Sunday, December 28, 2014

Joyeux Noël de Guyane

December 22, 2014


Ho ho ho family!

I hope you're not freezing your toes off right now. My toes do kind of hurt, but it's just because I got a couple of blisters from running on the 72 F° beach into the sunrise this morning. Woe is me...

I'll be seeing you all in just a few days on Skype! I'm pretty excited about that! Except I don't really know what we're going to talk about. Christmas Day is going to be a lot of fun. We already have the whole day pretty much planned out. We'll be visiting members and investigators and sharing short Christmas messages all day, and inviting everyone to be baptized.

Today we're celebrating Christmas as a zone. We will be eating a nice Christmas meal that we're all pitching in to prepare. Then, President Mehr has authorized all the missionaries to watch a movie at 6:00 instead of going back to work. So we're watching that Disney movie called "Frozen." I don't know what it is. Hopefully it's a good one!

The missionaries got together and prepared a Christmas feast.

I don't have much news for the week. We had a total of 5 investigators at church yesterday, and 4 of them have baptismal dates! That's the best we've done so far.

QUINCY and COMPTON are two investigators from Guyana, so we teach them in English. They're really cool. Quincy has the same problem as Pierre-Louis did though, in that he is trying to get his papers and he's not married to his partner. But Compton is his partner's 18 yo brother. He's really cool. He just looks and seems a lot like someone I might meet in the US. It's weird speaking English with people, because it seems too natural to be able to communicate. He hasn't been in French Guiana for very long though so he doesn't speak a lot of French, so church yesterday was a little bit boring I think. But both of them have accepted to be baptized if they receive the confirmation of the truthfulness of the BoM.

JOSE came to church again. He's still loving the BoM! His partner Val wants to get baptized in the 7th Day Adventist Church though, so we're letting her go. But Jose is super sweet! I wish I had my boy Elder Owen or Elder Hill here to translate Spanish for me. Jose is hilarious, even with the language barrier. My Spanish is slowly coming along though. Sadly, I have nothing to study with at night or during lunch.

CHIKELSON came to church too for his second time! It was a real panic trying to get him ready to go in order to have him get a ride. I ended up ironing his shirt and pants for him and we rushed him out the door. He's still an energetic goofball gazelle. He's really funny and has a hilarious laugh. He talks about baptisms seriously though and wants to be ready. We just need him to think about it all the time, and less about soccer and his abs. 

I love you all!

Merry Christmas!
Elder Dayton

I'm Sunburned

December 15, 2014

Hello family,

I hope you're enjoying the snow because my neck is peeling and I'm turning into a Rudolph. This last week was fun.

First, saddish news. Frederic moved away back to Saint-Georges and we don't have his phone number or any other way to contact him. He told us that it might happen. We don't know when he'll come back or where he's going next. He's talked about moving back to France. It's too bad, but he has the Book of Mormon and he told us he would search for the missionaries wherever he ends up. I know he'll be okay. And who knows, maybe he'll come back next week! He's unpredictable.

JOSE AND VAL

Yesterday we sadly only had two investigators at church, but they're both really cool. We can only see them with members that speak Portuguese or Spanish because he's from Peru and she's from Brazil. They are very poor. They probably have the least expensive house out of any investigator that I have ever taught. It's basically just metal siding and planks of wood on the side of the road. But he has a scooter, so he's able to come to church. My two years of Spanish class has been able to come in handy a few times, pero, yo no comprendo mucho.

Jose loves the Book of Mormon! At church, he couldn't really understand what was going on because he doesn't speak French, so he was just flipping through the Book reading stories. He read the story of Alma and Amulek in the prison and how they walked out of it as it crumbled to the ground. He thought it was really cool. He says that Amulek is the coolest. It's pretty sweet. He spent a whole night doing research on the church after our first lesson. The next time we went he told us in detail exactly the process that Joseph Smith went through in order to obtain and translate the plates of gold, and he told us about how our church is organized just like the Primitive Church of Jesus Christ. He is loving it! And Val is super spiritual too. She doesn't say much in the lessons, but just closes her eyes and smiles as she soaks up the feelings of the Spirit.

FINDING FUTURE MISSIONARIES

This last week we had some new investigators. We have some cool ones. One is named Lucas, he's a 17 year-old Brazilian that loves soccer. He's a stud. Plus, he understands what we teach him so well. He's really cool and he is interested in the Book of Mormon. He couldn't come to church on Sunday because he was at a church manifestation for his girlfriend's religion.

