members of Guadeloupe put on a Nativity Scene. It was awesome! :) The culture here is so great! They've all got music and love running through their veins. They changed the lyrics to a bunch of hymns and Christmas songs to tell the story of Jesus' birth. And of course it was all complete with a little Baby Jesus... which was a doll... which was black. :) 






Elder Dayton with Shepherds Desir and Constant

Mami Odette, Elder Dayton and Marie, an investigator

The only musical instruments in the Christmas celebration were big drums.

Eclar boy singing "Called To Serve" in French
Diemjy Desir being sneaky and stealing Elder Dayton's nametag.


On Sunday night we got to watch the "Christmas Devotional" put on by the First Presidency. It was great! :) I got to see mom in the choir a bunch! Lot's of close-ups! :) Adrian, our investigator, came with the Kasongo Family, so I was helping him try to find my mom too.

THE ECLAR FAMILY IS GOING TO UTAH

Some of my favorite members are coming to Utah for the holidays! Frere and Soeur Eclar are coming with their little girl and little boy! :) Mom and dad, I gave them your phone numbers and I think they're going to call you to see if you want to join them for a sealing session in the Bountiful Temple toward the end of the month... maybe December 28th. Get ready! They're awesome/crazy/so funny! :) Frere Eclar speaks English very well, so don't worry... he does like to joke a lot though!


Love,
Elder Taylor Dayton

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Kind of a Disappointing Week... But It's All Good!

December 9, 2013

Hello everyone! :)

This last week was kind of a dud. There's not much to talk about...

MY FIRST SICK DAY

On Tuesday, Elder Wade fell sick with a little bit of a... sickness. So we were stuck inside all day. He slept pretty much the whole day, and I just hung out and studied the scriptures and stuff. It was super relaxing and I actually quite enjoyed the peace and quiet! Then we were able to finally get medicine for him, and he was fine by the next morning.

REALLY RAINY WEEKEND

It was also really rainy this last weekend. We tried to do some service for a member at his house on Saturday morning, so we started cutting weeds and clearing out his backyard, then it started pouring! We went inside  and tried waiting it out with some games of dominoes, but it never stopped... So after a while, we just went home. By the time we got home and got everything ready to go out and preach the gospel again, the weather was pretty clear. So, we went over to Mami Odette's little shack-house for a lesson, and right as we finished our lesson with her, it started pouring again! We could barely hear over the noise of the rain pounding on her tin roof. We couldn't go anywhere because we would have gotten completely stuck. So, we got stuck at Mami's for the rest of the night. It wasn't too bad though because she's hilarious! We can barely understand her, because she's from Haiti and speaks Creole, but she is awesome! Then it was really rainy on Sunday again, so we didn't get very many lessons again. That all added up to a pretty lame week in terms of spreading the Gospel.

THE THREE STOOGES AND THE BIG OIL SPILL

One little random afterthought... On Sunday, one time when it started to pour rain, Elder Wade and I took shelter under a little mechanic's shack thing in a random neighborhood. There were three guys there with buckets, trying to scoop up jet black oil from a puddle of water in their front yard. They were all drunk and they smelled terrible! One of the guys was so drunk that he probably told me how he got baptized as a Seventh Day Adventist 5 times, not even joking! The oil was all over the grass and the trees and everything! I think one of the cars' tanks broke and so all the oil is spilling out. They were trying their best to scoop it into the buckets. They would run back and forth in their barefeet, dunking their bucket into the big brown and black puddle. Then they would run and dump it in other places in their yard, and the oil was just running back into the puddle! It was one of the funniest looking scenes I could have imagined. 

POWERFUL MEN GIVE POWERFUL PRAYERS

On Friday morning, Elder Wade and I had a very rare opportunity to work with Elder Gamiette, an Area Seventy and former West Indies Mission President. He's in our branch, but he's hardly ever in town. But he was in town, so he set up an appointment with his neighbor. He's an AMAZING teacher and the lesson went super well, even though Elder Wade and I didn't think it would go smoothly in any way! But that's not one of the most memorable parts of the experience. The coolest thing was when we got to Elder Gamiette's house, he invited us in to have a prayer before we went out to teach. He gave one of the most powerful prayers I've ever heard! I can't even explain it! I could feel that he was truly calling on the powers of heaven. It felt like he scared away every evil spirit within a mile radius by the time it was over! It was so sweet! Now I need how to learn to get better at praying...