Nicolas, a 21 year-old Brazilian. He's just really timid and kind, and a really humble baker. His mother passed away a month ago, and he's been looking for comfort. He loves to read and he believes in God, plus he has a scooter! He couldn't come to church on Sunday because he had some family things going on.

CHRISTMAS IS ALMOST HERE

Good luck preparing for Christmas and getting your last bits of shopping done! I'm looking forward to hearing about your experiences. If I'm lucky, I'll probably receive some Christmas cards in January or February! 

Have a great week! Remember, "Courage has few witnesses." - Thomas S. Monson. Be courageous! Take a stand. Be a hero. Make something right. 

Love,

Elder Dayton

Fasting Miracles

December 8, 2014

Helloooo!!

Wow!! My heart is just so full of gratitude for everything that I have in life. I love you, my family and friends. It looks like Thanksgiving came a little bit late to Elder Dayton this year.

This last week was awesome! Elder Belnap and I worked like a couple of horses in our area and set records in our weekly numbers. We were able to work double-time, doing some splits with members, talking to everyone, to get twice as much done. We had a total of 13 new investigators and gave out a total of 16 Book of Mormons! We had many miracles.

CRAZY METROPOLITAN FRENCH WOMAN

We went to see an investigator on Saturday, but sadly we couldn't see her. So we went to leave, and as I was backing up Elder Belnap, he said "Wait. There's a woman coming. Talk to her." So I looked down the street and saw the woman coming toward us. Before I could even open up my mouth she put her pointer finger up in the air and yelled, "Non! Vous dégagez! Sortez de là, vous dérangez ces gens! C'est interdit, c'est une rue privée!" She was fiery. Elder Belnap responded, "Mais nous avons le droit." And she just said "Non!" and kept walking briskly right on past us and shut her electronic gate. Then she watched us back all the way out of her street until we were gone.

I don't know what had gotten into her. She was very insistent that we leave. It was as if we were going to bring a plague upon her home. She must have seen some of those stupid French TV reports about "Mormons". It made me pretty mad, but the way she acted was just so hysterical that Elder Belnap and I were able to just laugh it off. It was really funny. It was the most angry, white French lady we have ever met on our missions.

FINDING FREDERIC

This last weekend we fasted for the missionary work in our area, and for baptisms in the month of December. During the 24-hour period in which we were fasting, we experienced miracles with finding new investigators. One of them is named Frederic. He is a man that, 3 days prior to meeting us, he was doing hard drugs, smoking, and drinking. It had come to control his life so extremely that he was trying everything he could to kill himself and get out of this world, but God just wouldn't let him die. He said that he finally just sat down, looked at his wife in the eyes, gathered his three children around, threw all the drugs he had down on the table, and decided that from that point on he would never smoke, drink, or do drugs again in his life. He was going to give himself up to God. So he left his home, his cars, and all of his belongings, and went 3 hours north to Cayenne, French Guiana to stay with his sister-in-law, stopping at every church he saw on the way, trying to find God.

On Saturday night we decided to go over and teach a recent convert, Jenny, at her home. That's when we met Frederic, Jenny's uncle. We listened to his story. Testified to him the difference that the Book of Mormon can offer in his life. We taught him, gave him a Book of Mormon, and invited him to church the next day. The next morning he came to church with two of his children, holding onto the Book of Mormon and said to us, "I read what you told me to read. I know that this book is the truth." He wants to change his life around and enter into this church through baptism. I know that fasting brings us miracles. When we give up our physical appetites and turn to the Lord in prayer, he pours out blessings in abundance.

WHAT HOPE REALLY IS

I had an awesome personal study on Sunday and discovered a little bit more about hope, and why it's important to have. In Alma 32, we read that by faith we plant the word of God in our hearts, and through our patience and diligence we nourish that plant until it springs forth bearing the most delicious fruit of all. In verse 37, we see that before the seed even takes root, we are already calling it a "tree." How do we know that it's going to be a tree? We don't. But we plant the seed in our heart and HOPE that it will become a tree. If we don't have faith and the hope that the seed will become a tree, bringing forth fruit, it will be scorched and shrivel away (38-39). Looking at the seed "with an eye of faith" (v. 40) makes all the difference.

I love you all!
Elder Dayton


P.S. We played soccer this morning at our turf field that we always go to. It was sweet!


Is it really December?

December 1, 2015

Where did November go?

Hmm... oh well. Another month gone means... I don't really know what it means, but it's December now. So you better get your sandals on because it's hot down here in the far-far South of France.

8 BAPTISMS IN NOVEMBER

At the beginning of the month, Elder Belnap and I set the inspired goal for our zone to get 8 baptisms in November. And guess what? We did it! The Lord truly did bless our zone and miracles happened. The sisters pulled out a miracle and got us our last 2 baptisms we needed this last Saturday. They weren't even on date to get baptized until last Wednesday night. Plus, the District President was visiting our branch from Guadeloupe, so it was a good way to show off. It was the most baptisms for one zone that the French West Indies has had since... I don't even know if that's ever happened!




THIS LAST WEEK WAS WEIRD

Elder Belnap and I were sort of perplexed this last week as a bunch of our golden investigators just sort of dropped themselves. We did a lot of searching and finding, and in the end we got some potential new investigators and a member referral.

Renato has turned into a sasquatch and now lives in the forest. His kids are still around though (as you can see in this photo of Johlbert making a funny face with Elder Belnap)! All the Brazilians live in a neighborhood named Arc-En-Ciel, which means "rainbow" in French. That's where we work a lot. It's the most happenin' place in all of French Guiana! I seriously feel like I'm in Brazil when I'm there.



Chikelson, our 17 year-old Haitian friend who lives in little Brazil (Arc-En-Ciel), was our only investigator to come to church! He's pretty sweet, but in the lessons he's sort of up in the clouds. He's an interesting one... But he'll make an awesome missionary one day! Plus he likes soccer, so he'll fit in with the branch here well. He's like a Usain Bolt-type character. He's just got the build of a gazelle. (He's about 6'-0" and 150 lbs. which ain't too bad if I do say so myself.) He's also a boxer. Maybe if he doesn't get baptized he can just be my personal trainer or bodyguard.

TRANSFERS

It's transfer week!!! I'm staying. And thankfully, Elder Belnap is staying too. The only one leaving from French Guiana is Elder Lever. He'll be missed down here. :(

GERSON NOEL GOT BAPTIZED

Elder Lewis, who is still in Martinique, baptized Gerson Noel last week!!! That's my boys! :) Both of them.



Love,

Elder Dayton

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 24, 2014

Guess what. I'm officially a sister missionary! I'm over 18 months now! You know what that means... Time to start working on my figure! (6 months 'til sexy, right Elder Brown?)

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Today is Thanksgiving for us missionaries. We can't miss out on a full day of work on Thursday! So we went out for a nice Amazon hike with all the missionaries this morning. We saw a few monkeys jumping around in the tops of the trees. None of us felt like cooking anything, so we just had a relaxing Thanksgiving meal at a Brazilian all-you-can-eat buffet. It was really expensive, but REALLY good! It was unlike any other Thanksgiving I ever had!




Elder Lever (above) and Elder Savage (left) in the Amazon jungle.
 Elder Belnap and Savage

 View of French Guiana from the Amazon jungle

 The Brazilian buffet Thanksgiving feast!




INVESTIGATORS

Yvelson didn't come to church on Sunday. He kind of disappeared toward the weekend. He's still awesome though! His neighbor, Micanor, now is investigating too.

Brenda didn't come to church either. She was going to, but she got scared. But we had some cool lessons with her last week. She keeps asking us really good questions and she is very interested in learning more.

Renato and his two kids Kimberly and Johlbert... Renato is never home sadly. He works out in the forest, which is a few hours away, so he is away from home for almost a week at a time. So it's hard for us to even catch him home! The only time we saw him last week was 30 minutes before church on Sunday morning. We invited him to come to church, but he said that he had to get his stuff ready because he was going back out to the forest again. We see his kids from time to time. They still want to get baptized, they just need the time!

Meïlynda did come to church! She was our only investigator that did! Her dad dropped her off in the morning. We had a member take her home and talk about FHE's and what they were. So we're going to try to invite her to one sometime soon!

We met a new investigator this last week from Haiti. His name is Chikelson and he's 17 years old. We met him after one of our lessons fell through. We were just walking around a Brazilian neighborhood and he came up to us and said, "Hey, do you guys have any books that I can read?" So we gave him a bunch of reading material. He's super cool! He wants to come to church and he wants to preach the gospel and he really wants eternal life! He really might be too good to be true! Sadly, he had a soccer match on Sunday morning, so he couldn't come to church. We'll get him there soon though!