That's pretty much it for this past week! It sounds super boring, and it kinda was. But I loved it nonetheless! :)

Always look on the bright side of life,
Elder Taylor Dayton

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December already?!

December 2, 2013

Good morning/day/evening to you! :)

I hope all is well in your part of the big, beautiful world. If it's snowing, go enjoy the snow. If it's hot, go out and get sweaty. If it's perfect, then pray for snow or heat, because life's too short to live in comfort all the time.

I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving! Can you believe it's really December? Christmas is right around the corner... Time has really been flying by! The weeks are starting to feel like days. Every time a new week comes around I have to wring out my brain to be able to recall all of the things I did recently, so I can update you all on my life here in Guadeloupe. It's been a great week for us! I think I set a record on number of lessons we taught this past week, and more importantly, number of lessons with a member!

EXCHANGE IN GOSIER

This last Wednesday I went to a new area and the district leader came to my area for a 24 hour exchange. I was with Elder Peterson from Tremonton, Utah, who is about 8 weeks into his training, and we were in his area. He's in Gosier/Pointe-a-Pitre, which is basically the nicest and most highly caucasianly-populated beach town, and the most ghetto big city on the island in one area. And boy did we have an adventure!

They have a car, and his companion usually drives, but for the exchange, Elder Peterson was the designated driver. It was about 6:00 PM, and we were just leaving Gosier to go to another appointment. We were pulling out of a little alley-way, onto the one-way main road, which was a right turn. As we were pulling out, a car was passing, and Elder Peterson was slowly inching out to see if there were any more cars coming. And as he crept out, he went just a titch too far, and BAM! we hit the back-right wheel and fender of the other car... BUMMER! It was totally an accident. Elder Peterson's a really good driver, but he just made one simple mistake. I felt so bad for him! Especially since he's still so new on the mission, and he technically wasn't supposed to be the driver of the car!

The other guy was pretty mad, but we just followed all the standard procedures and filled out paperwork with the police. It was really intense at first because Elder Peterson doesn't speak French very well, so I had to calm the other driver down and handle all of the legal stuff with the police all by myself. But I'm proud to say that I was able to do it! :) And now everything is taken care of, and Elder Peterson is in the clear!

That whole experience just makes me never want to have to drive on my mission. It's too stressful.

OTHER UPDATES ON THE WORK HERE

Stephanie and Laura: These are our Columbian friends that Elder Wade and I contacted. While I was on the exchange, Elder Wade and Elder Pratt set a baptismal date with Stephanie for the 28th of December! So now we're working toward that with her. It was only our second lesson with her, but it sounds like she was really excited about the idea of getting baptized! We're going to try and set the date with the rest of the family too next time. They couldn't come to church yesterday, but they're coming next week.

Adrian: He's our friend that's our wheelchair basketball champion. He came to church for the second time yesterday! He liked it. But he's still having a hard time setting a firm baptismal date. He thinks too hard about things. We're trying to get him to find the faith that he needs to continue.

Annie and Rudgy: We had two lessons with them last week, and they told us they were going to come to church! But then on Saturday morning, she texted us and said she was no longer interested... We were devastated! We don't really know what to do now. We're going to stop by again this week and see how they're doing. Hopefully she was just having an off day or something.

Dorothy: She's a new investigator we have! She's really cool! Plus, her name is Dorothy! :) She's super smart and she's from France (the big part on Europe.) She's sort of Buddhist, but very open-minded. She's very busy though because she's a nurse, but we've already set up a day for her to come to church and have our next appointments... in a few weeks. She's great though! :)





CLEANING UP THE FIELD

The last two Saturdays we've been doing service up at a field by the Gamiette family's home. There's a big soccer field that has been overgrown with weeds. But we've been weed-whacking all of it and raking all of it up. It's been quite the project! We're trying to get it ready though so we can have branch activities there, have somewhere for the young men to play soccer, and a place for activities to invite our investigators to. Then afterwards we ate fresh coconuts, courtesy of area seventy, Elder Gamiette.

Yours truly,
Elder Taylor Dayton