THANKS

I'm thankful for my family. I'm thankful for happy news from home. I'm grateful for missionaries. I'm grateful for this Gospel. I'm gratful for the last 18 months of my life and everything that I have learned. I'm grateful for Jesus Christ and his Atonement, and this wonderful time of year that we can celebrate it with others.

I love you all!

Elder Dayton

Monday, November 17, 2014

All Flown Out

November 17, 2014

"Well my party people," I'm back!!

That's right, I'm back from Trinidad. From Monday to Friday we flew all over the West Indies, just to get to a conference in Trinidad. I think I hit a total of 8 islands during my trip. Then we flew back. We traveled for a total of 4 days, and we had our conference for a total of one day. (We missed day 1 because of a missed connecting flight and layover in Barbados.) My shoes and belt are getting worn out from taking them off and putting them back on so much. But I can say that I'm a pro now at going through airport security! :)

It was a great trip! I got to spend time with lots of my past companions, because they were all at the conference too. Elder Belnap and I have both served with Elder Galati and Elder Wade, so we had some good times with them in Guadeloupe on Thursday night.


Elders Dayton, Galati, Wade and Belnap in Guadeloupe

ACHIEVING REAL GROWTH

Real growth is defined as baptism, retention, and reactivation. We received much inspired instruction from President Mehr and Sister Mehr in Trinidad, as well as the assistants, Elder Telga from Martinique, and Elder Ferrin from Kaysville. Now Elder Belnap and I are going to transmit the message to our missionaries here in French Guiana.

We're going to be teaching missionaries how to correct and train members so that they can better fulfill their callings. We're going to be using Manual 2 of the Church to do it. Now all the missionaries have a copy in their apartment. We are also going to work on our teaching skills and sharpening our doctrinal statements.

INVESTIGATORS

Sadly, this last week we didn't have a ton of time to work in our area, but we did find some new investigators. Yvelson, a new 25 y.o. Haitian investigator that speaks English came to church yesterday. He's awesome. We found him on Saturday and invited him to church on Sunday and he came! He also integrated well with the convert that got baptized 2 weeks ago named Smith.

Our other investigators have kind of hit road blocks, and none of them came to church on Sunday. Renato, our Brazilian friend had to work all weekend. Romario is still being slow, but we see his little siblings often, so he's never going to be able to get rid of us! Meïlynda wasn't able to come again because she was sick.

On Sunday night we had a miracle! We went back to see a Brazilian woman we had contacted the week before, and we met her mother and sister, Darlene and Brenda, instead and taught them. They were great! They've both been in other churches and recently stopped attending all churches, and they don't know why. They don't understand why there are so many churches today. We gave them the Book of Mormon and promised them that they can find answers to all their questions through it. It was really cool. They were asking US the questions. After teaching a little bit about the Book of Mormon, Brenda turned to us one by one and asked "How has this book changed your life?" So each of us, including Mike Mastey, a future missionary here, got to take turns bearing testimony about the Book of Mormon. It was a great lesson and they committed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon!

Love you,

Elder Dayton


Elder Belnap

Lunch. Nutritious?

Elder Christensen and Lewis

I got Gatorade, a doughnut, a cinnamon roll, a Nature Valley bar, and a Snickers almond in the airport with the money voucher they gave me for delaying us. Best thing I've bought in a long time! I could have gotten real food, but I couldn't resist... We don't have this stuff here in the French side!
We got Whoppers in the Guadeloupe airport. More American food!!


Group pic with all the French side ZLs and Sister Training Leaders! They're the coolest!


Elder Lever and Savage


Today is Elder Belnap's birthday, so we smashed this plate full of shaving cream in his face. He thought we were giving him some dessert, so we sang to him and then when we finished, Elder Savage smashed him!


We had another baptism on Saturday! Two more! Nelma and Esteffany got baptized by Elder Smith and Elder Sackley. They're stud missionaries. Their 3rd this month! Elder Belnap and I are going to get a few more in November I think...




We went out at night with 12 y.o. recent convert Ronald to visit another recent convert Jenny to have a combined lesson. He's a funny kid! :)


Hello from Martinique!

November 10, 2014

Oi!


That's right! I'm back in Martinique. Here's picture proof of me in front of Burger King at the airport. 


Now, why am I here? Because I'm going to Trinidad for a Zone Leader conference about how the Church in the West Indies can achieve "Real Growth" on Tuesday and Wednesday. And because Elder Belnap and I live clear down in French Guiana, we have to take a bunch of flights to get there and back. But it's okay, because we get to fly Air France, which is pretty sweet. So we're in Martinique for the night. And then Trinidad on Tuesday and Wednesday night. And then Guadeloupe on Thursday night. And then we'll finally get back home to French Guiana on Friday night. It's a ridiculous amount of flights we have to take for a distance that isn't very far. But I'm not complaining.

Because I haven't done very good at explaining what's going on in French Guiana, I'm just going to answer some general questions.

1. The French Guiana Zone is 9 missionaries. 3 sisters, and 6 elders. We are the only Zone in the country.

2. The Cayenne branch is the only active branch of the LDS church in French Guiana. All of us missionaries are a part of this branch. There formerly were two other branches in the country, in different cities. But the other two branches died out for reasons that are unknown to me.

3. The other missionaries and areas. There are 4 areas, and they are all located in Cayenne, within 10 minutes drive of each other on the same main road of the city. So we are all very close.
Elder Lever and Savage are on bikes in Montjoly.
The 3 sisters are in a truck in the area of Matoury.
Elder Smith and Sackley are in the main dowtown area of Cayenne.
And Elder Belnap and I live and work in an area called Remire.

4. What does it look like here? I'll have to take some pictures and videos for you all... It's much different than Fort-de-France is on Martinique. There aren't houses stacked on houses and tiny little roads. The city is much more spread out and flat. The people don't live on the hills, but they just live in pockets of areas. It's hard to explain. I guess you would just have to experience it to understand what it's like. Maybe you could look it up on Google Street View.

5. What are the people like here? There are a lot more French white people, a lot more Chinese people, a TON of Brazilians, and a fair amount of Peruvians and Haitians. It's much more diverse. Lots of different cultures makes it a lot of fun! The people are much more calm and settled-down. They don't close themselves in their houses after 6:30 PM. I think the island life was just something different from anything else. It's more crowded and seems to make everything a little bit more intense. On the other hand, people in French Guiana are quite open to new ideas and change. Also, a lot more of them have methods of transportation.

RENATO, KIMBERLY, and JOHLBERT

Renato and his 9 y.o. daughter and 11ish y.o. son are doing great! They came to sacrament meeting and loved it! Kimberly translates us for us most of the time so that we can communicate with Renato. They went to the wrong church at first, but then they figured it out with the help of little Kimberly. She's so smart and so cute! It sounds like things are going much better for Renato now with work, so he'll probably be able to come to church more often. We have a recent convert named Jose that lives close by that we've started to integrate into our teaching and he loves it! Things are definitely moving in the right direction. The elders back in French Guiana are going to see them this week while we're "on vacation."

YOUTH IN THE BRANCH

The branch is doing great!! There were two more baptisms this last weekend for a 14 y.o. boy named Loïc (Elder Lever and Elder Savage) and a man in his 20s named Smith (Elder Sackley and Elder Smith.) 




The branch is very young and lively. We have soccer activities every Wednesday and volleyball on Friday. Jefferson is integrating well with the other youth. The branch just started up an early-morning seminary program which is going GREAT! We are on our way to achieving great things in the branch!




Meïlynda (new spelling) didn't come to church sadly. She was at her mom's house over the weekend, so we couldn't get hold of her. We have to bring her back in!

Romario is moving slowly. He's an average 18 y.o. kid. We hit some road blocks as we have found that he doesn't really like the feeling of "being taught." So we're working around that and just being his friends. We're also using other members that are his age to help us teach him.

That's about it! I love you all! I gotta go! 
Love,
Elder Dayton



Holding a cool lizard in our sweet kidnapper van. The lizards are bigger in French Guiana!

Eating water apples or love apples with Elder Belnap. They're super good. And there's a tree behind the church!


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Jefferson's Baptism

November 3, 2014

A shorter e-mail than most today. Elder Dayton was short on time, so he just hit the highlights. We hope to hear more about the country in the future.

JEFFERSON



Jefferson Faustine got baptized and confirmed this weekend. It was great! An 18-year old member that teaches often baptized him. He's preparing for a mission right now. Jefferson was super happy! He's so humble and kind. He's going to make a great missionary one day.






MELINDA

A 17 year old girl that we found. She has a baptismal date for the 15th of November. She spent the whole weekend with the young women baking cakes for a bake sale they had to raise money to go to the temple. She loves the church and didn't believe in God before we gave her the Book of Mormon. Sadly she couldn't come to church because her dad wouldn't let her. But we'll try to soften his heart.

RENATO

He's also a new investigator with a baptismal date for the 15th. He and his two young kids Johlbert and Kimberly want to get baptized. We're working with him on quitting drinking and coming to church on Sundays. They're great! Yesterday we made a baptismal plan with him and we had them put it up on their fridge. Then they all put their hands in the circle and we all said "Baptismo" (Portuguese) together. It was a sort of cheesy thing to do, but they liked it. They love us and they really want to change.

ROMARIO

The older 18 year-old brother of some recent converts. He also will be getting baptized this month on the 29th. We also posted a plan on his fridge. He's progressing well and going to seminary in the mornings with his little sister. We just are going to have to see what his needs really are and work with him towards it. Sadly, he works on some Sundays.

I love you, but I gotta go! That's all I can think of right now... I'll send you some pictures of the baptism.

Elder Dayton

Elder Belnap, Lever and Savage


Elder Savage and Elder Lever also had some baptisms


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Hello, French Guiana!

October 27, 2014

Hello everyone!

I made it down here safe and sound. It's weird. The roads are so much wider. The heat isn't unbearable though, probably because I now have a car and we have an apartment with air-conditioning! Hallelujah! The missionaries down here are awesome and are baptizing machines. Since Elder Lever has come down, he's baptized so many times that I keep discovering more of his recent converts.

It's nice down here. Imagine the feeling of going from Northern Utah to St. George. It's hotter, there's a lot of red dirt everywhere. But there are a lot more Brazilians here and the jungle is crazy. The trees here are so thick. But I live in a pretty suburban area. I'll have to take some more pictures another time.

I still am lost down here. Elder Belnap drives, and I just look at all the cool scenery. It's hard because it's flat and you can't see over anything because of all the trees, so I still couldn't even get myself home if my life depended on it. I've met most of our good investigators now, and we have been working with a lot of members already. The branch has a ton of youth and many young men preparing to serve missions. So we have a regular rotation of three 19 and 20 year-olds that actually call us to come and work. It's pretty awesome!

Here's a quick rundown of investigators and what I know so far:

JEFFERSON

He's getting baptized this Saturday! His little sister Jenny just got baptized, and now he's ready to get there. He's Brazilian, 14 years-old, and awesome. He loves soccer and he's going to be an awesome missionary someday. We're having a Family Home Evening at the branch president's house with him tonight. The branch president here is awesome and he loves the youth! The branch has so much life!

ROMARIO

He's 18 years-old. Also Brazilian. He's the older brother of 2 recent converts and he wants to get baptized, but his problem is that he works for the French Gendarmes right now and works a lot of Sundays. He has a baptismal date for November 15th though, so we're working to get him there. He's very good friends now with the youth and comes to the soccer activity every Wednesday afternoon.

BRAZILIANS

Basically everyone down here is Brazilian, and they are the BEST!! Man, they have so much love and they're so faithful! I love teaching them. We got fed lunch yesterday by our investigator Jose-Carlos. It was my first time eating a real Brazilian meal (beans and rice of course) and some really good Brazilian barbecue.

The problem is... I don't speak Portuguese! I need cousin Parker Landgren to come down here from Toronto so he can translate for me! We'd baptize everyone together! Some of them only speak broken French, and when they talk to us in lessons we have to really strain ourselves to understand. Luckily, the branch president is Brazilian though.

Anyway, that's just about all the updates I have for you this week.

SUMMARY

I love it down here! And I EXPECT to baptize A LOT! #salvationsplash

Love,
Elder Dayton




I had to say goodbye to my companion and good friend, Elder Lewis. He's going to keep the work moving in Martinique!


I flew AirFrance to get down here! It was nice.





We ate lunch at Jose Carlos' house on Sunday. The shirtless drunk guy in the corner made our food for us. It was so funny! He didn't speak a lick of French, but he kept talking to us. I would just nod my head and keep eating. Elder Belnap is so awesome! He makes me laugh harder than I have in a long time. Plus, he's an amazing leader. He's teaching and inspiring me a lot.

Jose-Carlos' daughter Jennifer is so cute! (PS, Brazilian women are very beautiful!! I'm glad I'm not actually serving in Brazil! Jennifer asked us if we could give her our number for a woman at lunch that was eyeing us. We didn't. We'll teach her though if she's willing to commit herself.)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Goodbye Martinique!

October 20, 2014

Hello everyone,

I have some very sad news. I'm leaving Martinique after 10 of the best months of my life. I'll be spending the next 40ish hours of my time here running around saying goodbye, giving hugs and handshakes to everyone that I love.

I'll be joining Nate, Norm, and Zack down in South America! I'll be in the Amazon Jungle of French Guiana (Guyane Française) to be a Zone Leader with Elder Belnap! I'm super excited! I know Elder Andrew Belnap and he's an awesome missionary/bodybuilder/man-hunk, and he baptized a bunch of people that I taught after I left Baie-Mahault! He has also served here in Fort-de-France too, so we've basically served in all the same areas.

Elder Lever is also down there, as well as two of my favorite missionaries, Elder Smith (P-Jones' lookalike) and Elder Savage. There are also some sisters, but I don't really know anything about them.

I'm being replaced here by Elder Christensen, who is a boss missionary. He's going to baptize all of my investigators... I'm so jealous. I'm so excited for him and Elder Lewis though. They've already served together before and they were powerhouses!!

I don't know much about French Guiana, but I know that it's way more hot and way more humid. I know that the branch is just exploding though and the missionaries are baptizing like crazy. So I'm excited to join in on the fun, and I hope that I can continue leading them to victory with Elder Belnap.

RENAUD

He's still progressing. He should be getting his patches to help him on the road to quitting cigarettes in November. So we gave him a baptismal date for the 15th of November. He really wants to get there! I'm excited for him and I hope to receive an email while I'm in Guyane about a baptism.

GERSON

So his phone broke this last week, and so we weren't able to get ahold of him at all. We could call him and hear him speak, but he couldn't hear anything we were saying. It was so frustrating! Elder Lewis and I were so sad and we were feeling like giving up hope. We had thoughts that Gerson wasn't serious enough to ever get baptized. But then on Sunday, a true miracle happened and he was at church when Elder Lewis and I got there! He got a ride with the President somehow. I told him that I was leaving to French Guiana and he was so sad. He told me that he cried and was devastated that I'm going to miss his baptism. That's when we realized that he was truly sincere. He'll make it to baptism. He just needs Elder Christensen and Elder Lewis to get him there. We're having a family night with the Maugers and Gerson tonight. It's going to be a great member lesson, and a good final farewell.

PIERRE-LOUIS
His "woman" is pregnant and is having some complications with the pregnancy. She has been ordained bed-rest for the next month because there has been a fracture/break of some kind in her belly. The baby is due in January, but they're really starting to worry. So Elder Lewis and I went and visited them yesterday because Pierre-Louis wanted us to give her a blessing. And miraculously, Frère Mauger and his cute little Haitian family showed up for a visit. So he joined in on the sealing of the anointing. It was an amazing blessing. I could truly feel God's power and the Spirit working through us as I pronounced the blessing upon her head. It was something I'll never forget. Pray for Wilta and her baby, and also for Pierre-Louis to find work.

PICS

Elder Russell and I had a fun and successful last exchange together. We of course ended the night eating chicken and bake.



 


Oh yeah! There was a baptism! Tania Sablé got baptized by Elder Sims and Elder Glover down in Sainte-Luce.



A bunch of members that I said goodbye to... Sister Yva, who cooks so well and makes the madras ties. Some Young future missionaries. Some faithful ladies of the branch. Good ol' Frère Chinan and his sunglasses. Frère Lagin, former missionary and really really good friend from the branch. Renaud (yellow tie and blue shirt.)















Cake at the Sillons' house with a 10 on top for the number of months I spent in Martinique. If I ever come back here on vacation, they're the couple to contact, because they know EVERYTHING about the island.



Gerson Noel with me and Elder Lewis. I'm going to miss him so much. He's become a great friend. Saying goodbye is going to be hard.


I love you all very much! Happy transfer week! :) Travel safe!

Love,
Elder Dayton